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Tim Smith

Studio Transition

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My dog did me a big favor and forced me to clean out my studio. He was accidentally locked in and shredded the carpet. Everything had to come out of that room.

That space has a lot of colorful history in it. A bathroom sits on the other side of the wall that is a closet in my studio. At one point the valve for the shower leaked inside the wall soaking the carpet. After that repair it took a long time for things to dry out. 

Things I found in there-

Very old software I went to the trouble of putting in a fire proof lock box.

Old recordings that sucked so bad they weren't worth the CDs I burned them on.

Boxes. Boxes I thought I might use in the future 'if' I ever decided to store or sell the item.

Cords, connectors, wires, adapters and more obsolete technology and software than I ever remembered buying.

All the other stuff that's in a studio that is used by someone who likes things with strings and keys.

Probably the single most surprising thing to me was how much stuff I managed to cram into that small room.

That stuff should have filled two rooms, not one.

I threw all of the obsolete software away along with a bunch of other stuff I knew I couldn't sell and would never use. I did keep my old BBE Sonic Maximizer. Not sure why. A Pair of M-audio studio monitors with a buzzy tweeter. I remembered I put in a replacement tweeter but never used them after that because the new tweeter still had a slight metallic sound to it. My old quad core DAW. I was thinking I might re use the case for a new build.

Took two days to displace and sort all of it. I have it in various other places right now. I'm set up in my dining room temporarily. Not the best, but it works. Mixing mostly on headphones using Sonarworks because I haven't set my monitors for the space.

That room will be a bedroom now and I hope to move to another space that's larger. Realistically I could be in the dining room awhile.

My advice to anyone with a home studio- Do this a little at a time. Don't wait 10 or 15 years. 

I had a custom desk built for recording back in the day. It has dozens of slots for hardware. I never used any of them working mostly ITB. It's WAY too large and I'm thinking I'll down size to something smaller and more manageable. This is probably my last lap so whatever I do I probably won't ever do again, other than computer builds and software upgrades.

Any similar stories here?

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No, but then I haven't had a dog for over 45 years either... 😁

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I just replace my drum mics individual XLR connectors to a snake.
image.thumb.png.aafc2ef4ccceeb5c1cae4fbd3a801e28.png

Next task is to cleanup/remove lots of accumulated stuff behind the drums.


 

Edited by Bapu
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The room is 99% empty now and that's what I'm concentrating on instead of a studio replacement at the moment.

Today I ripped up most of the carpet and padding. Two things in there need to be re routed/ re located. One is my modem router setup. I'll need to pull wires so I can put it up high. Still trying to decide on a location more central to the core of the house. I ordered a new  ASUS router( WiFi 6)because some of my smart home devices were dropping on the old router. I need to see if the modem router by my service provider is bridged since I have another router plugged into it. I had an Orbi extender on my system but it kept dropping out. 

I have a lot to do before I even begin to remodel the room. Only THEN can I begin on the new studio.

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17 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

The room is 99% empty now and that's what I'm concentrating on instead of a studio replacement at the moment.

Today I ripped up most of the carpet and padding. Two things in there need to be re routed/ re located. One is my modem router setup. I'll need to pull wires so I can put it up high. Still trying to decide on a location more central to the core of the house. I ordered a new  ASUS router( WiFi 6)because some of my smart home devices were dropping on the old router. I need to see if the modem router by my service provider is bridged since I have another router plugged into it. I had an Orbi extender on my system but it kept dropping out. 

I have a lot to do before I even begin to remodel the room. Only THEN can I begin on the new studio.

About the router, you'll want to consider the shape of the broadcast from the antennas.  I've seen people kill their signal by putting the routers in non-standard places or by tilting the antennas incorrectly.  I had a friend accidentally put his so HE got almost no signal, but the hack-kiddies out by the street got all they wanted!

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Before , the router was sitting on my studio desk. No external antennas. The antennae are built in on my existing router. It's ok. Nothing spectacular. What many people don't realize is 5ghz doesn't travel as well as 2.4ghz. The signal travels mostly through  a few drywalled walls. I'll need a stronger signal for my new studio location if I plan to go wireless. I'm thinking about just going wired but man that's going to be a long run. The new router has external antennae. I plan to put it on a shelf higher up as of now. I considered a closet but am leaning against it for the reasons you stated. I ran a wifi test and my xfinity modem/router has nowhere near the power my netgear does. I'm not sure if they ever bridged it.

The ASUS not only has a stronger signal. It  has mesh capability which will be nice if I need it. I considered putting it in a hallway that's in the middle of the house up high instead of in the room at the end of the house. If I do that I probably won't need mesh.

