The composer makes great music with the 2013 Mac Pro and the big movie screen [Setups]


Las Vegas-based pianist, composer and educator Travis Lohmann contacted cult of mac recently with an intriguing setup that harkens back to the past but still gets the job done here and now. Or in the “hear and now”, if you wish.

It’s not often you see a 9-year-old Mac Pro and an even older 30-inch Cinema Display doing the job in 2022, but it does happen.

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The composer produces music with a 2013 Mac Pro, a 30-inch cinema screen and specialized peripherals

Lohmann, 33, is a lifelong Las Vegan who composes music for film and media. He saw our Configurations inbox in an article about Apple Cinema displays, so he shared his configuration.

He uses a 2013 Mac Pro he got a long time ago for music production, composition, and the occasional piano lessons he teaches and meetings he attends via Zoom.

He pairs the Mac with a 30-inch cinema display he found on Facebook Marketplace. Apple produced the 30-inch Cinema Display from June 2004 to July 2010.

“This Mac Pro is an 8-core, 3 Ghz [model] with 64GB of RAM, for music production,” he said cult of mac. “It’s going pretty well, although I’ll eventually have to buy something with more cores, and I’m thinking 128GB of RAM or something with unified RAM. I’m also on Mojave and won’t upgrade.

Interesting input devices

As for the trash-can-style Mac Pro, he said he liked the small form factor. He likes to use it with the bespoke Mr. Suit tenkeyless (TKL) mechanical keyboard he found on Reddit.

As for its other main input device, it took a while to settle there.

“I’ve been through a slew of trackball mice over the years, and finally settled on a Kensington Expert Wireless Touch Control Mouse, and I have a [Logitech] MX Ergo thumb ball [mouse] for the other laptop,” he said.

Great gear for music

Lohmann works with specialized equipment when producing music using his setup. Namely, it relies on the Universal Audio Apollo Twin audio interface. His Presonus Faderport is a volume and automation controller he uses with Logic Pro X. And an OWC Thunderbay Mini 4, housing four SSDs, houses his music software samples.

For sound in the room, he has a pair of Neumann KH 120A active studio monitors. These are bi-amped (50W + 50W) monitor speakers, each with a 5.25-inch long-throw woofer and a 1-inch titanium fabric dome tweeter.

This “before” photo shows the setup before Lohmann made some new cable management moves, placing more cords behind the monitor as shown in the photo at the top of the page.
Photo: Travis Lohmann

Favorite tracks and future plans

Surprisingly, Lohmann said his favorite items in his setup are his AlphaKeys Ramen Switch Ruika desk mat and the foam yoga blocks he uses as speaker stands or risers. Sometimes it’s the little things.

He also acknowledged it had more to do with cable management, but called KabelDirekt’s Velcro cable ties his “best investment.” In the photo at the top of the page, he cleaned things up a bit compared to the photo directly above.

“Upcoming plans include finding a larger, more in-depth desk, initial research for Zuri, or building a custom desk,” he said. “The difficulty is in wanting a music production office, but also wanting an ‘office’.”

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