Control Room-less studios.

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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Re: Control Room-less studios.

Post by Auxillary » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:54 pm

I love working without a control rool now. I think if you are relying on the mics and pre's to make something sound right... well.

I generally work on getting a great sound in the room, then as we go through practice takes I try different mics/pres. I have a very good idea of what works where pretty much so its no problem.
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Re: Control Room-less studios.

Post by chikkenguy » Sat Sep 25, 2004 2:18 pm

does anyone use any sort of isolation headphones? some etymotics earbuds seem like they might be the most hifi choice, but might not be comfortable or convenient for all day work. then theres these, , isolation phones with 7506 drivers. but 7506s arent that great sounding. also the extreme headphones...

how much better do 7509s sound than 7506s? i wonder if you could switch drivers?

as for working in a single space with people, ive liked it when ive done it so far, which has just been 2 projects with solo work. in that context, its easy to do, good communication, and more intimate. drums are something i would not want to do that way at all though.

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Re: Control Room-less studios.

Post by stapes » Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:23 am

I've worked out of a control room-less studio for a couple of years now, and I like it quite a bit. I like it a lot better than working in studios with half-assed isolated control rooms where the acoustics are funky and there's not a lot of good seperation from the live room. It's a certain way of working that you have to adapt to. If you're used to working with a control room, it can drive you nuts for a little while, but a good pair of headphones really helps out. I bought some of those remote audio headphones, and they work fantastic. 45db of attenuation can't be beat. I can run them at such a lower volume than regular headphones that going all day with headphones on doesn't bother me as much anymore. If anybody out there with no control room wants a good investment, these are it. They'll make your job a lot easier. They don't sound fantastic, but they've got usable bass that's not boomy, and a good midrange. If you're used to the sound of 7506's, then you'll fit right in. I don't know how the drivers compare to other sony headphones. I have tried the extreme isolation headphones before, and they were useless. They sound so god awful bad, that you can't base any tones coming out of them to real life. They look awful too, which is really important when you're sitting there with the band. You want to look like the person in charge, and it's totally cool looking like the guy directing airplanes on the runway. Beyer makes some really good pretty isolated headphones for the other band members/producer. I use DT150's, but the 770 pro's are good too. They make some that are especially for drummers. So, I think the headphone situation can really make or break a control room-less studio, so don't skimp here. Roger, if you would like to know if a studio like this would suit you, you'd just have to go work in one a couple times to find out. Some people love it, some people hate it, as indicated by the posts here. If I had to do it all over again, I would choose a control room-less design because I like the workflow. I would put a lot of work into adaptable acoustic treatments, though. I like the idea about having different zones. One zone that is really needed in a studio like this is a lounge zone. You need a place for the band to hang out so they don't mess everything up. They're usually pretty well behaved sitting on the couch in the back, but I can tell they get a little ancy sometimes. We have a deck out back with speakers that looks over the river, so it's nice for them to hang out there, but being in Texas, outside is not always the best place to be. We're building a lounge inside that will be a lot more comfy, and actually serve as a smaller dead room/mastering suite. I think it would be nice for some people to be in a different room sitting in front of some monitors to judge sounds to make them feel more comfortable. It would probably be handy for outside engineers that are not used to studio's like this. I've been trying to market the studio to other engineers, as we have pretty much the best drum room in Austin for the money, but the lack of a control room is a drawback for some. I think that the vibe and acoustics are the most important things in a studio. I've got the acoustics that I like, and being there with the band has made for the best experiences everybody has had in a studio. That transfers to tape pretty well.

Erik Wofford
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Re: Control Room-less studios.

Post by dwelle » Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:01 am

hey chickendude, i use the extreme isolation headphones for mic placement alot. i prefer sound of the 7506 or the hd280 (senn), but i've adjusted to how these sound and find them quite handy to have around, very good isolation and a usable sound...

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Re: Control Room-less studios.

Post by hank hill » Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:04 am

Yeah everything Stapes said... just switch out the word Florida for Texas and I'm not sure what headphones hes talking about but I use these crazy ones that my dad used in Vietnam in the early 70s. Work well and I look all crazy retro. Anyway... yeah what he said.

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Re: Control Room-less studios.

Post by daveaux » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:30 am

It was good enough for Daniel Lanois at Kingsway in New Orleans (U2, Pearl Jam, Jason Faulkner, REM, Blind Melon, Neville Bros, Emmylou Harris)... can't tell you how many grammies were won in that space. He later moved on to Cali an had an old theatre (El Teatro, coincidentally) set up the same way.

K'Way was set up in an old mansion, but for the most part it was a few big-ass rooms that could've been any big house, and you'd just walk in and all the gear was there in the main area with no restrictions: console, monitors, outboard all over, tape machines in the corner. Easier to get to the backs of gear to calibrate and fix/patch stuff too.

I got to track there (Kingsway) a few times and the vibe definitely outweighed any 'inconveniences' lack of walls may have caused. Working with limitations can spur creativity, and most of us are working with plenty of THOSE anyway, right?



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