Safety…And Next?

László

Too Many Notes
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
34,975
Location
Michigan
For reasons known only to the Great Gods Of A/C power, I find that plugging my pedalboard into the same power supply as my amps via its isolated outlets gives me the quietest signal.

But the amps and power supply have always occupied the other side of my room, 22 feet from my workstation.

So I’ve always put my pedalboards smack in the middle of the room where it’s convenient to my workstation and recording gear, and run 20 foot cables to the power supply and amp switcher.

But I’ve tripped a few times over the board or cables when doing other studio tasks.

My brother in law recently needed shoulder surgery after a fall; he also broke a bone in his face. Yesterday I tripped again (a lesser athlete might have fallen ;)). Something had to be done.

So it’s out if the way now.

Time for a wireless? I’ve done that in my old studio. I dunno.

MLYb5Z2.jpg
 
I got cable tracks from Office Depot for where my cables cross walking areas. Partly to protect the cables, partly because my wife can tend to trip on that kind of stuff and she's very paranoid about that.

And I feel your brother's pain - last week, I lost a fight with a sidewalk, but I contend that the sidewalk was on steroids and should have been disqualified. I hit it hard and it didn't even budge!
 
For reasons known only to the Great Gods Of A/C power, I find that plugging my pedalboard into the same power supply as my amps via its isolated outlets gives me the quietest signal.

But the amps and power supply have always occupied the other side of my room, 22 feet from my workstation.

So I’ve always put my pedalboards smack in the middle of the room where it’s convenient to my workstation and recording gear, and run 20 foot cables to the power supply and amp switcher.

But I’ve tripped a few times over the board or cables when doing other studio tasks.

My brother in law recently needed shoulder surgery after a fall; he also broke a bone in his face. Yesterday I tripped again (a lesser athlete might have fallen ;)). Something had to be done.

So it’s out if the way now.

Time for a wireless? I’ve done that in my old studio. I dunno.

MLYb5Z2.jpg
That Is One Way To Skin A Cat...Looks Great There Also! You May Consider The AmpRX Rack Unit To Handle Your Power Needs To Alleviate This Type Of Problem And Then You Could Place Your Stuff Wherever It Is Most Convenient For You.
 
That Is One Way To Skin A Cat...Looks Great There Also! You May Consider The AmpRX Rack Unit To Handle Your Power Needs To Alleviate This Type Of Problem And Then You Could Place Your Stuff Wherever It Is Most Convenient For You.
Thanks! I've been using a Furman P-1800 PFR rack that has a 45-amp power reservoir and 8 isolated outlets, for several years. It makes a sonic difference, though obviously it doesn't have voltage regulation. It doesn't show in the pic I posted; I'll find another pic and add it to this post so you can see the setup. [added in the next post, below]

This is the power supply I'm referring to:


The amps are across the room because I want them as far away from my workstation as possible, while still being in the room. This way, when I'm recording with headphones I can hear what's in the cans without turning the volume up too loud in my ears.

As you probably know, doubling the distance from a noise source decreases the volume at your ears due to the inverse square law; with my workstation about 17-20 feet away from the amps (depending on where I sit) I'm probably reducing the volume at my ears by around 12 dB.

So it makes sense to have my power supply and amp switcher near the amps to minimize cable runs. My pedal board is in the way if it's near my workstation, I'm always getting up to adjust mics, adjust amps, etc. I had it closer to the workstation in the middle of the room (I figured I could walk around it which worked, but still posed a hazard), but that's the risk I'm trying to eliminate.

There's simply no place to put it closer to my workstation that doesn't pose a risk.
 
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This is the way things were set up with the pedal board in the middle of the room. The power supply is in the small rack to the right of the Fillmore.

The rack also houses the KHE amp switcher. I keep microphone stand accessories, shock mounts, etc., in the basket on top of the rack. It actually serves a function besides decor!

You can see why this setup created a bit of a hazard. Setting up mics with my back to it and backing up a little, or using the shelves where I keep other stuff I need to get to was an accident waiting to happen. That's how I tripped recently.

