My Mac DAW considerations thread

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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby christianrock » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:19 pm

Why not just get a 2-year old MacBook Pro, or something like that. It's got enough juice for a DAW - and it's portable.

It's what I did. Speaking of which... I should use it. But, wife and 3 kids.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby selfinflikted » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:27 pm

I know this will sound like a stupid reason, but I am just not a fan of notebooks/laptops. Portability isn't an issue at all. If a mini would do what I need it to do, I would buy one. I'm fairly certain that they can be had *new* for under $1000.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby selfinflikted » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:43 pm

So I've been looking at Mac Mini specs, and.. I had no idea they were so capable on paper. They have an i5 and an i7 core version. I did not know this. I thought they were stripped down, low-cost machines. I now has a lust.

GREGGERS. PM me when you get a chance, pl0x. Thank you sir.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby gregwar » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:43 pm

@si
ya I use(d) a mini for purely music production. the late 2012 model had an option to get an intel quad core i7 (at 2.3gz). this is a beefy enuf processor for most production needs

the bottom of the 2012 model would unscrew and you could upgrade it. so I took out the stock ram and added 16g of 3rd party ram.

it came with a 1tb hard drive. it's a slow hard drive (5400rpm) but it does the job enuf for my needs at that time. it was my first quad core computer and I was really excited

fast forwards 2 years. every plug-in seems to be a resource whore and my mixes are getting to be 60 to even 80 tracks sometimes. I need a professional grade machine to move forwards ( even my apollo has it's own quad core dsp and I'm maxing it out too)

so apple releases a new Mac mini. there is no more option for an intel quad core i7. the performance of the 2014 model is only 60-70% of the model from 2012. the ram is no longer upgradeable (you have to buy it from apple and it's soldered in place).

i had a intel dual core laptop and would always freeze tracks and max out my sessions since 2006. I think it's crazy to put out a 2014 Mac mini with only a dual core option (at $1000+)

if you are considering a Mac mini get the 2012 version with a quad core i7. a dual core is ok if your using mostly hardware but if you want to run a plug-in like diva it will overload the computer.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby gregwar » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:55 pm

my next computer is likely going to be a PC with an intel 8 core processor and 32gb of ddr4 ram.

I'm going to wait a few months and see if the toob Mac Pro is going to be updated to the latest motherboards and chip sets (which are way cheaper enthusiast chips and not server chips).

but if it's like jan/feb/march ish and intel has thunderbolt, 8 core pcs with windows and ddr4 ram it will actually be around $3000-4000 to built a pro machine vs $6000-7000 for the Mac Pro with similar specs

what I need is power, not platforms. mac or PC doesn't matter to me once my daw is full screen I can't really see the operating system. to do 80-100 track rap mixes I need an 8 core machine with twice the firepower of my current system

(right now I'm mixing my beats and vocals in separate projects because my computer isn't capable of doing one huge mix)

I have different needs than most people though, so ya I can't encourage anyone to chase the dragon with me since this machine will be way over-kill for 90% of musicians.

I'm also seriously thinking of switching to pro tools. I've had logic x since it was released and do 't ever use it (I still use logic 9). pro tools is a cross-platform daw, plus all of my close collaborators are on PC so I'm going to install it on my macs anyways, might as well.

to be a pro doesn't mean spending $6000+ on a computer. IMO those video cards in the pro are 't necessary for what I do and if apple won't make a computer that matches my needs and budget I'll switch in a heart beat.

:like:
Last edited by gregwar on Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby selfinflikted » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:56 pm

Thanks, Greggers!

Ok, so it seems like the only affordable Mac I could use, won't be useable. LOL. My luck. Guess I'll just build a new PC sometime next year and just deal with Winblows. Dagnabbit.

And, I don't really understand releasing a "new" Mac Mini with lower specs from the units sold 2 years ago. That doesn't even make sense. UNLESS they are 1/2 the price now, or something.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby gregwar » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:03 pm

the base model 2014 mini is $500, so it's cheaper than the base model 2012 mini. the specs are so bad tho that I image trying to use garage band and iMovie would be difficult, never mind a super serious daw.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby selfinflikted » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:22 pm

gregwar wrote:the base model 2014 mini is $500, so it's cheaper than the base model 2012 mini. the specs are so bad tho that I image trying to use garage band and iMovie would be difficult, never mind a super serious daw.


Yea. Thanks for CRUSHING all my hopes and dreams, dude.


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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby christianrock » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:01 pm

HE CROAKED, CORAL!!!

tho you should have said, thank you for ruining my dreams, Tim Cook.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby ElectricPuppy » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:04 pm

Pffff, Macs.

