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11th August 2013 - Sounding Out...

Before the weekend I had received the two new 1920 x 1080 displays so I spent a couple of evenings getting them set up with the DAW. Yes, I had also got the audio machine connected into the system after having swapped the graphics cards from my test machine. I still haven't tested the DAW connected to the older Samsung 1920 x 1200 display but I wanted to see how things worked out with two lower resolution displays - all-in-all the clarity is extremely good considering how cheap these displays are I might well stick with them.

I did have to upgrade the shelf inside the airlock as the 6 mm plywood was not up to the job of supporting a computer box - I had some 20 mm ply which is much stronger. Another slight issue cropped up: I actually mounted the shelf a fair bit higher than I had actually planned and found that my long USB cables that run under the floor were too short!!!! I had plenty of slack in the room but hadn't left enough inside.

OK, this was a good test as I had always planned that I could gain access to the under floor cabling in the future. It only involves lifting three rows of laminate and rolling back the underlay to gain access and it probably only took me 20 minutes to do entire job and happy to be able to do it without any headaches. 

Sunday:
Having progressed to a certain stage I wanted to get some speakers set up to get a feel for the sound in the room as well as the kind of isolation I can expect. Bear in mind I haven't fully sealed up the outer door frame completely. I had my old Alesis Monitor Ones packed away so I got these out along with mu Samson Servo 170 amp and set them up on some temporary speaker stands. I then connected this up to the DAW outputs.

With a bit of messing with cables and connectors I had sound in the studio for the first time. After playing for a few seconds I could hear a problem that could not be down to the room. After messing with the pan controls it was clear that there was an issue from one of the channels as the left speaker was severely lacking in high frequency. To cut a long story short, it turns out that one of the tweeters is faulty on the left Monitor :-(  They hadn't been used for a few years but I don't know if the problem existed before then. I still need to swap the tweeters over to confirm the problem lay with the tweeter and not the crossover.

In the mean I wanted to get something positive out of this so I ran some material up through the system at reasonably high volume to check the isolation. Well...I have to say that I am suitably impressed with the results :-)  this is truly amazing and I think far better than I had imagined.  With the inner door closed I could hear clearly what was being played but with the outer (not quite fully sealed) door closed the drop was amazing and I could barely hear anything without putting my ear right up against the door. The outer door makes the world of difference!

OK, back to the monitor. It turns out that Alesis no longer keep spares for the M1 so I have made an enquiry with a well known speaker maker in the UK (Wilmslow Audio) to see if they have an equivalent to replace the original. No reply as of yet but I want to at least try and get these working in the mean time before buying the new active monitors (possibly the Adam A7X).

 

8th August 2013 - Lighting Up...

I had bought a few downlight fittings from ebay so I thought I might as well put a couple of these up.  I had left an opening in the ceiling cloud which currently accommodates a temporary bulkhead light. The idea is to fill this with a small piece of plasterboard with a couple of openings for two downlights. I have a few off-cuts of plasterboard so I cut one to size and made two holes ready for the downlights. I had to add three additional timber supports into the void to support the edges of the plasterboard, at the sides and in the centre. I then wired the existing supply cable into a junction box screwed into the ceiling and wired the two supplies to the lights here. All pretty straight forward and once the panel was screwed into position with the light inserted I turned the power back on and all worked well.

I have also the option of adding up to three additional downlights at the back of the room but having turned these two 35w halogens on I'm not sure I'm goint to need them - these appear to provide ample light and in fact I might well replace the basic light switch with a dimmer.

I have to decide on how to finish off the plasterboard and conceal the screws but for now it at least looks a lot better than my ad-hoc bulkhead.

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