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How much power does a small studio consume?
Old 18th March 2009
  #1
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Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How much power does a small studio consume?

I've always wanted to know how much power one can draw from a standard house current before one starts to blow things. I have a set-up at home that includes a Digi 003, Macbook, Digimax FS, MPA Gold x2, FW drive, 75w 5 1/4" monitors, 100w sub, digital piano/midi control, 100w 2x12 combo amp, pedal board, and lighting. That's up to 14 items drawing electricity in a single room. I've never had a problem with tripping the circuit breaker, but at what point does it start to become a possibility? I see some slutz who have gobs of gear in rack after rack, with full-size consoles and crazy monitors in their homes. How many pieces of gear can you run on a typical circuit in a house or building on 110v? How many pieces do you run at a time? And can anybody tell me if an amp uses, say, 1/10 of the available current generally, or if a preamp draws 1/20 of the current, etc., etc. How do you calculate the load? Amperes, ohms, volts, watts? Thanks!
Old 18th March 2009
  #2
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kingchong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
ohms law
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingchong ➑️
ohms law

WTF kind of answer is that? Not helpful at all. Jeez. Am I supposed to intuit everything else from thin air? Useless.

Please, no stock "you should be able to hear when the breaker's about to blow" answers. I'll appreciate genuine help very much. Thanks in advance.
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
WTF kind of answer is that? Not helpful at all. Jeez. Am I supposed to intuit everything else from thin air? Useless.

Please, no stock "you should be able to hear when the breaker's about to blow" answers. I'll appreciate genuine help very much. Thanks in advance.
Stick a meter on it, I have one but have never checked what I'm pulling. Meters are about 30 bucks, gives you everything.
Old 19th March 2009
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
How do you calculate the load? Amperes, ohms, volts, watts?
Its the answer to your question..
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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ClaySchmitt's Avatar
 
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nerd wars. go play with some gear.
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaySchmitt ➑️
nerd wars. go play with some gear.
That was pretty helpful. fuuck
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Tungsten's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
add up the wattage rating written in the manuals/on the units/on the wallwarts of everything in your studio.

1875watts = 15Ax125V...this is one 'household' circuit if you will.

It's pretty easy math...Watts = voltsxamps...so if you get a power adaptor that doesn't immediately give you watts, calculate it from the other two.
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Old Goat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Most likely you can't cram enough audio gear into the average room that will max out over your average electric dryer or stove. Spinning the electric meter is probably the least of your worries!heh
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
What kind of lights do you have? Are you just talking about the normal house lights, or are you talking about stage lights? (like par 64s and the like).

It is very unlikely a big pile of audio gear is going to get any where near the limit of your power circuit.

Your house lights should be on a different circuit (and therefore different circuit breaker) and needn't come into the equation.

Here in Queensland the usual total domestic limit is 63amps at 240v which is about 15000 watts. I have no idea what your limit is over there.

Note that anything that heats (iron, hairdryer, electric heater, curling iron, microwave oven etc etc etc) has a high current draw (and therefore uses uses lots of watts).
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Here's a real world equipment list that will be right at 20A:

MCI JH24
Studer A810
Midas Venice 320
Crown DC150
Crown D75
Mac G5 with 19" CRT monitor
Mac G4 with 17" CRT monitor
two DBX 165
two DBX 160
DBX 266
TC Finalizer
Yamaha Rev500
Lexicon 224X
FOUR 60W incandescent light bulbs

With this equipment on a 20A circuit at my house the breaker would trip when the JH24 was put into FF or REW.

I have built very few studios that could not be run on two 20A circuits for just the equipment.
The lighting needs to be on a separate circuit and it is obvious that the HVAC needs to be separate as well.

