Mac and Pro Tools LE vs PC with Cubase VST 32

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Jesse Free, Jan 2, 2002.

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  1. Jesse Free

    Jesse Free Guest

    I need to upgrade from my Yamaha MT8X to a computer based system. Right now I own a PC (IBM Compatible, Wndows) but I was told that Macs are used by the majority of recording pro's. First of all, is that true?
    Second, a PC systm that I am swaying towards is Cubase VST 32, with a Midi Man Delta 1010. Does anyone one have any feedback on this? For example, will it run smoothly on my computer assuming that I have a separate hard drive and enough ram and all other required specs. My computer has programs such as MS office, Adobe Photo Shop and many others. Any other feedbacl regarding its functionality as a whole is appreciated.

    Third, Assuming money is no object (but it is) should I just go with a Mac and the Pro Tools LE bundle package? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Pro Tools LE vs. Cubse VST 32? The Mac would be designated for recording only.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. IVleague

    IVleague Guest

    First of all Mac is the industry standard for recording and video editing. Mac systems are altogether more stable. There has always been arguments on that point between Mac and PC users but, I use both, so take it for what it's worth.

    Let me give you just a couple pro's and con's either way you decide to go.
    Mac Pro's:
    More dependable (won't crash handling audio loads like pc, stable operating system)
    Industry standard
    Faster/ Better processors and speed
    Runs pro-tools
    Mac cons:
    Not a ton of software for Mac applications
    Difficult to upgrade

    PC pros:
    Tons of Software to choose form (logic, cubase, cakewalk, paris, Vegas, etc...)
    Relatively cheap
    Easy to upgrade

    PC con's:
    Unstable operating system
    Slow (even p4 can not compete w/mac)
    High turn-over

    Program wise you are always best to go with what you know. If you have time to learn a new system, get something that will challenge you. I like logic, and cakewalk for pc, and of course pro-tools on the mac.
  3. rob mccarthy

    rob mccarthy Guest

    Hi, I don't usually post here, but I just wanted to point out in response to Cole's reply above, that PC's using AMD processors are outperforming Mac's by far right now. An AMD XP1800 on a A&V266-E motherboard with 512mb of memeory is pretty hard to beat right now.

    I don't know about the stability issue though, I have no experience with Mac's. I do know that I have no problems at all with my AMD setup. I can record 24 tracks and 6 Aux tracks with lots of plugins with Protools Digi 001.

    There is tons of info on the Digidesign website Users Conference. Check out the PTLE for windows thread.

    Just my two cents worth. Like I said, I have no experience with Mac's to be an expert in this field. Just pointing out my observations.

    Good Luck. :)
  4. Lethargy01

    Lethargy01 Guest

    Yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and go with Rob on this one. I currently run a p4 1.3ghz with a Digi 001 system for about 10 months now or so, and never a single problem with it except for one lock up about 3 weeks ago. To me, that's a pretty damn good, stable track record. If I need to I can totally max out at 24 tracks, use all the aux buses, and run the digi stock eq and comps on every track, a couple of stereo delays, a dverb, the Waves S1, Q10, C1, and L1 all at once... Not that I really ever need to of course, thats quite a lot of stuff there, but I was bored and figured I'd try it out for the hell of it.

    A few of my friends who own a Mac G4's with similar setups to me, theyre lucky if they can get 1/4 of what I can get up and running without errors. They're always amazed at how much I can keep running in real time, and thank god for audiosuite for their sakes. I think the old saying of "Mac's are made for video and audio" and "They're way more stable than pc's" is just that, an old saying that doesn't really hold much basis in the real world anymore. If you asked the same question 5 years ago, I probably would've said the same thing, but now, performance wise I think pc's are blowing mac's out of the water at a fraction of the price.

    That being said, I think it comes down to two things.

    1. Which platform are you more familiar with? If you're familiar with a mac, and have the money and don't want to take the time to learn pc, then by all means, go mac. If you know pc's well enough that if a problem does arise you know how fix it, then you can't beat a pc performance wise at this time.

    2. Plug ins... There's a lot more of them for mac, for whatever recording program you're running I believe. If you NEED every plug in under the sun, then the mac is for you. But you have to keep in mind getting what you need up and running is probably gonna require a lot of audiosuiting, bouncing, etc.

    I'm personally a bigger fan of get it right going in, and stock up on the outboard equipment because it's never gonna be obsolete, unlike the plugins that who knows if they'd be compatible with whatever system you're running 5 years from now.

