# Sound Design Software

#### Hughesie

##### Well-Known Member
any one heard of some sound design software that can do rack designs and schematics that is free

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#### Edrick

##### Well-Known Member
I've got the template one for Omni however they only go upto 22U Racks, and not 42U that's a bit disappointing

Edit: Well I made my own 42U one and it takes 3 pages to be usable, I guess that's why there was none included.

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#### Andy_Leviss

##### Active Member
I've got the template one for Omni however they only go upto 22U Racks, and not 42U that's a bit disappointing
Edit: Well I made my own 42U one and it takes 3 pages to be usable, I guess that's why there was none included.

LOL, part that, and part that I did it off standard stock at the shop I work at (which is also pretty typical of the other NYC shops), which tops out at 22. More of a touring/production bent than an install situation

If there's enough demand, I'm happy to add bigger sizes, but as you said (within limits of page size) it's easy enough to add your own custom sizes.

I also don't know when/which version you downloaded, but last week I uploaded a couple updates to the template set to include a template with a title block (including variables for page/canvas title, date printed, and page number/totals) and tweaks to the stencils (the early version had untagged racks; I updated it to include a number strip for spaces alongside the rack to make designing and building a bit easier, especially when you need to skip spaces). The latest version has separate master canvasses for 1"-1' for rack drawings as well as no scale for when I add a stencil set for signal diagrams (unless anybody else has a set they want to contribtue before I get to do it!).

FWIW, OmniGraffle's no longer included with new macs, only OmniOutliner is. Also, the stencils work with both versions (although I don't know if the texture on the vent panels shows up right in the basic version, since you can only design the texture fills in Pro), but the templates use Master Canvasses, which are a Pro only feature. I'm not sure how they'd import into the regular version, whether it'd just ignore them or flatten them out to the main drawing canvas, which would be workable (but a pain).

It's worth noting that if you're a student, educational pricing for the Pro version is only slightly more than the regular version at normal price.

For the Windows users, check out Middle Atlantic's RackTools, as well as Microsoft's Visio. There are templates a-plenty for signal flow diagrams, pit layouts, etc. for Visio, I'm not sure about rack drawings as I haven't looked in a while. Many of these are in the resources pages at Richmond Sound's website, http://theatre-sound.com

There's a zip file there with the stencil (in the future, stencils), template, and a readme with details on using it, and a history of the changes to the stencil/template.

--A

P.S.-Does anybody know of a decent freeware drafting font? OpenType is better, but TrueType is ok. I had one called Technical that came with CorelDRAW on my PC years ago, but it's long lost. I'm not entirely happy with the font I'm using for the template now, but I like it to have some personality

#### Andy_Leviss

##### Active Member
Some further thoughts on free/cheap...

I know some designers (the owner of my shop, included) who do all their rack drawings and even signal diagrams in Excel or another spreadsheet program, using box borders and lines creatively to make it happen.

With OpenOffice (or your port of choice for Mac), you've got a pretty full-featured spreadsheet that would probably do the trick for free. It's not as pretty or simple as a diagram/drawing based program like OmniGraffle or Visio (which are, IMHO, vastly simpler than full-fledged CAD programs), but if the price is right, it's workable.

#### museav

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Departed Member
I believe that Middle Atlantic offers a rack design program on their web site that allows for limited rack layout capability for generic products, but not pretty drawings of specific products.

#### Andy_Leviss

##### Active Member
P.S.-Does anybody know of a decent freeware drafting font? OpenType is better, but TrueType is ok. I had one called Technical that came with CorelDRAW on my PC years ago, but it's long lost. I'm not entirely happy with the font I'm using for the template now, but I like it to have some personality

For a much belated answer to my own question, there are a ton of comic book fonts available at http://blambot.com

Blambot provides the fonts that come with Comic Life for Mac users familiar with it (those fonts are normally only available in Comic Life because of licensing issues). Most of the same fonts, and many more, can be downloaded for free in various combinations of TrueType, OpenType, and Type 1 Postscript for Win and Mac from the website, and many more for \$20-30 (including one based on one of the creators' father's lettering--his dad was an architect--and another from an engineer).

I downloaded a handful to play with; some are a bit too goofy for technical drawings, but there are plenty that are clear enough to read and add a little hand-drawn personality to staid rack drawings. When I have a chance, I'm going to write and ask if I can redistribute one of the fonts with the rack template, just have to pick one!

--A

CB Mods