20A will run a lot of audio equipment.
It really isn't until you have large format consoles, analog tape decks and large power amps that you get close.
Still, a large plasma screen will draw close to 7 or 8 amps.
Old 19th March 2009
  #13
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gwailoh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
I've always wanted to know how much power one can draw from a standard house current before one starts to blow things. I have a set-up at home that includes a Digi 003, Macbook, Digimax FS, MPA Gold x2, FW drive, 75w 5 1/4" monitors, 100w sub, digital piano/midi control, 100w 2x12 combo amp, pedal board, and lighting. That's up to 14 items drawing electricity in a single room. I've never had a problem with tripping the circuit breaker, but at what point does it start to become a possibility? I see some slutz who have gobs of gear in rack after rack, with full-size consoles and crazy monitors in their homes. How many pieces of gear can you run on a typical circuit in a house or building on 110v? How many pieces do you run at a time? And can anybody tell me if an amp uses, say, 1/10 of the available current generally, or if a preamp draws 1/20 of the current, etc., etc. How do you calculate the load? Amperes, ohms, volts, watts? Thanks!
My home studio is 5 24-space racks plus guitar amps and etc., all running from one power conditioner plugged into a single wall socket. That socket is fed from a 15amp fuse, and the only time it's ever blown was on a cold night when my wife had a 1500 watt space heater and a 1600 watt blow dryer going at the same time off that same 15amp fuse. Steer clear of blow dryers and you should be fine.
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That's what I'm talking about! Real world examples with useful info. Thank you all so much. I figured that if I could run the washer, dryer, and a Skil saw at the same time, audio shouldn't be too much of a load. I just wanted a comparison from someone with experience at blowing breakers!
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 10 years
2- G5's
1 pair ADAM 7
Yamaha synth
Kurweil module
Grace 101
UA 610
Ensemble
Vox 15 watt amp
13 inch sony video monitor
2- dvd recorder
SVHS recorder
Monster 3500 Power Center
DR-808 drum machine
7 external fiiewire hard drives
MOTU Midi patchbay
Presonus Firebox
Presonus HP4 headphone amp
Furman power conditioner
2- sets of computer speakers
3- 22 inch LCD monitors

and other assorted knick knacks....

Everything on and running, speakers cranked up all plugged into 1-20 amp circuit.
Drawing just under 6 amps.
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
That's what I'm talking about! Real world examples with useful info. Thank you all so much. I figured that if I could run the washer, dryer, and a Skil saw at the same time, audio shouldn't be too much of a load. I just wanted a comparison from someone with experience at blowing breakers!
Kingchong's answer was simple and to the point.
Just wasn't what you _wanted_ to hear.

As his chart pointed out Amps = Watts/Volts the EXACT answer for you to figure out how much you can plug into a single breaker...
so NOT "useless" as you put it, maybe just requiring more thought than you were willing to put in.

(BTW Kingchong - Nice chart)
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Gravity's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I run the following at home:

2 x Adam A7's
Tannoy 300W sub
g5 powermac
2 x20" lcd displays
VIntage MAP dual pre
UA m610
003
DIgimax
GSSL bus comp
DBX166
Mackie Universal control
Mackie bigknob

And that rack draws less than 3.5A

My guitar stuff in my other studio pulls maybe 3A

My studio back in kitchener runs power and lighting of a 40A 240V panel, two 15A 125V isolated ground circuits power all the equipment and I never come anywhere close to using it all.
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The main gear that draws a fair amount of current is: consoles, tape machines, power amps.
Power amps is kinda easy: a 100 watt amp(mono) will draw a max of around twice that or 200 watts= 1.7 amps.
Consoles depends on many things, any where from 1.6amps for a Control24, to over 8 amps for a large console, but NOT a huge SSL...
Rack gear varies, most is less than a 1/3 amp, compressors, mic pres ect...

Like others have mentioned most gear draws very little, I measured the current in a rack several years ago that had around 18 pieces of gear, it was less than 2 amps...
The only way to really measure it is to have an amprobe on the circuit..Don't do this yourself...

Most gear has a wattage draw on the back, add it all up and divide by 120..

Every mid size studio I have designed I requested 3 circuits for the control room, rooms with a large console, tape machines ect, it was MORE than enough, one circuit for ALL rack gear, one for the console/power amps, one for the tape machines and misc....it's also is a very good balance...
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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kingchong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproc ➑️
Kingchong's answer was simple and to the point.
Just wasn't what you _wanted_ to hear.

As his chart pointed out Amps = Watts/Volts the EXACT answer for you to figure out how much you can plug into a single breaker...
so NOT "useless" as you put it, maybe just requiring more thought than you were willing to put in.

(BTW Kingchong - Nice chart)
Thanks! I answered the question he asked, right?

I think he gave his gear list for us to figure out how much current it was drawing for him. Some people don't like to problem solve for themselves, they just want the answers.

How would knowing about someone else's totally different setup that doesn't blow a 20A breaker let him know anything about the load his setup is drawing or anything about how his place is wired?