You guuuuiiiiiizze. :lol:
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby selfinflikted » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:06 pm

christianrock wrote:HE CROAKED, CORAL!!!

tho you should have said, thank you for ruining my dreams, Tim Cook.


I can't stand to listen to Tim Cook speak. His voice, timbre and all, drives me bananas.

BANANAS, CORAL.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby christianrock » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:40 pm

ElectricPuppy wrote:Pffff, Macs.

You guuuuiiiiiizze. :lol:


And you would be in a MAC daw considerations thread because.....?? :pfft: :smoke:
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby gregwar » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:07 pm

this is all speculation, but lets go with:
$1000 for an 8 core cpu (broadwell e)
$600 for a x99 mobo (hopefully with thunderbolt 2 and usb 3)
$550 for a radeon r9 290 vid card
$400 for 32 gb of ddr4 ram
$550 for crucial m500 960 gb ssd
$170 for 800 watt power supply
$150 for a fractal design r4 case


so this has pretty much come to pass since sept

ram is a little more expensive (closer to $600 for 32gb ddr4 ram)

so it's around $3600-4000 let's say for an 8 core pc with tons of ram, a large ssd system drive (for launching apps quickly) and everything

*edit: I just checked on apples site (canada prices)
it's $6200 for this configuration in a Mac Pro ! holy f*ck !!1

they shud lower the price or something lol

*edit 2: on the refurb shop its $5350, which is much closer to reasonable for this kind of power
Last edited by gregwar on Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby soundwave106 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:04 am

selfinflikted wrote:Ok, so it seems like the only affordable Mac I could use, won't be useable.


From my viewpoint, a 2.8 Ghz i5-4308 machine with 8GB of memory certainly could be a useable DAW.

The caveat is that very CPU hungry plugins will be a burden, so you'll have to freeze more tracks. But that's a problem even on my machine (i7-2600K quad core, 4.5Ghz overclocked). Most DAWs I think are multi-core friendly and will divide the processing among cores. But very few individual plugins are. So throw on a super complex patch on (easy to do with Alchemy and Iris and others) and it's glitch city for pretty much *everyone* at the moment. (Diva is a *very* welcome exception to the rule for instance).

(That won't change unless coders start getting smarter about multi-core. CPU speeds are not going to go much faster in the near future, the focus is more on cores at the moment. Also, for computers like the Mac Mini, the reason specs are getting lower is quite simple: low power consumption / "environmental friendly" aspects are starting to become a big deal, and that does not jive with "powerful". If all you do is surf the web and do some word processing, having so much computational power on all the time makes little sense.)

I/O is what I think would be the bigger deal. If you go down the Mac Mini route, you really would want the 256GB SSD option vs the 1TB stock drive. It's the same price and should still be enough space to cover a few projects (or lots if all ITB).

I also agree that this PC is not usable for gregwar's needs. :) But probably quite usable for a 20-30 track mostly electronic production where anything *too* CPU heavy is frozen to disk. I know I was able to run Omnisphere live on a cheap Acer i5 laptop (with an SSD), and I remember the days when everyone moaned how much of a CPU hog Omnisphere was; I can't imagine general DAW duties being *that* much more intense...
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby ClavAnother » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:59 am

Digital Performer is still super nifty.



L8R
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby ClavAnother » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:02 am

Did I ever tell you guys the story of the multiple used macs I got cheeep that kick butt everyday?

Ah nevermind, no one wants to hear grandpa tell the same old **** over again.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:16 am

Aw geez, there goes Grampaw again...

I never find any cheap used macs. But then again, I'm usually not looking for them.

I do keep my eyes open for this sort of bargain: An hour after I got back from the airport Monday, craigslist told me of a local fellow selling a Hammond BC and tone cabinet for $100. Tired as I was, I called. It was gone. sob.

The tone cab was strange: it had a rotating drum that spun on a horizontal axis, with two drivers ninety degrees apart that fired into the scoop of the drum.

/backontopicmacapplewozniak
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby christianrock » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:35 pm

Tell us that story again, grampaw :smoke:

The question is, do you use hardware and want a DAW for audio tracks, or do you use ITB software to generate your sounds. That's what determines what your needs are. (I guess that's the tl;dr version of what soundwave was trying to say :cool: )
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby ClavAnother » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:14 pm

:idk: Digital performer does both. At the same time even. I can't think of a scenario where it isn't awesome. It's a full on production tool, but still costs half or less than the others. It made sense to me right away, and I had never even used a daw before. It always did everything I wanted it to do and more. Each time it occurred to me to try something new: it was possible.
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Re: My Mac DAW considerations thread

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:30 pm

Video editing compels me to seek moar compupower. With my latest PC, rendering is super speedy.
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