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health consequences over the long term. The challenge is to lay out our studios in an ergonomic yet creative manner. Before I dive into a list of concerns, let me stress that an ergonomically engineered workspace is useless if you don’t use it! Underlying all studio-design issues is the need to make the space attractive and vibey. Your studio should be a creative magnet, drawing you in and inspiring work. For some, this might mean a dark, cave-like place with lava lamps, incense, Indian tapestries, and rope lights. For others it might mean a clutter-less space, bathed in natural light, and decorated in natural-stained wood. Whatever your fancy, you need to make your control room a creative home. With this accomplished, the space will be both productive and healthy. Chair, keyboard, & mouse Gear addiction is common in this business. Almost all of us have a long list of outboard gear, instruments, and software that we’d love to purchase. Oddly, the most used object in our studios is typically ignored: a reliable, adjustable office chair. Chairs come in a variety of price ranges, from the $100 office-store special to the popular and expensive Herman Miller Aeron. No matter your price range, you need a chair at the right height, putting your feet flat on the ground and your knees slightly lower or close to the same height as your hips. Sitting up almost straight is also important, with a slight 100–110˚ reclined angle, and both your lower and upper back supported. By Eric Ferguson
Regardless of whether your studio is small or large, filled with racks of vintage gear or simply built around a lonely laptop, its physical layout has a dramatic effect on both your productivity and the fidelity of the recorded product. From ergonomics to acoustics, control room design is a key fundamental. Unfortunately, the topic is complicated and subjective, as personal preference, workflow, music style, demands of the gear present, and the physical construction of the surrounding building all affect the end result. To make matters worse, these factors often compete, and compromise becomes mandatory. How you solve these problems will determine the design of your studio.
Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1
Also significant are chair options. Wheels make rolling over to equipment racks easier. Flexible adjustment controls make it possible to both tweak your chair when tired, and to share your chair with other users. Mesh-chairs, as opposed to traditional foam-lined models, dissipate heat better, leading to less fatigue over time. Armrests are also an option. While they may reduce stress on wrists and shoulders, they can get in the way if you play a musical instrument, and thus might need to be avoided. Arm and wrist positioning are especially critical. Modern music production requires hours of computer time, and debilitating repetitive stress injuries such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome can be triggered by poor conditions. I have battled tendonitis ever since bad piano technique brought on an injury. For me, solutions have involved wrist-restraining hand braces, proper angle to computer keyboard, and use of a trackball instead of a mouse. To avoid such injuries, position yourself close to, and centered in front of, the keyboard and mouse. By all means, place these devices in a location that does not require strain to reach! It is also crucial that the mouse and keyboard are not higher than your wrists. Your shoulders should be
Ergonomics Reference.com defines ergonomics as “the engineering science concerned with the physical and psychological relationship between machines and the people who use them.” This is especially meaningful to recording musicians, as the passion to create great-sounding music often entails long hours hunched in front of equipment. We’ve all experienced it: creativity strikes, you don’t wait to set things up correctly, and you end up sitting for hours in an awkward position with a computer, musical instruments, and cables everywhere. While this style of working may feed the romanticism of the recording arts, it can lead to serious
RECORDING February 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - February 2013
Recording - February 2013
The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
Big Money Drums.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
Stereo From A Mono Mic.
Recording - February 2013 - Recording - February 2013
Recording - February 2013 - Cover2
Recording - February 2013 - 1
Recording - February 2013 - 2
Recording - February 2013 - 3
Recording - February 2013 - Fade In.
Recording - February 2013 - 5
Recording - February 2013 - Contents
Recording - February 2013 - 7
Recording - February 2013 - Talkback.
Recording - February 2013 - 9
Recording - February 2013 - Fast Forward.
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Recording - February 2013 - The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
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Recording - February 2013 - Big Money Drums.
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Recording - February 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
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Recording - February 2013 - Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
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Recording - February 2013 - AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
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Recording - February 2013 - Shure KSM9HS.
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Recording - February 2013 - Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
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Recording - February 2013 - Audio-Technica AT4047MP.
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Recording - February 2013 - Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
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Recording - February 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
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Recording - February 2013 - Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
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Recording - February 2013 - DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
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Recording - February 2013 - Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
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Recording - February 2013 - Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
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Recording - February 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
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Recording - February 2013 - Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
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Recording - February 2013 - Stereo From A Mono Mic.
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Recording - February 2013 - Advertiser Index.
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Recording - February 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - February 2013 - Cover3
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