My studio is one step cloer to being a proper studio, now that I have installed the beginnings of a patchbay. I'm using Signex CPX16MJ and CPX16FJ XLR patchbays for mics and a Universal Patchbay to route S/PDIF (over BNCs) and other assorted stuff like USB, as well as an excellent Signex SmartPatch ARC32S automated audio router. I'm still planning the wiring, so it's all quiet on the western front for now.
Cost of cables and solderophobia has forced a decision to initially forego making a full patchbay with every single input and output in the studio, since there are many hundreds. So I will just have a fixed cabling configuration based on most probable usage, to make good use of my instruments like that for a year or so, and then implement a fully routable patchbay when I change the studio layout around once I have more money. I strongly suspect the patchbay will then need to grow and anticipate adding more Signex units.
Today I spent the day rebuilding my racks so that the patchbay is in the centre of my main racks where it needs to be for ergonomic usage and shortest cable routing. I'm trying to hold off the massive temptation to completely redo the entire studio in a more optimal and accessible layout (which I've been planning for a year now and finally have come up with the "ultimate" setup...), but have promised to not do this (and disrupt the current half-working system) until I've at least made some good music with it how it is.
For most of the summer holidays I've been working 24/7 on studio plans and have been laying more mic cables round the place. The Bowl Room is *full* of bowls, everywhere is super-tidy at last and even my friends wouldn't recognise the place...!
...And they didn't! After putting my rack back together, some friends came over for a musical soiree of "Some Hopeful Madness". That funny phrase from Ruth's answerphone message became the Ardour session title, and much funk was had with various drums, gongs and percussive devices. We also recorded an Mbira Trio, then concluded that we really must do this more often, for the sanity of our soul. It was lovely to make some inventive new music with inventive people, pushing boundaries and breaking new ground. We came up with some startlingly fresh grooves which eagerly await overdubs... Quite when all this ever gets mixed is another question, but at least we are on the right path.
Just for the record, a proper studio should have:
* I still have a long way to go on some fronts :-) so mine is not yet a proper studio. But I have just started installing a patchbay though. Hopefully soon I'll get round to uploading some new photos, since my olde ones are six years old!
© copyleft Malcolm Smith 2010-01-02 - last updated 2010-09-08