A Tour of My Studio / Mac Museum


#1

I thought it would be fun to show off my studio some. It’s where I record all of my shows, and we’re going to talk a little bit about it on my first episode.

My studio started life in the 1970s as a concrete block building, built behind our garage. A few years ago, my wife and I bought her grandmother’s house, which came with the plans for this building, which was constructed for her uncles, who were into all sorts of hobbies like gunsmithing and fireworks that Grandma didn’t want in the house.

When we moved here, we gutted the building, fixed a bunch of leaks and put new interior walls up, complete with insulation and, as you can see from the photos, a whole bunch of acoustic foam. For a box, I have very little echo now, which is great.

My desk is an old door from the house itself, screwed into some IKEA legs. Atop it is a base-level iMac Pro, hooked up my audio interface (a USBPre2) and microphone (Shure BETA 87A), via a couple small Schiit audio boxes. I won’t go through all the details here, but I have a pretty extensive gear page up on 512 Pixels.

Past that blue wall to the right of the desk is a heavy-duty shelving system designed to go into warehouses. It holds the majority of my Mac collection:

It’s a real thing.

Across from the desk and collection is a rather new IKEA bookcase with some storage areas for cables, camera gear and more. Up top, in front of a bunch of nerdy books are some of my iPods and iPhones. Across the top, a LEGO Saturn V. (In addition to having way too many Macs, I’m a space nerd, too. There’s a LEGO space shuttle on my desk.)

The wooden table in the corner is a rig to shoot directly down onto a surface. This article on MacStories includes my favorite shots from the table so far.

That’s about it! When you have so little space, every square foot matters, so the studio has evolved in the two years I’ve been out here, but all in all, I love having a space at home to work, but one that is still separate from the house itself.


#2

Is that a NeXTcube I see on the left side of your shelves (beside the Apple Disk II floppy drives)?


#3

Yep, sitting atop a NeXTstation and under a Pippin.


#4

Love the LEGO! It must be pretty satisfying to have your collection as a backdrop while you work.


#5

What’s your take on using acoustic foam (like you show here) compared to using manufactured acoustic panels? Do you get similar sound and echo dampening effects from the foam?


#6

I love the nod to analog: a shelf just for Field Notes! My office has stacks of 3x5 index cards.

I look forward to hearing you on MPU next year.


#7

The foam I’m using is fairly heavy and seems to do the trick just fine.


#8

I’ve just about always have one on me. I scan them when I fill them up, then store them there.


#9

Interesting, are you breaking them down and putting them through a scansnap?


#10

Just on a flatbed scanner


#11

@ismh I’d really love to know where you got that foam. It looks so much better than the other stuff I’ve seen. I’ve tried to get my office looking like a place I like to hang out, but most of the other foam I’ve seen is just ugly and I don’t really want to put it up in here.


#12

Looks like SoundTrax. (I use Auralex.)


#13

Thank you! I’ll take a look.


#14

Yep, SoundTrax. I picked it up on Amazon.