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Networked Home Recording Studio


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#1
Sumit

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I am setting up my home audio recording studio in a network configuration. This will exist alongside my general purpose home computer and my general purpose laptop.

Here is a summary:

1. My recording studio comprising two PCs to be wired in a network (it is preferable to have wired rather than wireless for better throughput and connectivity). I need to decide what kind of wiring: Direct Cable Connection or Router based wired or wireless

2. A general purpose computer with wireless adaptor

3. A laptop with inbuilt wireless adaptor.

4. One WD NetCenter NAS Drive with one Ethernet port which will be used for backing up data from my studio and also from the general purpose PC and general purpose laptop. To decide whether wireless or wired.

Here is the equipment list that I have already purchased after some advice from friends/dealers but which I cannot figure out how to efficiently use:

1. One Motorola cable modem for cable TV and telephone + Ethernet output to router
2. One Linksys router WRT54G connected to the modem
3. Three Linksys wireless adaptors WUSB54G, one for each PC
4. One Linksys Wireless Bridge WET54G.

The limitations:

The cable modem is in the bedroom. The router is presently located in an adjacent room. The general purpose PC is in a third somewhat distant room. Adjacent to the third room is the music studio where two PCs are located.

I am thinking of two situations myself but perhaps you will give me a better idea:

SITUATION (A):
- Two studio computers and the NAS Drive wired to the WRT54G router.This is for better throughput and security.
- The general PC and the laptop having their own wireless adaptors can connect to the internet and also share files/folders wirelessly.
- That leaves me with the WET54G bridge and the two WUSB54G wireless adaptors that I purchased for the studio PCs. I feel these would become redundant unless someone can give me an idea of creatively using them.

SITUATION (B):
- Two studio computers connected by crossover ethernet cable for music recording.
- When these two studio computers need to connect to the internet they can do so with the extra WUSB54G wireless adaptors that had gone extra in Situation A.
- The NAS Drive gets connected to the WET54G bridge and is made available to all computers on the network for backup through wireless. Is this a good idea?
- The general PC and the laptop have their own wireless adaptors and can connect to internet and also share files/folders wirelessly.

Situation A is technically better but a lot of my gear would be lying unused. With Situation B I can use all my equipment without any of them lying spare/unused. But this is at the cost of throughput for the NAS Drive and perhaps at the cost of security.

Having been dependent on Linksys so far, I find that suddenly Linksys have degraded their quality of service at least in Singapore by withdrawing the excellent livechat facility.

Any help please?
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#2
The Admiral

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Hi Sumit,

First off, you probably don't need the WET54G. It has it's place in certain environments, but not typically in your home.
The ideal solution would indeed be Situation A. In fact, without previously looking at your solutions, that is the situation I drew up. With Situation A, we encounter a problem with distances. If you have to time, energy, and desire to run cable from your bedroom to your "somewhat distant room" where your general purpose PC is, feel free to do so. If you don't have a computer in your bedroom, I would run one cable from the bedroom to the "somewhat distant room," where the WRT54G would be located. Then wire in your two Studio PCs (Macs, if you set it up right... :) ) and your WD NetCenter. You can use the integrated wireless adapters in your general purpose desktop and your laptop to connect to the WRT54G, without much packet loss.
BUT, if you don't want to run cable across the house, you should keep the router and WD NetCenter in the bedroom and wireless like crazy with your two studio computers. The problem with this situation is that you would have four computers (maybe simultaneously) connecting to your WRT54G, which severely decreases the bandwidth.
So, if you need the speed, definitely use Situation A. If not, use my Situation 3. You don't really need an ethernet crossover cable to connect your two studio computers (well you shouldn't.)

Please let me know if i'm analyzing this wrong. But this is practically how I run my studio configuration.

Good luck!
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#3
Sumit

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Thanks for your reply.

However I would be very interested in knowing as to why you said that I never should go for Crossover Ethernet connection between my two music recording PCs! I thought that was a safe thing to do, and yet connect to the internet "wirelessly" using the independent WUSB54Gs when needed.

Anyway I have added a schematic of my home, so that you may like to review your answer with respect to room configurations and placements.

Would love to have your considered response again based on the above.

BTW what do you do in your studio?

Attached Thumbnails

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#4
The Admiral

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I am very interested in knowing as to why a crossover cable is necessary. What do you plan on doing on each PC? In my studio, I have one running DP5 and GPO, and the other one is basically a synth, running Korg Mono/Poly, NI B4, Reason, and other random MIDI-based synths. So I have a MIDI cable between the two, basically sending MIDI from the DP box to the synth box, but I have almost never found a need for a high-thoroughput connection (crossover cable) to share files. So if you are sending audio from one box to the other or vice versa or simultaneously, you may want to consider a crossover cable. But if not, I would, for ease of installation and use, keep the WUSB54Gs plugged into the boxes and not worry about the crossover cable. If you are sharing files between the two, but not necessarily needing it to be uber fast, I would send them to the NetCenter and then grab them from it, essentially using it as a third-party. But then you have a backup. Remember that when you connect to the internet "wirelessly" using the WUSB54Gs, you're also connecting to the network, where the NetCenter is located. It all depends on how you are planning on running your studio, and what computers you have. IMHO, I would not worry about the crossover cable. It just makes it harder to unplug and plug stuff in when you do have to connect to the internet or NetCenter or printer or laptop.

