As you may or may not know, I recently moved to Manchester, and this meant that I had to move my studio with me. What fun that was! Luckily, it’s all set up again now, and I have a bigger studio space than before. What’s in there? Take a look:
Custom desk, studio equipment and a “Send Help” picture given to my by my brother Dan and his wife – apt when there’s a tight deadline and the computer isn’t cooperating!
Let me take you through the setup. I work in a programme (known as a digital audio workstation, or DAW) called Pro Tools, which you can see on my screens. This handles the video, audio and MIDI (the signals from my master keyboard), and allows me to record real instruments or use virtual instruments and sample libraries.
Pro Tools on my 20-inch Apple Cinema displays
Pro Tools Edit window
Pro Tools Mix window
Graeme sitting on top of a Genelec 2080A
Arturia Beatstep Pro controller and sequencer
Avid Artist Mix
On the right, I have an M-Audio Midisport 8x8 and a UAD Apollo audio interface.The Midisport 8x8 is connected to my master keyboard (see below) via MIDI and to the computer via USB, so that I can record straight into Pro Tools. The Apollo is connected to the computer via Firewire and lets me hear what Pro Tools is playing, as well as plug in microphones and record real instruments. You’ll notice that there’s a gap in the right-hand rack; that’s where there should be an Eventide Eclipse, a great effects unit that adds all sorts of delays and reverbs. (GIVE ME BACK MY ECLIPSE, DAN!) I used it heavily on my score for Stormhouse.
Top to bottom: M-Audio Midisport 8x8/s; UAD Apollo Quad; gap for my Eventide Eclipse (seriously, Dan, give it back).
Top to Bottom: Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic, Avid Digi 002 Rack.
Editor Keys keyboard, Kensington trackball mouse and Casio PX-5S stage piano
Custom PC with its little monitor hidden under the desk. In case you were worried that 8 TB wasn’t enough samples, almost all of the PC’s 6.5 TB of hard drive space is… guess what…
Finally, it all sits on (and in) a custom desk made by my brother Joe. There’s a lot more furniture (drawers and cupboards) that is spread around the studio now, rather than all connected as it was in my old studio space – you can see it all in a blog post from when I first got it, many moons ago. It’s gorgeous and works much better than adapting a shop-bought desk. I haven’t got any acoustic treatment up yet; that will have to wait a bit.
So, there you go. That’s my studio. I might go into more depth about things in a future post (I’ve already promised one about sample libraries and virtual instruments… must get on that…).