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> Apple Home Studio, What do I need?
SonofDestiny
post Dec 16 2009, 02:28 PM
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Hey boys and girls from GMC,

It's been a while since I last posted. I haven't really touched the guitar for a while or thought about music. However, I do want to get back into it.

My plan is the following: building an Apple Home Studio, taking piano lessons and singing lessons. To cope with my arm injury I will leave my guitar on the bench for a little while. Anyway, my budget is between 1200 - 1500 euros. Not sure if that is sufficient, otherwise I can always throw a little extra money on, but preferably not!

So far I have some cheap second-handed G5 Power Macs that I'm interested in (around 500 euros), an Axiom Pro 61 (really, really cool midikeyboard for about 400 euros) and Logic Pro Studio (which I've found new for 351 euros).

About these last two I'm pretty sure I will get them, but it's the Power Mac I am worried about. I don't want to waste my money on a computer which has a short (economical) lifespan, if you know what I mean. If I buy one now, I want to be able to use it for the next 4-5 years.

The Mac I'm looking at right now has the following specs:

Apple Powerpc G5
1,8GHZ
4 GB
75 GB HDD
700 GB extra HDD
Leopard OSX
some preinstalled programs such as Adobe CS4

Should I go for it?


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 20 2009, 04:15 AM
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Do you really need the Axiom 61? M-Audio keyboards have terrible MIDI control software and drivers, and 6 octaves may be too much/big for home use. It's another matter if you are playing the piano so you need comfort tho.. Still, Axiom 61 is not the best of 61 keys.
The Mac is good, but you will still need a monitor as well I guess... This configuration will last you 2-4 years tops depending on the usage.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Dec 20 2009, 04:15 AM


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 22 2009, 01:19 PM
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Of course taking budget into consideration, I would be hesitant to go for a G5 at this stage. There is no OS that is optimized to make full use of its 64-bit capabilities.

If at all possible, I'd go for a Intel-based Mac Pro and run Snow Leopard on it. That would be a powerful combination, and truly 64 bit.
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Staffy
post Dec 22 2009, 01:44 PM
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Without making a MAC vs. PC thread here, I want to make a point about compatibility here. Eg. who are You going to be compatible with? Your friends, a studio or maybe it doesn't matter? Since the market for software seems to be a lot greater on the PC-side, it would be easier to find second-hand plugs, other programs etc. On the other hand most studios are running Pro-tools on MAC. I dont really think there is no difference sound-wise or performance-wise, but this I regard as most important when building a home recording studio.

//Staffay


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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 22 2009, 01:49 PM
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I'm really trying not to get into a mac-pc discussion, but it is so, so hard biggrin.gif
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Staffy
post Dec 22 2009, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE (Rik Veldhuizen @ Dec 22 2009, 01:49 PM) *
I'm really trying not to get into a mac-pc discussion, but it is so, so hard biggrin.gif


Yeah.... its really hard.... laugh.gif


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Guitars: Ibanez AM-200, Ibanez GB-10, Fender Stratocaster Classic Player, Warmouth Custom Built, Suhr Classic Strat, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003, Ibanez steel-string
Amps: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Marshall JMP 2103, AER 60
Effects: BOSS DD-20, Danelectro Trans. Overdrive, TC-Electronics G-Major, Dunlop Wah-wah, Original SansAmp, BOSS DD-2
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audiopaal
post Dec 22 2009, 03:04 PM
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I would go for a MAC, if I had the option!
I own a MAC myself and, compared to the studio-pc's I've had, it's better!
Not trying to get into a Mac vs. PC war, so I'll try to explain why...

Mac is more stable than a regular PC.
It never crashes or just randomly restarts or gets blue screens.
Not every PC does this either, but you are goin to have less problems with a Mac.

The way a Mac uses its memory, is lightyears ahead of a PC.
The program that's open (the one your viewing) is getting maximum memory allocated.
That way you can run more instances of plug-ins and tracks in a DAW.

You don't have to worry about 32bit vs. 64bit OS etc.
More memory available, so you can upgrade to more RAM than on a PC (at least Mac Pro).

After a week using a Mac, you will most likely find it easier to work with than a Windows based PC.
Easier workflow and better layout as well as less worrying about file structure.

Mac is also compatible with almost all music/recording hardware/software.
Mac is used by professional studios for a reason :-)

I couldn't be happier with my current rig, and I'm glad I don't have a PC any longer.
I work with PC's every day, as an IT Technician, and at the end of the day I wish eeryone at work had a Mac laugh.gif
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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 22 2009, 03:10 PM
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QUOTE (audiopaal @ Dec 22 2009, 03:04 PM) *
I would go for a MAC, if I had the option!
I own a MAC myself and, compared to the studio-pc's I've had, it's better!
Not trying to get into a Mac vs. PC war, so I'll try to explain why...

Mac is more stable than a regular PC.
It never crashes or just randomly restarts or gets blue screens.
Not every PC does this either, but you are goin to have less problems with a Mac.

The way a Mac uses its memory, is lightyears ahead of a PC.
The program that's open (the one your viewing) is getting maximum memory allocated.
That way you can run more instances of plug-ins and tracks in a DAW.

You don't have to worry about 32bit vs. 64bit OS etc.
More memory available, so you can upgrade to more RAM than on a PC (at least Mac Pro).

After a week using a Mac, you will most likely find it easier to work with than a Windows based PC.
Easier workflow and better layout as well as less worrying about file structure.

