Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • Mac Mini Slave...

    Hey everybody. I know this has probably already been discussed, but I was wondering if anyone is using a Mac mini as a VEP slave with success. My main concern is drive size, streaming, and CPU. The apple website says you can configure the drives as either 2-1TB 5200rpm drives or 2-256gb SSD. Is anyone using SSD in a Mac mini? I hate storing samples on the system drive, but if the max SSD you can cram into one of these guys is 256, not sure what choice you would have. Also, is there an advantage to using the Mac mini server as opposed to the regular Mac mini? thanks for your help... Dela

  • I just bought 2 MAC Minis. I put 16GB RAM in each and added a second drive 750GB (Fusion drive part SSD part regular 7200RPM) to each of them. Although that's a bit involved to do yourself as you pretty much take them apart but OWC has a video that takes you through it and it's easy to follow. So far so good but I haven't fully loaded them up yet and really see how they can handle a big cue. I'm also considering adding a Thunderbolt drive for more space. Don't go for 5200RPM drives too slow.

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    @Beckett Music said:

    So far so good but I haven't fully loaded them up yet and really see how they can handle a big cue.

    This is really interesting. What libraries/fx are you using? And, once you've got them all setup, could you post some examples of your successes and what happens when you push your minis past the breaking point.

  • I'm looking at adding external drives on the Minis. I thought Thunderbolt drives would be great but not a lot of choices right now, especially ones with 7200rpm drives (plus the ones that do seems to be 4TB plus which would be overkill). Now I'm wondering if the faster speed of the Thunderbolt is in fact a noticeable benefit, after all the bottle neck is still the disk speed, isn't it? Or are the samples all loaded in RAM? I'm also considering USB3.0 drives. I'm wondering if those OWC mini stack would be able to handle it. Can anyone advise me on this?

  • 1024 ssd can be placed in to a mac mini server. it isn't advertised but that's doable, that's how I use it. So the full VSL library can fit in..:)

  • I already have a second drive in both of them, a 750GB fusion drive...but now I'm wondering I might need a third Mac Mini to handle HS and HB.

  • For HS and HB, you would be better off with a PC running them from an SSD.

    My column in Film Music Magaizne:

  • Thanks for the info. Part of the requirements for this rig it has to be mobile, hence the 2 MAC Mini slaves that can be used in the home studio or taken on the road with the laptop and pretty much have access to the same sounds.

  • Im on the same trajectory as you... I have a 12core mac with 48gig ram - and an 8 core intel slave, which i am going to be moving over to run protools... so buyig 2 x 2.9 mac mini servers ( so i can get 1024 ssd in them) to act as slaves.... and for me, the pc route i am not touching with a barge pole, as I'm not au fait with op system - nor do i have 0.1%  inclination to learn it !!!  ...I'm sticking with what i know so if theres a problem I can sort it out quickly and keep moving...  


  • You don't have to, I lknow nothing about Windows. I boot up the PC, load the template, connect to it and that is that.

  • Ok Ashermusic - I hear you -  thats great - I sincerely wish you all the best..!

    as I said for me...I have had a pc slave in the past - and it let me down at a crucial time...twice over a two year period.... and it was a complete nightmare - so for me, I'm happy with my nice silver boxes and VERY happy to pay extra for them - at least I know how to resusictate them should they go nutzoid.... which they never seem to do...

  • Wow Paul, must be a massive template you've got running. 48GB RAM on your main plus 2 Mini at 16GB RAM! Are you racking it up and like to have just about everything loaded and at your fingertip or you just like a bit of headroom?

  • hey - yes - everything that gets used on every project (mainly the orchestral / percussion templates) is ready to go.. - its the best way for me I deciding which string patch to load - its all just there.... then I just load in the custom stuff for each cue / project as I go...  also bit of head room too is good - especially on the main system runnig logice... to give the computer a bit of space to breathe... 

  • Sounds like my approach but on a larger scale! Do you use HS and HB? If so locally or on the slaves? Also for your samples on your main computer do you use SSD drives as well?

  • exactly... my 12 core main system has 4 x 512 SSD's in it   once I get the minis on board - I'll probably strap 2 (or maybe just 1) in each of them... and also yes - HB on one HS on another - plus maybe a few other bits and bobs - and I run various version of kontakt 5 / omnisphere / RMX etc etc in VE PRO on my main system... I run very littel directly in logic apart form EQs / verbs - as I change from cue to cue I need the tempalte to stay in ram and just re connect ot each new cue... its te fastest way I have found of making a big template work... 

  • oh...also thinking of moving one of my ssds out the 12 core into the 8 core...and maybe use that for some other duties as well as Protools - Which I have yet to buy... the idea is to have 2 separate rigs... one multiple computer one for midi programming and handling Library duties - and the other wil just be in recording playback duties for PT....

    SOmething like that.... I have my first full feature film looming so want to scale up in readyness for stems delivery  / 5.1 etc etc

  • Sounds like a dream rig! I bet you could probably buy a car for all the money you've invested in it but must be very efficient and inspiring to simply compose and not worry about fishing for patches. The static template is ideal for a busy TV and Film composers.

  • yes it does help when moving fast.....  and just use the specifiic loads to give the cues their project specific character...I dunno...sometimes I wonder if they arent all digital bankruptcy boxes ;))) balancing how much to invest on new tech against fee's / royalties in... but hey - what else is their to spend money on.... right....? cars... hookers... blow  ;) heh!

    Where are you based?

  • Paul & Beckett, I'm following your all's comments with HUGE interest!! I've got a pretty beefy MacPro (8-core, 24GB RAM), but this'll be my first encounter with a Satellite Mac (probably a Mini server).

    But, as your both writing on this forum, (one of) my quesitons would be, if you're running your system Mac's @ 64-bit (with 64-bit DAW's), what's the advantage (if any) in using VEPro5 at all? It was a huge help to me when I was 32-bit/32-bit. But now that I'm running 64-bit (Mac boot, OS 10.8.2)/64-bit(Digital Performer 8), I'm wondering whether I need to use VEPro5?

  • for me its housing all the instruments in the vepro server and architecture - separate from Logic - that way I can close one cue and load the next one with my template and all the samples in ram are already loaded and the instruments housed in VEPRO just hook up to the logic session - ready to go in 40 seconds - rather than reload everything again and again...