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I recently bought a TP Link AC 1750. Made a night and day difference over my old Net Gear router. My house actually has stucco inside in part of the back of the house. They use wire mesh on the walls and put the stucco on that. It used to block my wifi and mess with it even in rooms that didn't have stucco.

I haven't had 1 single but of trouble with this AC 1750. I have full 5G everywhere. Oddly I didn't have 2.4Ghz. It dropped going in to my bedroom. I can only guess it's because of the enormous real masonry fireplace but I don't know. 

I have an old usb tp link wifi stick. It never worked right either with the netgear. Just for the hell of it I tried it with tp link router and it works perfectly everywhere in the house. It's old but I think its still the only one they make. It supports 2.4 and 5G. It's just as fast as when I hook my DAW up via cable.

I bought a wifi extender to see if it would help get signal in my bedroom and out to my garage for another Ring camera. I got a tplink one of those. It's all working great. I have 2.4 and 5 through my whole house and outside a little ways. The extender plugged in found the tplink router set itself up and it all just worked.

This after 8.5 years of my ISP telling me nothing would work because of the wire mesh for the stucco and I should hardwire my house.

They had me change a few settings and I also set the router to do a hard reboot once a week. I haven't had to touch it once since I got it.

My neighbor is really in to the higher end Ubiquity equipment. But they recently went to cloud account setup only and people are really pissed about it so I'm hesitant to use them. He said it doesn't matter and "the cloud" is the most secure you can be. I don't buy it though.

My wife is onboard now with setting up a NAS server here and hardwiring the house. She also gave me the ok to build a new DAW/Gaming PC and use my old one for the server. I'm really looking forward to jumping in to this.

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Wireless in the house. Pfffft. Never again. Wired devices only for moi.

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@Shane_B. It's trial and error sometimes. My netgear worked fine for what it did. Most smart home is tied to 2.4 which is really a good thing because it keeps the 5ghz band clear. Some routers don't differentiate the bands on the ID so you have to go in and separate them. Maybe why you didn't see the bands as separate.

My Xfinity box, the XB6 comes setup already with a wireless hot spot and 2.4/5ghz channels. When I would go on my wifi I would see both of those channels, netgear 2.4/5. PLUS my Xfinity hotspot. Which is for the general public. I want to turn all of that off, especially the hot spot on the Xfinity since this isn't good IT practice if you're using another router.

Any web search will show ASUS is really tops pretty much everywhere. I'm sure they made a few duds. What makes a router a good router isn't just the hardware, it's just as important to have a good program to  operate it and set it up PLUS security. ASUS has a good track record. I needed signal strength, backward compatibility and some future proofing. They say wifi 7 is just around the corner. I don't have anything wifi 6 yet.

The Orbi RBS40V I have is supposed to be an audio system, an Alexa and a wifi extender. Gotta watch the model numbers. One model only works with other Orbi gear, one will work with any router. The problem I have with it is occasionally the weak signal from the wifi would drop but it would not stop transmitting. When that happens all my other devices looked at it instead of my home network since it duplicates the signal from my router. It would transmit the carrier but no wifi from the router. When it works though, it's great. I bought it open box because someone else probably couldn't figure it out. I believe they are phasing these out. I still see them on Amazon.. Orbi has gone more to selling mesh pairs instead of one unit that hooks into an existing network as an extender. Hopefully the new router won't drop it like the old one did.

@Bapu

Solves a lot of problems going wired if you can pull the wires. We are 99% wireless in my house. The only  things wired are my DAW, my Honeywell wifi thermostat module and my security system. For security cameras wifi battery powered cameras are not always reliable. 
 

Edited by Tim Smith

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35 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

Any web search will show ASUS is really tops pretty much everywhere.

I've read gamers like them because they do work so well. That said, I was just looking on a game PC building site and the router they offer is the exact one I have. I honestly truly don't think it makes a difference what you use as long as it all matches if you have different network related devices. All my TPlink stuff simply found each other and bam, it all worked. I've never had anything by Netgear last more than 2, maybe 2.5 years. Never again.

You can hack them all if you want to dabble in the underground firmware realm to support the latest and greatest but I don't trust the hackers to not put an invisible back door in to my network. The only thing that changes that I can tell is the new protocols as they become available. That and a bad antenna is what ended up being wrong with my Netgear. The protocols it supported didn't work with my newer TV's and devices plus the radio signal strength dropped significantly. The TPlink fixed all of it. That said, I think a newer Asus, Netgear, or whichever would have fixed it too.

