Redesigning my studio – new gear?

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Redesigning my studio – new gear?

Postby DGX305 » Sun May 13, 2007 3:29 pm

I’m finally going to embark on a long project to redesign everything in my home studio from selling gear and synths that I don’t need and buying some new ones! You can see what I already have in my signature below in addition to my Tascam FW-1082 control surface and a Win-XP PC running Sonar 6 and a few softsynths. I would very much welcome any comments and opinions you may have on any of the following points that I will deal with.

1• How to arrange the keyboards that I already have? I use the Fusion 8HD as my main controller right on my desk with the PC screen in front of it, while the X-Station 25 is the side controller for tweaking softsynths. So which other keyboards (Ion, DX5, V-Synth) and desktop synths (AN200, EMX Electribe, MPC100) should be to the right above one another, and what should be the left? And how to lay them out?

2• What should I sell that is redundant of all of this? I’m going to give the Alesis QS8 to my son for his piano practice.

3• Should I get rid of the control surface FW-1082 and replace it with the slim Motu UltraLite?

4• I need to upgrade my DAW PC. Should I get a laptop or is that not good enough, or should I really move to a Mac? I know that’s not an easy question!

5• If I get another PC, should I keep the one I have and use two PCs with one dedicated to softsynths? What hardware do I need to make that connection?

6• My studio is moving to a room with hardwood floor, so is it better to carpet it for acoustics?

7• I only have the Alesis MK1 II active monitors, and I know I need better ones. Should I sell those and just get a good pair for like $1,000 or should I simply add another pair for like $600 and end up with 2 pairs? What are the pros and cons of having 2 sets of monitors in a studio?

8• I want to upgrade the chair and thinking about the Herman Miller - any thoughts?

9• MY GAS list is Jupiter 8, Andromeda, Oasys, V-Synth GT, and Virus Ti. In the next many months, I'll have the funds to get one of them (but the Oasys), so which one should I get?


Lots of questions, but I’d appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks!
Last edited by DGX305 on Sun May 13, 2007 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Akai MPC1000 | Alesis Fusion 8HD + Ion + 2x QS8 | Boss SYB-5 | Edirol PCR-1 | Korg Electribe EMX | Novation X-Station 25 | Roland V-Synth GT + V-Synth + VC1 + VC2 | Yamaha AN200 + DX5 + MK100
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Postby artfulideas » Sun May 13, 2007 3:38 pm

as for the 2 sets of speakers, having more than 2 might be unneccesary.
Id rather have 1 really nice pair than 2 pairs of OK ones.

but,
dont listen to us, do whats more comfortable for YOU.
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Postby Yoozer » Sun May 13, 2007 4:16 pm

Some hints:
Draw a plan of your room and print out your gear to scale. That way, you get to move around things effortlessly. Or, if you're better with any kind of graphics software, try that (Microsoft Visio does an excellent job, also for drawing your entire routing for MIDI and audio, and drawing/rotating graphics won't lose quality after doing it several times). There's a freeware alternative called Dia. You can make some sketches, pick out the strong/weak points.

Make a list of what you have now in terms of stands, tables, desks, racks and see if you can combine or eliminate, or change altogether. With 2 X-stands and a 3rd synth, it may be interesting to get an A-stand with 3 tiers.

Rack gear won't take up space if you can afford to move it somewhere below a desk or outside of your reach. Devoting 1U of your rack for a central powerswitch/strip (RackRider?) - no troubles with loose cables.
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Re: Redesigning my studio – new gear?

Postby Cerebral Infect » Sun May 13, 2007 10:39 pm

1• How to arrange the keyboards that I already have? I use the Fusion 8HD as my main controller right on my desk with the PC screen in front of it, while the X-Station 25 is the side controller for tweaking softsynths. So which other keyboards (Ion, DX5, V-Synth) and desktop synths (AN200, EMX Electribe, MPC100) should be to the right above one another, and what should be the left? And how to lay them out?


Get a tier stand. It really helps and make things look nice. For your desktop synth, you can get a wooden plate and put it on a regular stand. For my desktops synth, I put a wood plate on the second "level" of my tier stand and put the synths in there, between two keyboards.

2• What should I sell that is redundant of all of this? I’m going to give the Alesis QS8 to my son for his piano practice.


The 8 items you have aren`t really redundant. Well since DX type synthesist can be easily reproduced by computer, you can let it go if you want too.

3• Should I get rid of the control surface FW-1082 and replace it with the slim Motu UltraLite?


Depends, do you use the FW-1802 often as a control surface ? How many ins/out you need ? That's the other question !

4• I need to upgrade my DAW PC. Should I get a laptop or is that not good enough, or should I really move to a Mac? I know that’s not an easy question!


I asked myself the same question some time ago. An easy answer could be that the reason people use PC for music is that they are cheaper than Mac and it is easier to find pirated software for PC than the Mac equivalent. With all the problems with my PC laptop / desktop, the only thing refraining me to switch to mac is the cost factor. Get a laptop if you plan to use it often outside your house. If not go with a desktop, more power/price ratio.

5• If I get another PC, should I keep the one I have and use two PCs with one dedicated to softsynths? What hardware do I need to make that connection?


It would be simply more complicated. PC are quite powerful these days. And with the freeze function you can have a unlimited number of soft synth tracks. If you still want to use the second PC as a processor, there is a software call FX teleport that can controls softsynth on other computer through the network port.