I doubt I would be using a saw or something like that in the same room as my gear, so it shouldn't affect the breaker that the gear is on anyways.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproc ➑️
Kingchong's answer was simple and to the point.
Just wasn't what you _wanted_ to hear.

As his chart pointed out Amps = Watts/Volts the EXACT answer for you to figure out how much you can plug into a single breaker...
so NOT "useless" as you put it, maybe just requiring more thought than you were willing to put in.

(BTW Kingchong - Nice chart)
I asked 5 different questions, and he writes two words. "Ohms law" means nothing without an explanation, which is what I wanted to hear. It took him three posts to answer with a reasonable explanation. Not an explanation, really; more of a "here's the chart, figure it out for yourself". His was exactly the type of answer I was NOT looking for. Dbbubba, Old Goat, et al were much more informative, and less seemingly obnoxious and dismissive - like you. It is a nice chart, though.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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kingchong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
I asked 5 different questions, and he writes two words. "Ohms law" means nothing without an explanation, which is what I wanted to hear. It took him three posts to answer with a reasonable explanation. Not an explanation, really; more of a "here's the chart, figure it out for yourself". His was exactly the type of answer I was NOT looking for. Dbbubba, Old Goat, et al were much more informative, and less seemingly obnoxious and dismissive - like you. It is a nice chart, though.
And for the 3rd post, I just copy/pasted "ohms law" in google, and wouldn't you know, there was the chart?
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingchong ➑️
Thanks! I answered the question he asked, right?

I think he gave his gear list for us to figure out how much current it was drawing for him. Some people don't like to problem solve for themselves, they just want the answers.

How would knowing about someone else's totally different setup that doesn't blow a 20A breaker let him know anything about the load his setup is drawing or anything about how his place is wired?

I doubt I would be using a saw or something like that in the same room as my gear, so it shouldn't affect the breaker that the gear is on anyways.
No, you didn't. I wanted an explanation of HOW to figure it for myself. Is that not the purpose of this forum?

Houses in America tend to be wired to a standard building code. They should be more or less similar. 20A in Ohio is 20A in CA.

What made you think I was running a washer, dryer, or saw in my music room?

Why am I defending myself? F this noise. You pissed me off with your assumptions and I don't appreciate your input. Bye.
Old 20th March 2009
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I found this little meter at a Harbour Freight once... Go figure they quit selling them. However, I found them once again on the 'bay. Here's the info:

Kill A Watt model number P4400

This little jewel will tell you what your line voltage is, the amount of current draw, both watts and VA, even the frequency of the AC line. I like them so much I got 10 of them. I use them often for gigs. I now know EXACTLY how many amps I'm drawing. I just looked and found them for just $23 with free shipping.

The insert into the line or plug directly into the wall. Plug your stuff into it. Presto.

Hopefully this is somewatt more useful info!
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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kingchong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
I figured that if I could run the washer, dryer, and a Skil saw at the same time, audio shouldn't be too much of a load.
This is where I got that from.

To be honest, your washer/dryer is on a separate, larger breaker, so it shouldn't trip regardless. The outlet that you would connect your skil saw to should not be on the same circuit either..

I'm sorry for trying to help you.

Obviously, you're incapable of comprehending what to do to figure out what your gear draws and which outlets are on the same breaker as your gear.

Carry on.
Old 20th March 2009
  #25
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🎧 15 years
As the saying goes, 'Don't go away mad...'

