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The Benefits of Screen Sharing in Mac OS X

Lofts have become very chic in the last several years, and with good reason. They look cool, modern, but have a simplicity to them. And we all wish to add some simplicity to our lives, right? Not long ago, I moved in to a really, really amazing loft with this one awesome ‘feature’, it has a second floor only accessible by a ladder!

I fell in love with the ladder, and the custom metal railings all around it, and moved in the second that I could. However, I soon found out that the ladder and all of the custom railings were to keep one from moving a bed, or a large amount of furniture up there. Apparently, the fire marshall thought it would be a bad idea. 

So, I elected to move my office up there. It wasn’t easy, I had to use a pulley, and backpack, and all other sorts of weird contraptions to get my stuff up there, and everything was great. 

The only problem I ran in to was: I didn’t want to climb a ladder every time I needed access to my iMac. Thankfully, I have a Macbook Pro as well, this allows me to get a lot of work done downstairs from the bed (Yep, I’m living the dream), but I do need access to both machines sometimes, and sometimes very quickly! This is where screen sharing comes in very handy.

Accessing Screen Sharing

  • This feature can be accessed by opening up a Finder window shown below:

  • Selecting the computer you wish to share with:

  • And pressing the Screen Share button.

  • Remember, you’ll need to set up access between the two computers, but once it’s done, it’s a snap. See System Preferences > Sharing to set this up! Files sharing is really handy too!

Tip 1 - Listening to Mixes from a Distance

My main music machine is my upstairs iMac, it’s also hooked up to my studio monitors. Sometimes when I have company and I’d like for them to hear a new mix, I’ll simply log in to my computer from downstairs using my Macbook Pro, and start Logic from downstairs, and then run the new track. Cool, huh? 

What’s even better is that I do have access to the QWERTY controller in Logic still, as well, so I can jam downstairs and add in ideas from bed if I need to. 

Tip 2 - Using Two Computers Together

If you already have MIDI control and audio input set up between both of your computers, it’s quite simple to just switch over to the second computer and tweak filters, bring up new patches, modify drum beats, and also modify step sequencers in real-time while the other computer is doing a completely different job like... Running your entire song! 

Also, if you’re one of the fortunate who own large sample libraries like EastWest’s Symphonic Choirs, which uses tons of computer resources. Simply have your second computer dedicated to the large library, and control it from your main computer!

Tip 3 - Engineer a Mix Remotely

Not all of us (especially renters) have the luxury of being able to drill cables through the walls of our dwelling places for moments where you want to use a closet for a vocal booth. But, through screen sharing on another computer, you can control your favorite audio application from another room, while a vocalist in the closet records directly in to the other computer (which, of course, is connected to a microphone). This will minimize background noise, minimize room ambience, and add intimacy to the recordings. Granted, you will need to transfer the files over later, from one machine to another, and position the files appropriately. But, once you’re used to this way of working, it’s a lot easier than you think. 

G.W. Childs IV

G.W. Childs IV | Articles by this author

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like LucasArts, Lucasfilm, Propellerheads, Cakewalk, Midway, MTV. With all of these exciting companies he's either worked as an editor, or sound designer, even sometimes as an actor. G.W. is currently working as an author for Cengage Publishing. He has written the titles 'Creating Music and Sound for Video Games', 'Rewire: Skill Pack', and 'Using Reason on Stage: Skill Pack'. As a musician G.W. has played for years in the band Soil & Eclipse on COP International Records. Additionally, he's worked as a remix artist for acts like Gene Loves Jezebel, Ray Charles, James Brown, Chiazm, Razed in Black, and more.


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