The Recording Studio is equipped with the following
Operating Guides and User Manuals at bottom of page.
:Theoretically, 282 voices:
Work in Progress May 2016- July of 2018.
"Look to The Sky"
I'm at 90% story told and 50% intonation correct on the piece
I'm working on and the cakewalk file went supernatural on me. I'm using Cakewalk
Pro 9 which is pre-Sonar because I'm running vintage Windows 98SE. Sometimes the
midi files go supernatural like this: There are three apparently random time locations in this
piece, (01:33:13, 01:51:28, and 03:28:12)
where these time locations could act as children or parents of notes in one or
two of the other locations. Took me over a week to diagnose and fix this
If you're not part of the solution you are part of the
So save the file with a new name and choose the
Cakewalk 3 format. Then exit out of file and re-launch. It may work on the fly. This must drop the
information in the registers of 4.0.
Proteus 3 World 32 Voice ($125 eBay) These are real fine rack mounted synthesizers.
Powerful and elegant they support orchestration for most of my compositions.
I like having multiple synths from the same family, it insures sound compatibility
when layering and for voice substitution when I ask for more than one synth
known for their good service and low cost
products. My first signal processor was an Alesis Midiverb-1. So when it died I purchased
the Alesis MV4. This device is versatile and very powerful. The LCD went out in 2010. Not good. The MV4 can still be used. I have eye strain
to see the readings sometimes. I found another working Midiverb-1 ($95 eBay) this 16 bit,
preset, effects sound processor only has a 10kHz bandwidth. This
combination provides a edgy sound quality that is useful. The Alesis
EQ-230 a 1/3 octave graphic equalizer is a helper used to balance out the
monitoring system. I use the Radio Shack SPL meter and prepare a 3d graph of the
room sampling 20 to 20,000 Hz in 1' squares in the listening zone. I then use
the equalizer to balance out the fundamental and harmonic resonances in the
sweet spot. It's a lot of work but worth it. Headphones are fine but not enough
for me always.
It's nice to have a smaller keyboard
especially when I'm working on voicing a synth a nearby controller is handy. I
got this to update from the Fatar by including mod wheels and velocity sensitive
keys. Because I use MIDI not USB, I require the DC transformer (wall wart). The
wall wart doesn't come with the keyboard. Multiple emails to Alesis went un
answered. They spec the DC volts, amps and barrel connector outside diameter,
they do not spec the inside diameter. I'll ended up ordering a 9vDC 500ma
transformer on line and splicing in a barrel connector that fit as they used a
larger than normal pin. This pin size is normally only used on larger voltage
transformers. The day in the life of a musician trying to work with a
this device to measure the audio resonance of a room related to a tonic note.
After locating the speakers measurements are made throughout the room. The
results relate to the frequency, room dimensions, room’s surface types and,
acoustical properties. I use this SPL
dB tool to
map out locations in the room where the louder and lowest dB’s (volumes) are.
For example; a rectilinear room having surfaces of low absorptive will result
in a very symmetrical x-y-z grid of alternating low and high dB’s.
this point listening locations can be balanced and re-measured until you get the
FB-01 8 voice. No longer supported
This is the first Yamaha MIDI rack synth I owned.
Purchased it at West LA Music in 1986. It is over 30 years old and still fully functioning! This is a ½ wide
shelf unit and not very versatile. But, these older FM synths can have
a warm, fat, or fuzzy sound that can cut through a mix. These synths can round
out the sterile quality of other digital synths by adding a sound quality color to the audio palette. Alone the
FB-01 sounds warm fuzzy and somewhat thick but when used in contrast with PCM synths
it becomes fuller and richer like a single red brush stroke on a busy oil
painting. These FM synths can produce some fat bass.
added this TX81Z FM synthesizer to my lineup in 2012. It is a full width 1U high 8 voice
FM synth that has 128 ROM slots and 32 RAM slots. I can't wait to use the Unisyn Patch Editor and Librarian
to sculpt some new sounds from this baby. Its a better version of the FB-01.
Click on the picture to see full size
I replaced the Optimus
speakers (Radio Shack) in 2015, when the Crown power amp blew up, with these Yamaha NS-6490 three way crossover speakers.
I have two of these. The other one is connected to the home theater.
Sub woofers are great like a cigar in a non-Freudian way. As in the way a cigar
is only great if you are the one smoking it! So are subwoofers great only if it
is connected to your sound system. These big subwoofer systems in cars playing a
LF bass line; my first thought is I don't like it cause its some other
person's sound system. At least most the kids in the neighborhood won't get run
over because they can hear it coming.
Seriously, The Yamaha NS-6490s do emit frequencies well below the stated limits
as analogue speakers are our last defense against the ravages of digital
sampling. This Sony subwoofer is great in backing up the lowest audio
frequencies with the power these body feel frequencies deserve.
