View Full Version : Planning machine room for noisey computer / bit 3, advice please

10-25-1999, 01:09 PM
Geffin extend it?
Good product?
Only product?
For a dual monitor set up too?

My situation, there ain't no window on the machine room so the interfaces and I geuss the USD have to be in with me in the control room.(I prefer that anyway for tweaking)
I have Pro Control too (come back!) The eithernet cable I was suplied with seems fairly long....can I extend that too?
I had hoped to clock all this and some other stuff via an Ardsync unit one day in the future.
Is all the above happy a long way from the computer / bit 3 chassis?
What are the limits / risks?

Thanks in advance.


10-26-1999, 07:45 AM
Hey Jules.

Here is a product that may help you out - it sure did the trick for me! Custom Consoles of Nashville make a rack enclosure called the Isobox. It is a very well constructed unit and provides very good isolation for noisey fans and hard drives. Here's their web address.


Todd Beeten is a great guy to work with and will custom design just about any type of enclosure you could think of. Check out the custom console he built for my ProControl with an Isobox enclosure for the right hand bay. Just follow the links to ProControl - mine is the black lacquer finish with the big red iso booth behind it.

This is a much better answer than trying to put your computer and drives in a displaced machine room. If you don't believe me, just wait till you have to authorize PT and about two dozen plugs from floppies with your computer in another room! What's more, the Isobox has a plexiglass front door so you can look at the indicators on your interfaces and drives. Get one with casters and you can roll it where ever you need it. All you need is a long ADB/USB cable, long monitor cables, and a long ethernet cable. BTW - that ethernet cable can be hundreds of feet long without problems.

Richards Outpost Audio
* Ain't Life Grand?*

10-26-1999, 09:42 AM
an alternative to Geffin (cheeper I think),
try www.networktechinc.com

10-26-1999, 11:47 AM
Thank you both very much.

10-26-1999, 09:02 PM
hey borgbilly,

How many dB did the isobox drop the noise floor in your controlroom? Do you have external HD's as well as your computer. This seems like a good idea, but I have yet to talk to anyone who can give me some impiracle data other than "yeah, it really quiets it down". Does the computer or HD's telegraph to the case itself? Can you hear either your computer from inside or the isobox fan at 10 feet? How quiet is it?

Thanks for any info. I'd like to buy one or two, but it's a lot of cash.


10-27-1999, 11:21 PM
I'm an idiot, I will probably say something stupid during this message. OK, now that I've admitted that, I can tell you something of my experience with the isobox.

First of all, the "studio" is a 17x33 basement.

I have an isobox with three 4U fan cooled computer boxes in it (Mac, Disks, and DSP). These things make a stinking lot of noise (radio shack db meter reads 65 when stuck in front of the rack, nothing else in the room or neighborhhod making noise)

If I close the door, there is no longer enough noise in the studio to read on the cheap radio shack meter ( < 50db ).

At 10 ft away, I can still hear the system noise even with the door closed, so the box isn't magic, but the noise in the room has stopped being my #1 problem when recording things in my "studio".

Even if I had a seperate control room and recording space, I'd still go for the isbox, it is tough to mix with those fans singing to you.

If I had a zillion dollars, my ultimate preference would be for the noisy things to be in another room, but short of that, I could not live without my isobox.

10-28-1999, 02:34 AM
Here's the deal, my rig is set up in a huge flightcase almost 6ft tall. It needs to be ready to wheel in & out at short notice, so Iso boxes are, unfortunatly, a no go.
The new control room is big, I think I will have the 2" in there (for metering) and remote, and then have the PT next to the 2"
but behind screens.
I can also cover the corner it slides into with that accoustic foam grey stuff. That might have to do it.
The machine room might have just become the tape copy room!Perhaps I could put an old G3 in there with some hot swap drive bays and a DATA dat and do back ups on it while I am uploading on the main system.
BTW how far can an interface be from the computer? & the USD?


11-02-1999, 11:19 AM
We've got 4 PT rooms, and we've placed all the equipment in two racks that are located in a separate area outside the rooms. We've wired extensions for ADB, VGA, MIDI (to HUI), printer cables (to MIDI interface and switch boxes), etc. many of which are 30-40 feet in length, and have had no problems. We've had no picture degradation on the VGA monitors, no loss of signal from the ADB line, or anything else. I highly recommend sticking your WGAs (whirring grinding units) outside the room, hook it up and see if it works before spending exorbitant sums on iso boxes, low-noise drives, or cable extender boxes.

