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Mark's mix room build Audio Interfaces
Old 16th August 2011
  #61
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Peter - This is really two office spaces, not quite the same shape. The mix room is about 11.5' square and the other takes up about the same area but is oblong. There is an asymmetrical cutout between the two rooms. The door to the secondary room services the whole space. I previously uploaded a floor plan if you can find it.

As to color, I was really turned on by the vibrant colors in other rooms on Jeff Hedback's web site. However, we ended up going with earthy colors. This is the basic wall color: < http://www.myperfectcolor.com/en/color/73179_Behr-PMD-47-Martini-Olive> The traps are covered in a warm gray, a medium brown, and a red wine color.
Old 16th August 2011
  #62
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Oh, I did see the two rooms as one, so the square one is the mix room. Do you close a door to the second one if you gonna mix? My room is about the same wide, 11.2. I found the the floor plan.

Best regards,

Peter
Old 16th August 2011
  #63
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Hi, Peter-

No door between the rooms. It just isn't large enough and all the outboard racks, etc. are in the secondary room. In the mix room I'm trying to have primarily just monitoring and control surfaces.
Old 17th August 2011
  #64
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We finally rolled the MCI JH-618 (restored 1984 console) into the mix room and put it approximately where I will use it. The console needs the wooden parts put back on over the meter bridge and the wrist pad installed, but all those parts were just taken off to make it easier to move.
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-putting-legs-back-console.jpg   Mark's mix room build-finally-studio.jpg  
Old 17th August 2011
  #65
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I just looked at the picture of your outboardgear, nice! I have two langevin pultec eq's, i like them a lot on vocals.

You have to walk to tweak your outboard, so your room isn't that small ;-).

Best regards,

Peter
Old 18th August 2011
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
One challenge I have in setting up this room is to find and possibly modify some software to use when I document the analog equipment and patch routes. Fortunately, with this small console, there is much less to doc than mixes I made on huge VR's but I still need a paperless way of storing the settings for later mix recalls. Some of my equipment has templates I can scan and I can also scan graphics of an I/O module of the MCI desk from the manual, but I still need to have those appear in a software image that I can then mark with knob and switch positions.

Any thoughts? Thanks! We'll get back to hammer and nails soon (or green glue and cotton acoustic fill).
Hello Mark,
Great thread. Not sure if you got a answer to your question but you might want to have a look at Teaboy Audio Recall Sheet Software-Home. Best of luck with the rest of your build.
Cheers
Darren
Old 18th August 2011
  #67
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Thanks for the tip!

I looked into the tea boy product a while back and it is a subscription service. They maintain your session documents as long as you keep up the paid subscription. Not a bad deal but i prefer storing my own info in the folder with the project files.

A nice guy on the mcirecording.com forum is putting something together for 600 series console users to try.

Thanks again,

Mark
Old 24th August 2011
  #68
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OK, more pictures. The room is starting to look like a studio, although lots of cabling, connecting, and cable organizing is still to be done.

And i have to offer the disclaimer that my iPhone camera makes images that have exaggerated depth and color, so bear in mind that the room with the board is actually only 11.5' square.
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-110824-1.jpg   Mark's mix room build-110824-2.jpg   Mark's mix room build-110824-3.jpg  
Old 28th August 2011
  #69
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For those on facebook, here's a link to pictures of the custom monitors being built. Bill Weir of Clarity Inc is the designer and James Jackson is building the cabinets.

Facebook

And, here is one of the images:
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-290770_10150352926261763_772341762_9629113_6446303_o.jpg  
Old 29th August 2011
  #70
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There is still a lot to do in the way of details and getting the new monitors in place but I have mix work to do. Man, this room has nice focus and I don't hear any funny resonance issues at all! tight and well defined low low end. My old Dynaudio BM-6a's sound great in here!

As usual, my iPhone camera adds some odd perspectives and colors but you can get the idea:Mark's mix room build-mixing-110829.jpg
Old 11th September 2011
  #71
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I've been working on a couple of mix projects and the new room is going to be excellent. Amazing to be in a small room that doesn't sound small!

There are still some details to address plus one big item is still being realized - the monitors! I hear that they should be in my space during the last week of the month and I'm ready.

