It’s always sad to see some of your gear breaks and loses its function. Sometimes your equipment will unexpectedly break, especially the ones you use the most. There are several ways to extend the life of your gear, and this article will teach you how.
Most of the time, your gear breaks due to overuse, improper storage, and the dust it accumulates over time. To avoid this, you must learn how to maintain, clean, and store your gear correctly.
WHY DID IT STOP WORKING?
The equipment in your bedroom music studio that usually breaks are the ones with open spaces, like keyboard keys, open ports, and knobs. Sometimes your cables and amps get oxidation that interferes with the signal causing noise that affects your recording.
Dust is not good as it collects dirt and sometimes goes in the open slots of your devices. Dust causes scratchy sounds when you adjust the knobs and sliders.
Don’t worry. We got you covered!
USEFUL TIPS FOR CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE:
Here are a couple of inexpensive tips to avoid your gear from losing its function.
Get a Paintbrush.
A paintbrush can dust off the surfaces of your equipment. To dust off properly, brush in one direction that points away from your gear, otherwise, you are just spreading out the dust. You can get one of these paintbrushes from the dollar store or Home Depot.
If you happen to have an unused paintbrush at home, that’ll work perfectly fine.
Get a Can of Compressed Air
Compressed air in a can is another useful tool to clean any hard to reach areas in your gear like, keyboard keys, USB ports, and any other open spaces that are hard to reach. Just be careful when using this on small items and micro-chip boards. The high pressure may break off soldered materials. You can purchase this at the computer and electronics section of a Walmart, Target, or any other general merchandise stores.
It is suitable for cleaning your computer keyboard, midi keyboard, synthesizers, guitars and effect pedals.
Get Contact Cleaner (WD-40)
An electrical contact cleaner is an excellent way to clean your electronics. It can blast away oil, dirt, residue, and condensation. It is safe to use for electronics and wires. Don’t use it if you cannot wipe out the excess liquid. Although these types of cleaners dry quickly.
You can purchase this at RadioShack, Walmart, or any other general merchandise store.
I would suggest spraying a sufficient amount on your device’s knobs, sliders, frame, and wires. They are useful for removing the oxidation on the metal parts of your guitars and cables.
- Wash your hands
A simple thing such as washing your hands can help extend the life of your gear. Sometimes the dust your equipment accumulates comes from your hands.
- Schedule Maintenance Weekly
Try to find time to clean your equipment. Wipe down your amplifiers, guitars, synthesizers, mixer, and computers. Follow the steps I mentioned above.
- Clean Surroundings
The location of your studio is inside your room. So, the dust in your bedroom can spread out all through your equipment. The environment your gear lives in, factors the collection of dirt and grime on your instruments.
- Open Area
You can avoid the accumulation of dust on your equipment, when not used, is stored in an open area. Don’t hide your gear under your bed or in tight spots.
Remove unnecessary clutter in your bedroom music studio like dirty clothes and whatnot.
- Tighten the screws
Tighten loose screws on your equipment like your mic stands, guitar parts, synth parts and any loose screws you’ll find. Over time some screws get loose and might fall off unexpectedly.
It is always better to prevent breakage than to repair. It will save you from the hassle.
By properly cleaning and maintenance, you are extending the life of your gear. You can save a lot of time and money in the long run by doing the simple tips mentioned.
BUY THE NECESSARY PROTECTIVE GEAR
Some of the gear you buy has some protective accessories that are sold separately. Some people do not purchase the necessary protective accessories because they see it as a waste of money.
These accessories are useful in protecting and extending your gear’s lifespan. Headphones have protective cases, so does your keyboard and guitars.
If you have an expensive laptop, you can buy screen protection and keyboard covers. For the body of the computer, you can but protective cases just like the ones you buy for your mobile phones.
There are bundles you can buy on AMAZON, that comes with a laptop case, keyboard cover, and dust plugs for unused ports.
Helpful Tip: For guitars and keyboards inside of a hard case, don’t throw away the pack of silica gel that you get when buying new products. Put the silica gel pack inside of your case with the instrument, and it stops the screws and metal from oxidation.
USE TAPE FOR OPEN AREAS
You can use tape to cover open areas on your devices. It is easy for dust and dirt to enter those exposed areas.
Make sure you use paint tape, so you don’t peel off the paint on the surface of your device.
Regularly updating and maintaining your computer will extend its life. Always do a scheduled defragmentation and disk cleanup on your hard drive to ensure its speed.
Computers are most useful for recording music and audio, so you should focus on protecting it. Purchase good antivirus software and organize your files.
Clear your computer’s cache regularly. Because you use your computer most of the time, you will notice if your computer is slowing down a bit. Avoid going and clicking on uncertified websites.
Don’t forget to update the software that you use for recording regularly. You can turn on the notifications so you would know when there is a new update. Software updates sometimes contain security updates for computer protection.
Updates are not only for software but for your hardware as well. Midi devices, synthesizers and USB mixers sometimes need a firmware update.
Updating the firmware of your gear can extend its life. If the company that made your product spends some time on these updates, you know a product is built to last.
You might have gear that you don’t use that often. If so, you should consider storing them in a safe location.
You can buy plastic storage bins that seal correctly to protect the gear from dust, dirt, and any other elements that would affect its performance.
If you keep gear laying around, you would have to clean them regularly. Properly storing the equipment will save you the hassle of having to clean the gear regularly.
There are a lot more types of storage bins and containers you can buy. Make sure you choose a sealable container that is dust-free.
CHANGE GUITAR STRINGS REGULARLY
Guitar string sometimes oxidizes, and the oxidation can spread throughout the guitar. It can spread on the small screws, pick-ups, tuners and the bridge of the guitar. Oxidation may also spread through the insides of the guitar.
I would suggest you wipe your guitar regularly and change or remove old strings.
You can also consider buying strings that don’t quickly get old like Elixir Strings.
Proper cable management can also help avoid dust build-up. Having a lot of cables lying around makes it easier for the dust to travel and build upon the wires that cluster together.
Try rearranging cables using zip ties to wind down the unnecessary length of the cords.
DON’T ATTEMPT TO REPAIR IF YOU HAVE NO EXPERIENCE
If your gear breaks, do not attempt to fix it if you have no prior experience. You can take it to a shop or call the manufacturer if it still has a warranty.
Minor troubleshooting is something you can do by yourself. Avoid trying to open your device. You might end up making it worse.
For fixing a dead key on your keyboard, the contact may be dirty, if you have experience with repairing electronics on your own, make sure you do it extra carefully.
What is repairable?
Sometimes, a piece of equipment broke because it is dirty. If that is the case, there is a chance it will work by simply cleaning it. Follow the steps for cleaning mentioned above.
If something needs to be soldered on the micro board, you may want to take it to professionals. Opening a device on your own may void its warranty if it is still covered.
If the electronic chipboard is damaged or bricked, a broken device may be beyond repair. Just get a new one and follow the steps of maintenance.
If your gear was soaked by water, don’t worry, there is a big chance that it may work again.
Never plug in the device or turn it on while it is still wet. You have to wait for it to completely dry. Use a blow dryer to speed up the process.
It usually takes about 2-3 days for the device to be completely dry.
Proper maintenance and storage of your equipment will save you a lot of time and money. Just remember that a paintbrush can go a long way for extending the life of the gear that you love. In some cases, a piece of equipment may have maxed out its lifespan and needs replacing.