Connecting two Macs for Logic Node on the cheap

Logic Node allows you to utilise the power of two or more Macs when working in Logic Pro. The Logic Node software provided with Logic distributes the computing power required to run plugins and greatly reduces the load on the CPU of the main Mac used for the DAW, this is great for matching up say a Mac Pro with a Macbook or harnessing the power of a second hand Mac Mini to boost your existing set up. However it relies on the use of Gigabit ethernet (1000 base or 1000 kBits ethernet) connections to enable fast communications between your Macs to prevent any latency being added. Slower connections such as the more common 100 base ethernet may work but are unreliable in practice.

This is fine if you have a router or switch that supports Gigabit ethernet but if you don't and are unwilling to splash out on a expensive new router or ethernet switch hub just for Logic Node, then here's a simple, fast and cheap way of connecting two Macs. Apple states that you need at least a PPC G5 mac with Gigabit ethernet connections.

Use a crossover cable - the best approach is to use an existing ethernet cable and an adapter for gigabit connection. This is more flexible in the long run as you can change the cable attached at a later date if you need a longer or shorter length if equipment is re-positioned.

I found the Hama Cat 5 Crossover adapter works fine (link below) is well made and great value.

So try out Logic Node simply, and cheaply!

Tips for Logic Node:
  • Use Cat5e or Cat6 cable
  • Turn off Airport on both Macs when using Logic Node
  • Turn off Bluetooth
  • Ensure the same and latest version of Logic Node is installed on all Macs
  • Disconnect from the internet

Update: Logic Node is not distributed with the Mac App Store download version of Logic Studio.

Further info on distributed audio can be found in the manual,
here.