07-11-2000, 04:47 PM
I had this same problem. My solution was a bit different. I just made all my drives external via a 15 ft SCSI cable (not cheap), and ran them into a neighboring room through a small removable panel in the wall. It's well isolated from my control room.

I then got an ultraquiet power supply from www.pcpowerandcooling.com. (http://www.pcpowerandcooling.com.) It is very, very quiet. You can't even hear it.

So the only thing making noise is my CPU fan. For this I went out and found a CPU heatsink that was very smooth, and not a lot of edges. It's still audible, but very quiet. I'm still looking for a better solution for this.

With this setup I can easily get to my drives in the other room if I need to, and I can keep 'em really cool with lots of fans. I have the added convenience of access to my CD-ROM and floppy, and all my peripherals cables don't have to run half way around the planet. I can still hear my CPU fan, but it's pretty damn quiet.

Hope this helps!

-=Jeff Merkel=-
Mach 8 Audio

07-12-2000, 12:08 AM
What kind of cable do you look for to extend the computer 20-30 feet? Also, what kind of cable do you need to look for to get the monitor extended as well since it's connected to the hard drive? I went to the site www.networktechinc.com (http://www.networktechinc.com) and got really confused!!


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">quote:<HR>Originally posted by digichaos:
an alternative to Geffin (cheeper I think),
try www.networktechinc.com (http://www.networktechinc.com)


07-12-2000, 08:34 AM
Is there a lot of heat generated in an ISO box?

07-12-2000, 05:20 PM
If you put your stuff in a seperate room make sure there is plenty of air blowing by your equipment. A couple of little muffen fans won't do it. I've seen guys even rig a small air conditioner to feed the room. The colder the better. Heat kills!

Cheers Craig

07-15-2000, 07:39 AM
I bought an IsoBox awhile back, and I gotta say I really like it. Inside is a 9600 w/ 3 internal drives, a Bit3 7-slot, and 2 18 gig Cheetahs. The Bit3 is SO noisy, and w/ the IsoBox, it's amazingly quiet. There's just a small low-end whirr from the IsoBox's fans in the back of the box (which would probably be inaudible if the box was under the console or something, or at least a few more feet away), and virtually none of the noise from the gear. So there's that.

Joe Milner
Puget Sound
Los Angeles

07-15-2000, 07:44 AM
Also, a couple weeks ago I was printmastering a film I'd mixed, and brought my CPU and Bit3 to the stage. They had a 50-foot ADB cable, and a 50-foot Monitor cable as well. I'd always been told that the ADB limit was 15 feet or whatever, and that to get that kind of extension you needed a Gefen box, blah blah. Well, this worked perfectly. No problems. On Monday I'll call the stage and find out the details on these cables and post them, because it sure was simple!

Joe Milner
Puget Sound
Los Angeles

Jim Clark
07-15-2000, 08:02 AM
I also bought 25' extensions from Geffen for my monitors and keyboard - it's a beautiful thing! Never had a problem.

Gary Stadler
07-15-2000, 10:38 AM
Ahh, all you guys need to learn to solder!!

My computers are in a different room...I simply bought multi-conductor cable from the local electronics store, cut and lengthned my ADB, midi and printer cables, then cut the monitor cable and extended it with 5 pcs of shielded cable and a multi for the rest of the wires. For the floppy drive (9600/350) I got a 12 foot piece of ribbon cable and squeezed the correct ends on it (availiable from Radil shack) with a small vice, removed the floppy from the computer and mounted it under my desktop...lets' see, what's left... scsi- just buy a longer cable..that ones' a toughie, unless you use 50 wire ribbon cable, then it's a breeze... It really doesnt take long to extend existing cables this way, and the type of cable is not really all that critical as long as you use shielded wire where needed and make reasonable solder joints and insulate them well, and obviously don't get the wires mixed up. I've made Midi cables as long as 150 feet with no problem...ADB cables 20 feet so far-so good, printer cables 30 feet, video cables 50 feet..it all just works and I don't spend a ton of money on the expensive stuff...

07-16-2000, 03:12 PM
I also have my G4/drives/interfaces in my machine room/closet . Like Stadler , I just extended the cables as needed. It all works great , and I REALLY love the quiet ! ! !
Paul Avgerinos , Studio-Unicorn.com