Cheep (rim shot) Speaker Stands

My new space, “The Incubator” finally gave me the room and opportunity to PROPERLY have two sets of monitor speakers for mixing. I had built my original monitor speaker stands back 10 years ago, and they’ve served me quite well through two moves back and forth across the continent. The cool thing about them is that they’re easy and cheap to make AND they’re mighty effective too. I spent probably less than $30 on materials and put them together in around an hours’ time. They’re a simple design with both sturdiness and speaker isolation in mind. As you’ll see in the photo gallery, I build the stands so that there is a gap between the top/bottom plates and the post. The intent here is to make it very troublesome for sound vibrations from the speakers to travel down the post. Vibrations lose signficant energy as they move through different materials – forcing them to transfer from the plate, the brackets, the post, the bracket and then the final plate before hitting the floor is the idea here. A possible upgrade to this design might be to insert rubber or some other dampening material grommits / washers between the brackets and the wood plates / post. Materials: One 4×4 post cut to two 3-foot lengths. A nice piece of thick (3/4″ or 1″) plywood to cut into top and bottom plates 16 shelving brackets Bunch o’ screws Tools: Drill / Screw driver Level / Angle Ruler Pencil / Marker The Materials Draw an “X” from the corners to get the center of the top and bottom plates Aforementioned “X” Measure and mark center-lines of each side of the post and line up with “X” on plates Position shelving brackets Mark where end/center screw will go Attach brackets to plate Position post into brackets and leave an (approx.) 1/4″ air-gap between plate and post Ah, heck, screw in all of them… A good square is your best friend as you attach the brackets to the post The finished...

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Taming the Clucks – Part II

I know that these posts are slow and infrequent – appologies for that, but a LOT of different things have happened in life, work and everything lately. The IHR podcast has suffered unfortunately, but will definitely be propped up in the weeks to come. I’ve actually finished and been using the “Incubator” for the past month or so – really enjoying the space. There’s always going to be SOMETHING that needs to be tweaked, improved, adjusted in the studio, but, I’m extremely happy with the result. I’m always excited to fire things up and work on stuff in here. Here’s a pic of the final product: For this post, I thought I’d present a gallery of what I did to construct corner bass traps. I’ve been mulling over different designs out there when designing the space: I opted for option 1 (wedge) with a bit of some space behind them as this looked to be the best “bang for the buck” option. I had the space and materials to accomplish this, so I went for it: Insulation saw and angle = essentials A wedge A pile o wedgies Frame anchored to floor Crisscrossed suspended ceiling wire to secure wedges Long edge of wedge overlaps frame and wire holds it in. A stack o’ wedgies – with space behind Front view of stack o’ wedgies Burlap stretched across frame The finished product!  ...

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Incubator Improvements

I’ve been a little lax in updates on the Incubator. A LOT has gone on since the last post I tossed up with a photo-diary of running Cat 5e cable out to the “Incubator”. The first of a couple of projects I’ve been working on was getting better lighting out there. The previous owner had used the structure as a woodshop and had four flourescent light fixtures plugged into recepticles mounted on the beams which in turn were wired to a switch on the wall. The light fixtures had to go. Period. I decided on getting a four halogen spots for ambient lighting and place those along the perimeter of the room. In order to get that done, the wiring had to be re-run from the wall switch and distributed to four different spots in the room. I decided the most efficient way would be to run wire from the switch to the ceiling and spoke out from a couple of junction boxes back down to the light boxes I’d place where the roof meets the wall. Signal Path Wiring lights is a lot like tracing signal paths in mixing or recording. If you keep track of where things are going and where things are coming from, then it’s quite logical: Connect all the black wires to each other, connect all the whites to each other and make sure the ground copper wire has a connection path to the post driven into the earth. I ran the Romex wire to all the junction boxes, and branched out to each of the light boxes. Wiring each of the lights was pretty simple and when power was restored, I tested it out and BING, the lightbulbs turned on … all complete with a new dimmer switch!...

