Easier Configuration: PC or Mac?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by ILOVESOUND, Feb 18, 2004.



    I'm wondering which is easier to configure in general with most host applications. I know that PTLE tends to require more steps and more behind the scenes type of prep to get going than a Mac. Is this true with others as well (Samp, Sonar, Nuendo, Cubase, etc)?

    This is not a which one performs, sounds, or looks better etc. When it comes to configuring things from basic to advanced set up, external harward, trouble shooting, file storage, etc. which computer is more streamlined, easier to figure out?

    Thanks ~

  2. Bill Park

    Bill Park Guest

    The answer can vary greatly. It depends upon what all you have IN your machine, and what all you want to do.

    For example, I have always kept my audio machines as dedicated audio machines. I treat them as if they were DA-88s or something like that. I don't use them for games or the internet or word processing or anything else. As such, my audio machines have been a breeze to set up.

    I also tend not to make changes and updates until they have been proven. If it works, why mess around with it?

    My last two computers have been custom made for me by audio computer shops. But from 1986 until 1999, I assembled my own. Its not hard.

    I have to say that, though I am opposed to the software protection used by XP, XP has been the easiest OS to set up for audio recording that I have used. In fact, there are no tweaks -required- at all for running audio, though there are some that are helpful and gain back resources that you might not be using.

    I still suggest that the platform choice should be based upon your software choice.

  3. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    THis is indeed a loaded question. I'll be honest, I've had little experience setting up PC DAWs, but I have two Macs dedicated to audio, and I find them very easy to maintain.

    I'm IT at work, so I always get to see the ugly underbelly of Windows. With that in mind, take my advice w/a grain of salt. Also I'm still running OS 9, I hear OS X is a different ballgame as far as setup and maintenance. But the beauty of the Mac OS, is that they don't hide stuff from the user. If you're looking for a MOTU driver, for example, on your Hard drive, chances are you'll find it with ease. And in many cases, you can uninstall software by manually deleting files. Do that on a PC.


    I currently run PTLE on a G4. I used to work with PCs for basic computing/internet, so they're not foreign. The reason I would switch is so I could get an XP proffessional and treat it as a dedicated recording PC. It's small, fast, portable, quiet, and cheaper than a powerbook or G5. I'd keep my G4 for basic computer stuff, internet, and iLife stuff.

    So, I don't know. Any other thoughts on specifics on how getting around a PC might be more or less difficult than a mac in the context of recording software?


  5. Bill Park

    Bill Park Guest

    If it is a dedicated audio machine, and you only want to record audio on it, you have no problems and no configuration issues so long as you pick software and hardware known to be stable and with good customer support.

    I like RME as a sound card... I've said it before. I've tried many, and RME is the most consistant, pain free, and on top of any issues that might occur. at least, so far.

    I'm not sure where to point you for an app. I like SAW, and their new SAWBasic proudct might do what you need. Vegas is a contender. I don't know, I have much less patience with configuration glitches than many others, and I want stuff that works and I don't have to think about it, over stuff that does a billion things but is quirky.

  6. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    I agree with Bill. XP is a very stable platform and since SP 1 there are virtually no 'tweaks' that you "have to do" to get fast and reliable performance. On one of my systems I run Cubase SX, Wavelab and a whole lot of dedicated synths and plugins with no problem, despite the fact that that particular system is also used for internet, office applications, video editing etc etc. All my systems are AMD PCs and that is another area where people get stroppy (there's the MAC vs PC hot debate and then there's the Intel and AMD hot debate). Some P4 systems have problems with hyperthreading and running certain applications, and this is resolved by disabling HT. Other than that the PC route is pretty safe these days (use a good motherboard and lots of high quality RAM). Without wishing to get into any heated debates I think the main thing PCs have got going for them over Macs (other than price) is configurability.

    Gulp...I've put my helmet on now

    Good Luck!
  7. EdWray

    EdWray Active Member

    Jul 6, 2001
    Stop at SP1 though. I installed the security patches Microsoft said I needed and it screwed up the layla interface. Big PITA getting that back!


    Ignorant quesion - what's SP1?
  9. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    Service Pack. Its an incremental update system that doesn't use the standard Version x.x.x nomenclature, like Mac OS does.

    If you don't know about service packs, consider yourself lucky.
  10. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    You have to have more knowledge to get a PC rig up.

    I work on PCs for my day job, but use Macs for Music and video.

    I have built several PCs that work very well, but when it comes to being creative I find that I rarely have to put on my tech hat with the Macs.

    It's really a time vs money equation. Save some money, spend some time, doing research and gaining experience to put a machine together.

    Spend money up front save time with a Mac.

    It's really a preference that should be based on the software you want to use.



    Thanks everyone. I'm thinking that staying w/macs might be my best bet. We'll see. I really appreciate the input.

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