Power Management

How do you manage all your power supplies?

Everytime I get a new (external) audio device (synth, effect pedal, audio interface, monitors, sub, …) I am wondering how and where to plug in the power supply in my home studio.

Currently I need around 15 sockets total for the audio gear alone … Monitors: 3 sockets; Interfaces: 3 sockets; Synths including the modular: 6 sockets; Effects: 3 sockets. So many plugs!

Here are some thoughts and considerations that are swirling around in my head. But I feel I don’t really know how to do this the right way.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts, experiences, recommendations …

Everything into one outlet
I often read that it’s better to plug everything into one outlet. If that’s the case, I wonder what would be the best way to connect all my devices into that one outlet …

Power supplies too big
I tend to use power strips, but in many cases the power supplies are quite big, so they can’t be plugged next to each other. This leads to not having enough sockets available, which means more power strips …

Daisy-chaining power strips
Because not all devices fit into one power strip (also because of power supply sizes), I daisy-chain several power strips … Probably not so good?

No On/Off switch
Some devices don’t have a power switch (0coast, OTOs, Nord Drum, …), so in order to turn them on and off, I have to plug them into a power strip with a switch …

Device Groups
Having multiple power strips allows me to turn on and off different groups of devices, e.g. I have monitors on a separate power strip, so I can turn them on last after everything else.

Power Conditioners
I regularly hear about power conditioners in music studios. I am not sure if these really help or if they are just rack-sized power strips … I do have pops in my monitors sometimes (e.g. when turning on the lights in the room) – but I read contradicting info on the internet wether a (low-level) power conditioner would actually help with that …


My studio/computer room unfortunately has fewer grounded outlets than I would like. So I have a long “shop” power strip with several outlets that have plenty of space in between.

Into that, I have plugged in a 1U rackmount PDU (power distribution unit) which has 8 outlets on the back and 8 switches up front. I use those for most of my music gear.

For big wall warts, I use 6 inch extension cords to give them some space.

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When I’m at my little synth corner rather than out in the park, I run all my power through norns shield. It is powered by a 3A power supply, and then OP-Z, NTS-1 and Kastle 1.5, occasionally micro:bit and/or a keyboard are connected to it via USB, feeding power as needed. Headphones for listening, usually connected to NTS-1 or norns. So one socket, or two if I’m charging my smartphone too and using some WLAN setup for norns programming or as OP-Z screen (and will be maybe involving smartphone in audio and control as a MIDI/OSC device but I’m not sure).


One power management life tip: Mount your power strip on a wall. There are usually mounting holes on the back that you can affix to screws so you can mount it vertically or horizontally. Makes cable management a breeze, saves you from kicking wires around with your feet under your desk.


For power strips, I use the “pivot” style surge protectors from a brand called Quirky, which allow you to reorient the sockets enough that I can squeeze in a comically oversized wall wart without unplugging everything first. Also, since I’m using mostly little synths, I daisy chain coming out of the wall wart instead of chaining surge protectors.


A friend of mine uses one of these to manage an impressive array of pedals, etc




I use a tower power (similar to above), with bonus usb ports.

However the real point of this post, is to let you know that you can purchase ‘rocker’ switches, for those synths and pedals, that don’t have an on/off.

I have them for the Mother 32, Merris Ottobit Jr, 0-Coast, and the Microgranny.

Amazon have them, as do Ebay. I’m currently in the sticks, with a poor connection, however once I return to civilisation, I can post some links of you wish.


Here’s a link to the one I bought for the Merris Ottobit Jr


I have a relatively small setup so I have 3 power strips going into a voltage regulator Line-R 1200VA Automatic Voltage Regulator - APC USA.

One of the power strips is always on and two of the power strips have individual switches for each outlet Eco-Surge 7-Outlet Surge Protector, 6 ft. Cord, 1080 Joules, Individually-Controlled | Tripp Lite so I don’t have to have everything on all at once.

I also got a box of 1 ft extension cords so I don’t have to worry about wall warts taking up too much space.

For USB devices I have a hub with individual switches so I can turn things on and off individually https://www.wavlink.com/en_us/product/WL-UH3076.html.

I have all my effects pedals powered from a pedal power supply so I only need one power switch for all of them Voodoo Lab - Pedal Power® Digital.

All the devices here have US electrical outlets, but I’m sure similar things are available in all other formats.

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Those 6-inch and 12-inch extension cords are fantastic!

Things not having a power switch drives me nuts!

These have been lifesavers:


The IEC 320 C14 to C13 was actually recommended to me by Strymon when I contacted them about whether or not constantly plugging in and unplugging my Zuma to power my pedals was bad for them (it’s not but it still bugged me!)

The LED strip light switches worked a treat on my Moog semi-modulars for a couple of years before I racked them into a Doepfer case. I still use them to power on/off my OTO BAM and my 0-CTRL.