Designer Bill Weir and expert cabinet guy James Jackson have finally glued the boxes after weeks of experiments. They even used wooden mockups of the amp and crossover to make sure of placement. Here are a few photos of them coming together:
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-194681_10150344865231763_772341762_9547892_304628_o.jpg   Mark's mix room build-289876_10150344864356763_772341762_9547885_7706253_o.jpg   Mark's mix room build-323654_10150368357636763_772341762_9762384_1240963606_o.jpg  
Old 11th September 2011
  #72
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Fantastic Mark. For you to have a workable room is so important to me. For the room to exhibit the feeling of a larger/comfortable space while being accurate is the icing on the cake. It's the combination of the sawtooth sidewall panels, membrane trapping and percent of coverage that has given this result...I'm just glad I had a solution to pull out of my hat for this space.

Once the speakers are in, we'll take proper measurements and I will gladly post.
Old 11th September 2011
  #73
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Thanks, Jeff!

Doug and I got the one uninsulated wall filled with blown fluff. Not a job I want to do again anytime soon but that wall is the least resonant of all now. The blown insulation stuff works great. If the option to fill all of them were there (it isn't) i would do all the surrounding walls.

The ceiling tiles are in place in the secondary room and the door seals are now in place. I will be building a mix at some point during the day and will get a read on the improvements. I can't wait to get the new monitors - my old, road-worn Dynaudios sound a bit tattered now that I can hear them so well!
Old 21st September 2011
  #74
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Monitor designer, Bill "Mad Scientist" Weir sent me these photos of the monitor cabinets ready for paint:
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-monitors-ready-paint_1.jpg   Mark's mix room build-monitors-ready-paint_2.jpg  
Old 21st September 2011
  #75
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another shot, pre-paint. These are self-powered and have the active drivers you see min the front and a passive radiator in back:
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-getting-tested-per-paint.jpg  
Old 5th October 2011
  #76
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Here's a picture of the Clarity Motiv monitors before mounting in place. The actual color is a deep purple shade and they weigh about 65 pounds each. First impression is that these will improve my work - as simple as that!
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-clarity-motiv-monitors-floor.jpg  
Old 5th October 2011
  #77
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Nice room build, best of luck with it all. The custom speakers caught my attention, lovely stuff!
Old 8th October 2011
  #78
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The loudspeakers are called "Motiv" and they were designed by Bill Weir. Bill is going to mod the crossovers slightly on Tuesday and make some further tweaks, but so far I have to sa they are best monitors I've personally worked with in over 40 years of recording. The design we ended up with is not at all like the design first described in this thread, so perhaps Bill can contribute a better description. At this point, these are unique, and though nicely finished, could be called prototypes. Perhaps considering that, Gearslutz wouldn't object to Bill offering details.
Old 9th October 2011
  #79
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Well, if it won't get us in trouble I'll talk a little about them. warning- random stream of consciousness ahead...

Mark's next door indoor neighbor is a high end mastering suite and there were concerns about use of powerful servo coupled sub action down to the nether regions so a dedicated subwoofer system was out. That pretty much stopped the other system i was planning. also, it was designed as a minimum phase system, and the wrinkle is: that's fine if you're the type of person that has things nearby and aren't going to be standing and moving around a lot. It's all good as long as you are underneath the phase plane of the speaker but get above it and it's different. Mark needs to move freely about the cabin and Mr. Hedback's room needed very stable and consistent off axis response. Also, AMrk has to work a good bit of hype into a lot of his mixes, so I wanted to make him something that would tell the complete story, to be sure- but would do it in a more forgiving way. Some people really do need it to be stark and there's nothing wrong with that, I have a flavor of that too and I'm told it's awesome, but just not for Mark.

For Mark I'm using a 9" frame, 8" diaphragm woofer that moves 18mm linear and has a santoprene foam surround that makes for a less brash upper range and very good out of band behavior compared with butyl rubber. They have 4" voice coils for minimal thermal compression so the monitor's sound doesn't slowly shift forward throughout the day. This also means that the entire pass band I'm using the driver in is piston motion range for the cone. We don't get the dispersion and phase artifacts associated with cone breakup. The driver itself falls off almost exactly 24db/octave at the chosen cross point, where an additional 24db Xover happens, so the woofer cuts off pretty much 48db/octave so we never get driver interference between woofer and tweet- the image is remarkably clean and stable through the crossover region, and the 24 db tweeter slope allows for decent de- localization of the drivers. The cross point is more than 3 octaves above tweeter resonance for minimal IM distortion. We use an electronic delay on the tweeter, and we are doing electronic baffle step compensation ahead of the LF amp.

