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bruxism

Bruxism's "Lets build a studio!" Part 1 (Gear)

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SoundPunkers, please note: Building a studio is a complex exercise, with so many different facets to consider: from the gear one puts in it, to the room design itself. The original thread delved into the often tricky concept of room acoustics, and the real behaviour of soundwaves within our studios themselves. You can read about the acoustics part here. Cheers - Spectrum

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hey guys

I'm taking a ten minute break from studying (exam on monday, maths) so thought i'd procrastinate a little with a new thread.

Just moved into a 2 bedroom unit, one room for sleeping, one room for music gear.  Unit seems pretty solid, so i'm not too worried about sound getting out and disturbing the neighbours.  It may travel downwards and upset the people downstairs, so that's a first concern to think about.

Room is almost square(but not).  walk into the door, and you're at the back right of the room, with built in cupboard along the rest of the back of it, and a big window along the other side.

so, things i'm thinking about are:

acoustics

sound travelling down through the floor, and possible out that window, both disturbing neighbours.

ergonomics (workflow, usability)

heaps and heaps of cable tangles

i currently possess one desk (more like a dining room table really) as furniture, and a chair

Gear to go in

Computer (tower + flat screen + wireless keyboard + Printer (stupid uni again))

Mackie VLZ-1202 mixer (8 channels)

MPC

MPD24(midi controller)

Novation BassStation

Novation KS5

1 x Technics 1200

DJM-909 (battle mixer)

Yamaha HS80m powered monitors

My current workflow is usually

MPC as main sequencer, with MPD being used constantly alongside it ( lots of drumming etc going on with that)

BassStation and KS5 being used sporadically with MPC, both by Midi triggering and just sampling output straight into MPC.

Lots of sampling from turntables to MPC.

Computer is used primarily for sample manipulation. ie, sample a break into MPC, USB it to computer and chop in recycle, USB it back to MPC.  That, and of course, for studying and general net surfing.

at my last place, i seemed to constantly fighting a cable tangle, as BassStation, KS5, turntable and computer outputs were constantly taken out of Mackie and put into MPC for sampling.  Big messes all the time

Anyway, i've procrastinated enough, back to study.

P.S.  Ikea on saturday, YAY!

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draw a sweet microsoft paint drawing of your room plan and gear from above :)

like your most excellent studio pic ;D

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Oh, and what are you thinking of getting from IKEA?

Getting speakers at the ideal height may take a bit more creative thought.

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hey guys, been hitting the books hard lately so have not had time to come back and check in.  Got the internet connected at the new place though so thought i'd make you guys a little picture.

studiostylez.jpg

Um....oh dear.

Anyway, cupboard door gets opened when mixing (keep clothes hanging up inside) this should diffuse some reflections...right? 

Turntable and mixer potentially sitting on ikea record shelf turned on its side.  8 little shelves for records, very nice little purchase to be made tomorrow hopefully.

I've tried to pull the desk and speakers away from the wall, to keep speakers away from walls a bit, but now i seem to be right in the centre of the room, which is bad too.  problems problems...

and regards to cable tangle.  mackie has alt/aux etc etc, but i haven't bothered to learn my way around it just yet.  when MPC connects to PC, it only acts as an external harddrive, so no sound is transmitted.

at the moment the MPC, Bassstation, KS5, turntable and computer all get plugged into their own channel in the mackie.  When i need to sample from any of these sources, i unplug it from the mackie, and plug it into the MPC.  I guess there has to be a better way, but any small attempt i have made at anything has resulted in mucho feedback, so i haven't bothered to try again.

Peace out, and thanks for all the help, promise to have a real photo coming up real soon.

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That's exactly what alt3/4 is good for, eliminating feedback loops when sampling.

Read the manual as it should explain it well, basically:

The alt3/4 is a second pair of outputs from the mixer, any sound switched to them won't go to the main outputs. I've NFI about the mixer so you'll have to read how to use it specifically (ie, switching). This allows you to do cool stuff like...

Plug all your gear in to the mixer.

Connect the alt3/4 output to the Rec In on the MPC

Keep everything running through the main output until you want to sample, and anything you do want to sample you switch to alt3/4 to monitor then sample.

Switch channel back to main output when done.

What this will do is pipe the sound through the mixer, out to the MPC input, back from the MPC and through the main output. As long as the MPC isn't switched to 3/4 as well you won't get any feedback loops. It's the perfect way to run a phrase sampler to sample stuff written on other gear. All it takes is one button press to preview then sample the sound you want via the MPC.

Of course you'll have to edit the sounds within the MPC and I'd imagine it'd be easier to do so on the MPC, but you can work that out for yourself.

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hmmm, that is pretty nifty.  That's gonna speed up my workflow enormously once i work it out.

will definitely try it out on tuesday.  I CAN'T WAIT FOR EXAMS TO FINISH!

