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Pro Audio Green, where do we draw the line?

Are you going pro audio green? Is that even possible? 

Pro Audio Gear

Are you going to stop using pro audio gear to save the planet? Tubes and power sucking electronics in support of the "green" movement is real. Gear gets hot and definitely uses power. So.. whats the deal?

Smart cities, smart cars, smart studios, smart gear...

Where do we draw the green line? 🧐

Share your thoughts on all this.

Comments

Thomas W. Bethel Thu, 09/22/2022 - 11:05

There are lots of things one can do to help "save the planet".

Drive less - Bike or walk more.

Replace all incandescent light bulbs with LEDs.

Set your AC turn on temperature to a higher temperature. Turn off your AC at night or when you are going to be away for extended periods.

Make fewer trips by car. Plan ahead for groceries and shopping.

Replace older appliances with newer more energy efficient models.

The list is endless...turning off classic tube equipment maybe one way but there are lots of other things one should do first IMHO.

 

FWIW

paulears Fri, 09/23/2022 - 13:03

I'm afraid the only thing I do that is green is simply because the electricity costs are so high. My computers were on 24/7 for convenience and speedy start up. Now electricity is more expensive than gold, I do turn things off, and it has made a difference - but that is it.

I've just finished a summer season where I have lighting and sound equipment hired out. The amp and processing rack has been on 24/7 because I do not pay the bill and reliability in the past with heat cycling was less good than it is when left powered up. The theatre dimmers have been on now continuously for 15 years because they are very old and fragile and the venue is cold and damp in the winter. 

 

I'm sorry but apart from the cost, I care about efficiency, speed and reliability. I'm afraid I just don't do green things, unless I have to make a choice. Buy a new tungsten flood, or an LED? I buy LED because the spare lamps for tungsten fixtures are getting expensive and hard to get, not because LED uses less power and saves the planet. This I suspect isn't popular, but my purchases are for practical reasons. I certainly won't swap older working items for more energy efficient ones, unless the old one dies - I can't see it saves anything throwing away good kit to buy new?

kmetal Sat, 09/24/2022 - 00:12

Jack Johnson has a solar powered recording studio. I'm planning on solar power for my new home and hopefully I can afford a Tesla power wall. 

I don't know really how green it ends up if you factor in the battery manufacturing and disposal, bjt people in my area I know have solar panels and it completely covers their electric bill. This includes air-conditioning but not heat.

I barely use much energy the last few years. I don't use lights much since I'm usually looking at a screen and my big monitors light up the room well enough. I have a few small LED nightlights that turn on automatically so I'm not walking into walls.

I'm experimenting with electric heaters this year to see if I can reduce my heating costs as oil heat is expensive here and terrible for the environment.

Studios are often well insulated, sealed rooms so they're extremely energy efficient. This is seeping into "net zero" construction methods where people's houses have no energy costs, and a low carbon footprint.

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2022 - 10:08

Very cool, Kyle. I would love to get off the grid entirely. I’ll have to research more now.

(Edited)

I’ve moved to the country and earlier this year we actually prepared to go solar but after doing the $ numbers it would have taken a decade or more to pay for itself.
The Tesla Wall was something we looked into but it was so expensive. Looking into it closer also seemed as if it was more intended for charging cars which isn’t anything I am interested in (at least for now). But the power system would get the job done.

I'm hoping batteries/ storage system become more efficient and affordable soon. Once it does… I’m  all in to pull the switch to go 100% off grid.

I don’t think green (All ITB) is sonically better though. I think I share Paul’s comment entirely. 

I do wonder how green thinking studio guys that know the difference between emulated and the real deal will deal with the hypocrisy of this is they can’t go off grid. Which is partially why I started this post.

I support the green movement but am also realistic about what I know is better in comparison to some generic weak electronic tool as to the horse power and efficiency of hard core good stuff that gets things done really well. Big rail preamps come to mind.

If we don’t switch to green but think others should in other types of businesses are we somewhat hypocritical?

If I am able to go off grid and provide my own power I think I would still be green and doing my part. 🤔 

more food for thought. 

kmetal Wed, 09/28/2022 - 22:46

audiokid wrote:

Very cool, Kyle. I would love to get off the grid entirely. I’ll have to research more now.

(Edited)

I’ve moved to the country and earlier this year we actually prepared to go solar but after doing the $ numbers it would have taken a decade or more to pay for itself.
The Tesla Wall was something we looked into but it was so expensive. Looking into it closer also seemed as if it was more intended for charging cars which isn’t anything I am interested in (at least for now). But the power system would get the job done.

I'm hoping batteries/ storage system become more efficient and affordable soon. Once it does… I’m  all in to pull the switch to go 100% off grid.

I don’t think green (All ITB) is sonically better though. I think I share Paul’s comment entirely. 

I do wonder how green thinking studio guys that know the difference between emulated and the real deal will deal with the hypocrisy of this is they can’t go off grid. Which is partially why I started this post.

I support the green movement but am also realistic about what I know is better in comparison to some generic weak electronic tool as to the horse power and efficiency of hard core good stuff that gets things done really well. Big rail preamps come to mind.

If we don’t switch to green but think others should in other types of businesses are we somewhat hypocritical?

If I am able to go off grid and provide my own power I think I would still be green and doing my part. 🤔 

more food for thought. 

Yeah I don't know that Jack Johnsons studio was cost effective or that budget was a high priority there. Also I believe it's in LA which is sunny most of the time.

 

Over here the cost effective way is to sign a contract with Solar City or similar company who will supply you the panels free of charge in exchange for getting a piece of the money/energy. Around here it works out to free energy for a regular 1200 sqft home. So its an instant return on the investment. But you do get less energy credits from your panels than you would if you owned them.

At 10k the powerwall is not inexpensive. But I think it's cost is partially justified because it can run a home for about three days. This eliminates the need for a large gas generator here in Massachusetts, in all but very rare cases. That's a lot 5k that's "saved". It also switches to battery mode during peak electric cost times of day. So in Paul's case, it could help reduce his energy expenditure, eventually.

I question the longevity of the product since all batteries have a life span.

The way I see the green issue is more about just not being wasteful in ways that harm our collective environment. Use what you need. I think outboard audio gear is a justified use, and likely an extremely small part of the issue.

I used to often not even turn on the racks in the studio unless I was actually using the gear. Many nights were just working in the daw doing stuff. I went paperless around 2015 for environment reasons, and convenience.

Going off grid is a fascinating concept to me. I've looked into and it's a deep topic. I'm aiming to get close as I can to off the grid, but so like the security of being connected should my system fail. the grid is like a backup system to my mind.

 

Interesting topic