Acoustics consulting with Realtraps

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve entered into a part-time consulting relationship with Realtraps. Realtraps is run by Ethan Winer (and his partner Doug Ferrara, as well has a half-dozen-ish employees). Ethan wrote the single best introduction to listening room acoustics that I know of; this article was my point of departure in developing an understanding of how to make rooms sound good. In addition to this (and other) articles, Ethan is more than generous with his expertise on various forums online that I hang out on. We started communicating a while ago via these forums, and we became friends. As of now we haven’t met in person, but it is likely that this unfortunate situation will be remedied soon. :-)

I’ll mostly be working in a “tech support” and public-educational role for them to begin, and it could eventually grow into more hours and duties. Time will tell. Anyway, this is a good relationship for both of us; it results in some income and a good “foot in the door” with a growing company/industry opportunity for me, and for them it’s another knowledgeable person on board to help them with their workload.

So if you’ve seen my forum posts about acoustics on various forums online, you will likely be seeing more of these. And I’ve recommended Realtraps (along with GIK acoustics) products without hesitation in the past, this end of things will also step up ;-) although I will still be helping DIYers with their projects as well. One of the things I admire most about Ethan is his aforementioned intellectual generosity as opposed to forcing his company’s products down peoples’ throats; he above all wants to help people understand room acoustics and get their rooms sounding good. And luckily, one of the simplest and least-expensive ways to do this is to invest in Realtraps products, so of course he doesn’t mind getting his excellent products into more listening rooms and recording studios along the way.

my creation…. LIIIIIIVESSSSS!

Both racks are up and running; the rig is fully operational. I’ve begun using it a bit for Freakwitch production, and everything is playing nicely together now.

The computer rack is great. I have a fantastic computer case, and 2 LCD widescreen monitors (20″). This is by far more screen real estate than I’ve ever had. It’s a treat doing audio work with this much space! I also have quite a bit of hard drive space, including space for backups.

Presently I am using WindowsXP and Sonar for my DAW, Sonar is great software that runs on a horrid operating system. I do plan to investigate audio production tools for Linux, most likely I’ll install Ubuntu-Studio (a version of Linux that is customized for multimedia production, which runs the Ardour DAW among many other things) on a spare partition and give it a try.

Anyway, I have 16 ins and outs, 16 mic pres, and a whole bunch of microphones. I just traced down the last wiring problem tonight (one of the channels wasn’t working…. turns out it wasn’t wired up correctly. All fixed).

Also, I got a chance to fire up my new Weller soldering iron. In testing the mic preamps, I discovered that one of my dynamic microphones wasn’t working correctly. No output at all. So I took it apart, poked around a bit, and discovered it was intermittent. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Did a little more investigation and found a cold solder joint on one of the wires connected to the XLR output jack. All fixed.

So the rig is fully operational now, but it is not yet portable as I still have to finish building the lids. Given that this is a holiday week, that it is supposed to precipitate for the remainder of the week, and that I don’t presently have enough carpeting, I doubt I’ll get the lids finished this week.

But in the meantime, the rig is in my living room, up and running so that I can work on music production. I’m rediscovering the joys of drum programming and audio editing, it’s been a few months since I’ve done much of this. I’m very happy to have this rig available to me at a moments notice.

I’ll post some photos soon….

inching toward completeness

Still working on the rigs every chance I get. The weather hasn’t been as cooperative as I’d perhaps like, but I’m still making progress.

The drawer for the headphone mixer is now installed in the analog audio rack, and I have the computer rebuilt inside the new rack-mount case. The new monitors rock, lots of good screen real estate, much more than I’m used to.

Weather permitting, I should make tracks (pun intended) on carpeting the computer rack tomorrow; once that’s done I need to build the lids and then I’ll be pretty much done.

More pics soon….

audio rack almost done

I have the audio rack nearly complete. The carpeting has been installed, as have the mixer and the preamps for the mobile rig. Still missing is a drawer that will contain the headphone mixer, I need to shave about 1/16″ off of it so it fits in better. It will go just below the mixer, and above where the preamp/compressor rack is. Tomorrow I should finish the drawer, and get started on the computer rack (identical to this but containing the computer rig), carpeting the front and rear panels, and building the lids. Lots of work ahead but good progress is being made, as you can see!

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nice pair of racks!

I’m well into construction for the portable racks. These are turning out larger than anticipated, large enough in fact that they won’t fit into my car! Not good. But, I think a small cargo trailer is the best solution, and seems like a workable compromise.

Here are the pics…. One is further along than the other, the right on has the sides and the removable front and back panels done. These racks will ultimately be painted black and then covered with black carpet.

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This is hopefully what the view from above will look like…. a mixer in the top of one rack, and 2 – 20″ LCD monitors stacked in the other.

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A side view.

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Back view. The one on the left has the sides and the removeable rear panel in place.

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The view with the rear panel removed, leaning up against the rack.

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The front panel installed.

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The front panel removed and leaning against the rack.

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For size reference, this is my beautiful 10 year old daughter posing.

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The 2 racks. Indeed, a luscious pair!

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Nice pair of racks, coming right at you…

construction begins

The parts are starting to show up here, and I have some lumber. Looks like I’ll be rack-building starting tomorrow. I hope to have the rig up and running by the end of the week, but we’ll see how it goes. I plan to take some photos…

ze gear, she is comink….

Having secured financing for the mobile rig, I have now ordered the parts I need to build it. Everything should be here within a week or two, and then another week or so to build the racks.

This means Crafted Recordings should be open for business by the end of October. Watch this space.

one step closer….

Just wanted to update, things are still rolling along. I just made arrangements for the financing I need to finish the mobile rig and launch the business. I should be acquiring the rest of the gear/materials I need and getting the mobile racks built within the next 2 weeks.

More details will be forthcoming, but the exciting news is Crafted Recordings is one step closer to launch….

Site coming together

The site is coming together. This business is not ready to roll just yet; things are in preparation. I have a sweet mobile recording rig in mind; I already have much of the hardware for it, but I definitely need to acquire some more to get it ready. So while the geek in me works on that, the rest of me has to begin thinking about the business end of this endeavor.

Ultimately, I’ve loved recording music for more than 20 years now. I think I want to make it a bigger part of my life than it already is. Keep watching this space to see how things evolve.