General Question

tweak132718's avatar

I'm working in Music now and probably have to upgrade my mac...

Asked by tweak132718 (2points) July 2nd, 2008

What is the best option for me in the Mac world? I’m assuming a tower will give me the most power and the ability to update the hardware longterm. What about building my own Mac?

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8 Answers

vectorul's avatar

What haredware and software are you useing or going to be useing? Besides the CPU.

lefteh's avatar

Also, what’s your budget? If it’s unlimited, get yourself a Mac Pro and max that sucker out in customization, and throw in a nice HD Cinema Display. If it’s a little more realistic but you still want a really powerful machine, you’re probably looking at a $3000 Mac Pro.

elchoopanebre's avatar

I’ve done some recording here and there with Logic Express.

That is an awesome program and much less $$$ than the full version of Logic. As far as Mac recording programs go, I highly recommend it.

As for computer specs, I am not tech savvy at all and make no claims to be.

vectorul's avatar

Are you going to be recording 16 + live tracks at the same time?

jballou's avatar

Building your own Mac isn’t an option unless you want to run a hacked non-upgradeable version of OS X.

I would suggest a Mac Pro- with as much RAM as you can afford.

makemo's avatar

More important than beefy hardware (cpu/gpu), is perhaps the harddrive you’re using.

I recommend putting the system on a dedicated SATA drive (keeping only the OS on that drive).

And have another drive for the programs you’re using (doesn’t have to be a super fast harddrive), keeping application count low and only install the prime apps of key value).

Secondly, as for audio recording, spend your hard cash on a third drive. Find the best damned harddrive with the fastest spin rate you can get, and make it a dedicated audio-only harddrive.

Secondly, or actually on par with harddrive speed, is probably the amount of RAM. Spend lots of cash on this property too. You should have, at minimum, 4 GB of RAM.

As for the computer itself, you will do fine with anything between mid-range to cheap pro-end Macs (doesn’t have to be the most high-end one, but I’d stay away from the iMac sort and go for a Mac Pro model).

So, I’d say Harddrive + RAM are my number one important factors.

After those things have been taken care of, if you got any budget left for it, I’d get a beefy GPU (eg. graphics card). And lastly, worry about core CPU specs, which is an overrated parameter.

tweak132718's avatar

We’ll I’ve been working in audio and at a studio for a while and just haven’t gotten much at home and don’t know much about building computers (most engineers don’t and aren’t helpful with comp end). I’m though I use Pro Tools and Logic Pro extensively as well as Digital Performer and Live. I can’t afford an HD system but I run an 003 right now and the Music Production Toolkit.

At home I’m going to be working with a large band with lots of gadgetry that will easily take up 20–24 tracks in a live cut that are needed to get comfortable take of the band before doing OD’s. Also work for some music for film etc. which really seems to suck the life out of comp when running video and DAW’s.

I would definitely want the 3HDs. Any specific brands to look at? What exactly is a good HD speed?

Also, what about 3rd party monitors or projectors?
I’ve been thinking about linking my computer to a projector to get more real estate.

And for the record Logic Express is a limited piece of trash. Cubase, Nuendo, Pro Tools LE, Logic Pro, Ableton Live all are just plain better and are actually usable and good for Pro’s and Amateurs.

Also, a recommendation for a good video card?
I don’t really trust trade magazine reviews or what employee’s of Apple tell me b/c they’re all generally full of crap.

chromaBYTE's avatar

One important thing to remember when selecting HDDs is the speed or RPM of the hard drive. This extensively changes the speed that the data is accessed, which is important for big projects in ProTools with mutliple tracks, etc.

A HDD with a fast RPM and lots of RAM is a good start when looking at one of the most important parts of audio editing, which is live playback. Playing back over 20 tracks can really chew through your RAM, so make sure you have enough to support the system to make your work easier. My 2c.

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