Mac is also compatible with almost all music/recording hardware/software.
Mac is used by professional studios for a reason :-)

I couldn't be happier with my current rig, and I'm glad I don't have a PC any longer.
I work with PC's every day, as an IT Technician, and at the end of the day I wish eeryone at work had a Mac laugh.gif


amen...

oops, now I did get into this discussion smile.gif
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audiopaal
post Dec 22 2009, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Dec 22 2009, 03:10 PM) *
I was thinking of getting a mac book pro second hand, anyone know prices vs PC in performance and im not on about just hardware im on about overall.

basically, are you paying more just for the mac sticker and logo or can you get more performance from pc for less price? NOT ON ABOUT HARDWARE NOT ON ABOUT HARDWARE ALERT NOT ON ABOUT HARDWARE

Both yes and no...

Hard to explain, but think about it this way:
For a laptop PC with the same specs as the Macbook Pro, the PC might be cheaper.
But the Macbook will without a doubt be better in terms of reliability and more user friendly.
It will work better as a studio workstation too, so in my opinion you get what you pay for smile.gif

If you were to buy a gaming machine, buying a Mac would be hopeless
as PC's are generally better at this no matter the price range.
But for music and design, Mac is supreme! smile.gif
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Rik Veldhuizen
post Dec 22 2009, 03:43 PM
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Couple of things I found on comparison's (performance wise and price-wise), hope it helps:

The birth if the Intel processors on the Mac platform is quite a significant event. By using the Nova Development's Parallels Desktop, one can now install the Windows OS on their Intel Mac and run Windows, even Windows 7, alongside Snow Leopard. I have done this on my Mac Pro and it works. Just saw you know, I am creating this page in Microsoft Expression Web 3, which ONLY works in Windows, inside Mac OS 10.6.2. In addition to running Cubase and Logic on the Mac side, I have all my Sony apps like Sound Forge, Vegas, Acid Pro working on the PC half in Windows 7 Home premium. This is the logical end of the platform war of operating systems. It is no longer a war of OSX vs. Windows, but Apple hardware vs. other hardware solutions. As it turns out, Windows is stable and powerful on the Mac. I no longer need my home network of multiple machines. My Mac has the clear advantage of being able to run Logic or Sonar, and ultimately, any application I want. The PC will only have it's limited choices. It will never run Logic, Final Cut Pro, Digital Performer or anything that is native on OSX. Do the math. The war is over and the Mac has won. The PC offers only one thing: it's cheaper and easier to upgrade. But it will never be "better".

Now that the Intel processors have been out for a while, most audio interfaces and software has caught up. However, older units and of course older Mac software can be a problem. For example, older versions of Cubase are not able to work outside Rosetta on the Intel Macs. You have to upgrade to Cubase 4. Many soft synths required updates too. Logic 7 and 8 are already in universal binary form (Mac Speak translation: will run on both Intel and older G5s and G4s, the Power PC based Macs). However, with OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Apple is dropping the older non-Intel G4 and G5 processors. MOTU had their audio interfaces ready right when the Intel Macs were released, so they remain excellent solutions.

Summing Up
You know the old rule of thumb: Decide which software you want to use and get the platform that runs it best. Right. But there is more to it than that, as i have attempted to show you here. Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. It may boil down to budget, how productive you want to be, your clients, choice or sequencer, or a preference on your part. What? You want me to tell you what to do? I already told you: Get Both! Not good enough for you? OK, you have me at knifepoint in a Chicago alley, having dragged me out of the bar, I'll tell you "If you can afford a Mac with an Intel processor, do it", then in a nearly inaudible whisper, "They are taking over you know"....

And from a benchmark test:

The Verdict: Apple
Mac: In both the laptop and desktop showdowns, Apple’s computers were the winners. Oddly, the big difference didn’t come in our user ratings, where we expected the famously friendly Mac interface to shine. Our respondents liked the look and feel of both operating systems but had a slight preference toward OS X. In our speed trials, however, Leopard OS trounced Vista in all-important tasks such as boot-up, shutdown and program-launch times. We even tested Vista on the Macs using Apple’s platform-switching Boot Camp software—and found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than our PCs did.

PC: Simply put, Vista proved to be a more sluggish operating system than Leopard. Our PCs installed some software faster, but in general they were slower in our time trials. Plus, both PCs showed weaker performance on third-party benchmarks than the Macs. Our biggest surprise, however, was that PCs were not the relative bargains we expected them to be. The Asus M51sr costs the same as a MacBook, while the Gateway One actually costs $300 more than an iMac. That means for the price of the Gateway you could buy an iMac, boost its hard drive to match the Gateway’s, purchase a copy of Vista to boot—and still save $100.






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maharzan
post Dec 22 2009, 04:20 PM
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I am using a macbook pro with Pro Tools LE. GO for IT if you have the audio interface. Garageband / Logic / Pro Tools.. works best. I have used PC before and although you can't really complain, I just feel buying a mac has made it simpler.

But the mac you are looking is pretty old one .. no? I would think even macbook that comes for $900 or the beginner macbook pro.. should be better than that.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 27 2010, 08:33 PM
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[quote name='SonofDestiny' date='Dec 16 2009, 02:28 PM' post='450014']
Hey boys and girls from GMC,

Yes, this is very hard not turn in to a Mac/Pc thing. Have used both, owned both and such, I'd have to say that a simple Mac with Garage Band pre-installed is a good way to start. The compatibility issue is there in that you can't share garage band project with PC folks. You can export your recordings but that's it. So what your fellow musicians and friends have is important. That said, if every musician you play with owns a PC, buying one and using whatever software they use will make things a lot easier and you can always buy a Mac later.

Once you get some experience under your belt, the Apple product called LOGIC is amazing and being adopted the same way Final Cut Pro pulled Avid users away. PRO TOOLS is still great though. If you can afford it it's a great way to go as it's cross platform and used by TONS of pro and semi-pro studios.

Todd


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