GwulCA4.jpg


So now my choice is a longer cable from workstation to pedalboard, with a possible reduction of high frequencies due to cable length; or perhaps a wireless unit that further reduces tripping issues by eliminating one more wire.

Thing is, I prefer the tone of a cable, at least have in the past. I suppose with the new wireless units on the market things have improved somewhat.
 
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I got cable tracks from Office Depot for where my cables cross walking areas. Partly to protect the cables, partly because my wife can tend to trip on that kind of stuff and she's very paranoid about that.
I actually tried that. I got the heavy duty ones with a diamond plate pattern that can accommodate a bundle of signal and AC cables; the ones from Office Depot, etc., can't handle as many.

The main problem hasn't been the cables, really. I had the cables wrapped in Tech Flex, and they lay very flat on the floor with that stuff.

I've tripped on the pedal board itself while adjusting mics or getting stuff from the shelves - that's been the big issue.

The other thing I didn't mention is that I was often moving the pedal board and cables out of the way for other instrumentalists or singers who came in for sessions. That's kind of a PITA that I can now forget about having to deal with - assuming this new setup works during a session somehow.

Your wife is right to be paranoid; I know several women who've fallen and broken their hips, and my mother in law broke her spine and had surgery that didn't help much, she passed away shortly afterward.
 
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I Hear Ya. My Initial Thought Was Having Your Voltage/Power Regulator And Amp Switcher All By Your Desk And Your Amps Further Away But That Isn't How You Are Set Up. I Better See And Understand Where You Are Coming From Overall Now. I Still Think The AmpRX Is A Cool And Beneficial Thing For You To Have For Your Room.

The Wireless Units Have Definitely Improved But I Don't Know If They Are As Good (Define That) As A Cable. The Key Is Quality Sound, Work Flow And Safety (As You Know) And I Hope You Don't Have To Compromise Any Of Them To Get A Workable solution For You. :)
 
I Still Think The AmpRX Is A Cool And Beneficial Thing For You To Have For Your Room.

It is and I can definitely appreciate the usefulness of one of those units! I also like the rack mount form factor.

The Wireless Units Have Definitely Improved But I Don't Know If They Are As Good (Define That) As A Cable. The Key Is Quality Sound, Work Flow And Safety (As You Know) And I Hope You Don't Have To Compromise Any Of Them To Get A Workable solution For You. :)

You are so right about the key being the sound.

I suppose I can try to live with a longer cable, and then if that doesn't work, try the workaround of a wireless system.
 
It is and I can definitely appreciate the usefulness of one of those units! I also like the rack mount form factor.



You are so right about the key being the sound.

I suppose I can try to live with a longer cable, and then if that doesn't work, try the workaround of a wireless system.
The Rack Units Are Great! I Have The Backline And Often Wish I Would Have Opted For The (Dual) Version Just To Power More Amps At One Time. I See It Being Great For You With Your Amp Switching Device.
 
There's simply no place to put it closer to my workstation that doesn't pose a risk.
It STINKS when you work on your tone for years and then get everything incorporated just the way you want, but find an "improvement" that can only be realized by a compromise somewhere else. I recently had a major discovery in this same area of noise reduction. My MXR 10 band EQ was an absolute GODSEND with my amps but always added noise. I was messing around last week and plugged it into my Furman power supply, instead of my Furman pedal board... holy crap! This thing was always on my pedalboard so I plugged it in to the AC outless on the board. There was a dramatic difference in noise level of it plugged in one way vs. the other, but even in the quieter way it still induced noise. I put it back on the board for a specific tonal quest last week and after flipping it 3 times on the pedal board, unplugged it and plugged it into the same Furman power supply that the amps are plugged into. I never tried that before because in most cases, that would be counter intuitive when noise chasing. I swear, it's MUCH quieter there! So, all my before the amp pedals are on the board and get power from the board. All my loop pedals are on the board and get power from the board, but the GEQ (loop) is plugged into the Furman that the amps are plugged into now and it is dramatically quieter. As much as I have talked about this topic in the past, and presented my opinion as that of someone fairly well educated in how these noise issues and ground loop issues and all of that work, I did more than one double take on "how could this be better?" LOL But it is, and I'm happy and noise issues are once again a mystery. LOL
Thing is, I prefer the tone of a cable, at least have in the past. I suppose with the new wireless units on the market things have improved somewhat.
That's the compromise. And the answer you already know, is how I feel about it... If you have a "regular" amp, some boss and other pedals, cheap cables, etc., then by all means, a wireless probably isn't going to mess with your tone a lot. If you have a high end amp with NOS tubes, high end wire from guitar to speaker, high end pedals, etc... the tonal loss is probably going to be more than you're willing to accept and in any event, any compromise after all that time and money chasing tone, is an issue.
 
