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Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Recording Computers' started by mac123, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. mac123

    mac123 Guest

    Hi folks.. anyone have opinions about using a mac mini.. say the 4gb version for setting up a DAW? I've been pondering making the leap and have heard great things about using a mac for recording. Was thinking of using either presonus studio one artist with their firebox mobile interface or using logic express with the hopes of upgrading to either the full version of studio one or logic 9 once I get up and running. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. thanks very much.
     
  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Guest

    There are many ways to skin a cat, but all the cheap ways taste like S#$%.
     
  3. mac123

    mac123 Guest

    this is my first time on this site and was hoping to get some help and opinions from some talented and knowledgable people. Instead I get this response from guitar freak? I am hoping some of you can help me out and can offer some useful solutions and real suggestions versus the idiotic response served up by this clown.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Music Service

    Location:
    currently Billings
    The specs on the Mac Mini are not too bad. The biggest limitation here for a long haul computer is the lack of support for higher amounts of ram or the newest processors. Logic is a well liked and comprehensive program but like all DAWs, the more plugins and more VSTi's the more ram is required. Now if you are like myself and primarily record classical and acoustic music, then 4gb ram is plenty especially as DDR3. Hey, it's good enough for lots of things in fact. Especially because I only deal with live musicians (studio or live performance) so I will never use a VSTi. If you can't sing or play in tune with some musicality you won't be calling me anyway.

    However, there is a trend out there amongst the younger generation of hopeful songwriters/pop composers to use as many VSTi's and synths as they can plug in physically or via software. For those folks the Core 2 Duo and 4 GB ram ceiling is quite limiting. Most of these folks wouldn't have made it in the reel tape days! But I digress.

    If this type of music making/recording (heavy VSTi heavy plugs) is more your taste then I would not get a Mini. If you like Mac go for a full size Mac Pro with better processor/ram options. Or go to an actual audio DAW builder and purchase one of their options. In either case, skip the auto tune!
     
  5. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Considering it specs out better than my iMac G5, it should work as a DAW machine providing you add an external hard drive to write your files.

    However, unless you already own a good monitor, you might look at buying an iMac -- more powerful processor, larger hard drive, and a great screen. You'll still need an external drive, but the computer should be a better investment in the long run.

    Consider buying Logic Express if you think you'll eventually buy Logic 9. You can get over the learning curve without spending so much money up front. If you want something that is quite good, easy, and free, just start out with GarageBand (the iLife software is included with a new Apple computer). Your files can be read (or converted) by Logic/Logic Express.

    I like my PreSonus FirePod, but I haven't tried their new software.

    BTW -- to the issue of VSTs, your life will be a lot easier if you stick to what Apple supplies with their applications (which is a ton).
     
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Music Service

    Location:
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    We have three of the mini Macs all maxed out with RAM and we use them for video editing which pushes them to the limits. So far they have impressed me. As for a screen this works very well and looks almost as good as the IMAC which we also use. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00283DWGG/?tag=recording.org-20 Be sure to read the reviews...

    Hope this helps
     
  7. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Welcome to the fourm Mac123,

    I use a 2007 Macbook with Logic Studio and a core 2 duo running at 2GHZ, 2G (667mhz)ram and 80G HD. The built in video in my machine is nothing to write home about.

    The new mini's look promising, I would suggest getting the fastest processor you can afford. The newer speed (1066mhz) is another improvement along with FW800. You can also put a second drive into the machine later if you wish. The only drawback is replacing the internal CD burner with it.

    http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/

    I think if your happy with having a core 2 duo, the mini's look quite promising.

    Let us know if you decide to go for it, it would be cool to hear how it performs with your setup. :wink:
     
  8. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    I have a mini, no problems with sessions of 32-48 tracks, no need to freeze tracks, cpu rarely goes over 35%, using Logic 9.

    8)
     
  9. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    G-dub, which mini do you have? 2+ghz? Sounds great!
     
  10. expatCanuck

    expatCanuck Guest

    Greetings -

    I'm also considering a Mac Mini - that, or 'rolling my own' Windoze box (something I've been doing for years)
    and using Audacity or some other free or inexpensive software (e.g. - Reaper).

    Is the recommendation for an external drive a size or performance consideration (or both)?

    And assuming one would use Firewire input from the ADC/DAC, is there no throughput issue
    with having both an external disk on firewire & the sound coming in?

    Lastly (and hoping to avoid religious/flame wars), for a novice recorder, does it really matter
    whether one goes Mac or PC?

    Thanks very kindly,

    - Richard

    oldWithoutMoney DOT com
     
  11. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Richard -

    External drive size: Doesn't matter, but I'd get 1TB to cover multiple recordings.

    FireWire throughput: I've done it without issue on location recordings. However, normally my external drive is in a separate FW connection or hooked up through my GB ethernet. You might consider a USB2 external drive if you are concerned about the issue. A powered hub might work as well.

    External drive speed: 7200 rpm.

    OS: Go with what you feel comfortable with or that will power the application you desire. I use Apple Logic and Harrison Mixbus - so it's a Mac for me (I come from a graphic design background, so I've been using Apple computers since 1983, Macs since 1989). PCs are great DAWs as well; if you use a WinTel application there is no reason to switch unless feel you want to work with a different tool (program).
    I love Logic and the PC people love their programs. If you go with a PC, just make sure you have the proper Windows OS and the machine for the application (check all specs!). BTW GargageBand (free with a new Mac) is a great sounding app that is pretty easy to learn.
     
  12. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    It's an old 1.66GHz core duo, the new model is more powerful than mine.

    I was thinking about dropping in a newer Core2Duo CPU, but it looks like I found a buyer for the mini.

    Having a long look at i7 quad core iMac.

    8)
     
  13. It really depends on what you are wanting to do with it.

    Much to the consternation of my wife, I have a few computers for audio/video processing. The one I have been most using lately is a mac mini.
    It's quiet, it does the job fine for what I am doing.

    Occasionally I will fire up one of the louder desktops to do processing. But this is not on for long, as the noise drives me bonkers.
     
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