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The thing that lives upstairs in my home...

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Deleted member 795

Ooooookay...I'm posting this on here since I'm sure I wouldn't hear the end of it over on "that other forum".

These are some shots of the not-quite-done-yet studio here. It's not done because I had a very serious fall back in early May and I'm finally getting past the damage from that just now, so I should be able to start scrambling in/around/under/over all of this junk to complete the power connections, then comes the audio lines, MIDI, USB, and star-ground wires. Now, all of the vaporwave I do happens in the multitrack workstation. These pics are of everything else...or rather, most of everything else because...again...it's not 100% done yet.

First up, the lab equipment. These several shots are of the wall (literally!) of this stuff, which is here because I've always thought that abandoning these methods of creating electronic sound because synths came into existence was a bit of a mistake.













Last up in that same vein, here's the desk (covered in crap at present...like I said, still working on it) and the overbridge with the monitoring controls, A-D/D-A multitrack interface, and the uber-trick Krohn-hites.



Keyboards. The first shot is of some of the polysynths, plus the Ace Tone organ, Crumar Performer, and Davolisint (and the Microfreak, perched for the moment on the CS-80's keyboard). Then the second is the rest of the keyboards. Don't worry, it probably won't look like this in a month or so as I finalize things.





And the processing gear. Lower racks first, upper (and the voodoo lurking on top) second.





And last up, the "sandbox", which is where most all of my patchable and modular stuff resides so that I can hook it all up to each other, hopefully without duplicating the Trinity test in the process.





So...uh, yeah. That's home...or at least, a few shots of it. Frankly, I'm quasi-amazed that this whole pile o' crap hasn't caused structural failure and fallen on me (my bedroom is directly under this) in the wee hours. And I'll ALSO be amazed if I don't blast the electric meter off the side of the house when the power's up for everything in here...although I think the two new 20A circuits I added should be up to the load. Now let's see if these pics actually embedded...wheeeeee!
 
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Deleted member 795

Campcerous said:
woah, kinda looks like a secret command room out of a hollywood blockbuster :-\

"Dr. Strangelove" comes to mind... ;)
 

Eis-T

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That looks like a fantastic studio setup! For me the most impressive part is that you somehow managed to get that CS80 up the stairs ;)
You are probably already aware of Hainbach, the sympathetic German fella who uses lab-equipment just like your wall of gear to make music, but if not, make sure to check out his channel for some inspiring ways he uses his gear. I don't know how comfortable you are with making videos but I'd love to see and hear your wall of gear in action!
Also I'm curious to hear what obscure format of modular you're collecting. I know its not eurorack, frac, buchla, serge or 5U. What made you go for such a system?
Tomorrow I get the keys of my new place and I feel inspired by your pictures to really put effort in building up my home-studio there. Thanks!
 
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gogi93

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Sorry to hear about your fall, but good to know you're recovering well. Absolutely amazing setup, there's something about physically moving knobs/faders that you just don't get with software! Would love to see it when it's finished! :-X
 
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Deleted member 795

Eis-T said:
That looks like a fantastic studio setup! For me the most impressive part is that you somehow managed to get that CS80 up the stairs ;)

The '80 wasn't even close to the biggest moving nightmare. In fact, compared to the Soundcraft FIVE, the CS-80 was a piece of cake. The synth takes four people (three to lift, one to move the stand and line things up when it's where it needs to go) to get around...but the 54-frame FIVE took...

1) a rental truck

2) a forklift at the destination

3) one moving crew of five here to get the desk back out of the truck and roadcase and...well, not into the studio YET

4) a SECOND moving crew to get this from the living room and up the stairs, and onto the BenchPRO workstation setup where it is now.

Now, before people start going NUTZ about how much this huge desk cost...ahhh, if you're thinking this was spendy, guess again. Even with all of the extra stuff above which added about $650 to the equation, I STILL came in at under $1500 for what was, when new, a $90k desk. And this is more common than you might think, since live production companies and acts have spent the past few years jettisoning these big analog desks, like mine. So for the live work that the FIVE was once used for, now you can have a much more compact, 60 pound version.

Doesn't mean it doesn't kick MIGHTY ASS in the studio, though. Fact is, the FIVE actually beats a lot of "normal" studio desks on a lot of things, such as AUX sends (12!), stereo returns (4 dedicated + 4 stereo strips = 8), EQ (four-band with two parametric mids plus low and highpass filters on all mono strips), 10 VCA groups, and so on. I've used some over the top desks in my life (such as Ardent's B room SSL 6000), but this thing is almost like it's custom-tooled for electronic music studio work. 100% worth the hassle!

You are probably already aware of Hainbach, the sympathetic German fella who uses lab-equipment just like your wall of gear to make music, but if not, make sure to check out his channel for some inspiring ways he uses his gear.

