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Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

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Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby Tweak on Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:53 am

Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform


http://tweakheadz.com/rigs.htm#Rig4

Who it is For:

Ideal for the Mac based home composer who want a completely software driven studio for electronica, film scores, small ensembles and other big projects with a minimum of hardware and wires.

Hookup example:

Simple really. The 828mk3 hooks up to your Mac's firewire port (1 cable). The new Mackie Control Pro will take a USB port. You mics, synths, and monitors connect to the MOTU. You can plug a guitar into the MOTU's combo jack input (2) and flick the switch to instrument. If you want to connect turntables you will need a separate phono preamp and connect that to any pair of MOTU line inputs.

Suggestions:

Mac Pro
Interface possibilities: Motu 828mk3
http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--MTU828MK3/sid--rigs
RME Fireface 800 or 400 http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--RMEFIREFACE/sid--rigs
Apogee Ensemble
Logic Studio http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--APLLOGICSTUDIO/sid--rigs
Mackie Control http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--MACMCUPRO/sid--rigs
Keyboard workstation or controller of choice

Monitors of choice:
Suggestions:
HR824MkII http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--MACHR824MKII/sid--rigs
DynAudio BM5 http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--DYNBM5A/sid--index

Down the road add
NI Komplete http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--NINKOMPLETE2/sid--rigs
UAD2

Tweak's Standard Classic Mic Picks
Rode NT2a (or alternate Large condenser)
Shure SM81 (or alternate small condenser)
(get two if you record drummers)
Sennheiser MD421, Re20 or SM7b (pick 1)
Shure SM57 (at least 1)

You can add premium preamps to upgrade this rig and I recommend supplementing the onboard preamps of the 828mk2 with some really good ones.
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby Tweak on Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:53 am

Discussion of Rig #4
The Mac Pro is now the standard for Mac based studios. One great thing about them is you can connect many video monitors and hard drives to the system, ensuring a maximum of eye candy (consider three--or four!-- 23" monitors side by side--awesome!) and enough storage options to store years and years of projects. As today's Macs are using Intel Core 2 Duo processors make sure that any 3rd party products you intend to use are up to speed. Software must have the "Universal" logo on them. The MOTU devices already compatible with the Intel Macs. MOTU interfaces and Apple computers have a great history of compatibility. Logic, of course, is Universal. NI's Komplete bundle has updated nearly all of its new synths to Universal Binary as of this writing. Wait till you hear the FM8, Akoustik Piano, Absynth4, Reaktor5 and other heavy soft synths on a system that can slice through them easily.

Logic pro is my preferred way to go here, though you could run Digital Performer 4 or run Pro Tools LE (if you get an digi 002 system). The MOTU 828mk3 is a super value as an interface with preamps, 10x10 analog i/o and ADAT lightpipe i/o. If you need 8 preamps, go with the MOTU 8 pre. If you are on a Mac you really can't go wrong with a MOTU interface. Just make sure it has the preamps and i/o you need. RME's Fireface makes an excellent higher-end alternative. Add the Mackie Control as a control surface if you want hardware to control your software mixer. Mackie control software was developed with Emagic (the company that originally made Logic) and it fits Logic like a glove.

Waves and Native Instruments fully support Apple's Core Audio. The Komplete5 gives you nearly all the great NI softsynths and soft samplers to augment Logic's impressive array. Waves Platinum is used by the pros. Note that the latest Macs are PCIe based. If you want to go with UAD-1 systems for plugins, make sure to get the PCIe version of the UAD-1 card, which is available now. I personally prefer the sound of the Universal Audio plugins.

A MacPro desktop system is not cheap, but you already knew that. Any MIDI keyboard will work, but I am a believer that you need at least one device that makes sounds outside of software. But its not necessary to get a full keyboard "workstation". If you get Logic and Komplete 4 you will have plenty of samplers. A Yamaha S90ES, with its 88keys, would really be the dream keyboard for the dream rig.
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby mark9500 on Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:13 am

Hi Tweak,

I have read your articles extensively over the last little while, and have learned much (I hope!)

Thought I'd publish progress on my own studio building efforts. Due to budget considerations, I'm a little lower spec'd than I'd like, but we have to live with what our partners will let us spend, I guess . . .

