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Two monitors on a Mac with a DAW

It’s so easy (and nice) to get two (or more) monitors up and running on a Macintosh that many people are inquiring about how that works with the new G3’s and Pro Tools. Pro Tools is a product that makes the “need” for two monitors more acute. It’s really nice to be able to spread things out and see an entire session at a glance. Of course being able to enable and see multiple windows of your MIDI/Audio sequencer at once is nice too.For the most part there aren’t very many problems with multiple monitors in these setups. Two major issues come to mind: Slots and bandwidth. The new G3’s only have three PCI slots in them and an additional monitor card is going to use one up. If you’re running Pro Tools you should be using an Ultra Wide SCSI card so that only leaves one slot available for Pro Tools, which is fine until you want an expanded system. The good news is there are several expansion chassis solutions that work great for larger systems. The other potential problem is PCI bandwidth. Some PCI cards don’t share the bandwidth of PCI resources very nicely. We’ve seen this crop up with Ultra2 Wide SCSI cards on the MOTU 2408 and with high performance VR (Virtual Reality) or 3d video cards with Pro Tools. Digidesign recommends using standard 2d 4 Meg video cards with Pro Tools systems.Like most things in the computer world the “facts” change on a near daily basis so we always recommend you speak to your Sweetwater Sales Engineer before you configure a system.

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