The breadth of Windows applications that people use VMware Fusion to run on their Mac never ceases to amaze. Take for example, Joe Devine, whose day job is CTO at eBags.com, one of the biggest online retailers of bags and accessories.
But at home, Joe’s all about his music. Before he was a big time technology exec for a leading e-tailer, Joe was a professional musician, playing in bands, running a recording studio, and promoting bands back in the 90s. His musical streak still runs strong. Recently, when he had the chance to record a local singer in Colorado (where eBags is based) and he was having issues with Firewire under his PC, Joe decided that he would make the switch to Mac.
Joe’s Challenge: Make that Mac Make Music
Joe had initially bought a MacBook for other reasons, but after some instability on his PC, put Pro Tools onto his Mac, where it behaved better.
The challenge was, there are quite a few industry-standard music production applications that are Windows only. Examples would be Sonic Foundry / Sony Acid Pro 6 and Sonic Foundry / Sony SoundForge 8, both of which only run on Windows, along with GigaStudio and Virtual Guitarist.
As Joe puts it, "But tons of my project stuff was still in Acid-format and on the PC, not mention literally tens of thousands of samples and loops I needed access to that I didn’t want to waste time converting over for user with Mac tools."
VMware Fusion Makes Sweet, Sweet Music on the Mac
Joe’s solution? Run Acid on Mac in Unity view using a Windows XP virtual machine running under VMware Fusion. "VMware Fusion lets me run Acid, pick up all my PC-based media off the network, run all my cool virtual instruments, export tracks to a VMware shared folder on my Mac’s file system, from where I load them into Pro Tools for mixing."
With VMware Fusion, Joe doesn’t have to relearn any new apps, and can just take care of business. "I can do all my computer-only production work in Sony Acid on Mac, and then just export the files and run ProTools for additional production, like recording live vocals and instruments and mixdown," says Joe. "Without VMware Fusion, I would have to go through the tedious process of converting all my files, and would be without some of my coolest instruments."
Joe’s favorite thing about VMware Fusion? "No more crashes! No more switching computers, audio interfaces, etc. during a project. No more having to choose between Acid and Pro Tools–I can use both!"
Picture of Sony Acid running on Mac in a Windows XP virtual machine with VMware Fusion (killer speakers!):
And here’s a track that Joe recorded with Megan Fong, using VMware Fusion! How cool is that? Listen Here.
What would Joe says to someone in his shoes?
"Music production on the Mac is made possible with VMware Fusion, and just works! If you’re a Sony Media user you will definitely be able to do loop-based production using VMware Fusion. Being able to run older VST instruments that will never have universal binaries is a huge plus!"
Machine: MacBook Core Duo, 2gHz, 2 GB RAM, 23" Cinema display to run dual heads.
VMs: Windows XP
Virtualized Apps on the Mac:
- Sony / Sonic Foundry Acid Pro 6.0
- Sony / Sonic Foundry Sound Forge
- VST Virtual Instruments
And, of course, Joe’s killer studio: