The bells and whistles

In between fighting off bouts of spam on the blog and getting to grips with WordPress I though I’d go into a little bit of detail concerning my studio set up, which for the most part is cobbled together not unlike the TARDIS console in the current Doctor Who.

I work in a small-ish, not terribly well-lit room on the ground floor (that’s the first floor to dear US and Canadian visitors) of my house. My soundbooth is a converted WC and it works very well, thank you very much. If you have a joke about flushing or convenience, I’ve probably heard it. In there is my Neumann microphone, a music stand for scripts and the cable runs out under round the doorframe, back into the study.

This is where the fun starts. For ISDN sessions, the mic runs into a Soundcraft Folio F1 mixer. This is still something of a mystery to me; I’m hoping to figure it out properly one day and unlock it’s true potential, etc etc. For now, it’s used purely for ISDN. I use a pair of DT 100s for these sessions. The mixer connects to a Prima LT. I can dial in and out. Well, I can dial out as long as your number doesn’t include a 5 – The button’s broken. Must get that fixed.

So far so simple right? Oh dear.

For recording to hard disk, I transfer the mic cable into a Pro Tools Mbox mini, which plugs into my elderly but reliable Mac G5 with an Echo Mia soundcard installed. I use a different set of headphones for this type of recording; for some reason the DT100’s go all quiet on me when plugged into the Mbox, so I use a set of Sennheiser HD 465’s instead. This is the same set up that I use for Source Connect sessions.

My third set up is an entirely separate custom-built PC (I say custom-built; my brother threw it together, but as he’s a Phd in Computer Physics he generally knows what he’s doing) with an old copy of Cool Edit installed, a Terratec soundcard, an ISDN card and connected to my stand-by mic, a Rode NT-1A. This is my emergency back up VO system. Haven’t had to use it yet, but if the G5 explodes, a bit of replugging and tweaking gets the reserve system online.

There’s also the paraphernalia associated with a all this. Two monitors, a printer, a webcam, speakers. I’d take a photo, but frankly I haven’t hoovered, there’s paper everywhere and my keyboards are suspiciously biscuity.

Come back later. It’ll be tidy by then.