Old 10-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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Default Studio renovations and new mixing console

My studio is currently undergoing renovations and is quite a mess at present!! There's stuff everywhere!
I'm building a new false ceiling at the rear of the studio which will be angled to help reduce flutter echoes but maintain some sort of usable presence. I'll also be building 12 volt MR16 LED lighting into this ceiling which will have a DC backup supply for use during power outages.
My keyboard rig will be positioned under the new ceiling and is also undergoing some renovations. I'm adding some digitally controlled arpeggiators (running in REAPER of course) and re-patching everything so the new arpeggiators can work with my analog synths and analog sequencers for real time improvised performance and recording. Fun stuff!!

My aim is to inspire new creativity and get into writing and recording some new albums Jean Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream style.

I also recently added a new (80's model actually) Yamaha mixing console. This one has some nice EQ and good preamps. It also has a particularly good headphone amp and decent analog VU meters which I find invaluable.

Here's a couple of pics....



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Old 10-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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I like the dust ...makes me feel much better!
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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Don't forget that the angled suspended ceiling won't exist to lower frequencies, they'll pass straight through it...



>
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:53 PM   #4
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Yep, you'll need bass traps.

That Yamaha reminds me the days when I started. I worked a lot on its bigger brothers. That view springs my memories.

Those were decent consoles, but even that early I was already a Soundcraft guy... Still today.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by hopi View Post
I like the dust ...makes me feel much better!
Yeah, whenever I would take pictures of my old console I would be surprised at how muck more dust seemed to show up in the pics.


Cool board David
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopi View Post
I like the dust ...makes me feel much better!
Wait a minute man... That ain't dust. It is analog dithering!!!
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Originally Posted by planetnine View Post
Don't forget that the angled suspended ceiling won't exist to lower frequencies, they'll pass straight through it...
Indeed. However, my studio is already pretty good in the low frequency department. Even the flutter echo is barely noticeable at the mix position but I am a perfectionist when it comes to such things. I actually didn't initially intend to make this project an acoustic treatment. It was intended as a purely cosmetic upgrade but when I spotted the opportunity to make some acoustic improvements, I figured it was worth taking advantage of.
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Yep, you'll need bass traps.
Got that sorted Snap. I treated the room when I first moved in here and have effective bass traps already in position. In fact, the whole room is actually pretty good for both recording and mixing.
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Originally Posted by Snap View Post
That Yamaha reminds me the days when I started. I worked a lot on its bigger brothers. That view springs my memories.

Those were decent consoles, but even that early I was already a Soundcraft guy... Still today.
Same here as far as the bigger versions go. The Yammy PM3000 and PM4000 were awesome desks (still are actually) and were a pleasure to mix on live.
I have a bit of a soft spot for Soundcraft EQ too.
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Originally Posted by Troy View Post
Yeah, whenever I would take pictures of my old console I would be surprised at how muck more dust seemed to show up in the pics.


Cool board David
Yeah. The dust looks MUCH worse in photo's than in actually is. The second photo here was a HDR shot too which actually exaggerates the dust.
Nonetheless, I really need to give all my gear a good dusting and I will be doing so once the studio is back up and running again.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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One thing I forgot to mention in my original post is that the Yamaha console cost me a grand total of nothing. It has never been toured and spent it's entire existence in a theater as FOH mixer which is why, aside from some dust, it is in such good condition.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannii View Post
One thing I forgot to mention in my original post is that the Yamaha console cost me a grand total of nothing. It has never been toured and spent it's entire existence in a theater as FOH mixer which is why, aside from some dust, it is in such good condition.

Ooh, useful. I love "gizzits" like that


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Old 10-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #9
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Ooh, useful. I love "gizzits" like that


>
Absolutely!
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #10
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I hope it was all 'above board'
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:17 PM   #11
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Be careful with that dust - it's dust that holds the world together!

With electronics , the dust helps to keep the all-important smoke inside the components. Without the smoke, nothing works. I've seen this happen - I was working on a circuit board when I accidentally shorted two legs of a transistor......poof.....the smoke got out.....it never worked again.

If I hadn't cleaned off the protective dust, it might still be working.


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Old 10-12-2013, 06:30 PM   #12
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Hey Dannii.

Very cool music you did for Run!

Awesome. What synths and hardware/ sequencers do you use?

Cheers. Nate.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:17 AM   #13
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I hope it was all 'above board'
lol
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RoboPlankton View Post
Be careful with that dust - it's dust that holds the world together!

With electronics , the dust helps to keep the all-important smoke inside the components. Without the smoke, nothing works. I've seen this happen - I was working on a circuit board when I accidentally shorted two legs of a transistor......poof.....the smoke got out.....it never worked again.

