This Is The Time To Simplify

As most producers, I tend to gather more and more stuff in the studio, instruments, cables, computers, keyboards, you name it. This is roughly how it looks like just

It’s not bad,  but there’s plenty of stuff still around, mostly unused. I put the most major guitars and bass guitars to a rack and keep the ones I use the most close to the work area.

Anyway, the goal within two months is to move to this configuration.MacBook Pro

In other words, a MacBook Pro laptop in combination with an Apogee One audio interface (should be out by now), a smaller midi keyboard controller, my Korg PadKontrol for drums, some cables, mostly headphones and sometimes my studio monitors. This is the smallest possible setup I could figure out that should work just fine.

I changed my mind about huge studios after listening to Todd Rundgren’s Arena album that was done in his linen closet room in Kauai. Ok, it’s not 100-super audio quality, but it’s amazingly good for done with a laptop in a linen closet. He mostly used headphones for the mixing which was for me an interesting revelation, it’s doable to get good sounds with using headphones rather than expensive monitors.

Also, in order to minimize the whole setup, the next album projects (five of them) I’m working on will be done 99.99% in Logic 9. With the new guitar amps and pedal boards there’s enough plugins and tools to do anything I want or need in Logic. With elastic audio I could even achieve what I needed Ableton Live for. The only two exceptions are Ozone that I’m comfortable with concerning mastering and VintageWarmer that I need for the ‘tape-saturation’ warmth. But that’s it. All SW synths are done using Logic, all other effects and so on with solely Logic. If I ever want to move from one system to another, I just install Logic and job is mostly done.

The nice  thing with such a setup is that I could take it with me anywhere, to the coffee store, outside, in the kitchen, even to Kauai in October — will try to do the linen closet experiment myself over there in Princeville.


  1. Hey Kent,

    You seem well versed in all the equipment and I was wondering what kind of laptop you were getting? Are you getting the top of the line 17inch? Or is there a better bang for the buck (power and feature wise) in one of the 15s? I don’t really need to replace my desktop (MacPro Early 2008), but would like to run Logic 9 with all the Spectrasonics and Native Instruments stuff without bogging things down. I’m just not sure whether the RAM or drive speed will make the bigger difference. Any info appreciated. I’m with you on the simplification thing. Cosey studio you have there. I see where (and why) your music sounds great. : >

  2. Latest MacBook Pro 13″, 250Gb hard disk, 4Gb memory. I go with the lighter model and if I need more screen estate it is easy to hook in an extra 23″ monitor or something similar. I might add more RAM later.

    It will be the 2.26GHz Intel chip, don’t know if going to 2.53GHz makes a bigger difference. Not sure if I could run many instances of let’s say Sculpture and Space Designer. But, I’m prepared to bounce tracks to disk and freeze, that’s what I do anyway.

    Anyway, others prefer 15″, others 17″. The best is to go to an Apple store or reseller and check out the screen sizes and other parameters before making a decision. Should order the package next week. Too much fun just now with Logic 9 and a new kitten who arrived tonight.

  3. I think I’m going to do the same thing, and just get the 500GB drive. Macworld gave them a great review:

  4. One other thing: Apple care yes or no?

  5. Ah yes. Simplify Simplify Simplify!

    Easier said than done. I’m thinking about ways to do it myself. Any recommendations on headphones? I was thinking about mixing more on headphones rather than my monitors- more to keep the neighbors happy than anything else.

  6. I totally agree! I wish to get rid of my computer and move to a laptop in the next couple of months as well! I can only imagine the amount of mixing work I will get done when im bored on the subway or at a coffee shop or something! Great post

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