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  • Using VI on a MAC

    1.  If I wanted to switch from PC to a MAC, how would licensing be handled?  Would I have to reinstall the samples, or could I just bring them over.

    2.  Would I have to repurchase the software (player, Vienna Suite) when going to the Mac version?

    3.  I was thinking of using the Mac Pro (Cylinder) and MOTU Audio Interface, along with DP.  I would appreciate hearing from anyone doing something similar - how well does it work for you, any problems?

     

    Thanx


  • Hi Bachman,

    See my signature below. 

    No problems on the mac and motu interface although I'm on Logic and not DP! I would reccomend getting an iPad too so you can use the VSL app to control all parameters, it turns automation and key switching into a joy to use.

    I don't know how many cores you can afford but you might like to know that the 6 core according to Apple can only take up to 64Gb of ram, however if you buy ram from OWC in the States, they can supply a 128Gb ram set. This lowers the bus speed from 1866GMHz to 1066, but I've been assured that the difference in OS/software response is nominal....at least I hope so as I've just ordered the 128GB set!!!! I mention all of this as it is cheaper I think, to get the minimum ram from apple and spend on the OWC Ram instead.

    Food for thought....

    best

    Mike.


    www.mikehewer.com
  • last edited
    last edited

    @mh-7635 said:

    Hi Bachman,

    See my signature below. 

    No problems on the mac and motu interface although I'm on Logic and not DP! I would reccomend getting an iPad too so you can use the VSL app to control all parameters, it turns automation and key switching into a joy to use.

    I don't know how many cores you can afford but you might like to know that the 6 core according to Apple can only take up to 64Gb of ram, however if you buy ram from OWC in the States, they can supply a 128Gb ram set. This lowers the bus speed from 1866GMHz to 1066, but I've been assured that the difference in OS/software response is nominal....at least I hope so as I've just ordered the 128GB set!!!! I mention all of this as it is cheaper I think, to get the minimum ram from apple and spend on the OWC Ram instead.

    Food for thought....

    best

    Mike.

     

    Hi Mike!

    Thanks for your reply; it is extremely helpful to get the kind of information you provided.

    I believe the new OS in the latest Pro is Capitan.  Are you saying that the Apple OS and chips can support a 128GB set of RAM?  As you said, the bus speed drops, but are you assured that all that RAM is actually recognized/addressed?  Also, did you find that 64GB was limiting for the VI and MOTU load?  If not, I still understand why you want more; I also think there is no such thing as too much RAM.  If more RAM IS supported, perhaps, in time, RAM sets of that size will become available that do not slow the bus; for me it might be worth the wait.

    I am used to Cubase, but I have used Logic a long time ago when it was just a sequencer on Windows.  I liked it a lot - especially the environment feature which no one else seems to like - but I have heard that it is a bit limited compared to Cubase and DP, that it has not kept up with current features.  Your thoughts on that are solicited.

    Finally, since you are a seasoned Mac user, (and I am not), I want to ask you the following:

    When I was running on WinXP, I used to take disk image back-ups of my system partition - not the VI sample installation on another drive.  It was a useful strategy in case of drive failure and viruses.  However, when I lost the motherboard, I could not restore on another hardware and go because of Microsoft's OS authentication.  That's when I started thinking about Apple.  As I understand it, the Apple OS does not need authentication.  In theory, I could restore the image of my entire system on new hardware with all the configurations and no down time.  Is this plausible to you?

    Thanks again MIke!


  • Hi Bachman,

    I'm on Yosemite 10.10.5 at the moment, but am assuming there is no issue with the OWC Ram set and El Capitan. (although that's probably worth checking with OWC!). Check out the link below for info on the ram set.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/1333D3Z3M128/

    If you can wait a few weeks before buying, I should have the ram installed and will report back on this thread regarding ram recognition and overall performance. Of course this is assuming you want to go for the 6 core late 2013!!! Having said that I think there are ram sets for other models too...check it out.