Prior to the TPlink I disabled the 5G radio, set radio channels, there's also a couple other settings my ISP had me change that I can't recall now. Nothing worked. The one thing that hasn't changed is I can't stream video from my cell to my TV's unless I'm on the 5G radio. 2.4 buffers. My ISP tells me I should be able to use 2.4 and they don't know why I can't. That hasn't changed since day 1, 4 routers, 3 TVs, and 4 cell phones later. I have everything set to the 5G radio now and it all works as it should. The only thing using the 2.4 radio are my smart switches and outlets.

My neighbor has his own IT business. He uses Ubiquiti and everything he runs is Wifi except his servers. He has these discs that look like smoke detectors here and there on the ceiling of his house and out in his barn/office/server room that give him 5G on almost his entire 5 acres. He's always got a partial sun tan. Hah! (J/K).

 

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Yeah they are all decent to a point I guess. I always try to do a lot of research.  You can't be sure about all user reviews. I rely more on the known tech sites that do these reviews. I might read a few user reviews and try to see what's real, what was paid for and what was user error. I once had a company call me and try to talk me out of a bad user review. They offered me a discount on the item. It happens. 

If a person is watching 4k video streamed on a smart TV or heavy gaming then I think ASUS is the way to go but that's only my opinion. I have used TP link and Netgear with no major issue. I'll let you know how my experience pans out with it.

Not sure who your provider is? Maybe you mentioned it earlier. They don't always offer the speeds they advertise. They all have a disclaimer that they don't necessarily guarantee a certain speed and I suspect they throttle some accounts at times. To make matters worse, the advertised speeds are under supervised ideal conditions. Probably doesn't hurt to occasionally investigate to see if the speed is any where near what they advertise. It should be close. I don't usually do that because I'm a light user unless I'm downloading a sample library. I rarely upload large files.

Sometimes out here in my rural area I'll reset my routers for the fun of it because they can occasionally slow down. This forces the system to reconnect. Someone somewhere is watching all of that, but they aren't about to call you to tell you your internet is slow. :)

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49 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

Not sure who your provider is? Maybe you mentioned it earlier. They don't always offer the speeds they advertise.

These guys are pretty good now. That said the streaming from my cell doesn't actually use my ISP. It's all cast from the phone through my router to the TV using 5G radio. It never touches the internet. I did ask my ISP for help with that while they were here one time and they said it should work on the 2.4 radio and they didn't know why it wouldn't. 

I have a 30Mb download and 20Mb upload connection. It's great except when it comes time to download sample libraries or games/game updates. Not that I game much anymore. There are 2 games I play and that's it, but they've been modded for over a decade now and I'd like to get back in to that again while I'm stuck inside during the winter months. Come springs and my DAW doesn't get turned on again until late fall.

My ISP offers what they call a 'burst' connection. They can detect when you are streaming from Netflix and others and they open the connection up to 50Mb download IIRC. For everything else you are capped at what you pay for. So "technically" if I had their 1.5Mb connection, I could stream in 4K even though based off what the connection speed states I shouldn't be able to. It never worked though. They said it was the wire meshing in the walls for the stucco in my house but it never worked right even wired. They'd come out, it would work for a while, then buffer. They'd blame it on the streaming service. And it went in a loop for years until I finally said I was done and my cell's 4G with 1 bar worked better and I was cancelling their service. Magically they told me they had a "new radio on the tower" and I could get 10 times my already "upgraded" 3Mb connection for the same price. It still didn't work right through the router but it did wired. Called them again and they said they couldn't help me unless I bought their recommended router. I gave them one more chance and went and bought the same brand but a better model and boom it fixed everything.

That router is about a year old now and is already outdated but it works flawlessly. It doesn't support Wifi 6. The thing I've learned about this is, and maybe I'm wrong,  but TV's and devices will update the firmware on their NIC's for compatibility but because of built in obsolescence your router firmware won't and they force you to buy a new router. And that's when things fall apart when your devices update but your router doesn't. Even though technically there is nothing wrong with the router and software could update it they force you to throw it out and it's not right for a lot of reasons. E-waste, money, hassle of setting it all up every few years ... etc. etc.. I'm hoping that my TPlink will do a firmware update to support Wifi 6 (the new 'ax' protocol) seeing how they still sell this router brand new. Although it's at 1/3 the price now than what I paid. And I know they all 'technically' should support backward compatibility but in my experience they don't or they cripple it so bad you beg for newer gear.