No offense László, but I can not see that new set up surviving ;~(( Unless you are never standing in front of your pedal board. If that is in fact the case, put the board on a desk or other elevated flat surface. But I am sure you are not going to want to stand and look into the corner while playing ;~))

If the real prob is tripping over the board itself and not the cables, I would recommend putting something on the board that would make it stand out more so that you realize where it is when moving about! Some bright reflective tape on the edges, some soft light beams projecting from the board, a mic stand or other vertical item on the back side of the board. Maybe there are other ideas, but something to make it stand out more may solve the idea of having it in the center of the room.

As for the cables, one thing I thought of is this. With the board in center of room (assumed preferred placement in perfect world), maybe push the carpet more towards the amps while leaving the pedal board where it is. Then run the cables underneath the carpet. Just a thought ;~))

Best of luck on your continued journey in this amazing studio space!
 
My MXR 10 band EQ was an absolute GODSEND with my amps but always added noise.
You know electronics better than I do, so I'm probably preaching to the choir, but just in case others haven't thought about this:

Any time you increase the amplitude of a particular frequency band, which is what boosting EQ does, you're going to increase whatever noise is in the signal in that band as well. So it's pretty important to reduce the noise levels being fed to the pedals at the source. And in many cases, that means isolated DC outlets.

The older version of the Furman pedalboard does not have isolated DC outlets for pedals you power via the board. They're noisy as hell with some pedals, and while I love most Furman products, the older pedalboards are basically useless, unless the pedals are powered via a battery.

I say this because I had one, and it could be the reason I have a lot less hair now. ;)

I don't know about their more recent boards. For me the early ones were dumpster material.

I reduced my noise factor seemingly by 99% when I switched to a Voodoo Labs pedal power box with isolated DC outlets many years ago, and of course, there are other really good ones by Cioks, Strymon, etc., with isolated DC outlets.

The other thing is that DC power supplies share their 'juice' among the pedals; it's possible that the MXR was starved for power and began sounding crappy when that happened. Switching to the power supply might have given it more power that was also cleaned up by the stuff in the Furman power supply in the rack.

I did more than one double take on "how could this be better?" LOL But it is, and I'm happy and noise issues are once again a mystery. LOL
It's weird, right?

That's the compromise. And the answer you already know, is how I feel about it... If you have a "regular" amp, some boss and other pedals, cheap cables, etc., then by all means, a wireless probably isn't going to mess with your tone a lot. If you have a high end amp with NOS tubes, high end wire from guitar to speaker, high end pedals, etc... the tonal loss is probably going to be more than you're willing to accept and in any event, any compromise after all that time and money chasing tone, is an issue.
I suspect that you are right.
 
No offense László, but I can not see that new set up surviving ;~(( Unless you are never standing in front of your pedal board. If that is in fact the case, put the board on a desk or other elevated flat surface. But I am sure you are not going to want to stand and look into the corner while playing ;~))
I've actually tried several of the suggestions you've made - I've been at this studio game for 35 years now, and have been desperately seeking the Susan of good ergonomics the entire time!

