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Building a PC DAW--- Step Three

Discussion in 'Computers / Software' started by Opus2000, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Ok folks..the third installment of our ever so popular discussion!!! PC BUILDING!! YAY!! WOOHOO!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!...ok, I'll calm down now!!! lol
    So, we talked about Mainboards, CPU's, Power Supplies, how to configure the drives and CDROM's and Floppy drives...now we talk ABOUT the Hard Drives and CDROM's
    Hard drives..several flavors here...5400RPM, 7200RPM, UDMA, ATA66, ATA100, SCSI, RAID and even the upcoming new ATA133!!!!
    Hard drives are platters..with a mechanical arm that bounces back and forth to read data on little clusters or blocks of information that is written to the platters by the OS. RPM is the speed in which the platter is spinning(revolutions per minute) Obviously the faster the RPM the better...but beware of 10,000RPM drives as they get mighty ^#$%ing hot!!!
    Now, just for facts sake..laptops can only accept 5400rpm drives due to heat constraint issues within the unit. Because of the small space available within the unit heat is a major factor to laptops..thus why recording mulit-tracks on a laptop is sometimes a pain since it only has one drive and it's slow compared to 7200RPM desktop models.
    Ok..so now we look further into desktop hard drives..we need to look at the average seek time..generally drives will have a 8-9ms seek time..which is good to know..some generic drives or older models will have a much longer seek time..seek time being how fast it sekks the sector in which the data is written to or read from. The faster the seek time the better the performance. Now, I think it was Son of Smawg who was discussing partition sizes...he has a very vaild point there. The larger the partition the harder the mechanism has to search for the information. So, if we cut that down to size we make it faster performance rated. But, there's a catch(of course you say!!)dont do this to the main drive for OS and data reading. When you partition the main drive for OS and data you arent creating two drives..you are essentially making one drive work it's tail off!! This will cause possible hang ups or performance lags. The reading mechanism(arm) will have to read the OS, the app being used and try to read and write the audio data on two sections of the drive...thus the arm has to jump all over the place to work properly.
    Partitioning a data drive is ok..10GB partitions is a good size to partition to. Just try and make it so the data being read from is on that one partition and that partition only. The same rule applies to multiple partitions on a data drive as an OS drive.
    Ok? Good!!
    Now, we get into Companies who make the friggen thangs...geez, where do we start..
    IBM, Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate are among the popular brand names..now, which one is better..so far Seagate, Maxtor and Western Digital seem to be the favorites. Altho there is the smattering of unhappy customers with problems right from the get go with some of the brands mentioned. It's hard to say which ones are truly good or bad these days..so many of em!!
    IBM has been plagued with issues so most people tend to shy away from them. I like Western Digital...Quiet, great performance and always work. Maxtor isnt bad as well.
    Everyone has their own opinions and I'm sure we'll see some in responses to this..dont be shy..i want to hear everyone's results!!
    Ok, so where do we go from here? Hmm..UDMA and ATA100!!!
    UltraDMA specs..this can only work if One: Your motherboard supports is and two your hard drive supports it..it's DMA on Speed man!! lol!!
    ATA100..100Mhz data transfer rates..these are basically Speed bursts..it's not constant transfer..it bursts the information out at a set rate..ATA66 was nice but it wasnt much of a difference between 33 and 66..now ATA100 is a hell of a lot faster and better equipped to handle the data output!!
    With ATA100 specs you can gaurantee great results with high track counts! Especially with 7200RPM drives! Now...make sure you have the 80pin UDMA cables when attaching to the drives...40 pin cables wont work as well without that high density cable data path!! :D
    Ok, now that I'm jumping topics left and right..I tend to get things out of order..I blame ADD for that one!! :D
     
  2. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Heres a great site for storage info http://www.storagereview.com/.

