I need some advice on putting together a remote studio. It looks like I may be working as a construction manager in the oil fields of northern Alberta for a couple of years. They are offering more money then I can possibly say no to. And the economy here in California isn't stellar at the moment.
I will be working 10 days at a time and then flying home for 4 days every two weeks. As I will be away from my family in the middle of nowhere, I might as well write some music in the evenings So I will need to set up a small studio in my apartment there.
I am a Logic guy, so it will have to be a Mac. Can I get by with a MacBook or do I need a MacBook Pro? Other than the screen size, what's the difference unless I want to get the 2.5Ghz model? They come stock with 2 gigs of RAM, but I should probably upgrade that to 4 gigs, right? My main library is Platinum Pro XP, but I also have Gold Pro XP, so I could do my writing in 16 bit and then convert it to 24 bit when I get back to my home studio. I would probably need an external hard drive for my samples, at least 500 GB: eSATA? Firewire?
I have a Tascam U-122 USB interface. Think that will be okay just for monitoring and maybe recording the odd vocal or guitar part? I will need some kind of small monitors, self powered would be the easiest, I guess, and some decent headphones in case I am working late and don't want to disturb anybody.
For controllers, I just plan to duplicate exactly what I have in my home studio, a Yamaha P-140 with a little 2 octave Evolution (or the equivalent) on top so I have some wheels and knobs to play with (the only draw back of the P-140, it is just a piano, but I love playing it)
I won't have to haul everything back and forth on the plane, just the laptop, but I would still like to keep it all nice and compact.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
If you are a mac guy I would call ADK pro audio in Kentucky, they are selling mac notebooks with alternative ram and drives (including external enclosures) way cheaper than apple official units. They have great service and offer a nice warranty as well.
I write on the road as well, using a dell laptop that is about the same as a mac book, works really well with cubase, vsl, gpo, gos, emperor piano etc, even using the internal 5400 rpm disk and 2gb ram. I don't even bother with a sound card, the internal audio is sufficient with a good set of headphones. If you want to have midi and audio recording thats another thing, but I work out of Finale.