Well, where do I start? Many years ago I had a MiniKorg
700s. This was my first Korg. More recently, the first time I heard
the X5DR I knew I had to have it.. The Korg MS2000R
(rack mountable) is a used virtual analog synthesizer that I obtained in early 2012.
When the NS5R came out I was first in line. Remember I like to have multiple
synths from the same family for layering and substitution. If you could only get
one synth I would suggest the NS5R. This fully programmable 64 voice polyphonic
synth just won't stop giving up new and interesting sounds for your music.
Version information boot method; Hold down both PRAM buttons when turning on.
If your LCD gets set so bright or dim it can't be read what do you do? You can't
see the screen to navigate through the menu to adjust it!
Press the three bottom buttons simultaneously (MUTE, DISP & EXIT) and turn on.
Virtual Analog Synthesis
The Korg MS2000R
(rack mountable) is a used virtual analog synthesizer that I obtained in early .2012.
Real cool. I like the way this sounds better than the BR. I have been going through this testing each controller.
I find the BANK/OCTAVE DOWN and the KEYBOARD switches don't work. I'll test
later to see if I can affect these functions via MIDI commands.($300 eBay)
The MS2000BR was added in late 2014 to supplement the first one.
Korg MS-20M + SQ-1
This is a true analog synthesizer. Monophonic. The SQ-1 sequencer is CV and the
MS-20M can use Midi note on and off commands.
Korg products web page.
Korg SQ-1 Instructions I assembled it
in a couple of hours. Lots of nuts. It takes a 12mm nut driver- not in the
instructions. I am considering tapping out the mod locations off the
motherboard. When I connected the USB from The
Tyan Tiger to the SQ-1 an interesting thing
happened. Even with the MS-20M and the SQ-1 turned off the Tyan creates some
processor activity or video activity sounds that move through the USB to the
mixer. The MS-20M is connected to the Alesis MV-4 with a setting that only takes
a little sound to excite it.
Here I have painted white latex paint with a two horsehair
brush on to the indents of the pitch controllers of the SQ-1. I think they read
a lot better… at least I can now see where they are pointed to because
before I could not. This paint shows up well when they are lit-up red or not. A
Listen to the Korg MS20M PURRR.
The 1212I/0 is a great piece of hardware bringing 8 tracks into the
computer without the signal to noise ratio issues at the electrical connections
of the micro buss interface of
the computer as I use the ADAT optical cable. The
Korg 1212I/O lives in the Tyan Tiger 100 Pentium
Two wavetable oscillators plus noise generator and ring modulator. Oscillator
Sync and FM.10-note polyphonic, 8-part multitimbral.256 User Patches, 128 Multi
setups. Arpeggiator forms part of patch meaning up to 8 simultaneous
arpeggiators can run in multi mode. Arpeggiator and LFOs can sync to MIDI clock.
Two filters with a total of 12 filter types.DSP effects -- the first three parts
in a multi performance can use their full effects settings, the remainder are
limited to chorus. External signal input to filters/effects.65 wavetables plus
32 user wavetables.44 knobs, 9 switches, 2 x 40 character display, shift key,
alpha dial. All major parameters have a dedicated MIDI controller numbers. Knobs
send MIDI controllers. 5 rack units.
This is an eight port MIDI in/out hub that connects
to the computer via a parallel interface cable. The SMPTE, ADAT, video, or audio
click coding and sync
capabilities are a necessity. With two keyboards and
seven MIDI devices this device is working at max, necessitating daisy chaining of
some MIDI devices. Acting as my hub controller, my setup needs to be flexible. I
can use the
tremendous flexibility this device has to offer.
I need it. Mark of the Unicorn is on top of the driver issues for all new
OS releases. I know this investment will be useable for many years. There is no
direct support of the model I have. I
have the model with the RS-232 parallel printer interface. 02/01/2012: I
acquired a second MTP AV parallel Midi hub. With these two devices
networked together the rack will be capable of interfacing with 16 MIDI devices.
This will be much better and easier to use than dealing all the problems that
happen when MIDI devices are daisy chained. 04/01/2012- Ordered ROM chip update
from MOTU I will replace the CR2032 batteries at the same time because these
won't save any configuration settings. It now looks like I can't network two of
these and use W98 as the OS due a W98 limitation. So fine, I could just up grade
the computer (dual boot) to XP. But then the Cakewalk won't work. The Pandora's
Box scenario that I'm trying to avoid will begin to happen resulting in me
having to upgrade everything. I'm trying to stay vintage and limit investment
and write off costs. So, I'll tinker at the upgrade but 99% of my effort will be
used to reconfigure the MIDI to share MIDI ports between the devices. It will be
a little harder to configure and will probably result in some limitations but
nothing I can't handle. Without a doubt, I'll end up thoroughly understanding
this aspect of these synthesizers.
