Battlestations

Published on September 7th, 2012 | by Jonathan Beck

9

Bro Cave: Sean

This week’s bro cave comes to us from our behind-the-scenes technician and resident chief audiophile, Sean. If you’re into music, brace yourself. It takes a lot to make me jealous of another nerd’s workspace, but Sean’s setup has done it in spades. Make sure to click through the gallery below to see all the pictures!

Hey kiddos, Sean here, one of the behind-the-sceners here at KBMOD. Though I’m not really into making videos or anything crazy like that (yet), I do love PC gaming. I also play guitar and record bands at my house, and have obsessions with retro aesthetics. So, appropriately, I have a very different bro cave than what’s usually seen here.

When I was about 9, my parents started letting me use the family Commodore 64, which I still have and occasionally play on (so I guess you could say I have always had a certain affinity for gaming with a keyboard). Not long after that, I started making my own games in BASIC…which is where I learned lots of terrible spaghetti-code programming techniques. Game-wise, I went from there largely into consololes and spent most of my high school and college years there, with one important exception: I played lots of DOOM 2, Warcraft 2, Duke Nukem 3D, and Descent on a LAN with a group of friends. We would usually either sneak in and play in the local college computer lab, or one friend would get us into his Dad’s work’s CAD lab at 2 AM. It was those late-night gaming sessions blasting oceans of Cacodemons together that planted the seed for my love of keyboard and mouse.

So, on to the bro cave itself:

My PC is a hodgepodge of new and old parts that I’m gradually upgrading. The case is actually an old 4U server rack chassis that was discarded from work (I work in an IT department). The chassis has two SATA drive bays with built-in cooling fans and a backplane that allows for hot-swapping (though I seldom do that).

Here are the rest of the PC specs:

PSU: Corsair HX850 (the pictures are out of date; I returned the 1050W when I realized it was way overkill)
Mobo: MSI P67A-GD65
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K (overclocked to 4.2GHz)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100, awkwardly mounted on the outside rear of the chassis
RAM: 16GB Corsair DDR3-1333
HDDs: 4x Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM (1.5TB, 1.5TB, 750GB, 750GB)
GPUs: 2x Nvidia GTX 560 Ti (SLI) – will probably look into getting a 670 before too long
Audio interface: Echo Audio Layla 3G, linked via Lightpipe to an Alesis AI3 (allows me to record 16 channels of high-quality audio at once)
Keyboard: IBM Model M (I will only ever use these, I love their loud mechanical keys and no-frills layout. They annoy the shit out of anyone else who’s in the room.)
Mouse: Logitech G9x
Controlololer: SNES controller with a USB adapter… love this for emulators.
Monitor: ViewSonic VA2231wm (22″) suspended on a VESA swivel-mount
Webcam: Some crappy old Logitech thing I found in a box of junk at work

In addition to the PC, there is some other gear that graces the cave:

Speakers: Mackie HR824’s
Headphones: AKG K240M’s (not pictured)
Mic: Shure SM7 (among others)
Mixer: The big mixer you see in the pics is an Auditronics 110 “grandson”, originally a broadcast board from the early 80s. Came from a local radio station who sold it for $100. It has undergone a lot of upgrades and modifications.
Turntable: Technics SL-Q300 (direct drive)
Guitar: Gibson ES-335 (made in 1981)
Amp: Fender Vibro Champ, cranking out a whopping 6 watts (perfect for recording though)

Other miscellaneous stuff:
A random assortment of compressors, EQs and other hardware for music production
A TT/Bantam patchbay that I hand wired (for interconnecting gear on the fly)
A Commodore 64, of course… love making noise with it :)
A couple of reel-to-reel tape decks, one 2-track, and one 8-track

Oh, of course I should mention that I run only Linux! Arch Linux, to be precise. It runs maybe 70-80% of the Windows games I’ve tried, including: BL:R, CS:GO, CoD4, Torchlight, Skyrim, TF2, Bioshock, Hard Reset, and several others. The system is so streamlined that when I boot it up, it’s only using around 500MB of RAM, leaving the rest for games and/or audio production software. I use both Steam and Desura to play a variety of AAA and indie titles.

Well that’s about it, hope this wasn’t too far out there!


9 Responses to Bro Cave: Sean

  1. Dan Dan says:

    A beast of a cave, I shall see it in person tomorrow!

  2. PotentiallyE says:

    Awesome setup!! I’m very jealous. Love the 335

  3. Desng7 says:

    sean i bow to your greatness

  4. COYS says:

    Haha, I use an IBM Model M too. The spacebar is starting to go out, but I love it, and I’ve used it ever since I first learned how to use a computer way back in the day.

    I’m considering getting a Ducky Shine II when they come out, though.

  5. beardedvillain says:

    Absolutely amazing. I love the style of your keyboard xD

  6. DaySparrow says:

    So, for someone who is looking for mics for recording their music, what is your recommendation? Love the cave.

    • seanbutnotheard grampappy says:

      The Shure SM57 is the industry workhorse (or the SM58 for a more vocal-friendly version). You can never have too many of those lying around. They’ll record anything well, some things great, and always predictably… plus they’re not terribly expensive; most places have them for around $90. From there, you can get into better/more specialized stuff, but it depends what specifically you want to focus on recording.

  7. Salty Nipples says:

    I have a similar setup, Debian/Win7 dual boot. I use a Model M and a G500(I know yours is a G9). I just really like talking while playing, that’s the only restriction with the ModM. I love my tiks and taks aswell as the awesome feeling of buckling springs, but in your opinion is it worth it to buy a quieter keyboard for gaming..

    • seanbutnotheard grampappy says:

      Yeah the model M has made its way into many a Skype conversation… but I do really like it for gaming because it feels so precise. I’m sure a modern mechanical keyboard would deliver a similar experience without the noise, but I’m just stuck in my backwards ways. :)

hexidecimal

Jonathan BeckJonathan

I’ll drink a beer with you at a party. I know hardware things and enjoy talking about them. I am still your new best friend and most trusted confidant.


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