Author Topic: Gear: Studio shots by Deb  (Read 84532 times)

Numina

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Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: December 24, 2007, 12:32:32 PM »
In the spirit of gear talk, let's post some studio pics for oggling purposes, eh?  Yes, all of you, do it... do it... The Mysterium as of late 2007:








APK

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2007, 12:42:35 PM »
Jesse, you have way too much gear :)

Oooh ... didn't know you had an Andromeda !
And is that a v-synth at the top ... how long you had that?
And what happened to the OB12 ? I don't see it.

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Numina

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2007, 12:46:43 PM »
APK - there is no such thing as too many synths.  :-* I stil have the OB-12, K5000S, Juno106, SH101, MiniMOOG, FIZMO, XP-80, and E-mu E-synth, they're just not shown.  Now show me yours. - J.

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2007, 03:19:32 PM »

Only shot I have right now. Its a temporary setup in teh basement
while I renovate my studio room.
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Numina

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 03:51:49 PM »
Nice!  And a Yaesu scanner to boot! - J.

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2007, 08:43:19 PM »
Here is a few shots I took a few weeks ago...


Mix Position

Keys


Paul
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

dwight

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2007, 11:02:08 AM »
In the spirit of gear talk, let's post some studio pics for oggling purposes, eh?  Yes, all of you, do it... do it... The Mysterium as of late 2007:


Okay, here's a shot circa 2002-ish. Things change a bit since then. I will post a new image soon. -d



mgriffin

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2007, 11:09:59 AM »
I've enjoyed this newest round of studio pics, and will try to post some of my own soon.

Lena snapped some images of me and David Tollefson doing some Viridian Sun studio work this weekend, so maybe I'll post some of those in both this "Studio Shots" topic and in the Viridian Sun discussion in the "Hypnos CDs and Artists" section.

Keep the pictures coming, everybody.
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2007, 11:33:28 AM »
As a non-musician, I have to say that when I look at all those gizmos (and I've visited a few artists in their homes too, e.g. Kevin Kendle, John Flomer, James Asher), I am in awe that you guys and gals can keep it all straight. I had to laugh when Kevin Kendle said to me "Oh, it's not that hard to learn to use these things."  :o :o :o Yeah, right! I consider myself a bright person and am the local go-to guy here at my program at Hamline University for computer issues by staff and faculty and even students (I give training seminars on PowerPoint, advanced Word, etc), but I take one look at all that....STUFF...all those dials, switches, read-outs...and I just glaze over. It does not compute. So, FWIW, my hat's off to ALL of you ambient and EM wizards. I don't know how you do it. IMO, cooking a meal or writing is child's play but when it comes to making music using THOSE, well, I wouldn't even try it on a bet.

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2007, 11:38:27 AM »
There's some truth to what you're saying, Bill.  Most of the people you'll talk to who have a studio full of gadgets like that, tend to be computer programmers, engineers, IT managers, and other tech-savvy types, which might explain why they (we) seem to think it's no big deal to understand how to interface with dozens of different machines.

Having said that, it's not quite as intimidating as it may seem to you, looking at 30 or 40 unfamiliar gadgets, when you're the individual who has bought them, one at a time, months apart, and learned each one individually.  If I had obtained every item in my studio all at once, it might have been overwhelming, but since I've obtained maybe 3-5 new pieces per year, it's been pretty gradual.
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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2007, 12:02:42 PM »
Here are some quick & candid pics of the Viridian Sun sessions from Saturday.  I'll annotate these a little bit later.


First pic (these are posted out of the order they happened)... I'm playing bass front and center, Dave is playing guitar with mallets.  I'm actually sitting in front of the main computer (Mac Pro) in the center of the studio and Dave is over to one side.  None of the pics show the other half of the studio, which is more set up for graphics stuff anyway. You can't see much else in the studio at all, actually, but that's Lena's cello behind Dave, and there's a microphone stand and a mostly-empty gear rack back there too.



Slightly out of focus shot of Dave, taken from the studio doorway.  You can see my Nord Modular (not used in these sessions) in the foreground.  I think we're actually playing and tape is rolling at this point, even though Dave's not touching the guitar.  He has some loops running and he's just tweaking settings.  In the background you can see most of the keyboard & synth part of the studio.  On the left is my Yamaha 01/V mixer mounted almost vertically, then a 3-tier keyboard stand with a Kawai K5000S on top, then a Korg Triton, and a Roland D-50.  The two racks in front of the keyboard stand include a bunch of rack-mount synths in the one on the left (Waldorf Microwave XT, Roland JV2080, Korg O3R/W, Yamaha TG77, and the one on the right is a pre-amp & FX rig for recording guitar and bass, with a Joe Meek pre-amp/compressor/EQ, and effects including a TC Electronics M2000, a Digitech Studio Quad that I just use for weird, noisy modulation effects, a Behringer Ultrafex reverb, and a couple of Electrix filter effects.



