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Surprisingly easy...

posted Nov 17, 2011, 1:14 PM by Frank Adrian
I was able to swap out the Mackie Onyx 400F for the MOTU 24I/O system Tuesday evening. Like most of the work dealing with my rack or the computer, it was not entirely painless. Nevertheless, I got it done in about three hours, which was less time than I thought it would take. Most of the time was spent in removing the PC so I could insert the PCIe-424 card the A/D system connects to and then re-racking it. I only dropped one screw into the chassis that I had to fish out, otherwise, it would have taken longer. My only concern is that the 424 card sits very close the video card's fan. There's enough space to still suck in air, but I worry about the thermal issues, nevertheless. In addition to the work on the PC, I also had to unrack and de-cable the 400F, rack up the new 24 I/O unit, re-hook my 8-channel preamp and a couple of channel strip rack mount units to my patch bay, and re-route the patch bay into the 24 I/O. I also took the time to re-label the patch bay inputs with my wife's new nifty labeller - it looks much nicer than the hand-lettered, taped-on strips of paper I was using. Now that that's done, I have a more pressing problem - the 400F had a couple of headphone jacks in the front that worked well for me as a headphone monitor system. There is nothing like that on the 24I/O. So I'm going to have to get a headphone distribution system set up. A couple of the studios I've been in use these. They seem to work well enough. But I'll need to find more rack space to deal with the core unit. I also need to buy another 14 or so channels of preamp/channel strip and another patch bay for the 24I/O's outputs. As such, I guess I'll have to buy another rack. I'll either have to find another 14U unit to roll under my desk or bite the bullet and move up to a 42U rack. The former is simpler to deal with furniture-wise and more portable. The second is actually neater overall, but would probably require me to buy a new desk, too. Which I also need to do because the old one is just something I've re-purposed from my son's bedroom. A nice studio desk with 14U of rack space for a patch bay would be nice. This is obviously something I need to put a bit more thought into.

But, first on the agenda - the CD release party has been pushed out into January because that's when we can find someplace to have one. So I've pushed the formal release date to 16 January and I'll be updating all of the marketing materials to reflect that. I'll start sending out promotional materials to non-college targets the first week of December so as to catch people before they start taking time off for the holidays and do follow-up calls for those the first week of January, praying that they'll remember us. For the college stations, I'll send those out the last week of December and start calling those targets during the end of the second week of January. Needless to say from the amount of variability of these activities, this is not an auspicious time for a record release. Next time we're going to book a studio and engineer who can deal with us on a timely basis so we can get the CD out quickly. It shouldn't take two-and-a-half months to get a six-song CD mixed. And it shouldn't take four weeks to get it mastered. The two weeks for manufacturing was fine. But this turned into a cluster-f*ck because of poor project management. It's not going to happen this way again. From now on, we target CD releases in spring, preferably in late-April/early-May, to allow us to promote during the prime summer gigging months and to make promotion on college stations easier/more coordinated with other promotional activities around the release. Live and learn...
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