It seems like you have a small-ish house. The reason I made a big deal out of running cable was because I live in a five-level house, with the modem line upstairs and the studio in the basement, and network connections in two of the bedrooms, the kitchen, the den, and the basement. *eye roll* But for your house, I would again recommend Situation A. This gives you the chance to have all of your hardware (except for your modem, of course) in one place, i.e. having a spot set away in your studio or bedroom where the NetCenter, router, and associated wires could be kept. It is a lot easier to diagnose network issues (which you're bound to have with a linksys, IMO) when everything is in one spot. So if you think it's plausible to run a single CAT5 cable from the bedroom to the somewhat distant room, I would. And just to clarify what I said in the first paragraph, I would wire the studio PCs into the network if you do put your router in the somewhat distant room.

As far as networking in the studio, I simply have the studio PCs connected to the network, not directly to each other. I have a single CAT5 cable running downstairs, and then a router that provides network to the two PCs and my laptop, when I wire it in. I find that more than ample for file sharing.

Edited by The Admiral, 15 November 2007 - 08:00 AM.

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#5
dsenette

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I never should go for Crossover Ethernet connection between my two music recording PCs! I thought that was a safe thing to do, and yet connect to the internet "wirelessly" using the independent WUSB54Gs when needed.

i THINK the reason for the "no crossover" comment was because direct connect networks aren't as functional or easy to set up as they used to be...XP (and vista) are really optomized for routed networking and things like that...also...with routers as cheap as they are...it's just easier to set up a simple network through a router or a switch instead of via crossover....

your idea of having your studio machines and the NAS wired to the router...and the "personal computers" wirelessly connected to the router is the easiest and most reliable sollution...i'd choose that option and get rid of any hardwear that doesn't fit into the equation...
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#6
Sumit

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your idea of having your studio machines and the NAS wired to the router...and the "personal computers" wirelessly connected to the router is the easiest and most reliable sollution...i'd choose that option and get rid of any hardwear that doesn't fit into the equation...


Sorry you may have got it wrong. My idea was to have my studio machines crossover-ed by ethernet and also to connect by wireless. Also the NAS is not wired to the router but to the ethernet port at the back of a wireless bridge (WET54G).

Edited by Sumit, 15 November 2007 - 08:15 AM.

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#7
dsenette

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SITUATION (A):
- Two studio computers and the NAS Drive wired to the WRT54G router.This is for better throughput and security.
- The general PC and the laptop having their own wireless adaptors can connect to the internet and also share files/folders wirelessly.
- That leaves me with the WET54G bridge and the two WUSB54G wireless adaptors that I purchased for the studio PCs. I feel these would become redundant unless someone can give me an idea of creatively using them.

i was refering to this idea which you suggested in your first post...i know that you said you'd prefer the other to avoid wasted equipment....but your other plan (crossovers and wireless for other access) is more complex than it needs to be....especially if the only advantage is that you don't have extra equipment lying around
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#8
Sumit

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It just makes it harder to unplug and plug stuff in when you do have to connect to the internet or NetCenter or printer or laptop


I did not understand this. Why do I need to unplug to be able to connect to the internet. Why cant I leave the ethernet crossover cable connected and yet go on the internet using the WUSB54G?
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#9
The Admiral

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I apologize. I didn't realize the USB part of the WUSB54G actually meant USB. :) However, I still think that wiring your network is the best solution.
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#10
Sumit

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Yeah I agree totally that Situation A is the preferred one as you all said, but given the situation I just need to know if Situation B is workable or not. Obviously I spent some good amount of money (though under wrong advice).

One more thing, since the NAS Drive (WD NetCenter) is effectively wirelessly connected through the Wireless Bridge WET54G to the wireless router, would it impact backup of data?
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#11
The Admiral

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Yes, situation B is workable. But not recommended. You will see better results out of a wired network. If nothing else, wire your house and sell the hardware you didn't use. Is there no return policy for these components at the store from which you bought them?

Although you can wirelessly bridge the NAS, it is just as easy (maybe easier!) to wire it into the router. With a wireless connection, you lose thoroughput speed and risk packet loss or jittering. Also, depending on where the wireless router and NAS are, you may experience connection problems. I can't use my laptop's wireless in my studio because of the sheer amount of interference when the studio is running.
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#12
dsenette

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agreed! wired is the easiest and most reliable way to do what you're wanting...wireless would work...and your whole theory of crossovers COULD work (though...at that point it would be easier to just do EVERYTHING wireless)....it's been my experience that wired networking is ALWAYS easier
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#13
Sumit

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I understand from Linksys that the two crossovered PCs can only go wireless using their independent USB adaptors if either the LAN cable is physically disconnected or the LAN connection is disabled in the software.

If this is true, is there a simple way to do the changeover without struggling behind the computer etc.?
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#14
dsenette

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...i think your crossover idea is going to cause you more trouble than it's worth...
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#15
Sumit

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To be very honest I have already appreciated your combined viewpoints but for the fact that I am stuck with some dollars spent and the equipment are still lying unused.

Moreover once everything is hardwired to the router, the router then shifts to BR3 my studio (see the drawing in earlier posts). THis would mean that equipment / Laptop in BR1 will have a poor signal, especially when the door of BR1 is closed (due to airconditioning).

So unless I am able to find some real creative ways of using the ethernet bridge I think I will go ahead with my proposed solution.
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