    RAID 0(zero) or striped will give faster reads and writes by writing and reading to two or more drives simultaneously. So data '1,2,3,4,5,6' striped accross two drives might go '1,2,3' to drive A and '4,5,6' to drive B. So two Maxtor 20GB 7200 RPM drives with max transfer rates of say 30Mb/sec would look like one 40GB hard drive yielding in theory 60Mb/sec max transfer. Actual transfer rates are slightly less (depending on how you set up your file system)but if you need faster disk transfer for more tracks RAID striping in a nice option.
    Heres a great article for doing RAID in Windows2000 without having to buy additional hardware Toms Hardware. Tom was able to get up to 140Mb/sec using four drives. :cool:
     
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Great stuff man!! I love it when everyone collaborates like this!! I used to have more time to search for articles like that but been bogged down lately!! Anyways...lets keep it coming..next topic will be about PCI card installation and common setups and practices to follow!!!
    Opus
     
  4. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    If you go RAID why not try RAID 5.

    The first two drives write and the other two mirror. 4 times the speed, Now thats one sexy bitch :D Plus it offers great stabilty and if one drive goes bad another will rebuild what the bad drive lost.

    A friend of mine has his servers set up to where when one drive goes bad(we're talking about one in a very large array, I'm talking Terabytes) it e-mails him and the company who made the faulty drive so he can replace the drive when needed and gets a free drive from the disk maker, if it's still under warranty. His set up is similar to RAID 5 but on a much larger scale. Hopefully in a few months I'm going to test this out on my DAW machine.

    Now thats-ah-one-ah-spicy meat-ah-ball-ah!!
     
  5. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    RAID is a good thing to talk about, as IMO that's where you start to see the big differences between IDE and SCSI.

    With one single (say) 7200 rpm hard drive (at a time), you're not going to see much of a difference between ATA66, ATA100, ATA133, or the top couple of flavors of scsi- I'm sure there will be some differences between interfaces, but basically, all of these interface standards are capable of more throughput than the hard drive.

    With RAID, however, you get to use hard drives together, which can eat up your interface bandwidth pretty quick.

    The common RAID levels are 0, 1, and 5. RAID 0 is called striping, which was pretty well explained in another thread- it spreads data out over 2 or more disks and thus the total array is a lot faster. Down side is, you lose one drive, your data is toast. RAID 1 uses mirroring, which writes identical data to 2 or more drives at the same time. This is great for important stuff, because if you lose a drive, you still have everything, but it's not any faster than one hard drive. RAID 5 is striping with parity, which basically means it spreads data out over 3 or more hard drives, but it also spreads parity information over them all as well, and you can reconstruct your data from that information if one drive goes down. Not quite as fast as RAID 0 with the same number of disks, but a lot faster than one hard drive.

    You can also nest layers of RAID- for example, with 4 drives, configurations of 01 (two pairs of striped drives mirrored, i.e., drives 1&2 and 3&4 are striped together for speed, and each pair gets a copy of the same data for backup) and 10 (the opposite- 1&2 and 3&4 are mirrored, and the pair is striped across) are pretty common. 05 is out there too.

    There are other types of RAID, but some are proprietary- these three are the most common, I think. In my opinion, RAID 01 makes the most sense for recording.

    Of course, it's going to cost you 4 drives and a RAID card to get 2 drives worth of space (because of the redundant mirroring).

    Windows 2000, I think, can do RAID in software, but if you're really serious about it, a hardware RAID card is much more efficient.

    With all that said, I think I am going to use a couple of SCSI drives for audio (one at a time), and back up pretty often. I don't need a gajillion tracks. :)
     
  6. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    Jon your absolutely right about using a hardware controller for raid. I tried using win2k to stripe two drives and the performance was very flaky. Spend a little extra and get a RAID controller.
     
  7. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    My understanding is that while RAID allows for data redundancy, the whole thing is a bit less stable than a single drive, on average. Folks assume their covered in case of a system crash, but this isn't always true, so you still need to make backups. So we're just in it for faster performance.

    Bear
     
  8. LittleJames

    LittleJames Member

    Lets face it over time things deteriorate and go back from whence they came. :)

    I've had better stability with RAID than any other system. Go figure.

    If your just staring out I'd recomend one IDE drive for audio and when you run out of space buy a new one.