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Tethering the “Incubator”

Yeah, yeah… I haven’t been posting for the past little while. And I’ll skip the excuses, but please head on over to the IHR site to get a hint about what’s been taking so long… In Vancouver, the sun was out and Spring seems to have arrived. I took the break in weather as an opportunity to tackle one of the most important projects on my list to bring the Incubator into reality. For those who don’t know, the “Incubator” is what I’m calling the shed on our property – I blogged about it back in the fall with my plans to convert it into a studio. It’s got power, but it does not have network connectivity. I had to fix that. Earlier in the week was a trip to Home Depot to pick up 40′ of 1/2″ PVC pipe, some joints, Cat5e cable and other useful stuff. So here’s a photo album of how I rectified the connectivity issue: The path from the house Enlisting child labour … key to success Bribery with video games works best The work in progress WIP II Some of the materials – 140′ of Cat5e Cable Poked through with conduit next to power. Laying out lengths to plan for connection Other end (house) successfully infiltrated PVC pipe cut and test fitted Measuring out the double run of Cat5e cable Wire placed ready to be pulled thru conduit Pulling the wire through conduit in sections Using some nasty stuff to fuse PVC together Everything ready to be covered PVC entering the “Incubator” PVC entering the house The well deserved final step. ;)...

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Say “No” to Stock Responses

Over the past few days, I’ve been able to kind of sit on the proverbial “other side” of the boss’s desk. Instead of me pounding the pavement and knocking on doors offering my wares, I’ve been (the “boss”) entertaining requests from around the world to consider the merits of others’ creations. It’s been enlightening to see the variety of approaches folks take to “market” themselves. Some tactics seem to be in line with my own marketing techniques: there has been some research and familiarization done to try and focus the “product” to the “need”. Then, there’s the other side of the coin. But, before I get into my rant, some background might be in order… The Product You may or may not know about my “alternate identity”. Besides running this company / site, I also run the podcast: Inside Home Recording. The podcast is quickly coming up on its 100th episode and I thought it’d be interesting to mark the occassion with a new theme for the show. I guess I could have written it myself, but I thought it’d be much better to put it out to the listeners of the show and put a little competition together to choose a theme! Over the Christmas break, I decided to go searching for a “carrot” or two to sweeten the pot and entice folks to enter the songwriting contest. The response to my request for sponsorship has been overwhelming! I got some great offers from old and newly-made friends and I’ve been able to put together some fantastic prize packages that are sure to bring a lot of folks out of the woodwork! Marketing 101 – Sending the Right Message Entertaining sponsorship is a two-way street. Of course, these aren’t just gifts that these guys and gals are handing out. They’re expecting some decent exposure out of the whole deal. Cue the wheels and set them in motion! In order to get the word out, I thought to myself: “Self, you need to tap into any and every vehicle I can to drive traffic to the contest … and get some eyeballs moving over to the sponsor sites.” Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+: come last Thursday evening and Friday morning, I posted some messages to generate some interest. Boy, did I get a nice, hefty bump in traffic to the site – almost FIVE TIMES the regular traffic … a noticeable spike in visitor volume for sure! Getting the word out continues – trying different angles and employing different avenues. Enough of the background. Now, back to the point…. Seriously?… Seriously Missing the Mark I have some pretty clear instructions (and there really aren’t that many) on the site about how to enter, what I’m looking for and of course, the contest rules. I mentioned, above, that I’ve gotten some great responses and entries that have shown me that the instructions aren’t hard to follow at all. I’ve also received some valid questions asking for some more details to help them focus their creative muse – which is all cool to me. In sharp contrast to the above, I’ve gotten a few “dashing by” responses from supposed professionals that had me scratching my head. I’ll protect the innocent and not mention any names. The Nameless As part of getting the word out, I posted a link to the relevant pages with some details on a couple LinkedIn groups and forums in which I participate. They’ve generated some great responses, but also, some not-so-great ones – supposedly from “professionals”. I got emails and forum responses in the form of: A link...

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Silence Can Be Creative

When mixing tracks, I don’t always take the view that I HAVE to use every track I’m given. A lot of times, the impact of the song is strengthened by making (sometimes liberal) use of the Mute button.

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