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To daMy Studio Manual

Fire Exit

Fire Exit
Live Room B Live Room A

Control Room A

Control Room B

Fire Extinguisher

Health and Safety (Boring)


In the music studios we have many different ways to prevent fires and reduce the amounts of accidents. We have various rules in place to ensure that the workspace is a safe place. Some of the rules we have in the studios are very basic, for example. You are not allowed to eat or drink inside the studios for very obvious reasons. We dont want water to get into the equipment because it will be ruined and it could be very dangerous. Another unspoken rule is that we dont leave cables tangled on the floor. This is mainly because it could cause trip hazards and it could be dangerous. As for fire regulations we have an assembly point on the cricket field nearby where Rich or Andy will check that there isnt anyone left inside using the register. We also have two fire exits in the studio area which are marked on the diagram above where you will also find the fire extinguisher. As for inside the studios we have visual fire alarms because if youre listening to music in the studio which is soundproof (Apparently) you wont be able to hear the fire alarm which could be dangerous so we have flashing lights to let us know. We also have our electrical equipment pat tested once a year to make sure that they are working properly and arent faulty because in the worst case scenario that could cause an electrical fire. As for first aid we have a first aid kit in Richs office.

The Studio
Specifications: Desk Soundcraft Sapphyre Shelving EQ Semi Parametric EQ Noise Gate 6 Aux Channels 2 sets of faders on each channel 36 channels Patch bay

Sound card Motu 2408mk3 8 analog inputs/outputs with 24-bit, 96kHz converters on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS connectors 24 channels of ADAT optical input/output 24 channels of TDIF (Tascam digital) input/output 2 channels of S/PDIF in and 4 channels out

Speakers KRK E8 Frequency response: 40hz 30khz Active studio monitor 240w Power output

MIDI Equipment Evolution m-361 61 standard keys (velocity sensitive) Pitch bend wheel + modulation wheel 3 digit LED display

Connections and leads Unbalanced TRS cables or Balanced XLR FireWire 100
Speaker Computer Speaker

Sound Cards

Mixing Desk

Patch Bay

Outboard Equipment

Bantam Leads Loom

FireWire 100 vs. USB 2.0

Both FireWire and USB are cables used to connect devices and to transfer data between the two. The main difference between the two is that FireWire is made to carry more data and USB, specifically audio and visual information. Although both are mainly the same they have small differences. We use FireWire to connect the sound cards to the computer. At the time of this studio being set up FireWire 100 was the fastest cable we could use but now there are cables that are faster than FireWire like USB 3.0

The difference between balanced and unbalanced cables: The difference between balanced and unbalanced is the amount of conductors they use to carry the signal. Balanced cables use three conductors to carry the signal. Two are used to carry the positive and negative signals and the third is for grounding the cable. Whereas unbalanced cables only use two. One carries the positive signal and one carries the negative and the ground. The reason we use balanced cables is because when the ground is separate from the negative conductor there is less change of the audio signal getting interference from a radio frequency.

