[LAU] [RFC] A “poor man’s”, yet professional level studio setup

Francesco Napoleoni mlists at cosmic-odyssey.net
Tue Feb 23 16:28:59 CET 2021

In data lunedì 22 febbraio 2021 19:37:19 CET, Paul Davis ha scritto:
> Quick take: I think it's really only your insistence on using laptops that
> forces most of this complexity on you.
> Get a powerful desktop system. Run everything on one machine.

As a matter of fact I *am* using a powerful desktop system: it’s a Ryzen 5 
2600X, 16 GB RAM, dual screen, NVMe SSD; the laptop serves as an additional 
virtual instruments host and as a video monitor (with xjadeo).

Sure, Seymour Cray would tell us that two oxen are more appropriate than 1024 
chicken at plowing a field, but in this case I prefer to think more in terms 
of an orchestra: if I can distribute the load among many players and 
coordinate them, our symphony would be much better than with a one man band...

The real objection to my argument is if the benefit in terms of productivity 
really outweighs the increased maintenance complexity of a multi-machine 
setup. It depends.

If we were to record a live band, apply effects, mixing and mastering, we 
could manage easily with one machine with enough CPU, RAM and disk space, as 
well as a decent audio interface. But with different use cases that rely 
heavily on multiple s/w interacting, the “monolithic” approach is not as 
acceptable. If you prefer, it does not scale well. Or, at least, this is what 
my little experience tells me.

Besides, there is still another issue: many widely used s/w tools run only on 
Windows or Mac, and for some of them using Wine on Linux is not an option. We 
still could use them if we used a dedicated machine and set up the 
communication with our Linux Workstation running Ardour, Qtractor, or 

Francesco Napoleoni

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