Thinking of going Mac

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by CoreyW, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. prototype

    prototype Member

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    call me crazy but an older i7 with a good amount of RAM (8-16gb) should be plenty for most project studios. Only reason you would need more is if you are doing something like >24 tracks and/or lots of VIs or samplers.

    I would try keeping your current setup with a new sequencer like Cubase. If you like it but your computer is still lagging, then you can take Cubase over to your new Mac. If you made the jump to Mac strictly to use logic i would understand, but if you have no preference in software I don't really see the point until your PC gets to the point where it can't handle what it needs to.
     
  2. CoreyW

    CoreyW Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks again for the reply’s. I do use an iPad and iPhone, my H9 kinda steered me that way when my android became more trouble than it was worth.

    I don’t do much gaming, I don’t really have time for both hobbies and I have an Alienware laptop if I need that and I would still have my PC if I went Mac.

    This is too much thinking for the week after thanksgiving
     
  3. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    I wanted a Mac for music, but I still needed a PC around. Here is what I did with a little cut and paste from posting this before. That said you could do the same thing with most any new Mac, but I’m still quite pleased with this option>

    After about 10 years of building my own PCs for music production last year I took a different route, a 2012 era Mac Mini with the i7 CPU. The last of the Minis that were both user upgradable AND can be found with the quad core i7 CPU. I upgraded the internal ram to 16GB, bought an aftermarket internal 2nd drive bay, and swapped the single spinning drive for two super fast Samsung 1TB SSDs. I then partitioned one of the SSDs in half, installing Mac OS (currently Sierra) on one side, and Windows 7 on the other. Then I formatted the 2nd drive in a file format that is readable by both Windows AND Mac OS for use as my general storage and DAW data drive. So it's now a dual boot system with both operating systems, and I use the Windows side for internet/email/business and the Mac side to run Pro Tools 12, my UAD Octo Thunderbolt DSP effects box, and an old RME Fireface 800 audio interface that I patch out to 16 channels of outboard Apogee DA/AD converters. I also run two Apply Displays off my Mini. I stil think the old user upgradeable 2012 Mac Minis are an excellent DAW machine, and the ability to run both Windows and Apple on one machine is quite awesome! FYI running Windows on these Macs is not a hack, it’s actually setup using an Apple app that’s included in Mac OS X, though you need to buy a copy of Windows.
     
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  4. deejayen

    deejayen Member

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    If you're not already using them, you might find your PC runs really well if you change to SSDs. A fresh install of Windows probably wouldn't do any harm either, and maybe tweak the configuration to optimise it for your use(s).
     
  5. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    The two best bang for you buck macs are the older 2012 i7 quad mini's and the 21.5 i5 quad mini's. But if you want to make a investment into a machine that will be able to handle almost anything I would get the 27" imac with upgraded i7 quad, 256 ssd and 16gb of ram for $2600. Problem is you can build a pc with the same spec for about $1k and get a cheaper monitor. I love the mac platform but having recently switched to a diy desktop pc, Windows 10 is solid for audio work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  6. macdolfan904

    macdolfan904 Member

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    Definitely don't be afraid to go refurb from Apple's site. Also, there are lots of discounts to be had at places like B&H photo/video. Mac's are a premium brand and one thing that's often overlooked is resale value. In 3-5 years, you can recoup between 1/3-1/2 of what you paid for the computer, bringing your cost of ownership way down. All OS updates are free. And Apple's customer service is not just tops in electronics, but among the best in ANY industry. There are flaws with any brand, so weigh what matters to you most when it comes to those flaws. I use a 27" 2013 iMac for recording with Logic. I don't ever have driver issues, I never reboot except for software updates, I don't fight the OS to do what I want (unlike Windows 8.1). I just bring up Logic and go to town. Garageband is also pretty good if you don't need all the extras of Logic. I do miss that it's not as upgradeable as a lot of computers, but I also know that I can use it for years before I need to replace it and then I can actually get something back out of it when I'm ready to get a new one.
     
