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Thread: Studios doing double duty as control room and recording space?

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    Studios doing double duty as control room and recording space?

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    Hello!

    I work at a public library, and this is my first post. We are building three dedicated audio recording studios for our new main branch, and I'm working on a project to fit them out. I have a basic understanding of audio recording... but I've never had to build a studio before. So questions!

    So we have three studios. We'll call these studios A, B, & C.

    Studio A will accommodate 2 to 3 people, and its main purpose will be to record podcasts, VOs and isolated musical instrument recordings. Studio B will accommodate 3 -5 people and is for general purpose recording and mixing, which could involve small multi-instrument recordings and rehearsals. Studio A and B will share a wall, and we want the flexibility of being able to use Studio A as a control room for recording performances in Studio B.

    Each studio will have at a minimum:

    • Computer Workstation
    • Studio Monitors
    • Mixer
    • Microphones


    We want both studios A&B to be standalone recording spaces, but also be able to accommodate a control room/recording space model. To accomplish this, what gear would we need?

    For example, can we chain Studio A's mixer to Studios B mixer through USB and then patch between the two signals when we want to use B as a control room?


    Or is there another approach?

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    The traditional way would be to use tie lines between the studios and some kind of patch bay. In your case I would maybe simply use two wall boxes for the microphone connections and have one wall box connected to the mixer in one studio and the other wall box connected to the mixer in the other studio. You could also route headphone mixes back to whichever wall box is in use. This makes life much simpler and easier to understand for everyone, especially people new to recording.
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    Hi Ian, the interchange of audio of high quality and multiple channels has seen a revolution in the last 5 years or so in the use of CAT 5e ethernet cabling, look up "Dante" audio systems.

    This does not seem to be a shoestring project and so I would get a professional in for advice ASAP. Will cost some upfront but could save thousands on fixing a bodge. And, do keep HR posted but also seek advice at Sound On Sound | The World's Premier Music Recording Technology Magazine forum.

    Dave.

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    You do not need mixers in each room, although a small one might be handy for the Podcast room. You need audio interfaces for each room (mics & instruments to AI to computer, computer to AI to monitors). If you want a control surface (sliders and all those things), they can be slaved-dedicated control surfaces to the DAW, or they can be full recording consoles. What is your budget?
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    You might consider one of these, Rode RodeCaster Pro for the podders.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
    The traditional way would be to use tie lines between the studios and some kind of patch bay. In your case I would maybe simply use two wall boxes for the microphone connections and have one wall box connected to the mixer in one studio and the other wall box connected to the mixer in the other studio. You could also route headphone mixes back to whichever wall box is in use. This makes life much simpler and easier to understand for everyone, especially people new to recording.
    Thanks for the advice. So a mic wall box similar to this: amazon.ca/6-35mm-Microphone-Outlet-Wall-Plate/dp/B0060GFX6O ?
    Last edited by Ian Roberton; 09-06-2019 at 15:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    You might consider one of these, Rode RodeCaster Pro for the podders.

    Dave.
    Thanks, Dave!

    We are looking at the RodeCaster. Looks great. Do you have an experience using it? I've only watched reviews of it on Youtube and I am wondering how difficult it would be for a total novice to get started on.
    Last edited by Ian Roberton; 09-06-2019 at 15:14.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Hi Ian, the interchange of audio of high quality and multiple channels has seen a revolution in the last 5 years or so in the use of CAT 5e ethernet cabling, look up "Dante" audio systems.

    This does not seem to be a shoestring project and so I would get a professional in for advice ASAP. Will cost some upfront but could save thousands on fixing a bodge. And, do keep HR posted but also seek advice at Sound On Sound | The World's Premier Music Recording Technology Magazine forum.

    Dave.

    Thanks for the tip about Dante Cards. I'll look into those further
    Last edited by Ian Roberton; 09-06-2019 at 15:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    You do not need mixers in each room, although a small one might be handy for the Podcast room. You need audio interfaces for each room (mics & instruments to AI to computer, computer to AI to monitors). If you want a control surface (sliders and all those things), they can be slaved-dedicated control surfaces to the DAW, or they can be full recording consoles. What is your budget?

    Our final budget is TBD, but we do have some cash to spend.

    We need these suites to be user friendly to beginner, but also provide the tools to those that are at an intermediate level when it comes to recording. So we're aiming for a prosumer level of service. We're not expecting the Mutt Langes of the world to record their drum tracks with us.

    In regards to interfaces, I'm looking at the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as our baseline audio interface; but also looking at suite configurations that would have a RODE RodeCaster or Behringer XENYX Q802USB or Behringer Xenyx 12 Input.

    The trick I'm trying to figure out is how to use one of our suites a recording room and to other other as a control room. I am intrigued by the Dante USB adaptor to achieve this requirement.

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    The Scarlett 2i2 is a real basic starter-level audio interface. Maybe good for your 'beginner set up' in one room. For your semi-pro room, you are going to want something with more preamps and the ability to send more mics' signals separately to the computer (the mixers will do the opposite - take all the mics and send them to a stereo signal unless you go for one of the more expensive digital mixers like the QSC Touch. Same for your Podcast room - the 2i2 will only allow 2 separate tracks.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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