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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

    AceOfBassFace

    Jun 23, 2019
    Toronto
    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
    +1

    My signal chain is pretty much:
    bass>>Focusrite>>
    bass>>pedal board>>Focusrite
    Mic>>Focusrite
    Guitar>>Focusrite>>Amplitude
    Sometimes>>Instrument>>amp>>mic

    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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