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Studer 900 console calibration and insert
Old 20th November 2017
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Studer 900 and switchcraft need help

Hello everyone, i've bought a Studer 903 console 5 month ago for my new studio. it is a broadcast console which was custom made for the first national TV channel of France. This one has all the "type A" strips, compressors and filter on all the mono channels etc... it is a really nice model with exquisite EQs.

in order to move the console, i had to separate it, so i cut about 500 cables, which i rewired using sub-d25 connectors, so that the console is "easily" separable and movable (it's 2.4 meters wide).

i've some pictures here if you guys are interested :

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/10vu9xmpg...9H9tZZ72a?dl=0

Now, i have some questions that maybe you guys can help me out with :

- there are "user buttons" on the right of the mute buttons , these appear to not be cabled, i think studer put it there so the customer can "custom" the console. Is it possible to wire the insert on these button ? i havent found anything on the internet about this. At the moment, i've connected all the insert (balanced) to my switchcraft patchbays, half normalled (otherwise sound doesn't go through), so i use the true bypass of my gear is inserted to a channel or group, but i really would like to be able to toggle the insert, at the push of a button, in the sweet spot.

- How to calibrate the elements ? i have the full original manual, with all the custom handwritten and schematics that went with the console when it was bought. but there is nothing about the procedure for calibration, can anyone enlighten me on that ?

- What would be the symptoms of dead/damaged caps ? i have some strips with a little noise (hiss style), i was wondering if this could be a cause ? is there a way to determine if a cap is working in specs (other than the usual leaks / bumps).

- I have the same question with the OP Amp, i read some people saying it was good to change them.

- Any advice on the armrest material ? it's a bit old, and has some marks and scratches, so i'm going to refurbish it.

- Last question, i've connected all the inputs to my bantam patchbays. all the inputs are balanced, so i connected the ground to each pins, without connecting the grounds together on the patchbay (i think they are supposed to be connected together in the console right ?). Should i do the same for the inserts (they are also balanced) ? i was wondering if it was the same with the gear plugged, or if i was supposed to link all the grounds on the patchbay ?

i will also appreciate any advice, or remarks of what i could have done wrong, i really take it all

thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Studer 900  console calibration and insert-img_9360.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-speaker-placement.jpg  
Old 28th November 2017
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

no Studer fans around ?
Old 28th November 2017
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Hi

Congrats on the console. Looks nice.

- Calibration is covered in chapter 3 of the manual. If you don't have the full manual you can still find it on the studer ftp (google studer ftp, it will show up)
- Recap. Do recap the PSU and all Stabilizer boards for safety reasons. You can do channels as a second step, they don't run too hot anyway so caps should last longer than on older console. I worked at a radio station once and there was a studer 900 that had been running 24/7 for 20 years and in the yearly checkup it still measured to factory specs with no caps changed ever...
- Inserts: these are normally unbalanced -10dB at the jackfield under the armrest. On the lower row you have 'Booster amps' which go to a balancing unit euro card (that also changes the level from -10 to +4) and from there to the back of the console. This is where you connect your outboard. While every channel has an insert point, there were usually only 2 or 4 booster amps built in. However, this can differ from console to console and there are a few around with balanced inserts but in those you don't find a jackfield under the armrest.
- try to freshen the leather up with shoe polish. If it still looks bad, take them to an upholsterer.

cheers

dom
Old 28th November 2017
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Halo Sonicdom, thank you for your answer. the model i have has all the balanced insert (they are running from the back, i don't have the patchbay in the armrest (the pic was taken when i didn't re-attache the right armrest, after putting it together. Last thing i've to figure out is the insert switch. i'll do the work on the PSU and Power cards. it's true the desk sounds really good and i don't have any channel doing anything weird. there was the usual noisy pots, but i just turned them 20 times in each direction and they cleaned themself perfectly (they are the sealed type).
Old 29th November 2017
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Mape's Avatar
 

Hello,

I did not understand what you mean by connecting the ground to each pins but in an isolated patch bay (no normal, chassis ground not attached to individual grounds, but up and bottom row grounds either globally or per slot connected) you could do like thre is only a double trs jack adapter in the between. That’s exactly how I have done with a 902 and 2 Neutrik TT patch bays. Hopefully your outboard gear is balanced too. Studer calls this symmetrical connection for logical reasons. If you run unbalanced (asymmetric) gear into a Studer mic input transformer via a trs patchbay connecting with either normal trs or xlr cable or with one that is either hot-shield instrument TS cable or have the cold / ring connected to the ground / sleeve you may have problems. Studer does not adivise using such connections as the imputransformers may accumulate DC components causing magnetic remamenence in the transformer. This is far too common and will eventually cause symptoms like loss in audio quality, weak level, or even microphonic channel which means some physical taps are audible. In the user manual (Alignment) there is a detailed procedure explaining regarding the demagnetizing the input transformers.

Bear in mind that a typical signal generator that is powerful enough to provide something like +10V peak to peak output level will have an amplitude in the low setting, you could use 1k ohm linear pot to overcome this while following the information in the user manual.

If you use unbalanced gear like guitar pedals in the inserts please find out that Studer supplies a perfect solution to this set up. The 4 Channel Balancing amp module. The important thing to not is that this INSERT is where you send from the output and receive from the unbal device. This logic is reversed in the balanced connection where ” a b +0v ” are sourced from IN into the symmetrical circuit. It makes sense trust me it being again one of those things that needed to be stared for a medium lenght of infinity to clear up. It is stated in the manual once again but hard for at least me to grasp completely. I pictured one that I tinkered up tonight for running Thermionic Culture The Rooster into TT batchbay where it now nicely works in every possible assignment.


Are you sure that your inserts in question are balanced?
Studer may use the tip as return and ring as send. Often you put send in the top row of the patch with ground connected to the cold and the have the return in the bottom row. It is often possible to run the inserts like this. The stereo inserts will often need to have send L send R grounds tied together.

I made bypass switches for every insert (16 mono, 4 stereo, 2 stereo master bus) but did not choose to use those booster sends because they did not provide for complete acces in every channel and it would have been even harder to make the switches work. In this desk in question some booster sends in the master where clearly cutting out low frequencies in Mic REIN mode (the green button TB Studio monintor module) so I terminated them and will use the stereo bal amp modules in the way I have connected the 4 bal amp +6dB shown here.

The switches for normal inserts have to be dual pole double throw. ON-ON. One end has jumper for circuit continuity and the other end has the cabling for the out put from the behdind of the desk. I soldered in total near 20 dsubs back there because my boss really wants to bend the envelope so there wouldn’t be anything to close the circuit without the switch. They are usefull for A/B testing and using the insert return as interface for something like 500-series lunch box preamp like an alternative channel or you could use them as ”in line console style” foldback route. I have used the tape inputs for that.

You wonder if it is possible to wire the inserts to the user switch but I’m not positive since there must have been a valid reason for our solution. Send -> Send + Return -> Return, grounds shared.

If I recall correctly the user button is on-off so it would not be suitable for this Without a relay per channel actuating the insert. I don’t like the sound the relays make and that would be very intensive task to carry out.

I understand the user manual so feel free to ask just about anything. I recommend reading it twice at least from the beginning to the end.

I’m a huge fan of this design and your desk looks great !
Greetings from Helsinki, Finland
-mape
Attached Thumbnails
Studer 900  console calibration and insert-b211b693-804e-4286-91a7-f36af8a4ceb3.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-05fad92f-3aea-41dc-b931-b78329fdca7e.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-1cd27a56-1385-4b9c-a840-042cd65fb829.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-400849e8-9b10-46ad-8a49-2cae1b9bc77f.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-31212784-3384-489a-8707-ec1861733195.jpg  

Studer 900  console calibration and insert-7375bf50-cefe-475c-b524-abc99fa3315b.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-3e38472b-d3fb-4c98-adf2-c8523f1b1add.jpg  
Old 30th November 2017
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Mape, this is what i call an answer. i've read several times your message, and i only have balanced gear. i do think the inserts are balanced because the cables connected behind the black connectors are all wired.

i only use the 32 lines inputs connected to my converters at the moment, but it's very interesting your remark on the unbalanced input into MIC. Actually i thought about getting a XLR patchbay to have access to the MIC inputs, and once in a while connecting a output to the XLR (with a TT to XLR patch cable), in order to use the preamp sound for some saturation. Is that safe ? i was kindof scared cause i know is the phantom power is switched it could damage the converter, can it ? that's why i'm only using the line ATM.

it may be a noob question but i used to have neumann summing box, this is my first console.

A few weeks ago i bought a Thermionic Culture Phoenix to a studio, they also owned a 900 serie console, and the guy has the insert connected to the "user button". But it's true the button seem to need a relay for the latch (sorry not sure about translation here), otherwise i'd need to hold it down. it's a really cool thing having the blank panel to put all the switches, i didn't even think of it !

thank you so much for the time, i'm going to "study" your answer. i'll make sure to keep you updated on the insert thing, and maybe if i have one or two more question, as you seem to know this console like you made it.

best
Joachim
Old 30th November 2017
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Do you guys have any spare VCA faders you could sell?
Old 30th November 2017
  #8
Here for the gear
 
Mape's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpastor View Post
Mape, this is what i call an answer. ...
best
Joachim
Hey thank you, you are all welcome !

It is good that you take the phantom in consideration. There are risks regarding to it. The good thing is that in the power supply unit there is a separate phantom stabilizer module card. If that is removed, no phantom anywhere. (Pic below)

The mic and line input are only actually different in the input route and share the same transformer. Some gear really rocks with the mic input even we are talking about line level instruments. Studer calls it the ”universal input” and the names are only for the convenience in a regular or intented set up.

No damage is possible. Overload light will blink, but some times that’s the sign for the best sound. Remember that overload detection is global, so the position of the faders will affect it.

I have replaced many of those black Siemens connectors, but managed to find some diagrams showing how balanced inserts are wired. If this is the case, run the send to the top row and return to the bottom row of your patch bay like you’d do with any balanced lines. 32 balanced inserts would take quite a many siemens because you need twice the cables in order to run inserts balanced back AND forth. In our studio environment the runs aren longer than 5 metres and the grounding is carefully planned so there are no issues with regular unbal inserts.

I can take pictures of this manual if you need something that is not in the internet pdf.
If you don’t have the pdf either just let me know.

-mape
Attached Thumbnails
Studer 900  console calibration and insert-9cde2c27-6754-44ed-8b5d-1891c7135698.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-3e690dc5-5271-4ac0-a5fb-201becf025b1.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-b225c088-b9a6-44b1-8a02-c29564732026.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-67589f87-8f3c-4ab6-baa4-5de33aad4274.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-7128d46f-cf11-4e94-a86d-d3c853ff093b.jpg  

Studer 900  console calibration and insert-1dd6b973-fe4b-4b98-b3d4-a8fa30c0e317.jpg  
Old 30th November 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
 
Mape's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicdom View Post
Do you guys have any spare VCA faders you could sell?
Yes.
Compressor with gr leds and the other ones too with the group selector and othe compressor related parameters. Just happened to glance at them yesterday.
Never used mint / nos, came with the desks which aren’t compatible with vca faders. I think we have at least 3 of both.
Situated in Finland, more info:
Mape.lehtonen at gmail
Old 30th November 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mape View Post
Yes.
Compressor with gr leds and the other ones too with the group selector and othe compressor related parameters. Just happened to glance at them yesterday.
Never used mint / nos, came with the desks which aren’t compatible with vca faders. I think we have at least 3 of both.
Situated in Finland, more info:
Mape.lehtonen at gmail
thx, message sent.
Old 11th April 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I have a 903 & 904

J'ai une petite studer ayant appartenu à TF1 aussi, elle me sert de spares part pour la + grande qui est une 903. Je suis ouvert à la discussion sur la maintenance de ces consoles. photos ici: www.studiodulac . bien le bonjour d'Annecy!
Old 17th May 2018
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Hey guys ! i'm almost done restoring the studer to it's glory days, only have a few problems on it to fix (2 masters not working, and 3 aux making buzz noise), then i'm making my homemade alignement board in order to calibrate everything properly.

here is my question :
When i record a final track to my DAW, i record several files :
-MASTER (with the master chain)
-FLAT (master insert off)
-stem BEAT (the drum bus)
-stem BASS
-stem Melodies
-stem VOX
-stem special
-stem return fx


the way the console is setup right now, i've got to record each thing separatly, which takes a lot of time, really annoying when you mix a full album. Is it technically possible to just take the signal post fader from each group and wire it to a XLR connector in the back, and patch it to the analog of my converter (i've got 16 analog input) ? do i need any kind of amplifier card or anything ? or i can just steal the signal and it will work ?
this way i could record 2 masters (one with the insert, one flat) and all the stem in a single shot.


Mape i've ordered the double throw switch, i got big chunky ones, great quality, can't wait to install them.


- i've made new signaletic panels with my CNC (the grey things with numbers on the strips)
- instead of using tape and marker, i've put a strip of magnetic metal in the "gutter", and i use colored magnetic tape. this way i can use me colors, and i can change strip names easyly and it always stays very clean. really happy with that.
-i've refurbished the arm rest.
all of that after giving it a total cleaning, which was a huge pain. looks superb now.

here is a pic of the console right now :
Attached Thumbnails
Studer 900  console calibration and insert-img_9795.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-img_9890.jpg  
Old 17th May 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Glaisins je suis allé voir ton site, la console est superbe, avec la patch sur le coté c'est assez rare.
Old 24th May 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mape View Post
Hello,
The switches for normal inserts have to be dual pole double throw. ON-ON. One end has jumper for circuit continuity and the other end has the cabling for the out put from the behdind of the desk. I soldered in total near 20 dsubs back there because my boss really wants to bend the envelope so there wouldn’t be anything to close the circuit without the switch.
-mape
Hey guys, i've doing a quick update on the 900 work, i've done the group output in order to record stems directly, and i customized switches for master and group inserts. thank you Mape for the tip, i've used 4 poles switches (in the begining i ordered 2 poles, but i forgot the send returns were balanced. i could have done the stereo switch with a 8 poles switch but these are pretty expensive and take too much space under the panel).

