As many of you know, I’ve been struggling to make my studio work for me. I had an ageing (ok, antique) Mac Pro, lots of hardware and little time. I ran a multiple MOTU 24IOs, but they became unsupported on more modern version of MacOS and even with tweaks, were never really fully reliable.
Constant fixing, tweaking and head scratching caused a huge drop in my productivity and enthusiasm for what is, if truth be told, one of my only true passions.
I sold the 2008 Mac Pro cheese grater and 24IOs, bought a Mackie mixer (really good btw, would recommend) and moved to a two channel ADC. This worked, and allowed for the “hands on” things I’m looking for. However, it was slow. Like really slow. Recording a single track at a time and in one shot was too much of a compromise. It allowed access to my gear, but in a very limited capacity. It was ok for live jams, but that’s not the point of what I’m doing.
I think moved to an iPad with Logic. This was wonderful, it was silent, cheap and worked shockingly well. It really is the future. However there are two show stoppers for my production – I can’t record directly to the sampler (as in the full fat MacOS version) and it was a pain to bounce midi tracks to audio. I quickly found it to be inefficient.
I then entered what I’d like to call the “fuck it” stage – blindly throw money at the problem. I bought myself a Mac Studio M2, a MOTU 24ai and three Behringer ADA8200s to use as ADAT expansions. This gives me a total of 48 inputs and 24 inputs. Running some of my synths in mono, this was enough.
So how does it all work? Well , the learning curve for me was tough, setup was difficult and I had to try and understand what the hell AVB was. The MOTU connects to the computer over Ethernet and the Behringer are connected directly to the MOTU via ADAT fibre optics. Unbelievably, this all works flawlessly. The latency is rock solid and is equal between all input and outputs. Everything is very transparent sounding (it’s 2023, there’s no need to worry about that type of thing now).
But yes, I feel like I’m back in business.
I also moved my monitoring system to a pair of Genelec 8341s and a Genelec 7350A sub. It’s all calibrated and configured specifically for the room and sounds wonderful. I’ll maybe do a post on that soon.
What an expensive, time consuming nightmare this has been, but we made it. I’m done. It all works, it all sounds good.