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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, 17 October 2007

Workmen, lights and potential sales...

It's been a busy week so far.. I'm on my way home after a fairly standard Wednesday of meetings, and having taken yesterday as leave to help Beth with the carpenter and electrician.

Yup.. the house is finally coming back together; the kitchen ceiling is complete again (using boards from the downstairs toilet - nothing beats a bit of recycling!) and the kitchen floor and under-unit plinth have been reseated/replaced. There is, once more, power in the studio, and most of the tiles have now been replaced. I've been musing on getting some rather novel LED lights to spice up the look of the place, but the really good value ones (here) wouldn't be bright enough. The alternative (a set of four remote-controlled colour-change downlighters like these) is a little out of my budget, though!

There's plenty still to do - more carpentry and tile replacement on Friday, and the decorators will be here next Monday and Tuesday to sort out the surfaces. Then will finally come the carpets - probably the biggest upheaval, since it means clearing all the appropriate floors! Maybe it'll be done by Christmas... I hope so!

I found the documentation for the studio building project on my old website - quite useful, since I could direct the carpenter to Kewmill, from where the studio's ceiling tiles had originally come. I guess I could use my blog to help me document the reconstruction; there are a number of things I need to arrange:

  • Work out a new studio layout. I'm considering using Google's Sketchup 3D design software to move the various bits around - the most importance issue is
  • A new mixer. My current muse is a Yamaha 01X - it's little, but it's all digital (apart from the mic pre-amps) and can be used with Logic for automating mixes and other things. If I get one of these, I might add a Behringer DJ mixer, which can be installed into the work surface in front of the monitors, to make Image FM broadcasts a little easier!
  • The 01X has a firewire interface. Firewire cables have a maximum length of 4.5m - this could cause major issues having a PC under the stairs, so this leaves me with two options: [1] build a new 'silent' PC that can be installed in the rack in the studio and connect the kit to it. This is quite an expensive task, although considering I had to mix down 'Shopping High' in two goes, I might need to upgrade the PC anyway... or [2] move the studio console around to minimize the length of the firewire cable. This would likely cause the desk to be moved to the wall on the hall side, and consequently mean a great deal of modification to the cable run behind where the rack is now.
  • One way or another, the entire studio's going to need to be cleared so that a carpet (and some more underboard) can be laid. Then, the contents need to be put back in the order at the top of the list. Perhaps it'll be done by Christmas? I hope so - not least because Jude has some more recording sessions coming up, and it would be really good to be able to mix them down in the new-look studio!

Lots to do and think about!

I completely forgot to mention that on Saturday, while Beth was up in Stafford, I took the children out and about for much of the day. We took a walk down to the big roundabout on the way to town to find a geocache (seeing their faces when they see a treasure-chest of trinkets is a joy) and in the afternoon, we visited People's Park, to check on our cache and to have a picnic (Eleanor's request, and a good one, since it was so lovely out!) Christopher found that one of his schoolmates and his younger brother was there, and they all played very well together. It's lovely that we have such sociable children.

The Linux project is tough.. with some help from the ever-reliable Jon, I've got a few more avenues open to me, but it's going to be a big challenge. I spoke to the project manager today, and he's happy for me to continue until I reach a complete dead halt! Speaking of projects, I may be seconded to a fairly substantial project in Birmingham, which will be interesting, because I've spent the last nearly-fifteen years in a support role. I've not worked on project work before, so it'll add a string to my bow!

Oh, and in case you'd not already seen it (thinking of the announcement tomorrow)
it appears that Television Centre will shortly be put up for sale. I'll be honest, I don't have a particularly great affection for the building, having worked there for a few years, but it does raise questions about where they'll be making TV programmes! That said, BBC Resources, who look after the studios, is about to be outsourced, so I daresay other arrangements will be made.

I think that's about it for updates. More over the weekend, I'm sure!

Posted by james at October 17, 2007 8:43 PM

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