Setups #2: Examples Using a Mac Pro

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You can use any of the setups discussed in the previous Setups #1 section with a Mac Pro (provided the Mac Pro either has an Airport built-in, or there is no need to connect to a wireless network). However the Mac Pro does have two Ethernet ports so it’s worth discussing their impact.

The dual Ethernet arrangement means that the Mac Pro can connect to two different networks (three with Airport) at the same time. It’s important to keep in mind that these networks are distinct and separate. Software like vM2 and PacaMidi will be able to access devices on all of the connections but the devices themselves may not be able to access each other.

Dual Ethernet Ports

networking setup 2A
The diagram above is one way to connect a Lemur and Paca(rana) to a Mac Pro. You can choose to let OSX use random assigned IP addresses for both ports and the setup would be more or less like the previous discussions of one device with one port. This setup though affords you the possibility to set up the Lemur and corresponding Mac Pro Ethernet port with static IP address to avoid the issue of reassignment when the computer reboots. The Paca(rana) would of course have to continue using the randomly assigned IP address but that is not an issue with Bonjour support.

Unified network with wireless support

networking setup 2B
This is a fairly standard way of connecting all of these devices. Since all connections eventually funnel through the wireless access point (or router if there is no wireless) the network is uniform and all devices can connect to one another without issue.

Here the Paca(rana) must obtain its IP address from a DHCP server so that facility will need to be running on the network (the access point or router being the logical provider). Likewise for convenience reasons “roaming” devices like an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch will also use DHCP.

The Lemur and Mac, on the other hand, would benefit from a manual IP assignment. The address you use must be from the same subnet as the rest of the network. So if your AP or router is using the subnet 192.168.1.XX the Mac’s Ethernet port should be assigned an address in the 192.168.1.XX range, as should the Lemur. Once you have done this your network will work reliably even when you reboot the Mac.

The problem with this approach is if the main wireless access point is physically distant from the Mac, Lemur, and Paca(rana). This is a common scenario in many home studios. If your studio needs Internet access then an alternative approach is required.
networking setup 2C
This diagram shows one way to solve the problem. A second wireless access point (AP) is located in the same location with the Mac, Lemur, and Paca(rana). Those devices all connect to the second AP using Ethernet cabling.

This is what is sometimes called a “wireless extension”. A number of products can be used as the second AP but not all access points can be used. So it’s important to obtain the right product and also verify that it works with the primary wireless access point.

Apple’s Airport family has very powerful, easy to set up extension facilities, from the basic Airport Express all the way to a Time Capsule. So if you want an easy path to creating this last set up, use Apple’s access point products.

The second access point should include at least a three port “hub” or “switch” so that you can at least connect the Mac, Lemur, and Paca(rana). If you have other devices in the same location that require connection you can supplement the access points ports with an additional Ethernet switch. It is recommended to specify a “Gigibit” capable switch if you wish to use your network at top speed. An Airport Extreme is a good choice here but an equally good choice is a Time Capsule. The benefit of the Time Capsule is that you also gain a “backup server” and/or additional shared storage.

In this setup the main access point is still providing the DHCP function. The Mac, Lemur, and Paca(rana) could all use DHCP if you wish, though for reasons previously discussed the Lemur and Mac would benefit from a static IP address. Set up is the same as with the previous “unified network” description.

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