Helpful ReplyComputer in closet?

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Leizer
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2018/04/27 19:21:57 (permalink)

Computer in closet?

This autumn I'm going to build a studio with a guest loft bed at the wall. Under the bed will be a 2m x 0,9m closet space with around 1,30m height for mainly cases , stands and instruments not fit for the room. I have a pretty noisy computer to record close to, so I'm thinking of putting the computer in the closet as well. The studio desk with interface , monitors, usb hub etc. will be around 3-4m from there.
 
Is this really a good idea? What do I have to think about (complications/workflow/long cables - quality loss/everything on USB hubs)? I can have the closet door open when not recording so it doesn't overheat. I usually just physically turn the computer on, the rest is done from the keyboard /mouse.
 
Anyone with similar setup?

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tlw
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/04/28 02:15:29 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Leizer 2018/04/28 19:27:08
I wouldn’t put a USB audio interface on a USB hub, but MIDI stuff thst connects by USB should be happy enough connected to a hub.

Maximum USB cable length might be an issue, you’re usually OK to about 5 metres/15 feet, but beyond that it generally needs a powered hub at the end of the 15 foot cable to act as a “booster” if more range is needed. A powered hub should allow another 15 feet of cables and so on.

Video cable length really depends on what system the monitor uses - HDMI is again usually OK to around 5 metres.

Overheating strikes me as something to be concerned about. Check there’s adequate airflow through the case even when the closet is open. Space to the rear as well as the front is needed, and watch for hot air getting trapped in the top of the closet.

You’ll need to effectively block sound from escaping through the holes for cables, even small gaps can let a lot of sound out.

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bitflipper
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/04/28 14:13:52 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Leizer 2018/04/28 19:37:35
Lots of people enclose their computers to keep them quiet. It's certainly do-able, as long as you take care to have adequate ventilation to avoid heat buildup. (Although I would expect overheating to be less of a problem in Sweden than, say, Texas.) I'd try to find a way to place some vent holes above the computer.
 
As tlw notes, openings do somewhat defeat sound isolation. That, however, can be easily mitigated by thoughtful placement of those openings. They need not be immediately above the computer, as heat will find its way out even if the exit path is circuitous. In fact, circuitous airflow is a standard method for reducing sound transmission in heating and air-conditioning systems.
 
As for cable openings, just wrap some insulation around them. The frequencies you're trying to dampen are easily absorbed by fiberglass insulation. Consider laying in some rigid fiberglass along the inside walls of the closet.
 
USB cable length might be your biggest challenge. In my experience, long runs can be unreliable, even at the official maximum of 5m/15ft. Invest in a very high-quality cable, obviously. But if there is any way to get the interface closer, that would be best. For me it meant moving my whole rack to the opposite side of the desk - a major undertaking but it allowed me to use a shorter cable.
 
If that's not possible, you can use a USB repeater. There are three types. This one uses Cat5 cable. It will introduce a very slight bit of latency, but not enough to be concerned about. There are also active cables and repeater boxes with passive cables. Here's some reading material (pdf) that might help.


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#3
Leizer
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/04/28 19:53:34 (permalink)
Thanks tlw and Bitflipper, a lot of great info supplied here.
 
If I have the interface on the closest side of the table, it means the audio cables from the interface have to go around the chair somehow. Solvable, but maybe not pretty. If it don't work, it's good to know that there is  a thing as a USB repeater to have as a emergency solution.
 
It is an attic that is going to be built above our flat this autumn, but table placement depends on what and where the windows will be placed. If our planning gets accepted, the table can be adjacent to the closet.

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gswitz
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/04/28 23:36:23 (permalink)
Seems cool and i know lots of people do this. I have a quiet computer in the room. I have never noticed it on a track. Rain, birds, hvac yes. But not the computer.

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Jesse G
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/04/29 19:39:29 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby mettelus 2018/04/29 22:02:08
Liezer,
 
If the noise coming from your computer is caused by your computer fans, then you may want to invest in quieter fans. Instead of placing the computer in the closet, you may want to change all of the fans and purchases some extremely quieter fans.  
 
Also think about your hard drives. The older HDD made noise and were housed in metal or plastic racks, but still made noise.   The SSD's have no moving parts and can be housed in the computer by using robber bands to hold the drives into place.  This stops the rattling and noise from the drives. Also, you may want to make sure you computer is places on rubber support feet as to prevent if from rocking.
 

Peace,
Jesse G. A fisher of men  <><
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BassDaddy
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/05/10 15:39:00 (permalink)
SSD's not only give you a quieter computer, they run a lot cooler. That gives the average person a lot more flexibility on placement. And they are lots faster.

It's Bass, not Bass.
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/05/14 14:43:24 (permalink)
The thing with heat is that you need to be sure it can dissipate (not build up over hours of use).
As long as that's not happening... you'll be just fine.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Computer in closet? 2018/05/14 14:46:49 (permalink)
I've used machines in closets in the distant past.
I much prefer a quiet computer that I can place anywhere.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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