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View Full Version : I'm about to build a desk!! All ideas welcome


SturmerChilton
12-29-2004, 11:19 AM
Taking priority second to building my new puppy a doghouse. :cool:

This weekend I bought an unnecessarily large recording console for my tiny recording room. So I'll need space for that as well. That may be built as a separate flat top table desk, then I'll have my workstation desk where my monitors will sit. And put some of my rack stuff into. Anyone have any cool links with plans or pictures of their own or ones they think are cool that I can lift ideas from? Thanks! :)

heinz
12-29-2004, 12:44 PM
I ended up building a custom wood desk for my console... no real plans just a lot of Guinness.

http://heinzmuzik.com/pics/ctrlrm.jpg

SturmerChilton
12-29-2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by heinz
I ended up building a custom wood desk for my console... no real plans just a lot of Guinness.

http://heinzmuzik.com/pics/ctrlrm.jpg

Nice!! What sort of console is that?

BTW...you seem like just the sorta guy that could help me with my setup! Would you mind me asking you some questions? I can PM you or ask you here in case the rest of the world is full of morons like me that need help. :o

I got gear, wires, a computer, and an empty head. :D

LSchefman
12-29-2004, 03:48 PM
My bro and I built a desk for my console with a welded steel base, black formica top, and flamed maple edging all the way around. Looks great.

We welded a steel base so that we could canteliever it, and not have the usual obstructions on the front corners, and I can roll my chair freely without bumping my knees against a leg.

I have no idea how to upload a picture, however. The finished look is 100% professional.

heinz
12-29-2004, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by SturmerChilton
Nice!! What sort of console is that?

BTW...you seem like just the sorta guy that could help me with my setup! Would you mind me asking you some questions?

hey thanks that is a Speckmix Mk II, was originally built for Alan Sylvestri to do soundtrack mixing. I picked it up and spent a lot of time cleaning & replacing parts, and building a new power supply. It's pretty fun, has a passive 8-bus and 16 good sounding pres.

Ask away but post questions here on the forum cause I only know enough to be dangerous. :D Tons of experienced people here that can help.

SturmerChilton
12-30-2004, 09:10 AM
Great!! Well here's my situation. I went out shopping to build myself a nice and proper but simple and somewhat budgeted digital studio this weekend. I've been saving up for it for quite some time and recording in a rather primitive way since then. (mackie 1202 into audigy soundcard with mackie tracktion software).

While out looking I came across a recording console for a great price. It was this old ass Ramsa board. I'm not at all familiar with Ramsa but my friend I took with me for advisement who owns a huge studio with MCI, Studer and all sorts of other goodies advised me on this piece. I took a listen to it and absolutely loved it. The pres in this thing sound fantastic. I have no real need for a console but crap, I just got 12 great sounding preamps for the price it would have cost me to get 1 average preamp normally. I A/B'd some condensor mics later through this DBX $3000 mic pre and I preferred the sm57 into the ramsa! LOL! (That could be my own ignorance) :D

So anyways, now I've entered a realm I don't know much about because I'm still planning on tracking to digital. For an interface I got a MOTU 2408. I got the Mk I because it had the RCAs and so I just grabbed some RCA snakes and it makes life a little easier. I'm not sure if this will sound like crap or not. I know these are not pro audio converters which leads me to my next question.

I'm not really sure how to mix these two worlds? Am I better off mixing with my console and then tracking to the computer? Or tracking to the computer using the console as a preamp and then doing all the mixing/editing on the computer (most likely using Cubase for right now).

The go between of the computer and the console will obviously need some good conversion, and I don't know if the MOTU will be good for that or not. I hope so. I was looking at some high end converters and the only ones I can afford right now after buying all of my crap this weekend are the 2 channel ones. This of course poses the problem of only being able to send two channels back to the recording console so I couldn't really do any proper mixing anyways.

I think for the moment I will stick with the MOTU piece primarily because I have done a lot of assisting work in studios before and know a good deal about gear and music and all but I'm new to being the Captain behind the wheel. So while I'm sure a Rosetta would be nice, it would be like buying a first year guitarist a $3000 guitar.

I hope I wasn't too confusing. I just seem to be overwhelmed with options right now. What do you think would be the best? How do you use your analog board in conjunction with digital recording?

heinz
12-30-2004, 11:53 AM
IMO as far as what's better? Experimentation and finding what you think sounds best is the only real answer. Some guys do killer stuff all inside the DAW, others swear by analog signal path and only use the DAW as a glorified tape machine.

I bought my board originally to mix outside the computer, essentially sending 16ch out of my computer though D/A converters into the console. This is only because I'm an older guy who prefers twiddling real knobs & faders to moving the mouse, plus I can use outboard gear in the mix.

So the first issue I had to deal with was signal flow. In my case this older board's inputs are unbalanced and -10dBV for the most part, while all my other gear is +4dBu. So that required building a lot of cables (lol) and dealing with the ground wire situation. I ended up using some Ebtech gear to keep things right on both ends.

Then I had to put together a new power supply since the old one was scary and had lots of fluctuations & weird shit in the audio. The board uses an open frame bipolar psu with tweaked voltage, so I bought a new one and built a fused switchable box for it.

Good converters are pretty important, and that's where a lot of the money goes (well and cables ha!). I use an Apogee Rosetta 800 and a little Swissonic DA24 Mk2 for 8 additional d/a channels.

As far as operation:

These days I have four channels of really good outboard pres (Chandler, Phoenix) but when I do drums I use the pres on the Speck to handle 4-8 additional channels. The nice thing there is I can subgroup and route stuff creatively. From there it all goes into the a/d converters and into the DAW.

For mix, I send 16ch out of the DAW into the Speck, use the outboard comps, f/x, etc.. and then hit the 2track.

And, in the rare case I need to record something with LOTS of mics, it's nice having all the pres and channels.

LSchefman
12-30-2004, 12:46 PM
First off, RAMSA was always pretty darn nice stuff, it was (maybe still is) the pro audio line for Panasonic, just as Tascam is the pro audio line for TEAC.

>>Am I better off mixing with my console and then tracking to the computer? Or tracking to the computer using the console as a preamp and then doing all the mixing/editing on the computer (most likely using Cubase for right now)<<

I use my analog board! I have 12 of the 16 buss outputs normalled to inputs on my MOTU 1296 interface. I don't bypass my console to track or to mix. I like the way it sounds, and it gives me a great deal of flexibility, such as being able to use my board's EQ or outboard gear if I choose to, creating different headphone mixes, all with no latency while monitoring. And the results sound very good - my work is broadcast on TV and radio, and CDs I produce have been nominated for regional awards.

>>The go between of the computer and the console will obviously need some good conversion, and I don't know if the MOTU will be good for that or not<<

It will be fine. The 2408 is a nice sounding box. No, it isn't the latest-greatest, but its converters sound pretty darn good.

I like mixing on an analog console for a lot of reasons. First, I can mix a lot of sources, including MIDI gear; I can choose to use the board's analog EQ or use software; I like the summing amplifiers on an analog board better than summing in the software; I like the monitor switching, talkback facility, ability to easily use outboard gear without latency, etc., etc. I also very much like the sound of my board. I like what it adds to the overall mix.

I also like the ability to use my board with analog tape, or a synced blend of analog and digital if I want to.

A good analog board will never be obsolete, because it doesn't need to worry about conversion. It's always got better resolution.

It is true that you wind up with an extra preamp mixing on a console. So what if it sounds good?

lhallam
12-30-2004, 01:09 PM
I bought a sturdy wooden kitchen table with a 1.5" top. Then built a shelf along the back for near field monitors. Piece o' cake, works great.