So you want a digitization suite? I think I have to offer some points
that might not have been discussed here but will make your life easier.
This goes on the assumption that you need to ingest many hours and can
not attend to every item and listen to it from begging to end. I will
also assume that most materials would have gone through cleaning,
baking, washing, replacing dry adhesives, etc. I offer these thoughts
after almost 20 years of digitization and after countless hours of
transfers and different formats through the door. One last assumption,
you have clean power, silent computers, good grounding with no
differences of potentials, etc.
1. have two separate ares if possible, one for different stations where
ingesting most materials will happen, and one that is good enough for
your needs for critical listening. I don't have that luxury now so
critical listening is done in the main room after hours.
2. Make the transfer area as easy to disassemble and renovate as
possible. Your needs will change according to clients and jobs and
flexibility in the area is critical to saving time and money.
3. have all wiring run in conduits or rails near the wall and off the
floor. It looks better, it's easier to clean the room at the end of the
day, and will save you the hassle of moving wires around just 'cause
they jam the wheels of the 200lb studer/ ampex/ whatever.
4. Try to have the floor covered with antistatic guarding tiles. There
are many designs, colors and textures. I prefer mat white. It's easy to
clean, you can spot whatever it is that fell off your recorder in
seconds and it looks nice. I didn't do this in my studio and now I'm
bitching myself about it daily. The antistatic qualities and used mainly
in high tech clean rooms but are great in studios as well. Any good
internal designer will be able to show you catalogs of what's available
in your area. (I will do this one day)
5 try to use diffused lighting and see how you like it. I have one area
in my studio with direct lighting and one with diffused lighting and
there is no comparison. the Diffuse light is easier on the eye,
especially after long hours, makes it easier to see the tapes on the
machines and makes no hot spots if you need to take a picture of
something. It's usually also cheaper because you don't need fancy
fixtures. I used El Cheapo neon lights with T5 tubes and no one know the
6. Have an excellent pair of headphones around for hopping around. My
favorites are the Beyer DT-880, but there are many others.
7. Have enough flat surfaces for cleaning solutions of your choice,
cotton buds, etc. Nothing aggravates more than looking for these things
when you need to clean a dirty head.
Hope this helps a bit,
On 10/02/2011 03:26, Parker Dinkins wrote:
> On Feb 9, 2011, at 5:45 PM, David Seubert wrote:
>> how might a mastering room differ when you have multiple workstations, flexible configurations, and project-based workflows? If we are ingesting four cassettes (unattended) at a time on one workstation while copying cylinders on another workstation or some other combination of tasks, we need as much flexibility as possible.
> We do this by using four Bud ARR-1272 relay racks bolted onto 4" x 4" x 22" solid teak blocks, which are in turn mounted onto 3.5" industrial soft casters w/brakes (which each swivel 360 deg). Obviously you don't have to use teak. The racks are anodized aluminum and take 12-24 rack screws. Each of the racks holds different equipment and can be gently rolled into place to change the setup.
> The main transfer machine for open reels (A820) is rolled into position when required.
> The main workstation video monitors are in the center of the main console, with two IsoBoxes (on casters) on the left and right for computers, NAS units, and a rackmount CD/DVD duplicator, all with their noisy fans. These IsoBoxes also provide a temporary work surface for DAT machines and Nakamichi cassette deck which otherwise live somewhere else.
> A totally silent, fanless computer sits outside on its own casters and hosts the main DAW and an FTP server which is on 24/7.
> A video workstation is against one wall on a trolley.
> By having everything on casters (except the main console) you have the ability to reconfigure the large room at will for any particular task. You really can't plan the equipment layout for all eventualities, so by having everything on good quality casters you can readily adjust to suit.
> If you look at this
> you will see the spaces in the corner of the room where two of the four teak based racks were 'docked'. In this particular setup, the TASCAM 44 is the prep/diagnostic machine, while the A820 (w/vernier azimuth) has been rolled into place to do the actual transfer of about 200 7" reels.
> Since this picture was taken, the room and general layout has been re-created in another location.
> Hope this helps.
> Parker Dinkins
> Audio Mastering + Restoration