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Building A Dream Recording Studio (Page 2)
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subego  (op)
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Jun 8, 2013, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm not even going to
Please, be my guest to not.
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 9, 2013, 01:08 AM
 
Actually though, I assume I would like you to. I'm not throwing this out there so people don't talk about it.

On the other hand, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tad apprehensive about you "going to", but hey, I figured that was potentially part of the mix when I started this blawg masquerading as a thread.

Just be slow and gentle, and don't forget I poop from there.
     
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Jun 17, 2013, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Actually though, I assume I would like you to. I'm not throwing this out there so people don't talk about it.
I won't speak for Spheric, but I'm looking at that small, but extremely pricey rack of... NOTHING, BUT SIGNAL PROCESSING! Don't get me wrong, this is really nice stuff. for recording Rush circa 1978.

I apologize for not reading the thread as I've just dumped a bunch of money getting to a semi-dream studio setup of my own and do NOT want that "must upgrade gear" monkey to climb atop my back again... for at least a couple more months.

Who/what are you recording?
ebuddy
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 20, 2013, 07:46 AM
 
I've been too busy to give a nice long-winded answer, but in the meantime, post pics!
     
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Jun 20, 2013, 08:18 AM
 
I promise to get back to this with pics, things are in upheaval down here right now. If I forget, please keep me honest.
ebuddy
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 20, 2013, 08:38 AM
 
Likewise!

I'm totally stoked you're in the thread.
     
subego  (op)
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Jun 21, 2013, 05:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I won't speak for Spheric, but I'm looking at that small, but extremely pricey rack of... NOTHING, BUT SIGNAL PROCESSING! Don't get me wrong, this is really nice stuff. for recording Rush circa 1978.

I apologize for not reading the thread as I've just dumped a bunch of money getting to a semi-dream studio setup of my own and do NOT want that "must upgrade gear" monkey to climb atop my back again... for at least a couple more months.

Who/what are you recording?
The short answer is my band, which is Tom Waits crossed with the Beatles. Or, at least, that's the pitch in its least verbose form. This is why I'm going ape with all the analog gear. While we could record with a far more modest setup, and push a whole lot of the chain onto digital, it's just not what the music is asking for.

Of course, just my luck, the band isn't tiny. Eight people, subject to change.

The longer answer involves one investigating the part where I don't play an instrument.

My "band" is actually a traveling musical theatre company. We're masquerading as a band for marketing purposes. Musical theatre connotes something for most people which is waaaay different than what we're doing, so we avoid putting things that way.

My background is very visually focused. Photography, film/video, lighting. So, that's my role. I'm our musical theatre company's tech director.

Trust me, this has caused no small amount of semantic pains in the tuchus.

The film/video background however means I've had experience with recording sound, if not music. I almost immediately realized sound is massively important, often more than the picture, and it's the total bastard child of the industry.

To within the limits of my capability, that didn't happen on my watch.

As it came time to record, being the tech guy and having audio experience just made it a natural for me to be the person to oversee the technical aspects of recording. It's something I've wanted to do for a long, long time anyway.

As overseer, somewhere along the line I realized I'm sticking with this band/theatre company for the next 10 years or more, and my choice is between spending that time "making do" or "living the dream".

Ultimately an easy choice. Helped along somewhat by no kids, no expensive hobbies, and an ex who doesn't drain a whole lot.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 13, 2013, 07:04 PM
 
Here's a find at the other end of the scale.



Sea to Summit - Outdoor, Travel and Backpacking Gear

The XXS size make awesome dust covers for mics.
     
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Aug 19, 2013, 10:14 PM
 
Just in case subego or others are still around, I'm bumping this thread with a new thread in the Mac Notebook forum entitled;

Home Studio predicament - MBA and firewire audio interfaces

Please visit with any helpful thoughts. The long and the short of it is that I made a very, uncharacteristically impulsive purchase decision on an i7 MBA, but as it turns out am missing any elegant I/O solutions for my Apogee Duet firewire audio interface. HELP ME!
ebuddy
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 20, 2013, 11:29 PM
 
Things have been somewhat quiet on the dream front as it became clearer and clearer the "mobile" plan wasn't the way to go.

So the dream is even more dreamlike now. I've decided to get a place and build a real studio. As luck would have it, the kind of space you want for tracking also makes a good photography studio, so I'm able to justify what would otherwise be pretty ridiculous. It's still pretty ridiculous.

I'm not quite sure how much larger this project can grow, but I've said that a bunch of times already.

I'm pretty freakin excited.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Things have been somewhat quiet on the dream front as it became clearer and clearer the "mobile" plan wasn't the way to go.

So the dream is even more dreamlike now. I've decided to get a place and build a real studio. As luck would have it, the kind of space you want for tracking also makes a good photography studio, so I'm able to justify what would otherwise be pretty ridiculous. It's still pretty ridiculous.

I'm not quite sure how much larger this project can grow, but I've said that a bunch of times already.

I'm pretty freakin excited.
If you want something prebuilt, my neighbor's selling his house, he has a full recording studio in his basement. Diablo 3's cutscenes were mixed there.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 12:24 PM
 
In Chicago?
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 12:40 PM
 
Well, it's a 5 hour commute from Chicago.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 12:45 PM
 
That's a bit of a haul.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
If you want something prebuilt, my neighbor's selling his house, he has a full recording studio in his basement. Diablo 3's cutscenes were mixed there.
Buddy of mine had an awesome setup atop a bluff. Large house with front entirely windowed to see city skyline in the distance and a studio built into the basement floor. Walk in, sit down, plug your guitars and/or modules directly into the 1/4" outlets in the wall. Very nice indeed.
ebuddy
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 07:33 PM
 
I'd definitely be considering a place I could live in if I didn't love my apartment so much. Not doing so will cause the first world problem of which (mostly photography) gear do I put there and what do I keep at home. It's nice having everything at my fingertips when I'm loading for a shoot.

As I said. FWP.
     
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Jan 13, 2014, 01:17 AM
 
The permanent space hasn't materialized fast enough, so for the moment I'm still going "portable". I get to take over a basement for four months and chop holes in walls though.

I'll post pics in a few weeks once gear starts moving in. Right now, I need to have new circuits put in for this to be feasible. I'm competing with the washer and dryer.
     
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Jan 16, 2014, 08:26 AM
 
I still haven't forgotten my promise to post studio-pics. I'm in a bit of a rut time-wise and want to update a few things down here before showing it off.

I'm also severely distracted. There's a somewhat small, but perfectly-sized red brick building tucked into our vibrantly-youthful college neighborhood that also happens to be zoned for commercial business as well. It's a block and a half away and it just SCREAMS studio, but the pessimist in me is telling me that's a venture that will break the bank.

What do you think, subego and all; is the recording studio a thing of ancient history anymore? With all the burgeoning technologies turning YouTube ventures into shooting stars, do folks still appreciate audio engineering and mastering or are we being replaced by DAW plug-ins?
ebuddy
     
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Jan 16, 2014, 03:34 PM
 
Like many business decisions, it unfortunately comes down to how interested you are in management.

I have less than zero interest myself, unless you're talking management of voltages and knobs.

So there's no way I've been able to convince myself that starting a recording studio is going to be a viable business model. If it was, whether I eat would have to be based on my ability to hustle clients. To me, that sort of thing is just a mountain of pain. There's a reason I prefer to interact with technology.

To put it another way, this is almost soley about long-term happiness rather than income, and on that front, it's been wildly successful. I've been having more fun than I have had in 15 years. Probably even more than that. I've spent the last two weeks cleaning an inch of filth off a 100-year-old basement and actually had the words "no, I'm enjoying it" come out of my mouth as truth.

That kind of thing has never happened to me before.

Part of that I think is the inherent (to me) stress of my day job. With photography, and even more with motion pictures, the emphasis is on the moment. The moment is the key ingredient of a photograph, whether moving or not.

Well, each moment only happens once, and if you're not at the top of your game and precisely in sync with it, that moment is gone. Forever.

That kind of pressure obviates me really ever enjoying it. There's pressure with recording, and the moment also has value, but it's on a much more manageable scale for me.
     
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Jan 16, 2014, 06:18 PM
 
I just wanna know how Bessons recordings went. We all chimed in with 300% more info than he needed, so I wonder what the final version sounded.
     
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Jan 16, 2014, 06:20 PM
 
Awesome.
     
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Jan 17, 2014, 08:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Like many business decisions, it unfortunately comes down to how interested you are in management.

I have less than zero interest myself, unless you're talking management of voltages and knobs.

So there's no way I've been able to convince myself that starting a recording studio is going to be a viable business model. If it was, whether I eat would have to be based on my ability to hustle clients. To me, that sort of thing is just a mountain of pain. There's a reason I prefer to interact with technology.
Very good points to be sure. I vacillate between loving people and really disliking human kind so I have good days and bad days in dealing with them. Overall, this isn't a hangup for me as for better or worse -- I have an extensive sales management background from which to draw.

I'd have to dust off some diplomacy for sure. EX: I recall a studio session wherein a bassist was meandering up and down the fretboard with a bunch of 'verb piped into his sound muddying everything up (bassists who want to be lead guitarists = pet-peeve) and he advised that at one point I visibly rolled my eyes at it. Believe it or not, I'm usually not that guy and was upset with myself for lack of proper stress management.

To put it another way, this is almost soley about long-term happiness rather than income, and on that front, it's been wildly successful. I've been having more fun than I have had in 15 years. Probably even more than that. I've spent the last two weeks cleaning an inch of filth off a 100-year-old basement and actually had the words "no, I'm enjoying it" come out of my mouth as truth.

That kind of thing has never happened to me before.
That's just it, I don't think I'd quit my day-job over this venture and I know that sounds counterintuitive, but if I could get into said building at a reasonable enough rate, it wouldn't take too many client-hours to recoup the monthly investment. And then I'd have a great environment in which to work with other musicians on my own projects and/or collaborate on theirs to fulfill more personal desires.

Part of that I think is the inherent (to me) stress of my day job. With photography, and even more with motion pictures, the emphasis is on the moment. The moment is the key ingredient of a photograph, whether moving or not.

Well, each moment only happens once, and if you're not at the top of your game and precisely in sync with it, that moment is gone. Forever.
My job is much less... hip and cool. As an analyst my work is almost never in the moment, but is typically in the past and conceiving the future from it. I actually enjoy what I do, but it has its limits and sends me running hard to creative endeavors after-hours.

That kind of pressure obviates me really ever enjoying it. There's pressure with recording, and the moment also has value, but it's on a much more manageable scale for me.
Makes sense. It's not for everyone, even those who really enjoy producing, mixing, and mastering. We'll see what comes of it, but to the crux of your point -- if it's not an enjoyment, it's just another regrettable obligation and I certainly don't want it to become that.
ebuddy
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 26, 2014, 04:18 AM
 
As promised, here are some shots of the studio in progress.



Here is the brains of the outfit. The "studio" part of the studio is on the other side of the wall. This side is free to be noisy.

Where the milk crates are is where the audio interface to the computer and the reverb unit are going. Both have fans, so they're going to live on this side of the divide.

The blue glow near the bottom is a LaCie eSATA Tbolt adapter. Or in other words, a stupidly expensive coupler. The 3 meter limit on Tbolt cables really busted my balls putting this together. That spot was the absolute closest I could get the end of the Tbolt cable from the studio. Something had to go there, and luckily I had this lying around doing nothing anyways.

The murky depths below (dryer tried to photobomb but I told it to **** off) are for the three UPSes which I need because...



Here are the guts of the brain. Cable modem, AirPort Extreme, pair of Synology two-bay RAIDs (the second is hidden by the first), and a Mac Mini server. I need two Synologys because the computer isn't mine. One of the Synologys also isn't mine, and is acting as a honkin' Time Machine server. The other Synology is mine, and is one of many spots where recordings will be backed up.

For giggles, I have a Hue base station. No one knows I'm changing all the bulbs in the studio. I'll be able to whip that out at least a dozen times.

What I find extra cool though is...



This is in the studio. It's all I need, digitally speaking, from the equipment on the shelf. Even less, two of the cables are analog (though I do need to add one more digital cable to control the reverb unit).

The top is Tbolt. The red is MIDI-in. I could have used the USB on the Apple Tbolt Monitor for MIDI, but played it safe with a direct connection. Bottom is Ethernet, which the control surfaces need. The last two cables are (analog) left and right audio-out for the computer when it's being a plain old computer playing cat videos.

This is way jankier of a cable run than my OCD could normally handle, but this studio is only going to exist for a few months. I'll probably rerun it with hanging zip ties anyway. Even looking at the picture is giving me the jitters.
( Last edited by subego; Feb 26, 2014 at 04:38 AM. )
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 04:39 AM
 
Optical Thunderbolt cables are now available.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 26, 2014, 04:41 AM
 
How compatible are most devices?
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 06:21 AM
 
In the ghetto... In the ghetto...

/cartman
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 09:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How compatible are most devices?
100%, excluding bus power. The connectors are completely identical; they merely have built-in opto converters for the cable stretch.
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 01:30 PM
 
Yeah, I had to buy the maximum length (3m) third-party Thunderbolt cable for the JBOD enclosure hooked up to my mini - ran it down to the basement underneath, and built a little shelf for the box. But I'm running into some very random disconnects and often the third drive in the array will not mount unless I keep restarting the computer (seems very random) - I'm wondering if it is a problem with the cable. Very annoying.
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Feb 26, 2014, 04:54 PM
 
I'm definitely concerned I'm pushing the Tbolt to the edge of its envelope. I have 5 devices chained and two 3m cables.

I'll look into the optical. Thanks, Spheric!
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 06:34 PM
 
Yikes! $10/foot for optical, 30 foot minimum.

What I actually need is 15 feet.
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 06:44 PM
 
One thing I discovered is it makes the most sense to put in all the computer crap either backwards (back facing towards me) or sideways. There's almost nothing I need to access on the front and everything I need to access on the back.
     
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Feb 26, 2014, 07:09 PM
 
Oh... I forgot to mention this nifty part, I was focused on the relative lack of wires.



In the center of the pic is a much cheaper Tbolt coupler. Seagate makes them as a dock for their removable hard drive unit. They're the cheapest thing I've found with two Tbolt sockets (I think it's $80). At least this one isn't just a coupler. There's no real reason to use a removable Seagate module. You can plug any SATA drive into it. I'd be worried an HDD is heavy enough it might torque the connectors, but this isn't a problem with an SSD mounted in a 3.5" bracket.

At the end of each day, I pop an SSD in and copy that day's work. I bring it home and back it up on my servers and cloud storage.


A caveat is I'm positive the duty cycle on the SSD connectors aren't designed with that in mind, but I'm going to live on the edge.
     
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Feb 27, 2014, 09:35 AM
 
Yeah, that remains my ongoing complaint with the Mini (and Apple's products in general, like the iMac) - they're so concerned with perfect design that they refuse to stick even regularly accessed ports or buttons in a visible area (i.e. not the back). Plugging in a simple USB cable or an SD card into the Mini is a surprising pain in the ass.

I built an open-front electronics shelf that ended up as 22" wide by 21" deep, and ended up making a 10.5" high shelf for the amp but kept the preamp, DAC, and computer/router shelves at 6" high. What a pain in the arse to plug things in behind on the Mini! I ended up removing the turntable shelf above it and re-installing it with heavy-duty pullout slides, just so I could a) be able to pull it out all the way to access the back of the Mini from above, and b) have a bit more headroom to change records.
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subego  (op)
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Feb 28, 2014, 01:15 AM
 
For my HT setup, I lucked out. The Mini integrates perfectly.



If I ever want to update my Time Capsule I'm pretty screwed though.

The TV is on an old CRT stand, so I have lots of room behind it for plugging and unplugging. Where all the crap is (project which got moved to the back burner) was in my gaming days where I had the PS3 and Xbox 360 (the Wii was in the top right cubby in front.



Somewhat related to the issue of connectors being on the back, the TV stand used to have a back, but I gladly put my boot through it.
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 04:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
In the ghetto... In the ghetto...

/cartman
There's a leak from upstairs on the computer half of this basement.

It only happens when someone flushes the toilet.
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 08:38 AM
 
Subego, unless I've missed it -- pan out in your next pic so we can see the full studio for perspective. Granted, you've got a behind-the-wall portion and the for-public-consumption side of the wall, I want the latter.

We're not making any progress on the kitchen which means there has been virtually no progress on the studio. I hope to get some big chunks of work done on the kitchen so I can get started down here in the bunker.

In the meantime, here's a picture of where my ass goes. If it looks clumsy, it kind of is. Not only is equipment in various forms of being moved around, I'm trying to stuff a keyboard into my setup. I like to play a little boards during the lulls in percussion, but there's no elegant way to fit a keyboard around my rig. I use a 17-piece Roland V-kit with two brains, one for midi exchange with Logic and the other using onboard programs and with all the stands etc, it's hard to find a place to perch the damn keyboard if I want anything more than a 25-key board.
ebuddy
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
For my HT setup, I lucked out. The Mini integrates perfectly.



If I ever want to update my Time Capsule I'm pretty screwed though.
Yeah, I have the TV above a low fireplace and then ran in-wall HDMI cables to the build-in audio enclosure off to one side. It's pretty nice and sleek, but the tall form factor of the new Time Capsule really annoys me - the old version (yours) is so much easier to place. Yup...they released it just after I finished my 6" high equipment shelf, haha...I have yet to see one in person but I have been wondering whether it can just be laid on its side.
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Feb 28, 2014, 05:17 PM
 
@ebuddy

More photos to come! The actual studio side isn't really built yet, but I'm hoping will be at least "photo ready" in another week.

This whole process, which I imagined taking two weeks, has just hit the two month mark.
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This whole process, which I imagined taking two weeks, has just hit the two month mark.
I feel ya.
ebuddy
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
 
Normal.
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 11:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
In the ghetto... In the ghetto...

/cartman
Did I mention the rat which hurled itself across the studio yesterday?
     
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Mar 1, 2014, 10:38 AM
 
I have a NM+ (9.6) Batman 238.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Mar 1, 2014, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Did I mention the rat which hurled itself across the studio yesterday?
Every studio needs a mascot.
     
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Mar 1, 2014, 11:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Every studio needs a mascot.
I mean, duh. Do I look like a novice?

Allow me to introduce to you Cave Dawg, our Officialâ„¢ mascot.

     
subego  (op)
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Mar 2, 2014, 12:01 AM
 
Sadly, he makes for rather a bad ratter. He's elected to stake a claim as far away from the rats as he was able to get, on the top of my (quite messy) "cubicle".




I'm messing with ebuddy at this point. Moar pix to come! Maybe even tonight!
( Last edited by subego; Mar 2, 2014 at 01:36 AM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 2, 2014, 06:56 AM
 
So there's your problem.

     
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Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
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Mar 2, 2014, 07:16 AM
 
****.
     
subego  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
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Mar 2, 2014, 07:46 AM
 
Pretty much. Got a call a couple days ago the MIDI was toast. I had a spare MIDI-USB dealie, so I just used that to get it going again. Figured I'd trace the problem today. Found the MIDI gouged, and the reverb remote cable shredded.

As I'm finishing up for the day, speaker starts crackling. Turns out right channel is toast. I'm trying to run emergency cables under the door and I realize the little bastard did chompies on a 3m Tbolt cable.

****.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
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Mar 2, 2014, 11:12 AM
 
These work well, we've caught a half dozen varmints at the garage with them.

Small 1-Door Easy Set Trap to Trap Weasels and More | Havahart

What you do with the critters after you've caught them is up to you, but I drop them off at the landfill.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
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Mar 2, 2014, 03:44 PM
 
It's a rat. Make sure it's good and dead.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
 
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