Recording Mac(Yes, I own a PC and I know all about those)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by yzfwv, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    Ok. I have this HUMUNGOUS book that came with my motu and it's for the recording software that came with it. I forget what it's called but it looks like it might be something I should check out possibly. Problem is, I own a PC and I've been running nothing but PC's since I was about 8 and playing games on my dad's computer.

    From mac owners only please: What are your likes and dislikes about recording with a mac? I currently use a laptop for recording and it's a pretty high end piece by hp (what, hp makes high end items?) and was wondering if mac had laptops that compare to their desktops and generally if it would be investing a little bit of money in to get started and try it out...

    I'm using the laptop because I move my setup around a bit, and like to have the freedom to choose different recording locations...

    I did some searching and found a couple of things, but I just wanted to hear a little bit more.
  2. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Well, Mac laptops are great, but they don't compare to the desktops, mainly since they're all still using the G4 chip, and the desktops are using the G5. That said, I have an iBook that I use for tracking remotely, then I switch the FW drive to my desktop (G5) for mixdown. I've considered getting a new PowerBook, but it's just not worth it to me to get another G4, even though G5 laptops are a ways out (Although with the intel switch, they'll probably be high on Apple's 'to do' list)

    What I like about the Mac: It's pretty easy to use. I've found I have to do less driver-related stuff with a mac. The dual G5's are also pretty damned powerful.

    What I dislike about Macs: The price. A comparable PC can be built for about half the price. Automatic Memory Allocation; You can no longer assign piority to certain programs. OSX just does it for you. There has also been some problem with macs going to sleep, and not recognizing interfaces on startup. Don't know if this was addressed in Tiger.

    If you've been using a PC for so long, there's not much reason to switch. That software that came with your MotU interface isn't much (If it's AudioDesk). You're quite possibly using something better already. Contrary to what many of my Mac brethren think, PC's are more than capable of doing great recording, especially when you get one built specifically for audio. (Alienware makes a good audio laptop, and I'm sure there are a few others). Just stay away from stuff like HP and Dell if you're really serious, although they can work fine, you're more likely to run into conflicts with those.
  3. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    It was audio desk and I'm using Cubase se(I think that's the one...the copy that runs about $100)

    Thanks for the info, that's what I was looking for because I was wondering if it was worth considering for software reasons or anything like that.

    I run a pIV hp laptop and it's setup to run cubase and my motu just fine. Infact, cubase is the only program on there after installing XP. I don't plan to put anything else on there either...
  4. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    You'd be best off spending some money upgrading to better software once you start getting limited by cubase SE. Sounds like you've got your laptop running well.
  5. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    but cubase SX is soooo expensive....

    Time to start selling all that extra music gear that's been sitting around the house forever.
  6. axel

    axel Guest

    i really like macs, yes they are pricy, but what you get is in my experience a very powerfull and foremost VERY reliable computer...
    (mac cheese is right here the desktops are more powerfull, so either wait till the g5 laps are out or dependeing what you need the g4 lap might be just fine... i know a dozen people who use them for field recording and / or midi production and they are fine...)
    plus all the components they ship with are of high quality, e.g. the burner, HD Graphics and so on...

    the firewir ports are very reliable too, (i have heard a lot of issues with PC firewire cards and there compability...)
    which is in my eyes a very important issue especially if you run a laptop as all the high quality interfaces and fast external HDs (for audio) running on firewire...

    about software i don't know what your excact needs are but did you ever thought of DP or logic Express, that might be enough for you??

    ok, there is a learning curve, but i don't think that's a major barrier to swapp to a good software...
  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I don't think pcs optimized for audio are so much cheaper than macs- I have a dual 2.0 G5 that I actually got for $1519 (yes, there are deals if you look around) I sold my old G4 dual 867 on ebay for $950 so you do the math-
    (I had actually paid $1200 for it about a year and a half before) I know the old pcs aint worth much so just the fact that you can resell your old one for a decent amount of cash is a great asset IMO- the machine i had befor that in 2000, a G4 400mghz I sold for $750 after I bought the dual 867-

    Of course I always max out the ram, add extra hard drives etc, but you have to do that with any computer anyway, if you want to do audio. My new G5 is up to 2.5 GB of ram and I plan eventually to max it out at 8GB as the need arises. but when i sell it a couple years down the road I will probaly still get 1 k+ for it- not bad, heh? 8) and that is a great selling point for macs IMO
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    And i didn't even talke about how great my mac running Digital performer and Mach Five is...! :mrgreen:
  9. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    PC's are relatively cheap compared to that. If only you could build your own mac.

    I can put together a 64-bit amd with a decent amount of ram (1-2gigs) and all the goodies forabout 600-1000, depending on what I decided to add to it...

    edit: Wow, I just checked the apple computer website and a dual 2ghz processor with 512 memory it $2000
  10. Someday

    Someday Guest

    Instead i can run 48 tracks with 50 Convolution reverbs, 50 VintageWarmers, other 100 plugins on my Powerbook, thanks to the perfect integration of the Apple Hardware with Apple's DAW: Logic Pro 7.1. The freeze implementation is so simple that i always forget it and i believe i'm working on a supercomputer.
  11. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    With just the g4? Or was that just a shitload of sarcasm I walked into without having my waders on?