Edit: FWIW, I can stream 8K on my 30Mb connection with this TPlink router on my DAW. I pay extra for Netflix's 4K streaming and Prime streams in 4K. Never had a problem with it on any of my TV's or cells or DAW although the DAW will do 8K. I've never tried to game online with it though, although they have re-released Quake and I'm tempted to try that for old times sake. Hah.

Edited by Shane_B.
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On 1/18/2022 at 11:14 AM, Shane_B. said:

That router is about a year old now and is already outdated but it works flawlessly. It doesn't support Wifi 6. The thing I've learned about this is, and maybe I'm wrong,  but TV's and devices will update the firmware on their NIC's for compatibility but because of built in obsolescence your router firmware won't and they force you to buy a new router. And that's when things fall apart when your devices update but your router doesn't.

Everything is outdated sooner or later in tech. I probably would not have moved to replace any of it yet, only I was making some changes and I had some drop outs with my old router. Will a new router solve the problems? The thing I have found about tech in general is that sometimes solving one problem presents another.

I don't watch much TV.  

I just had two things go obsolete on me. My old iPad is now demanding I update YouTube. When I try to do that it takes me to the apps area. I finally got it to work only it wanted to send me a confirmation through my phone. I didn't feel like getting my phone then, so it hasn't happened yet. YouTube was working just fine so I have no idea why I was forced to update it.

Then I received a 5g card from my cell phone carrier.  I made sure it wasn't bogus first and then I updated the sim in my phone. Apparently in Feb. 2022 Major carriers are putting 5G online. 4G will still be around for a long time. 2G and 3G are going away. Luckily my phone was compatible with the new tech. Some phones are not and need to be replaced.

For anyone who threw that snail mail in the trash thinking it was junk mail. They just threw away their key to the network in Feb. 30.00 to replace one.

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40 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

I don't watch much TV.  

Me either. But I do watch a lot of youtube for things I'm interested in. Over Christmas this year a lot of the streaming services practically gave away their services and we signed up for two of them but will drop them once the price goes back to normal. I've been watching the old Ghost Hunters shows from SyFy Discovery + at night and 1 home renovation show but that's it. I haven't even watched a movie yet on any of the 2 free, and two paid/cheap ones we recently got. I look at the list and see a ton of movies I'd love to watch, tell myself I'll watch them later when I'm not busy, and so far I haven't watched anything. I never ever watch OTA TV. Not even the news.

40 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

Then I received a 5g card from my cell phone carrier.

T-Mobile and Sprint just screwed everyone in our area. Not 100% sure but I think Sprint bought them out recently? I know someone did and that's why things are changing. They are forcing my wife to replace her phone in March because of the switch to 5G. They said her phone will be incompatible and we have have to buy a new one. Mine will be too but I oddly I never got a letter. We have a monthly plan that we autopay and some of the perks of the autopay are free ad-free Hulu and unlimited data, plus they locked/grandfathered us in at our original lower price and our bill never increased with their pricing increases until they got bought out. Sprint is dropping all the contracts, cancelling free ad-free Hulu, raising the price by almost 50%, and are charging extra for unlimited data now.

So, we are switching to a different company that is on the same network for a fraction of the price minus the free ad-free Hulu and she'll drop her unlimited data although I'll keep mine. I stream a lot of music on mine especially when working in my shop because my Wifi can't get in the steel building but for some reason 4G does. According to my neighbor his Wifi Ubiquiti equipment gets in his steel building no problem (LOL), or I should say out of his building to his house since our ISP's hardwire comes in to his building. We pick our service from a tower near by via a radio transceiver. It's actually really good when it works. Almost no ping at all.

Which leads me to the obsolescence stuff. His Ubiquiti gear is old but he says they keep updating the firmware and he hasn't had a need to replace it. Which just goes to prove they can keep it all up to date if they want to but it's a conscious decision by Netgear, TPLink, and all the other off the shelf brands not to. When the time comes to actually do a serious network here I'm probably going to take his advice and go with a Ubiquiti based system. BTW I can update my old Netgear router to Wifi 6 with hacked firmware but I don't trust them not to give themselves a back door.

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18 hours ago, Shane_B. said:

Me either. But I do watch a lot of youtube for things I'm interested in. Over Christmas this year a lot of the streaming services practically gave away their services and we signed up for two of them but will drop them once the price goes back to normal. I've been watching the old Ghost Hunters shows from SyFy Discovery + at night and 1 home renovation show but that's it. I haven't even watched a movie yet on any of the 2 free, and two paid/cheap ones we recently got. I look at the list and see a ton of movies I'd love to watch, tell myself I'll watch them later when I'm not busy, and so far I haven't watched anything. I never ever watch OTA TV. Not even the news.