    Experiment, test the limits of your hardware so you know exactly what you can get out of your investment. And always have a back up if you plan on keeping what you've worked on no matter what type of storage set up you have.
     
  9. garysjo

    garysjo Active Member

    No mention of 7200RPM exernal firewire drives. What do you guys think? Record directly to it, put it away until that project resmues? (have not heard any comments on pereformance) Or perhaps just use them as backup drives. Your old tape room is now a drive room! :)
     
  10. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I guess there's no mention of firewire drives due to the fact that they're not as popular as SCSI or IDE drives. People tend to go with what the mas public uses. There are a few firewire drive users but they tend to be laptop users than desktop users.
    Firewire is great indeed! plug and play...well, er..sort of!!!
    Opus :D
     
  11. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Hey, Garysjo - Opus is right about Firewire not being quite as popular, but it is a good idea - I am planning my 4th DAW, nearing the ritual "raping of the VISA" phase, and here's my plan -

    The computer is going just outside the control room wall, wires thru a multi-baffled pass-thru, sitting on an elevated, enclosed, baffled and neoprene-isolated platform. The platform top will be two standard 20" 3-speed window fans, oriented like the two slopes of a gable roof and blowing up and out, with a top cover to keep airborne chunks out. The fans will be re-wired using an air-conditioning thermostat, so that as long as the temp inside the computer (server case) is below probably 85F, they will run on Low speed. When the temp hits setpoint, a Double Pole, Double Throw relay will switch the fans to High speed. This can be accomplished easily by using the wires to the 3-speed switch. The air inlet will be the entire bottom of the "cage", which will be expanded metal mesh with appropriate support cross-members - Under the mesh I will use two 20" square HEPA furnace filters - These are more restrictive, hence the extra cross-sectional area. I can get away with the machine being "outside" because my studio is a "room in a room" (although very much a "work in progress" - duh, whose isn't?)

    As to firewire, I intend to use Internal IDE drives, 80 gb 7200's - there will be 5 of them, 4 used in Raid 0+1 for main recording drives, and 1 set up as 10 GB partition "C" drive, the rest as one big volume to be used as a "scratch pad" - When I go into the studio I will hit "R" for record, and the control room out's will ALWAYS be patched to a 2-channel sound card recorded to the "scratch pad" Then, any god-like passages that spew out of my demented (but not always repeatable) brain will be on a drive, and can be ported over to main recording drives, yada yada. (70 GB is more than a normal day's worth, recording continuously.)

    FINALLY - I'm going to use a Firewire card with at least 2 outputs on this machine, so I can plug in whatever firewire HDD I want OUTSIDE where the noise belongs, and also plug in a firewire HUB which will go in the studio. This hub can be used to plug in a CD-RW, Firewire DVD-RW, DV Camera, whatever. This way, the only time ANY drive, even optical, will be making noise in the Studio is when I'm copying a mix to CD or DVD - all actual mixes will be made first to HDD, so the only noise IN the studio SHOULD be intentional. I plan to use Firewire HDD's for ANY customer work, plus as an expansion if(when) I run out of room on the 160 GB Raid. I also will use Firewire drives for "Nearline" backups of "WIP'S" (Works in Progress), and the DVD-R for "Offline" backups.

    Anybody who want's a list of the Actual components I've finalized so far, feel free to email me : knight001@compuserve.com
    (Once I get everything finalized and am ready to "Card-Rape", I'll post on this forum. (FWIW) Peace, Love, and NoSharedIRQ's, Steve
     
  12. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Steve...where on the west coast are you? If you're close to LA or somewhat close I'd like to check out your setup...
    God-like passages...ahh, I love when that happens..thats why I cycle record in Nuendo!! lol
    Demented brain..thats something I can relate to!!!
    Opus
     
  13. garysjo

    garysjo Active Member

    Holyshit knightfly, that's some cooling system! Are you overclocking or is that level of cooling required for a RAID system such as you describe? I'm not using RAID, 15GIG sys drive (IBM ATA100 7200RPM) and a 45gig audio drive, also IBM. My thoughts on firewire are really driven by the need for a viable backup solution. I'm sick of dealing with CDRW's and with the cost of HDD's coming down, it seems to make sense to have one per project. for studio owners you can sell the clisent a drive, just like the old days of selling tape :) Is anyone out there recording directly to firewire 7200 RPM drives, and what are your experiences??? Opus, thanks for starting this thread, it's been very valuable. i built my current system (with help) a year ago, I guess it's quite old by now!! These things age quicker than dogs!
     
