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Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA
Old 3rd June 2013
  #121
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Drummer gets his own bathroom. Smart!
Old 4th June 2013
  #122
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Yeah, we wouldn't want the drummers drool and other bodily functions to bother the other real musicians
Old 8th June 2013
  #123
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A few pics to update this thread. We got the floor plan layout and the top and bottom plates for all of the walls detailed so when we actually begin the framing process the walls will go up really quickly. I still have to get a lift in here to move the furnace to the front of the building and remove all of the eye bolts/screws that supported the false ceiling. I also finally got my new truck and I did pretty good on the deal. I even got it with a lumber rack!
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Old 8th June 2013
  #124
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A pic of my old truck hauling lumber and a pic of the new truck. For anyone that is new to this thread, my truck was totalled by a hit and run driver while parked at the back of my building. It is still drivable so I may just transfer the lumber rack to my old truck from the new one and use it while doing the build. Just part of the story of my build
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Old 11th June 2013
  #125
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Things look like they are coming along nicely!
Old 14th June 2013
  #126
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Heya Handsome. Yeah, been making some progress but have had a few distractions...

First of all I caught some idiots logging on the back of my property and now we have the police, surveyors, and legal stuff going on with that. They cut down a few trees that were about 4 feet in diameter at the trunk and then were pissed off at me!!! They also broke a few wires loose on my electric fence, then tried to put them back in place using nails instead of fence staples...Like I wouldn't notice!

You can also see on the ground in front of my ATV where someone has picked up a bunch of tree branches and there is still a lot of tree debris on the ground. This means not only were they trespassing on my property possibly without knowing it, but I guarantee you they knew it when they crossed my fence. My fence actually sits about 50 feet inside of my property line.
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Old 14th June 2013
  #127
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So to be able to start framing in the big walls of the main room, I needed to move the ceiling mounted furnace to the front of the building since I can't have it in the main recording room! I was going to rent a Genie lift for about $250 from a local rental yard to do this but they said they had this old beat up lift they would sell me for $100! I checked it out and said "I'll take it!"...

The thing is rated for 500lbs when it is in good shape but it is not in good shape so hopefully it will hold the 300lbs worth of gas furnace I need to drop down. Another cool thing about buying this lift is that the furnace can sit on it and be moved around where we need it while the rest of the framing is going on.

It was really sketchy with that thing fully extended and all of that weight bouncing around up high. It took us about 3 hours to get it down because the lift got stuck!!! We did manage to get it down without incident and then my buddy Mark decided to karate chop the furnace because we kicked its ass....or so he says!
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Old 14th June 2013
  #128
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Framing starts to get serious....
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Old 14th June 2013
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
First of all I caught some idiots logging on the back of my property and now we have the police, surveyors, and legal stuff going on with that.
This thread is becoming depressing. Sorry to hear about this. If this thread is any indication of how people behave in Tacoma, remind me to never visit.

Back on topic, nice score re the $100 lift, and glad to see the framing start. You'll really feel like you're picking up steam now!
Old 14th June 2013
  #130
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Old 14th June 2013
  #131
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Hey Bam Bam....Tacoma is pretty ghetto in some parts but the logging actually happened at my house which is about 30 miles away from the studio. I live out on the boonies and this sort of thing happens when people are really broke. timber are like gold but stupid idiotic people can be found anywhere. You usually don't have to look too hard to find them no matter where you are.

Don't turn away from my thread just cuz other peoples actions are making you depressed!
Old 14th June 2013
  #132
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So here is a bit of explanation about what has been done up to this point..

We shot the walls with a laser to get a plumb line all the way around the building as you would expect. There were spots where the floor was high, but the ceiling was sagging, or bulging spot in the walls, low spots in the floor etc....So every stud has to be measured and cut individually. Normally when framing a free standing wall you can just determine what your wall height needs to be then cut all of the studs the same length. It was impossible to do that here so me and my framer measured every one individually, wrote on the wall what length was needed there and once we had all of the measurements we would roll thru the cutting in just a few minutes. The prep work has taken much more time than than the actual work on this. The ceiling line of our new walls looks fantastic. My framer is a bad ass!!
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Old 14th June 2013
  #133
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IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!!!

I just booked a flight to the other side of the country to go pick up our console!!!! It is big. It is heavy and I have looked all over the world for this desk. I am not going to say what it is or where it is right now because I don't want to jinx it. I will fly in and spend a couple of days going over the console with a service tech and the current owners and then load it into a truck and drive it back home! hehhehhehhehheh

SWEET!!!
Old 15th June 2013
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!!!