5 questions - 5 answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
I've always wanted to know how much power one can draw from a standard house current before one starts to blow things.
Assuming you're referring to an 'per circuit' basis (fuse or breaker) it would be aproximately equal to the amperage rating of the fuse or breaker - and that's assuming that the circuit is properly wired (14-guage wire with 15-amp breaker, 12 guage wire with 20-amp breaker).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
I have a set-up at home that includes a Digi 003, Macbook, Digimax FS, MPA Gold x2, FW drive, 75w 5 1/4" monitors, 100w sub, digital piano/midi control, 100w 2x12 combo amp, pedal board, and lighting. That's up to 14 items drawing electricity in a single room. I've never had a problem with tripping the circuit breaker, but at what point does it start to become a possibility?.
At 17 items, so you can safely plug in 3 more items. That's why I always sell a piece of gear when I buy something new. Safety first I always say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
I see some slutz who have gobs of gear in rack after rack, with full-size consoles and crazy monitors in their homes. How many pieces of gear can you run on a typical circuit in a house or building on 110v?
Again, the number is 17. That's why European studios can have more gear. Since they run on 220v they can have 34 pieces of gear plugged in at any one time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
How many pieces do you run at a time?
Right now i'm pushing it with 16 pieces. I've developed a system though. When I use my compressor I just unplug the fog machine. I've also found that I can safely run as many as 18 pieces if I record in the dark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
And can anybody tell me if an amp uses, say, 1/10 of the available current generally, or if a preamp draws 1/20 of the current, etc., etc. How do you calculate the load?
That's pretty easy really. I calculate that I could then run 10 amps (10 x 1/10 the available current would equal ALL the current). The preamp issue starts to get a little dicy though. Sure a preamp only draws 1/20th the current. The inexperienced would figure that you could then safely run 20 preamps at the same time - what they're forgetting is that you're still limited by the rule of 17. The important thing to remember however is that multiple channel preamps still only count as 1 piece of gear. This is why the 500-format took off so big recently. You can safely use as many preamps as you can fit into the lunchbox. I know it's a little confusing - but think of it in terms of using a console. By using a console you have many preamps, eq's, sometimes even compressors - and it still only counts as 1 piece of gear. That's why I never understood the ITB craze. It always scares me when I read about these people using gobs of plugins - dude, they're plug-ins. Don't you know you can only use 17!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
Amperes, ohms, volts, watts?
That ones kinda easy - Ohm's Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fu Schnickens ➑️
Thanks!!!?
No problem
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The typical home has a 100 amp service panel installed. Some older homes may have less, but 100 amp total current draw for a residential home has been the standard for a long time.

I installed three 20 amp circuits in my studio and have never come close to hitting the limit on any of them.

The easiest way to figure out your draw is to read the manual of each piece of gear, it will give you the draw in amps or watts.

You have already been shown how to convert a wattage rating to amps and a 20 amp circuit can handle 2200 - 2400 watts.. (20 amps Times 110/120 volts)..

The odds are slim that you are going to overload your total home power capability by installing typical studio equipment.

As has been stated, lights should be on their own circuit.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Damnit, Scotty. I NEED MORE COMPRESSION! Route the auxillary compressors to the main bus. I know she can take it. Give me maximum signal to noise ratio just for one more verse.

I dinnacan dew it, Cap'n. The output is nigh crushed a'ready, and the transformer saturation is killin me as it is. She'll come apart at th'seams I tell ya.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'll elaborate on kingchong's answer then.

Regardless of what anyone else posted as an example, Ohm's Law is the core issue (and the reason their examples work for them)

In your house, there are going to be several circuit breakers, each one can handle a certain amount of load. Chances are, you music equipment will all end up on one breaker for the room you are using. However, it is NOT uncommon to have multiple breakers servicing the same room.
First identify which outlets in your room are on which breakers.
You can do this by plugging a lamp in and flipping the breakers until the light goes off.

Once you have the breakers identified, the breaker itself will have a rating on it. Chances are its either 15 or 20 amps. Lets assume 15 for now...

Now, again, chances are if you are in the US, your standard voltage varies somewhere between 110-120 VAC. Lets use 115 as a good average...

Since Volts x Amperes = Watts, we have 115 volts x 15 amps = 1725 watts

So, that circuit can handle a maximum of 1725 watts being used before the breaker pops..

Next, look at the back of your equipment.. each one most likely has a wattage rating right near the power cord... add 'em all up and compare it to your total ~1725 watts...

You may have room lighting on the same circuit, so dont forget to deduct that as well... i.e. four 100W lightbulbs brings us down to 1325 watts available...

Also, keep in mind that amplifiers etc. show their MAXIMUM wattage draw.. they usually don't draw quite that much unless they're running cranked to 11 constantly

Don't be mad at kingchong... he was obviously going on the theory (which I believe in) of Don't just give a man a fish, teach him HOW to fish...
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This is a good topic!!

My 2" machine draws 650 watts !
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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666666's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Original poster: If you want to be "safe" with your gear, just run one dedicated 20A circuit to your studio room... that's all you need to know.

Your gear will likely run fine on even a 15A circuit, but if your circuit is shared with other things / outlets in your building, something ELSE may trip it off... like a hair dryer, etc... so, run one dedicated line for yourself and you'll be ok. Easy to do, typically.

I've run way more gear than you off a single 20A line with no issues whatsoever... modest power amp, one CRT monitor, small console, rack and racks of gear, no tape machine.
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