I like to think of my mixing desk as the control center. I hate running around the studio, behind racks, or bending down to search for a power switch, which is why I have several power strips in racks situated right on the desk. One is a standard surge suppressing strip with a single switch and eight outlets that power up simultaneously. I use this to power on the necessities – my interface, lava lamps – you know, the devices turned on for every session.

Then I have the ADJ Products PC-100A. This is a single-space, rack-mounted AC power center with eight lighted rocker switches that control eight separate three-prong outlets on the rear. I use this to control optional devices like monitors, my racks of 500 Series modules, miscellaneous outboard preamps, compressors, a headphone amp, a cassette deck, etc. All the switches are within reach, and I can power on or off a device easily with barely a thought – and without interrupting the flow of a session.

The PC-100A has a 15 amp breaker reset button on the front panel but does not provide surge protection. However, I connect them through a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) in my studio that has extra outlets and surge protection without battery backup. So, if the power goes out, I really only need the computer and interface to save and shut down safely.

I’ve owned my first PC-100A for close to ten years now. I recently bought another because I have acquired more rack gear that I need to power on. The ability to control the correct power up, or power down order for everything is a lifesaver!

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

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