I just booked a flight to the other side of the country to go pick up our console!!!! It is big. It is heavy and I have looked all over the world for this desk. I am not going to say what it is or where it is right now because I don't want to jinx it. I will fly in and spend a couple of days going over the console with a service tech and the current owners and then load it into a truck and drive it back home! hehhehhehhehheh

SWEET!!!
Awesome, man. Stuff's coming together. Good luck with the desk.
Old 15th June 2013
  #135
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A bit more progress with the framing last night. We keep running into problems with the structure and having enough room to fit our new joists in on top of the walls due to a sagging ceiling, bowed and leaning concrete walls, water lines that are running over head etc. That stuff takes up so much time to sort out. Good thing my framer is a serious dude....

Now if I can just quit cutting the boards to short! He has been really patient with me and my less than stellar skill saw prowess. I told him yesterday that on one board I even cut it twice and it was still too short!
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Old 15th June 2013
  #136
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You can see the control room window in the middle, looking towards the two ISO booths, and the doorway/sound lock on the left, as well as the machine room doorway on the right. I wish we had about 2 more feet of width, we would have been able to do a couple of different angles, but some of the things that mess up the best of plans are things like the brick pillar on the left side that is covered in sheetrock that doesn't exist on the right hand side.
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Old 18th June 2013
  #137
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Today we got the side walls framed and the rear wall framed as well as placing some sort of insulation on the stinky wall to help deaden that space from noise from the street. This process seems simple but with the very uneven floor and ceilings, trying to get straight plumb walls has been time consuming because many times we have to build the walls a stick at a time, rather than just building the wall on the floor and then standing it up.
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Old 18th June 2013
  #138
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The stinky wall before and after....This little narrow room will allow for access to the back of the wall mounted patch bay as well as cable routing to the big rack and producers desk, as well as HVAC duct routing.
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Old 18th June 2013
  #139
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Just had a look through your thread mate. Awesome stuff! Just recently built my home studio with my dad in our old A frame shed that was a carport once upon a time! I'll post the build up on a new thread if you're interested. No where near as big a project as yours, but I sure did put up a few stud walls with uneven floors,ceilings and walls! Keep it going buddy, look forward to seeing the finished product! I'm based just down in Perth by the way

Chris Pearson
Slinky Sound Studios
Old 18th June 2013
  #140
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CH32, you should post your pics! Everyone learns a lot from everyone elses builds and gets a lot of ideas and twists on things. It is also fun to get the "knowitalls" all fired up when they tell you that you are doing something wrong

BTW - I am in Tacoma Washington, in the USA, not Washington Aus! We are a few thousand miles apart!
Old 18th June 2013
  #141
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Another pic or two....
First pic is looking from the main studio thru the control room window and to the back wall of the control room.

The second pic is just some of my rack gear that I'll be adding to the studio once it is all build. Currently this equipment is being used by my wife for doing all of the sequencing for her casino show band. She is a bit spoiled I would say!
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Old 19th June 2013
  #142
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My bad! For some reason I thought I saw Western Australia :/ must've been someone else on the thread. I think I may post the pics as well when I get the time! Certainly does help to have a bit of a description for each photo as well!
Old 21st June 2013
  #143
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Hey Motoxxx - Deron from MagicMixStudio in Renton here. You are kickin' my ass getting stuff done. Your place is going to be incredible based on the plan - huge! Can't wait to see your console.
Old 26th June 2013
  #144
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ALLLLL RIIIIIGHT!!!!!!!

Finally home from a long trip to the midwest and a long solo drive home with a rental truck.........

I got my console home....safe and sound and I am sooooo happy!!!!!!!!


The day before I left on this trip I loaded up my framer with a bunch of materials so that he could keep working while I was gone He certainly kicked some butt framing by himself and doing some other odds and eds that needed to be finished before the next phase can begin......


The story on the console is sort of a long one but the story is well worth the read for anyone that cares to read it. I'll post pics after the story so people will understand better why I chose this particular desk....READ ON!!!!!
Old 26th June 2013
  #145
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MY CHOICE OF MIXER FOR MY STUDIO......

OK, for anyone that doesn't know, my background is mostly in live sound and touring stuff even though I have owned a couple of studios and even had one burn down a while back. For this studio I had some different criteria than what most people would to try and combine a bunch of things all into one desk. The criteria is as follows:

1. Frame size: It had to be a large format analog console - I love analog desks, the way they look as much as the way they sound.