If I hadn't cleaned off the protective dust, it might still be working.


Yep.
One of the things I was taught while studying for my electronics qualifications was the importance of that smoke!! In fact, the circles around transistors and other semiconductors in schematic diagrams are a symbolic representation of the protective smoke shield they contain.
In the following two examples, the transistors on the left and in the middle would work just fine because they still contain their smoke. The one on the right though would not work because the shield has been removed (probably due to an over-current state splitting the case of the transistor) and all the smoke has escaped!

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Old 10-13-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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Hey Dannii.

Very cool music you did for Run!
That's cool that you found 'Run!' amidst all my YouTube videos!! That was definitely one of Carter Conlon's more compelling sermons. I believe he has gone somewhat off the rails since the passing of David Wilkerson though.
The track I used for that video is called 'Lightyears' and is one I wrote a few years ago. I might upload it to my server and make it available for download soon. I've been contemplating putting together a collection of my instrumental music for download.

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Awesome. What synths and hardware/ sequencers do you use?

Cheers. Nate.
My current keyboard rig consists mainly of the following:
Roland:
System 100 analog synth & sequencer
System 700 analog sequencer
SH-09 analog synth
Juno 106 analog synth
Juno 6 analog synth
JX-3P analog synth with PG200 programmer.

Yamaha:
DX7 Mk1 FM synth
SY77 AWM & AFM synth
TX802 FM rack synth
KX8 weighted 88 note midi controller
NP31 digital piano.

Hammond organ & Leslie cabinet.

Frostwave Quad midi-CV converter.
Lexicon PCM41 delay.
TC Electronic D-Two delay.
Zoom 9150 Valve DSP Tube preamp.

I also use a number of VSTi's including:
Night Flight string synthesizer with Arts Acoustic Big Rock phaser (great for Eminent 310u sounds - Think Jean Michel Jarre, Oxygene and Equinoxe)
GSI VB3 Hammond organ VSTi
GSI MrTramp (1&2) nice free Wurlitzer piano VSTi
Native Instruments Komplete 8
Various VST arpeggiators.

Here's a photo of part of my keyboard rig just before pulling it apart for the renovations (the KX8 and NP31 are not shown here)....


Last edited by ReaDave; 10-13-2013 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dannii View Post
Yep.
One of the things I was taught while studying for my electronics qualifications was the importance of that smoke!! In fact, the circles around transistors and other semiconductors in schematic diagrams are a symbolic representation of the protective smoke shield they contain.
In the following two examples, the transistors on the left and in the middle would work just fine because they still contain their smoke. The one on the right though would not work because the shield has been removed (probably due to an over-current state splitting the case of the transistor) and all the smoke has escaped!


Funny.

I'm an electrical contractor and I have an electronics lab in my basement. I do commercial/ industrial work and sometimes I get late night calls from a sandblasting and beam painting company that I do work for and when they call late I know its trouble. Anyway, the first questions I ask are: do you have power, and did you let the smoke out? I have a smoke injector in my van but I've never got it to work right.

Funny, I'm releasing an album labeled Transistor. Almost done with it. Basically analog based instrumental album. Kind of like John Carpenter meets Vangelis in style and sound genre I guess I would say. The sad part is it's all done with vsti's but I one day will own some hardware synths like yourself. Not that many though, my wife would kill me. Lol

Great gear you have and awesome tunes!

I'll be the first in line if you put out an instrumental album. Do you have a link to all your tunes?

Thanks.

Last edited by Doc Brown; 10-13-2013 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Left something out.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by hopi View Post
I like the dust ...makes me feel much better!
I know. That was the first thing I though, too!

Danni, can I buy you a "duster", and send it to you?

Lovely studio pics, by the way.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:26 AM   #18
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Funny.

I'm an electrical contractor and I have an electronics lab in my basement. I do commercial/ industrial work and sometimes I get late night calls from a sandblasting and beam painting company that I do work for and when they call late I know its trouble. Anyway, the first questions I ask are: do you have power, and did you let the smoke out? I have a smoke injector in my van but I've never got it to work right.
That made me lol
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Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
Funny, I'm releasing an album labeled Transistor. Almost done with it. Basically analog based instrumental album. Kind of like John Carpenter meets Vangelis in style and sound genre I guess I would say. The sad part is it's all done with vsti's but I one day will own some hardware synths like yourself. Not that many though, my wife would kill me. Lol
Let me know when your album is done. I'd love to check it out.
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Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
Great gear you have and awesome tunes!

I'll be the first in line if you put out an instrumental album. Do you have a link to all your tunes?

Thanks.
Most of my recent work (including some instrumental stuff) is available free from my band website which is www.ausdisciplesband.com
There's some links there to other sites where I have more tunes too.
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I know. That was the first thing I though, too!

