Saturday, 14 March 2009

Cheapest way to connect two Macs for Logic Node use

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! (More notes are in the comments)

Logic 9.1 64bit update - Logic Node is not yet supported when running in 64 bit mode. (Jan 2010)

More on Logic Node


  1. Thank you Peter, good tip as it sure makes it a cheaper way of connecting 2 Macs using Logic Pro Nodes via 1Gb ethernet. However, I'm still struggling with how to setup my 2 Macs. I'm using a 17" 1GHz G4 PowerBook and 2GHz Intel MacBook, so I'm not sure if I can get them to communicate with each other via Logic Node application. It's my first time trying to set Logic Node up via a 2nd Netgear ethernet router I happen to have laying around. Frankly, I'm really 'green' at this sort of setup, but I sure would like to use the 17" PB's screen, along with the more powerful Intel processor in my wife's MacBook, occasionally. So, before I buy the 1GB Crossover cable, I need to know it'll Logic Node will at least work on my system. Peter, do you happen to know if Logic might be the problem, and wether or not both Macs need to have the Node application running? Your help is much appreciated. Thank you, Addison

  2. Thanks for your comment; yes your set up should work.

    Here are some basic points to know:
    1. Both Mac must have Logic Node running. Each mac should have the same version of Logic Node installed.
    2. Turn off the firewall on each Mac if it's turned on (in System Preferences - Security). On Leopard you can allow Logic Node not to be stopped rather than turning off the firewall.
    3. Your Netgear router must be capable of gigabit ethernet speeds - many are not, try connecting the Macs directly.
    4. The full Logic recording application does NOT require to be installed on both Macs, only one - this should make things easier.

    The 2GHz processor in the Macbook would definitely be a major boost to your recording set up! So experiment.

    I think the current version of Logic Node is 9.0.2 try running system update on your Powerbook.

  3. Hi, Peter, thanks again. Here's an update. Less than a day later I ended up 'directly' connecting the 2 GHz Intel MacBook to the Old G4 1 GHz PowerBook via an ethernet cable. The IP was automatically assigned through DHCP. Wow! I was somewhat surprised that it could be that simple. I think I was overly thinking the issue a bit much. Anyway, as you've mentioned, I ran the same version of the Logic Node application on both computers. Since I wanted to use the G4 PowerBook's 17" screen, I ran Logic Pro on the wide screen Mac (chuckles). It worked fine, sort of... except for the fact that I was able to assess for myself that it's probably a much better 'fit' when you're utilizing two or more Macs that are better techno-generationally related as to raw CPU power. No brainer there, ey? There were some glitches, but that was probably due to the 1 GHz G4 processor poking along (here's where utilizing the ethernet cable that prompted this discussion may have made a much more dramatic improvement to overall performance (?). So, many thanks, I hope other techies are helped by our discourse on the subject, as at first it took quite a bit of research to put all the pieces together before I got Logic to even see the other Mac. My next experiment seems to be heading in the direction of trying out something like Apple's XGRID, but that requires a OSX server, I believe. The thing is tough, that type of processor resource sharing might be more effective as an overall system boost, rather than a boost to a single application like Logic. All the best, Addison

  4. 1. Both Mac must have Logic Node running. Each mac should have the same version of Logic Node installed.

    I have heard different advice - Node only needs to be running on the 'slave' machine. So Logic runs on the master, Node runs on the slave. I tried it last night & it works perfectly!!