Nothing lasts forever. My home recording studio is part of life’s evolution as a working pro voice over talent. My need to evolve has become all too apparent since I began my search of simply changing out my microphone interface. Just trying to alter one thing literally opens a can of home recording studio worms!
I hope this post will not turn into one of those Mac versus PC arguments, because that is not my intent. I’ve just always had a PC computer. But I am thinking about the Mac since acquiring my iPhone and iPad. I’m open and flexible, eager to evolve. Let’s just say, I’m open. But I have many moving parts to consider! Hardware, software, and my recording components, ie. my gear.
Computer is soon to be obsolete!
It’s been about four and a half years since I ‘ve purchased my Dell Vostro 1520 laptop computer , which was state of the art at the time, with 4G memory and a 500 gig hard drive. It’s sleek and fast and still has 91% storage space. I bought the gold-plated service contract with it, never regretting a moment with this computer, which has never given me any significant issue. The problem is, it’s “Not Broke”, and yet it is quickly going to become obsolete. You see, I had Dell build it at the time with Windows XP SP3 software, and it also shipped with a software upgrade to Windows 7 . It’s lightweight and fairly easy to travel with. But now, even though I could upgrade the software, it would be a major hassle I have no time for, and I’m super busy with many client projects plus I’m recording an audiobook. So that option of off the table.
Time Marches on despite the interface
Now back to the microphone interface. About two years ago I made some changes to my home recording studio audio chain. See this post, “Yanking my Chain” On the recommendation of some of highly-regarded people in the industry, including studio engineers and voice talent, I integrated a robust Avalon preamp and stopped using the MicPort Pro as my go-to interface in lieu of a Lexicon Alfa. The Alfa is a reliable interface workhorse and has no phantom power, which concerns me a bit as my condenser microphone requires it. If the Avalon preamp ever blows a tube and is down for a while during replacement, I need redundancy so the microphone is always powered. Having that insurance makes me comfy.
So I made a purchase of two Focusrite iTrack Solo interfaces because I can become even more mobile by taking my my iPad while traveling , since it’s lighter, and I can record voice over projects directly into my new Sennheiser MHK 416 microphone. So I was thinking I’d pack one in my gear bag for the road, and install one in the recording booth. The phantom power capability would keep my comfort level high in case there was a preamp maintenance need or other issue. Bottom line: No down time inside my home recording studio!
Now here’s my dilemma. The iTrack solo works on a Mac and PC. Good. But not with Windows XP software. Plus Windows XP will no longer be supported in any way by Microsoft after the end of this year. This interface will work with Windows 7 software.
My Considerations at this point:
1) Purchase another PC with Windows 7? My contact at Dell informed me that the Federal government recently adopted Windows 7 as its “governing” software, and will most probably be supported for another fifteen years.
Newer computers have solid state drives, and therefore less noise. This is an extremely attractive option for the home recording studio!
2) Consider purchasing an Apple Computer. I sure like Apple products as I love my iPhone and iPad! Plus, I do like the integration of all the products relative to email, iCloud and calendar! I’ve listened to the eternal arguments pro and con about computer platforms, but for me its all about the recording!
3) No changes for now, but research, research, research! “It ain’t broke”…for now. Note to self: Hook up with my pals, George Whittam, Dan Lenard, and Roy Yokelson and build a plan.
4) Build the change into my 2014 plan.
5) Execute the plan. Sell unused gear.