Building a Studio around a Korg i30

1. Recording Room


The Korg i30 functions as the heart of this MIDI recording rig. New song ideas are quickly sketched by using the built-in styles on the i30. The rough backing sequences are transferred to the Dell Inspiron 4100 Laptop running Emagic Logic 5.5.1 Platinum on Windows XP where they are edited, revoiced and polished. Emagic SoundDiver 3.1.5 is used as the Editor/Librarian for managing all the programs and combinations on the different sound modules.


The Emagic Logic Control sitting on top of the second Omnirax Pro20 instrument rack is used to automate the MIDI mixes and fine tune the volume and panning.


For simpler projects Sonar XL 2.2 is used along with MidiQuestXL for editing the sounds. Infinity 2.1 is used for setting up global patches and making configuration changes on the fly when performing live.



A Korg D1600V40 16 channel multi-track digital recorder is used to record live audio tracks and for enhancing the drum tracks processing each drum sound one at a time with the array of incredible on-board effects on this unit.


The Omnirax Pro20 rack on the right holds the Alesis Quadraverb followed by the MOTU MTV/AV, the EMU Proteus 1, a couple of Digital Music MX8 MIDI interfaces, a Kawai MX8SR mixer, a Mackie CR1604 16 channel mixer and an Emagic AMT8 MIDI interface.


The Korg i30 and the Korg O1/Wfd act as dual master controllers. Leaning against the wall is a Korg Wavestation EX and a Technics KN1000 arranger.



The Sony DPS-R7 sitting on the top of the left rack is used for the final master reverb on the mixes. Below this is a Korg N1R GM/GS/XG sound module, a Korg SG-Rack followed by a couple of Korg TR-Racks and a couple of Yamaha Motif Racks.


The audio outputs from these sound modules feed into a Mackie LM3204 32 channel line mixer. Below this sits an Alesis DM5 drum module and an Emagic AMT8 MIDI interface.


An EMU Proteus 1000 sits on top of the next rack followed by a couple of

Roland XV-5050 sound modules, an Alesis Masterlink hard disk recorder, a Korg Triton-Rack, a Mackie CR1604 16 channel mixer and an Emagic AMT8 MIDI interface.


The three AMT8 MIDI interfaces are linked together to make up a 48 port MIDI network and connected to the Laptop via USB.


The three Mackie mixers are chained together with a Mackie MixerMixer Unity Gain Combiner. This makes it behave like one giant 64 channel mixer with 88 inputs, 18 Aux Sends, 12 stereo Returns and 3 sub masters.



All the synths and sound modules are played live through the MIDI sequences. The main stereo master of the Mackie mixer feeds directly into the Alesis Masterlink ML-9600 where the tracks are normalized/compressed using the look-ahead peak limiter and burned to a finished Red Book CD.


The control room out from the Mackie is used to monitor the mixes on a pair of tall floor-standing Mirage M-3si Bipolar speakers.


The D1600 recorder is linked digitally to the Masterlink using an M-Audio CO2 Toslink-Coaxial S/PDIF bi-directional converter.


This distributed approach of using the Laptop for MIDI sequencing, the D1600 for audio recording, the external sound modules for the hottest collection of contemporary sounds, the analog mixer for the overall warmth, and the dedicated mastering tool for burning the final CD gives the best value and offers an easy, reliable, hassle free operation.


The left cabinet holds the Yamaha DSP-A2070 7 channel preamp/processor. Below this sits a Technics CD player and a Pioneer dual cassette deck. The Mirage speakers are powered by an Adcom GFA-555mkII 250W/Ch power amp.


The right cabinet houses the Tascam DA30 DAT recorder, a Philips CDR-880 CD recorder and a Philips CDC936 5 CD carousel.


2. Playback Room


The playback room is setup for Dolby Digital/DTS surround with a 7 speaker array using a pair of Mirage M-3si as the mains and a Paradigm Servo-15 subwoofer for the sub-bass. The Mirage speakers are powered by another Adcom GFA-555mkII power amp sitting under the 36 Toshiba direct view TV.



The left cabinet holds the Panasonic A120 DVD/CD player, a Pioneer CLD-1080 Laser Disc player, a Philips CDC-935 5 CD changer, a Paradigm X30 crossover for the sub, a Yamaha DSP-A1 7 channel preamp/processor and a Yamaha RX-V870 receiver.


The right cabinet holds a Hi-Fi VCR and a couple of Sony CDP-CX250 mega changers.



The Philips Pronto2000 remote with the touch screen LCD and programmable interface replaces two rows of instrument remotes. All the 400 CDs in the two mega changers can be selected by Artist or Title by a clever menu interface on the Pronto.


3. Research & Study Room:


A 19 Hitachi Elite 751 monitor connected to a DELL desktop computer occupies the center stage and flanked on both sides by a pair of Altec Lansing speakers with a sub on the floor. The desk has an uncluttered appearance thanks to the Logitech Cordless keyboard and mouse.


Printing and Scanning is done with the HP Laserjet 6L and Visioneer Paperport 3100.



Color printing , Faxing and copying jobs are handled by an Epson Stylus Photo 700 printer, a Sharp UX-104 FAX machine and a Canon PC310 personal copier.


Professional quality fancy labels are created on the Casio KL-8200 Label printer.



All equipment brochures from trade shows like NAMM, NAB, CES, Comdex, InfoCOMM are categorized alphabetically and stored in the file cabinets for reference.


See Building a Studio for a more detailed discussion on the topic of setting up a home studio in easy steps.



Tapas Das