This is one of those "I wish I thought of that" inventions. The Gear Tie is a reusable rubber-coated twist tie. Available in a range of colors, thicknesses, and lengths, the Gear Tie is amazing for holding long cables, snakes, and extension cords. Unlike hook-and-loop (e.g., Velcro) cloth holders, you don't have to unwrap the thing a bunch of times just to free a mic cable. Simply coil the Gear Tie once around and twist the ends together - that's it. Instant holder. Since I double the Gear Tie before I wrap it, the loop end becomes a place to hang the cable, as well. Very nice. I use the 32'' model, and it holds heavy extension cords, snakes, and other heavy-duty cables. There are also shorter, thinner versions, which would be perfect for mic and instrument cables.

They come in basic black and a bunch of cool colors. You can find Gear Ties at many local retailers and home improvement stores. Since the core of each tie is metal, there is a degree of "memory" and stability when you twist or shape them. For example, a small flashlight can be held in place using the Gear Tie as a table stand. I wrapped one end around the base of the flashlight and made a mini flag pole stand with the rest. It was like having an extra hand. Behind gear racks, the Gear Tie can hold extra lights or rolls of tape or markers or whatever you need to have at hand.

Basically, your imagination is the only limit to the studio applications for this invention. It will be interesting to see how these hold up to daily use, but I expect they can provide years of reliable service.

The company that makes the Gear Tie, Nite Ize, focuses on providing ingenious solutions for everyday problems. The Gear Tie is something every working studio should consider. From holding flashlights to keeping track of drum keys, there are probably 101 uses out there. And the lime green color I chose makes it hard for bands to walk away with them! ($2.98 and up;

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

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