Hi all,

I have finally moved into a much larger house with tons of new extra studio space for my modular gear! Looking for ideas and tips for the following:

  1. Desks what large comfy desks work great for massive eurorack rigs that don't cost a fortune or require lot of custom building
  2. Monitors- what studio speakers do you like and why?
  3. Sound proofing for acoustic treatment. I want to sound treat for ideal recording situations for my new Youtube channel that I plan to setup in the future.

Hi, congrats on your new home and studio space. IMO a comfortable sized studio with room to change / grow / breath is great!

Responses to 2 of your questions:

MONITORS: I have Adam Audio SH3 monitors. It was a big investment for me BUT is a great step forward for my studio, mixing, mastering, etc. I had previously used very good "hi-fi" speakers for my studio. The Adam monitors make my prior ones sound like trash. The Adams are like "x-ray" hearing into a mix, it is CRAZY what I can hear in a mix with good monitors vs. with lesser monitors. So what should you get? I DO like the Adam Audio line a lot and would suggest you check out something in that line that fits your budget and space. If not the Adam Audio, then I recommend finding another solution that is well used and well loved among studio professionals (e.g. mixers, producers, etc.). A call to a good "sales engineer" at Sweetwater or Vintage Audio King can help you find a good candidate set of monitors--they know what monitors are well used and loved in studios of different sizes & budgets.

ROOM ACOUSTICS: Room acoustics are a real problem, not easily solved, and depends quite a lot on the specific room, monitors, and your objectives. There are some basic "no regrets" moves to do with setting up a room, like getting your monitors far enough from walls and other reflective surfaces. Also, bass is typically a big problem if not the worst problem in a studio; getting bass managed will help wrangle in the other issues. I have learned a lot from https://www.acousticfields.com/ and the text / videos they post. I HUGELY recommend the Reference 4 system (software plus calibrated mic); measuring your room with that AND physically measuring your room's dimensions will go a long way to identifying your problems and potential fixes. Once the Ref4 has identified some problems, IMO better to fix those with room treatments (instead of custom equalization) BUT the EQ curves actually sound pretty good these days. I would say don't expect to find a "set and forget" solution for the room, but rather some solutions and approaches which help you get better results with solutions you're willing to pay for. Example: my best guess is my current room needs $4-8k of bass treatment with units weighing over 200lbs each; I'm not willing to do that now, so I'll use Ref4 etc. to get the best out of my near-term setup.

Good luck!


Hi Sacguy71,

Interesting post, I am about going the same path as you do, looking into a new studio setup with lots of things to consider... (lots of work and time)

For a board I am looking for a digital one, not much on the market though. I end up with either the PreSonus - StudioLive Series III or with the Allen & Heath - SQ series (the QU series is nice however not as flexible as the SQ series and just flat stiff compared to the very flexible PreSonus). Both are expensive however the Allen & Heath is topping that, not only with the mixers but with the Staging-boxes as well, kind of "forcing" me to end up most likely with a StudioLive board.

Pros and cons I see between those two, I focussed here on the main parameters however if I have overlooked an important one, anyone, please feel free to mention it:

  • 48 channels on all models of Allen & Heath's SQ series, 32 channels on 32x StudioLive boards and 64 channels on 64S
  • 24 DCAs for StudioLive and 8 DCAs (and 8 mute groups) for SQ
  • 8 FX channels for SQ series, 4 FX channels for all StudioLive Series III models except 64S that has 8 too
  • (Flexible) Mixes most StudioLive have 16, the 64S has 32, the SQ series have 12 mixes
  • User definable keys, SQ has 16 of them and StudioLive has 8
  • Allen & Heath SQ series SQ6 has 4 definable encoders and SQ7 has 8 definable encoders, the StudioLive mixers have none
  • Allen & Heath stage boxes are quite expensive, PreSonus not only has cheaper stage boxes, rack mixers can be used as stage boxes as well
  • Allen & Heath without extension card the board's USB can "only" handle 32x32 channels, PreSonus 64x64 standard
  • Allen & Heath is very much oriented for right-handed persons (I am a left-handed person), PreSonus does that as well but less "heavy" as Allen & Heath
  • Allen & Heath has the option to add a Dante optional card so one is ready for the (future) audio networking, PreSonus doesn't offer Dante at all (not onboard at least) and one has to use PreSonus' AVB networking. Just recently PreSonus came out with the AVB-D16 "Dante Bridge" as PreSonus calls it; in that way one can use StudioLive boards in a Dante audio network