The 2408 is not in use. Its a backup.
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Home.aspx Protector ( no support)
MDX 1800 As the Tascam DA-38 is a digital recorder, its AD
converters can't saturate and absorb extra energy like an analog tape recorder
can. Instead these AD devices clip and screech making the recording unusable.
A dB limiter must be inline between the mixer and the digital tape recorder
to prevent this and is an absolute necessity in the digital recording realm.
I like to use the limiter to control spikes while allowing a very hot recording.
The Protector is an eight channel limiter that is cabled channel for channel
with the eight track DA-38.
The DA-38 is an 8 track 16 bit CD quality digital
recorder. When linked up with the MMC-38 the recorder can sync up with
other devices. I set Cakewalk to external SIMPTE Sync and then can mix
my six synths down to two tracks and do this four times without having
to bounce tracks. This allows a setup, say for a trap set, where each drum
and cymbal has its own mixer channel. If I forward Cakewalk to measure 30
the DA-38 forwards to the same position and vise versa.
The MMC-38 is designed to offer MIDI control over the DA-38. This will convert
MMC to DTRS transport commands, and convert tape time (ABS) to MTC and SMPTE
time code. This is ideal for giving sequencers, or basic digital consoles
transport control over the DA-38, and synchronizing MIDI equipment.
The picture below shows settings as 24 FPS and ID#1 and MIDI connection with
A device this heavy shouldn't be mounted to a front rack only application.
So I purchased their rear rack brackets. Not so user friendly. I had to use a
10/32 Tap because the flanges are not threaded. A real disappointment. Building
a rear bracket in a cabinet and installing the component is tricky.
After The Crown DC150 blew out the
studio monitors and fried, I needed a new power amp & mix speakers. This is the one I picked. I
hope it will serve me well. It puts out more power than the speakers can handle.
So it will never be turned up above the mid mark of 10dB of attenuation.
Attenuation expressed in
decibels of relative power. A 3dB pad reduces power to one half, 6dB to one
fourth, 10dB to one tenth, 20dB to one hundredth, 30dB to one thousandth and so
on. For voltage you double the dB's so for example 6dB is half in voltage.
Crown Audio http://www.crownaudio.com/ IC150
I purchased this matched stereo pre-amplifier and power
amplifier in 1975. They have been dragged back and forth across the US for over
35 years. They have blown out many sets of speakers. They still work well. What
else can be said.
These photo of the IC150 is not my equipment. The Crowns in my rack is much
worse for the wear.
Roland http://www.rolandus.com/ A-30
As I am a recording artist and not a performance artist, I am not frustrated
by this keyboard's limitations. The A-30 is 1/2 weighted, 76 key keyboard.
Very Good Keyboard.
Roland A-30 Activating Modulation and Pitch Bend Messages
Added on Mar 20, 2012
at 3:11 PM
The factory setup of Patch #1 does not transmit pitch bend or
modulation messages (it was created for a piano sound which
doesn�t require these types of messages). If you would like to
transmit modulation and pitch bend information on Patch #1, use
the following procedure:
1. Press EDIT followed by MIDI/PARAM.
2. Press #1 then #8 and ENTER.
3. Press the EDIT button again to return to play mode.
A minimal 49 key keyboard. No after
touch, mod wheels, or MIDI in. It is very fast and transmits velocity info. A
Except the MIDI connector is loose and can't be connected to reliably. Its off
Twelve Tone Systems http://www.cakewalk.com/ CW- Pro Audio 9 This program is the main composition application that I use. It is
easy to configure and is a powerful composition and arrangement tool.
What is happening to Cakewalk?
As of November 17, 2017, Gibson Brands, Inc, has officially
ceased new product development of all Cakewalk branded software.
After 30 years Cakewalk has stopped new product development. Their
website says their servers will be maintained for us users. I grew up with them
and their products and am not moving to any other developer.
Apogee http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/ FC-8. No longer supported and nearly forgotten by Apogee. This product
won awards at NAMM in
1997. I'm guessing it didn't sell like hot cakes and barely a mention on their
website. Almost impossible now to find any data on the web about the FC-8 now.
It still works great.
S/N 01362 rev b3
This is the interface format converter from the Korg
1212IO to the Tascam, ADAT to TDIF-1 via an ADAT Lightpipe fiber optic jumper (data is
ADAT Optical) with Word
Clock transport via coax from the DA-38 and through the ADAT Lightpipe to the
Korg 1212i/o .
