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If you could upgrade/replace...
Old 1st June 2002
  #1
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mwagener's Avatar
If you could upgrade/replace...

If you could upgrade or replace one piece of gear in your studio with something new/better, what would it be and why?
Old 1st June 2002
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Different console. Right now I'm leaning toward a sony 3036 because I like the idea of being able to customize a console with 3rd party off the shelf parts. Better summers, different micpres and eq sections as desired throughout the board. It also doesnb't cost a let lung to purchase.
Old 1st June 2002
  #3
Hmmm...

I will go for upgrading an SM57 to a vintage U47!

I have an M149 but would love to have one of the 'real deal' vintage classics.

Old 1st June 2002
  #4
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piss on my room!!! I need to move but it's a sellers market. It's hard to find a house that is in move in condition with land to put a studio and is affordable. Any suggestions Michael? You did that didn't you?
drew
Old 1st June 2002
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'd probably upgrade my DAW. I only use it for transfers to and from 2" and mastering but it's old and could use an overhaul. The basic computer is good but my cards and software are about four years old. Hell, I'm still running Sound Forge 4.01. I'd probably go with a Motu system if I can ever justify the expense. rollz

Other then that I'd love to replace my rooms, but that should be done by the end of the year with any luck. I'm almost done closing a deal on a new space and then I get to build from scratch. okk
Old 1st June 2002
  #6
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I'd have to say my mains. Gimmie Auxburger's with tad components. Note: One on each side instead on the 2 (or more) I usually see. (Seems to be tighter)
Old 1st June 2002
  #7
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Well, I have been replacing floors and paint and am currently upgrading the Playstation to a Playstation2 and an X-BOX.

Wish list? We could always use more Neve 10xx modules in the room...and a GML 8900 and 2 more LA2s and 3 more 1176s...and another 16-32 channels on the J wouldn't hurt either.

I'd like to get a Radar in the room eventually, but 90% of the clients are coming in with PT sessions.

If the number of DASH format sessions keeps dropping, we could sell the 3348 and get a Radar if it becomes 48-track capable. The nice thing about the 3348, though, is the high-margin tape sales...

I'd love to get a 1" 2-track ATR machine...but it would be pointless except for me and a very small number of discerning clients. Most of the free-lancers I see 'round here are still mixing down to two DATs and are somewhat wary of our Masterlink with PSX100SE converters. Just goes to show, you can lead a horse to water...

BTW, Ed C. is in town doing a month of sessions with the Stones. Hi, Ed! smokin

Jon
Old 1st June 2002
  #8
Kev
Gear Nut
 
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The room itself,

Bigger , more comfortable , better sound , ... just plain better.

It aint gonna happen for a while.
Old 1st June 2002
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: If you could upgrade/replace...

Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
If you could upgrade or replace one piece of gear in your studio with something new/better, what would it be and why?
Either a Hammond B3 or a decent piano - Steinway or a C7. It's amazing what synth modules can work in the context of a track, but there's magic in real wood.
Old 2nd June 2002
  #10
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Could I upgrade my artist? Actually, my artists actually have talent... How bout I upgrade my a&r?
Old 2nd June 2002
  #11
High End Moderator
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by drew
piss on my room!!! I need to move but it's a sellers market. It's hard to find a house that is in move in condition with land to put a studio and is affordable. Any suggestions Michael? You did that didn't you?
drew
Actually, WireWorld is about 25 miles from my house on a friends farm. It was a three car garage when they moved in and we converted it into a studio within 6 weeks, August of '96. It was quite a chunk of work, minimum 12 hour days in 95 degree heat, wearing long sleeves so the insulation material wouldn't get to me. But we had to get it done in time, because I had a band from Japan coming in on a certain date and it's not easy to change all the flights and hotels. When I picked them up from the airport, my friend was just putting in the toilet and all the equipment was still sitting on Ikea furniture. But the project went well.

Since then I remodeled twice, last time in September 2000 and replaced all the roadcases with real furniture and upgraded the equipment. I don't want the studio in my house or on the same property, so I can close the door behind me and at least try to think about something else. When I lived in LA I had the studio in my garage, it was too distracting, equally for me and my wife.

It's an ongoing learning process and there are a few things I would do different next time. I also contemplated to move the whole show into town (Music Row), but my clients seem to enjoy being out in the country, so why spend big $$$ on a move.

I think your room looks very cool, why do you want to move?
Old 2nd June 2002
  #12
Drew the CR looks awesome!

Is that dog yours?