    64Gb of ram is plenty for mock ups, but it depends on your skill level. If you are a classicaly trained composer (like me), you will probably find you need almost every articulation available at any time, and so I like to have all options open regarding articulations and playing styles and have other libraries that are ram hungry (spitfire, etc.). You could go with 64gb of ram and purchase an ssd instead of the OWC ram, this cuts down your load time and uses less ram because of it's fast streaming capability. 

    I can't help you with comparisons between Logic and other sequencers as I've been a Logic user all my career. All I can say is that Vienna software works seamlessly in logic and with the iPad app , automation of all parameters and keyswitching is easy. 

    Regarding the Apple OS authentication, hopefully a more knowledgeable mac user than me will chime in here as without researching it, I can't answer your question. It sounds as though you want to put your old settings (Windows) on to a new OS (Apple).....

    Apple's time machine utillity can restore an OS and it's settings, its probably worth looking into that to see if it's what you want.....

    Best

    Mike.


    www.mikehewer.com
  • Hi Mike!

    I appreciate the time you take to answer me; I am very cautious about these matters and I like to know beforehand what to expect.  Detailed information is not so easy to find.

    That was a very interesting link to OWC and I explored it all.  It looks like a good place to buy Thunderbolt cable, by the way.

    I am also classically trained but since I like to do a lot of chamber music, I think 64GB RAM will hold me for quite a while.  Nevertheless, I think I might upgrade the RAM in time (after I get everything else straightened out (mac pro, operating system, audio interface, DAW) so, YES, please tell me how your upgrade went.

    As I mentioned, I am also looking at MOTU for an audio interface.  I assume you are happy with your 1248.  Since my last interface was a soundcard, I found the MOTU user instructions a bit bewildering.  So I have a couple of questions about the 1248:

    Can it operate as a stand-alone mixer without turning on the computer?  I mean can I mix a few external devices, and output to amplification without any computer intervention?

    If all I want is audio interface and mixing with my DAW and no other MOTU devices, I do not need the AVB switch, right?  But do I need that AVB software they tell you to download at quickstart?  I am assuming that all I need to do is plug the 1248 into a thunderbolt port, right?  Will I get the same thing by plugging it into one of the ethernet ports (cheaper wire for longer reach)?

    Something tells me I will think of more questions later.

    Finally, what do you use for a midi interface?  Do you think the MOTU one is any good?  I used to have a midi interface that created 8 ports in the PC and communicated with USB, but also could midi switch external devices on its own without the PC runnning.  Do you know if the MOTU or any other device works like that?

    Best Regards,

    Conrad


  • Hi Mike,

    I just looked more carefully at MOTU MIDI Express XT - USB MIDI Interface.  It DOES do stand-alone switching.  So ignore my last question.  


  • Hi Conrad,

    You're correct, you do not need the AVB switcher and can just use the 1248 as an audio interface for your DAW. I think the switcher is for chaining together  several 1248's and/or others in the series.

    As for operating as a stand alone minus the computer, I'm not sure, the spec says it can operate as a stand alone digital mixer, so if the gear you are intending to plug in has the right line out specs, it'll probably work. Check the mannual on page 42 for in/out specs.

    You will need to download the avb discovery app as the software (ie mixing desk and other parameters) is hosted in your web browser. Installation of the app includes drivers and software for the mixing desk, routing matrix and save and recall functions for the desk, as well as other settings like sample rate and general set up.

    I use the thunderbolt connection's superior bandwidth for the audio streaming, and the ethernet connection  for access to the mixing desk via the app.

    I am first and foremost a musician, not an engineer and was a little wary myself about going from a soundcard to a new set up -  I had everything plumbed into two O2R desks and liked the old way. However  the 1248 is very intuitive and incredibly flexible with it's in/out options. I don't use the mixing desk much, as it is all done in Logic, but it can be useful when adding in outboard processing. You've probably seen the tutorial videos on the Motu site, if not check them out and you'll get a good feel for the 1248's possibilities.

    All in all my studio now is clutter free with just the macpro and the 1248 along with the other essentials, and it feels nice and simple.

