Up and Running! MoinSound Studio 3.0

I finally did it! About five weeks after moving to Würzburg, I put the last few building blocks for MoinSound Studio 3.0 in place. Work can begin!

Welcome to MoinSound Studio 3.0!

As I mentioned before, the biggest challenge here was the room layout. While at MoinSound Studio 2.x, there was simply a large, rectangular room (albeit with a column in the middle), this is not the case here. Add to that the fact that I wanted to properly integrate  all of my keyboards, and it quickly became clear that this needed some time.

After the move in cw3, I relatively quickly had made up my mind regarding the layout. Or rather, I considered several options. The general layout had been put into place by the end of cw4 – and since, then, not so much had happened for quite some time.

The main DAW area - note the MPD24 in the drawer

Apart from scheduling conflicts, one big reason was that I reflected on how to place my nearfields for a considerable amount of time – which might have had effects on the layout of the DAW MMI, which might in turn have forced me to completely rearrange everything. But finally, last week, I had some kind of studio topping ceremony, when finally the nearfields and the DAW MMI components were put into place and connected to the main rack.

So everything in place, layout confirmed, which only left the wiring to be done. Well, yes, only. First, there’s the two racks, which interface with each other via a total of 37 cables (1/4” TRS, SPDIF RCA and MIDI).

The two racks - ugly cables in the rear

Then there’s a total of ten synth keyboards or modules not sitting in the racks, and those need to be connected as well. For simplicity, calculate seven cables per synth (4 audio, 2 MIDI, 1 power).

I also had decided to completely rearrange the MIDI and power wiring – for MIDI, this mainly meant integrating the Kurzweil into the standalone (read: computer-free) performance setup. For power, one step was to make the DAW devices independent from just the monitor controller and the nearfields (as I had in the past usually fed my computer audio through my stereo, which now is on another floor altogether, I needed a monitors-only configuration).

It’s important to point out that this 3.0 version has not so much changed from the last 2.x version I had at München Belgradstraße. But there were changes:

First, I wanted to properly integrate the synthesizers I had gotten since the last big studio overhaul into the setup. That’s a Yamaha FS1R, an Oberheim Matrix-1000, an Access Virus, a Sequential Circuits Sixtrack, a Korg Prophecy, and of course the trusty Kurzweil K2600XS.

Synths on the left...

I started by throwing some unused/partially defective devices out of the big rack (the Ultramizer and the StudioQuad) and replaced them with the FS1R and the Oberheim. The new geometric layout and the new MIDI setup allowed me to properly integrate the other new synths. As a side effect, I moved the Finalizer together with the UltraCurve into a small 2HU bag to easily accomodate placement in the MSSS signal stream wherever I need that (read: on another floor). And finally, the VBass and the Octapad were “retired for now”: I hadn’t used the VBass in years, and for the Octapad, I need to find where I’m gonna put that one in the future (if I use it, and if I don’t replace it with something fancier). And the DL4 has been thrown out of the big setup and now sits with all the Nerdville smallstuff.

...and Synths on the right!

However, MoinSound Studio 3.1 is already on the horizon: the most important step will be getting a proper sub. For some time, I had decided that I get one when I move someplace else. My mind is set on a Dynaudio BM14S to complement my pair of BM5A nearfields.

Furthermore, I need a new multicore/stagebox: my 10m one was in the past used to allow me to record in my bedroom. Now, all the other rooms are more than 10m away, so I need something new here. There’s also need for a proper 7-fold guitar stand. And some new synths. And perhaps another 4-tier keyboard stand…

For now, I’m happy that that’s done with. For dinner, I made myself some cordon bleu with tagliatelle while listening to Glenn Gould performing Hindemith. Great music.

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