View Full Version : picking the apple
09-02-2006, 07:11 PM
I want to take the mac plunge for a music production setup. Planning on starting on garageband and moving up to logic. Should I go desktop or laptop ? What specs should I try to get setup with ? Is there an interface that is more compatible with mac than the others ? I play guitars for the most part but do have a yamaha motif8 that I would love to be able to use someday.
09-02-2006, 09:20 PM
As always it depends on your needs. From the bottom up
Mini Mac single core
Mini Mac single dual core
It looks like they are on the verge (in a few weeks ) of an upgrade on the processor Öthat should be worth the wait.
The downside is they are limited to 2 gigs of ram (which isn't really bad) but the next Logic upgrade that looks like is coming 2nd quarter 007 may need to be run on at least 4 gig. Past that they seem plenty capable .Has some port limitations but not critical for your smaller needs now.
Mac Book Pro
Donít know much about them but again seem very capable probably upgrade soon also. Bit on the pricey side but if you need/want to go mobile Ö
Intel iMac 17" or 20" are a little more processing power than the mini but you get the Monitor and a few extras (iSight cam, blah blahÖ) and looks ready for an upgrade also.
These look good for the $1200 -$2000
The new Mac Pro desktops are in the same price range as the G5 tower PPC.The advantage at this moment is plugins and apps. The Intel Macs need Universal Binary and everything isnít UB yet. That probably won't affect you though until you move up to Logic Pro .
The G5ís and Mac Pros have much more expandability with card slots and ram (up to 16 gigs).The biggest downside for G5ís (if you havenít heard) is Apple is no longer using Power PC processors. The G5 quad (2 dual core proc) are being left high and dry at the momentÖ(but not the G5 single dual cores). Apple just upgraded Logic Pro to run on all 4 cores for the Mac Pros but not the G5 quadÖand they arenít even a year old !!
Not that The G% quads are bad outdated machines .They just canít operate at the same level as the new Mac Proís.Not to worry within a year (or sooner ) there well surely be an 8 coreÖ.thatís progress.
The G5 quad hasnít seen a price drop yet( none of them have) and and are the same price as the Mac Pro 3.0 ghz quad There is a huge difference between these two machines as far as I can see and itís a no brainer which ďnotĒ to get(unless the price dropped hugely).
I Ďd go for the Mac Pro 2.5 quad. It list at $2500 and I canít imagine the 3.0 is going to blow it away for $800 bucks more because youíll need it if you load up with Mac ram. They are in the gouge faze with 1 gig being about $250 I believe. Iíd go for the minimum ram (I gig )and hard drive (1)Öthen go 3rd party on whatever you want to climb to and save a bundle. The new Pro Mac have 4 ports for HD with a max of 2TB.
Interfaces .If you want at least approaching pro Iíd say the cheapest best would be a Presonus Firepod.Stay away from the M audio unless absolutely want to go Pro Tools LE(donít go for the Digi 002) MOTU Ultralite as the lowest.
If you are after a good sound donít go cheap on your converter though. The next real step up which I think is perfect for project studio is RME Fireface 400. Tight, clean, very livable pres, great clock, software mixer.. canít go wrong. It will be a few years before this becomes dated (if not more).Still in Beta but RME is pretty solid support.
Of course remember if you get into this it will make your G.A.S explode. The majority of worth their salt project studios start around $10,000.Everytime you look around youíll be realizing how itíd be great to have/need something.Whats going to hold itís value (use) is the hardware gear though. Computers and interfaces are planned obsolescence (but necessary so donít skimp) Micís ,mic pre amps,compressors,EQ,s mixer boards will be around a long time until a huge leap in technology happens (but it probably )e.g.) wonít be happening soon.
If you havenít checked into that stuff yet ..just waitÖyou'll be feeling it in your check book and credit cards!!..
09-03-2006, 05:08 AM
I have a G5 Dual 2.5 tower for sale on the emporium. I've used it for ProTools and Logic with great results. My primary application is a 3-D animation package that is about to release in UB so I need to go to the Intel machine. My G5 has 3.5 gigs of RAM.
09-03-2006, 11:12 AM
beePee made a great outline for you.... I would simply add a couple of other interfaces to the fold that I believe are worthy of consideration with midi built in. And say to look at firewire interfaces rather then USB.
Although I believe these are much less known Echo makes good stuff.
And I believe they partnered and co-designed with Mackie on at least the 400f.
If you don't need midi built in and want something mobile...
Then Mackie's Satellite and these guys are another suggestion I would have.
Those along with beePee's recommendations offer a good price range to select from with good quality.
09-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Whats the advantage of firewire over USB ? Any input on the laptop-desktop choice ? I'm thinking you would want the 7200 rpm sata drive and at least 2 gigs of ram.
09-04-2006, 09:03 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. Whats the advantage of firewire over USB ?
Any input on the laptop-desktop choice ?
Just depends what you want to do and run.
I still use a upgraded G4, 1.25 GB ram with assorted DAW's. DP, Reason, GB, plugs. It's a bit of a strain but it still works pretty good. And I can always freeze tracks, etc. So a new notebook would be an upgrade here. And if you need or want mobility.
I'm thinking you would want the 7200 rpm sata drive and at least 2 gigs of ram.
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