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Multiple monitor, keyboard & mouse setup in my Studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hally, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. hally

    hally Active Member

    I have a dilemma which i can't seem to get my head around so maybe someone can help me here.

    I would like to be able to have a monitor, keyboard and mouse in both of my tracking rooms along with the main dual monitor setup in the Control Room. All monitors need to be connected back to the main audio computer which is located in the machine room. I am currently running 2 x 22" monitors in the control room connected via 2 vga cables to my dual monitor ATI graphics card on this main audio computer...

    So, for example, lets say i'm ready to record drums on a song, i wud like to be able to line up the tracks, etc in the control room, head into the drum room, turn on the monitor in there and the current recording session is open, check levels, loop points, etc and hit record on the keyboard. When i'm happy with the take, go into the main tracking room to record double bass and I have another monitor running with the session open, you get the idea, i hope.

    Control Room - dual monitor, mouse & keyboard
    Drum Tracking Room - single monitor, mouse & keyboard
    Main Tracking Room - single monitor, mouse & keyboard

    all connected to the main Audio PC in the machine room...

    So far, i can't work out if i need a switcher or splitter. The dual monitor setup in the control room is confusing the situation also as I only want to run single monitors in each of the live rooms. I don't want to have 2 seperate PC's in each live rooms and connect via remote desktop as they wud make too much noise...

    I wud really appreciate any input and ideas you might have,

  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Google "KVM switch". Most of them are designed to control two computers from a single position, but I bet there are some that will let you control one computer from two places.

    You may also need to switch the monitor configuration so you can work on a single screen at the remote positions.
  3. hally

    hally Active Member

    I been looking at lots of KVM switches but can't find any that will accept a dual monitor input from my graphics card and then send that signal out to the relevant monitors, dual monitor signal to Control room, single monitor signal to Drum Room and single signal to Main tracking room...

    The keyboard and mouse dilemma can be solved easily with kvm switch or by plugging a mouse and keyboard into the USB wall plates in each of the live rooms and connecting back to main PC. One thought i had regarding the monitor setup was, is it possible to have two independent graphics cards installed in a PC, i could run the dual monitors in the CR off the ATI card currently in the PC and I have an old dual matrox card which i could install in a free PCI slot, could this work...?

    thanks for ur help so far
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Mick Jagger answered your question years ago. You can't always get what you want. You're on a tight budget. You're not running a million-dollar studio. This is where the new concept of cloud computing comes in. All you need is a separate laptop in each location and then somebody smoking a bunch of Doobie's in the control room to create the cloud. It's all right because they're all brothers.

    Skunk Baxter rocks even if he is a conservative Republican
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. hally

    hally Active Member

    Thanks Remy,
    Mick Jagger rounded off that wonderful chorus with "u might just get what u need" and I think what i need to solve my monitor network problem is to install an maxtor dual head PCI card in the main audio PC along with the dual head PCI express card already present. The latter drives the two monitors in the CR and from the pci card, 1 drives the drum room monitor and the other drives the main tracking room monitor. Each card runs off its own software and resolutions etc can be set independently. In theory this should work but i need to keep the vga cable runs to a min or else i'll have to introduce boosters into the signal path...

    Where theres a will, theres a way and I wouldn't tolerate anybody smoking doobies anywhere near my tape machine

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You are still going to need to deal with numerous simultaneous, USB mouses & keyboards. Having your monitors is only part of the equation. Of course dealing with wireless keyboards and mouses might actually be doable? You might even consider some kind of 2.4 GHz wireless video transmitter & multiple receivers? Although most of those only deal with 525 lines of standard resolution video for 625 lines if you are in a region based upon 50 Hz power. So you might be able to take S. video out of your video card to a 2.4 GHz wireless link. The biggest factor would be how low you could run your resolution i.e. 640x480. And while that might not be attractive, that is standard definition video resolution. You might even be able to get away with 800x600? And at 1024x768, you may be able to see what you're doing but not be able to read much? All you really need is a VGA distribution amplifier of which I'm sure there are some available out there? And the possibility exists, that you could custom build a passive split VGA cable arrangement? I mean there are also VGA switch boxes as I have one. You click the switch for the monitor you want to view from. No need to screw around with extra display cards necessarily. Either way, good luck.

    Double vision
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Another solution would be to controlling your computer with a remote device like an iPad. There's an inexpensive app called Logmein Ignition which allows you to remotely and wirelessly control your computer. Whatever is on your computer monitor is also on the iPad screen. If you have dual monitors on your main computer you can use a swipe gesture to switch between them. You can zoom, click, drag etc.
    The only drawback is a slight latency time for your computer to respond. But if you bring up your DAW's mixer view and transport I would think you could accomplish exactly what you're trying to do.

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