    Just my opinions from experiences I've had. :)

  5. audiogirl

    audiogirl Guest

    emagic Logic 4.8.1
    Mac G4
    Digi001 or any PCI interface

    Cubase is
    Pro Tools LE is limited to 24track
    Logic rocks and is much easier to use than before.
  6. alunar

    alunar Guest

    i would say that cubase 32 is great, very open architecture, as well as nuendo, nuendo is more focused on audio and is much more similar to protools in the way it works
  7. paulpreamble

    paulpreamble Active Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Don't believe everything you see on TV. The Apple commercials were correct in stating that the Power PC chips are much faster than the Intel equivilant, but that is where it ends. Apple has always produced outstanding hardware and utilized the best CPUs but the OS has ALWAYS been a major slowdown. Benchmark tests have proven that PCs with far less cpu power were able to shine through and surpass the Macs simple do to their superior OS. I've been told that OSX has closed the gap some. Motorola has ALWAYS made a supirior chip since the Amiga days.
    Now, since you are most familure with PCs I'd suggest that you stick with them.
  8. teddancin

    teddancin Active Member

    Mar 16, 2002
    I definitely have to disagree with cole on this one. Even the fastest MAC (I think it's now a G4 dual 1.0 GHZ... maybe a couple more Mhz) is going to run much slower than an intel P4 2.53 GHZ cpu. Not to mention the fact that Macs still run pc133 (maybe 150 or faster, but the point is, is that they don't utilize DDR or Rambus Ram which is much faster). As for stability, I think at this point in the game, they're probably about equal. I've not had 1 crash on my system in the last 9 months (win2k on dual proc AMD's) and it's great. I know a lot of people have problems with Macs stability, and a lot of people also really love Macs, it kinda evens out. But if you feel like dumping 3-4 grand on a new Mac, be my guest, they're great computers, but don't do so because you think they're way more stable and faster than a PC.
  9. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2001
    If you go with the Digi001, you will have track limitations because of the software. Any other program you use, your track count will be limited only by your computer set-up. So why go with something that has limitations buitl into it? Also the other stuff has things like VST-instrument support etc.

    I can't see Digi upping the Track count on the LE system, because why would anyone buy theire bigger systems?

    Also, as far as the MAc VS. PC thing goes. well I look at it this way. Computers are at the point for me where they are just another appliance. Like a toaster or a refrigerator. I'm not looking for a brand that's going to make me feel like I belong to an elite group of kitchen users.

    Accept the fact that you WILL be upgrading you're computer from the day you buy it. So you can spend a pile of cash on a MAC today. Just know that in a year or 2 you'll probably be upgrading again. MAC = Pile of cash again.

    The money you will save on your PC will buy all sorts of other things you'll probably need. Good mic pre, decent compressor, decent mic. If you think that usuing a MAC VS a PC will make your stuff better, well, you're absolutely wrong.

    When it comes time to buy a PC, do the research, and make sure you get brand name componenets. Stay away from cheap Motherboards and videocards.

    I remember the debate of MAC users of SCSI vs IDE. And MAC useres swore by SCSI drives. IDE drives were unreliable etc. Until Apple started using them. Funny isn't it.

  10. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    32 tracks LE2 very soon ... the Gold Masters are made or being made.

    but I could be wrong. ;)
  11. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2001
    Still a 32-track limit though. Not so on they other software.
  12. suspec57

    suspec57 Guest

    yo Jesse Free: I've been building pc's for several years now and I personally don't think that theres any mac out there that can out perform a well built pc. True many studios have macs, but many of those studios are starting to incorporate pc's for many reasons. Performance, price, support, software, hardware, and compatability. Macs can't hang in any of these departments. I've worked with macs and i've worked with pc's during sessions and had the most success with pc's.

    but it all depends on what you feel most comfortable with. going on that concept will give you the best results.

    Also what type of recording will you be doing? such as.. will you be doing surround? if not, have you considered Sonar? its cheaper than both protools and cubase and is a very powerful program. I can vouch for it because though i have cubase, nuendo, reason, and logic, i still use sonar as my primary for what i can do with it and how easy it is to use; plus its cheaper.

    as for the delta 1010, i personally can't speak on it, but i know another musician that uses it and has problems while using logic under 2K. i feel the best soundcards to go with are between motu or echo audio.

    now protools le vs cubase vst 32? CUBASE VST32 is my choice. but personally i would go with nuendo or cubase sx if you are going with steinberg. both can do 5.1 and sx is based off of nuendo. besides, protools is always over priced and you can get the same results using other cheaper and just as powerfull, maybe more powerfull, software out there.

    it all boils down to how much you really know your $*^t bro (equipment and software). i've made some pretty good sounding cd's from some of the ghetto-est studios all becaue of what i know, not for how good the equipment was.
  13. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    I agree with most of the info here re: PC vs. MAC but one other thing to conder is session compatability.

    If you think you need to take a session and move it to PT (or the reverse) at a larger studio say for tracking drums, and need to do it often think hard.

    It is possible to get the tracks from one system to another but in most cases as of right now it is cumbersome. Logic is an exception?
  14. omnirecords

    omnirecords Guest

    I have a question about this Mac vs. PC debate...

