Four posts in four days! Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has listened to my #loopathome tracks on soundcloud and metapop. It’s a marked difference to the trickle of listens I usually get on soundcloud, although it’s also true I haven’t been particularly productive over the last few years.
I’ve obviously been a lot more blocked than I had realised, and whilst a large part of that is due to the disruption of moving the family home and taking on a massive rebuilding project over the last couple of years, I do still get time in the studio but generally procrastinate or create little 8-bar loops that I decide to throw away due to self-doubt.
But, this weekend of experimentation gives me much to feel positive about and look forward to, as well as putting me in touch with a new group of talented musicians from around the world. Let’s keep it going!
Had an excellent time at the Native Meetup today at London’s Point Blank studios. Lot’s of really interesting tutorials throughout the day and great to meet so many talented and friendly London based musicians and DJ’s.
Highlight for me (apart from the ‘Breakfast in Bread’ lunch by the canal with my fellow attendees Colin and Rob) was trying out the new Native Instruments Maschine Jam and it’s brilliant. Particularly like the touch strips and the way you can use them to ‘strum’ instruments. It’s really intuitive and lots of fun too – will definitely be getting one of those soon!
They are planning to run these sessions every two months or so and the next will be on Sunday 4th December. More details will be on their facebook page…
So I stripped all the modules out of their rack and made a start on adding the additional 3U space. Nice to finally find a use for all that ridiculous Amazon packaging!
Here’s what the empty rack looked like before I started.
Next, I created a cardboard mock up, just to get a rough idea of measurements.
Then, using some left over MDF and plenty of polyfilla, I added the new, sloped front to the existing rack.
Next step will be to sand and repaint it, then add a few little bits and bobs such as an XLR connector for the PSU. I already cut some internal access holes to pass the cables through for the spring reverb tank and bus rail which should both be arriving any day now. The MFB Seq 01 is delayed until early Feb though 🙁
Have also had a slight rethink about some of the other modules and will likely get an Intellijel unity mixer to give me space for more tiptop drum modules. Also, seriously considering a XAOC Moskwa sequencer which I researched last night – looks fantastic, but will have to rejig the bottom row a little to fit it in 🙂
Slightly later than anticipated (2 months later than anticipated actually) but I finally took delivery of my log cabin a couple of weeks ago. What ‘delivery’ actually meant was several hundred pieces of wood and a 30 page installation manual!
Construction Time Again
Construction has been pretty swift considering we’ve only spent 2 days on it so far. Walls and roof are up, the outside has been painted and we got the felt on the roof last weekend. Just need to put the glazing in tomorrow and the underfloor insulation and floorboards then I can set about wiring up my solar panels. All very exciting 🙂
Just thought I’d give you a quick update on what I’m currently up to. The last couple of weekends have been spent digging, pruning, levelling and visiting the local recycling centre followed by the delivery of a ton of ballast! This ballast was then turned into the concrete base for what will be my new studio… The Englishman’s Castle (Ok, a log cabin then if you prefer).
Here comes the sun
Anyway, as I don’t tend to do these things by halves, the extra dimension to this particular home studio is that I’m hoping to have it partially solar powered! So, it’s been a few evenings swotting up on all things solar and working out what the energy consumption is of all of my equipment. Funny enough, studio equipment doesn’t actually use that much power as long as you steer clear of big power amps and mixing desks, neither of which I use any more. So for a fairly modest outlay, I’ve already bought myself some solar panels, a regulator and an invertor which will provide the 240v for my equipment. All I need now is the log cabin itself (which will be arriving any day soon) plus a deep cycle battery to run it all off.
It’s what’s inside that counts
Of course, once the outside and solar is taken care of, it will be time to kit-out the inside, and for that I’ve been looking at the excellent Ikea Hackers website. It’s really inspiring to see the weird and wonderful ways in which people bend and shape the Ikea furniture. I’ve alreadly got my eye on some modular shelving complete with angled shoe racks which will be great for racking up my old keyboards.
Anyway, I’ve only got pictures of the concrete base (exciting!), but hope to have something more substantial to show in the next few weeks.
In the mean time, if you want to see a really cool renewable energy studio, look no further than Thomas Dolby’s Nutmeg of Consolation, a wind and solar powered studio built into an old lifeboat!