The Big Think

May 16, 2007

Studio Construction

Filed under: Studio Construction — jasony @ 10:26 pm

After helping my friend Greg move this morning I started in on some of the wiring in the cabinet. It took me a couple of hours to juggle the exact unit order- where to put the amps and power supplies and where the instruments and audio units go (compressors, effects, etc). There are a lot of things to think about when wiring: cable length, electrical runs, power requirements, physical dimensions, accessibility, etc. Balancing all of these things means that you sometimes have to dismantle a setup once it’s in. No big deal apart from removing a few screws since I haven’t hooked up the wires.

Once the boxes go in I have to manage the power supplies and cables (keeping them as far from the audio cables as possible). This would be made so much easier if the different manufacturers would just settle on a standard layout. If the power cords were all located on the same side of the back panel you could just fasten them all together and bundle them out of the way, but some come out the left, some out the middle, and some emerge from the center of the units. Ugh. On top of that, some units have universal, removable 3 prong cords (my favorite), some have integrated cords that you can’t remove, and some have those ugly wall-warts. It doesn’t stop there, though, because some of the wall wart power supplies are located in the middle of the cord (!?!?!) and the ones that are on the end -the normal black boxes with the plug blades we’re all used to seeing- are different sizes or orientations, so they take up different amounts of room in the rack-mount power supply units. It’s like assembling a puzzle.

Finally, when I had my studio in its old configuration there was a bit of distance from the different boxes to the mixer. Some of the runs could be as long as 10 feet. So I bought 12 foot audio cables and labeled both ends of all of them with printed labels and heat-shrink tubing. It worked great. However, now that the mixer is basically right next to the equipment there is a TON of extra cable and nowhere to put it! I really don’t want to invest in new cables just to keep the spaghetti down, but it’s pretty ridiculous. I may spend a few bucks to at least get shorter midi cables and try to make my own snake. That’ll cut down on about 20 or so cables. If I had an 8 foot 24 cable snake it would be great, but unfortunately those things run about $250 and I can’t justify that just to avoid the snarl.

Oh, I had to jump on the net and order a pair of 30 foot midi cables to make the run through the wall to my main controller keyboard. I thought I was going to have to shell out $50 for the pair but I jumped on ebay and found them for $14 new. Yay, ebay!

Tomorrow I’ll continue wiring but I can’t do much more until the new cables arrive. I definitely can’t make the in-wall run until I have everything ready. That’s a one-shot deal. I have to bundle all the cables together (staggering the ends by several inches) and pull them all thorough at once. If I need to add another cable in the wall down the road I’ll have to yank the whole bunch out since it’ll be too crowded in there to send a single cable through.

I know, I know… two more weeks. This is getting ridiculous.

Puzzle Man

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 2:36 pm

This guy is gooooood.

I Wish I Was…

Filed under: Mad Science — jasony @ 1:34 pm

At Makerfaire!

A two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful folks who like to tinker and love to make things. We call them Makers.

Seriously, I’d love to go someday.

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