Channel Strip

Input Gain

Tape Return

Phantom Power
+48 Line

Mic/Line

Sub
Sub

Phase

Low Cut

In FIL

Flip Range Channel In Gate

Frequency Threshold Release Hold

HF Mon LF

HMF

Gain

Mon

LMF In

CH Post

Aux 1

Aux 2

Aux 3 Aux 4

Aux 5 Aux 6

PFL Cut

Pan 1-2

Mix

3-4 5-6 Fader Bnce XFX REV 7-8

Pan

Solo Fader Cut

M1 M2 M3 M4

Channel Strip

Top section: Tape Return: Additional control when playing it back Gain: Controls the amount of audio signal that goes into the desk. This is quite useful when your audio is clipping or if its quiet for some reason. Phantom power: This gives additional power to condenser microphones. This is a common thing people forget about and its quite frustrating changing leads and mics because you think they dont work when youve just forgotten to turn on phantom power. Sub: The sub button allows the output from one of the eight mix buttons to be switched into the channel path allowing for full subgrouping. Low Cut: The low cut is used for taking away the low end that isnt being used. Some common examples of this being used would be on mic overheads and on female vocals. Line: Selects mic or line for different inputs, switches between XLR and Jack cables. Phase: This reverses the phase for the selected input to compensate for conflicting microphone position for example if youre using two mics to mic up both skins on the snare drum. Noise Gate: FIL: This places a wide band pass filter in the side chain. Frequency: This selects the frequency that the gate will affect. Threshold: This determines the volume below which the signal will be attenuated. Release: This determines how long the gate will take before it returns to its normal state when the signal passes the threshold. Hold: This is the amount of time the gate is left open after the signal has gone past the threshold. Flip: This flips the behaviour of the gate so the signal will only pass when they are below the threshold Range: This determines the difference in level between the gate on and gate off. If the range is set to max no signal goes through the gate when it closes. Channel: Pressing this swaps the gate to the channel path.

In: This turns this section of the desk on. Shelving EQ: Mon: This applies it to the monitors. HF: This affects the Signal above 12k LF: This affects the Signal below 80 Hz In: This quite simply turns on the shelving EQ. Without this pressed on the signal will bypass it.

Semi Parametric EQ: IN: Again this just turns on the EQ section. If you fail to do this the signal will bypass it. Gain: there are two gain switches on the eq and you have to select the frequency you want to effect using the HMF and LMF dials. With that you use the gain to boost or cut that certain frequency. Mon: This applies the effect to the monitors.

Aux: Ch: This sources them from the channel. Post: This sets the aux to post fade. Aux 1, Aux 2, Aux 3, Aux 4, Aux 5 and Aux 6: Aux 1 and 2 are used for headphones and monitors. Aux 3-6 are mainly used for effects sends, these are always in the monitors.

Top Fader: Pan: This pan is different than the one mentioned below. This pan is used for selecting which group output you want. For example if you select group output 1-2 you would pan hard right to select 2 and you would pan hard left to select 1. 1-2: This sends the signal to group output 1 or 2 depending on the pan. 3-4: This sends the signal to group output 3 or 4 depending on the pan. 5-6: This sends the signal to group output 5 or 6 depending on the pan. 7-8: This sends the signal to group output 7 or 8 depending on the pan. Bnce: Pressing this button unhooks the monitor path from the mix bus. This is useful for doing live recording because it allows easy bouncing of tracks and sub-grouping. XFX: This moves the source point for the channel fader to post the monitor fader so that you can use the tape send as an additional send when mixing. Rev: This switches the function for the channel fader and the monitor fader and is only used in certain circumstances. Cut: The fader has a +10db gain at the top of it and is cut by the cut switch. PFL: This allows direct monitoring of the signal at the input of the channel fader or the output of the channel CUT Switch.

Bottom Fader: Pan: Pan is useful if you want the overhead mics from the drums to sound like the yre coming from different directions. Rather than having all the drums coming through both headphones you could pan the overheads so one is going to the left and one is going to the right. Solo: as you may expect this button solos this channel so it is the only channel playing. This is quite useful if youre not sure what is going through this channel. You can just solo it and whatever is playing is coming through that channel. Cut: The fader has a +10db gain at the top of it and is cut by the cut switch. M1, M2, M3, and M4: these are the group mute channels. When you press one down it means that channel has become part of a group mute. So when you press the master M1 for example at the end of the desk all channels that has M1 selected will become muted. This is very useful for if you want to mute all vocals for a moment or all of the drums etc.

The Live Room The live room is located opposite the main studio with windows facing each other so you can see people in live room and vice versa. This room is mainly used for recording live drums so it has a full drum kit set up in there. It also has many mic stands and many leads which are used for when you set up mics for recording the drums (will get to that later). Lastly the live room has the stage box setup inside which is connected to the mixing desk via the multicore. The stage box is made up of 16 XLR inputs for the microphones. To record a microphone from the live room you firstly need to connect one XLR to input 1 for example. On the mixing desk you would have to select your channel of choice and select croup output 1-2 and hard pan it to the left to select input 1 and like magic you will get signal from the microphone.

