The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Ideal Control Room....
Old 16th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
ianbryn11's Avatar
 

Ideal Control Room....

This may seem like a strange question... But, what characteristics do you feel are most important in creating an efficient and functional control room?
Old 16th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Sk106's Avatar
 

I recorded once at a place where the engineer was sitting in sort of a screened off area at one end of the control room, with the console and all tech gear there, and the console butt end facing out to the room. He had sort of his corner, where nobody naturally gravitated towards. You had to go in behind the console into his chair where you could barely fit 2 people. Nobody was interested in sitting in there. A bit away from the back end of the console, the room had a 5 foot high big window looking into the recording room, and facing the window was the (huge) couch and table, and leisure conveniences - a TV, phone and stuff.

I loved it. It completely took all the gear- and tech thinking out of things and all people - except the engineer - automatically listened with their ears, to the music, expressions, notes, and not the sound of edits or tweaking (which is the engineer's domain and responsibility anyway). The tech stuff happened "over there" *waves towards the engineer lair* and everybody in the room were focusing on the music. We sat in that big couch, looking at what happened in the recording room, and listening to the sound (during mixing) directing and offering opinions. Nobody ever got bored, everybody felt actively involved in the 22 hour session (2 days). Not seeing parameters, lights, knobs, console .. just made you focus on what it sounded like and not what things looked like. You connected to what you heard, not to what you saw. You didn't even see the engineer or his lair, because he was .. like eight o'clock behind you.

IF I had my way, I would do it like that .. but customers tends to judge things by however it looks and works like whatever they expect to see - whether that is better or not: Themselves in the back crowded in a couple of softchairs or smaller sofa (never enough space for all to sit at the same time) not seeing anything but the backs of the engineering guys and their own reflections in the narrow control room window, just sitting there like passengers, not mentioning too much because you feel like a backseat driver if you do .. hoping their work turns out well, by the guys sitting in the cockpit, which is the center of the room with all the gear put at the center of attention.

His place was not his livelyhood, but practically it really works wonders ... at least for my way of seeing things, and the engineer said he designed that room to prevent/bring out just that which we all felt about it. Also the engineer could cram all his stuff in around him, with everything in very comfortable reach.

I loved that style.
Old 16th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 View Post
I recorded once at a place where the engineer was sitting in sort of a screened off area at one end of the control room, with the console and all tech gear there, and the console butt end facing out to the room. He had sort of his corner, where nobody naturally gravitated towards. The room had a 5 foot high big window looking into the recording room, and facing the window was the (huge) couch and table, and leisure conveniences - a TV, phone and stuff.

I loved it. It completely took all the gear- and tech thinking out of things and all people - except the engineer - automatically listened with their ears, to the music, expressions, notes, and not the sound of things (which is the engineer's domain and responsibility anyway). The tech stuff happened "over there" *waves towards the engineer lair* and everybody in the room were focusing on the music. We sat in that big couch, at the window and the mood was just great. Not seeing parameters, lights, knobs, console .. just made you focus on what it sounded like and not what things looked like. You didn't even see the engineer or his lair, because he was .. like eight o'clock behind you.

IF I had my way, I would do it like that .. but customers tends to judge things by however it looks and works like whatever they expect to see - whether that is better or not: Them in the back, crowded in a couple of softchairs or smaller sofa (never enough space for all to sit at the same time) not seeing anything but the backs of the engineering guys and their own reflections in the narrow control room window, just sitting there like passengers, not mentioning too much because you feel like a backseat driver if you do .. hoping their work turns out well, by the guys sitting in the cockpit, which is the center of the room with all the gear put at the center of attention.

So I'm not sure my idea would work commercially .. not right away ... but practically it really works wonders ... at least for my way of seeing things, and the engineer said he designed that room to bring out what I felt about it. Also the engineer could cram all his stuff in around him, with everything in very comfortable reach.

I loved that style.
Sounds like a cool idea, the only thing im wondering is how does the engineer hear the stereo image from the back corner of the room? Does he have his own monitors back there? How does that work when the band is listening to the mains?
Old 16th November 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Sk106's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
Sounds like a cool idea, the only thing im wondering is how does the engineer hear the stereo image from the back corner of the room? Does he have his own monitors back there? How does that work when the band is listening to the mains?
Yeah, that's the workaround that one would have to pay attention to.

The way he had it, was to have 2 sets of mains. He had one pair (along with alternative speakers) on top of the console facing him in a traditional way, and another pair of mains (same model as his) was placed on floor stands, on each side of the control room window, right in front of the couch, targeting the couch head on.

During recording, he used his mains and we heard quite well from over there, since he listened pretty loud. Not well enough for engineering purposes, but nobody with engineering mindset would be sitting in the sofa anyway. Not seeing parameters and stuff makes you not listen to the sound too much. If there was a question, or anyone wanted to listen close, he flipped a switch and played it back from the 2nd mains right in front of us. This flipswitch also muted his listening back there, so there was no wierd stereo interference from his corner. He also had 2 pairs of K240s laying on the table where anyone who wanted could put them on and hear the main outs at any time. Those were always on.

I guess the room treatment couldn't be perfect with those conditions, but it seemed to work well. He had his corner padded up pretty good and the natural furnishing of the room dampened quite well when we heard it from the mains in front of the couch. It was a plush sofa, we were practically sitting on the mufflers.

Being a gearnerd forum, I feel like I'm about to get butt-flamed, for bringing up a "taking the gear/tech focus out" control room :P
Anyway, pretty "odd" but cool idea in my opinion.
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump