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Building My New Pro Tools Workstation (Diary)

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Basslice, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    Over on the What Exactly Do You Need for Recording thread there has been a lot of great discussion about how to get into DAW recording and what you need.

    What Exactly Do You Need For Recording?

    A lot of good information there. Here was my personal setup as of yesterday:
    • Lenovo Thinkpad 450s (i7 5th gen (i7-5600U), Intel onboard graphics and only 8GB RAM).
    • External SSD drive(s) (1TB)
    • Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen and Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
    • LaunchPad Mini MK3 Midi Keyboard
    • External HD monitor
    • Powered USB Hub with multiple inputs
    • Personus Eris E4
    • Personus Temblor T10
    • AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back Headphones
    • Pro Tools 2021 (not HD or Ultimate)
    • Lots of pluggins including Amplitube and Halion
    As i said in the other thread, a person can get by with much less than spec. I have been running PT on this anemeic 2015 Lenovo T450s laptop. The laptop was pretty good for its time, but it only has a i7 5th gen (i7-5600U), Intel onboard graphics and only 8GB RAM. I didn't look up needed specs before using. Had I done that, I may not have bothered. That being said, it actually works ok. I am only now starting to hit the wall in terms of # of pluggins and noticeable background processing crawl.

    So I finally got a new laptop. After some study, I see that having a i7 fast multicore would be good. Also, I decided on a laptop over tower since I spend my summers at a different place and I like to record there too. Also, laptops are much quieter than towers. Also, Avid recommends a Gaming laptop - 32 GB, NVIDIA graphics.

    Here is what i bought:
    Lenovo Legion 5 15.6-inch FHD 120Hz Gaming Laptop PC, Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H, Nvidia GTX 1650Ti, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home 64 bit.

    $1,100 from Amazon.

    It came last night. First steps (I am doing these right now):
    • Get rid of the weak-ass Windows 10 Home and replace with Windows 10 Enterprise
    • Remove antimalware Windows Defender B.S.
    • Cripple Cortana, XBOX stuff, Skype and other pre-loaded bloatware
    I just finished the new OS installation and reinstalled the Lenovo proprietary drivers just now. Now gutting the bloat.
    DirtDog likes this.
  2. AceOfBassFace


    Jun 23, 2019
    Congrats - looks like you're good to go! What's your signal chain going into the interface?

    Also, I've not noticed much of a difference between Windows home & enterprise versions myself. I use both (enterprise for work, and home on my personal/recording rig) and I always assumed enterprise just had some extra 'IT' stuff on it for networking, security etc.
    Basslice likes this.
  3. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts

    My signal chain is pretty much:
    bass>>pedal board>>Focusrite

    I play around a lot.

    As far as different versions of Windows, I hate when I see Windows background apps start to eat up resources, even in between actual active work in my part. The biggest offenders are anti-malware (Defender), and Cortana. Windows Home also has a lot of crap that load on boot (even though they really don't do anything to my knowledge after loading). I just like to be as clean as possible. Even if it is a small loaded applet that sits benignly, in my opinion it shouldn't be there unless I wanted it.

    I would gladly pay $100 out of pocket to get a bare-bones Windows version, but they make so much money on the pre-loaded crap that it will probably not happen. But in my experience, their 'Home' versions are fine for regular users but not a great idea for application-specific users. Unfortunately, unless a person runs a bunch of benchmarking software it is hard to tell how bad the problem is. Like you said, it is probably not very noticeable. I strip things naked so I don't have to worry about it. IT takes me about a day to tweak it.
  4. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    ...Speaking of tweaking things. (5:30pm)

    I finished hobbling Cortana and Defender. Quite frustrating. Every time I do it is a different process. They seem to keep one narrow step behind people that try to remove it. They work hard to make sure that their pre-load stuff stays there. If you Google "How to remove MS XYZ, you will see many posts from MS-controlled sites. My advice, ignore them all. They flat out lie and provide routes that in the end do nothing. Find non-MS advice. I literally had to do a completely different removal process than I did for a different MS OS version, just two weeks ago.

    I am now loading Pro Tools and the plugins. As much as they get crap, the Focusrite drivers were the easiest part. As close to one-click as things get.
  5. I am currently running Garageband on a 2013 Macbook.

    Let's make some gold records!!!!
    Basslice likes this.
  6. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    March 19, 2021 Update:
    Got everything running again. Most of my plugins too. Having a little trouble getting getting Avid Control to link with iPad.

    I will do a test session and really load up some plugins and processing. Also I will drop the Focusrite buffer way down and try to break it.
  7. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    March 20, 2021 Update:
    Got the Avid Control working (forgot to enable in PT settings). The thing is sailing along. Haven't tried to break it yet, but already running with a smaller buffer than I was able to before.
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 10, 2021

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