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Mac or PC?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Rhody, May 18, 2004.

  1. Rhody

    Rhody Guest

    I'm about to buy a new system for recording (my P3 450 is dying out) and I'm really split on what to get.

    I've heard mac is more simple to use (which I love the sound of) but it also means getting used to a whole new computer setup (I've been using PCs all my life)

    Is there really a huge difference between the two?
  2. wafuradio

    wafuradio Guest

    hey rhody...there is a HUGE difference between mac and pc.
    i have always had a mac set up for recording music, doing midi... and my day job (music dont pay the bills yet) is as a macintosh administrator in a desktop publishing environment. i love macs and i think they are great :)

    but since you have always been a pc user... there could be an advantage to you staying with pc. you are familiar with the platform... you already have software and hardware that works... and there is a ton software for plugins etc. for pc.
    my questions to you would be:
    1. what software are you using now to record?
    2. what's the recording hardware?
    3. what kind of money are you looking to spend on a computer.
    4. what about your legacy recording files? do you need them?
    5. how are you backing up your files now? will that device work with your new mac.
    6. what else do you use your pc for? you will need to get the software on the mac to continue doing the same thing.

    i would love to help you leave the darkside and join me in the mac world... but i gotta tell you, the mac isn't easier... just cooler.
  3. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I second wafuradio, the macs are way cooler in my world. however, if you get a mac you basically have a choice of Digital Perforner (the best!) logic and pro tools- If you gonna do protools, get a mac- with DP or logic you do not have a choice-
  4. Rhody

    Rhody Guest

    1. what software are you using now to record? I've been using a simple program called magix. The plan is to jump to pro audio or something similar with a new system.
    2. what's the recording hardware? I don't have very much to be honest. I have one place to plug the mic up and that's it (record everything through the mic)
    3. what kind of money are you looking to spend on a computer. 1k-3k.
    4. what about your legacy recording files? do you need them? hmmm...not sure what those are :( still new at this5. how are you backing up your files now? will that device work with your new mac. I don't currently back up anything.
    6. what else do you use your pc for? you will need to get the software on the mac to continue doing the same thing. Nothing really, just music. I might consider internet/website in the future though.
    i would love to help you leave the darkside and join me in the mac world... but i gotta tell you, the mac isn't easier... just cooler. Heh, I've heard that mac users are fiercely loyal! Darn though, I had heard macs are much easier to use, and that's pretty much the only reason I had considered one because they are more expensive. I'm one of those ppl that don't care too much about effects and fancy stuff...I just wanna get in and record things naturally and shoot for a good sound.
    Thx for the advice!
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I do think the macs are easier to use- especially if you don't have extensive experience with PC's that you need to undo- I had my first mac 12 years ago and I love them- been using Performer ever since- I've had a couple pcs along the way to use with programs such as gigastudio that are not mac compatible and i tell you, its like nite and day- macs are way over the pcs- (next we'll have a pc user tell you the oposite but hey, that's how it is!)

    seriously, if you get a mac thouggh, get the dual processor- gives you a lot more muscle for audio. I have a dual G4 867 and its more than enough for my recording needs, 24+ audio tracks plus plug ins and soft synths- they are up to G5 2.0 ghz dual so that would give you like more than twice the power of what I got- you can't go wrong with that :D
  6. I am a major PC guy, been building them forever, but macs have always spanked PCs like 12-year old stepchildren, at least in the media production world (audio, visual, and video), and the new Power PC Dual 2.0 G5 is nothing short of amazing. we just got one installed, and i've been in love with it ever since.
  7. Squaysh

    Squaysh Guest


    this is totally out of the blue but im gonna go for it... How would you rate DP's stock plug ins anyway? Ive got my choices narrowed down to DP and Logic... and the really nice featured plug ins on Logic sound real tempting.
  8. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Here we go again...

    Ok, I'll try to be helpful and honest: get what you are most comfortable with, if you've been a PC user for several years well, you are right at home as Win XP is just as easy as the rest of the OSs only its' finally a stable system.
    About this fairy tale that Macs are easier to use, this was true 'till a few years ago, now I would say that they are equal, the cool factor has always been one thing Mac people have been so proud about...and people don't change their mind easily once they are used to one thing.
    To testify that this is true take a look at what Digidesign is doing with the PC side of their products: feature parity is reached and the recent demos I saw (including the new Icon controller) have been on PCs.
    Powerwise the two system are equal, only, to get the same amount of power of a dual Athlon 64 3400 you have to get a Dual G5 and spend about twice as much (and still benchmark tests held on Pro Tools favor PCs, take a look at the DUC page for this).
    In this regard I think that PCs are more customizable than Macs, which come prebuilt and configured right out of the box; the downside about this is that you have to spend time and research on the right PC configuration, but you can get the one that fits your needs without the added things. Maybe this is the only point where Macs are really a bit easier to set up.