This third pic shows more of the computer setup.  The computer (out of frame) is a Mac Pro quad Intel processor with a bunch of RAM and a bunch of hard drives.  The monitor is an Apple 30" HD cinema display.  There are Mackie 824 monitors on the desk, though at present the right monitor is raised up on top of a small rack that holds a patch bay, an Alesis Masterlink, a Lexicon PCM91 reverb, and an Avalon 747 analog compressor/EQ.  There's a black Steinberger electric guitar leaning up against the desk, mostly covered by a white Steinberger bass.


I'm not sure if we're actually playing here, or just talking about "what next?" in between tracks.  But you can see Dave's setup a bit more clearly (I don't know the names of all the pedals), and you can see my Yamaha S80 weighted piano/synth up against the wall, with a little lamp on top of it.


Here we're playing.  I'm wailing on the bass to such a degree that I'm about to tip over backward in my chair!  You can see Ableton Live on the screen but it's a very simple setup, just two audio tracks, each with a stereo pair from the MOTU 828 interface (on the shelf below the monitor), one pair from my bass & FX and one from Dave and his guitar & FX.


Not much is visible here that's not visible in the other pics... except the back of the sheet music stand I guess.


Here's another on the "scene" from the first picture, except Dave has picked up the guitar, and I'm looking at the screen with a concerned expression.  The small rack with the patchbay, the Lexicon PCM91, the Masterlink and the Avalon is more visible here and on the shelf below that you can see the MOTU 828 and the rarely-used Tascam DAT deck.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 03:33:45 PM by mgriffin »
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Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2007, 12:25:19 PM »
I think Mike brings up a great point about learning vs timing vs quantity.

My studio and my studio "life" as such are divided into two distinct areas,

On the recording side I have a pretty hard and fast rule that If there is a piece of equipment that I have not used in six months or so, I usually sell it. It makes no sense to have a studio full of stuff that sits there and does nothing while we tend to gravitate toward certain pieces over and over.

Only once have I sold a piece I regretted, I spend much more time wondering..."Do I really need this and could that money be better used elsewhere?"

I have also mapped out what I want / need for my studio to run efficiently and professionally without need or excuses, but with out gratuity.

For instance, my design was to have 16 channels of high end mic pre, an A-D/D-A system to handle tracking that at once and then sufficient, quality outboard EQ's and Compressors for a hybrid "out of the box" mix down.

I am about 5 pieces away of accomplishing said goal...

Keyboard wise I have also adopted this approach slightly, I have slimmed my keyboard rig down to 5 (not counting my Rhodes) and even that may get chopped down to 4 soon (bye bye V-Synth).

It just seemed irresponsible in a way to have a mountain of synths most of which I had barley scratched the surface of their true potential. So I decided to focus on ringing out the most of what I could from fewer synths instead of having one synth which I only played a patch or two. Plus like a guitarist will "fall in love with, or at least respect in the morning" a particular instrument, I wanted a few synths I could look at as instruments in and of themselves, vs a commodity of sound sources.

Plus with soft synths being so good, the uniqueness of most digital instruments has diminished in my eyes, unless it is for some aspect like the time stretching and control of the V-synth or the architecture of some of the Waldorf pieces.


Anyway, I know that for many gear hounds and synth enthusiasts this is pure heresy...


Paul



PS Mike that is a really big violin along the wall !!!
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dwight

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2007, 12:42:44 PM »
...If I had obtained every item in my studio all at once, it might have been overwhelming, but since I've obtained maybe 3-5 new pieces per year, it's been pretty gradual.

This is quite true. If I had bought everything at once, I think my wife would have divorced me.
The last time I went through a major upgrade (multiple items) I was not a happy camper to be around.

-d

Bill Binkelman

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 01:22:59 PM »
Not that I have any interest whatsoever  ::) in ever recording music, but just out of curiosity, if one wanted to record non-rhythmic ambient music (i.e. no drum programming machines needed), what would be the minimum one would need to spend to a) compose and play it b) record and mix it c) make high quality CD-Rs of it. Again, this is not meant as a veiled statement by me, since 1) I have no talent and, 2) I have no money. I'm just curious about the cost of all that gear. It LOOKS like a minimum set-up has to run well into the six figures...is that close? Do any of you have a limit on what you would spend on any one piece of gear?