Well there are tons of parameters more you can compare, I made quite a big spreadsheet for myself to compare the bigger models from SQ series and StudioLive and on some levels Allen & Heath seems to be better to me and on other levels the PreSonus seems to be better. What I feel interesting is that the PreSonus StudioLive Series III seems to be a lot more flexible then the SQ series from Allen & Heath. Allen & Heath SQ series managed to be much more flexible than the older QU series however to me it looks that it can't compete with the flexibility of the StudioLive series III. Flexibility seems to be important to me.

Well, that are my 2 cents ;-) Good luck and please keep us updated with what you end up with. Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


I got a new desk last year...or rather, a new "vintage" desk: a 54-frame Soundcraft FIVE. Most people would tend to think this is a live desk, but the truth is that it ALSO makes for a fantastic studio console with a lot of flexible routing trickery...pair this with an ample patchbay setup, and you can go BONKERS on all of the AUX routing possibilities, the inserts on pretty much everything, the capabilities of the VCA groupings, and on and on...

But the kicker was the price: $1500. Why that cheap? Well...in live sound right now, there's a trend toward digital desks. They're lighter, easier to set up in a high-pressure live situation, and can store loads of settings. Great for live work, but kinda meh for studio. But the FIVE has epic amounts of analog knobs and such, not touchscreens and assignable controls that can get in the way in studio work. Yeah, sure...it weighs about 400 lbs (out of its road case...IN the road case, it's closer to 600), has a couple of big (albeit much quieter than I'd expected) power supplies (one is "hot", the other is normally in "standby" in case the other poops out, which is something you need for live work to keep from cancelling gigs), took TWO moving crews to get into my studio, and it requires a super-hefty stand to support its weight. Even with these hassles and what seem like shortcomings, though, this is probably the very best thing I've EVER mixed on...and that includes classic Sphere and Auditronics desks, Jeep Harned's Woodland Sound "arch-top" prototype, lots of more recent things (including a VERY hateful Yamaha automated desk as well as a very nice Neotek w/ "flying faders")...it even kicks the crap out of MTSU's venerable old Harrison quad desk, which I thought was killer UNTIL THIS.

As a result, I'd strongly suggest looking into some large-format live desks along the lines of the FIVE. Hell, you can find grand old pre-Uli Midas Heritage desks for under $5k if you really dig hard enough. F'rinstance, here's a 48-in Heritage 3000 for only $4k: https://reverb.com/item/38395868-midas-heritage-3000-2012-purple If you buy something like this, do make sure that it was properly taken care of; if it looks banged-up, knobs and fader caps missing, etc etc...give that a pass. But if you really dig hard on eBay, Reverb, and a few gear broker sites, and if you know the sort of configuration you need, you can make out like a bandit right now!


Hi Lugia,

Oh wow, that's a serious beauty that Soundcraft Five series. With 54 frames you mean 54 faders? That's a beast of a machine! :-)

I just had a quick look here in Germany on eBay so far couldn't find much that's affordable, I found two serious large studio racks, used at about 18k Euro... not the prices you are talking about. Looks like there is a different market between the USA and Europe. Will check out further this week into this though.

Hold on... 400 lbs that's I guess getting close to 200 kilograms! That's a serious thing, did you hire a crane to first remove the roof of your house and then let the desk go down into your house or how did you manage to transport such a beast? I live in that kind of cheap build new houses where everything is built just at minimum specs to keep the house standing but that's it, I think if I would put somewhere a 200 kg mixer I think it goes through my ceilings ending up flatting my coffee table in the living room! ;-)

That Five mixer is just fantastic to look at, so I can imagine, or exactly I don't think I really can imagine, how fantastic that must be in usage, lovely! :-) Well done deal for S$ 1500! Have fun with it and I hope your floor can hold the weight ;-) Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Oh wow, that's a serious beauty that Soundcraft Five series. With 54 frames you mean 54 faders? That's a beast of a machine!