    In the end I think that (since I've been working on both) you have to choose an application you feel comfortable with, and choose the system that supports it.
    Pro Tools is now equally supported on both platforms and the PC support has grown exponentially in the last two years (I'v been one of the witnesses to this), so much that Digi is promoting the two platforms at the same level.

    All of the major audio software and sequencers are supported on both platforms - Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo with the exception of Logic (who's been acquired by Apple) and Digital Peformer.

    My advice is, test a few, see what you like best and the get the system that supports it, but also consider your $$ availability.

    Either way I think you'llbe fine.

    Hope this helps

  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I use the stock plug ins that come with DP everyday. They work for me. I am not a big effect guy as I try to record my stuff sounding like I want it to sound anyway, and try to use reverb, compression and others just to add a little spice. The DP plug ins work for me jut fine for that, so maybe I'm not the one to ask if you are into effects big time. I also have no problems with the DP eq as it is adequate for me. I have tried the wave plug ins and eventhough they are better I haven't bought them as they are not high on my wish list. (I'm still working on getting good mics and preamps). You can check out some of my songs if you wish. They are all done with stock DP plug ins.

    DP also has access to the apple plug ins and some are very useable, especially a couple of the reverbs. I said this before, for me DP is the best but them I've been using it for over 15 years, about 4 in a studio I used to work at and the rest of the time at my own studio. If I was into film, though, I would get into logic as apple is making a big effort to integrate logic and final cut and all the other programs you need to work on film. I've messed around with PT a bit and eventhough is de facto the industry standard I am no longer involved in working in commercial studios and DP suits me just fine (and I like a lot better). If that ever changes I supposed I will have to take the plunge into PT but I see me going in the direction of films as I have made several demos for indie films- if I get something going with that, then maybe I'll get logic-
  10. Squaysh

    Squaysh Guest

    Ok, thanx for the input. Im not really a big effects buff either. I dont see myself using anything other than reverb, perhaps delay, compression and EQ. My recordings are pretty straight forward so... I appreciate it, take care.
  11. gasy

    gasy Guest

    A computer can not be "summarized" by its processor. You have to take into account the motherboard, Ram charcacteristics (DDRAM, SDRAM and so on) and so on. Announcing the processor characteristics means nothing. This is only marketing.
    To me you have to try both systems. You already know the "PC world". If you know someone who is a macuser then have a trial with his mac.

    Hope that helps.
  12. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member



    I actually did.

    The results obtained using the same test method on the Pro Tools LE application clearly have the PC side in advantage; this is not my opinion, it's the numbers speaking; take a look HERE for the whole story and numbers.

    I used the processor model just to point at a particular power category.

    I'm not saying Macs aren't any good, and having worked on both platform I can say both have flaws and strenghts.
    For sheer power and price the numbers favor PCs, Macs have their community and a solid user base, and the only flaw I can find is they are way overpriced for what they can offer; good machines for the rest.


  13. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    what lorenzo has said is true, but when it comes to pcs its a huge matter of who builds it. not the same with mac, though i no longer have the numbers but the dual celleron 500 pc i built with no overclocking beat out mac g3 and some g4s that whent at half the price, in photoshop i know this is old data, im just saying with pcs its all in who builds it a dell will not preform like an alien ware.(however alienware cost almost as mutch as a mac)

    not trying to flame...
  14. gasy

    gasy Guest

    Why not considering something like this ?

    Well, it has nothing to do with mac or pc but it is a recording system :lol: With that kind of system, you are safe from problems like software - hardware compatibility and so on ... and it is cheaper than a mac or a pc, sound card included.
  15. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    I agree

    I actually went with something like this and use the removable drive to port the tracks into my DAW.
    Quick and easy, works lile a breeze...unfortunately if you open it up...well...it's a PC inside :lol: :shock: .


  16. gasy

    gasy Guest

    Sure. But you do not have to deal with installing software, configuring soft/hardware, and ... mouse clicking for each operation :lol:
  17. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    yes and any one with an analog studio who is looking for a tape replacement this is the easyest replacement

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