Drivers acoustic center spacing is within tolerance for the crossover frequency. LR filters were chosen for the usual reasons of off axis stability and relative insensitivity to vertical axis- important for Mark- but I build my filters with Sallen-Key elements instead of the usual Bi Quads. This makes for better damping through the filter and less transient smearing then is usually had.

They are a passive radiator design. Alignment is critical damped. This does a few things for me, and no this is not your dumb-**** boomy bass system that many passive radiator systems are!
First and foremost is that since the active driver's cone excursion gets smaller as the frequency decreases (more of the work shifts to the passive radiator- yes there is phase shift but we are remarkably insensitive to it down there) so that means the midrange doesn't get badly modulated by the long travels that would otherwise happen, and also the midband distortion is kept low during deep bass passages because since excursion is limited and loading is maintained underneath system tuning the driver doesn't come out of fully linear Xmax range. This also means very low doppler distortion, which is not something a lot of people want you to think or talk about.

Another thing it does is -as i said- allows me to keep a load on the active driver underneath cabinet tuning so I don't have to electronically high pass them.

Finally, to have ports big enough to allow for deep bass with no chuffing, the ports would have to be large enough that we would start hearing out of phase lower midband information come from the ports, interfering with the output from the cone. I don't really like that personally.
The result is they are flat as a pancake to 33 hz, and produce quite usable in room bass down to 23 hz. my goal was to repro the low B on a 5 string bass, and reveal any garbage lower than that without upsetting his neighbor.

Tweeters are a high quality soft dome with a very large magnet structure. Mark is used to the dome coloration so I thought it best to stick with that- just go for extreme resolving power. They are factory matched to within.1db.

The cabinets, made for us by furniture designer extraordinaire James Jackson are pretty special too. They are engineered wood, can't beat it for the price, but thick in the right places and with damping layers in place. There are no parallel internal surfaces, shaped shims were used inside, and the baffle boards are sail shaped- they peel away from the drivers in all directions so that the drivers don't actually "see" the baffle at all. There are damping layers, bracing, etc. and special rubberized adhesives so the cabinet has plenty of ways to dump it's redundant energy. The tweeters are recessed perfectly into the cabinets with a seamless joint. This is actually the biggest source of diffraction in a typical speaker system. It took days to sand it just right.

The power we are feeding this with is rather special too. These modules are fully MOSFET but Anthony Holton has figured out a way around the large gate capacitance drive issue, so these have a sense of power and, well balls that i have only heard from Bi Polar output stages in the past. He also has a patent pending biasing scheme- they are class AB but I defy you to see it slide on a scope even up at 100 Khz. The fully discrete amps have an audio bandwidth of DC to 600khz at full power -higher than the switching frequency of most class D amps- damping factor of up over 1000 at 50 Hz, and the main power supply caps for each channel are located less than an inch from the output devices. Each channel is 110 watts, RMS at 8 ohms, but I'm feeding from a massive 500va transformer that took a month to figure out the best place to put in the cabinets... which is one reason why you don't see electronics like this in any other powered speaker- so we're looking at nearly 600 watts peak, per driver, per cabinet. We're using overkill heatsinks so the negative thermal co-efficient of the power FETS never comes into play. Also, the transfer function of the amp has you thinking there's a lOT more power in play than there actually is. they system is dead silent even up close when not in use. You can't even tell it is on until something plays.

Well, thats about it... anyone want to talk about speakers im game!
Old 10th October 2011
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
OK, more pictures. The room is starting to look like a studio, although lots of cabling, connecting, and cable organizing is still to be done.

And i have to offer the disclaimer that my iPhone camera makes images that have exaggerated depth and color, so bear in mind that the room with the board is actually only 11.5' square.
HAHA I have the same pendant lights in my live room!! Lowes right? : )
Old 10th October 2011
  #81
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Lowe's indeed!

