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Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

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Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby james090 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:36 pm

I just thought i'd ask here, as I use an iMac 2011 SSD / 16GB Mac which is capable (if a little old) to run Ableton etc and VST's with audio as my main DAW.

In the same room, I have another identical iMac 2011, with 8GB and a standard drive, just doing nothing.

is there a way i could utilise this second iMac or is it more hassle than its worth?

I was thinking of using it as a 'recorder' from the 1st Mac or even as a second screen (if i get the right adaptors)?

Is it worth firing up and using alongside my main iMac?
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby MOF » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:44 pm

I don’t think there’s any way of using it as a second screen, I think the graphics card is hardwired to the screen.
Surely the more powerful iMac is capable of recording internally the output of your DAW?
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby james090 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:05 pm

MOF wrote:I don’t think there’s any way of using it as a second screen, I think the graphics card is hardwired to the screen.

I thought there still was, as you could boot it into target mode or something, and with the correct Thunderbolt cable it would turn into a 2nd monitor?

MOF wrote:Surely the more powerful iMac is capable of recording internally the output of your DAW?
Oh yes of course, and it maybe less faff, and easier with me doing it all on the same Mac, like I am doing, but just trying to justify if its worth turning on a 2nd iMac (admittedly less powerful), so I am hoping as a second screen would be a good solution?

I just need the correct cable if this is the case...
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby MOF » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:38 pm

I thought there still was, as you could boot it into target mode or something, and with the correct Thunderbolt cable it would turn into a 2nd monitor?
Target mode allows you to couple one computer’s hard drives to another computer, all you will see on the target mode computer is a Firewire symbol moving about the screen (screen saver mode).
Power up holding the T button, you will see for yourself.
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby james090 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:10 pm

Yes you're right.... I mean this :

Make sure that your iMac is turned on, and the other Mac is logged in to a macOS user account.

Connect the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable between the two computers.

Press Command-F2 on the keyboard of the iMac that you want to use as a display.

Would this work on older iMac's also?
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby MOF » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:12 pm

James090 they are Firewire, not Thunderbolt. Maybe mini display port might work.
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby james090 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:15 pm

MOF wrote:James090 they are Firewire, not Thunderbolt.

No its Thunderbolt / Mini-display port as i've been using a Monitor for the past year or so, so just need to do the same with the 2nd iMac as the screen...

I also looked at many Youtube videos saying the same thing, so will give it a try
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby MOF » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:03 pm

You’re right, my 2009 iMac is Firewire only, I thought Thunderbolt was much later. You might have some success.
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Re: Best way to use 2 iMacs together?

Postby al_diablo » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:08 am

I looked into ways to connect 2 macs running logic - it is possible, with an ethernet cable, to send midi between them, so the second one could run virtual instruments or sample libraries. There is a tutorial how to do this here

https://www.musictech.net/tutorials/log ... -two-macs/

I got as far as reading up how to do this but never actually tried!
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