…or why you still need high end studio.
You know what is the 80/20 rule or have experienced it even without naming it certainly more than once. What you can read on the internet is that « the principle was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income was received by 20% of the population. » In reality, Pareto didn’t mention 80/20 ratio, but it illustrate well the principle. Juran then tend to think that this rule can be applied to a lot of different situations as management, business, stock etc and see it like a kind of universal rule. On another level, you can find easier example: if someone is ask to draw a tree, only 20% of the real representation of the tree is needed to let know to someone else that this is a tree. Also, only 20% of the time needed to draw a tree is enough to let someone know what this is. And only the 20% of the color are enough to make it look like it. This is a easy to catch example but it apply to money too (20% of what you do create 80% of your incomes) or happiness ( 20% of what you do make you 80% happy). You probably spend 80% of your phone call with only 20% of your contact and spend 80% of your time with 20% of the people you know. Of course, the ratio is not always exactly 80/20 but it makes it easier to observe how it can help focus on the essential part of living.
So where am I going with high end studio, when 20% of the gear can give 80% of the result? Simply because I think that most of musicians and producers don’t want to stop at 80% of result. In the same way they don’t want to play on a guitar copy or 80% of the score only. Recording music is more than a job. It’s a passion, a dedication. When you’re entering the studio, you want to reach the point where your recording corresponds with your feeling and make one in communion. That’s the real goal of a recording session. Ensure to don’t just yield an object but that that you generate an experience that will be shared thru listening and intrinsically linked to everybody’s living experience.
Sadly, I don’t play the piano. But I have listened and mixed a lot and the Yamaha C3 sound is a standard. It has become the most popular professional grand piano. Conservatory series is known to be the benchmark from the brand.
When I decided to start looking for one, years ago,second hand as the C3 is no longer produce, lot of criteria came into place. I had brokers ready to call if they see something, I was ebaying much, and of course browsing all the second hand site you could think of. Nothing was really matching my need. Then, by accident, one just pop out. My wife met a person holding a piano rental company. she just ask starting like « we never know but… » and he say yes.The price was right so we leaved an option.
They was one last thing I had to do before checking it. I work quite close with another piano rental company. I phoned him and asked if it was ok. He asked when I was going to go and listen to it; « I’m in front of the door » I’ve said. He laugh and assure me he would still harmonized my piano when needed (he work with one of the best tech in EU that come to Belgium for him few times a year).
My wife, our friend Hervé Noirot and I were there. He explain us on the way that he wouldn’t give his opinion in front of the owner. He would rather say « it is quite good » if it’s not, and « it’s not bad » if it’s good. We listen to a lot of piano and also some I couldn’t afford at all. The C3 was still the one I prefer. My wife was agree and more, she find it really pleasant to play. About Hervé, he just says « it is really not bad at all ». We were then sure.
the piano is now at home, waiting for the studio to be finished.
This a classic, as the C12. It is maybe the grail of recording compressor. Rebuild one like before is already something hard, but add functions without demeaning is artwork. So I had to ask an artist to do it. This person is Gwyn Mathias. I am happy to know him for his anecdotes alone. But there is a lot more and you can figure it out when you embrace his work.
Technically, we scouted NOS element and Sowter transformer, based on the opto6 PCB from Drip. Output caps are German and Russian. Yes, both and a hidden switch can toggle between them. Also, the VU change in color to let you know which is engaged. The detection cell is not alone either. There is a fast and a slow one (drip T4b). Also, earth can be lift on input and output separately. Sound like a details but…
After trowing all those parts, build it, and of course calibrated it, here is the masterpiece:
It’s been a long time since I haven’t post any news about the construction. Thing are moving forward, step have been crossed. This is not easy but really exciting
I’m gonna post some pics here. We can talk on my Facebook page in french or in english on my Gearlsutz forum on the famous
The place start to look more and more like a studio and not like another building. I’m doing what has to be done in term of paying attention to details. It’s time consuming. I feel a bit like an instrument maker and I think about the 80/20% Pareto rule now.
I’m reaching a point where I can’t do it alone anymore. I’ve played the carpenter for a moment but this job is done. Now, contractors will be involved in my project. Big LR/CR glass, acoustic door, fabric are about to come.
Then, I will comeback and manage all the connections that a place like that need. Of course, everything is ready behind wall and gear are waiting patiently to be installed.
passive DI with Sowter trafo and the C12 (one o
This is a pic of one of my two C12. They are a perfect recreation of the vintage C12 (as close as possible) with NOS 5star tube, new PCB, new grill, custom (yes!) Sowter trafo and last but not least, Tim Campbell capsule. The PSU is also rebuild and voltage adjust (membrane trig). The left box is passive boutique DI (just a big sowter trafo inside, nothing more in the way).
It’s quite a long time that I haven’t write here. But the studio build had taken a step further this last months. I’ve have install the air conditioner system, almost all the electric cables and also multipair and cat6 cables. The live room has seen its insulation finished (no intern acoustic treatment yet, even if this around 50cm insulation will basstrap a lot). So there are few layers from the ouside: 50cm brics, space, 14cm concret 45 rockwooll (Knauf), 2 OSB, 1gyps, 1 roofing, 1 gyps. wouch!
The rest of goods for CR, booth and other (hall, lounge, airbooth,..) are up too. A LOT of Homatherm (also for basstrap and such) is ready to be cut!
multicore from Don Larking
2 OSB layers
all the Knauf insulation
After a lot of research on the net, I end on this monitor system. 7.1/5.1/ST/mono downmix, lot of different speakers set, loudness meter out , encoder monitor… pfff! All in and out analogs.The CR will have a 5.1 genelec 1037 setup as main monitors. I ‘m watching the ebu128 growing.I really want to have that loudness norm here. Hope it will spread.