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

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

  1. spoonie1972 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. Gofre 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. KimJongEun 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. Destroysall 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

    fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    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. bwhli 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. markalex49 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

    KevWind macrumors member


    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

    Gochugogi 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. spoonie1972 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.

  11. jacobluecke macrumors member


    Dec 19, 2007
    Jefferson City, MO
    My "studio" has been the corner of the basement near the electrical box for the last several years. It's not much to look at, but I have a lot of fun here. Hoping to build a real studio this winter.

    Like Gochugogi (awesome classical duet by the way! I really like that), I record guitar with matched KM-184s which I really like. The mics go into an Apogee Duet 2 which goes into my quad mini i7 running Logic Pro X. I have the USB keyboard for midi work. Monitors are JBL Control 2Ps.

    Definitely a hobbyist, though I manage to make a little money from licensing my tunes.

    Here is the most recent song I wrote in this studio:


  12. kapp2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2015
    Is that Yamaha Guitars :) ?
  13. jacobluecke macrumors member


    Dec 19, 2007
    Jefferson City, MO
    Yep, good eye! A vintage FG-300 six string and then a newish Yamaha 12-string. Great guitars!
  14. kapp2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2015
    Awesome :D got Yamaha F310 guitar myself. Very good :)! Couldnt beleaive it was a budget model xD awesome sound :)
  15. markalex49 macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2015
    Hi Spoonie - yes, looks like we're consulting the same guru. Neil is a genius beyond belief.

    I actually reconfigured this week after finishing a big project, and I'm back to the server using ethernet for everything. I upgraded the slave Mac and now there are no glitches. EWQL Play, NI Kontakt with Spitfire, etc. and all instruments seem to be happily working away.

    And I've found that via Ethernet, if I screen share, my library drives can serve both Macs, so I can work locally without having to use double the disc storage. Just have to figure out dual authorizations now.

    Would love to compare notes. I'm here -- www.905music.com. And you ?


  16. Cayden macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2014
    For recording I use a very strange set up. For guitars we use just a straight line in the with the steinburg ur44. The vocals are also straight in using the same interface that inputs them into the computer through usb. For drums, I mic all the drums individually without overheads and just let the cymbals bleed through to the rest of the ics. i have a small mixer that I use just for the toms that is outputted to another mixer that is for the snare and bass drum. I use that Behringer mixer to process all the EQing from the drums and getting a straight stereo input to the computer through usb. I have an aggregate device set up for both inputs and a multi-output device for them as well. I use a MacBook Pro and Logic Pro X for the mix down and the mastering of tracks. For listening to music I took an old guitar amp that i had around that has 3 inputs, which are hooked up to my record player (Audio Technica), my CD player, and bluetooth kit. The amp outputs to another smaller speaker to get bigger low end tones. The vinyls sound great, as do the CDs, and obviously the bluetooth is the lowest quality as it is just getting music off of my phone
  17. kapp2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2015
  18. snaky69, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

    snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    QNAP NAS containing all my library --> cat 6 ethernet cable goes upstairs into an old laptop plugged into my living room's TV --> JRiver Media Player --> AB System HK (don't buy from them, quality is good, service is poop) USB cable --> Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus --> Take Five Audio 3ft NEI-3004 XLR's deep cryo treated --> Cambridge Audio Azur 840A --> Some nice twisted pair Belden 12Ga cables I soldered myself with Mundorf Supreme Gold --> Focal Chorus 836V.

    Use it for everything, from movies to music to TV.

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