Unlock the studio and walk in. Power up each rack, then the console, then lean over the console to turn on each powered monitor. Be sure to do the monitors last or they go pop and swearing ensues. Ten hours later, do the same list in reverse. I don't mind most studio rituals, but I don't like this one. A few months ago I replaced one of my rack-mounted power strips with a Furman M-8S. It's 1U chassis with eight outlets on the back: two are always on and the other three pairs are sequenced - they power up in order, with a few-seconds delay between each. A trim pot on the back sets the delay interval, with values ranging from half a second to ten seconds. I run it at about four seconds. Now when I walk into the studio, I flip one switch and everything slowly turns on, in the right order - sorcery. Power-down goes in reverse order, which is exactly right. Bonus: when someone else uses my studio, the intro lecture just got shorter and simpler.

The M-8S can handle 15 amps. That's okay in my studio, and all of my gear was on a single circuit anyway, so running everything off of a single master outlet is fine. If you have more gear, or more circuits, you can connect multiple M-8S units in series or parallel and have them driven by a single remote switch. There's a 4-pin "remote" port on the back and a few dipswitches for configuring this. The manual clearly describes these features and you can download it from the Furman website. This simple thing makes me happy every day.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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