(perhaps it's his live room MW)

Top tip: (from Jon Atack) he said"after a potential client has sat in one of my Aeron chairs for about 20 mins - they book time'... I kew I wanted 1 but bought 3 after Jon let me into his secret! And it works!

smokin
Old 2nd June 2002
  #13
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The control room is the least of my worries. I'm actually pretty happy with it and would probably replicate it in the new studio. I have learned how much AC is needed since it shares the house system and it gets very hot. My recording room is my main problem. It's 20x24 which is cool but it's ceiling is only 6'10"ugh!!! Then there is the issues Michael spoke of. Parking, noise (which I couldn't do much about without losing more ceiling height) etc....
How did you do the walls? Anything special with the AC? Any other caveats?
drew
Old 2nd June 2002
  #14
Fresh air i/o is v important.. most aircon doesn't provide this alone..
Old 2nd June 2002
  #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by drew
The control room is the least of my worries. I'm actually pretty happy with it and would probably replicate it in the new studio. I have learned how much AC is needed since it shares the house system and it gets very hot. My recording room is my main problem. It's 20x24 which is cool but it's ceiling is only 6'10"ugh!!! Then there is the issues Michael spoke of. Parking, noise (which I couldn't do much about without losing more ceiling height) etc....
How did you do the walls? Anything special with the AC? Any other caveats?
drew
My recording room is 12 X 22 with 10' ceilings. It is ok for most overdubs and for drum tracking with the band in the control room, but I sure would like some more space. The walls and ceiling are plain drywall and the floor is concrete. The room was built around an old Ludwig snare and a Marshall stack (the only instruments we had available when we built it). We just left it in a certain state when we thought it sounded good. The room is 2" wider on one side, so the walls are not parallel and there is no flutter echo. It has a fairly long smooth decay and is extremely loud. I use TubeTraps and removable Auralex/Sonex to control reflections. The recording room itself is a box inside a room and is connected to the control room only via the (existing) concrete floor. The walls rest on some kind of rubber insulation material. The wall to the control room has a 7' x 4' window and is five layers thick: two layers of drywall on a 2x4 wood frame with insulation in between on the recording room side - 2" of air - another wood frame with two layers of drywall on the outside (controlroom side) and insulation on the inside. The insulation is two layers thick as well, one of which is the pink fluffy stuff (forgot the name) and the other is 8 pounds per inch compressed insulation. We are not really acousticians (?) so it was more of an educated guess, but it worked out fine.

The A/C is one of the things I would do different next time. The problem is that I have only one unit serving the control room, the studio and the lounge/kitchen. Now, because of all the tube gearheh the controlrom gets fairly hot. By the time I get that down to about 72, you can hang meat in the lounge. We did run each A/C hose from each outlet all the way to the unit, so the sound has to go through the A/C unit. That keeps sound from going through the A/C pipes from the studio into the control room. The pipes run in an attic sort of thing which is filled up with insulation that was blown in, I think it is made out of old newspaper and was a big mess do deal with.

The control room shape is not ideal (20 x 22 x 9.5) and I had to experiment a lot until I got the ADAMs, now I'm very happy with the way it sounds.

Quote:
Then there is the issues Michael spoke of. Parking, noise
and in the case of the studio being in the house it's interuptions of "honey do" stuff and getting sidetrapped by things outside of the studio work (like bills .)

We shot the whole process of building WireWorld on video. When I'm done with the current project, I could try to put a short form video toghether, if you're interested. Like I said, it's by NO means a scientific approach to building studios but it might trigger some ideas.
Old 2nd June 2002
  #16
Studio build folklore says - It's best to put an Air-con unit on the OPOSITE side of the room of the heat generating hot items (racks with valve gear), or you get the client 'freeze' Michael reffers to...

If directly ABOVE the gear - the unit thinks .. "oh I am hot.. keep cooling' and never really stops.

Or so I understand it..

Anyhow it's worked out in my place.. Where the air con travels across the top level of the room, chilling my fuzzy head, then on to meet the rising hot air from the main gear rack..

I built a machine room for the computer / drives and headphone amps... That just has fresh air flow from outside.. it never get too warm here in London!

okk
Old 2nd June 2002
  #17
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Thanks for the info Michael. That's exactly the kind of stuff I need to hear. I would love to see the video. I did learn a lot from doing my current studio much like you did.
Jules, a machine rooms sounds like a slice of heaven to me right now. I'm definitely doing one of those next time. Radar's are loud!!!!
drew
Old 2nd June 2002
  #18
Machine cupboard - is a more accurate & honest a description!.. I dont have the real estate to spare a 'room' to... tut No sir!

Old 2nd June 2002
  #19
High End Moderator
 
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Gotta have a cupboard in a librarysmokin

drew, we buitt four "isoracks" (I think that's a trademark, sorry) for the loud stuff, like the R-1 and the computers. The company who built your console enclosure has those. Too much detail for a post, just pack a lunch and come on out to WireWorld.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #20
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Michael, I'd love to see a copy of that video. The building I'm in has been sold and I'll be in a new room by the end of the year. I'm probably going to start construction within the next month or so and I need to come up with some plans. I was going to try and get someone like Chris Pelonis but I don't have the money stashed away for that. My current live room sounds great and was designed by Wes LaChot and was built before I moved in. I'm probably going to consult him while I draw up plans just to make sure I don't do anything I'm going to regret later. Like the AC thing.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #21
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I'll try to get it together beginning of July. Some editing involved, sure you don't want to sit through 2 hours of bad German jokesheh

email me your address

[email protected]
Old 3rd June 2002
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Drew,

