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Old January 3rd, 2005, 08:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 1,543
Home edit suite setup help

Hello Guys,

I have the opportunity to convert a bedroom into a dedicated 'home' studio/ edit suite.

This pretty much means building it from the ground up, this includes decorating and buying some audio/ video equipment.

I was wondering if I could have any in-put from you guys.

Here is a list with the equipment I already have:

PC NLE with Adobe Premiere + dual 17" LCD monitor
Audio mixer - Mackie 1202
DV deck/ camera
14" 4x3 colour Sony TV

I am looking at buying a 23"/ 27" LCD TV so that when I eventually do high def stuff (720P/ 1080i), I can at least display it and see what I am editing. In the mean time it can be used as a Preview monitor for 'guests' sitting in the background. Is this a good idea?

One of my other problems is monitoring 5.1-surround sound. I know I will have to update my sound blaster card, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good quality Audio sound card (Currently looking at the M-audio range). I was thinking that the best way to monitor the 5.1 sound from the computer would be to connect an AMP via SPDIF (digital) connection and then have 5.1 speakers connected to the AMP. This also means that I can connect other sound devices as well, and monitor 5.1. Anyone recommend a good AMP and 5.1 sound system - I'm currently looking at the Pioneer 'home cinema consumer' range?

This is currently my wiring diagram http://www.ejjsproductions.co.uk/ima...re_diagram.jpg

If I have missed something, that you guys think might be useful, please let me know.

If anyone would like to advise on the type of flooring, wall paint etc that would also help.

I have about £1500 ($2800) to spend on A/V equipment.

What do you guys think? Any help is really appreciated.

Remember that I don't tend this to be a Professional edit suite with external VU meters, and colour scopes, etc, but something that most of the people who visit this site could afford and do. Itís more of a home/ simi-pro set-up for SD and HD editing with surround sound.

In terms of design, i'm currently getting inspiration from AKA designs (http://www.akadesign.co.uk/index1.html)

Ed Smith
Hampshire, UK

Good things come to those who wait

My Skiing web www.Frostytour.co.uk

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Ed Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2005, 02:58 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Hardwood is probably the best.
Aesthetics - If that's important, it can look good if done right.
Acoustics - Carpet can give you problems by absorbing too much high frequency sound. Hardwood doesn't do this.
Equipment on wheels can move around easily.
Easy to clean, doesn't trap dust.

I'm not a big fan of HDV since it's harder/costlier to edit and very few people in your audience will see the extra resolution. When HD does become widespread, equipment should be a lot cheaper then.

Color correction:
Ideally, your back and side walls will be painted black, the front wall grey or black (this is debatable), windows will be perpendicular to monitors, and you will have a NTSC monitor with SMPTE C phosphors (preferably with a probe for calibration, or the monitor can calibrate itself). All lighting in the room will be 6500K color temperature. Ideally your computer monitors will be 6500k color temperature too.

Pragmatically you may not want to go so far. An easy way to solve room lighting issues is to turn all the lights off and block your windows (curtains, shades, etc.). If light hitting your monitor is a problem, re-position it and/or create a shade for it.

Calibrate your monitor/TV with a blue gel/CTB at the very least.

Set your computer's color temperature to 6500k if possible, and your monitor to 6500k. Having the same color temperature will mean that whites will appear white and you can quickly spot white balance issues.

If all the color correction you do is spotting white balance issues, then just pay attention to mixed color temperatures. You want all light sources to be the same color temperature, otherwise whites will not appear white. Run a grayscale image through your monitors to see if you can spot color casts. Old CRTs may exhibit them.

Don't worry about getting a $2000 NTSC monitor with SMPTE C phosphors in that case (although cheaper NTSC monitors have switchable 16:9/4:3, which is useful in some cases).

I'd spend $30 on Jay Rose's book Audio Postproduction for Digital Video. It has in-depth information on all the audio stuff you need to know, including information on setting up a studio and building your own sound absorption panels. Even if you don't read it through, it is a very handy reference in case you need to know something like noise reduction. see dplay.com for information on how to buy the book for $30.

You might want to consider a stereo system instead of 5.1 as:
A- You may not have the budget to do 5.1 well.
B- Your audience probably isn't even getting stereo sound, let alone 5.1.

Check the audio forum here for information on which monitors (and amp, if applicable) and sound card to get (probably the M-Audio Revolution, unless you want a sound interface for your laptop). You'll also likely need sound absorption/acoustic treatment for your room to cut down on the reverb and flutter echo. Jay Rose's book I mentioned has information on building your own panels.

If you want your own VO booth (i.e. in the closet), then you really need sound absorption and a few other things (copy stand, mic stand, possibly a pop filter). Jay Rose's book covers this.

Depending on your target audience, a subwoofer may be useful.


You can go crazy with this stuff (i.e. get vectorscopes for making proper masters for broadcast) but if you don't know how to use it then don't bother. For example, having a high-end NTSC monitor is not important if all you do is fix white balance issues. Exceptions:
For VO recording, having sound absorption and a mic stand is important. For audio mixing (setting your levels of various elements), having decent monitors is important. Don't use headphones (although headphones are useful for other things).
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2005, 08:25 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 241
Just a quick point on SPDIF - 5.1 (AC3) is pretty much a compressed datastream masquerading as 2 channels of uncompressed PCM audio. Unless you have precompressed source (DVD etc) or a sound card that can compress to AC3 in realtime (!), you can only send 2ch down SPDIF.

I use analog outputs on a soundblaster to monitor 5.1 from Vegas.
Kyle Ringin is offline   Reply

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