A New Computer for My Studio: My iMac DeskTop

Why The Change was Necessary

I will start by saying that the past five years have flown by and while I have had to seek help with my studio gear, my MacBook Air has been dependable in every way since its purchase. I have not had issues with my computer. I have been extremely happy since switching from a PC to a Mac, and have been extremely happy with the MacBook Air specifically. So, why switch? Well, as per my blog last week, I made a lot of gear upgrades in my studio recently. The early 2015 MacBook Air I have only has one Thunderbolt B port and NO, as an not a single one, Thunderbolt C ports, and it was not possible to have both my pre-amp and my studio monitor hooked up simultaneously, while both are essential. So, I made the choice to upgrade.

Why Did I Pick the iMac?

To be clear, my MacBook Air is still running fine. It completely functions and has not changed in any way, it is just missing some essential ports. This is sad. So, when looking at apple offerings, I decided that since I have a working laptop, I could focus on a great desktop. In truth, I have always wanted one. In the pre-pandemic world, when I could actually enter a store and look around, I always thought it would be great to work at a desk top. I decided this time the desktop made sense. The iMac had the right requirements in terms of storage and speed. I got a track pad and the 21.5 inch screen. All I had to do was wait about 10 days for the iMac to ship from Shanghai to New Jersey!

The SetUp-How did it Go?

The set up went well. It took me most of the day. It arrived around 10:30 am and by dinner I was up and running, and the timing was pretty good. Coming the Friday of a holiday weekend is ideal as the bookings I have for live sessions will not be until next week anyway. I had heard some horror stories of industry friends recently setting up new computers, so I was not optimistic or overly enthusiastic and I expected it to take a while. The initial backup from iCloud went ok. Then I had to install my UAD software. Since I had just done this with Tim last week on the laptop, I still remembered how and it was not fast but I was able to do it. I was worried about getting my settings onto the iMac, but I was actually able to use airdrop to move them from one computer to the other. Twisted Wave setup was a little tricker for me. I spent a while putting in my many keyboard shortcuts. I could not figure out why my effects stack would not open in its entirety. I realized I had to find my initial izotope purchase, download that, enter the ilok, and then open the effects stack. I was getting a little nervous that I would need a session with Tim, but to my own surprise I was able to get it going! I am happy to report that the monitor in my booth connected with ease and I am so thankful to have my booth in working order. I am still making tweaks like syncing my drop box and connecting my pay to plays in my chrome short cuts, but for the most part it is set up how I want it!

What Is Still Missing- Source Connect

I was successfully able to download and install the software for Source Connect. I use the Pro version 3.9 and thankfully I pay for support, so there is no crisis, I just wish I had it up and running. The hiccup for me is repointing the location from the MacBook Air to the iMac. I am also curious if I can run Source Connect on both computers or not. I set up the soonest support session I could, which will be this coming Tuesday at 5:30, and all my questions will be answered. This also made me realize that I had to get zoom up and running, so thankfully that is now set up on my iMac as well.

Thoughts and Plan- Upstairs/Downstairs

Rome was not built in a day, and I am sure that in the coming days and weeks I will realize other applications that need to be installed on the iMac. I am thankful, though, that I accomplished as mush as I did at the start. My plan is that the desktop will live in my office space and my MacBook Air will now reside upstairs and will also be dedicated to my travel rig. It has only been since Friday, 48 hours, but so far this seems like a really wonderful upgrade. Ultimately, this isn’t about just changing computers, right. I had a setup that was working until it wasn’t. I made a change. I used to really fear change, but I know know (more than understand, actually know) that change makes me better and presents opportunity.