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Tag: mac

Native or DSP

I always hear that native is the future. And honestly I think it’s true. But then many says we can throw out our DSP solutions because native is already has plenty of power, and it is in fact a better choice than any DSP solution available today. This is where I usually raise my eyebrows.

I know that post production and scoring is a somewhat special part of the industry, requires immense power, usually much more than a regular music or simple production. For example in scoring it’s a daily practice to deal with hundreds of tracks more often than not mixed in surround. Even without too many plugins, the size of the session is a huge burden on any machine. Just quickly add up for example 200 tracks divided into 5 stems, all with its own audio subgroups, own effects. To this you must add the final routing and the stem recorder tracks. This all have to work together without any issue. And imagine if you need to EQ a few things, want to use some dynamics processing, special effects, saturation, spatial effects. Oh, and don’t forget the last steps in the chain, the stem processing, which is essentially a high quality mastering chain in surround, and it’s usually the same on all stems.

So while I definitely think that native is the future, I don’t think that we are already there. Here’s a screen photo of the current score mix I’m working on, and it still lacks some material, so it’s going to be bigger.

This is a trashcan MacPro with Pro Tools HDX2. Imagine if all this would be on the MacPro, which is a very powerful machine by the way.

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The best Mac file manager

Call me biased, but I definitely think that Forklift by Binarynights is the very best file manager on the Mac. Now they’ve released the third iteration of it that offers a slight face lift, but more importantly some really cool goodies.

Features including remote connections, tabbed browsing, syncing, multi-rename tool, quick open, mini forklift to name a few. If you are familiar with the famous Total commander on PC, you’ll love Forklift and actually there’s an option so every already known Total commander shortcut can be used in Forklift too, so no big change here.

Personally one of my favourite features is the syncing ability. Especially useful when you need to backup or copy huge amount of data from many days of recording. It is able to compare, selectively update the contents of the target folder.

Now they are having a welcome sale so grab it till you can for less, though I think it worth every penny, even the family license is a fantastic deal.

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MacPro big test

Today is hopefully the last step in our ongoing test, failures and reinstalls. After I woke up I packed my backpack as usual, but now rushed to “office” to copy a few hundred gigabytes to my external SSD, grabbed my iLok and headed to the one and only official Apple certified service in Hungary. They ran a few tests but they want to see our problems in real life.

I hope it’ll turn out fine and honestly I hope they share some cool tips with me regarding the inner soul of Macs. But even if not, I’d be happy to show them what we’re struggle with. They are probably the only ones who can solve this case.

As I’ve spent considerable time trying to test and solve this case, I hope this is the last time I have go through all the steps again. Wish me luck.

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RAM upgrade

For some reason when we bought the MacPros they arrived with 16GB of RAM. First I thought it would be impossible to work with that amount, but it turned out that these small but powerful machines can do wonders even with this seemingly small amount of RAM.

However, as sessions grows and newer plugins released, we just hit the wall when it comes to RAM. Well, that’s not entirely true, because quite amazingly everything is working fine, but I always keep my eyes on the System Resource Window and it is obvious that it’s high time to upgrade.

16GB RAM

The main rigs all received 64GB of RAM so I think we won’t have any RAM related issues for awhile. And to be honest on bigger score mixes I always felt that Disk Cache would be so cool with let’s say 32GB.

64GB RAM

By the way replacing RAM in these new Mac Pros are so easy you wouldn’t believe it. Really. The whole thing is a beautiful and clever piece of engineering and art.

Somewhere I read that Disk Cache should not be used during recording. I can imagine that it can be an issue, although I think in 2016 it shouldn’t be. Hence I plan to make some tests if this statement is still true or not.

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Small Pro Tools tip #2

Just a little workflow tip that helps you identify clipped tracks during a multi-track recording without having to constantly scroll up and down on your timeline.

The key is to leave the track list open in the edit window.

First, it gives you a very good overview, can show you track numbers and names, you can easily select one or more tracks, and also, make tracks active or inactive, show and hide them. For these things it’s already a great habit to have it open during recording, but the main thing is, this is the best place to see if some tracks have clipped, as the overloaded tracks are shown in red.

track list window

As the track list window is very “succinct”, you can see much more tracks comfortably than in the edit window itself.

And while we’re here, sometimes you need to clear clip (clearing the red signs). To do this, hit:

[fruitful_sep]

ALT+C

[fruitful_sep]

After this command, you’re going to start with a clean track list again, so if anything goes into red after this, you’ll see it.

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