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relaxed, your elbows about half open (100–110˚), and your wrists should be straight. Take it from me, as someone who has experienced a lot of pain from a stupid injury: do a little research on proper ergonomics and chair design. Be smart! The alternative is a real drag. The display A safe viewing environment is also imperative. Inevitably we spend hours staring at a computer monitor and our vision deteriorates over time if not treated with respect. First and foremost, don’t place the display too far from your computing location. While in a normal office environment this might not be an issue, in a crowded control room computer monitors often end up several feet away, propped up on a console meter bridge and/or separated in distance by a large MIDI controller. If you can’t get your display close, adjust the resolution so that onscreen items are larger and do not require eyestrain. Yes, this means fewer DAW faders and plug-ins visible simultaneously. The solution to this particular conundrum is to get a larger display. If you must place the monitor far from the keyboard and mouse, you’ll need a bigger screen! Also critical is the height of the computer monitor. Ideally, it should be no more than a few inches above straight-ahead, seated eye level. In control rooms this can be difficult to achieve, as the display frequently must rest on a console meter bridge, on a speaker stand, or on a workstation desk trying also to accommodate a computer keyboard, a MIDI controller, fader pack, and speakers. This is a classic sweet-spot conundrum: where do you place your critical pieces of gear so they can both be accessed and seen with the least physical contortions possible? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. If at all possible, avoid placing the display above normal eye level, as neck strain can be very fatiguing over time. Lighting The perils of long hours glued to a computer monitor demand that you address the relationship of ambient lighting and eye fatigue. Onscreen glare is one of the biggest concerns, as your eyes and brain must simultaneously filter out the reflected light and interpret computer information. Glare can come from a variety of sources. Bright, direct overhead lights are often to blame, so it might be advisable to light the room with farther-away reflective lamps. Glare from windows can also be problematic. When designing a control room, windows to the outside are best at the sides of the main work position. Windows at the engineer’s back are ill advised, as they typically throw bright direct-path light toward the screen. Also to be avoided are windows directly behind the display, as it is fatiguing to read a dim screen surrounded by sunlight. For those who prefer dark environments, be sure to dim the computer screen so your eyes are not assaulted. Bright settings are intended for working in welllit environments. The conundrum: Too many tools, one tiny sweet spot For traditional offices, the discussion of ergonomic layout is limited to the keyboard, mouse, computer display, and possibly a telephone. In music production we face a much greater challenge. Since our labors also involve hours of MIDI keyboard performance, guitar shredding, and fader riding on a console, how do we ensure all of these activities are also ergonomically sound? To make matters worse, how do we find a way to do all these things without straining to see the computer display? The greatest challenge: how to design our workspaces to be ergonomic, productive, and centered in the exact sweet spot! What is a sweet spot? It is the location midway between your studio loudspeakers. It is the place in which you must sit to judge stereo balance and directional high-frequency information from the tweeters. It is the spot the whole control room is built around. The control-room designer faces a variety of questions. Perhaps the most important involve selecting equipment for the sweet spot. This is probably not an issue if your studio is a single computer. The mouse, keyboard, and computer monitor should all live between the speakers, as this is where editing and mixing occurs. Once you add a separate console, or worse yet, a console and a MIDI keyboard, compromise might be needed. In these challenging situations, an engineer must inevitably choose to place the most important devices between the loudspeakers.
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.
Recording - February 2013 - 43
Recording - February 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Recording - February 2013 - 45
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Recording - February 2013 - 47
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.
Recording - February 2013 - 51
Recording - February 2013 - Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Recording - February 2013 - 53
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
Recording - February 2013 - Cover4