Studio furniture


#43

The nice thing is if you ever need to change it, just unscrew the legs and put them on something new.

I will say that for my larger desk, I didn’t sandwich two pieces completely. I cut pieces about 8" wide and glued them around the outer edge of the larger piece and then one down the middle (like an 8 on an LCD calculator). I did it this way to cut down on weight but still give the desk appropriate strength (to use 1.5" screws for the legs) and thickness for aesthetic.


#44

Usually you have everything wired into a patchbay, which will be on one of the units. Then patching stuff together is just a matter of using some short patch cables.


#45

I’m just about to set up a new mixer, which will be on a different desk than the modular rack. My plan for interconnection is to get an XLR snake and then convert to 3.5mm as necessary.

Unless someone makes a patch bay that does that XLR/3.5mm conversion for me?


#46

Yea - I thought about this afterwards and there are some nifty DB25 modules out there that you could connect the two together. Still, I think the point is still valid that this is a relatively arbitrary and unnecessary obstacle/limitation of that layout - you’ll never be able to manipulate both sides at the same time. I belabored it over and over before in the past when I was going through the same thing. At the end of the day, I resigned that there are two different things going on here: creative producing/recording and technical mixing/mastering. I spend more time on the creative side of it so I dedicated the space and investment accordingly. I may have a synth or two out on the “production desk” at any given time but I’m usually hitting the record button then moving over to my sidetable with all the gear on it. That being said, I don’t work ITB very much on software synths or max/msp. If I did, I might setup differently.

If I were going to have a nice, large mixing console, I would probably invest in a dedicated mixing desk and fight the urge to fill the rack with synths and other stuff in order to save room for future recording gear down the road (maybe some 500 series racks, compressors, patchbays, etc.).


#47

How are you going to incorporate the mixing desk into your setup? Recording a stereo output? Multitracking and mixing down with the board?


#48

The Behringer X32 is a 40-channel audio interface. So, I’ll be multitracking. (I know, I know, Behringer. I also considered A&H and Presonus. The Behringer’s routing flexibility is unmatched at the $2k level).

My setup is hybrid in every sense. I’m whatever the opposite of a purist is.


#49

Maybe a XLR>TRS snake to connect the board to a patchbay. Might be more flexible in the long run than a stage XLR snake and box unless you plan to use it live for a band.

Also, you will get no flack from me about the Behringer stuff - it works well. I think I see the X32 and Presonus stuff out at live venues more often than not around here. If its durable enough for them…

Personally, I want an X-desk but that will have to wait. A very long time.

EDIT: then again, if I had a nice desk like the X32 I’d be very tempted to add one of those nw2s balanced output modules to my rack and run DB25>XLR to the board. 2 cables. Would be so cleeeeaaaan.


#50

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll look into that.


#51

I’m guessing it may not have enough XLR inputs, but there’s this:
http://www.addacsystem.com/product/19-utility-racks/addac911b


#52

Man, that’s so beautiful, it’s got me reconsidering my inclination to get the big X32. I thought I wanted the large one because I wanted all 16 of those omni outs. But if the nw2s DB25 is handling the eurorack I/O, I may be able to get by with the smaller form factor of the “compact” version. Only other drawback is fewer faders. hmm…

nw2s products in general are so lovely. Looking at their site is a “I’ll have one of each” situation.

EDIT: oops. I thought I remembered that the X32 had native DB25 support, but it’s not the case. I’ll need to run the DB25 into an AES50 box, which then communicates with the X32 over ethernet. A little more complex than I thought at first, but still not too bad. Unfortunately I haven’t found a simple box that has an ethernet port and a DB25 port yet. I’m assuming it’s not quite as simple as a pinout, but that there’s some firmware involved in the AES50 standard. And I’m not sure “standard” is the right word. AES50 seems to be a Behringer thing, an alternative to Dante or AVB.

I could just get a DB25 to XLR snake and then use XLR channels out of the board, but then I’m back to the full size mixer. Hmm…


#53

Another option to consider: X32 compact and S16 digital snake. This is what I use in the studio and it gives you all the ins/outs of the bigger X32 with the added bonus of ADAT so I can hook up Expert Sleepers ES-3. Regarding fewer faders: you can press 2 bank buttons to allow you to use all 16 faders for input channels. A quick button press and you are back to right hand faders for busses. It’s a very flexible system.


