Some help with studio design.

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3hands
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Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Fri May 08, 2020 3:01 pm

Hey everyone. This is going to be a long post so please hang with me. I have a midsize hardware setup, and a small size room to put it in. the room itself is only 12 feet by 12 feet, and within that space, I need to fit the following.
Mantis Skiff
9 unit wood cabinet
Roland Jupiter 6
Roland SH3a
Roland JX3P
Roland TR09
Ensoniq ESQ1
Ensoniq Mirage
Akai S612
Akai S700
Akai S1000
Akai MPC60
Oberheim Matrix 6
Korg MS10
Korg MS20

and on and on...

All going into an Allen &Heath System 8 1616

Heres what I am getting bogged down with. Should I get a "halfway point" aka a patch bay and a compressor/ expander that I use as part of my recording chain and put it in the middle of the system. The 3.5 inch connections don't go too long as we all know and I need to be able to get my modular racks into the system. I could get a 3.5 to 1/4 inch module which may not be a bad idea, however I am trying to find a happy medium of what is possible, and what I want to achieve. I need the things I use the most close to my DAW, so my BSP, my MPC, the 09 and a controller synth (my Korg Prophecy I have used in the past). The rest of the gear needs to be able to be set up around the walls, in a way that keeps cable clutter to a minimum and my ability to reach over and get something up and going fairly quickly. Its all currently on 4 Ikea dining room tables set against the wall, as well as whatever furniture got roped in to having stuff on it (a computer desk and a lovely antique table). I have a MOTU midi time piece thats ancient, but I think I can use it without a computer, in regards to the midi side of things, and it should do the trick nicely. I just feel totally overwhelmed going into this, and really looking for some helpful folks, or confidence to get this going, and get it done in a quick and timely way. Sorry this post is a mess, as its more of a stream of consciousness of what I need to achieve. Hope to hear from you all soon!
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Voltcontrol
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by Voltcontrol » Fri May 08, 2020 5:46 pm

Some pictures of room orientation and the current setup would help us to shape ideas for advice.

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 09, 2020 6:20 am

Voltcontrol wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 5:46 pm
Some pictures of room orientation and the current setup would help us to shape ideas for advice.
Good idea. I will get some this afternoon.
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by slumberjack » Sat May 09, 2020 8:00 am

What would be you idea of how to record? Multitrack, bus or each track overdubbed/loop recording?

I'm happy to show you mine:


IMG_20200504_203411.jpg
IMG_20200504_203420.jpg

Sorry for the mess I'm rearranging the rack to the right atm and the patchbay routing :roll:
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 09, 2020 8:05 am

slumberjack wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:00 am
What would be you idea of how to record? Multitrack, bus or each track overdubbed/loop recording?

I'm happy to show you mine:



IMG_20200504_203411.jpg

IMG_20200504_203420.jpg


Sorry for the mess I'm rearranging the rack to the right atm and the patchbay routing :roll:
Thanks for that! I’m in the same boat as you so my space is going to be much messier than yours currently haha!

As you can see, my space is currently a disorganized mess, so I’m pulling it all out painting and then starting to rewrite the whole thing. As you can see, I have 2 Neutrik patchbays which will become instrumental to the flow of the studio. They will feed the 16 channels into the console, and then using 8 group outputs to route into my MOTU 2408. I just need to get the instruments set up where everything has a flow to it. You will see in the pics what I mean!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by Soy Sos » Sat May 09, 2020 8:36 am

Well to start with, get some tiered keyboard stands.
Check the used market, you could end up with an erector set worth of parts to lay out all those keyboards and drum machines for much better access.
Yes to patch bays. Don't bother with a module for conversion, just have some 1/8 to 1/4 cables at your modular or better yet a patch box with maybe 8-12 points that also end up at you patch bay. And for god's sake, please get all that stuff off that lovely mixer! Clear that up, get a roll of white tape and a sharpie and start using those channels. The patch bay will allow you to create unique layouts where you can start to really rock that mixer.

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 09, 2020 8:46 am

Soy Sos wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:36 am
Well to start with, get some tiered keyboard stands.
Check the used market, you could end up with an erector set worth of parts to lay out all those keyboards and drum machines for much better access.
Yes to patch bays, also many affordable options. Don't bother with a module for conversion, just have some 1/8 to 1/4 cables at you modular or better yet a patch box with maybe 8-12 points that also end up at you patch bay. And for god's sake, please get all that stuff off that lovely mixer! Clear that up, get a roll of white tape and start using those channels. The patch bay will allow you to create unique layouts where you can start to really rock that mixer.

Thanks man.

