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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:04 am 
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Location: Hampshire, United Kingdom
Dear Lord - if you find some time in your very busy schedule at this time of year, would you kindly try to make sure Tim's delivery arrives on time?

I know it would make him very happy - Thank you.

Lou. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:27 am 
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Tim,
While Lou is busy picking up his jaw I am on my way to purchase some new shades. I am blinded by the beautiful scenery.
Wonderful job. Very jealous and want to redo my studio now.
Peace
Tom


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:54 am 
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Tom wrote:

Quote:
I am on my way to purchase some new shades.


Dude - you should have said, I bought mine 3 weeks after buying Rod's book, for these exact situations. You could have gladly borrowed them my friend! (Second best investment I've made - after 'the book' of course) :wink:

Festive wishes to you and your loved ones,

Kind regards,

Lou. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:31 am 
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Location: Wollongong, Australia
Didn't you read page 23 on Rod's book regarding safety gear: "Sunglasses must be worn when viewing completed and almost completed studios for the first time or ego damage may be harmful" ;)

HAHA!

Nah, seriously, cheers for the kind words guys! :) Still no sign of the mic today so I'm getting a little worried. It's amazing that something can take months to get to this point and then be a race against the clock! :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:36 pm 
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holy crap. for some reason this is the first time i've seen your build. it looks awesome. really good looking idea with routing the slats. i don't know for sure about the resonance issues of doing it that way, but it looks bangin.

i'm nearing the end of my build, so it's nice to see someone else bringin their gear in the same time i am.

happy recording!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:42 pm 
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Location: Wollongong, Australia
Merry Christmas, everyone, and cheers for the awesome words of encouragement! May Santa bring you all a finished studio for Christmas, done well and under budget! HAHA!

So I have some updates for you. :)

The speakers (now with small bezel around the outside) and TV are in, the custom desk is done, and there's a nice big rug on the floor:

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I also managed to drag the couch down and put that into the room, complete with Slayer cushions for that extra heavy metal plushness a studio like this requires:

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Looking through the live room door... Slat Resonators? Yep, we got 'em:

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And you can see the small video link TV and multicore box in this pic as well:

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Finally fired up the video link:

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Hooray! My soldering didn't suck and it works! :D

Each TV has a little spy-cam attached by velcro to the front, and that's ran into the other room into the other TV. The live room TV has cables all over the place at the moment, but at least it works. I'll clean those up soon.

Next, we realised there was a lot of sound escaping through the air gaps in the door seals, so we took care of that:

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That dramatically reduced the high frequency spill. You can still hear things through the doors, so once we get something loud in the studio to test it out, we'll look into ways of addressing that if it's a problem.

Then the tedious process of soldering up a million little patch leads to go from my mixer to my mic preamps:

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I haven't shown it here, but I also did the cables going to the headphone amp, coming out of the multicore box in the live room. I did a basic check of everything and it indeed works! :)

The live room is still very... live. Very echoey. That's not really gonna be an issue for drums, but for vocals, especially really loud or dynamic vocals where they'd be heavily compressed, the sound of the room will really be heard and that'll really limit our mixing options. So we bought a heavy rug for the back side of the live room, and we're making retractable heavy curtains to divide the room in half (when I say "we" I mean my fiancee Karyn... well, after she's done eating the sewing machine! HAHA! I think this is harder work than I originally gave it credit :shock: )

With the curtain and rug in there, I'm hearing a real "boxiness" to the back part of the live room. A lot of that will be flutter echoes between the ceiling and floor, so the clouds we put in will make a big difference to that (well, when I eventually get them - hooray for Christmas holidays, hey?). Before the end of the week, our guitarist/electrician Mark will be back to put in the final bank of power points for the computers, and the rack furniture will be done, minus the actual rack rails themselves since the place I'm getting them from is also shut over Christmas! Don't these people know I have a studio to finish?! :x

But even though the studio won't really be finished, I'll be dragging my audio machine down there on Boxing Day and TY, our drummer, will be dragging his kit over and we're gonna do a couple of test recordings to see exactly what will and won't be an issue in a real-world situation. I can stand there all day and go "ooh, I dunno about that echo" in an empty room just using my ears, but what the mics actually "hear" on a real instrument could be vastly different.

Guess we'll know in a couple of days what needs to be done, hey? ;)

In the meantime, happy holidays to you all! Stay safe! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 1:56 am 
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Looking great Tim! Congratulations!

I am sure as you start working with the room, you will be able to sort out the acoustic issues. That is the hardest part, and will take a bit of trial and error. Your slat resonators look great, but maybe they are not absorbing enough? The ones that I have seen (I am in NO WAY an expert of any kind) have larger, more random slats.

Anyway, I am sure you will get things sorted!

Merry Christmas, and once again, congratulations on a great looking studio!

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"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
Napoleon Bonaparte


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:58 am 
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Cheers for the kind words! :)

The resonators were tuned to a very specific frequency range, which is why the slats/slots are like that. Before they were in, there was a HUGE low frequency build-up in the room which these bad boys really tamed.

This was before the curtain was put in too, with the thought that it was going to be a completely open room where the loudest (and most troublesome frequency-wise) thing would be drums. I think, besides the ceiling/floor flutters, it'll sound good for drums as it is, even if it's a very "live" room. I've definitely recorded drums in far brighter/more live rooms with great results.

