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Loud Laptop in production room
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Loud Laptop in production room

Hi everyone!!

I am currently building a producer's room (it's going to be treated to 0.2ms of even reverberation decay), and it's eventually going to be connected to a second bigger recording room, but I need to be able to record various quiet and loud instruments inside, and right now my insanely loud Laptop makes this task very hard.

The room is going to be split into two with moving walls/elements, but it's not going to be entirely split. How do the producers here tackle this challenge? Making a docking station outside the room and leaving the computer out? What are the suggestions?

Thanks in advance!!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Kyle P. Gushue's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolfaro ➡️
Hi everyone!!

I am currently building a producer's room (it's going to be treated to 0.2ms of even reverberation decay), and it's eventually going to be connected to a second bigger recording room, but I need to be able to record various quiet and loud instruments inside, and right now my insanely loud Laptop makes this task very hard.

The room is going to be split into two with moving walls/elements, but it's not going to be entirely split. How do the producers here tackle this challenge? Making a docking station outside the room and leaving the computer out? What are the suggestions?

Thanks in advance!!
Adjust the fans in BIOS, or locate the computer out where it won’t interfere and run some cables to the user seating area.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 
drsaamah's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
adjusting the fans does come with the risk of frying the computer though. I think proper mic placement is the best plan. Use the nodes in the pickup pattern wisely.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drsaamah ➡️
adjusting the fans does come with the risk of frying the computer though. I think proper mic placement is the best plan. Use the nodes in the pickup pattern wisely.
Thanks for chiming in! I thought I could get away with something like this, then I recorded a harp with a couple ribbons as a Blumlein pair in the room...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle P. Gushue ➡️
Adjust the fans in BIOS, or locate the computer out where it won’t interfere and run some cables to the user seating area.
Thank you for the reply! My room Designer suggested using a quiet forced air solution, or moving the computer out as well. It's this great 16" MacBook pro which is also the loudest laptop designed by mankind (to counter throttling issues), so even at the quietest it's already loud.

I thought about switching to an M1 something but in the end the story will repeat itself with the number of small and quiet instruments I record.

In the end moving the computer out seems to be the only option. I've ordered a 5m long active USB extension and will keep only interface, keyboard and mouse with me in there, do you have any experience running long USB cables like this?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
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Storm Mastering's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolfaro ➡️
In the end moving the computer out seems to be the only option. I've ordered a 5m long active USB extension and will keep only interface, keyboard and mouse with me in there, do you have any experience running long USB cables like this?
Yes in my previous studio, and it was 15m with an active but very cheap extension cable ! For the 8 years I was there, it worked flawlessly.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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deondamage's Avatar
Get a new Mac Book Pro with the M1 tech, or even better, the Mac Mini. There is no way the mics will pick up any fan noise unless you open the casing and put the mic right next to the fan.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deondamage ➡️
Get a new Mac Book Pro with the M1 tech, or even better, the Mac Mini. There is no way the mics will pick up any fan noise unless you open the casing and put the mic right next to the fan.
Wow that quiet? Then it's noted as the next thing after I finish the room build.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Mastering ➡️
Yes in my previous studio, and it was 15m with an active but very cheap extension cable ! For the 8 years I was there, it worked flawlessly.
Good to know! I'll put it through its paces as soon as I get them, I suspect I'm going to need to power the RME externally, but I'm willing to try it first since it's a USB 2.0 interface connected to a USB-C port (power surplus could in theory be enough for cable plus interface)?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #10
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Storm Mastering's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolfaro ➡️
Good to know! I'll put it through its paces as soon as I get them, I suspect I'm going to need to power the RME externally, but I'm willing to try it first since it's a USB 2.0 interface connected to a USB-C port (power surplus could in theory be enough for cable plus interface)?
In my case, at the end of the 15m active cable there wasn't enough power for anything else than a mouse. I bought a USB3 Hub with an external power supply and that worked perfectly. Keep in mind my soundcard was a PCIe one, so I wasn't powering critical components on the hub. Still, at the time I had a Dangerous Source, I connected the USB to try, and it also worked. Since the driver was not up to par for anything else than windows streaming, it was connected via AES for critical audio applications.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Mastering ➡️
In my case, at the end of the 15m active cable there wasn't enough power for anything else than a mouse. I bought a USB3 Hub with an external power supply and that worked perfectly. Keep in mind my soundcard was a PCIe one, so I wasn't powering critical components on the hub. Still, at the time I had a Dangerous Source, I connected the USB to try, and it also worked. Since the driver was not up to par for anything else than windows streaming, it was connected via AES for critical audio applications.
that's invaluable information as well :D I even have a powered hub here to try I guess...

Question is if anything is going to bring some humming to the pres in the Babyface (I run its optical IO mostly), and how to power the active cable, computer, rack units etc without creating multiple ground loops. As long as the interface is running alone in the room and talking properly with light signals I guess I'll eventually figure out the rest :-)
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
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Kyle P. Gushue's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolfaro ➡️
Thank you for the reply! My room Designer suggested using a quiet forced air solution, or moving the computer out as well. It's this great 16" MacBook pro which is also the loudest laptop designed by mankind (to counter throttling issues), so even at the quietest it's already loud.

I thought about switching to an M1 something but in the end the story will repeat itself with the number of small and quiet instruments I record.

In the end moving the computer out seems to be the only option. I've ordered a 5m long active USB extension and will keep only interface, keyboard and mouse with me in there, do you have any experience running long USB cables like this?
You could always set up 2 fan profiles, one for tracking and another for mixing. You might be able to balance throttling and noise this way.

I would not run the interface via a cheap active cable. Your best bet is to just put the interface near the computer using a standard length cable, and control the interface remotely via its control panel window. Or if necessary get a very high quality usb extension unit. I might be able to find the model recommended to me by a commercial audio equipment designer, but i don’t have it at my fingertips. It was in the 200-300$ price range, and offered transformer balancing to assure clean power to the interface.

You would have to test that the xtension cable you bought consistently delivers bit accurate information, without any dropped bits.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle P. Gushue ➡️
You could always set up 2 fan profiles, one for tracking and another for mixing. You might be able to balance throttling and noise this way.

I would not run the interface via a cheap active cable. Your best bet is to just put the interface near the computer using a standard length cable, and control the interface remotely via its control panel window. Or if necessary get a very high quality usb extension unit. I might be able to find the model recommended to me by a commercial audio equipment designer, but i don’t have it at my fingertips. It was in the 200-300$ price range, and offered transformer balancing to assure clean power to the interface.

You would have to test that the xtension cable you bought consistently delivers bit accurate information, without any dropped bits.
The "transformer balancing bit" seems to solve a good deal of the problems. I could change room sides and sit next to where I want to go through the wall, but then I would have to move my preamps and then start thinking about what else goes to the other side of the wall 😅

I'm thinking your bit drop test is the quickest way to make a proof of concept (I mean if there's zero drop, the signal is unchanged, right?). And wouldn't a bit-drop over USB mean crashing (like digital clipping)? I can't seem to get my head around the idea of a converted signal being changed without it being entirely ruined (as in "broken file"), so I would expect the cable is either going to work or crash repeatedly?
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