#54

Seriously considering it. Faders or desk space, faders or desk space… (leaning towards desk space)


#55

Its worth asking what DAW you plan to use…

I like the idea of being able to remove the DAW from the creative process with a full service mixer like the X32 - could record straight to a USB stick without turning on your computer. If your computer is part of the setup and needs to be integrated then maybe this is a moot point and you’d be better served with a nice DAW controller.

To me, the value of faders really comes into play during mix down - if you even get to that point, I never do. If you are multitracking, I suppose they are handy if you are tracking pre-fader and listening post fade… maybe recording your fader automations so you can tweak later. If all they do is serve as a volume control for listening, then you may dedicate less space and $$$ to it.

EDIT: just noticed the X32 does not record individual tracks - just a 2-track. Maybe there’s a similar product that multitracks if this is important to you.


#56

There appear to be after-market solutions which allow you to record multi-track USB directly from the console:


#57

loving my qupac

http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/qu-pac/

i also have an expander for an additional 8in/4out. super flexible routing system. it’s my analog to digital setup…then have an apogee duet for digital to analog… then finally, i record through a rms755 into a tascam da3000 (dad) for my final mix/master.


#58

So far the computer has been an essential integrated part of my setup, but my hope is that the mixer makes this optional.

I use Live most of the time. I love Bitwig, but I’m pretty hooked on Max for Live. Sometimes I look fondly at Presonus Studio One (for its audio processing), Cakewalk Sonar for MPE, Harrison Mixbus looks interesting for mixing. But I imagine I’ll generally return to Live.

The X32 does multitrack over FireWire or USB to the DAW. The Cymatic card looks interesting for pulling the computer out of the equation.

I’m looking for flexibility. The way I make music has grown and changed pretty rapidly over time, so I’m trying to avoid boxing myself into a very specific approach.


#59

Sounds like the X32 really meets all your criteria with the exception of minor connectivity hurdles. If you absolutely have to have faders over MIDI knobs or a control surface, I think its not a bad way to go.

Getting back to the topic at hand… one thing that gripes me about my setup is the fact that the mixing position is ideal for listening but when I’m actually making music my speakers are off to my left side. With something like the X32 being compact enough, I could keep it off to the side of the desk and manipulate faders with one hand while not having to take my head out of the listening position while mixing or playing. Eurorack is tough because most people set their cases upright I guess (potentially getting in the way of speakers and/or computer monitors). Still, putting a case where the mixer would normally go and putting the mixer off to the side might solve that problem. A simple rolling stand could suffice as the X32 has everything built in - no outboard gear necessary.


#60

Yeah, I have an L-shaped setup, and speaker position is bonkers. I’m kinda feeling that I don’t do a lot of stereo imaging while working with the Eurorack, so I have the rack off to the side, and the mixer is centered between the monitors.

EDIT: This morning I’m leaning towards the full-size X32. I have the room for the extra faders, and not needing a separate stage box simplifies connectivity slightly.


#61

Regarding the X32 faders: I mostly use them for routing. For example, I use the right side for ‘sends on faders’. Those 8 faders go to various hardware FX boxes (you can use normal audio out channels as FX sends too, not just the aux outs). You can then send aux returns to other busses for really complex routing and feedback loops. Scenes allow you to quickly return to a stored state.
Sorry for steering this off topic … I too am interested in upgrading my studio furniture.


#62

I find the constant fretting about topicality sort of amusing in a thread like this. The thread used to have a different title, before a thread merge. The newer thread, I had called “Studio Furniture” because I was thinking about a desk. But I was thinking about a desk because of the impending purchase of a mixer. So, the topics got intertwingled. This all feels really natural to me, so I wouldn’t sweat it. It’s not quite the same as a development thread, where lots of intricate and detailed decisions are being made and any “noise” significantly detracts from the quality of the discussion. A bit of noise feels right here.

Nuance is hard to codify, but we can use it in our words and actions anyway.

One of the reasons I am attracted to the X32 over less expensive options (stage box or audio interface + MIDI controllers, typically) are the motorized faders, the scribble strips, and the reassignable sends/groups/auxes/etc. You can get this kind of flexibility with MIDI controllers, but what you won’t get with that approach are clear color-coded labels that update dynamically as you switch banks/groups/etc. And the number of MIDI controllers that include motorized faders is one, to my knowledge. Also from Behringer.