Danni, can I buy you a "duster", and send it to you?

Lovely studio pics, by the way.
Cheers DM.
Perhaps you can email me that duster!
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:50 PM   #19
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I taught Electronic & Communications for 30+ years & I used to often teach about the smoke. With a straight face. Trouble was, some of the newcomers to our country didn't understand our sense of humour too well. It's not quite so funny trying to explain the joke to someone who still doesn't get it.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:23 PM   #20
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I feel like a newbie! I made a 'crystal radio' when I was ten, but after that very little else that worked. NOBODY EVER TOLD ME ABUT THE SMOKE!!
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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This reminds me of Kirchoff's third law....







! Where a circuit smokes, the current is the highest
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:59 AM   #22
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I taught Electronic & Communications for 30+ years & I used to often teach about the smoke. With a straight face. Trouble was, some of the newcomers to our country didn't understand our sense of humour too well. It's not quite so funny trying to explain the joke to someone who still doesn't get it.
I can just picture that Alan! "Why you no crapping? You no crap at my joke?"
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I feel like a newbie! I made a 'crystal radio' when I was ten, but after that very little else that worked. NOBODY EVER TOLD ME ABUT THE SMOKE!!
Crystal sets have very little smoke (Germanium diodes apparently don't need as much smoke which is why they only have a forward voltage drop of around 0.2v). That's probably why smoke theory isn't often included in their design and construction.
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This reminds me of Kirchoff's third law....







! Where a circuit smokes, the current is the highest
Time to fire up the spectroscope!
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:18 PM   #23
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"Why you no crapping? You no crap at my joke?"
Many years ago I had a situation where some Japanese executives from Toshiba (if I remember correctly) were trying to market their amplifiers in Australia coupled with some Aussie made speakers. Demoing at fairly moderate levels there was obvious clipping occurring. They were in denial, blaming the speakers & saying "Japanese amprifiers do not crip".

I didn't say a word; got a CRO & connected it to the amp's output. Flat tops for all to see... Probably wasn't the most diplomatic thing I've ever done...
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:43 AM   #24
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Lol Alan Wish I was there to see the looks on their faces when presented with the clipped waveforms!
Sounds like they were using your voice coils as heating elements!!
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:04 AM   #25
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Ah... their expressions were inscrutable - they looked like they had just been scruted!!!
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:07 AM   #26
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lol again!!

"You no rike my osciroscope dispray?"


Disclaimer, I am not racist! I am equally at home making fun of Aussies and myself too at times.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:57 PM   #27
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Renovations are almost done. I'm putting the keyboard rig back together at the moment and adding the enhancements. I'll have some pics to post soon.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:03 AM   #28
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Keyboard rig is all back up and running. Here's a couple of pics of the new setup. At the top, you can see the new false ceiling panel. At the back on the left is my large corner bass trap and in the middle at the back is a large dampening panel to remove wall reflections.
The main mix position and main monitors are located where the camera is in front of the sofa.
The two Auratones with the ribbon tweeters visible in the second shot are the surround channels.

Click the images for high res images.

Left (top to bottom):
Roland System 700 analog sequencer,
Yamaha TX802 FM rack synth,
Frostwave Quad MIDI-CV converter,
Roland System 100 analog synth and sequencer,
Yamaha KX8 88 note weighted controller,
Boss SE50 multi FX unit (far left),
Sony Vaio Duo 11 running REAPER with Big Rock phaser, Night Flight string synth and BlueARP arpeggiator (next to System 700 sequencer).
Middle (top to bottom):
Roland Juno 6 analog synth,
Yamaha DX7 Mk1 FM synth,
Yamaha SY77 AFM and AWM synth workstation,
Roland SH09 analog synth,
Yamaha trumpet.
Right (top to bottom):
Floppy disk box with SY77 floppies,
Digidesign MBox 2 Pro,
Yamaha 31 band EQ,
Roland JX-3P analog synth with PG200 programmer,
Roland Juno 106 analog synth,
Hammond organ and Leslie speaker,
Yamaha NP31 digital piano (used mainly as controller for Night Flight string synth).

Keyboard rig MK2 close view:


Also visible in this shot...

Right (middle to bottom):
Mackie Onyx 1640 firewire mixer,
Yamaha 1204 mixer,
Mackie Onyx 1620 firewire mixer,
Wah pedal.
On the sofa is my cat Neo, sound asleep.

Keyboard rig MK2 wide view:


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Old 11-09-2013, 08:08 AM   #29
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Very nice Dave, looks a great space to work in.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:11 AM   #30
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Must have been hell! i'm just fighting One keyboard to work.."renovate".