  14. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    no problem gary...I try the best I can to be as helpful as possible....
    Ya know..been noticing a bunch of fellow Mass-Holes in here lately!! I kinda miss the whole Boston attitude!! These damn Cali people are too damn relaxed for a native bostonian!! lol
    Altho they are starting to rub off on me..oh $*^t..I better get a fix of Kelly's roast beef before I do finally become one huh?!!
    Opus :D
     
  15. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Hey Opus - I'm in bee-yootiful downtown Scio, Oregon - Santa Cruz, Ca is the closest I've ever been to LA for more than a few days...Right now, the system exists in yet another dank corner of my demented brain and on a couple dozen half-eaten slips of paper and price-watch print-outs - BTW, I'm sure there is a parallel discovery somewhere, (there usually is) but FYI my "brain", such as it is, invented a new chord the other day - it seems to be a "very minor augminished demented 9th", or at least close. Not sure what it sounds like yet, haven't been able to actually play one...

    Hey Garysjo - I HAVE lived fairly close to you, I was stationed in Ayer, Ma at Ft. Devens 'way back when dirt was young and I was only a little bit old, hated every season everywhere on the east coast except fall...
    On the subject of cooling - First, I am a devout "OverKiller" anytime I even remotely think something may bite me in the (rhymes with the first half of Massachusetts) In this "wind tunnel" will be at least two machines, one an 850 P3 with 4 hard drives, 3 are 7200rpm SCSI- The other is the one I'm about to order parts for- 2gHz P4, 1.5 gB DDR Ram, at least 5 internal 7200rpm drives, server case, 430 Watt power supply, and a partridge in a pear tree...
    Two other "problems" I plan to solve may also require some real estate in the "box" - I intend to run the entire studio (except lights) on a 2200VA UPS which will then go thru an EquiTech 1.5KW Balanced Power transformer. I have read that typical studios (combination of bal/unbal cabling, etc.) improve noise floor by at least 12 dB, usually more like 20 simply by throwing about $1500 at it in the form of balanced power. (Think balanced audio - similar reasons) Go to equitech.com for a primer if you haven't already. The UPS is because I live on a hill with a great view - especially of all the things that fly by my house in the winter, like cows, tractors, etc. So, I am already running most of the studio on a 1400VA UPS. I have a couple of small incandescant lights on the UPS, so when the room gets dim in the middle of the "best damn gweeter solo I ever done did", I smile, keep playing, finish the track, save my work, shut down casually, and flip Mama Nature the big middle one... Really satisfying, ya know ?
    Anyway, keep tuned, in about a week or two I should be holding a bleeding Visa in one hand (the other hand is non-a-yer-bizness) and I'll post a list of goodies and reasons, probably to the Opus-Never-Ending-Cause-Some-People-Never- Read-What's-Already-Been-Posted-This-Is-How-ya- Build-A-Computer Series... "Jist when ya think ya got all yer ducks in a row, one of 'em runs off to sell "AFLAC" insurance or somethin..."

    Hey, I just realized (didn't I tell you I was slow?) I been talkin' coast-to-coast (Mass, Ca) No wonder my throat's dry, startin' to affect my belief system - right now, I believe I'll have a beer... Buy Guise ! I know, it's the lithium - I ran out... Steve
     
  16. Logan

    Logan Active Member

    Hey Steve
    A possible heads up here, I say possible because I'm not sure of the info.
    During a discussion on balanced power on the 3D Audio forum, a tech posted that he was seeing many blown UPS systems, which he attributed to combination with balanced power systems. I'm also interested in this as I'm about to make the decision on a balance power system. I thought I'd post it here, as you reminded me, and maybe someone has a little info. Take care Logan
     
