MASTER POWER DISTRIBUTION FOR SMALL RECORDING STUDIO
by Mark King for proworkshop.com
|THE POWER STATION RACK INSTALLED|
All of the headend power flows through an APC uninterruptible power supply. The APC has surge protected and battery backup outlet banks on the rear. The computers and audio interface are on the battery backup to provide for a logical shutdown in the event of a power outage. All the other equipment is powered by the surge protected side of the APC power supply. I wondered if there would be any hum or noise problems from using this power supply but it has been trouble free and has saved my system twice from surprise power outages.
As the studio has grown and we've added more equipment the need for control has grown, this was easy to control at first but as the system grew and we needed more switchable circuits the cabling became a mess.
THE POWER STATION RACK IS BORN
I had an idea for a rack to house the power distribution and associated excess wire and I wanted the UPS to be onboard so it could turn and move with the rack that held the distribution.
|POWER STATION RACK WAS BUILT FROM USED LUMBER FROM PREVIOUS HURRICANE|
We had a lot of used wood in the shop that had been used to board up windows during a hurricane a couple of years ago. This rack would be located behind the console in a utility area so I was not concerned about an excellent exterior finish, using the used lumber was an easy choice.
I sliced up the pieces of wood to the right dimensions out on the driveway using my 7.25" Skilsaw, then screwed them together using 2" construction screws with star drives.
|POWER STATION WITH WHEELS ADDED|
After assembling the rack and installing the wheels I taped them up with blue painters tape so spray paint would not get in and gunk up the bearings.
|PAINTED, DRYING IN THE SUN|
WHERE THE MESS WAS
Over the last three years the maze of AC power cords and extension cords had grown into a big mess. It took an entire morning to disassemble and label every cable for which power source it should be connected to.
|GETTING AREA READY FOR POWER STATION INSTALLATION|
|INSIDE THE POWER STATION|
Certain studio circuits need a lot more outlets, for instance the X32 universe, the GB-8 analog console and the Neve mastering mixer all need multiple outlets to feed peripheral devices which also need to be ON.
The X32, GB-8 and Neve each have 14 AC power outlets inside the Power Station. Each of the two Mac computer systems has a power strip of six outlets. The Mastering Effects Rack and the Fireplace Effects racks each have a full six-outlet power strip available.
The APC UPS rides along on its sidecar shelf, it worked out perfect for keeping the wiring clean and neat.
|NOTE CABLE BIN BOTTOM THIRD OF RACK|
THE FINAL INSTALLATION
|FULLY TESTED AND READY TO INSTALL|
|INSTALLED, WIRED UP AND WORKING|
|19" RACK MOUNT DJ POWER CONTROL STRIPS|
|LOOKING DOWN INSIDE WIRE BIN AT BOTTOM OF POWER STATION|
Our current studio is the quietest bunch of audio gear I've ever connected up. The consolidation and cleanup of our AC power distribution lowered the noise floor to an unbelievable new level of quietness. Careful implementation of balanced audio wiring combined with well executed distributed AC power is really the solution for creating complex, low-noise, high-performance audio systems.
Good music to all!