Mac Setups: The Studio of a Music Producer

Jan 12, 2014 - 11 Comments

music-producer-mac-setup

This weeks featured Apple gear setup comes to us from Peter L., a professional music producer based in Manhattan. Let’s learn a bit about more about this pro studio setup, and what essential apps are used for both the OS X and iOS side of things.

Tell us a bit about your setup hardware?

I’m running a variety of hardware, all which contributes to my music making in some way:

The iPad and the iPhone 4S are basically used as external synthesizers, using some of the apps mentioned below.

music-studio-imac

What do you use your Apple gear for?

I recently graduated from Full Sail as a Music Production major with a focus in Film Scoring. After graduation, I moved to NYC to see if I can break into the world of independent film scoring.

For my personal music I compose Ambient music, tinged with world flavors. Being a traditional woodwind player I have all sorts of wind instruments I use in my compositions, as well as using the wind controllers/synthesizers by Akai and Yamaha to add more texture to my music.

I also dabble in composition for video games, and have worked with installation music as well. 

music-producer-imac-setup

What are your essential apps for the Mac and iOS?

On the Mac, I can’t live without Logic or Native Instruments. I am currently using Apple Logic Pro X and Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 9. I also have a gazillion other music making plug ins and apps that make little squiggly noises here and there. Some of the Indy developers are making the most astounding programs. I love generative music, and Nodal is such a fun tool. Photosounder is a gem and a steal at the price. It’s amazing for playing with frequencies of sound, and for creating unworldly soundscapes. Yikes, I feel like I just gave away one of my secret tools in my arsenal!

On the iPad, it is an embarrassment of riches for music makers. The camera connection is essential. But the synths from Korg, Moog, Camel Audio, Propellerhead, Waldorf are essential. But just like on the Mac, the indy developers are coming out with some phenomenal tools. For instance, csGrain by Boulanger Labs is so much fun. On my iPhone, I have so fallen in love with Barcodas, which scans bar codes and turns them into a musical phrase.

There are DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstation) now for the iPad, which can turn it into a self contained music making machine. Using inter-application MIDI and Audio, there are also a ton of step sequencers and samplers as well. I have almost all of them.

Do you have any tips or productivity tricks you want to share?

It’s been said many times, but it’s SO TRUE: Thou shalt learn thy Key Commands. When you are in a session with a client, and they are paying you with their hard earned cash, you don’t have time to diddle around with your mouse. Even in your own personal work, you can save so much time by learning your key commands.

As I said earlier there are a wealth of riches for apps for Apple platforms. It’s so easy to get lost in everything that’s available to you. The best thing one can do for creativity in my opinion is to get all Waldenesque and simplify. Slim down your sonic arsenal to a handful of apps and learn them like the back of your hand. You’ll find tricks in apps that you never thought they could do, if you learn them very well.

Also, be nice to one another, it’ll make your life so much more pleasant.

Want your Mac setup to be featured on OSXDaily? Answer some questions about your gear and what you use it for, and send in a couple of pictures to osxdailycom@gmail.com !

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac Setups

11 Comments

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  1. James says:

    Great gear, I’m amateur but would be thrilled to play around with all of that.

    But no acoustic soundproofing? Either this studio has no neighbors, or the producer hates his neighbors… LOL

  2. GEORGE RUBIN says:

    Mac Setups: The Studio of a Music Producer

    Would it be possible to have this Music Producer review and show this studio to our Mac Users Group here in Naples, Fl for one of our meetings. This could be handled remotely using Messages on the Mac.

    Thanks so much,

    George Rubin

  3. GEORGE RUBIN says:

    Mac Setups: The Studio of a Music Producer

    Would it be possible to have this Music Producer review and show this studio to our Mac Users Group here in Naples, Fl for one of our meetings. This could be handled remotely using Messages on the Mac.

    Thanks so much,

    George Rubin

  4. Janos says:

    What keyboard is that on the right?

  5. David says:

    Cool article. Definitely agree about simplification. There’s an abundance of gear, tools and apps these days that make the overall process of music production and creation quicker and more efficient. But quicker doesn’t always mean better. It’s easy to get lost trying to achieve some kind of gear or setup nirvana. Also the gear needed will vary from person to person to some degree depending on their predominant style and sound. Find the tools that you need to get the sounds out of your head properly and then get to the business of creation. Wishing you much success Peter.

  6. Chris says:

    I call hoax! I see no “Beats by Dre” in the pictures. He can’t possibly be a music producer! :)

  7. Terry says:

    Could you comment on your monitoring setup. I have a system very close to yours and have been experiencing latency issues when monitoring overdubs.

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