Virtual Instrument Libraries | The Hybrid Score

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Gary Eskow



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Kevin Kliesch

Kevin Kliesch

Please describe your current workstation and compare it to the system you were using five years ago.
Five years ago I had nine computers running GigaStudio. Logic Pro was my DAW, which, of course, ran on a Mac, and I had some outboard gear, as well. Today, I can do 10 times more with only two networked computers tied to a 12-core Mac Pro. RAM capacity has expanded dramatically, and 64-bit plug-ins have been a game-changer. It’s getting very close to being transparent, where every sound you need is available at all times.

O’Malley: I’m currently running Logic 9 on an 8-core Mac Pro with 32 gigs of RAM and SSD drives. I run a fair amount of instruments in Kontakt and EXS within Logic. I also have four slave PCs with SSD drives hooked up over Lightpipe to my Mac. I run all PLAY libraries and a few more instances of Kontakt on the PCs. I may be the odd man out here, but five years ago my setup wasn’t that much different. The computers were just a lot slower with less RAM. I was hopeful when I purchased my latest Mac Pro that I would be closer to a single-computer setup. It seems the pace of computer development has been equaled by the increasing demands of the samples we use. I definitely still need slaves, at least for a large orchestral template.

Colin O’Malley

Colin O’Malley

Kliesch: Five years ago I ran three GigaStudio machines. My master computer was a Mac G5, and I ran Pro Tools on a Mac G4. In addition to these five computers, I had a MacBook Pro, which I used (and still do) as a spillover machine; I’ll stick Storm Drum on there, some synth libraries, the Forest Kingdom library. In short, I had six computers back then and my studio’s been streamlined down to two or three.

Furst: My current system consists of two Mac Pro Harpertown 3GHz 8-core computers, each with 24 gigs of RAM and 4 to 5 terabytes of storage space. One runs Logic,and occasionally Plogue Bidule behind it (for Verb organization via I/0 loop inserts on Logic buses). The other Mac Pro runs VE-PRO and Pro Tools. Pro Tools functions as a video playback solution, and I use it to print real-time stems from Logic’s bus outs for final mixing or delivery. Pro Tools receives MTC and MMC via MOLCP from Logic so the workflow is seamless. The Mac Pros are mirrored so in the event that one system goes down, I can work with the other in a single-computer configuration, which can load the same Logic template with a few frills disabled. My system uses only two computers and it’s far more powerful than the seven-computer array I used to run!

Pottorf: My current setup is a MacPro 8-core with 32 GB of RAM for my main DAW and five satellite Macs networked to my main Mac Pro. In the near-future I’ll be replacing my main Mac Pro with a new Mac Pro 1 2-core that has 96 GB of RAM. This new computer will allow me to retire all five of my satellite Macs. The new workstation will consist of just the Mac Pro 12 core and the Mac Pro 8-core, a net reduction of four computers.

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