  7. big jilm

    big jilm Supporting Member

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    I went Mac about 6 years ago, and I like it a lot better than PC. I use Logic Pro X on a MacBook Pro and also have a Scarlett 2i2 and KRK Rokit 5's. Great little home studio setup for me.
     
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  8. ballhawk

    ballhawk Supporting Member

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    Would an imac 27" 4.2GHz quad-core 16gb ram refurb 2017 model for 2289 be a good deal? Can get a 2011 model for about half that but I think a newer one has much more potential life.

    Mostly interested because my bandmate uses Logic and it would help with collaboration.
     
  9. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    What size and kind of hard drive? What size and kind of Video Card?
     
  10. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    Depends in what you call a good deal.
    $2300 bucks for any computer to me is crazy.
     
  11. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    I have a 2015 Mac Mini, Core I5 w 8 gigs of ram and a 500gb SSD.
    It runs logic just fine for my small home studio. I have like $800 in it.
    But let me tell you that putting an SSD in a Mac mini is no walk in the park.
    The crazy thing came with a 4200rpm spinner drive from like 1998.
    i don't know even where they got that POC. in 2015.
     
  12. ballhawk

    ballhawk Supporting Member

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    Oh man I"m not schooled on macs.Whatever their hybrid drive is. Not concerned with the size because I intend to do all storage on an external drive.
     
  13. CoreyW

    CoreyW Silver Supporting Member

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    I went ahead and ordered a 2017 refurbished 27" it has the 3.8g processor, the 780 video card, but only has the Fusion drives. I got it for less than 2k. I will order up more ram since this one only has 8 gigs, and I am researching the docks for adding an external HD. I also got the display adapter, and caught Dells monitor sale on a 28" 4k monitor, I have been running multiple monitors for so long I dont know what I would do with just 1.
     
  14. CoreyW

    CoreyW Silver Supporting Member

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    I still have my PC that I can start slowly upgrading and have a platform for which ever will be needed .
     
  15. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    I've always been curious about the other side of the fence, but since I have worked in IT with Windows boxes forever and can make them do whatever I want, I can't justify the extra hardware cost.

    Apple are sick expensive trying to get big hard drives and extra Ram or any customization on their devices. They make you pay through the nose on that stuff.

    I got a loaded for bear workstation level PC laptop bought on a Black Friday sale through a work discount plan for right at $1500 bucks. I'm going to have 16 gigs of RAM, two 1-gig internal solid state drive and 1/2 gig 7200 RPM third drive. It has a Thunderbolt port too. It's going to be a pretty bad to the bone remote recording tool.
     
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  16. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    What brand of laptop? I have a custom pc i7700k build desktop but want a travel laptop with UA Thunderbolt capability. Running Live Studio and Reaper.
     
  17. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    You need to look on the business side of HP, Lenovo and Dell. The workstation level machines are ones that business and companies use to run equipment like in hospitals, electronic control, rendering etc. They are built to be customized in ways for storage, video and CPU power.

    Lenovo's model line is P series.
    Dell's model line is Precision series.
    HP's model line is Z series.
     
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  18. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Some of the firepower mentioned in this thread is mind blowing... I've worked in the IT industry for 25 years and it is incredible what is readily available to the end user these days.
    I use MAC and windows interchangably (at home) and I prefer the MAC for music production. Although, live I use a W10 laptop for mixing the band and tracking the live band direct to disk which is probably the most audio intensive stuff I do.
    I think compatibility / portability in a DAW is my main concern. I have tracked on home machines and then mixed in airports, at work, in the beat seat of my car LOL.
    Recall MACs biggest selling point (still) is the closed system, perfect integration of OS with hardware.
    But for sure Windows can get the job done.
    I prefer laptops for the same reason listed above - rough mixing sitting on my living room couch, mobility - then final critical mixing in home studio.

