Gear space (studio, home room, closet...) blogs/tours - Ill show you mine if you show me yours.


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I know we have a "pics" thread - but wanted to go a little deeper. Not just pictures, but some explanation. How its routed, why is each piece of equipment selected, what do they offer. How its integrated (or not). Why is it placed where it is - or is it just because it fits etc. Picture threads are nice "gear porn" but often doesnt go into any detail. Id love for others to do the same, but Ill start.

im doing this as ive just added a Pro 3, and had some ideas for a change of layout. Ill say my room is - shall we say cosy. Its 4 meters long and only 2 meters wide (thats approx 12 feet long and 6 feet wide).

so - well start with a picture of the full keyboard setup:

el9Odo8.jpg
kWyTKYH.jpg


This is down one long side of the room - the one without the door.... Ill break this down and give explanations as I go.

so first part - the live rig part.

S72FEHi.jpg
a0rXeML.jpg


The stand stays at home, I have a 3 tier K&M Spider for live. At home its on a K&M 18820 table stand - and 2 shelves are on racking strips (as you'd see on a warehouse wall). The lower of the shelves is removable - which goes live onto the top tier of the spiders 3.

The lower board is a Roland RD2000 stage piano. Does what it says on the tin - really nice graded hammer action board and does all the traditional sounds - pianos, EP, Clavs etc. It has loads of other sounds - some of the orchestral stuff I use and on occasion some of the strings and pads to fill out. Its zone system means each of the 8 slots are on their own midi channel and can be routed internally or externally - meaning i can layer with sounds from any other of the live sound sources.

Above that is a Fantom 7. The brains - switches all the live gear from scenes, and runs everything live. It has the same zone system as the RD but 16 of them. Uses PCM waves and a VA engine - including Rolands models. The VA part is quite unique as far as I know in that its up to 4 oscillators (pcms OR VA) but each oscillator has its own Filter, Amp and Filter Envs, 2 LFOs and 1 effect. It means that you can get traditional stuff (using the same settings for all parts) but you can also have different settings for each oscillator which opens the door to some really creative stuff. It has a reasonable pattern based sequencer and drum patterns along with a sampler - so Its easy to scratchpad ideas before taking them to a DAW and fleshing them out with all the other gear.

top shelf is modules. A Hammond Orgon module (legend EXP) on the left - the RDs organs are flat, and while the new tone wheel on the Fantom is good, its not legend good and I just cant part with it - it has both upper and lower manuals on separate midi channels, and I have it set so the RD has the lower and Fantom the upper - so it even plays a bit like a real hammond . In the middle a Virus Ti2 - yes its not that great a VA anymore - its filters are quite bland actually and it has aliasing issues. BUT its got great polyphony, its multitimbral and does sound good - it can do "those" sounds which for a covers project is perfect. On the right a Novation Peak - hybrid synths. It was my first proper synth I guess and having the analogue parts (OK not the oscillators) can go places fantom and Virus cant really. Despite adding other stuff since, it still makes noises I cant replicate on the others - mainly due to the wavetable options a GREAT filter and good modulation options...and that reverb...... Its a good mix live.

There is a line mixer under the shelf - and behind the modules is a Moto midi bay, and all the power pre-cabled using Cioks isolated power supplies.. a DC7 and a DC 4. There is a 5 way mains strip under the shelf too - supplying the Cioks, the mixer and the lower boards.

Next part: the top shelf home use only stuff.

eUZydkd.jpg
XtQ3nRG.jpg


so here we have a Deep Mind 12d in the centre. Analogue and very capable - and bought because I didn't have any fully analogue synths. The FX make it of course, but it can do stuff the other synths cant with its comprehensive Mod matrix. It is actually interchangeable live with the Virus or Peak - there all the same width - and the 5 way mains strip has a spare socket for it if thats what goes live, because of all that flexibility it keeps a spot. To its right is a TR8s - doing what they do and to the left a Squarp Pyramid to sequence it all for home jamming.

Connection wise, Both Fantom and RD had 2 midi outs assignable per patch .... So there are cables connecting the two in both directions, meaning I can play RD sounds from fantom and fantom sounds from RD - great for splitting the keybeds up for live. The second Midi outs go into the midi patch bay - which feeds all the other gear. The Pyramid and TR8s also go into the Moto so they can control the other synths (obviously needed for the pyramid).