I’d also be lying if I said flipping a bunch of switches to power everything on before a session didn’t make me feel a bit like I was pre-launching a spaceship or something :slight_smile:


Absolutely! I’ve got more than 20 of these deployed throughout the house, anywhere a wall wart meets a power strip. It can get awkward; a fully “squidified” power strip takes up more floor space than I’d like, but it lets me plug six power bricks into a six-outlet strip. This also gives me one power button for six devices, whether they have their own power switches or not.


It really depends how many devices you plan to use at once. Then what you can do about circuits in your domicile. Then what you are willing to spend on power distribution.

I would recommend a power conditioner, I have the basic professional model from Furman, the rack-mount PL-8C. More expensive pro options have power groups for powering devices on in a sequence. For audio devices, mains power can be rather dirty and disruptive.

If you must daisy chain power strips, have a central node strip into which all other strips are plugged.

For reference, I plan to add dedicated 15A/20A circuits with 12-gauge wire to power my studio when it eventually gets out of boxes (basement setup). And I will add another power conditioner or two.


thanks everyone for the answers. great tips!

these short power chord extension are very interesting, havent seen those before.

so, what’s the consensus here? plugging everything into one wall plug, and then using power strips daisy-chained in a “star” configuration?

Hi Jonas,

I use this power inverter ( I am not sure about the translation :thinking:), for a ˋclean’ electricity, thunder protection and also for the battery inside, that can let me, in case of an electricity shut down, the time to back up my work.

I divided all my power supply by blocks, that I need to power separately. I chain power strips to 4 different ´masters ’(COMPUTER MIX SOUNDCARD & STUFF - MUSIC GEAR- HARD DRIVE - MODULAR)
And all my blocks are plug into a remote.
So if I just need to power on my computer I push the button 1 and then I can power my computer, screens, Monitoring, sound card and mixer.
If I want compose music I push the button 2
If I have to save something button 3 and my hard drives power on.

I split a part of my modular power supplies ( almost 20 :flushed:), so chaining some power stripes to the wall.

There is a ready CPL slot if need.
This setup is the most handy that I find for my needs.
I use it from almost 10 years now and it’s pretty stable and free power noise…
…And the battery is always ok…

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These are great. What I’d really love is an in line foot switch to turn power on and off.

My contribution: I bought a label maker. Every power supply gets a label. Given the number of power supplies I have accumulated, this has been very. useful.


Same, a label maker is one of my favourite gear purchases in the last 3 years!


All gear is plugged into rack mounted proper true surge suppressors. The MOST critical of those are plugged into uninterruptible power supplies (two units). All of THOSE are plugged into two properly grounded 15-amp circuits.

This handles computer, mastering gear, and synths.


This would mayhaps be more suitable for a subset of power management but here goes:

I have two Eowave 40 hp skiffs with AC/DC switching adaptors delivering 15 V, 1.66 A, 25 W max. As my understanding of electricity is limited to “it’s bright and it stings”, I’d like to know if it would be safe and reasonable to use a split cable (such as this or something similar) to power both skiffs with one adaptor?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: aaand got my answer elsewhere already. Should be totally ok to split as long as the lot stays well under that max amperage.

Not sure if this is the right thread but I turned on my mixer last night and blew its internal fuse. It’s easy enough to swap the fuse but I’m at a bit of a loss in understanding why it happened.

I’m running most things in my studio out of one outlet with two power strips. I haven’t tallied my ampage draw I’d be surprised if I’m overloading the outlet. Any insights? I’ve thought to add a simple Furman power conditioner to improve management but I don’t think that’ll help this situation or will it?

I think the only reason to do this is if you’re getting a ground hum. but there’s other ways around that as well.

yeah sometimes you have to juggle wall warts/power bricks around in order to get everything in and no outlets covered up/unusable. which is very frustrating. I’m a huge fan of this power strip from Belkin. it’s rugged, well-made, not too expensive, has a large number of outlets, and they’re spaced out enough that I rarely have trouble with any wall warts covering any up. you can also get very short extension cables (6" seems common) and plug the wall wart into those, so you’re just plugging a normal plug into the outlet instead. those help a ton.

I try really hard not to do this. for one, it’s against all kinds of safety codes. for two, you can overload a strip or the receptacle by attempting to draw too much power. I would try to avoid it if you can. invest in a power strip or strips that better meet your needs.

personally I leave all my gear plugged into power strips and when I want to make music, turn them on (one by one). which would avoid this issue. but yes, this can be tricky if you then don’t have enough power options for your everyday needs (computers, etc…)

yes. solid approach. also turn your mixer/audio interface/whatever feeds your monitors down before powering them up.

I don’t know a ton about these buy my understanding is they do more to clean up noise/hum within the power, so you can get a cleaner signal. I think they’re far more necessary for a pro level studio with half a million bucks in gear than what most of us are working with. and it’s likely more of an issue that adds up the more gear your sending your signal though. it wouldn’t hurt to get one if you’re getting power for a rack anyway, but I’m not sure it’s absolutely necessary with a smaller studio.


Thank you both @chiasticon and @Gahlord so much for you fantastic and detailed answers and for sharing your experiences. This is really good information, advice and help.