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studiostylez.jpg

Haha... lovin' the, er, blueprint studio... gotta hope Wattyl do that "pink labia" shade in their Wash'n'Wear101 series! ;D

Great idea shifting the speakers out and away from the rear/side walls.

Yeah, it's a bummer that leaves you dead centre of the room. You will experience some bass cancelation (dead area) right there. However, this is also likely to occur at the middle of the floor-to-ceiling dimension too (and that's pretty much our heads are positioned when seated).

RB's tips re fat-ass absorbing in the corners are spot on. You need to dampen the basswaves from rebounding about, and dense stuff (ie. couches, mattresses, doonas, or the more preferred, professional option being rockwool/mineralwool) are what's required.

I have a chunky futon-like sofa bed in my room (which as an ideal room, is way too small anyway) and I still have clearly obvious bass anomalies depending how far back I sit into the room.

And lastly, you've just gotta look into that Alt3&4 function on your mixer. It's going to be a real lifesaver for your cable spaghetti situation. Quicker, cleaner, and smarter.

Have a great weekend, mate. ;)

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hey guys, thanks for all the help, even if a whole lot of it did go wooshing over my head  ;)

Just one quick question.  Lets say, hypothetically, i was running 14 appliances from one wall socket.

Is this a bad idea  ;)

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hey guys, thanks for all the help, even if a whole lot of it did go wooshing over my head  :P

You're welcome, and a heads up that I'll split this topic up (separating acoustics into its own thread).

How'd you go with the dual function MUTE & Alt 3&4 button? You'll be wondering how you lived without it. ;)

Lets say, hypothetically, i was running 14 appliances from one wall socket.

Is this a bad idea  ;)

In Australia we have 2400 watts (or 10 amps) available to each wall outlet.

Look at the power consumption printed on each piece of gear. Add 'em up. Does the total approach/exceed 2400 watts (or 10 amps)? Note, for some equipment, there'll be a surge when it's first switched on (eg. fridge compressor) that may push the total over, thus overloading the circuit, blowing fuses, tripping breakers.

Piggy-backing double adaptors is a no-no, however, power extension boards are fine (Dick Smith do - or use to do - a 10 outlet board for around AUD$40).

And consider Jester's nifty remote control system (from Bunnings, I think) where you can group gear (synths on one board, computers on another, and amp/speakers on a third), with a board running from individual remote controller units plugged into the wall. This allows one to turn on the studio in proper sequence via the remote control (eg. amps/speakers last on, first off to protect them from thumps as the rest of the gear is booted up), right from where you're seated. Very cool tip.

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^ I run all my audio and computer gear quite happily off one outlet, it all adds up to less than 2400W/10A easily. The heaviest consumer is my 2x100W power amp.

However, I suggest watching out for heaters - they can blow the load out instantly. A couple of extra tips on a long winter's night (south of the equator anyways!)...

- heaters run up to 2000W in Aust, so don't share an outlet with other devices

- large power and current loads heat up the power cords too - don't run heaters on long extension leads - they do catch fire. BTW the plug gets really hot when the heater runs, you can burn yourself touching it.

- fan heaters in studios are bad because the noise masks important frequencies coming from your speakers. Silent radiators are best.

- if - heaven forbid - electrical fire happens in the studio, use a dry powder fire extinguisher, never ever water  :- Hardware stores sell little ones for about $30, I have one in my room always.

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^^ Good advice there. The single baby fan heater we're using to heat a two-story open-plan apartment - with little success I must point out - runs the full 2400 Watts. The cord heats up with use, and the cable becomes noticeably more flexible. eek!!  Was thinking of popping an extinguisher into the car, and so will grab a second (or third even) for the house. Every kitchen should have one too, I guess.

With my studio rig, I happen to be running exactly 14 plugs (across two power boards) off my wall outlet right now. Like RB, my 100W+100W (consumption rating) active monitors would be the heaviest offenders.

Haha.. Just checked my hefty Kawai K5000S keyboard synth and it's running a measley 25watts! ;D

I could happily run 96 of the damn things off a single outlet.  :wtf:

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i got this mackie desk second hand, and on channels 2 3 and 4 theres a bit of a hum, nothing plugged in. its louder on some than on the others. is it something like a ground loop or does the mackie need a service you reckon?

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i got this mackie desk second hand, and on channels 2 3 and 4 theres a bit of a hum, nothing plugged in. its louder on some than on the others. is it something like a ground loop or does the mackie need a service you reckon?

Disconnect the monitors, pop on headphones, does it still hum?

Either way, I'm thinking a grounding issue of some sorts inside the unit itself. Thinking a service is in order. Want to get a quote though. Labour ain't cheap rummaging through circuits looking for a dry joint or whatever.

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