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Studio planning: how many inputs are too many inputs?
Old 14th July 2007
  #1
Studio planning: how many inputs are too many inputs?

I've been running back and forth between the elegance of the minimal and the allure of overkill. I'd like to see what you folks think about my wiring scenarios. There are two "large scale" scenarios I'm concerned about: 16-piece jazz combo (think Pink Martini with guests) and a 35-piece chamber orchestra (with multiple solo instruments). I believe that other recording scenarios (rock band, gospel choir, 8-part a capella singers, etc) will all fit easily within the complexity of those two defined scenarios.

The "minimal" scenario is 24 recording inputs total, with inputs distributed as follows:

Live room (1350 sq ft): Channels 1-24 (same 24 inputs avail at either end of room)
Booth A (288 sq ft): Channels 1-16 (overlapping live room 1-16)
Booth B (200 sq ft): Channels 17-24 (overlapping live room 17-24)
ISO 1 (133 sq ft): Channels 1-8 (overlapping live room 1-8)
ISO 2 (133 sq ft): Channels 9-16 (overlapping live room 9-16)
Control Room (475 sq ft): Channels 1a-24a

In this scenario there will be a small patch bay providing Live room inputs normalled to the recording inputs and the control room inputs available via patchbay to be inserted where appropriate. There will of course be other patch points (efx, aux, alt preamps), but let's ignore those for this question.

The "overkill" scenario is 48 recording inputs total, with all inputs coming to a patchbay in the control room. The patchbay is normalled so that the Live room inputs flow to the recording inputs, but unlike the "minimal" scenario, the booth inputs are not tied to the live room so they can be managed separately.

Live Room: Channels 1-24 at one end, Channels 25-48 at other end
Booth A: Channels 1a-24a
Booth B: Channels 1b-16b
ISO 1: Channels 1c-8c
ISO 2: Channels 1d-8d
Control Room: Channels 1e-24e

Would you rather walk into a studio that enforced 24-channel simplicity, one that offered full 48-channel flexibility (but where you'd need to manually patch every time you needed a booth), or some combination/compromise between the two, such as this:

Live Room: Channels 1-24 at one end, Channels 1a-24a at other end (patch to 1-24 or 25-48)
Booth A: Channels 25-40
Booth B: Channels 41-48
ISO 1: Channels 1b-8b
ISO 2: Channels 1c-8c
Control Room: Channels 1d-24d

I guess the question comes down to: how often (if ever) have you used more than 24 inputs for a single room?
Old 14th July 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
We have 48 because I did the wiring, using two 24+4 stage boxes with multicore and just cut it off to length. 24 was not enough, so I used two to create a single 48+8 wall-box.

But - and this is where I kept it simple - I fed a 16+4 multicore from the drum room to the stage box (and not to the patchbay).
Old 14th July 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I recommend also putting in midi, video, and ethernet..
Old 14th July 2007
  #4
Absolutely will have ethernet, SAN, video, AES/EBU, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYMAX View Post
I recommend also putting in midi, video, and ethernet..
Sure. I just wanted to focus the discussion on analog audio.
Old 14th July 2007
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
We have 48 because I did the wiring, using two 24+4 stage boxes with multicore and just cut it off to length. 24 was not enough, so I used two to create a single 48+8 wall-box.

But - and this is where I kept it simple - I fed a 16+4 multicore from the drum room to the stage box (and not to the patchbay).
Thanks! I'm leaning toward doing the same.
Old 14th July 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYMAX View Post
I recommend also putting in midi, video, and ethernet..
..and facilities for guitar lines and speaker lines...doing guitar in the control room can be a beautiful thing....

to me the whole overlap thing between the iso booths is a problem waiting to happen. The best bet is that each room/booth/iso have their own dedicated mic lines going to a central patchbay in the control room.

Just using the studio I work at as an example (lets see if I remember correctly):

Live room = 1- 48 (broken up into 4 stations)
Iso 1 = 49-60
Iso 2 = 61-68
Iso 3 = 69-72
Soundlock= 73-76
Hallway = 77-80
Control room=81-96

..and I think we have room to expand
Old 14th July 2007
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwy View Post
Just using the studio I work at as an example (lets see if I remember correctly):
Which studio would that be?
Old 14th July 2007
  #8
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
I ran a total of 44 mic/tie lines to the Patch Bay that are normaled to the console Mic inputs it i want any of them to be line level i just patch in and it breake the normal to the mic in

They show up in 2 panels in the live room and one in the booth
i say run as many as you can


The way i delt with the booth, is i doubled the last 16 and they show up in the live room as well as the drum room
(this works fine for me as im pretty much the only AE that works here)


As for the control room i thing one or two might be enough



Old 16th July 2007
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
Which studio would that be?
Studio 561 in Boca Raton
Old 16th July 2007
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I would have AT LEAST 32 in the main room because I suspect really fast live tracking is going to become increasingly important.

One of the biggest advantages of a digital system is the ability to record lots of different microphones and microphone positions seperately and then sort out which works best at mix time.
Old 17th July 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
rainsinvelvet's Avatar
At the studio I work out of we have 24 inputs for the main live room, 6 inputs in booth A and another 8 in the larger iso room/ booth.

The first 24 show up in the patch bay normalled to the consoles inputs. The other ones show up at the bay and need to be patched where ever they may need to go.

I know personally I wouldn't like having doubled up inputs in different rooms, but that is just me.

I run as many different lines as you can and have it all come up on the bay.

Just my thoughts.

ERic
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