Pam and I left our commercial facility and landlords, traffic, noise, and that whole damn thing last September, and we’ve never looked back. We built a home on some land here in North Texas, and we built a studio/ office building right behind the house. The studio building was designed from the slab up by our very dear friend Russ Berger. It’s got it’s own entrance from the front, but it’s also connected by an enclosed (garden) walkway to the house, 20 feet away. We have a small studio (fine for us) and a fairly large control room (8400 cf). All of the ceilings in the sound rooms are over 14 feet high, with "clouds" to control bass, etc. I can tell you that there is nothing as good as building it from the ground up, and having it at home can be very, very cool. We are in paradise. For the first time, we even have an outside window (thick, multi-layers of glass) in the studio! The only traffic we have to worry about is stepping on our little geckos on the way in. We also have a 10x20 ft. machine room, filled with computers, hard drives and MIDI keyboard/modules. The sound rooms have their own AC, and it's dead quiet.

It was not as expensive it sounds. As a matter of fact, we’re now paying less than we would have if we had stayed in our lease. Think about it Drew.

As far as replacing or upgrading gear, I want a set of ADAM speakers to replace my big Tannoys, but I only use mid-fields, so the set I want costs a butt-load. Oh well, guess we gotta sell more records…

R
Old 3rd June 2002
  #23
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micheal, i dont know how accessible your AC system is, but if you have good access to your plenum, stick a damper inline on the run to the lounge, then you can close it off more and "tune" the system. not only will it prevent as much cold air from reaching the lounge but it will create a stronger force to your control room making the cooling more efficient. you can do this with all your various runs so you can tune depending on the season.... winter damper down the CR to let more heat to the other room since the CR naturally heats up.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #24
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oh yeah. i forgot to post what i wanted to upgrade.

same as others, my room. im "upgrading" it now, but its damn small [11'6"x16x7'9"]... i have a larger room too [22x35x8] but its that low H that i want much higher [and not have all my multimedia compters in the large room ]

something nice and big. so the band can really spread out. i run bands live in the small room now with good success and suprizingly little bleed [and no cans] but it can get cramped quickly.

i'd like a bigger studio in general.

that and either a better board or a great controller for my DAW. but i think the room carries more impact on the recording than the board/mixing surface.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
micheal, i dont know how accessible your AC system is, but if you have good access to your plenum, stick a damper inline on the run to the lounge, then you can close it off more and "tune" the system. not only will it prevent as much cold air from reaching the lounge but it will create a stronger force to your control room making the cooling more efficient. you can do this with all your various runs so you can tune depending on the season.... winter damper down the CR to let more heat to the other room since the CR naturally heats up.
That is a great idea, alpha. I checked into it and as the gearslut that I am i found out they make those motorized, with remote control. Thanx for the idea. Now somebody has to crawl up there into mountains of loose insulation and install those.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #26
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Great idea, AJ....and FWIW I was tracking drums for years in my former little live room (20x15x10ft with good acoustics), and I thought they sounded pretty good for what space there was, but having a big acoustic space (5000 sq ft in this case) changes everything. It goes from a $10k sound to a $1M sound. I hope our studio does well enough for us to stay a long time in these great premises. So yes, I agree with you. Having said that, a great desk may attract clients more than a great room...depends on your clients and what they're looking for. But if didn't have to care about that, the space would be my first priority.

Jon
Old 3rd June 2002
  #27
There is only one
 
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one thing you might have to "watch out" for micheal is more noise once more force will go to the CR, i dont know how big your diffusor is though. i have the circular kind and they are really quiet. of course with motorized ones, you could adjust it as needed.

jon, was that propellerheads done in your old room? those drums sounded damn good to me.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #28
Gear Nut
 

I just upgraded to a Herman Miller chair and an X-box to compliment the PlayStation II.

Next will be to HD, because of the deadline. I'm only using 888/24's now with a Lucid clock and look forward to the better conversion. Also lookin for the increased horsepower. Also don't want to be missing out on future software releases that only affect HD (speculation/paranoia).

And someone PLEASE talk me in/out of that 22" cinema display.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #29
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Upgrade : TC sys 6000 .... I want that MDW hi res EQ in there ... that or the massenburg plugin for ProTools HD ... when it finally becomes available

and the Lexicon 960L .... add a DSP card .... double it's power and go 96K

Replace : nothing realy ... maybe when I decide to do everything at 96k all the harddrives.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #30
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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AJ, with the Propellerheads we did track drums on one session into PT. Will played for about ten minutes (he was an excellent and v modern player btw), then we went through and put together some loops. They then worked on "History" (the track with Shirley Bassey) and "Bang On", their first single I believe for their American label, Dreamworks. Some of those drums loops ended up being used for the "Bang On" mix; I'm not sure about "History". I engineered part of the sessions and Chris Lawson, their guitarist engineered the rest, with Alex Gifford producing and playing keys and bass into PT and Will doing drums and vinyl scratching.
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