    One of the other reasons I asked is it seems that Motu is Mac oriented...well with shipping Mac only recording software and a 5 gazillion page manual with it.

    Like I said I have it running fine on my hp laptop right now, but the real test is going to come when I'm recording a drumset and have 5-8 tracks all recording at the same time.
  12. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Audio Desk is basically an audio only version of Digital Performer, it also gives you an inexpensive upgrade path to DP4.

    I own both platforms, Macs are initially more expensive, but total cost of ownership is less from my experience. Mostly due lack of compatibility problems.

    My PCs demand, more care and feeding, more time to research, and more down time.

    If you are a business the ease of setup, and lack of frustration is worth a few extra bucks up front.

    Logic and DP both have freeze functions that renders a track and all effects to an audio file, and releases the cpu load for more intruments and effects.

    I have a meager 1GHz Powerbook, I use virtual instruments exclusively. Most sessions are 32-48 stereo tracks, handles it no sweat.

    No problems recording 16 tracks using two MOTU 828s.

    Avoid Steinberg products on the Mac.

    The dual G5 is in the same class as dual xeons, G5 is cheaper than most off the shelf dual xeons.

    I'm also productive on my $499 Mac Mini that I'm primarily using for web design, video editing, and CD/DVD duplication.

    What i like the most is that I don't have to put on my EET hat, no Dlls, no IRQs, no registy, no taking hardware back to store because of compatibility problems.

  13. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    I priced the parts for a 64bit amd 3400+ with 1 gig of memory, a case with dual 120mm fans, a HD, and mother board for around $600. That's cheap.

    If an mac can run the programs like that it might be the way to go. The only 2 major problems I've ever had with them are they are 1.)stupidly simple and 2.)Software compatibility

    The problem with 2.) only exsisted with computer games, programming software, and stuff like that. Everyone I've ever know to use a mac, uses it for media production of some sort.

    And 1.) is a problem because I've used PC's for the past 15 years or so, before windows was a real OS and the mainstream was DOS. I'm use to having total control over a pc and when I use a mac I feel like it's missing a million components.

    That and I can't ever get that single click crap down.

    But I see a lot of people recording with them, so I might see if I can pick up a used power book and start off there. I'm use to using Cubase, but I only have the $100 se version, so it's no biggy if I like using something else better. The Motu came with Audio Desk, so atleast I'll have some software to play around with if I go this route.

    A question about DP4. Does it allow editing of video as well? Like say I have video that I recorded and I want to make a "music video" out of it, does DP4 let you do that?

    BTW, thanks for all the info, you guys rock...
  14. Someday

    Someday Guest

    But YES, a G4! What's the matter? Out there top producers are tracking and arranging with their G4 PowerBooks and Logic Pro. And even without freeze i can rn a lot of tracks and a lot of fx.
  15. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can import video into DP4 and make an audio track- i believe it was enhanced in the latest free upgrade, 4.6.
  16. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    OSX is Unix with a pretty face, if you want to get into the guts it has all the unix tools, use the command line for complete control.

    Every install also includes Apache server, Dowload myPHP and your'e in business.

    Download some of open-source tools, and you can recompile all Unix apps to heart desires.

    For games PCs and consoles are cheap and better suited for that purpose. May change when Apple goes Intel.

  17. Someday

    Someday Guest

    not so many changes.
    Intel Mac won't run windows (Thanks God for avoiding this shame)
    Intel PCs wont run OSX (Bill Gates thanks God). But someday........
    OSX was from day 1 an Intel OS too.
    The G5 architecture is very similar to the Intel ones.
    The only advantage (if you can say only) is 64bit, 4GHz Powerbooks that don't heat! and last but not least, CHEAAAAAAAP Pices!
  18. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    What he's talking about is Logic's "Freeze Track" feature. It basically writes a temp file with the real-time effects applied, so you're not using any DSP to run the plugins on that channel. It's a great feature, I'm not sure what other DAW's have it. There's no way you can run 50 real-time reverbs on a single G4.
  19. yzfwv

    yzfwv Guest

    would an iBook g4 with 1.33ghz be appropriate for recording? Or does anyone know where to get a used or refurbished powerbook for pretty cheap? I want to get one to test out, and I don't want to spend too much money, because if I like it, I might decide on waiting until the new g5 powerbooks come out...
  20. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    I run on PTLE on an iBook G4 1GHz, 640MB of RAM. It does tracking just fine, but mixdown can be a bit rough on CPU usage. I'm quite thankful for PTLE's non-destructive editing, since I find myself having to write effects to a track to save DSP, then I might want to change them later. A little practice though and you're fine. I'm in the process of switching to Logic Pro for my whole setup, since I can use the track freeze, and I don't need to have hardware hooked up to run the software (Finally, comp vocals on the plane!).

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