  17. garysjo

    garysjo Active Member

    no problem gary...I try the best I can to be as helpful as possible....
    Ya know..been noticing a bunch of fellow Mass-Holes in here lately!! I kinda miss the whole Boston attitude!! These damn Cali people are too damn relaxed for a native bostonian!! lol
    Altho they are starting to rub off on me..oh $*^t..I better get a fix of Kelly's roast beef before I do finally become one huh?!!
    Opus

    lol, I didn't know you were a transplant Opus. i'm about 30 miles south of Boston close to the coast. Did you grow up in Boston or a suburb? Yes, even a south shore guy like myself can't resist an occasional Kelly's RB sandwich. It's funny, roast beef joints are a north shore phenom. in MA. You can't find one on the south shore.

    Hey Garysjo - I HAVE lived fairly close to you, I was stationed in Ayer, Ma at Ft. Devens 'way back when dirt was young and I was only a little bit old, hated every season everywhere on the east coast except fall...
    On the subject of cooling - First, I am a devout "OverKiller" anytime I even remotely think something may bite me in the (rhymes with the first half of Massachusetts) In this "wind tunnel" will be at least two machines, one an 850 P3 with 4 hard drives, 3 are 7200rpm SCSI- The other is the one I'm about to order parts for- 2gHz P4, 1.5 gB DDR Ram, at least 5 internal 7200rpm drives, server case, 430 Watt power supply, and a partridge in a pear tree...


    Steve, I guess it's tough to appreciate any geographic location when people are yelling at you to get the fffff up at 4 AM :) yeh fall is a beautiful time of year particularly in the western part of MA. I couldn't live anywhere but near the water, I'm a boating bum in the summer. Starting to hate winters more and more, I'd move south if my kids wouldn't kill me, (15 girl, 11 boy) the studio biz situation couldn't be any worse than it is here in the Boston area. i suppose it's not much better anywhere. I used to freelance in the early 80's in sone decent 2" rooms that are all gone now. Now I'm playing with the DAW thing at home, preparing to build a room, which I've already had designed. My current system is an AMD 750 oc'd to 1.1. KT7 raid mobo, 512 mushkin ram, matrox dual head vid and the IBM drives I mentioned earlier. i'm running Logic 4.8 using the Hammerfall card feeding a DA7. I dig it so far, way different way of working than analog. I love the workflow, and the ability to totally recall a mix on any given day, editing abilities, etc. I definitely need to get some decent mics and front end to put some character into the sounds, however, I need to put out the fire on my visa first. You should put up some photos of your system, once it's done!