2. Heritage: It had to be a very nice high quality console with a great pedigree. If I am spending money on building this space, my desk had better make me happy!

3. Price: It had to be priced well so I could get as much bang for my buck as possible. I know this sort of goes without saying but since I am paying cash for everything on this build as I go, the value really had to be there!

4. Features: It had to have all of the features of a studio console, plus some great features from some of the better live consoles since the building will also be used for rehearsals.

5. It had to be tough. I hate things that don't work or work when they want to. A large format console can be a money pit!

6. It really had to have the "WOW!!!" factor when clients see it for the first time. I remember that first look into so many control rooms. It can be a very powerful selling point!

7. On Board Dynamics: It would be great if the desk could have some on board dynamics that could be used during rehearsals so I didn't have to use the Chandlers, Distressors or the the API.

8. Automation is not necessary as most automation moves can be done ITB. BUT the ability to save some settings would make life easier....

9. It had to be in fantastic cosmetic shape. I hate junky looking stuff. It is not hard to take good care of stuff and I just don't want to be staring at a crappy looking hammered on desk for the next 10 years.

10. It had to make my wife happy! If she likes it my life is easier! Being able to pay cash for everything as we go is a huge plus. My wife and I hate debt so keeping the costs down and not using any credit to buy something that depreciates is a good thing!


OK...So that is pretty much the criteria......

Here is how I ended up with this desk....

As I kept researching consoles I kept on noticing that the large format desks were coming down more and more in price. Especially the live sound desks! Live sound companies are finally getting comfortable with going digital all the way and are getting rid of their very large consoles to save on space, trucking costs, and man power to move them as well as the maintenance they require. So this meant there were a ton of great deals out there.

I had considered a used Midas XL3, XL200, XL250, Soundcraft Series 5, Crest Audio VX, and just about every other live desk that I ever had a great experience mixing on...But nothing really grabbed me as "MY CONSOLE"

So I started looking for used Otari desks, Harrisons, AMEK Motzarts, Einsteins, Rembrandts etc. Soundcraft DC200 etc etc etc...After listening to a lot of recordings I decided what I really wanted was an Amek console but after talking with several AMEK experts I learned that the Motzarts et al were all getting pretty long in the tooth and could become big money pits.

AMEK built some amazing sound studio boards but.....................................................................................................................

One thing that most studio guys DON'T know is that AMEK used to make a couple of live sound consoles: The 501 by Langley, and the Recall.

After doing a bunch of research I decided that the Recall was exactly what I was looking for!

"WOW!" factor?

Dynamics?

Awesome pedigree?

Able to store and recall settings?

Bang for the buck?


OK, so that meets a lot of the criteria. Now.....

After deciding which console to look for, I learned that there were some channel options for the Amek Recall.

1. They were available only it two frame sizes: 40 channel and 56 channel.
2. Amek has been out of business for a while now so finding one that has not been toured a lot may be tough...I may want to consider a console that was used in an installation if I can find one.
3. There were two power supply options available - the 400 series which is your basic power supply, and the MPS15 which was a significant upgrade.
4. Two mono channel options were available the Langley standard module........and one designed by none other than Mr. Rupert Neve!!!!

SOOOOOOO...........This got me to thinking...Could I find a 56 channel Recall loaded with all Neve modules?????

So I started looking all over.....Soundbroker.com, Solaris Network, Ebay Craigslist, Analog Consoles forum, Gear Slutz, Ebay UK, Ebay EU.....anywhere I could search, I was searching.

About 6 months ago I got in contact with Dave Rochester from TechAud.com as he used to work for Amek and as it turns out, he he drives all over the country doing repairs and service work on Amek consoles as well as many other large format desks. He also does a lot of studio design work. He actually designed Michael Wagoners studio, Wire World.

I told Dave what I was looking for and we talked about a lot of different things and generally hit it off pretty well. I asked him to keep his eyes and ears open as he travels the country doing repairs on various Amek consoles.

About a month after our initial conversation, Dave sends me an email stating that he may have found what I was looking for and that it was in a church, they were the original owners and it had never been moved or toured....it was a 56 channel Amek Recall loaded with 56 channels....... ALL RUPERT NEVE MODULES!!!!

OK...Dave you now have my undivided attention!!!!!!

He said they needed some basic service work on it. He didn't know if they wanted to sell it at all and he was not scheduled to be in the area for a few months....Bummer......

