Archive for December, 2015

A YouTube channel I’m subscribed to is doing what I think is an interesting take on showing off your setup; change over time.  I just did a setup tour and had found some old photos of what I started with back in 2009.  So I went ahead and submitted it and maybe it will show up on the channel sometime.  However, it worked out well as a kind of end of year review so I thought I would show that here as well.  Hope you enjoy!

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1) This started when my oldest kids moved out (2009) and my wife and I got our own offices.  The most difficult part was finding a desk that I liked, since I am not a fan of desks with drawers on either side.  I keep hitting my legs on them.  But I finally found an Ikea desk that was simple and inexpensive and I started with it in middle of the office.  I had started playing guitar just before I got the space, so a big theme for me was to have a studio space.  Keep in mind I was learning about what would work best.  The PC I had was an HP Pavilion (AMD FX6300) with 10 GB ram. Dual Samsung SyncMaster 205BW panels finished it out along with a Razer Lachesis mouse.
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2) The second step wasn’t huge, but involved painting the office/studio, getting my first simple LED lighting rope, and a window covering.  Cable management wasn’t a real consideration at this point but you can see a bit.  I did get the M-Audio studio monitors separated from the desk and roughly pointed in the right direction.
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3) Next was some inspirational art work and here you can see a better shot of my lack of cable management.  It makes me cringe now.  You can see some of the studio peripherals as well.  The blue fabric (and some batting) was the beginning of my attempt to get some sound dampening on the cheap.
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4) You can see a view from the “front”, check out the flip phone and Zune.  Don’t knock it, that was 80 gigs of music on the go at a much cheaper price than that other brand. You can also see my M-Audio M-Box mini and Line6 Toneport UX1 audio interfaces.
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5) I was able to get my hands on a control surface and the desk went against the wall as I tried to get better spacing in the office.  It also made me start thinking about getting my panels off the desk and into a better viewing position.  Turns out beer cans are a great spacer.  I also was still experimenting with sound dampening and  trying to find a comfortable spot for my audio interfaces.  The cables are at least in a clump now.  One of my studio monitors died, so I switched to Alesis Elevate.
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6) I was able to get some real acoustic treatment so I got serious about placement of my desk, setting up a real listening station measured out so I was cutting out first reflections and getting bass traps in place.  Here I made a much more concerted effort on cable management.  I also got tired of the Pavilion case, so I ripped out the guts and put it into my Antec NSK 6580 case and was able to get more fans to get positive air pressure (and a start on LED in the case).
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7) I had some extra plywood and so built a custom stand for my panels and also created stands for my studio monitors to get them at ear level.  I almost got cable management under control, and also getting more studio equipment in a better position for use.  A Corsair mouse pad helps with a bit of gaming and generally makes the mouse smoother.
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8) I finally got rid of the beer cans and built real stands.  I also got an RGB strip to go under the stand as well as behind the panels to get some nice lighting.  I got cables down to just the main power strip and my phone charger (out of space on the power strip). In addition I moved the guitars as it was very awkward to get to them.
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9) Lastly (2015), I got a Fractal Design Define S and an MSI motherboard (still with the AMD FX6300) so I could use an EVGA 760 GPU I was given as the HP Pavilion OEM board would not support it.  I also got a hold of two Acer S230HL panels to move to 1080.  I now have a handle on my PC cable management, but not quite with my music gear.
Future wise I am looking to move back to Intel, upgrading the motherboard and processor to get better performance for both gaming and running plug-ins for my recording software.  I also want to upgrade my audio interface to something better than USB 1.0 and to clean up the studio rack so the cable management matches the desk.  I want to continue to be able to just sit and record with less than a minute setup time.  I want creation as easy as possible as well as a space to be inspired.