Namba Gear’s Japanese distributor, MI7, excitedly told us that the new Gear Wraps are a perfect example of the Furoshiki Culture which has been embraced for several hundred years in Japan. Furoshiki is a traditional cloth used to help achieve the 3Rs; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
In Japan, a furoshiki is an oversized square cloth, dyed in one of any number of colors and patterns, used for carrying and storing things, as well as for wrapping gifts, spreading on the floor, or even decorating a room.
However, the custom and culture of using furoshiki faded away in about 1975. It is just a very recent trend to revive the use of furoshiki as movements to conserve the environment and re-evaluation of Japanese traditional culture have become more prominent.
An important feature of furoshiki is that it is always reused. One would never throw away a furoshiki. Using furoshiki will thus reduce the use of raw materials to create packaging and decrease the use of excessive packaging, and thus contribute to saving resources and energy. A lifestyle based on the 3Rs (the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste) plays an important role as one of the measures to conserve the environment, and this lifestyle is truley necessary today.
Our friends at MI7 believe that it is time for the furoshiki to flourish again with musicians using Namba Gear’s Gear Wraps.
Guest Author Erin Vaughan
Here at Modernize, we like to think our artistic talent extends to all mediums. Even if some of us sing like a cat choking on a kazoo, we hold out our belief that one day, with just enough practice, we’ll have thousands of fans chanting our name.
Okay, back to reality. Even if we can’t all be mega-stars, we know there are those of you out there who do need a quality studio–and some great decor to match! A music room isn’t just about equipment—it’s about setting up a space that moves you to artistic heights. That’s why we created this guide to some of the coolest ideas we’ve seen for home studios and musical-inspired decor.
We know you’re with it when it comes to the equipment, so we’re going to assume you know the basics of a good home studio. But just in case, you’ll want to:
1. Choose a Computer with Plenty of RAM
2. Pick a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
3. Buy a Studio Monitor
4. Select a Quality Mic
5. Purchase Some Top-notch Headphones
6. Have Some Extra Cables
7. Get a Mic Stand
Got it? Okay, moving on to the fun stuff!
Is vintage low-fi more your style? Then you’ll appreciate this DIY On-Air sign that will transport you back to the era of Jack and Diane.
Get a Hip Studio Desk
A mixing station is basically a captain’s deck for musicians. You’ll have more swag than James T. Kirk with these sweet DIY studio desk plans, and you’ll probably make better music than anything that ever came out of Shatner!
DIY Your Own Acoustic Panels
With just some fibreglass, fabric, and wooden picture frames, you can create your own stylized soundproofing equipment. It’s a great way to get yourself motivated to play—and stay on your neighbor’s good side! We love the idea of using a rad 60s op-art fabric like this.
Display Your Records–Damage-Free!
Your record collection would make Iggy Pop jealous, but its sheer volume is hardly represented on a couple of shelves. How about displaying your records in your music room? There’s nothing like surrounding yourself with some of the greats to bring on the inspiration. And this tutorial is noninvasive, so when you want to, just pluck that LP down and put it right on the stereo.
Ready to take your show on the road? Then you’ll love these awesome studio backpacks from Namba Gear. They’re big enough for your laptop and your vinyls! We dig the awesome messenger bag, too, for over-the-shoulder cool.
Throw Away Those Raggedy Towels.
Are you still wrapping up your expensive gear in raggedy old bath towels? Finally a really cool alternative. Namba Gear’s Gear Wrap is a square piece of padded cloth designed to protect a variety of sensitive audio gear. Constructed of padded, hook & loop knit with a non-scratch nylon backing, these squares can be wrapped around audio devices, microphones, laptops or anything else that fits inside. Hook & loop tabs on all four corners let you wrap and stick them in any shape. Gear Wraps are available in three sizes, so you can get the perfect fit; 14 inch square, 19 inch square, and 25 inch square.
This Gear Wrap Idea Is Too Easy.
We thought that this product would be so easy to make. After all, it is just a square piece of cloth with Velcro corners, right? Well the Gear Wraps took well over a year to bring to market. First we discovered that our China factory does not have a superior grade of the soft Velcro cloth that we needed for the backing material. In fact it doesn’t seem to exist anywhere in China. With only one or two opening and closing on our prototypes we started losing the soft cloth, after about 30 times there was not much left to hold it closed. We thought that the problem was with the corner Velcro fasteners, so we started searching for a better hook and loop fastener which lead us to a company in Germany that makes the best Velcro tabs. So we changed the corner tabs out and still had the same problem. We went looking for a better and better soft Velcro cloth which lead us to a company in Japan that makes THE superior grade of soft Velcro. Then we discovered that we needed to upgrade the non-scratch nylon interior cloth, which we had to source in S Korea. Whew, over a year later and a dozen or more prototypes and we finally can introduce the Gear Wraps.
What Fits Inside A Gear Wrap?
So you may be thinking, I don’t have anything that needs an extra layer of protection. Really? How much did that condenser microphone cost? How will you do the show without your MIDI controller? Wouldn’t it suck to lose all the data in your external hard drive? We don’t mean to be fear-mongers’, but if you can show your gear a little extra love and protection, and it doesn’t cost very much to do, why wouldn’t you?
How Does The Gear Wrap Work?
And for you guys that like flow charts, click here to see how the Gear Wrap works.
If you use Facebook and have pretty much anything to do with making music, I’m going to suggest that you Like & Follow this short list of companies and organizations. Click on the name and it will link to their page.
Namba Gear – You knew this one would be on the list so let’s just get it out of the way. The best friggin’ laptop & gear bags on the planet, even if we do say so ourselves. And when you combine Facebook with Namba Gear’s Instagram page, it begs the question; what professional musician doesn’t own at least one Namba Gear bag?
Digital DJ Tips – “Today’s DJs can fit all their kit and tunes in a backpack.” How could we not love these guys? We are so over vinyl and Digital DJ Tips.com has been leading the way with great product reviews and information on the best use of digital technology for DJs.
Hav A Sole – Rikki Mendias started this organization that gives new or gently worn sneakers to the homeless and disadvantaged. It’s true of everyone, there’s nothing that can compare to getting a new pair of shoes. You walk taller and have more confidence. This is a grassroots organization that is making a positive change in people’s lives.
Live From Daryl’s House – Daryl Hall started Live From Daryl’s House, the free monthly web show in late 2007, after having the idea of “playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet.” These are simply great shows, with great guest artists (both old and new), with one of the best bands around. Live From Daryl’s House is a perfect example of a veteran artist reinventing himself in the digital age by collaborating with both established colleagues and newer performers.
Artist Relations – These guys specialize in endorsement branding between musical artists, producers, and engineers and gear manufacturers. There are a lot of good reasons for a musician to endorse a brand that they believe in and these are the guys that can make it happen.
ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo – This is the premier music conference for music creators, producers and artists. If you are a songwriter and have the music and ambition, now you have a place to go to further your career. Great networking opportunities and ASCAP is unapologetic in trying to help you monetize your songs.
Brown Bag Gear – There are a lot of stores that sell musical instruments and pro audio products, but there is something very cool and refreshing about BBG’s curator approach to products. The BBG crew is comprised of a pretty eclectic group of folks; recording engineers and road crew, songwriters and vocalists, musicians and producers. If it has to do with music, they’re either doing it or have done it. So, they’ve fashioned BBG to be the sort of place that we would want to do business with whether we are touring or rehearsing for the next show.