Click on the picture to see full size
While there are lots of possible configurations for my normal setup where I have
recorded from the mixer to the DA-38 and are copying music from the DA-38 through
the FC-8 through the Korg
1212 i/o to the hard drive on the PC using SEK*D, I setup the wiring like this
block diagram. Then set the Korg 1212i/o Word Clock to "Internal" (using the Korg 1212IO Utility
on the PC) and push in the "Word In" button on the DA-38. With the optical connections
made, the bottom green light (Lock) on the FC-8 is continuously green. When
data is transmitted the top two green lights (ADAT RCV and TDIF RCV) are
I made this router switch to enable some basic routing functionality for
monitoring and recording. See the Studio Schematic for details. The switching of any circuit requires
moving two DPDT rocker switches, one for each channel. I wired this parallel, without
a common ground, to eliminate the potential for ground hum or bucking battery.
In the center position, the circuit is dead ended. Pushing up or down directs
the source to the destination chosen. This switch saves a lot of hassle getting
into the back of the rack and moving cables around all the time. This device
introduces no measurable loss, no bandpass filtering, and introduces no noise
into the audio spectrum.
The Fender Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase and Stage 73 Key Electric Pianos
I purchased my first Fender Rhodes at Broadway
Piano, on Broadway a few blocks south of the Denver Art Museum. I think Joe
Onofrio owned the store.
Rhodes Case 73 in 1973.
spent my all my spare time, after the main day gig, working my licks. I learned about music theory with the help of this
wonderful instrument in my one room apartment and with the help of my elementary
orchestral music instructor at night and on weekends at the theatre four blocks
away. There I had to do the clean up of the burnt rods and lunch bags, every
night, in that old-town theater in North Denver where I learned to
run a projector, change reels, replace rods and splice film too!
The quality of this particular piano was very good. Every
key was balanced and of equal weight. Wonderful light action produced a mellow
vibe thing, yum and restful. Forceful staccato strikes produced a real funky
tonal effect. Simply explained as sexy and expressive like man in the machine
age. The vibrato effect was pulsing and complex like a Leslie Speaker. Great
with rhythmic and funk pieces and expressive with soulful slow pieces.
I now own two of these, a Stage 73 and a Suitcase 73.
See the Tyan TIGER 100 Dual Pentium 2x 400. This computer
serves as the Midi controller for the entire system and the digital recording
system, the final mixing stage, and where the CD is burnt. . The 8 audio
channels from the Tascam DA-38 are recorded to Ultra Wide SCSI drives via the
Korg 1212I/O card and mixed with the Samplitude Studio 4.01software.
I'm now using Yamaha HPH-MT8 headphones. One thing I really like about these;
the cable plugs into the headphones. They are not hardwired. So when I'm
finished where I'm sitting on a stool working with a component low in the
system auditioning with the headphones and get up not realizing I have a foot on
the cable they don't break or rip my ear off. They just come un-plugged. NICE!.
What I don't like is that they are too heavy for the amount of padding on the
crown. They can bother my noggin top. Not a show stopper. They reproduce
sound accurately in the high and midrange but roll off in the low frequency like
all small diameter plates do. They are great for practice, composing, and a part
I'm rebuilding the rack here. It's easier to set a rack over
when adjusting the equipment in a rack and you are doing it by yourself.
Several components have not been installed here yet. This is the first photo of
the Mackie in the rack. The pencil tray and handle at the bottom of the Mackie
serves no purpose when the mixer is rack mounted. I tried to remove it. After
disassembling the component shell I found out that the entire board must also be
disassembled. A much harder and more dangerous task than I will take on. So, I
proudly am the owner of a vertical pencil tray and will defend its purpose
This is a mid-sized equipment rack with 42" rails.
I'm using pre-finished birch plywood, pocket screws, and
Baltic birch plywood. The casters are from Harbor Freight. The plan is to build
one more of these and a two to three more of the two footers. The
objective is, with these and a table I can set up a more user friendly
workspace. A four sided open box isn't strong. Install the equipment in it and
it's a five sided box, very strong. I have installed two power strips, in
series, for all the equipment.
Racks 1, 2, & 3
When I get all the racks made and all the
the equipment goes into the new
racks the carpeted road case rack (Rack-1) gets trashed. It's a second.
Not square and leans left.
Part of the Rack in action.. The Waldorf's factory
O' the joys of vintage gear.
To be able to get to the point where maintenance of vintage
gear is possible it takes, luck, care, and MOVs (metal-oxide varistors).
All the devices that have user ROM allocation for user settings
saved in have batteries to retain the information. Usually lithium type coin
batteries. Some have battery holders and some are direct soldered. All of these
batteries need to be changed out. The devices with batteries in battery holders are a
piece of cake. The devices that require de-soldering and re-soldering are, of
course, more difficult and have a higher risk of beflamadoodling which renders them
knackered and useless. I'm looking into what it would take to insert a battery
holder to eliminate more soldering in the future.