i'm on the job of alignment right now. i've a question : in the manual it says that all output have to be loaded with a 600 ohm resistor, does it mean that i have to load each output and then start aligning or do i just load the output channel i'm measuring (that would make more sense). i've started measuring two modules, and it seemed to work ok, i measured 1khz / 1,55volts in the input, and measured it on the PreFader insert (pin 27/P6), and turned the tiny pot to align it at 1,55v (it was at 1,45). if that's all it takes for most of it, it will be an easy job. if i've made a mistakes, please correct me.
Attached Thumbnails
Studer 900  console calibration and insert-fullsizerender-2-.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-fullsizerender-3-.jpg   Studer 900  console calibration and insert-fullsizerender-4-.jpg  
Old 11th June 2018
  #15
Gear Nut
 
thomlin's Avatar
Sorry if I hijack this thread. I service my Studer 903 and hope to find where to order Part 1.228.322.81 and 1.228.327.81 found on page E3/3 in the manual.
Two adapters, one with 32-pin and the other with 64-pin connector. A link would be so great.

ftp://ftp.studer.ch/public/Products/Mixing_Analog/900/

//Thomas
Old 11th June 2018
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Hey Thomlin, are you referring to the extension boards, used to get modules out for alignement ?
Old 11th June 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Regarding the 600 Ohm load resistor question. The desk was designed to have 600 Ohm loads on the outputs and the frequency response will be 'optimal' for that way of working. In Joachim's other thread the response shows a slight HF lift at around 8KHz, this is probably due to NOT having a 600 Ohm load. If it is running into 10K (typical of many convertors etc) it will show this peak. Fitting say 680 Ohms would 'tame' it properly, unless you are happy with a small amount of 'presence'.
Depending on the output impedance your measured 1.45 Volts rather than 1.55 Volts may be the difference you get when fitting or removing 600 Ohms. The previous user may have calibrated level without 600 Ohms so when you tried it with 600 it looks low.
Matt S
Old 11th June 2018
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Jpastor's Avatar
 

Hey Matt thank you very much for that explanation, i think i'm up for a re-alignement anyway, after recapping

For Thomlin, these extension boards are almost impossible to find, but you can do what i did : building your own extension cable, it will cost you next to nothing, cause these boards go for a lot of money when you can find one, and you need at least 3. You need to make a female to male DIN connector, you can even make a little measuring board if you are not taking measures from the inserts.

you need minimum :
-2 64 female DIN
http://fr.farnell.com/harting/09-02-...-ddd7-00001003
-2 64 male DIN
http://fr.farnell.com/harting/09-02-...-ddd7-00001003
-1 32 female DIN
http://fr.farnell.com/harting/09-22-...-ddd7-00001003
-1 32 male DIN
http://fr.farnell.com/harting/09-22-...-ddd7-00001003
-heat shrink tube, to isolate the pint you will solder
- cables
http://fr.farnell.com/3m/3365-64/cab...-ddd7-00001003
(i took a 64 that i cut in 32s, because on these 64 DIN, only 32 pins are actually used)


i attached a picture of my extension, and on top of that, you can make more than 3, so you can align a full channel in one shot, all that for really cheap

edit : sorry the pic is upside down, don't know why.
Attached Thumbnails
Studer 900  console calibration and insert-img_9955.jpg  
Old 11th June 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Hi
FWIW I am expecting some boards for module extenders to arrive next week.
I often find that after recapping realignment is hardly necessary unless the owner has been 'tweaking' to correct for failing caps. Basically messing with alignment to compensate for component 'failures'.
Matt S
Old 12th June 2018
  #20
Gear Nut
 
thomlin's Avatar
Thanx, Very good info. This is the only thing missing for my tech to service the Console.
Old 12th June 2018
  #21
Gear Addict
 

About extender, it's "better" to add an eurocad at frame side , proto version with DIN footprint cost nothing, it will be way easier to plug the extender if only one module is removed, as when servicing the eurocad at frame bottom

Also be careful with AWG 28 ribbon current rating, especially if you use the extender to service the regulators cards

maybe a 2.54 pitch ribbon AWG 22 is safer

Just like the "studer" branded extender is !

Best
Zam
Old 23rd October 2018
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Coucou!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpastor View Post
Glaisins je suis allé voir ton site, la console est superbe, avec la patch sur le coté c'est assez rare.
Merci, le patch fonctionne normalement, en revanche je n'ai encore pas osé effectuer des modifs de configuration! Je suis avec intérêt vos échanges.
Old 23rd October 2018
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Coucou!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpastor View Post
Glaisins je suis allé voir ton site, la console est superbe, avec la patch sur le coté c'est assez rare.
Merci, le patch fonctionne normalement, en revanche je n'ai encore pas osé effectuer des modifs de configuration! Je suis avec intérêt vos échanges.
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