Apple Mac Pro 2013

Main machine for music production. Internal disk is 256GB. RAM is added and now 64GB. One of external disks is for ProTools session datas 512GB SSD x 1 with USB3.0 connection. In addition, 2TB SSD RAID0 inside Thunderbolt2 chassis and 4TB (4 HDD) Thunderbolt1 equipped Promise Pegasys J4. 1 x USB2 hub and 1 x USB3 hub is connected. ProTools HDX system is installed on this Macintosh. RME Fireface UCX is also connected via USB. Power Cable is Belden + IEC connector. Connected with Pro Cable’s power tap with 10 socket.

Sonnet Technologies Echo Express III-D

For the connection between Mac Pro 2013 and ProTools HDX1, I use Sonnet Technologies’ Echo Express III-D supporting Thunderbolt2. Inside Echo Express III-D, I install SSD RAID card Tempo SSD Pro Plus with 1TB x 2 SSD and use it as Thunderbolt2 RAID disk.

Avid ProTools HDX1

Since ProToolsIII (Nu-Bus) which almost nobody knows, this ProTools system has been upgraded and used for very long years. Last time I used ProTools HD Accel3 but now HDX1. The reason is because DSP of HDX system doesn’t support Waves plug-ins and now I don’t need so much DSPs. I/O is now Avid HD I/O 8x8x8 + 8 A/D so 16 x 8 x 8. As extended I/O and plug-in server, Waves DSL is connected and for ProTools Ultimate software, it works as I/O mode.

Sonnet Technologies Tempo SSD Pro Plus

SSD RAID card by Sonnet Technologies. Two Samsung SSD 840EVO is installed on Tempo SSD Pro Plus and used as a 2TB software RAID0 disk. I confirmed the actual measurement value is over 1000MB/sec. So I use this fastest disk for sample library which needs disk speed or as work disk for Final Cut Pro, Dropbox, Adobe Lightroom.

Avid HD I/O 8x8x8 (bottom side)

ProTools I/O has been being upgraded from digidesign 882 I/O to digidesign 192 I/O and now Avid HD I/O 8x8x8 with additional 8ch analog A/D. So now Avid HD I/O 16x8x8. Connected with ProTools HDX1. The reason why I upgraded from 192 I/O to HD I/O is high frequency playback ability of 192 I/O was not better than RME Fireface UCX. Now for stereo playback uses Avocet via AES/EBU digital connection and this sounds great. Via Avocet, I can detect the slight difference which we are usually not aware of. For surround playback, I use analog balanced output of HD I/O and connect with SPL Monitor 2489. One of the rest two channels is usually connected with Reamp.

Digigrid DLS (bottom side)

SoundGrid Server supporting ProTools I/O connection by Digigrid. In audioworkshop in 2017, it is used for realtime monitoring purpose with Waves processors when recording. Very low latency.

RME Fireface UCX

Another audio I/O used for such as iTunes/Spotify playback. Not used for DAW purpose. Connected with Mac Pro 2013 via USB2.0 and used as Macintosh audio playback system. Output is connected with Avocet via coaxial cable, Belden 1506A + Canare connectors.

iPad Pro 10.5

iPad Pro is for music production purpose, now used as DAW control when recording. Especially when playing strings instruments, it a bit far away from Macintosh system so this is very useful. Control software is Avid PT Control. Sometimes V-Control Pro which I used before PT Control is still sometimes used. Thanks to iPad Pro and PT Control, For this combination, now I don’t need wired physical controls any more and I can control DAW via wireless.

Ringo-Ha USB3.0 Case+512GB SSD

I use Akibakan Ringo-Ha (Century) USB3.0 HDD case with 512GB SSD as ProTools data disk. This supports USAP and actual measurement value was 350MB/sec (read) so now I have no complaint with this disk but maybe I will change the case with another Century USAP case.

Promise Pegasys J4

RAID disk case with Thunderbolt1 connection. Up to 4 2.5inches HDD/SSD is possible to be installed. Now I installed 4 x HGST 7K1000-1000. Actual transfer speed is actually up to 750MB/sec. I use this disk for sound library not required speed and for storing download files.

Crane Song Avocet

This is the stereo monitoring system and controls which is in the center of monitoring system in audioworkshop. It consists of the main part (Left) and the controls (Right). I can receive both analog/digital and doesn’t need to use external word clock. 3 inputs both analog/digital has. 3 analog outputs, no digital outputs. 2 headphone outputs. In audioworkshop, on Dec/2017, ADAM S3A+ADAM Sub10mkII and AKG K271studio is connected.

SPL Surround Monitor Controller Model 2489 (Bottom)

This is a monitoring controls system which supports up to 5.1ch. Using this, I can create surround contents in audioworkshop. I connect Model 2489 with 3 x dynaudio acoustics BM-5A (FL/C/FR), 2 x Genelec 1029A (RL/RR) and 1 x ADAM Sub10mkII.

ADAM S3-A/Sub10mkII

This is the speaker system which is in the center of audioworkshop with Avocet as well. In addition with high-end monitoring speaker system, ADAM S3A (Left), to monitor low frequency correctly and accurately, I combined Sub10mkII (Right) and as a result the main speaker system consists of 2.1ch. Now Sub10mkII defines crossover frequency between S3A (2ch) and Sub10mkII (0.1ch).

