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BIG Cabling/Routing and Window Questions??
Old 24th May 2006
  #1
BIG Cabling/Routing and Window Questions??

Hi all, sorry this is so long---

---Packs a lot of confusing swirling in my head into one thread. Thanks so much to anyone willing to read it and comment, condense, focus, or otherwise respond to my ideas and questions.

I'm in the middle of re-arranging and upgrading. The room is 21' x 15' x 16' multi-angled-arched ceilings, natural wood floors [new!], the usual bass trapping, diffusion, etc. I am still in the midst of all the nasty carpentry work (pics to come).

The mix station is in the same room as the live room. There is an ajoining room (20'x12'x'16'arched-angled-downsloping ceilings---that room is currently my sole living room, until we can convert the garage into a family room. We can't afford to make it the mix room YET, but we will next year. The window for the "Glass" between the rooms is already cut, but will be filled with diffusion for now.

There is a slant-ceiling iso-booth just off the live room, roughtly 12'x6'x8'sloping down ceiling. We will have rolling 703 GOBOS all over, as well as various diffusion panels at points of first reflection, etc. etc.

SO, I am stuck for a year with my mix station at the far end of my live room. The new floor, traps, gobos, diffusion, is slowly making the room sound like a gem. Just a light, airy tail of reverb, maybe 2-5 seconds, swirling, natural, not harsh or sharp. It sings just beautifully, and does amazing things to ac gtr and mandolin. I can't wait to get fiddle and accordion in here!. Drums---whoa...that will be a novel experience in this room...may have to surround it with the 6' roller gobos, and move em till we get a nice combo of sounds. thumbsup

The HVAC is whisper quiet, and outside noise is minimal. We do have two large arched windows out to the trees and the sunlight and sky---Oh GOD, I want to keep them! I want to avoid the whole "dark deep dank" studio vibe if at all possible. I am looking into double, or even triple paning my windows, air inbetween, vibration absortion rubber side-slides on the inner panes, and naturally angled to diffuse direct hits. EXPENSIVE proposition---add in the double full core acoustic doors to the rest of the complex, offices upstairs, lounge and kitchn jutting out the side of the future mix room (TV room), and the wallet goes wild---and so far, not a single NOTE played. The DownTime is killing us. I may end up turing the large bay windows into Super Chunks broad range absorbers, just filling them in with rock wool, but then---boom boom, out go the lights (daylight that is). What to do??

Anyway, bla bla, those can all be handled, just work harder, faster, more hours---I dunno about Steve P., but I am getting very tired of buildout, and make more stupid mistakes when I get so exhausted.

Now things start to quiet down. The sonics are sweet, damn near perfect for the homey feel and natual reverb we want.thumbsup

BUT--IN the middle of all this sits two computers. 1 Dedicated DAW (Sonar), 1 dedicated computer for GIGA 3x. I have tried using quieter fans and such, and could do much more---I know I can get them down to almost whisper quiet. The overall cost of such ends up being about $300 plus. The hassle involved is immense, and there is some demon that always pops up when you re-rack your computer and start in with all the silencing techniques---because eventually something is not gonna work with somthing else, then a 2 week nightmare of drivers and updates, and outdated this or that....that hassle begins. In the end, you find you have bought another $1000 in computer ****, on top of the $300 for silencing fans, HDD dampners, case absorbtion matting, etc.

In short, seems like:

Option 1 - keeping the comps in the room = worst option.

Fine, Option 2 - Put the comps in the Iso-Room---->BAD not only does it ruin the whole meaning of iso, but the room is too small and will heat up like the fires of hell once both comps are cookin in a flaming Texas July. I figgure the comps would overhear in a matter of hours.

Option 3 - Put the comps in the upstairs office. Sounds dandy. Just one thing, there is a 30+ foot wire run from there to the mix station, THROUGH the walls (assuming I want to keep things looking neat and tidy, which I do).

OK, so I say, lets go for moving the computers upstairs, and cable down through the walls and into the live room. That means 30-50' of cable runs (10-20m).

I have to run Digital-D Video monitor cable (damn lucky they just make a good 30' cable for it), run the antennae lines at least outside the wall in line of sight to the workstation, so the Wireless Keyboard and Mouse will work,,,and finally, run a snake from the mix station, across the floor, up the corner of the wall, and into a hole in the wall above the stairs, and into the upstairs office closet. It will likely be a 32x8x150 snake on a reel. I figured I would then cover all the cables running along the wall with that white plastic "Hide-a-Cable" crap they sell for computer networks at Cubicle Land businesses.

The gear:
1 DAW (Sonar) with RME AES32 Card for AES input.
1 Lynx Aurora 8 to the AES i/o RME card in the DAW
1 Computer with GIGA 3.x
1 88 weighted key master MIDI controller and various rack sound modules and
other samples besides GIGA.
1 Midas Venice 320 doing tracking input and monitoring, and occassional stems on
mixdown when we want to get out of the box.
1 Masterlink to be fed digital output from the RME for ITB mixes or from the digital outputs of a dedicated monitor DA, such as the Lavry Black (which would otherwise be doing only monitor work, unless the Lynx can handle that too??).
1 150' snake, 32 send, 8 return (XLR/TRS), otherwise all XLR.

The distance from the mix position to the upstairs office closet, through the wall, is roughly 30', with room to spare. In naturally involves drilling several significant holes in my walls, and gods know where the plumbing and wiring is in the house---if I hit it, Im toast.

Seems like I would end up with a 2 inch fat snake made up of the XLR snake, at least 2 MIDI Cables (will they go 30 feet ok?), a digital computer monitor cable, and a couple 8 foot antenae cables that will just be mounted on the wall above the mix location, close enough for the wireless keyboard and mouse to work well.

My questions:

A) Must I have something like the Lavry Black to run monitors seperately off the master buss, or will the Lynx Aurora run Full Duplex, meaning all 8 analog channels running both in and out simultaniously, and permitting me whatever monitor mix I may need to do on the board, or in combo with the digital mixer inside the RME?

B) Do the 8 digital i/0 on the Lynx also run simultaniously, in both directions, all on?

C) Even though I won't be using even half the snake, will that 150' run degrade my audio if I put the converters upstairs with the computers, and run audio through the snake? OR, should I use the snake to send the AES/EBU signal post conversion, since this seems to travel better (Lynx site says up to 500 feet, due to their transformer). Either way I am gonna have my preamps within just a couple feet of the mics, and before they hit that long 150' snake run upstairs. So, do I run the audio that long, or punt and run the digital that long? In short, do Converters go upstairs with the computers, or downstairs with the preamps/mixer/outboard/etc.??

D) Lynx advertizment says something about "Zero Latency" monitoring, which I can see in a unit that has the inputs, monitor amps, and preamps all in one unit, like the Apogee Ensemble. But how does Lynx offer zero latency monitoring with all these signals going all over creation?

I'm in a quandry about sorting all this out in the most efficient manner for the most reasonable cost, and maintaining the best sonic intergrity.

Any thoughts, solutions, comissary stories are welcome.


Thanks,

KT
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