EarthWalk Studio started out as a room filled with my touring gear. It was set up so that I could either write new music or program my rig for upcoming tours. It was really a collection of rack mounted "synths du jour", keyboards and the requisite sound reinforcement to make lots of noise. It eventually evolved into a recording space independent of my road equipment.
Since the advent of more powerful computer systems and the bigger sound design capabilities that these new systems offered, the studio has slimed down in size but increased ten-fold in power.
EarthWalk Studio Phase III. Gone is the Spirit 328, the MOTU Audio interface and the GigaStudio Systems. Kontakt has won!
Now the studio uses the amazing Apollo Quad UAD interface in conjunction with Vienna Ensemble Pro 5. There are three iMacs, one main one running Cubase (with VEP-5 in the background) and two satellite iMacs running VEP-5 respectively - all audio and MIDI connected through ethernet. This allows for a single audio interface. The Apollo's analog ins and outs are all accessible on the patchbay and all connections between "digital systems" remain in the digital domain.
Automation surfaces are now handled by Steinberg's CMC Systems - all programable within Cubase 6. The xKeys functions as a surface for key commands assignable within Cubase. The CME UF80 handles the virtual synths and Novation Launchpad runs Ableton Live on the iMac to my left. Live's audio output is handled independently of VEP-5's ethernet connection through the Metric Halo's ULN-2, directly linked to a S/PDIF input within Apollo.
In addition to the three iMacs, there is an iPad (in an Alesisi IO Dock), running some seriously cool audio and MIDI software, and a Receptor Muse handling another battery of virtual synths. These are also capable of being bussed (both MIDI and Audio) in any direction. Their are some analog pieces there as well, all accessible from the patchbay.
EarthWalk (and it's portable incarnation) have been put to work on over 25 albums to date.
Pictured left is a modified Dolby 361 (by BlueToast of Los Angeles) for that "not so secret" vocal enhancement trick!