    Let's say I work for a post-production house, or a music studio, and I have to take my work home to finish, and they have a Mac and I have a PC. What are the issues surrounding platform (in)compatibilities, and what can I do to get around them?
  15. jochems

    jochems Guest

    Pro Tools LE is much more a closed system as Steinberg products or Logic. With the latter two you are able to make use of any converter, (almost)unlimited # channels. And a wealth of high quality VST and Direct X plugins.

    For Audio I would go for Nuendo on a PC. For combined audio/midi Cubase SX or Logic is a more apropriate choice.

    We use Nuendo now for 14 months. Under both studio and live conditions. Not a single crash since we started! (PIII/1Ghz - W2K).
    I have no recent experience with Mac systems. But I have not a single reason to want to go back to that!
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have recently jumped ito the fray on this one after much pain staking research. It's true that at present Macs are more stable for audio but there is a growing faction of us out here who refuse to send all of our cash directly to Digidesign and Apple. Do these guys think were made of money? Hey, can I make a profit, please? My conclusion? "If it's not analog it's crap. If you buy it you better really need it because the day you buy it it will be obsolete. In a year it will have no value whatsoever. Go ahead, try and sell it. Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha...". After telling myself this I went and got an AMD Dual 1800 with 2 / 80 gig Ultra hard drives, DVD and CDR/RW drives, 1 gig of ram and Windows XP Pro loaded and configured for about 1600 clams. I decided to get a Fronteir Designs Dakota card, ($379 street) because I have a stack of adats around that I can use for front end and because it comes with free "cool edit pro SE" software (which is a good as any other as far as I can tell). All said, I'm into it for less that 2K. (A Mac Dual 1 Gig machine is $3500 alone) I can amortize out 2K before it becomes a door stop (like my adats) or better yet a sacrifice to the freeway gods. Also my wife is a lot happier with me spending 2K instead of 4.5K and a happy wife is a happy life. Maybe I can talk her into a UAD-1 card now!!! cedar flat fats.
  17. I'm runnning Pro Tools LE on a Mac G4 and have been very happy with it. When I was trying to decide on whether to go with PC or Mac, one good bit of advice I received was to buy a turnkey system.

    When shopping on-line for a turnkey system, I was surprised to find the system(computer,Digi 001 system, extra drives,etc.) was cheaper than I could purchase them anywhere else separately.

    The advantage? If you go with PC, you have a Digi 001(or whichever you choose) system that you know will run on the computer you buy. No worrying about any PC component incompatabilities. With Mac, I wasn't very familiar with Macs at the time so I felt better having someone who knew what they were doing set up my system. Lastly, it's great just pulling it out of the box, hooking it up, and immediately starting to making music.

    As for the Mac vs PC debate, as you can see from the responses you have here, it is very confusing. If your on a tight budget, go with PC. You will save a considerable amount of money(I would have saved over $1000). I went with Mac based on the additional plugs-ins that were available on the Mac format and based on it's longer history with running recording software such as PT. PC does have a greater variety of recording packages out there though.

    You will have to find someone with experience recording on Mac and PC to get a good answer on reliability and speed differences. As far as stability/reliability goes, I do agree though that the gap between the Mac and PC is quickly getting smaller.
  18. Serge locat

    Serge locat Guest

    Hey guys!

    IF YOU WANT ProTools get a Mac , then get a life!

    Digi and all other developpement partners push much more on the Mac side forplug-ins So for the upgrades.

    The choice for the application will determine wich platform you will use.

    For those guys in the speed champ platform, don't froget thar DDS or SDR won't make any difference in the audio department. The processor or the codes written for specific apps WILL make the difference. It's like saying that a Nvidia GForce 3 will be slower than a GForce4 for rendering a reverb on an audio file!!

    More on the peripherial, hard disk will make some serious difference, and compatibility file sharing/networking (depending on targetted needs) beeing able to read from different platforms.

    It's the convenience wich makes a platform more interesting than another one.

    C'mon guys be more serious.
  19. suspec57

    suspec57 Guest

    for all you mac users... have you tried nuendo on pc yet? if you are a user of protools and want to try a pc based system, nuendo is the best bet for you. very stable and can do everything that protools can do from my experience. PC for better compatability, better software titles, better performance. thats my opinion :)
  20. paulpreamble

    paulpreamble Active Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    I must agree with you on the Nuendo vs Protools debate. Nuendo has far more flexibiliy and useful features. Not to mention the intuitive user interface. Having said that, I still haven't realized the stability - I have frequent crashes in Nuendo that I cannot explain. Even after buying a new system including a new sound card I still have problems.
    Even still, and almost never having these problems with Protools, I stick by my believe that Nuendo is far superior.
    I'm not a big fan of anything expensive and proprietary!
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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