Note: The following is part of our Creative Tech series. Creative Tech aims to educate and inform creative professionals about the ways technology can enhance their creative work experience.
A composer/producer that I am associated with has (like many creative pros) a Pro Tools HD system. He uses his system daily to create music for audio books, TV commercials, casino video games and more. He is the sole user of his system, so his hard drive and connectivity needs are very specific to him and cover all of his bases. He needs equipment that won’t slow down when he’s racing toward a deadline to deliver compelling music within budget.
So, how exactly does this one-man band have his system set up? Let’s take a look!
Big storage for big jobs
For his musical productions, he uses a UAD Apollo audio interface connected to his iMac via Thunderbolt. His Apollo has a FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter card installed. His iMac’s second Thunderbolt port has two OWC 4TB Mercury Elite Pro hard drives connected and daisy chained for big storage and reliability. One Mercury Elite drive is used to write and record his Pro Tools sessions, including all midi and audio files. The other OWC drive is used to store and access his orchestral and other sound libraries. In addition, he has two legacy OWC FireWire 800 drives connected for backup purposes. He also has several older OWC legacy drives offline but available as needed.
He has an internal SSD in his Core i7 processor-equipped iMac. That drive stores all of his applications. He does not use his internal drive to save any sessions.
Short term, long term memory
His iMac has 16GB of RAM but he is planning on upgrading to 32 GB in the near future. You might think 16GB would be enough, but more RAM would be helpful – especially in situations where he has many instantiations of virtual instruments running at one time. RAM, by its nature, is very fast and virtual instruments run much more effectively because they are loaded into RAM along with their associated sound samples. For anyone putting together a pro audio recording system, 16 GB of RAM may be enough to get started but maxing out your RAM capacity is highly recommended! Photo Editing systems such as Photoshop have similar demands and video editing requires even more RAM capacity.
OWC has RAM to suit every need and for most every Mac. They also have easy to follow videos that show you how to install RAM easily and correctly!
As our music producer/power user looks toward future upgrades, one appealing option is to replace his 4 TB drives with SSD drives. We all know spinning drives don’t last forever. Even more importantly, SSD drives are silent. In a recording studio environment, Quiet is King! Another useful upgrade would be rack mountable SSD drives. Many of his components are already rack mounted in a fan-cooled closed cabinet that keeps noise away from any microphones being used. In the not too distant future, a rack-mountable 4 TB SSD will be a cost effective reality. Until then, his OWC equipped system is running well as-is.
Make the connections
As mentioned above, power users in many creative fields need similar high capacity and fast storage and RAM solutions. OWC has a storage solution that fits every need and budget. In addition, OWC’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock has all the connectivity one could need including the ability to connect multiple monitors, additional USB 3 ports, connectivity for legacy storage solutions and much more.
Many creative professionals have come to rely on memory, hard drive and peripheral products from OWC. If you want to take your personal production studio to new heights, you should too!
• Roger Adler is a freelance composer/producer/performer who has played more than 4,500 live gigs from smoky bars to the Inaugural Ball for the President of the United States. He has played on more than 1,000 TV commercials as a guitarist and even played on the soundtrack for and appeared in the movie Groundhog Day. As a composer, his clients include Comic Relief on A&E, HBO, PBS (NOVA) WTTW Chicago and many more. He has received four EMMY Nominations for his music for TV and his TV show Wild Chicago won many Emmy awards. He also co-wrote and produced the debut single by Michael Lynch from THE VOICE TV show.