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Sharing the Load in Logic Pro 7

Distributed Audio Processing harnesses two Macs for mondo plugin power By Frank Moldstad

Scuplture virtual instrument interface.
If you use a lot of audio plugins or virtual instruments, it's definitely worth your while to investigate Logic Pro 7's Distributed Audio Processing capability. This feature, introduced by Apple in Logic Pro 7, allows multiple Macs to be connected via standard Ethernet cables to share the processing load.

The results are impressive. I got a sore wrist inserting plugins and soft synths in a Logic Pro 7 project hosted on one G5 with another one as the slave machine. In the end, the 19-track project included a punishing load of 84 plugins instances running on 12 virtual instrument tracks and six audio tracks simultaneously. Even with a powerful computer, you're not going to approach that kind of load. Granted, both of the G5s I used were top-of-the-line dual processor machines with 4GB RAM. But Distributed Audio Processing can be run with more modest G4 or G5 computers, including laptops.

For a host computer, the recommended configuration is a single- or dual-processor G4 or G5 running version 10.3 or later with at least a 1GHz chip. The node machine requires at least one G5 processor. Both computers should have a 1 GB Ethernet port, which is standard equipment on G5 machines.

Only one copy of Logic Pro 7 is needed. A small utility included on the installation disc called Logic Node needs to be installed on each computer serving as a node. After installation, it's a good idea to drag it from the Applications folder into the Startup Items folder, so it doesn't have to be manually launched each time. (This is particularly important if you only have one monitor, keyboard and mouse.) The node machine should be booted first, and then the host computer.

After that is done, Distributed Audio Processing is launched by checking Enable Logic Nodes in Logic's Audio Preferences pane (Logic Pro>Preferences>Audio) on the Nodes tab. All computers available to serve as Nodes are listed there, and multiple machines can be highlighted and checked. For large facilities, a Node farm accessible to multiple users could be set up so anyone could take advantage of whatever node machines are free. 

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Related Keywords:Logic Pro 7, Distributed Audio Processing, Nodes, audio plugins, virtual instruments, Sculpture, Apple


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