Simple Recording To undertake a basic recording you dont really need to do much. When we recorded an electric guitar from the live room we connected the guitar through the DI box and then into the stage box. We put it into input 1 on the stage box and this sent it to group output 1-2 on the desk. Then all we had to do was select a channel and hard pan it to the left to select input 1 and we had signal!

Di recording When we recorded a guitar for one of the songs we decided to use DI recording (Direct Injection) and in this case we plugged the guitar through the preamp on the outboard equipment which acts as an amplifier. This is connected to the computer through the patch bay. Once we plugged the guitar into the preamp we routed it to channel 25 on the patch bay which was group output 1 on the mixer. At this point we selected group output 1-2 and hard panned it to the left.

Outboard equipment TL Audio Ivory Series EQ 5012 Valve Equalizer

What is this? The TL Audio Ivory Series EQ 5012 Valve Equalizer is a dual channel valve compressor.

Specs:

2 channels - each with 4 bands of fully parametric valve equalisation Balanced microphone and line level inputs with variable gain control Line inputs and outputs duplicated on unbalanced jack connections Front panel instrument inputs (for guitars / keyboards etc) 48v phantom power Status LEDs on all function switches Frequency response 20Hz to 40kHz +0 / -1dB

TL Audio c 2021 valve compressor indigo series

What is this? The TL Audio c 2021 valve compressor indigo series is a valve compressor used for line level instruments. Specs:

Frequency response 10Hz to 40KHz, +0, -1dB.


Threshold -20dBu to +20dBu, Attack 0.5msec or 20msec, Release 40msec or 2 seconds, Ratio 1:1.5 to 1:30, Gain Make-Up 0 to +20dB.

Joemeek Photo Optical Stereo Compressor Sc2.2

What is this? The Joemeek Photo Optical Stereo Compressor Sc2.2 is a stereo compressor used for bussing channels. Specs

Analogue display of compression Attack/Release Input Gain Output Gain Slope Compression Overload margin - 30dB on Mic and Line inputs in normal operation Ratio minimum approx. 1.5 to 1 Ratio maximum approx. 8 to 1

Joemeek Meequalizer

What is this? The Joemeek Meequalizer is a double semi parametric EQ that can be used for two channels at once. Specs:

Semi parametric EQ Gain Bass Frequency Mid Treble In/out

Mesa engineering preamp rectifier recorder

What is this? The Mesa engineering preamp rectifier recorder is a dual channel preamp used for line level instruments.

Specs:

2x Jack inputs Gain Treble Mid Bass Presence Master Clean/Grit Flip switch Raw/Modern Flip switch Output Output Live Solo

Focusrite Platinum twin track pro

What is this? The Focusrite Platinum twin track pro is a dual channel mic preamp with a build in compressor.

Specs:

2x XLR input 48v Phantom Power on both channels 2x Jack input Dual Optical Compressors Level controls Impedance controls Input Gain Line/mic High Gain

The Patch Bay


LINE IN INS SND INS RET CH OUT TP SND TP RET MON IN

Above is one strip of the patch bay! (Exciting)

Routing to the Compressor whilst recording: To send the signal from a channel strip whilst recording we have to use the patch bay. We have to find the patch strip for our channel and we have to use a bantam lead to send our signal through INS SND into the Left side of the compressors input. (The input is stereo however we are running it mono so we only put the bantam lead in the left side) Then we have to return the signal through the compressors output so we put it through the left side of the output and send it to INS RET back on the channels patch strip.

Routing to the outboard equipment after recording: To route the signal after recording its almost the same as doing it whilst recording . To do it after recording you need to select the rev button on the channel strip. Once you have done this you need to route it through the patch bay like I talked about just before and after that is done you just have to re-record it on logic once you have the desired sound.

Spreading your recording across the desk: Once you have done all your recording you have the option to spread your mix across the desk. If you want to do this you have to switch to the bottom set of faders which are used for mixing. Firstly we need to change the output of every channel on logic. We have to assign every channel to a different output for this to work. At the moment they are all set to stereo and this is the first two channels on the mixer and they are the left and righ t. So lets say we have eight tracks on logic, we need to assign them all to a group output so the first two are set to group output 1-2. Once we have done this we need to hard pan them on logic. So the first channel will be group output 1-2 and panned hard left to select output 1. Once you have done this for all the channels you will be able to mix them on the desk.