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Old 11-10-2013, 02:25 AM   #31
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What are you using for the four-keyboard stand? I've found three-level, but not four.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:15 AM   #32
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What are you using for the four-keyboard stand? I've found three-level, but not four.
The lowest synth is not on that stand

I used to have a four story keyboard stand, but I build that myself back in the days.

Here's a picture (linked, image is too big to embed here):
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.n...01358877_o.jpg

For those interested in (very old) gear, on the rack from top to bottom: Siel Orchestra 2, Teisco 110F, GEM PK-4900, Yamaha DX7. At the right my little equipment stack with top to bottom: custom build amplifier, custom build 10-step analog sequencer, Ibanez DM1000 delay, custom build analog 10-band vocoder.

This was 1985
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:06 AM   #33
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Q: are all the keyboards hooked to the system and ready to be played/tracked?
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:37 AM   #34
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Very nice Dave, looks a great space to work in.
It is certainly more inspiring than my previous setup... and that was the whole idea behind redesigning things.
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Must have been hell! i'm just fighting One keyboard to work.."renovate".
lol
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:44 AM   #35
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Quote:
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What are you using for the four-keyboard stand? I've found three-level, but not four.
The lowest synth is not on that stand
Yep. There's a separate four leg stand that the SH09 is sitting on.
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I used to have a four story keyboard stand, but I build that myself back in the days.

Here's a picture (linked, image is too big to embed here):
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.n...01358877_o.jpg

For those interested in (very old) gear, on the rack from top to bottom: Siel Orchestra 2, Teisco 110F, GEM PK-4900, Yamaha DX7. At the right my little equipment stack with top to bottom: custom build amplifier, custom build 10-step analog sequencer, Ibanez DM1000 delay, custom build analog 10-band vocoder.

This was 1985
That's a very cool pic. Looks like it was a fun gig. Love the wedges too. No need for road cases... they ARE the road cases!
Digging your DIY work too.
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Q: are all the keyboards hooked to the system and ready to be played/tracked?
Indeed they are. The whole rig is connected to the Mackie Onyx 1640 and via firewire into REAPER on my main recording rig. The keyboard rig actually uses all the channels on the 1640.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #36
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Another Q:

do you turn on all of your gear (and keyboards) upon the start of your day in the studio?
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #37
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Another Q:

do you turn on all of your gear (and keyboards) upon the start of your day in the studio?
Nope. Only when I use it. My studio is actually my home too. I live in this place. It is actually a semi underground bunker and I love it
I'm slowly putting into place the necessities to get this whole place off the electricity grid too. The lighting is all 12 volt LED and I have a sine wave mains inverter to run audio gear from low voltage DC.
The next steps are to get some decent deep cycle batteries and build a wind generator to charge them. I live in the hills on 20 acres of farm land and there's plenty of wind at the top of the property a fair amount of the time.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #38
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That's a very cool pic. Looks like it was a fun gig. Love the wedges too. No need for road cases... they ARE the road cases!
Digging your DIY work too.
There are a few more pics and some additional info here:
https://www.facebook.com/gridlockmomentum

I'm slowly bringing all this old stuff back online
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #39
Vendetta V
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Nope. Only when I use it. My studio is actually my home too. I live in this place. It is actually a semi underground bunker and I love it
I'm slowly putting into place the necessities to get this whole place off the electricity grid too. The lighting is all 12 volt LED and I have a sine wave mains inverter to run audio gear from low voltage DC.
The next steps are to get some decent deep cycle batteries and build a wind generator to charge them. I live in the hills on 20 acres of farm land and there's plenty of wind at the top of the property a fair amount of the time.
that sounds good! How is the LED lighting brightness vs monthly bill - wise... power saving I mean
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:39 PM   #40
ReaDave
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There are a few more pics and some additional info here:
https://www.facebook.com/gridlockmomentum

I'm slowly bringing all this old stuff back online

Reminds me of a duo called 'Mother Venus' I was half of back in the early 90's. It was me on keys and Marty on guitars and Roland guitar synth. Like you guys, we released one album on CD and did a bunch of live shows. The gigs were fun and we used surround sound PA (which I designed) and some pretty full on (for the day) full colour laser light shows.

Edit - I just found an ebay auction of a copy of our album... http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MOTHER-VE...-/190925321833
Here's some info on that album... http://www.discogs.com/Mother-Venus-...elease/1561141
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that sounds good! How is the LED lighting brightness vs monthly bill - wise... power saving I mean
The LED downlights are really good. Equivalent halogen globes consume 50 watts each. The LED's consume 5 watts for the same light output. So, exactly 1/10th the power consumption and they don't get hot.
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