Bill and Jeff think those hanging fixtures may put a bit too much stuff in the sound field between the monitors and I (I tend to agree), so I'm trying to select some spots that could serve as task lighting.

My eyes are sensitive to glare so I'm trying to find something that lights the control surfaces but doesn't leave me wanting to wear an eye shade. Any suggestions? It doesn't have to be from Lowe's!
Old 10th October 2011
  #82
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Thank you, Bill, for laying out some of the monitor design. I think that what is most important is that these monitors are part of a comprehensive and holistic design.

The Clarity team, including Bill, Jeff, Doug Burns, Rich Mason, James Jackson, and several others, took the space I chose and analyzed my needs for a mix room. The entire design is about how I like to hear and how I like to work within the space.

While it is tempting to look at individual components, the room and monitors, and the tools I have chosen, are all part of the larger design. If these guys had designed this room for another person, the design would be different and focused an that person's needs. It's a remarkable experience to begin working in a room designed expressly for me. I'm challenged to "up my game" and reach for results I can now hear!
Old 12th October 2011
  #83
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Initial Acoustical Data

Thanks Mark. In many ways this is the little engine that could. It is not easy to get "pro" level function in terms of signal flow, monitoring, acoustics, comfort, etc...in such a small room. There is no one more deserving. You're the best.

Back on topic, yesterday Bill Weir calibrated and made the final baffle step adjustments to the monitors to within .5dB L to R (in-room)! We then began the first round of acoustical tests.

Shown is the T30 and Spectrogram (window is set to 300ms at 3.3Hz resolution).

The next step is to finalize speaker locations and track down a sympathetic midrange resonance around the left speaker.
Old 12th October 2011
  #84
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...with attachments this time.
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-mixer-mark_t30-mix.jpg   Mark's mix room build-spectrogram_both-spkrs_initial-data.jpg  
Old 13th October 2011
  #85
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Lots of progress! The LF graph in the second image is borne out by listening.

Bill wants a couple of hours to listen on his own with his own program material (he's been stuck listening mostly to my stuff) so he will have the room to himself for a while this afternoon. I'll be curious to hear his observations!
Old 15th October 2011
  #86
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I've been working in the new mix room and really enjoying it. There are, of course, lots of things to be refined and adjusted like in any new studio. However, I had to mix some projects or get way behind schedule. Being able to hear so well is a remarkable experience!

Here's a few shots of the room as it is now. The hanging lights are gone because the felt like an obstruction (whether they really were or not). The cables will get dressed once the everything is placed more permanently.

The monitors are on Auralex Great Gramma platforms and I have to say that these were much more effective than we even expected. The low end became really well focused and the sound transmission to neighboring spaces was substantially reduced.
Attached Thumbnails
Mark's mix room build-111013_1.jpg   Mark's mix room build-111013_2.jpg   Mark's mix room build-111013_3.jpg  
Old 15th October 2011
  #87
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I am glad the new monitors are helping out. They are the most advanced enclosures I have built and designed up to date. I've been at this with Bill for about 8-9 years now... And these are the creme de la creme so far. I had to pull out a lot of tricks to get everything to fit, function 110%, AND look like a well designed product you secretly lust after. I don't know of anyone who builds enclosures like i do. Built by hand in my furniture studio, to very very close tolerances. Some parts were milled on a CNC router. Beech wood mortise and tenon's, marine epoxy with silica, glass micro ballon fillers, textured dual planer sloped shims, and a few other "fluid dynamics" type tuning for air fliw inside the box around the drivers, etc, etc. I even brought in a priest and a goat for a classified ceremony.. Just kidding. But lots of love, passion, and a whole lot of science and sawdust brought these monitors to life. Every detail is gone over and then a few more new ones ya maybe didn't think about before... But we did.
Anyway, congrats on your new space and happy mixing. The room looks good!
Old 15th October 2011
  #88
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The room and the monitors are the most important equipment I have!

Thanks!
Old 16th October 2011
  #89
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Great to hear! The monitors should perform solid for ages. Almost like an heirloom quality piece of furniture. I am sure your loving your new man cave.
Rockit!
Old 17th October 2011
  #90
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Its good to be a Gangster!
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