Mix down/bouncing of the desk: Bouncing your mix of the desk is quite similar to recording through the desk. Firstly you have to press the bounce button on all the channels you wish to bounce and that will send them to the top set of faders. Then you have to send all the channels to the same group output and have that output on a channel on logic and then you have to re-record your mix on logic and you will have your bounce with all your levels from the desk!

Drum Recording

Selecting Mics: Kick: Audix F15 (Dynamic) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Top Snare: Shure SM57 (Dynamic) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Bottom Snare: Sennheiser E 845(Dynamic) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Rack Tom: Audix F10 (Dynamic) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Floor Tom: Audix F10 (Dynamic) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Hi Hat: Audix F15 (Condenser) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Left Overhead: Neumann (Condenser) (Cardioid Polar Pattern) Right Overhead: Neumann (Condenser) (Cardioid Polar Pattern)

Mic Placement: Rather than describe the microphone placement to you I will show you pictures of the microphones.

Kick: As you can see we have placed the microphone just outside the skin of the kick drum. I preferred the way the kick sounded like this. Other ways you can set this up would to put the mic all the way inside the drum or to place it further away to get more sound of the room with it.

Top Snare: In this photo you can see the SM57 is placed as close as we can have it without it getting in the way of the drummer. We have the microphone aimed at the centre of the snare skin.

Bottom Snare: For the bottom snare we had the microphone placed underneath the snare and away from the hi hat pedal. The microphone is near the centre of the skin and is trying to pick up more the sound of the snares on the bottom.

Rack Tom: The Rack tom is held on with a clip that attaches to the metal bar that holds the skin down. We have the cable wrapped neatly around the clip as to not touch and cymbals near it. The microphone is aimed near the centre of the skin.

Floor Tom: With the floor tom microphone we had to be careful as to where the cable went because it was inbetween two cymbals. Like the rack tom this is also held on by a clip and is aimed at the centre of the skin.

Hi Hat: As you can see this mic is aimed inbetween the dome of the hi hat and the edge. This is to try and get more of the signal of the hi hat opening rather than the top of the hi hat.

Over Heads: The position over the overheads we used is called the X/Y position. This is used to gather the sound of the room rather than just the cymbals below.

Setting Levels: Before you start recording drums you need to set the levels and make sure youre getting enough signal through the desk and to check you havent forgotten to turn on the phantom power or something like that. For this we need to drummer to hit each individual drum to check were getting a nice amount of signal through the desk and to make sure it isnt peaking. After we have done this we need to get the drummer to play a full beat to make sure that when he plays properly the sound doesnt peak any of the channels.

Routing Multi Channel Signals: To route multiple signals from the live room to the mixing desk isnt as complicated as you would think. Firstly you have to put all of the xlrs in the right order on the stage box. The order of the xlrs should go kick, top snare, bottom snare, rack tom, floor tom, hi hat, left overhead and the right overhead. Now we have to leave the live room and go look at the mixer. Firstly we have to select the correct group outputs. So you select the same output on the desk as the patch bay, so for example the kick is going through input 1 on the stage box and we will select group output 1-2 and pan hard left to select output 1. Dont forget to turn on the phantom power for the three condenser mics and we need to reverse the phase on the bottom snare. Now on logic we need to create 8 channels and select the correct input which matches the outputs on the desk!

Recording Drums: Now we have all the correct inputs and the channels set up on logic we need to record some live drums! For this we need to drummer to wear his headphones so we can talk to him and so he can hear the click and himself. For the headphones to work we need to turn on the headphone unit which is below the outboard equipment. Once we have done to this we can talk to them through a microphone built into the desk. Next we would have to do a practice take to make sure that they dont peak any levels and to check that they can hear themselves and the click. After that youre ready to record some live drums!

Written by Sam Price Haworth