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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Wednesday, 31 October 2007

studio bits, workmen and colds...

Lots to catch up on - let's hope I can remember it. It's been quite a busy couple of weeks, with painters sorting out the ceiling and the hallway, and some more remedial work slowly helping the house return to a pleasant place to live. We've ordered the carpets - I only hope they arrive once the kitchen walls have been sorted out. Thinking of which, I ought to call Facilitas tomorrow...

I've also been rather extravagant in some terms, with a new mixing desk for the studio (I decided on the rather wonderful Yamaha 01X as the 'best fit' for my needs) which communicates digitally with most sequencing and music creation software. A slight crinkle in the plan was that the maximum length of a firewire cable is about 4 metres, so it would require a substantial move of the furniture to enable a cable to run to the PC's postition under the stairs.

As a result, I thought to update the processing power of my studio computer, so I've invested in the bits to make a 'silent PC' - ebuyer had a quad core processor and a rather smart-looking motherboard, which fits quite nicely inside an Antec 'silent' case. All the bits arrived on Tuesday.. except the mainboard. I called to ask where it was and they eventually admitted they'd lost it in one of the warehouses! Fortunately, they had another, so they sent it on for 'next-day' delivery, and I managed to spend an evening getting that all up and running. It's lovely and quiet, although I don't think I can believe the temperature report in the system monitoring software.. the CPU's not gone above 30 degrees C. Maybe the rather impressive Scythe Ninja heatsink is working rather well!

There is an awful lot of work to do to sort the studio out - it's been used as a storeroom and generally neglected while the floor was left uncovered; I've made a brief list before (I think):

  • Sort the curtains out; there is a set of long, old, green curtains hanging up at the moment that could do with replacing with some fabric retained from that which went on the wall
  • Tidy up the door; I'm really keen to get a slab of profile foam (or at least bits to make up 186cm x 76cm) and then cover it with some more material... but I'm not sure where I can find some for not much money!
  • The children and I pulled the cables back from under the stairs - now I need to decide how to populate the patchbays with new wiring. I've written up an inventory of what I might need - now it needs to be organised so that the 'normalled' connections are arranged as logically as possible (for example to connect the wall sockets by default to the eight inputs of the mixer
  • Everything will need to be moved out of the studio to put the new carpet down. This will no doubt require the removal of the skirting boards, but it could be worse! I think there will probably be an awful lot to throw away, too!
  • Finally, I have to set the computer up to be able to make use of all the new connections and technology. The 01X is extremely sophisticated, and I want to make the best of all the facilities. Because there are only two analogue outputs, my plan is to retain the GadgetLabs 8/24, and use that to connect the outboard (compressors, effects units etc) effectively as 'AUX'es. We'll see how it all goes... I think I might be running out of rack space, especially if I put my 1/4" tape machine in there (it does tend to dominate the rack!)

So.. what else? We had a good half-term - because of the work to be done, in the house I took a little leave, and the weather was dry enough for us to get out and about a little. I think we've all been through the first cold of the autumn - let's hope there aren't too many more! We're off to a fireworks display this evening - otherwise it's just business as usual! (Don't get me started about work.. it's been utterly frantic, and - although I've now got the permanent specialist role, I've been asked if I'd help on a project up in Birmingham, which will certainly be interesting).

A couple of interesting or entertaining links to finish with, then..

Posted by james at October 31, 2007 10:19 PM

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