Yes tiered keyboard stands are in my future for sure. Probably start with 4 of them. My main problem with the 1/8th inch to 1/4 inch adapters is the leveraged weight on the modular and MS20 mini, so an adaptor box may be a better idea. Currently I have a drawmer that I’m using as an input to the DAW, but also acting as as my 1/8th to 1/4 inch adapter!

Mixer is getting cleaned up today, and I promise the next time you see it, it will be looking lovely and cleaned up!!

Edit: here’s the rest of the system just sitting around lol. I need all this stuff up and going!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by slumberjack » Sat May 09, 2020 9:14 am

get some jasper stands! the widest that fit into you room. additional gear holders/bars are expensive. I do them by my self...actually could send you some information how. I use am nw2s 16 output module and a Cweiman i/o interface (I'm spoiled I know).

The patchbays are setup like this here:

1-16 ch feed from the left and 17-40 channel from the right side of the room. Then I have my desk ADDA ADAT hooked up to the 8 bus (send) and return (return) while there are two additional stereo loops (for mixdown, 'mastering') DAAD with no connection to the desk and patchbay system. Patchbay backside lower row goes to the desk, upper row is directly feed from an instrument, which I can the patch from the frontside for fx and patch back into desk. The Aux send go from the desk free floating into the fx pedal and then are patched into free desk channels via the patchbay.

Before is was multitracking 24ch direct out style.

If I feel more comfy with bus recording I'll get me 8 midclass comps and 8 nice eq for the bus system.
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by cackland » Sat May 09, 2020 9:26 am

Slumberjack, which console is that?

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 09, 2020 9:32 am

slumberjack wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:14 am
get some jasper stands! the widest that fit into you room. additional gear holders/bars are expensive. I do them by my self...actually could send you some information how. I use am nw2s 16 output module and a Cweiman i/o interface (I'm spoiled I know).

The patchbays are setup like this here:

1-16 ch feed from the left and 17-40 channel from the right side of the room. Then I have my desk ADDA ADAT hooked up to the 8 bus (send) and return (return) while there are two additional stereo loops (for mixdown, 'mastering') DAAD with no connection to the desk and patchbay system. Patchbay backside lower row goes to the desk, upper row is directly feed from an instrument, which I can the patch from the frontside for fx and patch back into desk. The Aux send go from the desk free floating into the fx pedal and then are patched into free desk channels via the patchbay.

Before is was multitracking 24ch direct out style.

If I feel more comfy with bus recording I'll get me 8 midclass comps and 8 nice eq for the bus system.
Your patchbay layout makes a lot of sense. Each of my neutrik are 48, so I would do the exact same as you except in groups of 24. 1-12 would feed from left side, 13-24 from right side. I would also go 8 in on the bottom for the MOTU, and another 8 for group channels, as well as 6 for 3 aux send and returns. Second patchbay would be fx, compression, expansion etc, as well as inputs to sampling and filters. I mix and master in the DAW usually, but if I could spit it down to 2 track, I have an AKAI DR4 I could use as a 2 track master recorder utilizing the channels on the console. I’m going to start making diagrams and see what it looks like routing wise. Thanks so much for the ideas, I really appreciate it! Also would love your information on the jasper gear holders!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by slumberjack » Sat May 09, 2020 9:41 am

cackland wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:26 am
Slumberjack, which console is that?
A FOH mixer: Soundcraft Series TWO - nice ergonomics, the meter bar is ace (especially when working under certain influences) and 8 aux system (all pre or post). It's even cheap...I paid around 1k euro a few years back. You can set uf scenes for the mute system each with 8 configurable mute scene button (...and MIDI control). Downside: It's noisy and therefore not practicale with inline console tasks. When post processing I really try to avoid signals running trough the desk again. As is saw once in a video, Thomas Fehlmann is also working on this console and he seems to be doing so still and since a long time. I may did over pay it by 10-15% of the price. You can find the 32ch version for 6-800.
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by slumberjack » Sat May 09, 2020 10:15 am

3hands wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:32 am
Also would love your information on the jasper gear holders!
I've got me some proper clamps and used leftover wood from at my day job (I run a picture framing studio) and put some stoppers on. I still have a plan to make a few of those and sell them cheap on an auction plattform to cover my costs. Since you live in Canada there is no use to send you the goods...