6• My studio is moving to a room with hardwood floor, so is it better to carpet it for acoustics?


really don`t know about that one

7• I only have the Alesis MK1 II active monitors, and I know I need better ones. Should I sell those and just get a good pair for like $1,000 or should I simply add another pair for like $600 and end up with 2 pairs? What are the pros and cons of having 2 sets of monitors in a studio?


already answered, better go with the good pair.

8• I want to upgrade the chair and thinking about the Herman Miller - any thoughts?


Nice chair, a standard in big companies. With the mesh model, you can fart and sweat like you want. I prefer a rolling stool. It forces me to stay straigth and its more conveninent when playing guitar.

9• MY GAS list is Jupiter 8, Andromeda, Oasys, V-Synth GT, and Virus Ti. In the next many months, I'll have the funds to get one of them (but the Oasys), so which one should I get?


You already have enough synths. Invest in a good audio interface and decent monitor, a decent mixing desk, a decent desk & chair. Do you record voice ? If yes, get a good preamp. You can have 20 synths, guitars, banjo and kazoo, but if the link between them and you recording station is sh*tty, there are going to sound like sh*t.

For drawing of your room. An easy solution is to Use Excel and create rectangles that you size yourself using the dimension tab in the shape option.
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Re: Redesigning my studio – new gear?

Postby nathanscribe » Sun May 13, 2007 11:24 pm

DGX305 wrote:4• I need to upgrade my DAW PC. Should I get a laptop or is that not good enough, or should I really move to a Mac? I know that’s not an easy question!


I use both a desktop PC and a 2-yr-old Mac iBook G4, and in my experience the Mac wins for convenience and simplicity of setup, stability and reliability, and portability (rather obviously, since it's a laptop :lol:)

On the other hand, a Mac laptop will set you back a little more than a PC equivalent, and you don't have the flexibility of hardware configuration that a desktop PC will give (or a big desktop Mac, come to think of it).

And yet, you may well not need anything beyond the basic ingredients of a modern laptop. A recent lappy is going to outstrip an old PC, so don't worry about a lack of computing power - it's more a case of expansion potential, and whether you think you'll need to change your computer around to work with it.

My PC is currently undergoing a refresh, and in a few months will probably be just a mess-around machine, with music given over to another Mac. Plenty of opinion around on the PC v Mac issue, though, and in the end it's a personal choice.
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Re: Redesigning my studio – new gear?

Postby Motavis » Mon May 14, 2007 1:22 am

I’m finally going to embark on a long project to redesign everything in my home studio from selling gear and synths that I don’t need and buying some new ones! You can see what I already have in my signature below in addition to my Tascam FW-1082 control surface and a Win-XP PC running Sonar 6 and a few softsynths. I would very much welcome any comments and opinions you may have on any of the following points that I will deal with.

1• How to arrange the keyboards that I already have? I use the Fusion 8HD as my main controller right on my desk with the PC screen in front of it, while the X-Station 25 is the side controller for tweaking softsynths. So which other keyboards (Ion, DX5, V-Synth) and desktop synths (AN200, EMX Electribe, MPC100) should be to the right above one another, and what should be the left? And how to lay them out?
Got no idea on this either :shock:

2• What should I sell that is redundant of all of this? I’m going to give the Alesis QS8 to my son for his piano practice.
No idea.. I learned if I get rid of it I can't come back and use it.

3• Should I get rid of the control surface FW-1082 and replace it with the slim Motu UltraLite?
I got the TC Electronic 24D I know I really light it but I wish I would have waited they have a black one called LIVE soon.

4• I need to upgrade my DAW PC. Should I get a laptop or is that not good enough, or should I really move to a Mac? I know that’s not an easy question!
Actually pretty easy.. you can talk to fumigator about using an AMD and installing apple software.
Cheaper then buying an apple computer, this is what I am planning on doing down the road.
I know one thing get XP PRO preinstalled or you will have lots of fun trying to get your SATA
to take the install.

5• If I get another PC, should I keep the one I have and use two PCs with one dedicated to softsynths? What hardware do I need to make that connection?
Well depending if you want to go FIREWIRE or if you want to use boards to connect. I just got the
TC Electronic 24D and it rocks...$550 at novamusik.com


6• My studio is moving to a room with hardwood floor, so is it better to carpet it for acoustics?
I wish I could have put wood floors down turns out I need about $3,000 for leveling the floors. I think just putting
rugs down is great. I am getting this asian circle rug for our drums sets... and I am sure some runners for high traffic area.


7• I only have the Alesis MK1 II active monitors, and I know I need better ones. Should I sell those and just get a good pair for like $1,000 or should I simply add another pair for like $600 and end up with 2 pairs? What are the pros and cons of having 2 sets of monitors in a studio?

I just got the Adam A7's and WOW they rock. My only problem is I don't know what cables to get
the slight hiss out. I have super cheap ones but not sure. $1,000 at novamusik.com also then just
get some cheap $70 soundblaster ones for a second opinion.

8• I want to upgrade the chair and thinking about the Herman Miller - any thoughts?
Aero is what I would get you can get it from http://www.argosyconsole.com make sure you see what you
need for your body type.

9• MY GAS list is Jupiter 8, Andromeda, Oasys, V-Synth GT, and Virus Ti. In the next many months, I'll have the funds to get one of them (but the Oasys), so which one should I get?


Not heard your music but getting something you need sound is better then it looks nice.
Though the V-Synth GT at least I think you can use the filters with other keyboards so it's a plus.
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