Misspoke...it's actually a 52 frame. This means, yep, 52 faders besides the center routing/master section...48 mono, 4 stereo.

Hold on... 400 lbs that's I guess getting close to 200 kilograms! That's a serious thing, did you hire a crane to first remove the roof of your house and then let the desk go down into your house or how did you manage to transport such a beast? I live in that kind of cheap build new houses where everything is built just at minimum specs to keep the house standing but that's it, I think if I would put somewhere a 200 kg mixer I think it goes through my ceilings ending up flatting my coffee table in the living room! ;-)

My house is fairly typical mid-century suburban construction, with the section the studio's in dating from 1971. This is about the end-point for codes standards that would let you put something like this in without eventual structural damage. Further on into the 1970s, structural codes started to get lax, so that by the 1980s you wouldn't DARE do something like this. Plus, the whole thing, plus the patchbays and the computer work surfaces are on a large, multi-part BenchPro Dewey setup that can hold 2 1/2 TONS per unit. It ain't goin' NOWHERE!

FYI, see here for BenchPro stuff. When I got mine, they still sold direct, but you can find their stuff here: https://www.gotopac.com/benchpro-workbenches

As for these sort of things not being around im Deutschland, check THIS out: ujAAAOSwJ5BeHEks" target="_blank">https://www.ebay.de/itm/Mischpult-Allen-Head-ML-3000-832B-Kanal-Live-Mixer-mit-RPS-11/174154405138?hash=item288c695512ujAAAOSwJ5BeHEks It's in Baden-Baden, only EUR 1500. The Allen + Heath ML series was also in the running here for the upgrade, and while I was looking at the ML 5000, the 3000 is its little brother. And this thing is CHERRY...yeah, the deals are out there, just have to root thru the dross to find the GOLD.


Lugia, Sacguy71, how many channels are you needing to handle for recording / mixing?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm surprised to see a discussion of large-format desks. My understanding was these are really only called for in large / professional studios.

I took some good mix & mastering certificate training recently. Everybody involved (myself, the teacher-engineer, and the other students) were all basically using "hybrid" (digital + analogue) rigs consisting of: DAW of choice, interface of choice, select external hardware (incl. analog summing for me) and select control surfaces. RE control surfaces, for me a Softube Console1 and Faderport1 work great: good build quality and hands on control, great DAW integration, enough channels (especially by setting up with stem or group mixing).

So I'm surprised you would opt for a big console vs. a hybrid setup. Am I totally not understanding your intended use case(s)? Do you want / need a ton of analog mix channels?

That said, IF I saw a desk like Lugia found, with big functionality, pedigree and in great condition, and IF I had the space for it and wasn't concerned about the huge weight (which I am), then I would be tempted to get one!

Thought I'd ask about your mixing use cases and suggest a "hybrid" mix setup for those with smaller space / budget etc.


Hi Lugia and Nickgreenberg,

Lugia: Dewey setup that can hold 2 1/2 TONS per unit. It ain't goin' NOWHERE! --> ha, ha, yeah good one, nobody is walking away with a 200 kg mixer, you don't need to worry about it get stolen or something like that! :-)

Thanks a lot for the BenchPro link, pretty interesting stuff available there!

I don't know how you do it but you just had a look at it and found already here in Germany an Allen & Heath - ML 3000 for me; great! :-)

As I mentioned I have a rather modern house and that's not always a benefit, yes it's good insulated so in the winter you don't need much heating and bla, bla, bla, but the bad thing of modern houses within a reasonable pricing region is that the house and its allocated rooms are pretty small... :-( What I am trying to say is, at my current location in the attic my studio shares my working space and that means there is not much space left. I am thinking of somehow create some space but no matter what I can come up with, I would never have decent (!) space enough for such a beautiful mixer... so I am afraid I need to look more at a modern mixer that's compacter and that's with a digital (smaller) mixer easier to realise.