See:
Photos(2).zip


I'm adding picutres from each side. On the left the goal is to have 16 Euro voices and the 6 auxes routed to a pedal system below the moduale - on the 8 patch channel left. Now it's occupied by a kick drum synth and the nordrack (which isnt there because of live show usage atm).
IMG_20200509_165117.jpg
IMG_20200509_164944.jpg

Rightside there are now 24 indivual tracks available if everything is in place. I just ordered cable and plug to solder the needed trs connection in the right length - so there's nothing pluged in the lower bay as you can see. Upper Neutrik is for DAW output and two rack effects reserved.
(On top of the rack you see the post production chain. The TC unit has digital i/o on its self and other units are with the ADI-2).
IMG_20200509_165056.jpg
IMG_20200509_165032.jpg
IMG_20200509_165019.jpg
Main soundcard is a RME RayDat pcie on an 15y old Power Mac that runs Reaper and sometimes Ableton.
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 09, 2020 11:24 am

Amazing! Thanks for all this. I’m running a pc with Cubase, but I have a 2013 MacBook I could use in a pinch if need be. I’m going to find it build a 1/8th inch to 1/4 inch passive converter so I can get the TR09, modular and MS20m into my system.
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by Technologear? » Sat May 09, 2020 1:31 pm

This old thread
viewtopic.php?t=173292&highlight=
has some pics of options on how to pack stuff in and go higher
I prefer hardware store heavy duty modular shelving units over keyboard stands for stability and capacity to have desktop gear on them too.
Don't forget to consider any sound absorbing or deflecting options prior to being really locked in

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 16, 2020 4:59 pm

So I’m at a point now where the front end of hardware is done. Now to sort out front end of software. I’ve purchased a Mackie control surface for Cubase and I think that should be a great go between for the hardware and software!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by tobb » Sat May 16, 2020 5:18 pm

slumberjack wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:00 am

IMG_20200504_203420.jpg
wow,i like your 'workspace-rack',great idea,i need something like this atm!

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by Soy Sos » Sat May 16, 2020 5:58 pm

Maaaaaaan, that mixer looks so dope and roomy.
Would love to lay out a mix and work some dub
with a spring reverb and a couple of delays.
Bet that thingciuod sound massive!
Sadly my A&H SD 12-2 is stuck in repair/quarantine.
😬

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 16, 2020 6:18 pm

Soy Sos wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:58 pm
Maaaaaaan, that mixer looks so dope and roomy.
Would love to lay out a mix and work some dub
with a spring reverb and a couple of delays.
Bet that thingciuod sound massive!
Sadly my A&H SD 12-2 is stuck in repair/quarantine.
😬
Man it’s such an amazing console! It’s got an ass on it EQ wise that’s just unbelievable!! I need a good spring reverb!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 16, 2020 6:20 pm

tobb wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:18 pm
slumberjack wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:00 am

IMG_20200504_203420.jpg
wow,i like your 'workspace-rack',great idea,i need something like this atm!
Thanks mate!

The only downside so far is that the shelf I installed for the monitors is too flimsy to do a good goddamn thing. I’m going to have to invest in something else. This is after putting wall plugs into the wall rated at 50 lbs each. Will probably need to invest in some speaker stands.
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by Soy Sos » Sat May 16, 2020 6:36 pm

I was about to recommend the Orban spring reverb I have, but I just checked the prices....Jeeez

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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sat May 16, 2020 6:43 pm

Soy Sos wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 6:36 pm
I was about to recommend the Orban spring reverb I have, but I just checked the prices....Jeeez

Really? Ugh! I may have to settle for a digital recreation for now. Although it’s the same with my EC100 delay. Checked prices on it and Jesus! I paid 40 bucks for mine!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by slumberjack » Sun May 17, 2020 12:28 am

tobb wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:18 pm
slumberjack wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:00 am

IMG_20200504_203420.jpg
wow,i like your 'workspace-rack',great idea,i need something like this atm!
...it's an old drafting table where I took the board away and soldered a frame for the rack. It's 84 and 133 HP with five rows 3U and once 1U and and I do think that will be enough modular for me when it's going to be filled up. :mrgreen:
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Sun May 17, 2020 7:30 am

slumberjack wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 12:28 am
tobb wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 5:18 pm
slumberjack wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:00 am

IMG_20200504_203420.jpg
wow,i like your 'workspace-rack',great idea,i need something like this atm!
...it's an old drafting table where I took the board away and soldered a frame for the rack. It's 84 and 133 HP with five rows 3U and once 1U and and I do think that will be enough modular for me when it's going to be filled up. :mrgreen:
I love that!!! What a great idea!!!
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Re: Some help with studio design.

Post by 3hands » Mon May 18, 2020 1:30 pm

Daw is up and running. I need a new midi interface however, as the USB uno I’ve used for literally years wont plug properly into my MOTU timepiece due to an insufficient barrel length on the connector. But I’m slowly getting there. Spent Friday getting the mixer patched into the patchbay, and got a rack up and going with essentials.

Next is to get sampler inputs onto the patchbay!
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