Next part - the small boards. The first picture is where my Argon8 used to live. It was bought not only because I didnt have a wavetable synth - but it fitted the space perfectly, and critically all the knobs send CCs, and when in shift mode send alternates - its a great VST controller for that reason, and can be mapped pretty much so the control labels still do what they say in the VST....and it sounds great at those evolving things only wavetable synths can really do. The second is its new home above my Pro3 - that only arrived this week (the catalyst for a change). Its sill in a good place for a VST controller but its better access for patch programming.

DPEbAG7.jpg


Second picture is both Pro3 and Argon 8 in the new position. Id bought a small table stand for the Pro3 (actually a mixer stand) which fitted the space between the desk and the RD...and I just thought a shelf above it would make it more accessible for programming.

gxMcGd3.jpg


So - the Pro 3 was added as Ive never had a mono synth, nor a VCO. Its a "gateway" to both... Its prompted another future purchase which I'll go into in a little bit. It was a steal (which Is why I went for it - hadnt actually planned to). 1 hour old bought for a studio project by a band, but when they got to the studio it had a Moog One. They tried both for an hour - preferred the moog, and sold the Pro3. Its was 2/3 of new prices (her in the UK) an hour of playing, and even had the plastic screen protector still on. Figured if I dont get on with a mono I might even make money on it - and certainly wouldnt loose anything.... and I can try a VCO next to my existing stuff.

So - both these have their own mixer next to argon, but can be played from the main keys rig on their own midi channels as well as on their own keybeds. Sometimes you cant do that - you need to twiddle knobs, but sometimes you dont... and its good to have the options.

when not being used (or at least not needing the knobs) the Pro 3 pushes under the Argons shelf, and my char fits nicely under it (or my PC desk depending where I want access - under the Pro is normally better)

Ya1g8LL.jpg
K1V26WF.jpg


OK - the Pro 3 has lead to wanting a VCO Poly.... But where to fit it. Well, I have the space the Argon 8 vacated:

7T9NiQZ.jpg


AS it happens its the perfect size for the Pyramid to sit at the front in the corner, and the TR8s to sit just behind and above, angles between the bottom and top shelf. ALMOST looks rack mounted between the two (having tried it, but didnt get a picture.... might add one when I change) - this will free up enough space alongside the Deep Mind on the top shelf for an OB6 or P6 Module.... all I have to do is choose which...

Its also possible I wont "scratch the VCO Poly itch"... There not cheap and honestly - apart from in my head - would it add much over what I have? sure the character of the synth (and those DSi/Sequentials are very nice) but I can get close with what I have for sure. The other options for the gap? Well either an Iridium - vesa mountable so can clamp it tp mu upper shelf ant is will site across the corner space, easily accessible. It adds a DX7 FM engine I dont have, and granular synthesis. Other options are things like the micro freek, or a typhon, or a small Behringer module... something thats cheap but adds quirks and noises I dont really have already. Not quite sure where it will go yet.

Now - both mixers feed a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 under my monitor, BUT as I play guitar.... i use a Fractal Axe-FX3 (been using then since the first standard) which comes in on Spdif. So - Im utilizing that as an FX unit if needed (over and above those onboard the synth) for the synths when recording (and just playing for fun). One pair of outs on the back of the 18i20 goes into inputs 3 and 4 of the AFX, and I have a pre-set just for synths with all the complex stuff that can do - its absolutely GREAT. Shame I cant individually send the synths to it though... ie different effects on different synths, but still its a nice option to have.

For completions sake, I have pictures of my desktop - with a pair of Neuman KH120s left and right and showing the Axe-FX:

WXgy1ty.jpg


And under the desk houses a Neuman KH750 sub, my FC12 that is the foot controller for the Axe-FX and a 2x12 guitar cab (I have a Seymour Duncan Power stage mounted in the back of the AFX rack so i can go direct or more traditional into a real cab should I wish - which I do more often than not).... any my PC tower which is not particularly interesting.

tobCiGW.jpg


And finally, the opposite side of the room to the keys just has my guitars. A cheap Vintage bass on the right, then a Fender Select Strat, a Martin 00028, a Tom Anderson Cobra S (with 3 P90s... yum) and finally a PRS Cu22 10 top I bought new in 1999 - still hanging with the others.

hXgiKzc.jpg



Well - thats about it for my "tiny room tour", hope you enjoyed the pics and my ramble. Now, Id like to see others reply in a similar way - lots of shots and explanations of why, how, where etc you use your gear.


