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Hux Electronics : Gallery 20

This page is dedicated to the installation of a new SSL Duality recording console into the Recording Studio, TAFE Brisbane, Southbank Campus, formally known as Southbank Institute of Technology.

The old beloved Sound Workshop Series 34 recording console. This console had been running almost continuously for over 22 years with only a few months of "powered off" downtime in its total working life. It started its working life in the old COTAH building and was moved and reinstalled (by Hux) into this new building in early 2008.

Up until this day Ian Taylor had spent his entire teaching career working with this console, some might call it a love affair, others might call it kinky, here he is saying goodbye.

I suggested to Ian that he should buy a cake with a single candle in it for a little goodbye ceremony for the old console, this is what turned up, as it turned out it was perfect.

The cake, the candle and the old console.

The moment that Ian blew out the candle I cut the power and hacked apart the cable looms (the point of no return). The candle ceremony is a small touch, a fond farewell to an old buddy.

The old console has now left the building.

The stage behind the console is used to hide excess cable.

The new SSL Duality console is slowly wheeled in.

Getting closer to its final position.

The new console in its new home. It takes a while to find exactly the right spot so we shuffled the console about by increments over the coming weeks to get it "just right".

New 8-way multicore cable looms awaiting installation and final termination. We were able to pre terminate one end of these to D25 and XLR connectors ahead of time to speed things up a little. Every one of these cable is 14 metres long.

Looking from the back of the rack towards the console. This room is so large that everything big looks relatively small in it.

The beast, sitting patiently.

Another photo of the beast.

We had two soldering benches set up at any one time. The original configuration to suit the Sound Workshop console was quirky and so we decided to re-terminate all of the patchbays and most of the effects rack to make everything much more logical and straight ahead.

Another day on the job, another 100 terminations or thereabouts.

This photo shows the stage behind the console where we hide the excess cable. The cables are all made 3 metres longer than they need to be to accommodate any future changes that might be made. When the top is fitted to this stage it becomes a great space for keyboard players etc.

The cable trays in the floor are completely full. Most of the old Sound Workshop multicore cables were pulled out intact (to make it easier to re-use), we laid in 800 metres of brand new 8-way multicore just between the new console and the effects rack (includes some cables laid inside the rack itself). I am always gob smacked about where all of the cables disappear to (and I have done this sort of thing a lot of times now).

Cables, cables, cables, most of these are 8-way multicore plus there are some 12-way and 24-way in there as well.

More cables. Your have to remember that each one of these has an outside diameter of 11mm so they quickly add up to a bit of bulk.

A nearly terminated bantam patchbay.

A close up of the termination of a bantam patchbay. All of the cable ends anywhere on the job are prepared with heatshrink and to the same high standards.

Three finished and mounted bantam patchbays. The frame on each individual patchbay is tied back to the Control Room "star earth" system (green wire) just to be sure. The orange cables that you can see are a part of the optical system.

The rear of an XLR patchbay mounted in the side of the rack behind the bantam patchbays. This particular patchbay carry's mic, line, headphone, talkback and optical connections.

All eight bantam patchbays finished and mounted. 768 patch points for those who are interested.

The patchbays and some of the outboard. The three large rotary switches under the patchbays are the masters for all outboard, computers and monitoring. Each master switch fully isolates all power for its relevant section (power down at the end of the day is a breeze). The rack bays are back lit in pairs and each pair of LED backlight strips corresponds to a different mains master switch, you can see at a glance which sections of the system are powered up at any particular time just by glancing at the rack back lighting.

The other side of the effects rack. The red LED back lighting looks much better in real life than in these photos. The bottom of the right hand rack bay also has two large rotary switches, these control the mains power feeds to the console.

The console has onboard power supplies and consumes about 1600 watts of power. To reduce the heat loading I added six very low noise fans at the rear. These fans are inaudible and they blow just enough air to keep the console cooler than it could be without them.

The console all powered up and ready to fly. In this photo you can see the remote for the Otari MTR-90 2" machine and a the remote for the TC Electronic M6000 system.

Console up close.

A nice photo showing the console and the Adams monitor speakers.

The SSL Duality in use. An awesome console in an awesome room.

The console is connected to 4 pairs of monitor speakers. Grover Notting CR-2, Tannoy Reveal, Adams S3X-H and Urei 813 complete with AT 18" subs (for those who like to live on the edge the 813 and the subs have an extreme amount of amplifier power behind them, 2400 watts on the mid/highs and 3600 watts on the subs).

Being a 48 channel console enables it to be connected full time (no patching required) to two performance spaces (the Studio Room and a large live performance room called the Gig Studio), 24 tracks of Pro Tools and 24 tracks of 2" analogue tape machine.

Both Ian and I were across the design and original fit-out of this floor in the building and now this major refit. We have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that this system is as noise and bug free as it can be, the proof is in the pudding, the loudest thing in this room (with everything powered up) is a very gentle buzz from the mains transformer in the ancient Eventide H-3000 reverb unit (they all do this). Amazing dynamics are possible in this room.

This installation was completed in early 2014.