    Gary
     
  18. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Gary
    grew up in Suburbs...Marblehead...ya know..that small little yuppy sailing town :D
    Yes, Roast Beef...still bleeding please
    Transplant I am in a wierd sort of way
    Shall I tell you my story...well, you're going to hear it anyways!! lol
    So...age of 15 I bought my first 4 track machine to use with my Roland Alpha Juno-1 poly programmable synth...oh those where the days!!
    Got so addicted to recording I got a Apple IICi(after I've been using a IIe for several years for playing games and writing basic...)Started with Galaxy and Vision of course...
    Then I swithced to guitar and also started recording and mixing my friends stuff..live and in-basement recordings!!
    17 I started building stages for concerts..real stages..RFK stadium in DC, Rich Stadium in Buffalo, Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY..and many many more! My first show was Bon Jovi with Skid Row and Bad Company opening up...oh, the rock star was born at that moment!! After trying to decide which direction to take in life..that isafter a year of heavy partying at UMass Amherst(knicknamed ZooMass) I decided that Music was my life and headed to Berklee College Of Music for technology!! There i interened for Audio-One..David Frangioni. I learned how to wire and install patch-bays...how to use and record digital recording devices to a "T" I learned alot from his work and him. Great time...got to meet a lot of famous people and so forth...I alos interned a little bit at Blue Jay Recording Studios...great stuff there man..
    Anyways...after Berklee I ended up at a machine shop for awhile to make ends meet...I ended up buying a Roland VS880!! My first major purchase..boy was that fun..recording friends stuff and mixing it down!! Ah, the world of digital medium was nice to me!!!
    So, I trashed my Apple and bought myself a PC since it was affordable to me...I bought an Echo Gina, Mackie 1402, NS10 monitors and was on my way to composing and so forth..by that time I was truly enthralle with fixing and learning PC's..it fascinated me!!! I asked so many questions..messed up my mahcine on purpose just to learn how to restore it!! How fun you say! indeed...at that point all my friends and family were calling me up saying...HELP!!! lol
    So, I then got a gig for a live sound company in NYC!! I went on a Raggae tour..oh was that fun indeed!!! lol
    So I spent about 2 years in NYC working for the sound company and also had a stint working for CNN as an audio operator for CNN financial..got to say I hate working for TV...it's ^#$%ing boring(no offense to any one who enjoys it)
    So, after a few I ended up quitting the live sound and not having any work..I ended up with the band Fountains of Wayne..greatband to work for..great bunch of guys..
    December of 99...well, they decided they werent going to tour for quite some time..I was out of work..thats when I found Sweetwater..I thought, hey..they need a PC tech for audio tech support.
    It combined the two most things I loved..computers and Audio..I figured what the hell!!!
    So I ventured my way out to Indiana!!! It was pretty cool..I got to play with every toy possible..got tons of free software and learned a butload of stuff and gained a big reputation as being the Wiz Kid(also I was known as the Grim Reaper..but I wont get into that here!! lol)
    So after a year and a half I got sick of the job..got too damn repitive. No challenge it seemed!! Well, I was talking with a company out here about a job and decided...^#$% it. I'm moving out to LA to One...get out of the friggen cold weather finally..and Two...get into a place where I would find work..well, I did..and it found me too!!
    So here I am in good ol LA..working for Apogee Electronics as a tech..much better than Sweetwater only in the aspect that I tech only 4 or 5 products and not 200+!!!! Hell of a lot easier I might say!!
    Also do a ton of side work building PC's of course!! Teching studios...teaching inner city kids how to record and having a grand ol time as it is...
    Hope you enjoyed my story...there's quite a lot of events in between but I dont need to bore you with those
    Peace and Live you lives to the fullest people...since you never know when it will end
    Opus
     
  19. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Hey, Logan - Yeah, there are a few things to watch out for with Balanced Power - Equitech.com has a small correspondence course worth of info on the subject. Nutshell - If you're going to use balanced power with a UPS, the UPS MUST be big enough to handle the load INTO the Balanced Power transformer, and you plug the UPS into the wall, then plug the BP transformer into the UPS, and run everything that's physically connected to each other, either by wires or chassis, on the balanced power. NO EXCEPTIONS ! Although it's definitely out of character, I won't expand on this here - you can read a LOT more on equitech.com (for my studio, I can run everything on less than 1500 watts, so an ET1.5R running off of an APC Smart2200 will be fine. Costs about $750 for the UPS, about $1500 for the Equitech, and pays for itself the first time you hear 20 dB less crap in your speakers, and ESPECIALLY when you can flip mother nature off after the whole neighborhood goes dark and you just calmly finish the track you were recording...
     
  20. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    First of all, Everybody - great forum here, if we're not careful we may ALL learn enough to only waste money INTENTIONALLY on stuff that's really decadent, instead of buying crap that never was designed to actually work...