Oh - you may have spotted a bag beside the leys - its a live "bag" .. Has a tablet in it for control of my in ear mix (from an X air 18r), my in ears - and X-vive transmitter and receiver and both a pair of Mackie MP240s and Sure SE425s (one for backup). Theres also a beta57 and Beyer TG V70 mic (I prefer the latter, our vocalise the former and uses mine currently). Theres also a couple of pairs of headphones hanging in the room. Some AKG K702s on the right of the main keys rack that are freely useable into any keyboard, or mixer - and a pair of Sennheiser HD650s permanently cabled to the Scarlett - via an ifi zen-can headphone amp.


I think that really is it..... enjoy.
 
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happyrat1

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I have to come back to read this, I haven't had my morning coffee yet. :p

Seriously, how hard to do up a simple flowchart?

A picture literally is worth 10K words.

Gary ;)
 
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I have to come back to read this, I haven't had my morning coffee yet. :p

Seriously, how hard to do up a simple flowchart?

A picture literally is worth 10K words.

Gary ;)
yeh - I know you like your flow charts. If I was competent in making them up I might... however, that still doesn't cover the "what this offers me" and "why I chose this" - or "why Its placed here" which I cover as well as just the routing.

Im better with words lol.
 
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I know we have a "pics" thread - but wanted to go a little deeper. Not just pictures, but some explanation. How its routed, why is each piece of equipment selected, what do they offer. How its integrated (or not). Why is it placed where it is - or is it just because it fits etc. Picture threads are nice "gear porn" but often doesnt go into any detail. Id love for others to do the same, but Ill start.

im doing this as ive just added a Pro 3, and had some ideas for a change of layout. Ill say my room is - shall we say cosy. Its 4 meters long and only 2 meters wide (thats approx 12 feet long and 6 feet wide).

so - well start with a picture of the full keyboard setup:

el9Odo8.jpg
kWyTKYH.jpg


This is down one long side of the room - the one without the door.... Ill break this down and give explanations as I go.

so first part - the live rig part.

S72FEHi.jpg
a0rXeML.jpg


The stand stays at home, I have a 3 tier K&M Spider for live. At home its on a K&M 18820 table stand - and 2 shelves are on racking strips (as you'd see on a warehouse wall). The lower of the shelves is removable - which goes live onto the top tier of the spiders 3.

The lower board is a Roland RD2000 stage piano. Does what it says on the tin - really nice graded hammer action board and does all the traditional sounds - pianos, EP, Clavs etc. It has loads of other sounds - some of the orchestral stuff I use and on occasion some of the strings and pads to fill out. Its zone system means each of the 8 slots are on their own midi channel and can be routed internally or externally - meaning i can layer with sounds from any other of the live sound sources.

Above that is a Fantom 7. The brains - switches all the live gear from scenes, and runs everything live. It has the same zone system as the RD but 16 of them. Uses PCM waves and a VA engine - including Rolands models. The VA part is quite unique as far as I know in that its up to 4 oscillators (pcms OR VA) but each oscillator has its own Filter, Amp and Filter Envs, 2 LFOs and 1 effect. It means that you can get traditional stuff (using the same settings for all parts) but you can also have different settings for each oscillator which opens the door to some really creative stuff. It has a reasonable pattern based sequencer and drum patterns along with a sampler - so Its easy to scratchpad ideas before taking them to a DAW and fleshing them out with all the other gear.

top shelf is modules. A Hammond Orgon module (legend EXP) on the left - the RDs organs are flat, and while the new tone wheel on the Fantom is good, its not legend good and I just cant part with it - it has both upper and lower manuals on separate midi channels, and I have it set so the RD has the lower and Fantom the upper - so it even plays a bit like a real hammond . In the middle a Virus Ti2 - yes its not that great a VA anymore - its filters are quite bland actually and it has aliasing issues. BUT its got great polyphony, its multitimbral and does sound good - it can do "those" sounds which for a covers project is perfect. On the right a Novation Peak - hybrid synths. It was my first proper synth I guess and having the analogue parts (OK not the oscillators) can go places fantom and Virus cant really. Despite adding other stuff since, it still makes noises I cant replicate on the others - mainly due to the wavetable options a GREAT filter and good modulation options...and that reverb...... Its a good mix live.