So every week or so I would send Dave an email asking if he had heard anything new about the Recall sitting in a church and for what seemed like forever he kept with the same reply...."No. Nothing yet"......So I would pry...."Do they want to sell it?"...Dave would usually then reply with something like "I don't know", or "I have no idea", or "I may not find out until I go there to do the servicing on it"...I know that Dave is very busy and travels a lot so sometimes getting a lot of info, emails and phone calls etc can be a bit difficult. But at least he found what I was looking for. Just not sure on the status of it.

During this time I actually found several other Recalls. One in the Czech Republic, one in Hungary, a couple in New York, one in LA, and two more in Nevada...I even found on here in Washington State that had 8 of the Neve modules that was on Soundbroker.com. However, in true Soundbroker fashion that console had been sold 3 years ago and they just never updated their website....so they got a nasty email from me as it just made me feel better and then magically they removed it from their site and updated the rest of their site...

Most of the Amek Recalls I found were either all Langley modules or had one or two of the Neve modules. I would certainly be good with the Langley modules, but having a few of the Neve modules would really brighten my day!

So if Dave really had found exactly what I was looking for in the US, I was all over it. I asked him if he could have the church send me some pics....It took a week or so and they finally showed up in my email.......WOW!!!!

I sent a reply asking if they were selling it and what their asking price was. Dave got back to me a few days later saying the church was interested in selling it and gave me their asking price range. I made sort of a counter offer and a price was agreed to.



Next we had to work out transporting the desk from its original home in Oklahoma, with no flight case to Washington State.

I made the recommendation to have me and Dave meet at the church and spend a few days going over the console. I would fly into Oklahoma, work with Dave on the desk and learn as much as I can about it, then put it in a rental truck and drive it home. And that is exactly what I did.

The drive home was also quite an adventure by myself with not much sleep, tornadoes, and a GPS that seemed to want to work only when it felt like it.....

Pics of the console and the trip will be posted below......


A HUUUUUUGE THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Dave Rochester!!!! Dave is THE MAN!!!!!! While we were at the church they asked if he would look at their Euphonics console too and Dave is such a bad ass that he was able to trouble shoot many of their issues right on the spot. If anyone reading this needs a FIRST CLASS tech and FIRST CLASS guy, give Dave a call. His website is http://www.techaud.com/


Old 26th June 2013
  #146
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When I got to the church and found the correct door to go though, here is what I saw. I am not sure if this was presentation just for me or if it was just convenient but it was pretty dramatic for me anyway..

First, I saw these doors:
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Old 26th June 2013
  #147
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Then as the doors were opened, I realized that this was in a chapel inside of the church....a bit appropriate I would say since this is sort of like a marriage!
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Old 26th June 2013
  #148
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This was my very first view of the console....All I could say was "Hello Beautiful".....I was blown away at the physical condition of this console. The blue thing sitting on the arm rest is the Tech Manual full of the factory schematics.


This mixer is about 11-13 years old and doesn't even have dust on it!
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Old 26th June 2013
  #149
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Last edited by Motoxxx; 26th June 2013 at 06:17 AM.. Reason: duplicate post
Old 26th June 2013
  #150
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So a brief overview of what this board actually has may be in order so that people can understand why I looked so long and hard for it.

1. 56 channels of Rupert Neve Designed mic pres, and Eq. Doesn't get any better than that!

2. The ability to recall all setting on the console. You have to manually reset each knob but the computer takes a snapshot of the entire desk and you save each shapshot as a scene. When you go to recall the previous setting, you can hear Rupert Neves voice over the headphones that tells you where to reset each knob to that has been changed. Very cool!

3. On board dynamics on every channel. Every channel has its own DBX 160a style compressor and a gate that is controlled by the computer.

4. Excellent metering!

5. Heavy duty power supplies (2 of them!). Dave Rochester told me that these supplies sold for $3900 each when new...

6. The church I purchased this from was the original owners. Since it is a live console, they are usually built a bit tougher than the studio desks because they get bounced around in trucks and flight cases and moved all over the world in all sorts of weather conditions. Since this console has only been moved a total of 3 times, it is in fantastic condtion!

7. Since I met Dave at the church, he not only did the servicing and repairs on the the issues that they were aware of, and the ones we found, he also recapped the entire master section so that is all good to go!

8. 12 Aux sends with the options of using auxs 11 and 12 as an addition channel input with level control and pan.

9. Solo functions such as Solo In Place, Latching, Next, Clear All

10. Direct channel outputs

11. Separate Mix A and B outputs

12....I could go on and on but the biggest thing is just the over all value and how freaking cool it is!!!!
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Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-img_0544.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-img_0548.jpg  
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