For vocals, it definitely has to be more dead, however. I'm starting to lean towards the one side dead / one side live room config, with the curtain giving me control about how much "live" I get.

But testing will show what I need and don't need. I have a good idea of what I need to do next, so we'll see how wrong I am in the next couple of days (expect a "woah, I didn't expect that, I blew it!" message somewhere around then! HAHA!)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Day 1 of testing complete and the results are awesome! :)

Firstly from a sound leakage point of view, the room is performing superbly! I had my fiancee go for a wander around the place while our drummer, TY, was smacking the hell out of his drums (harder than he'd normally play just for extremity's sake). In the house above in the lounge room, you can hear what sounds like a quiet radio in another room kind of level to the drums, immediately outside the control room door you can hear stuff faintly but go 20 metres down the back of the yard and you can't hear anything (and our yard is HUGE with no neighbours at the back, so all is good). Just outside the wall closest to where the drums were, you can hear tiny pops and crashes of a quiet kit on the other side, and on the other side of the house, only the very loudest of cymbal hits were barely audible.

In short, I'm VERY happy with the soundproofing! With how quiet this is and the distance from the neighbours, it's able to be used at 4am without any complaints. :)

But how does it sound?

Well, I was most worried about the echoes and flutters. In practice, after there was a kit, drummer and bunch of road cases in the other side of the room, as I suspected, what the mics heard was nothing like what my ears heard the day before in the empty room. It took a bit of screwing around to find the sweet spot for the room and overhead mics, but when we did, the sound was clear and balanced and very big indeed!

We quickly ran through a couple of songs (played very poorly! HAHA! You can tell we hadn't touched our instruments since we got off tour a few weeks back) and recorded them to see how they sound... and I'll say now that with a quick recording in an unfinished live room, they sounded better than a lot of commercial releases (the sounds, not the crappy playing! HAHA!)

I'll be posting up some audio samples later on so you guys can see what I'm talking about.

I did come across a nasty limitation with my Onyx 1220 mixer when it came to headphone mixes. I could either run a mix with live sound (ie: me playing guitar while the drums are being tracked) or with recorded sound (ie: backing track and/or click) and the talkback mic. Pretty useless. After reading the manual I discovered that the only way to get stuff all working is to run a line from the headphone out on the mixer rather than any sends or alternative outs. The sound of these things are quite well regarded, so it's surprising that such an amateurish limitation is part of it. But tomorrow, I'm making a cable to link into my headphone amp so we'll see if that problem is solved.

Also tomorrow, we'll be trying out some vocals. This is where I expect to hear a lot of room problems that will really need the extra treatment.

I'll let you all know how it goes. Audio samples and more pics soon! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:04 am 
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As promised, here's the sound samples: http://www.lord.net.au/slsstudios/test1.html (Flash required)

It's important to read the notes on the page so you understand what you're actually listening to.

Here's some pics from these tests:

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More testing tomorrow! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:24 am 
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Ha! Sounds great Tim! You are there dude!

Let us know how the vocal tests come out...

I wish I was where you are now... I still have a ways to go.

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"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
Napoleon Bonaparte


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:38 am 
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It's funny, I was sitting there today cursing about how I can't get a lot of stuff I need to finish the place because of the holidays, etc. but I guess I'm kind of lucky I'm where I'm at now when I think of other people that still have a way to go.

Having said that, your build looks amazing so far! I can't wait to see it when it's done! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:14 am 
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Location: south london uk
place looks sweet. :D

cant wait tillim that far down the road either. ive got miles to go


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:08 pm 
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Cheers, and good luck! :)

Well... Day 2 of testing: Mixed Results.

I made a new cable to solve the routing issues with the mixer, which worked out OK for drumming - now the drummer could hear both the click/backing and talkback mic, but no live instruments. Instead of screwing around with stuff all day, now that we could play to the backing, we got back into it and blasted through a couple of other songs to see how it would be to play to the backing and what the drums sounded like in both easy rock songs and very fast songs. Again, everything sounded killer, so really good news with that. The studio is ready to record drums! :D

Vocals, on the other hand, are NOT ready for primetime yet. We spent a good half and hour trying to sort out the routing to allow me to hear my live vocal while hearing the backing track... eventually we sorted it out - long and boring story how, but it got sorted. Very weird design on these mixers, I'll say that much.

So, how did the vocals sound? Besides the absolutely SHITHOUSE performance I did (hooray for just singing stuff out of the blue like that with no warm up), the room was a BIG issue. You could clearly hear the early reflections of the space, and that was brought out even more by compressing the vocals later. Even if I did some severe editing to cut off the reverb tails, the sound of the room was clearly in the performance itself. Not good.

Again, this was something I expected, so I'm thinking it's time to really treat this back side of the room to make it far more dead. The curtains helped marginally, but I think the most reflections are coming from the walls and ceiling rather than the far side of the empty room.

A mixed day as far as results go, but for testing purposes we achieved exactly what we wanted to achieve and know I know what needs to be done next. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:07 pm 
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Just remember, mixed results *are* progress. At least now, you know what needs to be done.

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"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
Napoleon Bonaparte


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