There is a line mixer under the shelf - and behind the modules is a Moto midi bay, and all the power pre-cabled using Cioks isolated power supplies.. a DC7 and a DC 4. There is a 5 way mains strip under the shelf too - supplying the Cioks, the mixer and the lower boards.

Next part: the top shelf home use only stuff.

eUZydkd.jpg
XtQ3nRG.jpg


so here we have a Deep Mind 12d in the centre. Analogue and very capable - and bought because I didn't have any fully analogue synths. The FX make it of course, but it can do stuff the other synths cant with its comprehensive Mod matrix. It is actually interchangeable live with the Virus or Peak - there all the same width - and the 5 way mains strip has a spare socket for it if thats what goes live, because of all that flexibility it keeps a spot. To its right is a TR8s - doing what they do and to the left a Squarp Pyramid to sequence it all for home jamming.

Connection wise, Both Fantom and RD had 2 midi outs assignable per patch .... So there are cables connecting the two in both directions, meaning I can play RD sounds from fantom and fantom sounds from RD - great for splitting the keybeds up for live. The second Midi outs go into the midi patch bay - which feeds all the other gear. The Pyramid and TR8s also go into the Moto so they can control the other synths (obviously needed for the pyramid).

Next part - the small boards. The first picture is where my Argon8 used to live. It was bought not only because I didnt have a wavetable synth - but it fitted the space perfectly, and critically all the knobs send CCs, and when in shift mode send alternates - its a great VST controller for that reason, and can be mapped pretty much so the control labels still do what they say in the VST....and it sounds great at those evolving things only wavetable synths can really do. The second is its new home above my Pro3 - that only arrived this week (the catalyst for a change). Its sill in a good place for a VST controller but its better access for patch programming.

DPEbAG7.jpg


Second picture is both Pro3 and Argon 8 in the new position. Id bought a small table stand for the Pro3 (actually a mixer stand) which fitted the space between the desk and the RD...and I just thought a shelf above it would make it more accessible for programming.

gxMcGd3.jpg


So - the Pro 3 was added as Ive never had a mono synth, nor a VCO. Its a "gateway" to both... Its prompted another future purchase which I'll go into in a little bit. It was a steal (which Is why I went for it - hadnt actually planned to). 1 hour old bought for a studio project by a band, but when they got to the studio it had a Moog One. They tried both for an hour - preferred the moog, and sold the Pro3. Its was 2/3 of new prices (her in the UK) an hour of playing, and even had the plastic screen protector still on. Figured if I dont get on with a mono I might even make money on it - and certainly wouldnt loose anything.... and I can try a VCO next to my existing stuff.

So - both these have their own mixer next to argon, but can be played from the main keys rig on their own midi channels as well as on their own keybeds. Sometimes you cant do that - you need to twiddle knobs, but sometimes you dont... and its good to have the options.

when not being used (or at least not needing the knobs) the Pro 3 pushes under the Argons shelf, and my char fits nicely under it (or my PC desk depending where I want access - under the Pro is normally better)

Ya1g8LL.jpg
K1V26WF.jpg


OK - the Pro 3 has lead to wanting a VCO Poly.... But where to fit it. Well, I have the space the Argon 8 vacated:

7T9NiQZ.jpg


AS it happens its the perfect size for the Pyramid to sit at the front in the corner, and the TR8s to sit just behind and above, angles between the bottom and top shelf. ALMOST looks rack mounted between the two (having tried it, but didnt get a picture.... might add one when I change) - this will free up enough space alongside the Deep Mind on the top shelf for an OB6 or P6 Module.... all I have to do is choose which...

