What's your music/audio setup, and what do you use it for?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by spoonie1972, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    Lots of users in here, just wondering what your setup is like, and what you do with it.

    I've shifted from recording bands/artists (still do some) to scoring.

    I've got an unorthodox setup in that I'm not doing things "the way" you're supposed to.

    Most people that run VEP5 use its built-in ethernet (requires gigabit) client, then use the host on another machine. The problem here, is that when you're in a production environment, you don't really have time to troubleshoot. If Logic crashes, it could be logic, something to do with memory, something to do w/ VEP5 client, core audio, OR, it could be something on the host end. It's too much to go wrong.

    So... I run my MBP like a 1990's atari. I have 256 midi channels setup through 16 channels of MidiOverLan (musiclab.com) - and everything goes out via ethernet to my slaves, which are running 64-bit VEP5 standalone (not client, not host, not server etc). The only thing that puts much strain on the 'master' computer is playing video, which means.. not much strain at all.

    In essence, my two mac pros are like old akai s900 samplers on super-steriods. All they do is run VEP5 and host up audio, which comes back into my laptop via ADAT lightpipe.

    Latency is very small but it's there - but i'm able to work with it when my advantages are:
    1. *when* logic crashes, i don't have to re-load ANY samples.
    2. when i'm finished with my work, i put the sample computers to sleep. upon wake, everything "just works"
    3. when i start a new project, i dont have to go hunting or loading sounds. It's all ready to go.

    On the hardware side, I have 3 motu 828's (funnily enough, a mk1, 2 and 3) which are clocked to my mytek stereo96 A/D converter (which has a fantastic low-jitter clock) via BNC. The mk1 is clocked by SPDIF as it has no BNC connector.

    When I have to record, one of the lightpipe connections gets switch over to my input gear which includes a Lucid 2448 (its old but it still sounds great!), a couple of api512 pre's and a great river pre. compressors include a FMR PBC-6a and borrowed distressors if i need more channels. Microphones are whatever I can get my hands on, usually something decent.

    Monitoring comes by a pair of BM6A's and "junky monitors" by the Behringer (omg, i own and use Behringer gear!) auratone copies.

    There's probably a bunch of stuff i'm missing but that's the gist of it.

    Happy to discuss how my setup works if anyone wants more info.

    So, how and what do you guys work on? :)


  2. macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    My home rig:

    Mac Mini>>FiiO E17>>Arcam Alpha 8 are he primary components, driving either a pair of Wharfedale 9.1 speakers or Philips Fidelio L1 headphones.

    Mobile rig:

    Modded 5th Gen iPod Video>>JDSLabs C421 portable amplifier. My current portable headphones of choice are the Sennheiser HD25-1 II for on-ears and Shure SE215 Limited Edition IEMs.

    Nothing noteworthy gets done with my setups, just good old media consumption [=
  3. macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2012

    Purely for consumption. I live in an apartment so nice floorstanders are a no-go.

    This set up of iMac -> Audinst USB Dac & Headphone amp -> Sennheiser HD598 is very nice indeed.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Feb 28, 2012
    United States
    I'm building a room to use as a home studio, but that will not be finished until Fall. For now what I primarily use is my headphone listening setup.
    head-fi setup.png
  5. fastlanephil, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013

    macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2007
    I'm just using a 2011 27" iMac i5 8GB 1TB HD and a 13" 2009 MacBook Pro I just them for composing as a hobby right now.

    I have a Yamaha digital piano and a Axion 49 2nd gen. for keyboard controllers. A Tascam USB audio/MIDI interface a Shure 58 Beta and a cheap vocal mic. I also have a Fender Tele, a Martin D-16 and a cheap lapsteel. I'm thinking of getting another Martin D-35 which I use to play. I use the comfy pro model AKG closed back headphones but want a pair of open back also.

    I have a pair of Event TR-8 monitors that I bought used. I might trade those in for a smaller near field monitors as I moved a woman in and I'm working in a small office space now and not my living room with the nice view. You know how it goes. :D

    Update: I moved my monitors and now they sound much better. It would cost $900 to replace them.