    Hey Gary - Wow, 15 boys and 11 girls, maybe you should get all 26 of 'em part'time jobs and just retire (yeah, that WAS an intentional mis-understanding used as a feeble attempt at humor) "But serially fokes", been there done that and (unfortunately) it really isn't legal to "take 'em out just 'cause you brought 'em into this world..." The good news is (in my case anyway) the son I wanted to kill when he was 15 is now 30, has his own graphics business, and is looking at some expansions which may net me some audio/video gigs (commercials, voice-overs, etc.) So, "Step lightly - the toes you step on today may be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow"...
    I too am trying to get to the point of building some serious rooms - got a barn, 1/3 of which now contains the 1-room studio I built 12 years ago when I was still dumb enough to think egg cartons meant "sound proof" (since then I've read everything I could find by F. Alton Everest, Mike Shea, Dave Moulton, Roger Nichols, Bob Katz, Fred Schwartz (OK, Fred is the mailman, he just delivers the other guys...) . The other 2/3 of the barn is now a concrete slab, and the plan is to
    (a) Replace the roof, adding plywood and heavy tar paper under new metal, AFTER building new trusses in place so they can hold the extra weight
    (b) Finish the inside with 2 layers of sheet rock and a layer of MDF or Waferwood, everything glued except the first layer, eveything sitting on Neoprene or thousand-year guaranteed silicone caulk, wipers on door, 1 big sliding door (vehicle access for load-in/out)with foam surround and swing-out trolleys, t-nuts every 2 feet all the way around, so it can be hermetically sealed most of the time
    (c)Build a floating floor/ceiling control room, after which the old control room will be erased
    (d) Build large, medium, and small floated iso-booths where the old control room was, for acoustic drums, vocals, acoustic guitar, Leslie speaker, etc.
    (e) Build a floated tracking room, either with double glass window facing the control room, or (more likely, since they're cheaper and less leakage)a few video monitors and LCD cameras.

    All the above rooms will be similar construction, using 2 separate stud walls - from the outside in, 1/2" rock, 5/8" rock,stud, 1-1/2" space, next wall staggered studs relative to first, 3-1/2" insulation "woven" between studs, then studs, 5/8" rock, 1/2" rock, various wall treatment depending on room use and which part of the wall (diffusors, absorbers, hinged "tunable" absorbers, etc. )All walls sitting on 1/4" Neoprene, ceilings similar, hung on wires from trusses, isolated with 2-mode isolators (rubber+spring)
    Stop !!! This sounds like a book report on F. Alton Everest's earlier book, "How to build a Small Budget Recording Studio from scratch (2nd Ed.) Just ordered what sounds like the newer version (1996) titled "Sound Studio Construction on a Budget" also by F. Alton Everest - Guy's gotta be at least 80 by now, but physics never change, they just get further discovered -

    BTW, Gary - Welcome to the club, I doubt if a team of forensics experts could find the ashes of my Visa cards, I guess it's part of the job description ! Check out the Audio Technica 3035 mic if you need a good condenser for vocal, acoustic anything, etc. - Was in the local GC last week picking up my DM-24, cables, bridge, etc, and one of their guys was trying to "A/B/C" 3 mics for a customer thru a Mackie 32x8 and a set of HR's - When he couldn't get one of the mics to stop feeding back at about 250, I went over and set the trims up right , killed the EQ, balanced the apparent "lewdness", so the cust. could compare "apples to cider, at least" - The 3 mics were Shure KSM32, AT3035, and one of the Rodes, similar price range but don't remember the model # - The AT3035 made both the others cry and go home to mommy - I'm gonna buy a pair, probably next week (Just in case you thought I was kidding about that forensics team) Brought this up re: your mention of similar short-coming - Those mics are only $199 @ GC, and so far I haven't gotten an AudioTechnica mic I didn't like (have a 4033, ATM25, Pro25 - Really like the ATM25 for kick, acoustic bass, lower end of piano - first time I used that mic it came off the UPS truck, into my car, and downtown to a "freebie" mercheant's play day - Guy running sound was also the gweeter guy for a Beatles knock-off group, and they were also playing - He talked me into running sound for them, so I stuck the ATM25 up on kick and the Pro25 on snare - the board was this roached out BiAmp (brandname) board, real POS, 2 channels dead, 1 maybe, etc. The snare sounded pretty good w/EQ bypassed, but the kick (same settings) nailed me in the solar plexus and wouldn't quit. Good "slap" too - Mic was placed about 8" away from the beater contact point inside, offset from beater by 2-3", on a small boom. Anyway, the ATM25's can be had now for about $125 or so, think I gave $169 at the time.
    Gotta go, time for another beer (after I soak my tired fingers in it, I may even drink it) Ever notice how similar "Visa" and "Viscera" look ?!??
    Just a thought.... Steve
     

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