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On Macs and PCs for music - best practices

FPFL

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,039
There is a colorful debate going on over in the "Does anyone not like the Katana 100" thread that was a threadjack so I thought I'd move it here.

Mac vs PC is a pointless debate. I'm not touching that. When I say PC below I mean Mac or PC.

How and when to update either is a useful debate though...

To me, there is one -critical- distinction.
Is your music PC a general purpose machine, used on the Internet for everything or is it a dedicated, not for paying family bills and watching Netflix device?

The debate on the Katana thread was about win7 vs win10 but really it was about updating strategies to me at heart.

For non-networked and/or purpose run machines running older OS versions and not patching them regularly makes a lot of sense. When you list all the drivers, apps, plugins, etc. you need it can be a real headache to keep everything working smoothly together. The dependencies can be a lattice. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" is sage advice here. Update everything at once when you know all versions are ready for each other. Be careful if these machines are on the raw internet. You need to understand that they are at risk. Better to move music data on and off with usb drives and upload from a general purpose, updated machine. When do connect be behind a good router/firewall and only connect to get critical updates and then unplug.

For general purpose machines, the one your wife looks at amazon with or you do an NFL pool with, game on, etc. - the opposite is true. You need to patch as they release security updates or you are putting non-musical assets and data at risk. You need to be ready for things to break, and have a plan for how you fix that, or do you just deal with it until company X catches up to release Y?

In both cases, taking local backups to an external drive is a great idea.
In both cases not running software you don't need is also a great idea.

Hope this helps some folks.
 

-Empire

Member
Messages
5,975
My windows 10 PC leaks a ton of noise into the signal when recording via USB or basically any time I'm using a USB interface for anything including simple audio playback. Mac is silent. I only keep the PC around for v1d30g4m3z.
 

BillBee

Member
Messages
1,380
I use a sacrificial lamb pc for general use - something goes wrong and it gets scrubbed and the OS reloaded. No muss no fuss. I also keep an old PC as a spare for software compatibility (some of the old editors and programs just won't run on the newer systems).

Like you said: backup the backup. :)
 

Digital Igloo

Member
Messages
4,628
My studio Mac Pro (circa 2010) is used for music and only music. Considering redoing the whole thing with SSDs, but I have nine drives ($$$).
 

jawgee

Member
Messages
110
My windows 10 PC leaks a ton of noise into the signal when recording via USB or basically any time I'm using a USB interface for anything including simple audio playback. Mac is silent. I only keep the PC around for v1d30g4m3z.
Do you have any recent documentation on this? I tried searching for a known Win10 USB audio issue and I'm not finding anything concrete, just random issues probably related to audio component drivers. Did you have the same issue with Win7/8?
 

-Empire

Member
Messages
5,975
Do you have any recent documentation on this? I tried searching for a known Win10 USB audio issue and I'm not finding anything concrete, just random issues probably related to audio component drivers. Did you have the same issue with Win7/8?
No idea on the documentation but I can record something if you're interested.

Don't recall if it was present on 7 (I skipped 8), it's been awhile.

But it is present whether I'm using the helix as an interface or my cheapo USB mixer.

Will have to check if it's present when just using the analog 1/8" out. Can't recall ATM.
 

jawgee

Member
Messages
110
I'm putting together a Windows 10 laptop based on a stripped down version of Windows using this program I found:

http://www.vladan.fr/winreducer-for-w8-x-w10-can-customize-windows-iso/

I think there are a few other apps that can do something similar for Win10 (NTLite, etc.), but this one appears to be totally free.

With regard to updating, there's this method to prevent Win10 from forcing updates down your throat:

https://mspoweruser.com/turn-off-windows-update-windows-10/

My thought is that if you're going to use a "PC" for live work, then it needs to be treated like any other piece of music gear you might own; maintained, but kept free from anything that could prevent it from running at its best (games, spyware, popups, etc.).
 

Elantric

Member
Messages
11,087
My studio Mac Pro (circa 2010) is used for music and only music. Considering redoing the whole thing with SSDs, but I have nine drives ($$$).
I bit the bullet and installed Samsung 2TB SSD in my 2011 17" MacBook Pro (i7 Quad Core, 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, running OSX 10.10 Yosemite. Currently use a gen 2 Scarlet 18i20 and this machine flys with Protools 12,Logic-X, and Scuffham S-Gear

I found I could swap out the internal Bluetooth module for a Bluetooth 4.1 that supports latest Korg wireless MIDI controllers

My computers
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=6104.0
 

Elantric

Member
Messages
11,087
No idea on the documentation but I can record something if you're interested.

Don't recall if it was present on 7 (I skipped 8), it's been awhile.

But it is present whether I'm using the helix as an interface or my cheapo USB mixer.

Will have to check if it's present when just using the analog 1/8" out. Can't recall ATM.

Can you share the Make/Model of your Win10 PC?

So I know what not to recommend;)
 

Antmax

Member
Messages
1,728
The times I get noise on a desktop PC it's due to the poor AC supply here. Any ground loop noise gets transfered through the USB shielding. Running off of battery if you have a notebook or using one of those humz devices fix it. It's a common problem with older buildings.

Never had it with a USB interface, only hooking up direct from a computer to an amp via USB.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,448
Well, I DO think you can do whatever you want with either system. They are both great now... but...

...I've been using Macs for recording music since 1988 (not a misprint), for digital recording of audio since about 1995.

Currently I use only one computer for all my email, video editing, photo editing, internet, whatever. A 2012 MacBook Pro 13". Currently using Logic Pro X under MacOS Sierra.

Maybe on PC you have to be careful about only using your machine for music and nothing else, but with Mac you need worry about none of that. That's a fact. Mine never crashes or freezes or any of that now.

Oh, and an SSD will change your freakin' life. Either way.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,448
In both cases, taking local backups to an external drive is a great idea.
Oh. And SO MUCH THIS!
There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who just lost their data yesterday and the ones who are about to tomorrow.
I have a backup of my boot drive at home and at work, and update it daily in each location.
I also have a backup of my audio data (on a separate drive) at both locations. Worst case scenario? I lose a day's work, and usually not even that is possible.
 




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