    Hope this helps,

     

    Mike.


    www.mikehewer.com
  •  

    Hi Mike!

    Again we agree.  I also see myself as a composer, and not a tech person - although when I wrote software for a living, I was pretty good at it.  I composer ON PAPER and not at the computer like some people.  The machine is there only to realize what I wrote; most people do not have unrestricted access to good orchestras and chamber ensembles.

    I am very close to ordering the MAC Pro and I look forward to having a nice, neat, and quiet work desk.  Your input has been very helpful and I thank you again.

    I plan on using my old 24" monitor for the time being, just to get started.  What monitor do you use?  I have noticed that there were sundry problems with large 4K monitors and it is hard to tell if current monitors are now trouble-free.  If you use a 4k monitor, is it working well?  Did you have any problems?

    I ask so many questions because I don't like surprises.  My workspace is not ideal as to desk set up, peripheral, etc., so that even cable length limitations are important.  For example, given the 3m maximum for a Thunderbolt copper cable, I would be nice if I could daisy chain the 1248 MOTU off the monitor on my desk, rather than directly from the MAC Pro.  If not, would using a USB connection work as well as Thunderbolt?

    Also, do you notice an improvement in sound quality going to the 1248 over a sound card set up?

    Enough questions for now.


    Regards,

    Conrad


  • Hi Conrad,

    I go directly to manuscript before the computer too....it's the best way in my opinion.

    For monitors, I have two. I have a 23" cinema display from my previous set up which I use to display plug-ins and the ve pro software and for my main monitor, I have a samsung S32D850 connected via HDMI which displays Logic. There are plenty of options out there for monitors. My reason for choosing that model was also to do with its height., because I also do full scores on Sibelius, it's good to be able to take in 20-30 staves in one go. It's stand can adjust on 4 axis too - height, viewing angle, swivel and horizontal level!

    I'd reccomend having 2 monitors if you can afford it for a clear workflow. You should check the connection of your old monitor because you may have to buy an adaptor, Apple have DVI to thunderbolt connectors. Whilst on peripherals, I have the magic mouse and wireless keyboard too. The mouse is cool, it acts as a mouse (duh) but also as a trackpad.

    Forget usb for the 1248, thunderbolt can give you so much more bandwidth and streaming fluency, the two just don't even warrant comparison. That said you could use USB but why would you if you have thunderbolt ports. Believe me, go without beer for a while if money's tight and get a longer thunderbolt cable if you need to. No matter what you use, you must connect the 1248 to the MacPro and not your monitor. BTW do you need all the in/out options of the 1248? Have you looked at the other models in the same range?

    There is a difference in sound, to me it is cleaner, more precise. I accept that impressions like this are probably subjective, but given technological advances over the last few years, the sound of the 1248 is likely to be of a better quality than a soundcard - If for no other reason than the fact that it does all its DSP onboard , so it costs the computer almost zero processing aswell as zero latency.

    Best,

    Mike.


    www.mikehewer.com
  • one more thing......

    Check the link below for longer thunderbolt cable lengths.....

    http://blog.macsales.com/22352-owc-thunderbolt-connectivity-high-performance-copper-and-optical-cables-now-available-up-to-30-meter-length


    www.mikehewer.com
  • Hi Mike,

    Yes, adapter was already on order.  At any rate, using my old monitor is temporary - just to get going.  Then, I will buy some sort of 4K monitor, and the audio interface, DAW, etc. - and maybe use the old monitor for a second screen when needed.

    As you pointed out, there are other MOTU interfaces in that range, and I think what I really want is the 16A.  I do not need any microphone inputs, but I would like a lot of flexibility for external I/O.  Also, since you can do mixing with the DAW, I would probably run the 16A just as an interface, with only the Thunderbolt connection.  Does this mean I do not need to run the browser app?

    As you probably can tell, I already ordered a Mac Pro.

    It would be nice, since we are converging on similar configurations, for me to query you directly with email instead of the using the more cumbersome method in the forum - only if you are willing.  PM me your email address; otherwise I will not mention it again. 

     

    Regards,

    Conrad