I'm just really curious, folks, that's all. I'm pretty meager, income-wise, working in higher ed (as staff, not faculty) and I'm kinda cheap, to be honest. I blanche at spending more than 12 bucks for a bottle of wine, a dinner out that costs more then 80 bucks better be spectacular, and I go to matinees or second run movies whenever possible. So, the prospect of spending what looks like mega bucks on all that gear (and, knowing how small the market is for ambient music and how "well" it sells) :( well, to be blunt, how do you justify it? Not meaning that at all for it be critical or shaming or anything like that...maybe I'm just too pragmatic when it comes to money. I don't know. Anyway, I sincerely and truly hope no one here takes offense at my asking. Honestly, when I hear the music you all make, well, I'm glad you invest in the gear obviously. The music kicks ass. But man, I understand Dwight's statement. I think if I ever returned to printing a magazine in hard copy, Kathryn would change the locks and leave my all of my shit on the sidewalk with a terse note!  ;D

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2007, 02:56:02 PM »
Not that I have any interest whatsoever  ::) in ever recording music, but just out of curiosity, if one wanted to record non-rhythmic ambient music (i.e. no drum programming machines needed), what would be the minimum one would need to spend to a) compose and play it b) record and mix it c) make high quality CD-Rs of it. Again, this is not meant as a veiled statement by me, since 1) I have no talent and, 2) I have no money. I'm just curious about the cost of all that gear. It LOOKS like a minimum set-up has to run well into the six figures...is that close? Do any of you have a limit on what you would spend on any one piece of gear?

Okay, do I want to admit this?
Sure. Here we go...(full disclosure).  Since 99-2007 I have put 63K into my project studio.
From 90-98 I shared a commercial studio with Tim Story and another guy. We put a lot $$ into that studio.
It's still around but it's hard to get in. It's always booked...

In the early 80's I lost a studio to a lighting strike.
The whole thing burnt to the ground. Ouch!!

As a qualification, the only thing I have sold out my purchases is an OB 12 (original), Roland D50 and a Moog Source.

...But man, I understand Dwight's statement. I think if I ever returned to printing a magazine in hard copy, Kathryn would change the locks and leave my all of my shit on the sidewalk with a terse note!  ;D

That's good one Bill. I can visualize that happing to me under the right circumstances.


APK

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2007, 03:03:06 PM »
Hi Bill.
Hey, I don't even have a job !
:)
On the music front ... with the advent of powerful computers, excellent analog to digital converter boxes/cards, and clean signal paths, you could setup a studio in a laptop/desktop using only software instruments or samples, and a pair of headphones. And you could do that with free software. So the expense could be very low. Maybe a small midi keyboard to play the soft-synths.

That sort of setup is not what you see in the pictures above, but it is workable and inexpensive.

Heck, Biosphere does "live" concerts with just a laptop and small midi keyboard.

Hardware gear is another fascination. But most digital hardware is just a program burned to a big chip with a physical interface of knobs and stuff added on. Not really different from a software program on your computer. But software doesn't have the tactile appeal, or the dedicated and unproblematic use.

I use more software synths and effects than I do hardware ones. Software is convenient and powerful. It is cheap to add 'knobs' for every parameter to software.

Of course, getting usable, cheap software for music production is no guarantee that a person will produce music worth listening to.

It is relatively easy to string together pre-configured samples, but its another game to play and compose like a musician.




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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2007, 03:22:39 PM »
Cool gear, guys.  Bill, there isnít really any minimum amount necessary for creating your own beatless ambient music.  You could probably even make do with just a computer, a keyboard controller, some software-based synths and software to record your performances.  (But you might also get what you pay for!)  Iím not really a gearhead myself, but I can certainly understand the appeal.  Instead of having a collection of vintage Fords in your garage, you might be saving up the cash for that long-lost vintage Moog Mark V, or maybe the latest and greatest new Doepfler module.  That said, I did recently picked up a used Wavestation A/D from Loren, and have been enjoying the hell out of it.

Forrest

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2007, 03:27:38 PM »

Only shot I have right now. Its a temporary setup in teh basement
while I renovate my studio room.



I like your setup, APK, even though the pic is softer-focused than an episode of Moonlighting!

What's the keyboard in the right foreground?
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APK

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2007, 03:35:10 PM »
Yep, its a nice little working system, everything in reach where I need it.
That synth is a korg MS2000 keyboard version -- it came with
those old-school hardwood ends.


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LNerell

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Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2007, 05:56:43 PM »
Not that I have any interest whatsoever  ::) in ever recording music, but just out of curiosity, if one wanted to record non-rhythmic ambient music (i.e. no drum programming machines needed), what would be the minimum one would need to spend to a) compose and play it b) record and mix it c) make high quality CD-Rs of it.

Their is no real answer to this as their are so many ways one can make this type of music. It depends on the way you want to work and what you want to achieve. You could spend only a few hundred bucks and make some music. Or, like most of us here go crazy and buy tons of gear just because we like too.  :P ;D

So, the prospect of spending what looks like mega bucks on all that gear (and, knowing how small the market is for ambient music and how "well" it sells) :( well, to be blunt, how do you justify it?

I don't think making this kind of music you can justify the costs, you do it because you have to. But again, these days you can spend very little and still make something decent. In the end its not really the tools that make the music but the person and how he/she uses them. Like building a house, you don't need a lot of the tools they use today to make houses, people have been making houses for thousands of years with very basic tools.


BTW I will contribute with photos of my studio later, I just finished moving my studio to a different room and am in the process of fixing some minor problems. Probably post something in a day or two.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell