October 11, 2013

I'm Givin' Her All She's Got, Captain...

by Chris Randall

This post initially was just a quote of the complete St. Crispin's Day speech from King Henry V. But I thought that might be a bit opaque. So, in the interests of providing a pop culture touchstone, I'll say "Houston, we have a problem."

The above photo is my little work desk on any given day. Some days, you can replace the Arduino stuff with splicing tape and reels of 1/4", or various little desktop synths, or like four laptops, but in general, that's what I'm looking at. That needs to stop. We need to think about WORKFLOW, basically. Part of the problem is that my office is equal parts R&D lab, light industrial assembly, recording studio, and graphic design shop. I'm hoping, at some point in the not-too-distant future, to move the "light industrial assembly" portion of the proceedings to points elsewhere. (This depends on you, dear customer. Make it so!) So I'm left with the other three, all of which are messy.

Anyhow, my point, such as it is: with our new house, which we're (finally) moving in to this week, I have a blank slate. Cooks always talk about the Triangle (stove, refrigerator, sink) and I feel that musicians generally use a similar setup. What I'd like to hear about are crafty solutions for the instruments <-> desk <-> multi-purpose area. What did you do that solved like 18 problems and left you with a ton of storage and a clean work surface? Please tell me.


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Oct.15.2013 @ 6:24 AM

Doesn't the OT have the same OS as the MD with the added assignable crossfader ?

I too am tempted by it, but the price to me is not justifiable... typical hardware software debate...

Under the hood in Reaktor, every .ens file has that random crossfader thingy..

The only thing that really excites me about the OT is the ability to call up one of any 127 samples per track, and the parameter locks... which I am sure something in M4L will pop similar any second if not in it already. Reaktor can call up any of the 127 samples in certain ensembles via .map file, not sure about P-locks though...

Im sure reaktor / maschine integration is a blast too...

My ideal workflow is to travel light...

Oct.15.2013 @ 11:03 AM
OT and MD do not have the same OS. they're totally different. completely separate machines with totally different functions.. totally different file structures etc..

Oct.15.2013 @ 11:09 AM
it's useless to debate hardware/software imo.

if you use hardware and have some midi synths around then the OT is awesome and will fit right in. i imagine maschine MKII w/all the midi outs will fit right in as well.

i have an OT. i like it a lot. it's fast, fun and makes me smile. i got a kenton thru5 midi thru box and i can sequence everything in my studio and make a helluva racket. OT is a nice sound design tool as well. is it perfect? no. is anything perfect? no. do i wish it had 4 more outputs? yes. is there anything else like it? not really.

Oct.15.2013 @ 1:07 PM
Adam Schabtach
I'm with boobs.

Oct.15.2013 @ 2:44 PM
I've never actually done this but I always thought it would be cool to have different project boards, made of peg board where you could arrange all the items for one activity and attach them really securely with zip ties or something. Then you could hang them all up vertically. And pull down what ever activity you needed at the time.

This obviously would'nt work for large amounts of equipment ... and would be static once you set it up

Oct.15.2013 @ 4:16 PM
Chris Randall
I'm pleased to report that tonight we'll spend our first night in the house we bought two months ago. I'm typing this on my couch in our living room, transposed 22 miles to the west.

In any event, this small office is going to be a real struggle. My last one was on the larger side of small, so I rapidly expanded to fill it. Now, I'm back to smallish. Hopefully I'll get a nice contract in the next few months and get enough ready cash to build my dream c. 1965 tape studio in our ample back yard. Until then, I think I'm leaving most everything boxed up.

Regarding the OT v. MD, as boobs said, the only thing they have in common is the form factor.


Oct.16.2013 @ 4:47 AM
Thanks for the clarification. I was under the impression it was a sample only 8 track MD with the added cross fader trick up its sleeve... I was contemplating one... I always talk myself out of hardware in the end.

Oct.16.2013 @ 6:53 AM
Re: Workflow & studio organization.
Imho - Workbench/ Tables on wheels. All the same height / width (as you prefer). With shelving below for the tools of that task (ie solder gun/ screwdrivers for light assembly, or patch cable bin for the modular table).
Each can then be wheeled around, joined, or moved aside as the present task requires.
If same height, can be joined into one huge table if the task requires it.
Oh ya.. and floor to ceiling shelving - wall to wall.

Oct.16.2013 @ 12:35 PM
How about something like this: link [cdn.self-titledag.co...]

- William

Oct.16.2013 @ 7:33 PM
Adam Schabtach
Kinda stuck on that album these days, eh, William?

boobs is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, but the OT can be thought of as pretty close to a combination of a MIDI sequencer and a sampler loaded with Recycle-sliced samples, except that the sampler is monophonic but eight-way multitimbral and Recycle's built into the box. Oh, and there are a lot of FX and filters in there, too, and the sampler voices can be repurposed as loopers. There's a lot more to it than I thought before I started investigating it. I bought one awhile back and like it quite well, although I haven't spent as much time with it as I'd like due to various other distractions.

Regarding organization, it's something I've struggled with for years for similar reasons. I can't say that I've come up with any particularly unusual or effective solutions. Living in your workplace (also known as working at home) presents certain challenges.


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