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Studio Upgrade to 64 Bit

by | Mar 12, 2014 | News | 0 comments

The wait is finally over – Threecircles Recording Studio has finally upgraded to 64Bit!

“A bit late?” I hear you cry? Well I subscribe to the old adage of “If it ain’t broke….”

My system was moving along quite nicely on relatively old Mac OS (10.5 – Leopard) and I didn’t want to rock the boat.

Upgrading the OS of a studio computer usually means a lot of down-time while you check every plugin and combination to make sure that you won’t face a crash during a session (not cool!). Upgrades came and went and I couldn’t see the point in upgrading as I never really stressed out the machine when running fairly heavy arrangements and the potential benefits were small.

The main problem with NOT upgrading was that there was a 4Gb ceiling on Logic when running at 32 bit – meaning that any processor-hungry plugins or software instruments would hog system resources and crash or slow-down sessions. With a 64-Bit system, the ceiling of 4Gb goes away meaning that you are free to utilise however much RAM you have in your system.

Apogee Symphony 64 Card

Threecircles Recording Studio - Apogee Symphony CardThankyou eBay – a mint condition 64-Bit Apogee symphony card from only £121 delivered, instead of £900!

The card is also half the length of the 32-Bit card, meaning fitting it in the PCI chassis is much easier!

The main issue was that my Apogee Symphony card was 32-Bit only and could only run up to OSX 10.6.7 – not good if I wanted to upgrade to the latest versions of UAD for example – to make use of the new plugin offerings like the API and 1176 bundles. Upgrading past this OS would mean installing the 64-Bit Symphony card – at £900 a pop. Ouch!

eBay comes to the rescue again!

I managed to get hold of a 64-Bit Symphony card for only £121 delivered – Win!

I also had a Mac Pro machine sitting at home with a fresh install of Mountain Lion (10.8.5) on a fusion drive waiting for me to test the new card. I then came round to the idea of simply switching the macs over – meaning that I wouldn’t have any downtime in the studio while I made the switch.

First I switched out the Apogee card and checked whether this would work with the Rosetta 800 AD convertors and run sessions. All went swimmingly so I started adding things one at a time – checking compatibility before moving on. The UAD card was next which went as well as I expect from a company which has excellent support – the new 7.4 installer worked perfectly first time and after downloading my plugin authorisation key the plugs were up and running. The upgrade process was speeded up no end by my downloading all the 64-Bit plugins upgrades beforehand. Most plugins were available at no extra charge – although there were one or two exceptions:

Melodyne Plugin is no longer supported so I had to pay €180 for the new version – Melodyne Editor (not such a bad thing as it is now polyphonic!)

The one upgrade that slightly irked me was from Sonnox – whereby I had to pay a £15 + tax fee for every plugin I owned (6 of them) – adding up to a £108 fee just to download the new plugins – not impressed!

RAM Upgrade

Threecircles Recording Studio - RAM upgradedThe new studio mac now has double the RAM of the old one – I may even upgrade this to more as and when I can but this should keep me going!

The good thing about this whole process is that I can still run 32-Bit plugins from Logic 9.1.8 (I have no desire to upgrade to Logic X just yet and face losing 32-Bit plugs) – meaning that I still have access to the lovely reverbs on offer from my TC Electronic Powercore.

Once all the new plugins were installed it was then a case of switching across the HD caddies and then putting more RAM in the new studio Mac – now upgraded to 10Gb! The new machine runs very smoothly and the fusion drive means that programs boot quickly and are very responsive and I now have a slimmed-down Mac Pro for photo and video work at home!