As luck would have it, I don't stand in front of my pedalboard and play. I know some players do, but it's not how I work. I hit a switch on a pedal and walk over to my workstation, a chair or stool, unless I'm adjusting a control, in which case I'm not looking at the scenery.

On the other hand, I do have an original watercolor over the Lone Star that I can look at instead of the walls -- you know, just in case! :)

I agree, the elevated surface idea is great for some things, and I do elevate the board to make adjustments when I don't feel like being on my knees (see my discussion about the Anthro cart below), but it's inconvenient to work a modulation pedal, or even switches made for feet instead of hands, on an elevated surface (I like having one on the pedalboard).

When this forum started, I created, and posted a pic of, my elevated pedal board.

My brother and I built a second keyboard stand years before to match my other furniture, and it has a flat pull-out shelf underneath. The shelf is pedalboard size - 36" x 24". So I mounted the pedals on the shelf, there was plenty of clearance for pedal height. I ran 3' cables to my wah and modulation pedals.

I didn't like using it and went back to a floor pedalboard. It just didn't work in the heat of battle the way a foot tap does. I still have that stand, but didn't use it for anything, so I put it in the storage room.

However, I do have a very sturdy, high-tech Anthro cart for times when I want to elevate the board to adjust controls. It's capable of handling about 400 pounds, yet rolls very easily, and it weighs a lot so it doesn't tip over. I keep it in the storage room and bring it out as needed.

If the real prob is tripping over the board itself and not the cables, I would recommend putting something on the board that would make it stand out more so that you realize where it is when moving about! Some bright reflective tape on the edges, some soft light beams projecting from the board, a mic stand or other vertical item on the back side of the board. Maybe there are other ideas, but something to make it stand out more may solve the idea of having it in the center of the room.
I've done that, actually. I had a custom board covered in a bright color, and used colored cables.

I found that none of that stuff works if you're backing up moving, say, a mic stand, an amp, etc. If you're not looking in the direction of the board, it's still just as easy to trip over as one that isn't brightly colored. Incidentally, my Schmidt Array board has a pair of LED lights that attach to gizmos built into the board, but I don't feel the need to use them in the studio.

Fact is, the more crap you have on the floor of a room, the greater the tripping hazard. I'm too damn old to risk having a middle-of-room hazard. I'll keep the hazards on the edge of the room! 🤣

As for the cables, one thing I thought of is this. With the board in center of room (assumed preferred placement in perfect world), maybe push the carpet more towards the amps while leaving the pedal board where it is. Then run the cables underneath the carpet. Just a thought ;~))
Appreciate the suggestion, however, there are two reasons not to do that (I've tried it; it's why I originally started using Persian carpets in my studio spaces):

One, you can easily catch the edge of a shoe over the bump/wrinkle a cable makes under a carpet and lose your balance; it's actually harder to spot than an exposed cable, especially if you're carrying something and can't look down at your feet. This is true even of thick carpets, and mine are pretty thick!

I've done that very thing while moving a pretty hefty closed-back 212 Mesa speaker cabinet; it was years ago, but I caught the edge of a sneaker, tripped on a hidden cable's bump, and fell. The cab landed on my leg. I was lucky to come out of it with a few bruises. But that's the glory of mere middle age. At my age - older than dirt - I can't count on that kinda luck.

Second, cables are pretty expensive these days, and stepping on them can create openings and exposed areas in the braided or spiral shielding of the cable. Then you have noise, and a failed cable.

Speaking of cables, I have the AC power cables, speaker cables, and signal cables separately laid out, and bundled apart from each other with velcro ties behind the amps. It doesn't show in my pics, bit it's one more thing to reduce the possibility of hums and buzzes. My rig is dead quiet.

Best of luck on your continued journey in this amazing studio space!
Thanks! I need all the luck I can get these days! :eek:
 
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I have no insights to offer, but am interested in where you end up.
I don’t like cords in front of me, or anywhere someone could trip over them. I never leave a cable out, and tuck the footswitch for my amp behind the amp before the cleaning lady comes. And, the footswitch is beside my chair so I can switch it with my hand.
 
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