Having that all said... If now these ML3000s and Five series are available at "dump prices" so to speak... how many years do I need to wait before an Allen & Heath - dLive S7000 or a Soundcraft - Vi7000 becomes available in that reasonable priced region? Both are beautiful modern mixers, bit smaller than their older analogue brothers but unaffordable to me for the moment ;-) Just nice to dream about them. So when would these "digital beasts" be affordable in 10 years time (perhaps that's something I can wait for) or would that take longer? :-(

Nickgreenberg: Well, at least for me, isn't it allowed to dream a bit ahead of what is affordable either price-wise or weight-wise or size-wise? At least the latter two are an issue for my current house and non-available space ;-)

You asked: Do you want / need a ton of analog mix channels? Well, that's actually the point I guess... Do I need it ... no most probably not... do I want it ... most probably yes! :-)

On the other hand, you know the "drill" and motto here of this modulargrid.net website, right? You never can have enough VCAs! In that same pattern, at least in my opinion, you never can have enough inputs and outputs on a mixer (or on any device)...

It's the same for a Eurorack, it can never be too big, it only can be too small ;-)

Both: He, he, funny and nice discussion and I hope you allow me to dream a bit ;-) Thank you and kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Lol, no worries.

Thought I'd mention it though, as in the last 18 months or so I learned a good workflow for DAW mixing with a modest sized mixing controller. I have yet to see a project that I couldn't get to work well with 10 or less groups (stems) and 10 or less channels per group; that means a session with up to 100 tracks can be handled efficiently on small format mixer (in this case, with 10 channels). This has worked out well for me lately, and I thought was worth passing along! Hybrid / stem mixing is pretty slick!

But if I had space and $ and priority for a larger format mixing desk, would I want one? Yeah probably : )


Hi Nickgreenberg,

Yeah fair enough :-) One thing I forgot to mention: I try not to use the computer too much hence I try to avoid the DAW option. In the future I might not exclude it but for the moment I try to "survive without DAW" :-)

I have soon for sales a Behringer 16 channel mixer, nice small and cheap, interested? ;-) Just teasing! Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Garfield: Oh, you mean one of these?: O0YAAOSwQnpezCL2" target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/Soundcraft-Vi6-digital-mixing-console-mixer-upgraded-w-racks-church-owned/133599376656?hash=item1f1b24b510O0YAAOSwQnpezCL2 Well, this one's going for $13k, so the prices on the large-format DIGITAL stuff is coming down...ish. Give it another ten years and my bet is that these will drift down toward the $3-5k range. And how did I find that ML3000? Years of Nashville experience gets you in that super-scrounger groove, baybee. You haven't LIVED until you've dumpster-dived (in ACTUAL dumpsters!) the alley between 16th and 17th Ave. S. and pulled out "obsolete" gear (by early 1980s standards) like Altec "Birdcages" or CBS Volumaxes. Being able to parse German helps, too.

Nickgreenberg: Yeah, I learned on large-format. I'm used to it. Plus, I tend to create elaborate 'composite' sound sources that can necessitate having a pile of "hot" faders, plus I'm running a 32-channel Antelope Orion32 which allows me to use the FIVE in a huge split mode...24 ins feed to the Orion via directs, and the other 8 ins are from the groups. Then 24 outs from the Orion32 have their own strips, with the last eight being capable of direct out via the routing patchbay. But another nice thing about large-ish format desks in a more normal electronic studio is that users can normalize their setups...each instrument gets its own strip, and the user can keep that configuration more or less permanently, which cuts down on all of the connecting and disconnecting business.

Now, my studio isn't set up like that...mainly because my workflow needs TOTAL flexibility, as different works require rather different setups. Also, there's some "subsections" in here...modular/patchables are all in a "sandbox" environment with its own small mixer (original Mackie 1202), then there's a "classic studio" rig that uses test gear and this also has a stereo submixer (Alesis Studio12R), plus a set of shortwave receivers that ALSO get their own very basic stereo mixer. Everything is routed here via two MASSIVE patchbays, so if I need to change configurations, it's super-easy. And as if that's not enough, I have a pair of Rane SM26B mixer/distros (one in each patchbay cab) and a Studio Technologies 1-in/8-out stereo distro amp that lets me do parallel routing for FX send/returns. The total patchability paradigm is actually based on how a certain studio at Syracuse U. is set up...and given that that setup was designed in collaboration with Dr. Bob, the usefulness of it was VERY apparent just on a cursory examination. Originally, I had this with a Topaz-24 at the mixing position, but that desk was just not up to the task, given where my composition skills have gone over the past 20 years...it only allowed 4 AUX sends in post-fader, the EQ had some irritating limitations, and I never liked the sound of the FX return channels. The FIVE, otoh, gives me a massive amount of sonic control, and lets me entertain sound creation methods that would've been utterly horrific to try and suss out on the Topaz.


