Back in Tape Op #130 I reviewed the Triad-Orbit reissue of the Starbird mic stand and was very favorably impressed, as have been all the engineers who've used it here at Panoramic House Studios. Since then we've picked up a few more of the Triad-Orbit stands and accessories. I continue to be impressed with how useful and well built the whole Triad-Orbit product line, called the Advanced Stand System, is. Below are just a few examples of problems that have been solved and/or things that have become easier to set up for sessions here.
We have an odd space here at the studio, on the landing of the stairwell to the upstairs room. This landing is pretty small – maybe three and a half feet square – but it overlooks the main tracking space and has a window isolating it from the rest of the room. In other words, it would be a perfect spot to cut a vocal or an acoustic guitar while isolating it from the rest of the band. Unfortunately, this scenario had never really worked because there is barely enough room for a sturdy stand capable of holding a larger mic. The space is so cramped that it's not comfortable for an artist with a large microphone stand, not to mention that mic placement for better sonics is not really an option. But once I started to wrap my head around the Triad-Orbit universe of mechanical connectivity, I ordered three things from them: An IO-W wall plate/desktop mount, an IO-A2A telescopic IO boom arm, and an OA orbital arm ball joint. For the wall on the landing, I permanently mounted the IO-W plate about shoulder high. When not in use, it's covered up by a small piece of hanging art. When we want to put up a mic, we just move the art aside a little bit, attach the OA joint and the IO boom arm, then whammo! – we're ready to record! The Triad-Orbit system is so versatile that we can even add additional accessories and mics to the set up without the need for additional wall plates. For instance, we have one of the IO-Vector bars, which is like a stereo mic bar on steroids. It has five different points of connectivity, so you can use it as a stereo mic bar, a Decca Tree bar, an inside/outside kick drum mic combo, or in the case of our little landing setup, support a vocal mic and an acoustic guitar mic attached to the one IO-W plate.
Now I just hang a cool, vintage Spanish bota bag as wall art to cover up the IO-W plate when it's not in use, but if you don't have a handy piece of vintage art lying around you could just attach one of Triad-Orbit's String Swing Yokes (essentially a guitar holder/hanger) that simply snaps into the Triad-Orbit quick release for hanging a guitar on the wall. Speaking of guitar stands, there's never enough, and they're always in the way, right? Well, Triad-Orbit has a solution for that too – just use one of their Grip Clamps (available in two different sizes) to add a guitar hanger onto a Triad-Orbit heavy-duty mic stand that's already in use during a session. All of these accessories can handle a lot of weight, so once you add in the Grip Clamps, possibilities multiply. One mic stand can hold several mics, multiple guitars, and even an iPad (with the iOrbit tablet/phone holder). Super cool! When you get down to it, calling all this a simple "mic stand" would be short-changing the Triad-Orbit system's capabilities quite a bit – it's really so much more and can address many different scenarios in the studio.