Mac Setups: Mac Pro Audio Production Studio
This weeks featured Mac setup is used by audio producer Nathaniel T., this is a killer setup and there’s a lot of awesome hardware to cover, so let’s jump right to it and learn more…
What do you use your Apple gear for?
My Mac setup is used for audio production and front-end development.
The Mac Pro is a monster of a production machine. I was a Windows user years ago because of financial limitations and because it felt really great to piece together your own machine. I made the switch to Mac when I discovered Core Audio and native aggregate device chaining (back when that mattered) and haven’t turned back ever since.
You can have a listen to a few tracks from the studio here.
The Macbook is primarily used for front-end development when I have the time. I love learning and making new things; and creating something from nothing, be it applications or compositions, always has my interest.
Tell us a bit about your Mac setup
My main machine is a 2009 Nehalem-based Mac Pro (2.66 quad). Though it’s five years old, I’m still impressed with it’s performance! One notable upgrade however was RAM and an SSD which made the Mac Pro feel brand new!
I also have a 13″ Retina Macbook Pro that can be used for mobile recording but it rarely performs that function.
Getting a bit more specific about the studio hardware… well, in the words of Chris Hansen, “Have a seat.”
Main Production Rig:
- 2009 Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad – running OS X Mountain Lion
- 12GB RAM
- 500GB SSD – Mac OS Drive
- 1TB HD – Recording Volume
- 640GB HD – Time Machine
- nVidia GT120 Stock Video Card
- 24″ Apple Cinema LED Display
- UAD-2 Solo PCIe for expansion
- UAD-2 Duo PCIe for expansion
- 2013 Macbook Pro Retina 13″ 2.5GHz i5 – running OS X Mavericks
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
My main weapons of choice:
- Presonus Studio One V2 Pro
- Native Instruments Komplete 8 Blue Box
- Universal Audio UAD Plugins
Other goodies not necessarily audio related:
I use other things too but the above covers what I use the most.
I’ve used mics from Nuemann, Telefunken, Peluso and all the big names but I can tell you that sometimes a “cheaper” mic works just as well. For any aspiring musicians out there, a very important part is definitely the microphone but, in my opinion, a great preamp can really polish a less expensive microphone as well.
- Rode NT2 (the old original one — love it)
- Audio Technica AT2020 (for voiceovers)
- CAD GXL2200 x2 (this is the exception, definitely not great microphones but I got a deal on them. I mic my little yamaha amp with one. Works nicely.).
- Universal Audio LA-610
- Focusrite Liquid Preamps x2
- Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
- Yamaha HS50m
- Yamaha HS10w Sub
- Alesis M1 Active MkII
- Gibson Les Paul Studio
- Ibanez Concord
- Taylor 114e
- Yamaha TRH5
- Novation Impulse
- M-Audio Venom
- M-Audio Oxygen 25 (Mainly for transport control)
What are some apps that you use most often?
I use Presonus’ Studio One software primarily. I find it to be a great mix between Pro Tools and Logic which is great for a composer like myself. Paired with UAD-2 hardware from those lovely people at Universal Audio makes my current recording rig pretty powerful.
Native Instruments is another company that I’ve handed over a lot of money to. They make some of the greatest Synths and Samplers on the market. Love those guys.
I also use a lot of the common apps like Chrome, Transmit, The Dropbox App and some others. These little guys are indispensable! I can’t imagine getting the necessary chores done without these applications.
Lastly, development requires only a simple text editor. I use an Alpha version of Textmate currently and it’s really becoming something special. When the final version is released, you can bet I’ll be picking it up.
Do you have any specific tips you feel like sharing?
I have one critical tip. When you are using Chrome, make sure that the “Warn before Quitting” option is ticked. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve closed the app before finally turning that little feature on.
Do you have a sweet Apple or Mac setup you want featured on OSXDaily? Go here, answer some questions, and send us a few pictures! If you just want to browse through past featured setups, you can do that too.