Hi Lugia,

"Oh, you mean one of these?: O0YAAOSwQnpezCL2" target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/Soundcraft-Vi6-digital-mixing-console-mixer-upgraded-w-racks-church-owned/133599376656?hash=item1f1b24b510O0YAAOSwQnpezCL2 ."

Oh yes! That would be something, for 1500 bucks fully functional and in perfect undamaged state ;-) I would say yes, then I clear out the living room, then I wouldn't care any longer what wife or son have to say ;-) Living room will then be the new studio, yeah!

Dreaming is nice... though back in the reality... it's tough to find a good mixer but hey, that's with everything: the perfect synth or perfect sequencer or perfect mixer just doesn't exist, so one almost always ends up with doing concessions. Cheers, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Good stuff and I need to keep an eye on those mixing desks that Lugia talked about. Not sure where to locate one here in northern California. I did get some new JBL 5 inch monitors with stands and they sound amazing for a low cost affordable studio speaker. Also have two new desks to assemble for my home studio. At least new house has lots of space for studio gear and no more gun shots or homeless all over the bloody place! Whew such a relief. At least I can record pure modular now. I do need to get some acoustic treatment egg crate stuff to put on the walls to keep the massive echo effect from ruin my video recordings. Maybe setup my camera instead of iphone as well.


Hi Sacguy71,

Glad to hear you got now some decent space for your studio gear :-) Studio without gun shots sounds good to me! ;-)

Can't wait for your videos made in your new studio! Kind regards, Garfield.

For review reports of Eurorack modules, please refer to https://garfieldmodular.net/ for PDF formatted downloads


Good stuff and I need to keep an eye on those mixing desks that Lugia talked about. Not sure where to locate one here in northern California.

Will Vegas work? It's a day-trip from there, but according to eBay (your place for ribs!), THIS is only 385 miles (if you use Sacramento as a defining ZIP code) away from you right now!: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Midas-SIENA-480-48-Channel-Sound-Reinforcement-Mixing-Console-w-Road-Case/324442991622?trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item4b8a4f2c06%3Ag%3A8q0AAOSwlRFdgU8p&amdata=enc%3AAQAFAAACcBaobrjLl8XobRIiIML1V4Imu%252Fn%252BzU5L90Z278x5ickk5v8gVt3hEWLVg%252F253w6XCYSnf7p04xGQALjyaUeSIsme2KzlygaKmUVikUD6QOHmgSWOeYS6vSr6R96uL9NUeB3KEZOF8c5NOTPGNJmWpe%252F494mJl4oJRqFe721xhrwG%252BGcm5Bn4NSSQhbl235zbHuLWLTrVSjuMONOk9ehvJnjeeGBhRK1htQOqnMKdyXmFn%252Bht5L1X7%252F8PB7n%252BUc44%252Fm70fh23126vgRxLX79U6TvWRu0plQQTQf3zweUtJeiNhqAf3rBFfGorciyvNWu%252B%252F8tSqdG6dgOML7Vl0JRLBKywXnz%252F4Hg1UdRLKkAYr37lsbQ55W9DSPdd11IWoKqom1xhU3DCA9vQsdgeLfbGhtkdZ0VnNx%252B8cZlkPKAaR8XtDJ5PVPEEfFygCTwtMd88aaBAD%252BOHYlocOyYIIskpEUM3cA1zKujlvK%252F%252B0MD%252BsGeeXaHmXwTeynUvVF8FBXk0dxJ6mycflQMN0HxnsezayZf%252BsdKx%252F8RY5qGV7g9w%252BUsyK5SsLvgNOb2GMWmSdXrUtdOJVeuGeVkqPgtngfDRxiFjYGy%252FOhMxrjveog1R3Aiw1EKMSwkORfeQjPcgwQ8fr9ZQ98FbdhCrNwmLIbSmLR%252Bns7StEe81nJJbddMhYLyCH%252BWPc1oIXPlDqA7VaDvLWc08wQY6MMFTTqq%252Bfwx1nws0LlPsPOS6ZDhYGnvaIjFpCLI6ffGYaZejiQextBMBy1BvcrOl6sdIK60M81Wp83L37uOUqZgwlYDOWAPD%252B1WG4aUBCfNd5LCDeBwEzscSfw%253D%253D%7Ccksum%3A3244429916220bd20303638948caa1d4d2b478830e5b%7Campid%3APLCLK%7Cclp%3A2334524&LHBIN=1&LHItemCondition=3000

