Johnny DeKam’s Live Visuals Rig on Thomas Dolby Tour

Thomas Dolby’s blog continues to induce rabid gear lust. After drooling over Mr. Dolby’s live rig and repurposed vintage MIDI controller, we now get a glimpse at Johnny DeKam’s live video rig. (Kevin Johnsrude caught this one, and reminds us that “envy is one of the seven deadly sins.” Better keep that in mind.) Actually, we can divide this into “things to envy” and “things to note.”

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Thomas Dolby’s Blog, Road Rig, Build Your Rig Cheap

Thomas Dolby is on the road again after 15 years. And how times have changed: unlike the year 1991, the year 2006 means he can blog the whole tour. For starters, he’s posted the gory details of his performance rig “for the geeks and musicians out there.” (You called?) Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0 GHz, to be replaced with a MacBook Pro when everything gets ported to Intel MUSE Receptor for still more plug-in hosting Logic Pro 7.2 acts as a MIDI host (for outboard hardware synths and plug-ins), plug-in host, and (primarily) playback device for presequenced backup tracks Stylus-RMX …

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Rack Rig: Pro Flight Case for G5 Tower, Good Enough for Sting

Sticking your desktop machine into a flight case doesn’t require a PC. You knew some high-end Mac audio customers would come up with something. Mike Salera writes us from the pro audio department at the legendary NYC Mac shop Tekserve. He’s got just the solution: We recommend the folks at Nashville Custom Cases, who offer the “Pro Tools Case” ($1,625) and road-ready cases for the Apple Cinema 20″ display ($525). Cheap? No, but neither is the rest of a serious touring rig, and note that customers include Sting and CBS Studios. (Not sure Sting bought this case specifically; they do …

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Cakewalk DAW Labs Tests High-End PCs (Racked, Laptop, and Otherwise)

Bless Cakewalk. While most of the music software business lags behind on the latest computer tech, these guys are out on the bleeding edge. They’re one of the first developers in any product category (not just music) to take advantage of the 64-bit edition of Windows. And they’ve been busily testing all the high-end PC laptops, desktops, and rack-mounted machines for a quick encapsulation of how they’re performing. The machines they like include some systems built for pro audio, like the Rain Recording systems we’ve been talking about, as well as some mainstream boxes from Dell, HP, and Alienware. They …

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Rack Rig: Rackable Cases for PCs + LCD = Dream Music Rig?

Wallace Winfrey follows up on last week’s story on rackable PCs for music with more tips for building your own PC case. Add a 64-bit AMD CPU and a PCIe audio interface, and you’ve got a serious performance beast for audio production. The case/power supply maker Antec has a couple of rack-mount enclosures targeted at the musician called the “Studio Series”. There’s a 3U model and a 4U model, called suprisingly enough, the Take 3 and Take 4.

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Rack Rig Reader Report: Saved $, Took the Band on Tour

Reader Nat Slater, aka 601 (see band page and hear some tunes on his MySpace page) responds to our ongoing racked-PC rig series with tips from building his own rig: Love the blog; thought I would chip in on the current run of articles about rackmounting PCs. I have just done the same thing after many weeks of research. Like most people looking at this, my budget cannot stretch to a laptop at the moment, so rackmounting my current PC ([AMD] Operton 165) seemed like a cheaper idea. I also needed to mount up my mixer as the idea is …

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Rack Rigs: Rack-Mounted PCs for Audio Pros

The one significant edge of the PC platform is the one it’s always had: wide-open hardware possibilities, whether it’s home-built PCs or the variety of PC makers. That means that when it comes to rack-mounting a PC, your options are quite broad.

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Rack Rigs: Rack-Mounting Macs?

The anti-Origami: why go portable when you can get the maximum performance from a machine in a road-ready case? That’s the question I’ll be offering all week, with a first look at some of the options. First up, we’ll start with the platform that makes this a bit tricky: the Mac. Mac lovers adore their svelte cases (Mini, iMac) and buy up laptops more often than desktops (PowerBook, iBook, MacBook Pro). So it may seem odd to want to rack mount a bulky Power Mac G5 desktop and take it on the road. If performance is a must, though, you …

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Rack Rigs: Redco Power Mac Rack and Other Ideas

Fabienne from The Unofficial Apple Weblog has some suggestions on rack-mounting Power Mac G5s and other Macs. She points to the Redco Audio Vertical Rackmount Frame. Yes, this one is a vertical frame, but it’s designed to fit other hardware like the Digi HD hardware shown here. Looks like a better solution for studios than it is for road-racking, unless someone can suggest a way to make it road-ready, but that’s partly a function of the size of the case. At US$149 it’s a fantastic bargain for any Power Mac owners; I’ll probably have to get one! Fabienne offers some …

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Hotel Room Studio: NIN’s Rack-Mounted Dual G5s

No, not G5s with dual processors: think racks filled with two Power Mac G5s. Composer Justin McGrath tips us off that Nine Inch Nails’ current photolog has a rack-mounted Power Mac G5, as we’ve discussed today and earlier today: nine inch nails: current [nin.com] Apparently taken in a hotel room, Trent Reznor, Saul Williams, and Atticus Ross are on the road with their road-racked G5s and other audio gear. (Check out the cheap-and-quick recording tip: use a blanket or curtains to make an impromptu recording booth.) Looks like they’re also running Pro Tools via a Digidesign 002. And I don’t …

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