Dynaudio Acoustics BM-5A

This was a main speaker before introducing ADA S3A. Still it sounds good so I use this for surround FL/C/FR speakers. The sound character is darker than S3A and I feel this is ‘The European Sound’ but not too dark. Well balanced sound, one of the very popular, powered near-field monitors.

Genelec 1029A

This was the smallest powered monitors in Genelec’s old models line-up. I used them to bring out from my studio so the surface is damaged but still I use this for RL/RR channels as surround monitor. For this purpose, this is absolutely enough sound quality.

AKG K271 studio

AKG’s very popular, closed monitor headphone. Less low frequency than K240 studio (this is opened headphone so not available for recording), but it has very clear presence and as a result this is very easy to monitor the performance when recording and very good as ‘monitoring headphone’. Less low frequency than competitive Sony CD-900ST and the sound field is not too close like CD-900ST. In audioworkshop, now this is the only one monitor headphone for recording. Headphone cable is possible to replace and now I use Belden 82761 with neutrik connectors by Pro Cable.

Brent Averill Mic Preamp/Direct Box Made From 1272 Module (画面1段目)

This is the ‘copy’ model of Neve 1272 microphone head amp by Brent Averill who is very famous for the dead copy of Neve and API. The condition is very good. In audioworkshop, this has the sweetest and the smoothest sound character as mic pre-amp. Mostly used for the vocal, guitar, bass recording.

Focusrite ISA One Digital

This is rented from my friend. Focusrite’s own ‘dead copy’ of their famous ISA pre-amp which was equipped on Focusrite console. This ISA pre-amp doesn’t have very low frequency and instead of that it has very excellent, crispy presence range. I use this for Satomi Arai’s ‘Friday Night Show’ title song and for Chiaki Omigawa’s ‘Itsuka-no-yakusoku’. This has digital in/out but now I connect it with Avid HD I/O 8x8x8 w/AD option via analog.

AMEK 9098EQ (写真上から2段目)

This is the EQ/head amp which was stripped from AMEK console which Rupert Neve designed. My impression for sound character is ‘Neve meets SSL’ and it sounds like ‘contemporary Neve’. Switch between Mic/Line is easier and presence is stronger than Brent Averill, so now mainly I use it for the recording of Moog Minimoog Model-D and other mono synths or when I prefer the sound similar with SSL.

RME Quad Mic (写真上段)

RME’s first generation 4ch mic pre-amp. All analog circuit. Connected with Avid HD I/O 16x8x8 via TRS connection. Main application is to measure acoustic and recording of synthesizer. This is the most hi-fi mic preamp in audio workshop which can record well balanced sound from low to high frequency. Not so ‘sexy’ sound like Brent Averill or Focusrite but for some purposes this is very proper to use.

Blue Blueberry

Blue Microphone’s (now Blue Designs) condenser microphone. Vintage look, from a bit stronger low frequency to big, high frequency, a bit stronger presence range, so my impression is strong, modern-vintage sound. The outlook is very vintage style and singers coming to my studio loves this microphone. Satomi Arai and Chiaki Omigawa’s main microphone.

Royer R-122

Ribbon microphone by Royer, very famous for their ribbon microphones supports 48V input. The distributor says ‘this microphone has the frequency response which is very similar with human ears’. Strong low frequency, sweet and smooth presence range, and unexpectedly can input very high frequency. After many trials, now I use it for MY vocal, electric guitar, electric bass recording mainly. So most frequently used microphone now.

AKG C451B

The nickname is ‘The Eagles’ mic’ made by AKG, condenser microphone. Less low frequency and can input presence and high frequency range. As nickname shows, one of the best mics for acoustic guitar recording. Also good for the recording of tambourine or shaker involving much high frequency. This has been very popular since 1970s but very good price so I couldn’t imagine this sounds so excellent. Sorry, C451B. You’re very excellent mic!

Blue Microphones The Kickball

The condenser mic now discontinued. As the very unique outlook, it has a little bit strange frequency response and usually good for Kick drum recording. I used it for heavy rock guitar recording until Time Crisis 5.

Shure SM57

Shure’s very, very popular dynamic microphone. But in audioworkshop this is prepared just as ‘sub mic’ and in almost cases I don’t use it. The reason is this doesn’t record higher frequency than 17kHz. But maybe I will use it for heavy rock recording.

Audio-Technica AT4050

Very famous condenser microphone made by Audio-Technica. Unfortunately I don’t like the sound which filters 17kHz and higher and now just stocked.

Radial JDI Passive Direct Box

Radial’s passive DI. Whenever I record electric guitar/bass, Recently I use this DI and record dry sound (no amp sound) to ProTools as another track and later on sometimes change the stomp boxes and amplifier or their order and settings.

Radial Reamp

Reamp later on acquired by Radial. Simply to say, Reamp converts recorded, line level audio to original, passive (instrument) level and output. It means, from DAW to guitar/bass amp via Reamp can get more natural sound than direct sound from DAW. Recently on my recording very frequently I use this. The process is to record dry sound via JDI and playback it on DAW and one output channel of DAW is connected with Reamp and Reamp is connected with guitar/bass amp as well. So after edit on DAW, with some configuration changes on stomp boxes and amp, I can get the best sound without playing. On DAW, recorded, clean sound is sliced and quantized and then adding amp sound, such very creative usage is possible. This device encourages us to have more creativity.

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