Ghost Hunters lol. Yeah I watched a bunch of those. I'm imagining the set in the background, " Hey Henry, when you get the signal pull that invisible mono filament line." Or the dude who goes in and challenges them- " Come get me you SOB I know you're there". Oh S*** let's get outta here!!

Seems like a really bad plan- Someone was sitting around with nothing much to do and said to themselves. " I know! We'll go into known haunted houses and challenge demons for kicks". Then something follows them home for sport.

SyFi isn't what it used to be either. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime movies, Xfinity movies, A few movie channels as a part of our package, movies about other movies, movies about nothing. Thousands of them literally. And most of the time there is NOTHING to watch.

18 hours ago, Shane_B. said:

T-Mobile and Sprint just screwed everyone in our area. Not 100% sure but I think Sprint bought them out recently? I know someone did and that's why things are changing. They are forcing my wife to replace her phone in March because of the switch to 5G. They said her phone will be incompatible and we have have to buy a new one. Mine will be too but I oddly I never got a letter. We have a monthly plan that we autopay and some of the perks of the autopay are free ad-free Hulu and unlimited data, plus they locked/grandfathered us in at our original lower price and our bill never increased with their pricing increases until they got bought out. Sprint is dropping all the contracts, cancelling free ad-free Hulu, raising the price by almost 50%, and are charging extra for unlimited data now.

As I understand it T-Mobile has the largest coverage area in the US by a long shot. Anyone out in the mid west boonies is probably connecting on a T-Mobile tower. I am on AT&T. I have been on it since it was Cingular. Their coverage is good on the east coast and around most major metropolitan areas. I would not trust them on a trip by car out west.

 Part of that multi trillion dollar package that was recently passed to support infrastructure was funding for wireless tech. 5G is better than 4G in terms of speed and ability to access information faster. There are still holes in the security though, and maybe you've heard the claims that Cell tower signals are killing off honey bees and the new 5G frequency is too close to the same frequencies used by large airliners for their navigation potentially causing inaccurate auto pilot and landing errors.

Since I put the new chip in voice seems a lot clearer using speaker phone. AT&T doesn't technically flip the switch on 5G until Febuary 2022. My phone still shows I am on 4G.

 

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On 1/17/2022 at 2:08 AM, Bapu said:

I just replace my drum mics individual XLR connectors to a snake.
image.thumb.png.aafc2ef4ccceeb5c1cae4fbd3a801e28.png

Next task is to cleanup/remove lots of accumulated stuff behind the drums.


 

All i see is that pink bonnette !!

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The new router is all in and working now. I moved it to the center of the house.

The new studio is still a long way off unless I can figure out a way to dispose of 5 or 6 truck loads of stuff that doesn't belong to me and do it without being killed. I still need to 'negotiate' what's going to happen to a lot of it. Might be a very slow and time consuming process.

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In the 90’s I had a real studio that was 1,000 square feet and had 2 isolated rooms with special windows and double doors and a W window between the live room and the control room. 

In our last house I had 600 square feet of attic with a 12’ angled ceiling that I shared with family storage of random stuff like extra furniture and dog crates.

New home I’m in the basement in a standard 12x12 spare room with a 7’ 6” ceiling. The former owner had put a plywood sub floor and the walls are covered with OSB ( chip board). it’s the only room that was sort of finished in the basement. I had to remove the ceiling which was pine planks to complete the renovation of plumbing and wiring upstairs. So right now I have no ceiling. 
Like you I have way too much stuff for the small room. PA stuff 20 instruments in and out of cases, digital drum kit. Real drums, 88, 49 and 28 keyboards  sound modules, 4 old laptops, 3 computers 6 monitors and 6 suitcases full of wires and effects pedals. Extra mixing boards and interfaces, 10 pairs of headphones, A 10’ high stack of CD’s. 20 old hard drives most in enclosures, 3 boxes of computer parts, 12 mike stands, bass amp 3 guitar amps, couple of bags of lighting rig stuff. Then family stuff that still has no place to go from the 600 square foot attic.
 

All my summer shirts are hanging behind me. My extra shoes are here somewhere too. 


I’ve been renovating the house for 2 years and the upstairs is now finished. But we spent all the cash on that,  so my dream studio project needs a new plan.  
Does anyone need a room full of useless,  redundant music gear?  I’ll trade you for a new Computer and a Shure SM 7b. 

I’m hopefully going to get it done over the summer, but I have no where to put all this stuff so I can work on it. 

 

Edited by John Vere

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