Its also possible I wont "scratch the VCO Poly itch"... There not cheap and honestly - apart from in my head - would it add much over what I have? sure the character of the synth (and those DSi/Sequentials are very nice) but I can get close with what I have for sure. The other options for the gap? Well either an Iridium - vesa mountable so can clamp it tp mu upper shelf ant is will site across the corner space, easily accessible. It adds a DX7 FM engine I dont have, and granular synthesis. Other options are things like the micro freek, or a typhon, or a small Behringer module... something thats cheap but adds quirks and noises I dont really have already. Not quite sure where it will go yet.

Now - both mixers feed a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 under my monitor, BUT as I play guitar.... i use a Fractal Axe-FX3 (been using then since the first standard) which comes in on Spdif. So - Im utilizing that as an FX unit if needed (over and above those onboard the synth) for the synths when recording (and just playing for fun). One pair of outs on the back of the 18i20 goes into inputs 3 and 4 of the AFX, and I have a pre-set just for synths with all the complex stuff that can do - its absolutely GREAT. Shame I cant individually send the synths to it though... ie different effects on different synths, but still its a nice option to have.

For completions sake, I have pictures of my desktop - with a pair of Neuman KH120s left and right and showing the Axe-FX:

WXgy1ty.jpg


And under the desk houses a Neuman KH750 sub, my FC12 that is the foot controller for the Axe-FX and a 2x12 guitar cab (I have a Seymour Duncan Power stage mounted in the back of the AFX rack so i can go direct or more traditional into a real cab should I wish - which I do more often than not).... any my PC tower which is not particularly interesting.

tobCiGW.jpg


And finally, the opposite side of the room to the keys just has my guitars. A cheap Vintage bass on the right, then a Fender Select Strat, a Martin 00028, a Tom Anderson Cobra S (with 3 P90s... yum) and finally a PRS Cu22 10 top I bought new in 1999 - still hanging with the others.

hXgiKzc.jpg



Well - thats about it for my "tiny room tour", hope you enjoyed the pics and my ramble. Now, Id like to see others reply in a similar way - lots of shots and explanations of why, how, where etc you use your gear.


Oh - you may have spotted a bag beside the leys - its a live "bag" .. Has a tablet in it for control of my in ear mix (from an X air 18r), my in ears - and X-vive transmitter and receiver and both a pair of Mackie MP240s and Sure SE425s (one for backup). Theres also a beta57 and Beyer TG V70 mic (I prefer the latter, our vocalise the former and uses mine currently). Theres also a couple of pairs of headphones hanging in the room. Some AKG K702s on the right of the main keys rack that are freely useable into any keyboard, or mixer - and a pair of Sennheiser HD650s permanently cabled to the Scarlett - via an ifi zen-can headphone amp.


I think that really is it..... enjoy.
Quite a set-up - and that's an under-statement. ;) Couple other matches I have - the AKG-702s (the best IMO), and the Fender Strat. My other guitars I built myself - ground up, and use for recording.
 

happyrat1

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Well to me it looks like you bought the entire studio in the last three years.

Did you win the lottery or have you been mining bitcoin since 2007? :D :D :D

Nice looking gear.

Do you have any of your material online?

I'd love to hear how all that sounds together.

Gary ;)
 
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Not online no... Live I play in traditional bands mostly, though I have 3. Ones an 80s band playing all the UK synthpop from the late 70s and early 80s - so obviously the synths come in very handy. One is a function band - so the piano/organ and some competent all rounders (I play guitar in that one as well depending whats needed). the 3rd is a Depeche Mode tribute band, so again lots come in handy.

At home I mainly just jam for fun - might be on one synth, might be running lots of arps and playing over the top - might be some sequences played into the pyramid or the argon/pro 3 and again played over the top. I am at the point where I could do pretty decent instrumental synthwave or ambient stuff just free forming though my use of the TR8s isnt great...

And yes....Pretty much all in the last 3 years. I did have a fantom-S to sell to start, and I slimmed down my guitars collection (letting a PRS, a 335 and a tele go - so a fair bit coming in there). I had a fair bit in my "music" fund - my I make from music, as Hadn't bought anything in 3 years before that. Im also luck enough to earn a decent amount, have a military pension and a working wife. we each take some funds for our own thing each month - she goes out with work colleagues, buys makeup, cloths etc... I save it for music.

The fund is pretty dry now (after the pro 3) so If I need to scratch the sequential poly itch, it will be on credit - but I have a 0% card (for 2 years) so definitely doable should I wish. Ive dont that during the buying process - I just know what needs paying off each month to clear the card before the 0% runs out - and if its not a stretch its good.
 
