About Studio Systems
Who are heck are Studio Systems anyway?
And some bloke with a small squirrel
A day in the life of STUDIO SYSTEMS:
Now that we have moved to Cornwall we've set up some great deals with courier companies. I can now pallet up something like a QUARTZ 32 and get it to Italy using DSV for £250! In fact we just got Quartz in from Belgium in January heres some pics of stuff going on down here :
Harry starts work!
Another Jade comes out from hiding in Brussels !
The crazy things I get up to !
And another Jade arrives from Amsterdam:
Harri is looking for suspicious substances, but sadly didnt find anything.
So moving on... what we actually do down here in Cornwall?
Soundtracs In Line 48 in the "spray shop "
You'd think I'd seen just about every console fault /problem /issue or whatever you want to call it occur in the last 23 years , but I havn't, and thats what makes it all a challenge , there are still new and nasty gremlins that creep out of the modules or are just lurking quietly ready to pounce !!!
My point is that I don't only test refurbish and repair all the consoles that come through Studio Systems, I also look for trouble , potential trouble and trouble that has been and may not have been sorted out properly. And I do this because I dont want any after sales problems my customers. I always double check just for peace of mind, I might do a mod' or enhancement to prevent a "classic" fault from occuring: the M25 is already full of white service vans !!! And flying around Europe after the event just isnt an option .
Power supplies for instance, ALL manufactures seem to underate thier power supplies, or folks just let them get too hot, and time and time again I find myself replacing bridge rectifiers, regulators and the like. This isnt just a Soundtracs problem, ALL mixing consoles develop psu faults over the years, it what keeps the Techs in beans! Anyway I always check for signs of potential psu problems, and replace parts - just in case.
Spares: as you can imagine after 25 years I have shed loads of Soundtracs bits and bobs so I can often A/B stuff which sometimes is the quickest way to fix things, or I can supply replacement modules/cards cables and the like.
Oct 2008: Heres a typical email enquiry follow-up from Tobias in Berlin, he was interested in a Soundtracs In Line 48. I thought I'd post this as its a fairly typical email:
Yes. I have been doing this for over 20 years, every customer has been delighted with the service I provide.
Absolutely, I don’t want to see or receive any after-sales problems, waste of everyones time, I don’t recap the whole desk, with the Soundtracs product I find the odd dried out cap. which I replace, you hear of these RECAPPING stories, it's usually needed in consoles that run too hot: with eccessive LOGIC (switching) or the caps are under- spec. (design) Soundtracs don’t suffer this problem the same as AMEK / NEVE. The only desk I ever had to replace about 200 caps on was an AMEK 2020 - a huge beast of a desk - never again !!!! Now I stick to what I know. When I get a desk in that hasn't been properly serviced for years I have to make sure every single one of thousands of connections and functions works. Customers expect EVERYTHING to be working as if it was new. This is a VERY time consuming job. Sometimes I have to fix things that havnt been working for years. For example I've just spent probably 5 days (30 hrs or so) refurbing an "In Line 48". It really amuses me,these desks pop up on Ebay and the description usually says "a few scratchy pots and switches" Believe me, as these desks get older there is a ton of work that needs doing.
Soundtracs have always used switchcraft bantam sockets, as do Soundcraft, Trident, Amek - all of them
Usually people don’t service their consoles as much as they should, allow dust and crap to drop into the PB sockets and then you get problems OR of course after 15-20 years you are bound to get mechanical stress, dry joints etc. so the usual story is people leave them for years and years then start getting hassle. Sussing out patchbay problems is real tricky stuff, basically an access nightmare: not for the feinthearted, so people get really worked up (I've been there!) and get onto the Internet forums to vent thier anger. It's the old "bad hamburger" syndrome. Actually I'm amazed how other people who read the forums judge maybe 20 years of production (hundreds of consoles) from a manufacturer after seeing a couple personal nightmare stories on a forum.
I would say at this sonic level its all down to money v features, and what's out there at the time of course.
I've been doing this for years; I just try to restore the old girls to there former glory. There are "forum- mods" but I leave that to the boffins.
Well it's probably just power supply problems OR grounding problems. Tascam have made some great stuff but its all down to price of course. Soundtracs have made budget product as well as 50 grand product.
Like I say, don’t worry. Everything will be serviced and working as it should be BUT you should always have a REALLY GOOD ELECTRICAL ground in a control room for a start off, maybe you need an earth spike? or get an electrician in to check your ground/earth quality - they use an "earth loop impedance meter" to test this. All the noise and clicks need to escape somewhere out of the system ……….to ground, probably why your Tascam is so noisy.
Well if you’ve got the money go for it , nice to have the right tools for the job but at the end of the day it’s the guy behind the tool !
No worries; didn’t see it , but everyone's talking about it.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ANALOGUE DESKS :
this email was from Karel Post a lng time IN LINE 48 console user :
Email /phone tech support: Our new phone number down in deepest Cornwall is 01503 220457 or send Tim an email
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