Studio Updates Underway

Hey there everybody, it’s been a few weeks since the family and I moved out to the country. I had expected that I would have the updated studio put together by now, but I simply had too many other things to unpack and/or do that I didn’t get to work on it until this last weekend. However, I am pleased to announce that the studio is about halfway put together by now and I have already played around with pieces of it to make sure it’s working normally.

Here is what I have done so far:

  1. I have had the Mac setup and running this whole time but I just recently hooked it back into the Lexicon so my studio feed can go out through the mixers.
  2. I purchased two JamStand monitor stands, assembled them, and put the studio speakers (my¬†KRK Rokit5’s) up on there.
  3. I ran the audio out of my Lexicon and into my Behringer Xenyx mixer.
  4. The mixer board now gets the studio feed as a hard channel (in the past, I would only plug in the mixer when I was doing some recording with my friends) and I can have full mixing (and FX control) from my studio source before they hit the speakers.
  5. I have already attached the condenser microphone to my mixer and ran some tests. I was able to distort my voice using the Behringer FX options which is something that had only worked part of the time with my last build. Not to mention, the kids had a great time playing with the different tone shift mixers on the board to make their voice sound different. So far, our favorite is FX number 78, I call this “The Dark Lord of Evil” pitch shifter. It literally makes even my 4 year old boys voices sound like Darth Vader or Diablo.
  6. Lastly, I decided to test my ability to do a hard mix out from something pre-recorded so I used the opportunity to make my oldest daughter twitch. You see, she has taken a liking to Luke Bryan’s song “Kick the Dust Up” which comes from one of my least favorite genres – modern country. I got her very excited when i told her that I would allow her to listen to her favorite song on ‘daddy’s big speakers’. I queued up the iTunes feed (remember, my Lexicon now directly connects to my mixer) for the song. As soon as she would get to singing a portion of the song, I would fire off a different pitch shifter (such as the Dark Lord of Evil FX mentioned above or it’s polar opposite, a high-pitch tone shift that sounds almost like the chipmunks without boosting speed) and screw with her. She thought it was funny the first time but after the third or fourth, she started stomping her foot at me or otherwise expressing her frustration – mission accomplished. After all, what good are your children if you cannot screw with their heads every once in a while?

That is to say that the studio is about halfway together. I already have some more wiring on order so that I can run some more leads into the mixer and switch the near-field speaker wire feeds to something higher grade. When I originally purchased my near-fields, I was at a local big box retailer and wanted something quick to hook the feeds of the speakers in from the Lexicon. As a result, I purchased some cheap leads at the store. They worked for a while but I noticed that they tend to pop and hiss from time to time because they are not as well shielded as they could be. That being the case, the new wire leads will be much better quality. I should have those today.

Other updates that I plan to do shortly:

  1. Purchase a powered amp like an Alesis that will push wattage from the mixer to the speakers without clipping the audio.
  2. Get my Casio keyboard wired into the studio so I can go back to recording some synth melodies.
  3. Convert my studio Mac into a table-mounted monitor so I can pull it above the keyboard for compositions ( I have the parts but have not installed them).
  4. Add a second monitor to the table mount to provide me more screen space for my mixing freedom (again, the parts are here, I just have to install them).
  5. Connect my guitar and pedals to the studio mixer and test some guitar riffs in new songs.
  6. Invite some local musicians to come in the studio and jam with me to test some recording.

Ambitious, I know, but I have never been one who is prone to cower against some big challenges – in fact – I would say my ability to take those in stride is part of what has made me what I am. Hope to have some new tunes for you guys soon enough! DJ6i Out!

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