Strategy: Two computer systems and MIDI?

I’m a bit lost. Got myself a vintage Panasonic Toughbook that has a floppy drive and is running windows XP for older sound design programs and sample editing duties…

My main machine is a Macbook Pro connected through USB to 3 MOTU Midi Express 128 interfaces… Now I’m of course thinking if it makes sense to integrate the PC as well… And if so what would work best? I’m hoping to do sample editing on it for instance for my Akai S700…

All in all I’m not sure how to integrate the PC and if it is worthwhile yet…

Any ideas or experiences?

Thank you!

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I’m on Windows but need a Mac for testing. I use a iConnectivity mio10 with the PC and connected the network connector to talk to the Mac.


It would not be worth to use a second PC as a master (clock) for the system or to add additional tracks or to run additional VST’s. If the CPU power is sufficient that is much simpler to keep all this on one PC only.
Even for running specific software you want to see on a separate screen, I’d rather add a second or third screen to the existing PC.

As for old OS’s: perhaps better to run a VM on the existing PC and set up virtual USB connections between that VM and Host OS (but it’s ages ago I did this myself). Can you find a (free) VM that emulates Win XP and runs on your MacBook? And can the MOTU deal with this additional USB? Probably yes as it would behave as an additional USB port of the host OS. Worth checking out.


I am using both Mac and Windows in the same time. The connectivity between windows and mac world is made with BomeBox and Bome Network. (Bome Network | Bome Software)


Thank you all for sharing your ideas and feedback! I appreciate it!

@moss: Great, that sounds like a sensible setup indeed. For me, I’m not sure I need the XP machine to talk to the Mac, but more to selected MIDI devices that are already connected to the existing setup…

@NewIgnis: I hear you. I was thinking before as well that I didn’t want to complicate the setup additionally with another computer. In my case it is a vintage machine that has the capability of writing to floppy which can only be done with this kind of setup. Will I be using that particular feature enough to warrant to try to integrate it into the setup, I’m not sure yet.

@martin: Thanks for the links! Will look into this some.

I guess my main use cases are:
Editing samples and writing to floppy. The former would ideally be done through a MIDI connection with some of the units that are already connected to the existing setup. The latter could be done by transferring files via a flash drive.

Will do some more thinking, but thank you so far!

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For your usecase would a network share be enough?
Just mount the windows drive on your mac using samba?


Interesting, @Flyweight! Coming from a Mac only background (Before that I only had an Atari ST) I never heard about this…

Is your to interchange files between win and mac that using a network share could be an option.

@Flyweight: Interchanging files would definitely need to happen somehow. The question is if I need a network for that (which would be obviously more immediate) or if I just do it via thumb drive which I ultimately need to use to transfer the files to the samplers as they are part of the way their floppy emulators… Thanks for making me think more deeply about this!