    I'm surpised more people so concerned with music machine + work machine separation aren't running Virtual Box or Fusion?
    The world is running as virtual machines for a reason.

     
  19. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    The NEW Imac Pro coming down the pike is surely going to be an awesome DAW machine, but it’s very expensive even for the base model. That said the newly reported specs are impressive and in time it may be THE machine to have.
     
  20. JiveJust

    JiveJust Member

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    I believe I can offer some insight as I worked for Apple for close to 9 years. I quit Apple recently to go back to school full time and because the entire tech/internet industry started to remind me of George Orwell's 1984 and I was working for the company that made the most popular Telescreens.

    I started doing OS X support a year before the iPhone launched then I went to iOS which meant I supported Windows and OS X. I eventually went to a department that was under engineering and we did everything and I do mean we supported everything Apple plus any 3rd party products that interfaced with them and reported our findings to engineering. I obviously can't give exact details of what I learned but I can tell you that the failure rate of Apple products in general is unbelievably low. When I supported Windows for iOS most of my calls were helping people get their PCs working decent enough to get iTunes installed so they sync their iPhones with it. I was still getting calls this spring from Windows users even though most services are cloud based. Windows 10 seems like it's the most solid (Next to Windows 7 in my experience) but the interface is disappointing personally and seems frustrating for a lot of users I advised.

    I started out on Macs around 2002. In fact my 2002 PowerBook G4 still boots and runs ProTools, Photoshop and Illustrator. Of course I had to upgrade the HD and Ram as far as I could but it still WORKS. The reason I went to Mac originally is because every professional studio I was recording in had them. In the last few years I've been to a few diehard PC studios where the recording sessions ended abruptly due something Windows inflicted. These guys are power users and great at keeping their PCs running but it seems to be an ongoing struggle. I've never even thought about not being able to record when using a Mac be it mine or one belonging a pro studio. I still have a White iMac that I think is about a 2007 or so (I won it in a drawing at Apple) that is STILL running ProTools, Photoshop and Illustrator.

    Currently I'm running a 2012 15" MacBook Pro from mobile recording (My Clarett 8PreX is in a SKB rack) and a 27" iMac for mixing at home. Both computers have the latest versions of Logic Pro X and ProTools.

    Your money will go further with an Apple Refurb or if you can swing an education discount. Know anyone that works at Apple? Talk to them and see if they can help you. I used to get discounts for my friends and family.
    If you are good at upgrading your own machines you could buy an older used iMac or MacBook Pro with a large processor and upgrade the Ram and HD thru Macsales.com. I get all my upgrade h/w from them, they are the best out there bar none. They also sell refurbished Macs with warranties: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Apple-Systems/Used/iMac

    FYI until the release of the iMac Pro an iMac was just the guts of a MacBook Pro in a desktop shell w/upgraded display, more or less.

    As far as ProTools vs Logic it depends on your skill level. Pro Tools is the industry standard but I have pals that love Reaper and it's price tag. I started on ProTools and use it for my Audio Engineering classes but Logic Pro X is growing on me. I have Focusrite Clarett 8PreX and between the free plugins they give you and the ones Logic Pro X come with I'm all set pretty much. One great advantage Logic has it a built in Drummer program that is actually wonderful to use. If you just want to create ASAP and record AND sound professional then I'd go with Logic.

    I've been recording for over 20 years and your situation is not unique. Don't worry - you can get some great recordings just by close micing your guitar amps and putting up a moving blanket or mattress to block unwanted sounds/reflections. I think getting a decent large diaphragm condenser microphone will be a great addition to your setup. The great thing is you don't have to spend a lot of money anymore to get a great sounding mic.

    I don't game but I know people game on Macs. It seems anyone that is serious about gaming is running an overbuilt PC for good reason.


    Just do your research and get what you need. Don't buy less Mac than you need (e.g. anything less than an iMac or MacBook Pro) because some of the models are not very upgradable or have ditched ports in the pursuit of aesthetics.
     
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