Threecircles Recording Studio
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Kieren Jones
Kieren Jones
2018-04-28T14:45:45+0000
Excellent recording facility and Adrian is a top professional guy! Thoroughly enjoyed it, will definitely be using your services again thanks for a great productive day.
Richard Simmonds
Richard Simmonds
2018-02-25T10:39:15+0000
Adrian, thank you for a great day and a half of recording finishing last Wednesday. Having been together as a group back in the 60s and now getting together 50 years on to record was a bit nerve racking but you made the thing so much easier with your professional advice and guidance. You've got a great set up and since we had Rog playing flute and drums [for some reason not at the same time!] the layering down of the instruments went really well. We had a great time and ended up with a CD and lots of happy memories. Martin living in France doesn't make it easy but we have all vowed to be back with something completely different for you to cut to disc. Thanks again and see you soon. Sam, Andy, Roger and Martin of Old Lemons fame.
Richard Ellis
Richard Ellis
2016-12-19T05:50:37+0000
This is a relaxed studio in a lovely location near the beautiful town of Saffron Walden. Adrian is a great sound guy, he listens and responds and adds enthusiasm to the day. Top recordings with the best equipment for a great price ... highly recommended ��
Ashley 'mAsh' Garbett
Ashley 'mAsh' Garbett
2016-12-17T12:19:23+0000
Having recorded at Threecircles several times, there's good reason why I keep going back... with such high end equipment, Ade's expertise and competitive pricing there's no need to go anywhere else!!
Andy Webster
Andy Webster
2016-12-14T22:55:28+0000
I first met Ade when a charity band event needed a sound technician and PA rig at short notice, he provided top notch sound for the event and also offered a very well priced live recording, which he would go away and mix at Threecircles Studio. The results were brilliant, I have never heard myself recorded live so well and the mixing was fantastic too. As a result, one of my bands then used Threecircles services again, this time at the studio to record a track for promotional purposes. We had a great time and were really happy with the results! Would highly recommend for both studio work and live sound.
Dan Mailer
Dan Mailer
2016-12-14T20:26:42+0000
Three Circles is excellent. Great studio that I have recorded at various times over the year. Ade is a hard working producer who gets great results.
Victoria Mills
Victoria Mills
2016-12-14T20:25:21+0000
I've both recorded and rehearsed at Threecircles and I can't recommend them enough! Nothing was too much trouble, the facilities are excellent and our demo sounds amazing! Thank-you!
Steve Watts
Steve Watts
2016-12-14T18:46:27+0000
Loved working with the chaps at Three Cirlces, they have all the gear and every idea! Super talented guys who get the very best out of you! 5/5
Rob Clark
Rob Clark
2016-12-14T18:20:10+0000
Very professional sound, genuinely listens to what you want and the sound you wish to create, and makes it better in every way! Highly recommend!
Stephen Ellis
Stephen Ellis
2016-12-14T18:19:54+0000
Recorded the last Kaine single at this studio; very professional set up, Ade is a great guy and the coffee is also good.
Gemma Marner
Gemma Marner
2016-12-14T18:04:48+0000
I've always loved recording at Three Circles - lovely, comfortable space and surroundings and Adrian is so easy to work with. Would recommend it in a heartbeat!
Joel Priest
Joel Priest
2016-12-14T16:57:59+0000
Great location as so close to London by road or rail. More mics than you can imagine and Ade has always done a highly professional job whenever I have used his services.
Kennedy Clark Herring
Kennedy Clark Herring
2016-12-14T16:42:36+0000
Truly professional attitude and highly capable. Recommending these guys for studio work as well as live sound... Cheers guys, appreciate the extra effort you put in,making us sound truly amazing. 5 stars : )
Chris MacKinnon
Chris MacKinnon
2016-12-14T16:41:46+0000
Ade at 3C is a true hero. Aside from having professional equipment, incredible understanding and knowledge of music production and a brilliant studio - he is a real genuine man. If I could I'd give this studio 6*, Ade recently recorded a single for my band completely for free because he knew we were doing it for charity.
Saxon Davids
Saxon Davids
2016-12-14T16:39:40+0000
Great recording facility! I've recorded at Threecircles twice now and enjoyed both sessions a lot, Ade is great to work with and has an set up of equipment and can produce excellent sound, and charges at a reasonable rate also! And the coffee is also a huge plus! 😉
Matt Milligan
Matt Milligan
2016-12-14T16:01:56+0000
Excellent recording studio, highly recommended!