Man...that's got to be the most hideous URL in Interwebz history! But yeah...if you're willing to do an overnight trip, there's a BUNCH of stuff getting blown out in the Las Vegas area, probably due to the huge tourism downturn. The Siena was another desk that was in the running here until I found that irresistable FIVE.

I did get some new JBL 5 inch monitors with stands and they sound amazing for a low cost affordable studio speaker. Also have two new desks to assemble for my home studio. At least new house has lots of space for studio gear and no more gun shots or homeless all over the bloody place!

OK...well, now you'll need a few guns so that you can fire them off randomly to keep the ambiance right. Those JBLs should make excellent "check" monitors, but you'll want something flatter and with more low end for your mains and/or main mixdown monitors. Ran across the discount on these the other day...they'll be PERFECT: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Gold8--tannoy-gold-8-8-inch-powered-studio-monitor That point-source driver provides a really clear stereo image...plus, I learned on some older/bigger Tannoys decades ago, and the mixes I did on those STILL stand up.

Whew such a relief. At least I can record pure modular now. I do need to get some acoustic treatment egg crate stuff to put on the walls to keep the massive echo effect from ruin my video recordings.
-- sacguy71

Don't go nuts with that stuff. You want SOME room in your room, instead of trying to suck up all the stray audio. One thing that works that you might consider would be hanging some "clouds" at various angles from the ceiling. By using different angles, what bounce the clouds might have will be misdirected, plus the space above them works nicely for absorbing low-mid to midrange sounds, and it kills the bounce from the largest "problem surface" most rooms have. Also, keep an eye out for bass buildup that'll necessitate adding some bass traps in a few 90-degree-angled corners.


@Lugia,

Thanks for the tips on the studio monitors. I will get some as I plan to use a smaller enclosed room as my mixdown studio and recording wise. I'd bounce to Vegas now to scoop up those deals but with a broken ankle, still limited on getting around. Probably once it is healed would be worth a trip also to race a Lambo on the race track there and shoot some machine guns to record for my downtown ambient vibe that I no longer get at the new much quieter place hehe!


@Lugia Just curious what your total Amperage is that you're drawing off your circuits? How many dedicated circuits do you have in your home for the studio gear? Any tweaks to the electric worth mentioning?


@Lugia Just curious what your total Amperage is that you're drawing off your circuits? How many dedicated circuits do you have in your home for the studio gear? Any tweaks to the electric worth mentioning?
-- merzky_shoom

The studio has three AC circuits, with two of those being specifically for the studio equipment, and the third being shared with lighting. The dedicated circuits are both 20A, and while the third is 15A, I treat it as if it were only rated for 10A...giving me a "safe" 50 Amps for the gear. Everything here goes through Furman power conditioners to keep noise and transients down to a minimum, although in the past I've used 20A circuits that were toroid-balanced with outstanding results...and I still might make that upgrade to the two dedicated lines.


Very cool and I just put most of my 6u modules into my new monster case so now all my modules in one place for easy patch access. Really love the combo of Doepfer 12u monster base with 12u monster case. Tons of room on base for sequencers and mixers and have room to expand. However, now that I have a lot of modular stuff, I need to process and dig deeper into my setup! I am still learning how to make use of complex modules like Rossum Mob of Emus and Acid Rain Maestro and how to tie my sequencers together to create fun submixes and chains of patterns.