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happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
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Might I suggest the addition of a Sequential Take 5. Less than half the price of a Prophet 6 with pretty much the same heart and soul.

This is definitely a live player's board.

The menus are ONE layer deep.

And it sounds like every 80's synth you ever heard. :)

I picked one up a couple of months ago and I am absolutely spellbound everytime I turn a knob or tap a few buttons!

ONE function per knob or button. As God himself intended.

128 GOOD factory presets and 128 slots to save your own, not ten thousand shitty ones you have to navigate thru.

The weird 3.5 octave keyboard is very playable.

THIS is the boutique synth we've ALL been waiting for.

Gary ;)
 
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I have considered it. still might, but its more of a pain to find space in an accessible way than a desktop.
 
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had a play around - bought a vis mount arm and clamp - so now the TR8s "floats" above the spare corner... It can be pulled out really close - easy to use or pushed back against the wall/window when not in use (so as not to block the speaker).

The Pyramid now sits under it on the desk - tucks away but light and only 23 cables (2 midi and one power) so easy top move forward to where the mouse mat is to use.

Leave a hole in my top shelf... its sequential shaped lol. up to 72cm wide - so any of the DSi/Sequential desktops will fit.

The UDO Super 6 and Iridium are too deep/tall really for the space.

So - just got to choose which....

Jb0rlAg.jpg

uy2vQLG.jpg

PXvsy9E.jpg

TDtLRKL.jpg


Ignore the cabling - its just what I had that reached. They will connect the pyramid and I have some angled ones coming for the TR8 - and all that will be tidied up.

I didnt like the argon put back in its corner after having free access to it - so a keyboard isnt an option (so no take 5 or prologue).


I WILL get a signal and audio routing plan done at some point, when I can figure out how. At present it will be drawn and scanned in to my PC lol...... Which wont look good.
 
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I have to come back to read this, I haven't had my morning coffee yet. :p

Seriously, how hard to do up a simple flowchart?

A picture literally is worth 10K words.

Gary ;)
ive tried.....

Audio Flow: The Little Zoom CDR is nice, and is in the FX send of the line mixer so can be used on any single (usually) synth. I can use it like a master send though for reverb on multiple synths if I want to. The AFX (I play guitar and thats my main rig anyway) does the same thing - in a loop - but from the scarlett. Its limited in routing of course, but if I want to record a quality effect baked into a sound - i can do that on any synth. Its also nice to play with its quality FX on a single synth when just noodling for fun.

CATJH0B.jpg



Midi Flow. The Motu has 4 ins and 6 outs - plus USB to PC.

The TR8s doesnt pass thu mid so no loop. Master clock wise, depends what Im doing. For live its the Fantom 7 - as it is just for home playing if Im not using the TR8s. If I AM using TR8s then thats the clock. For sequencing and playback - its the Pyramid.

The RD, Fantom and Pyramid all have 2 Midi outs that are assignable to tracks (8 on the RD, 16 on the Fantom and 64 on the pyramid) hence the multiple outs from those.




8VXvCnd.png
 
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Wow! However, can I ask what software do you use?
I use Studio One (still on 4) as my main DAW. I do have reaper loaded as well, but it doesnt get used these days.

I also have Cantible as a VST host for soft synths that doenst need the DAW booting up.

VST wise, I have Cheery Audios Modular, OB-Xd (as its free) and Diva. I also have Addictive Keys Piano VST as an alternative to the RD2000.

The VSTs are all hooked up to play from either the RD or Fantom over USB (not shown on the diagrams) so its open cantabile (has all 4 plugins loaded on boot up, with the patching already allocated to 4 different midi channels) and play.

As well as having the 2 Midi outs, both RD and Fantom also have USB as an assignable destination - so I just choose the relevant zone (assigned to its relevant midi channel) - select usb instead of Midi and its goo t to go.

I can also use either Argon8 or Pro 3 as both are connected via USB as well - but I have to re-route the inputs in cantible to do that. I will permanantly do that next time I use it - as using those for patch design is easier as there at right abgles to the PC - not a couple of meters away - but Id play them from the RD/F7.
 

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