Some of what you see in his rig is stuff I pointed him to, most notably his (non-radioactive, unlike mine) PAR CR-4 instrumentation preamp and that killer bank of Ithaco preamps/filters.

There's a really amusing line of descent there, too. Hainbach caught the lab gear bug from Dennis Verschoor a few years ago, after visiting Dennis's lab-gear-centric studio. But where Dennis got the idea to start diving into this was from many years previous. In fact, we're talking back in the early/mid 1990s, where he encountered some discussion _I_ was having on a LISTSERV group about the equipment complement I was building up for my own studio. Dennis picked my brain in some private emails (very lost at this point, sadly) about how I was proceeding with this, and why.

I explained that, prior to the separate and simultaneous development of the synthesizer by both Don Buchla and Bob Moog, THESE were how you created electronic music. And because of that sudden rush TO synths between 1968-74, some very useful methods of sound creation got tossed out...and that was probably a BIG MISTAKE. So, instead of academia's odd/annoying/pointless tendency to separate different methods of sound production in electronic composition, MY intent was to integrate this 1951-74 sound paradigm into everything else...analog, digital, computer, no computer, etc. And also, to see how well I could make that integration work. It's worth noting that I'd just left the University of Illinois in a very pissed-off state about academic composition, and they were hell-bent on maintaining those method separations there, right down to keeping the different technologies in separate studios with no tie lines between them. Those guys should go into Covid-19 quarantining methods...as that sort of isolation works great for viruses, but not music.

Long story short, Dennis dove into test gear head-first. At least it took quite a while for a lot of others to discover these methods and equipment, so that things didn't get quite so spendy for a number of years.

I don't know how comfortable you are with making videos but I'd love to see and hear your wall of gear in action!

That's in the works. One intention I have is to do some videos on electronic music production methods, especially the sort of thing we're talking about here. My reasoning there is that I've spent decades learning this nonsense, and I'm not exactly _young_ anymore, so it's time to start the long process of paying it forward and putting what I know into some form that others can access easily. I'd considered a book on compositional processes...but after watching YouTube and how well it works as a disseminator of info, more than likely that "book" will be in video form.

Also I'm curious to hear what obscure format of modular you're collecting. I know its not eurorack, frac, buchla, serge or 5U. What made you go for such a system?

THE SANDBOX: this is the modular setup in here. It has...

22 module Digisound Series 80 (the bigass white-panelled thing), 160 space AE Modular (the thing standing up next to the Digisound) that's still being filled, 2x Korg MS-20 mini, 2x Arturia Beatstep Pro, Arturia Keystep, Arturia Keystep Pro, Landscape Stereo Field, Koma Field Kit, Koma Field Kit FX, Folktek Mescaline, Bastl bitRanger, Bastl Softpop, FHC quad dual window comparator, Korg SQ-1, Mackie 1202 (gen1), Behringer Pro-1, Electro-harmonix Clockworks, rarebeasts Wicks Looper Acid, Korg SDD3300 triple delay, Zoom 9120 multifx, Symetrix 544 quad gate, MOTU 828FW mkii (CV/gate/trig send/return for Ableton CV Tools), Furman patchbay.

As for the rationale behind this towering pile of circuitry, the idea here is that ALL of these devices should be crosspatchable. Even the AE, which uses pinwires, has external access via its own 4I/O modules, but there's also a Soundmachines Nanobridge for non-audio signals going to/coming from the other devices. Also note that there's a number of tie lines between the Sandbox's patchbay and the left bay at the desk for analog send/return behavior, such as moving a trigger from the Sandbox over to the lab gear patchbay to fire something over there. And the MOTU interface supplies another 8 channels of I/O directly from Ableton.

But it's not a "collection". The overarching idea with this studio _in general_ is that it should be capable of functioning very close to a _single unified device_ under Ableton. But also, while building this up, I added some things that may or may NOT behave themselves, which admits random factors into the process. By "tuning" what those factors could be, I'm guaranteed a certain degree of "interesting" behavior by the studio as a whole, with some foresight on what could happen.

One other point, too...this is the current point of a VERY long process. Parts of this studio have been with me since the 1980s. It's not a "go out with a fistful of ca$h and go crazy" process, by any means. In a very real sense, the whole thing could be viewed as a simultaneous experiment in studio design and electronic music systems, and it's still very much an ongoing adventure. True, there's some adventuresome/crazed people like Hainbach who're also exploring this, but I'd have to classify this as a "don't try this at home" activity UNLESS you know your electrical and audio engineering really well, don't have a problem with trying things that DON'T work, and you don't have some sort of hi-pressure production schedule chewing at your heels.

Oh, and don't even THINK of doing something on this scale without knowing a good electrician...because you're gonna need LOADS more Amps than a typical American suburban home rec-room tends to have. This room's got that...because I had two new 20A circuits added before this crazy train left the station, for a total potential of 65A. Hopefully that's enough...
 

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