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Begin Again

Tear It Down and Start Over

I’ve had my home studio in its current location for about six years, and what started out as a relatively organized setup has gotten progressively less so during that time. Between adding or replacing pieces of gear and temporarily adding and removing products that I’m reviewing, I now have a rat’s nest of cables behind my rack and studio desk. I’ve got USB hubs daisy-chained, and a tower-style computer I no longer use underneath my desk. I also need to completely redo the power setup to add more RFI filtering and conditioners.

Yes, if I were one of those super-organized, OCD types, I would have carefully run the cables for anything new that came in and made sure that the power cables and AC cables were at right angles. The cables would all be custom length to avoid buildup, the non-rack hardware would all be neatly placed (and velcro’d down) on rack trays or stands, I would have used a laser measuring tool to precisely position my monitors, and so forth.

Alas, that’s not me. I’m just not that neat or organized a person, and I can tolerate a certain degree of chaos. That’s not to say you would mistake my studio for a hoarder’s lair. In fact, I can even make it look pretty spiffy when clients come around—as long as they don’t glance behind the racks.

Much as I don’t look forward to the amount of work involved in reorganizing my studio, I’ve now arrived at a “bite the bullet” moment. Time to blow it up and start all over.

I have to first inventory everything, figure out what cabling and accessories I need to replace, and order what I need—and that’s the simple part. Then I have to disconnect everything and redo all the cabling, both audio and AC. Fortunately, a holiday weekend is coming up and I’ll have a lot of free time.

Product of the Month: Røde Rødecaster Pro. For those who haven’t been paying attention, podcasting has become huge. Not surprisingly, gear manufacturers have taken notice and are putting out products specifically designed for podcast production. One of the most comprehensive is the Rødecaster Pro from Røde. Released late in 2018, the unit is an all-in-one podcast production studio that functions as an audio interface, mixer, recorder, telephone interface, sample-triggering device and more.

The Rødecaster Pro was a compelling product already, but what makes it newsworthy today is its 1.2.0 firmware update, which introduces multitrack recording of all its sources to the internal microSD recorder. This supplements the existing capability to record the stereo outputs. Now you can record mono tracks of the four mic preamps, and stereo tracks of the USB input, TRRS phone connector, Bluetooth input and the sound-trigger pads.