It was time for a few changes regarding my Hackintosh (v2) used for the professional music studio work. Since today, my build is a very reliable and extremely stable machine, and it definitively meets all my requirements relating to processing power. However, the old GPU already used in my first Hackintosh (v1) is not supported by OS versions higher than High Sierra (10.13.6) and was outdated for a while. Consequently, I planned a significant GPU upgrade, add another SSD to my system and get a long-awaited ultra-wide, dual QHD 49″ curved monitor. Now my system is ready for current Mac OS updates, and I have a fantastic overview of a large number of channels in Pro Tool’s mix window without scrolling.Continue reading →
You probably may have heard someone saying that “the times of analogue guitar or bass amps are over”. I mean, it is the same situation as discussed in one of my previous blog article about my favourite audio plugins and brands. Digital amp simulators, in the form of hardware or software, have their benefits and disadvantages like analogue amps and stomp boxes also have. But both gear categories are aiming at different types of users, working environments, needs, budgets, and last but not least, personal preferences. To be fair, I need to admit that those amp simulators were getting better and better every year and are useful tools in the live and studio environment.
In the following article, we will have a look at my current virtual amp simulator collection for electric guitar and bass guitar. This time, only software-based amp simulators are presented that are in a quite affordable price range of between approximately 60€ to 200€ for a single, originally branded, licenced and therefore approved emulation or even a collection of non-branded “replica” versions.
In my first Hackintosh blog article, I introduced the Hackintosh concept to my readers and presented the incorporated computer components in my music studio build. Because that build was done in September 2014, I already had plans for a future, new Hackintosh or how to upgrade the existing system to an up-to-date system supporting Thunderbolt. The missing Thunderbolt support of my current 2014s system was the only big downside of it, to be honest. Benchmark-wise, the old system can still cope with some 2017s original Apple devices like the iMac, and I never complained about a lack of processing power with regard to my daily music studio work until now. Because of my studio expansion that included additional analogue gear among others and my love to Universal Audio audio interfaces which I do not want to miss in my setup, a Thunderbolt upgrade for my main studio computer was inevitable. Read in the following how I built a new Hackintosh music studio system with Thunderbolt 3 support, running UA’s Apollo interfaces.
At the beginning of June 2017, I went to the studio with the German band “von Berg” to record the live instrumental for their upcoming EP release. Last week, we finally continued with the vocal overdubs for the four songs. Unlike we had recorded the instrumental parts in the Energiekreis Zuckerhut Studios, this time we tracked in my project studio. About 1 1/2 working days in total we used to record the singer’s voice in a relaxed environment without time pressure or a big team/band members waiting for his performance.
In the last two decades, it became more and more common to continue the project work after the recording completely or at least partially on the computer. Consequently, there is no avoiding the fact that we will need certain audio plugins to edit the recorded material to create a final mix. I personally try to find the best combination of the modern digital and the nowadays already called “vintage” analogue world. Both domains have their benefits and disadvantages, therefore I created my own hybrid environment. Even the best plugins fail by the last 10 to 5% to reach the full sound of their analogue model, if a perfect replica is the developer’s intention. The studio outboard has not only a high cost price but also is high-maintenance which in turn results in additional ongoing expenses. On the contrary, the digital plugins can be taken everywhere with e.g. a laptop and their settings can be easily saved by only one mouse click. Both aspects could become difficult with the studio outboard – just to show up some pros and cons.
During my school days, I received my first Macintosh as a present – one of those, at that time innovative, chic silver iMacs. With it, everything began: my affection for the Mac OS and the DAWs like the old Logic 9. Someday, its processing power became too low for my needs and I informed myself about upgrade possibilities. Unfortunately, I had to realise that these “possibilities” were extremely limited and still are till this day. At the beginning, I was satisfied with a simple RAM upgrade – a performance enhancement was fairly noticeable. But after a certain amount of time passed, my old beloved iMac simply could not cope with my requirements. It actually limited my productivity and creativity enormously by its processing restriction. It was time for a new desktop computer and, thus, my search for a suitable solution began…
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