Currently, my home setup consists of:
Apple iMac 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB Memory (which seems to keep up reasonably well - though latency while recording needs to be monitored religiously);
MOTU Ultralite;
Mackie 1604 VLZ3 Mixer (while the MOTU provides 8 inputs, I like the Mackie's preamps, needed more inputs and a more versatile mixer for my live stuff too - just need another MOTU for the other 8!);
Logic Studio (I reckon this is the best deal in terms of cost - so much to offer for about AUD$600. I'm not half way through using it all yet.);
DBX 266 XL Compressor (which I use primarily for vocals - I use it for both monitoring and recording, but keep the dry recording track as well just in case);
Rode NT1-A (x2), several Shure 57s and 58s and a Senheisser E 602-II for drum kick; and,
Yamaha HS80M powered monitors.

There's lots more to get into should the opportunity (and $s) arise, but I'm fairly happy with the results I'm getting so far.

Mark
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby davidroseberry on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:59 am

^ ^ ^ wow.....that is sweet! do you have pics up here, Music Bear? I'd love to see it!
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby d4rkst4r123 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:43 am

How many channels could possibly be recorded at once with this rig?
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby Swami Digital on Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:18 am

It's very expandable I think. The 828mk3 and the FF800 both have 10 inputs + an additional 16 via ADAT so that would be a total of 26. Of course you would need preamps, and a/d converters for the additional channels by ADAT, and preamps for the line inputs on the interfaces. In retrospect, I could have saved myself some gear flipping if I had just started piecing a setup like this together from the start. :P

-D
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby d4rkst4r123 on Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:14 am

Yes same with me, I wish I hadn't gotten too much of the lower end gear, that's why now, I'm saving up and saving up more to get the highest I possibly can.
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Re: Rig #4 Dream Home "Mixerless" Software Studio--Mac Platform

Postby BasementX on Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:50 am

Thank you Tweakzz your website is amazing.. I will try to buy stuff on zzsound to support you..
here;s some questions (there's so many things brewing in my brains these days in regards to buying equipment)
I'm have a really tough time deciding on a MAC or PC.. Right now I'm running Cubase on a PC (built for me by a friend) and it runs beautifully.. The only programs I run on it are Cubase SE (stripped down old version of Cubase) and Battery 3. I have an edirol 24/96 audio interface, a Korg Triton Keyboard, a rhode NT-1 mic etc.. My PC was pretty nice when my friend built it 5 years ago (1 gig RAM, high end mother board, Pentium 4) I produce a ton of dance music (hip-hop, reggaeton, dance hall reggae etc..)...I also use it to make rough tracks for other kinds of music (rock/jazz etc).. I am getting tempted to buy a good "processor" software program (the universal audio software package) a guitar amp program, a few virtual synths, and the new Cubase 5. From researching it so far I think there's little chance my current computer could handle those programs. I want to get these programs to make my dance stuff sound polished and professional. Any advice on what I should do... I would really like to get a PC but it seems like MACS are more hassle free (this is good because I'm terrible at trouble shooting and fixing problems)and the price between the PCs and macs SEEM to be comparable.. Looking at PC audio labs and other similar "audio PC" sites (Sweetwater) the PCs I want are over $2000...

Any suggestions? Is there any way I can update my current PC to run these programs smoothly (I'm guessing not)? and is MAC really the more trouble free way to go? Is a $2500 PC more powerful than a $2500 MAc? It is difficult to find answers to these questions. I love my current PC but I wouldn't hesitate to try a new OS if it would run more smoothly in the long run..

Oh.. and .. I also have a store bought Sony Viao laptop with an intel core 2 duo cpu 2.0ghz 3gig ram (only a 5400rpm harddrive) that I don't do any recording on right now (strictly a PC to go online with).. I'm doubting the laptop would run all the software I want, but if anybody could think of a solution using my laptop I'm all ears.. I only record one track at a time (occassionally 2 or 3 tracks) so maybe I COULD get by with something like this (keep in mind the software I want to run listed above)..

As you all can tell I'm driving myself nuts with these decisions!! someone please help me!! my budget is anywhere from FREE (if you all can get me going with my current rig I can spend money on a sick microphone and a killer preamps for vocals) to $4000

here's some of the stuff I currently make if you were curious myspace.com/rexsbasement
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