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Author Topic: Through the wall  (Read 2223 times)

Shot

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Through the wall
« on: July 05, 2005, 07:20:21 PM »

I'm in a situation where I'm considering how to design my wiring on my soon-to-be studio. I'm refurbishing a basement I've rented and have designed one mix room and three rooms for recording. Now I stumbled over a question on how many audio wires should I have wired through the wall.
At first, I was thinking of buying multicore cable and just place it inside the wall (I'm building a wall from the scratch). But then I found out that the shortest multicore cable with assembled connector box in my town (Zagreb/Croatia/Europe) is 10 meters long and it seems stupid to put that long cable in a wall where I need max 3 meters. And also considering that every cable has some signal loss through over distance, it's definitely a stupid idea. So I'm into assembling my DIY cables and connectors!

My question is, what would you guys do when choosing how many lines should go from recording room to mix? I was thinking 12 lines to two larger (5x3 meters) rooms, and 4 lines to vocal booth. In two larger rooms I want to have enough lines to track a drum set and have stereo mix to drummers headphones. Rooms will be treated acoustically different so in both of them drum will be tracked depending on style and preference. What do you think, is 12 lines enough, or should I go for 16. It's no problem for me to build it (okay, entire soldering process will take some time but it doesn't matter). What is your experience? What was the maximum number of channels you recorded simultaneously? Especially on drum, considering some drummers use more then 3 toms and considering some elements will be double miked (top/bottom). Is 12 lines enough?
And my next question - should I go for XLR only connectors or combine XLR with TRS? What would the ratio be? I was thinking 10 XLR plus 2 TRS. Should I install some stereo cables?

Think about it! If you were in my situation, what would you build...how many mono lines, stereo lines, what type of connectors...?? Any thoughts?
Smile
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hargerst

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Re: Through the wall
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2005, 08:54:28 PM »

I'd go with at least 12XLR + 4TRS in each big room, and 4XLR + 4TRS in the vocal booth.  16XLR + 4TRS would be even better.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

bounce

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Re: Through the wall
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2005, 12:25:11 AM »

Don't forget to stagger your wall plates for better isolation ; )

mckay
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McKay Garner
Bounce Inventive Audio
Los Angeles

Fig

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Re: Through the wall
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2005, 08:51:21 AM »

Shot wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 18:20

 What is your experience?


Just my opinion, but you can never have enough cables from here to there, and there, and there...

A lot of dependencies here.

In my situation, I have 52 lines showing up on two different wall plates in the tracking room.  They are all XLR, each plate has eight returns (or male XLR connectors) for headphones and other foldback requirements (studio monitors, P.A., re-amps, etc.).

This number is because of the size of the room (1,000 square feet) and the potential for an entire group to track in there simultaneously - live.  This includes 16-20 piece jazz bands, as well a four or five piece rock bands.

I over spec'ed the requirements because I have freelancers whose requirements I cannot predict.  If your room is for your own use exclusively, you may not need to be as thorough.

We also do a significant amount of A/B comparison and experimentation, so extra lines are a bonus.  If someone shows up with a full kit, triggers and other electronic gizmos, we are ready.  Room mics, in stereo, throughout the place? -- no problem.

Our iso has 12 lines.

Can you do a drum kit justice with merely 12 lines? Sure.  Some feel three or four is enough.

I'd look at how many inputs CAN you support (how many pres or channels on your console)?  How many outputs CAN you provide? and then add four more channels for expansion or redundancy -- connectors do fail over time, they are easy enough to repair, but "on session" is not the best time to pull out the soldering iron.

If the room is for your own private use, some of this may be overkill.  But if you are bringing in clients from outside, you'll want to be able to facilitate whatever they may require.

More is more in this regard.

YMMV,

Fig




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The easiest thing to do is the thing most easily forgotten.

josh

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Re: Through the wall
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2005, 01:20:34 PM »

In our studio (still in progress, but control room & booth up and running!!  Smile we have one 8ch XLR snake going to the booth and two going to the big room.  Our booth is big enough to record a drum kit in a pinch, or a horn section etc.  We ran one TRS to the booth and will run two to the big room for headphone mixes (headphone amps located in the booth/room).  

All of the snakes come into the patch bay and are normalled to mic input channels in the desk.  We can patch these from the TRS patch bay and put an adapter on the snake if we need TRS channels in the room but we thought it would be far more flexible to have XLRs everywhere since normally we just need mics.

We also built a box on the wall going into the machine room from the control room and to the tracking room, with an extra 2" pvc pipe thru the wall either way so we can pull additional cables as needed (MIDI...).


Shot

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Re: Through the wall
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2005, 08:04:38 AM »

Many excellent ideas you gave me! I've also spoke to some people in my town and browsed through some boards on the net.

I quickly gave up the idea od having only 12 lines. I'll be going for 16 lines with XLR connectors for mics. That's double 16 considering two rooms. I've also read that it's best to pull separate cables for line signal (headphones mix) instead of running loud headphone mix through multicore cable. I know it's a small chance of crosstalk between lines in multicore but I'm thinking since regular shielded stereo cables are dirt cheap (3m distance only) I'll add 4 channels (2 stereo cables) alongside 16 line multicore. Also, my friend who owns a studio recommended me to throw in a MIDI cable also. It never crossed my mind, but I think it's very usable. For instance, keyboard player in my band plays Rhodes piano but also has a few keyboards. MIDI comes handy when he places regular keyboard on top of rhodes and plays simultaneously two instruments. So I'll add a MIDI cable to each room (except vocal booth of course). Vocal booth will have 3 mono lines for mics and one stereo for headphones mix.

And Josh, that idea with PVC pipe is fantastic!! I'll definitely install a pipe to each room and have it sealed with cork for whenever it'll come necessity to pull cable through.

Many thanks people for all the advices!
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