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Control room

The heart of the studio is its control room. With apologies for the poor quality of these photos (better quality replacements will eventually arrive) here are a few pictures of the control room and some of our equipment. Only the most frequently used equipment is shown at the moment - we'll add pictures of the other equipment racks, some of our microphones and the location recording gear at a later date.

The mixing desks and monitoring position. Starting at the far left you can see the MK149 MIDI keyboard and (just behind it) one of the two TLA 4-channel valve mic preamps. Two of the analogue tape decks sit on top of the two small equipment racks. Moving along, the twin VDU screens act as a single display connected to the main PC based DAW used for recording and mixing. Beneath are the two mixing desks. At the bottom right of the picture, the floor-standing, sound-proofed rack that contains the PC and other digital or 'noisy' rack based equipment can just be seen.
The large mixing desk is our Allen & Heath System 8 - a 16:8:2 (16 input channels, 8 groups, 2 main outputs) which is used for analogue recording and to provide foldback (monitoring) mixes and talkback during digital recordings. This is a lovely, warm sounding desk that matches the Tascam 8-track recorder well.

To its right the Yamaha 01V digital mixer and control surface can just be seen. This provides a further 16 mic/line channels and has ADAT (8 channel digital) and SP/DIF (2-channel digital) I/O plus a stereo analogue out.

The 01V also acts as a moving fader control surface for the Nuendo recording software - its fader and other control movements can be recorded and played back to automate complex mixes.

The control room has room for only near-field monitors. The main pair (fixed to the wall) are Behringer Truth B2031. These are active monitors with 150W power amplifiers built in, fed direct from the A&H desk.

A smaller pair of TDL monitors (seen below the Truths) are used to gauge how mixes will sound on typical small home hi-fi systems. These are driven by a Quad 405 power amp (not shown)

The headphones are Beyer DT770 - used mainly while tracking but occasionally to check a mix.

Mixes are mastered on our main listening system which comprises Naim amplification and Quad ESL63 electrostatic loudspeakers.

One of the two small equipment racks. From the top:
  • TLA 5001 4 channel valve mic preamp (one of two in the studio)
  • 2 x Tascam DX4D dbx noise reduction units (connected to the 8-track analogue recorder)
  • Joe Meek VC6Q microphone and instrument preamp
  • Aphex 107 2 channel 'Tubessence' valve mic preamp
  • 96 way patchbays
The other small equipment rack. From the top:
  • Behringer Ultramizer Pro effects box
  • Yamaha REV500 digital reverb
  • Drawmer MX30 2-channel gate/compressor/limiter
  • Tascam DX3D dbx noise reduction unit
  • Rotel CD player - used to check mixes
Tascam 38 1/2 inch 8-track analogue reel-to-reel tape deck.

This machine has eight independent tracks with 'Simul-Sync' facility allowing previously recorded tracks to be monitored in time with new tracks being laid down. Normally used without noise reduction, the attached dbx professional noise reduction units provide this machine with a dynamic range exceeding that of CD quality digital recording should the need arise.

Tascam 32 1/4 inch stereo analogue reel-to-reel tape deck.

This machine serves a variety of uses. It is normally used to record the final analogue master tapes from analogue recording sessions. It can also be used to add some useful analogue 'warmth' and tape compression to an otherwise too dry digital recording.

It is also used for live stereo analogue recordings.

Every studio needs a mascot - this is ours. No he doesn't have a name - though 'George' has been suggested once or twice!

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: 31 July, 2002