    I use Metro 7 as my main DAW and I also have Studio One Producer. I have most of the Garritan libraries, most of the IK Multimedia libraries including Amplitude 3 and CSR, three pianos and some other instruments by SampleTekk, Ni's full Kontakt with the factory library, LASS First Chair, EWQLSO Silver and Spaces. I can't remember what else.

    I'm going to install Windows 7 on a Boot Camp partition this weekend so I can use some Windows only software like Clone Ensemble which works great for creating a chorus with lyrics if you sing well and have a decent voice. I'm also interested in Avanna, the new Vocaloid3.

    I'm interested in going the VE Pro route also but I'll have to look into a modification of it also.

    Here's a link to a Avanna demo video. It's really pretty amazing for a Vocaloid. There are other better audio demos available fronm resellers like Best Service.

  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I do most of my music composition and arranging on my Yamaha Motif XF8. I also have a Yamaha CP33 I use for practicing and gigs. I use a Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 with a pair of Yamaha HS80Ms at home, and a MOTU UltraLite MK3 for live performances. I mix and master with Pro Tools 10 and I use Apple Mainstage when I play in musical theatre pit orchestras. Computer is a rMBP.
  7. macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2015
    Hi Spoonie - I'm actually just about to set up a very similar system. MacProTower with lots of RAM and SSDs running VEP, then Mac Mini running Logic. Also steering clear of the server, using MIDIoverLan and two Firestudios passing 16 channels of audio over ADAT Lightpipe. (They have 2 ADAT ports each.)

    My concern is, will the benefits outweigh things like...

    What if I want to process individual channels (put a special EQ on the Trumpet, etc.) If all my orchestral stuff is grouped, don't I have less flexibility?

    (I've considered soloing one horn in VEP, then printing it as Audio in Logic to add FX, but then WHEN I have to make changes, I have to keep starting over.)

    Also, without the Ethernet option, I lose real time bouncing. I keep wondering if it's worth it.

    Another thing I was considering was keeping the Server version -- doesn't that allow me more flexibility? Just not sure how much audio will pass through ethernet without bottlenecking.

    Any thoughts? Also, I'm in Toronto too. Would love to compare notes. I know a SERIOUS power user in T.O. who has this setup too, but uses MADI so he has WAY more channels. I'm trying to do it a bit "on the cheap."


  8. KevWind, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

    macrumors newbie


    Nov 7, 2015
    I use my home recording system for music production.
    I record mostly acoustic guitar, vocal , and midi. Original singer songwriter and instrumental compositions.

    My studio is in the attic of my home.

    My system is:
    Mid 2010 Mac Pro 6 core 3.33 Ghz Westmere OSX (Mavericks 10 .9.5)
    DAW is Pro Tools HD Native (11.2.3) via Pcie card
    Reason (8.3.1) slaved via ReWire to PTHDN.
    Avid HD Omni interface
    A Designs MP2A two channel tube/SS hybrid, mic pre
    IGS TubeCore 3U two channel tube, mastering compressor.
    Bricasti M7 Stereo Reverb two channel, processor
    Amphion One 18 studio monitors, Amphion 100 digital amplifier.
    Sennheiser HD 600 mixing Headphones, Sennheiser HD 280 tracking Head phones
    Akai MPK 49 midi keyboard controller


  9. Gochugogi, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015

    macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    My setup is really simple compared to most of you: Mini i7, MOTU Ultralite, matched KM-184 mics and M-Audio BX5 monitors. I mainly record myself playing classical guitar solos and duets. No multi-track, just live stereo with the KM-184 in a X/Y configuration. I shoot the videos with a Canon 70D (& a bunch of softboxes) and record audio straight into Bias Peak Pro, syncing in PP. Here's one my wife and I did last week:

  10. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    Mark, I was logged out for the longest time so I only saw your post now.

    I guess the setup i'm using has its advantages and disadvantages. If you're in mass-writing mode having a mega-template can save all kinds of time. The amount of work you can complete in a short amount of time is astounding. Yes, there are some limitations, but nothing is stopping you from running something local if it's outside of the template. Some massaging may be required for latency etc. YMMV.

    If that power user is Neil - he's the guy that help me set up my system.


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