Music Composers Unite!
Old time Logic user (since the Notator and Creator days), just had my PC Logic 5.5.1 system die and figured I might as well finally bite the bullet and get a Mac. BUT, I'm second guessing that decision. I could fix my PC and migrate to CuBase or FL Studio. So here are the pros and cons as I see them.
1. Logic X will be able to load my existing files as native. There will be plenty of adjusting necessary (plug-ins, instruments, automation), but the basic music (midi data) will be there.
2. Logic X is an industry standard and represents incredible value for a modest investment.
3. Basic familiarity with the underlying structure should ease the learning curve a little.
1. I'll have to buy a Mac, Macs are great systems, but they're not the most cost effective alternative.
2. The only plug-ins I'll have to start will be those that come with the software, all VST plug-ins will be unusable.
3. My complete unfamiliarity with the Mac universe.
In addition. I have a M-Audio Midisport 8x8 and their legacy drivers section does show drivers up to Mac OS 10.12. Am I screwed (need to get new midi interface) or is this workable with a new Mac? I know I'll need a new audio interface, I've had good luck with the Focusrite Scarlett series. I also use Midi over LAN CP3 to move midi data to a sample machine (PC) running Kontakt and some other stuff (Garritan CFX, Kirk Hunter Strings).
To start I anticipate most of the samples I'll use will be played on the existing PC. Also, in the PC world it was recommended to use a separate drive for audio, is that still the case in the Mac world or have machines gotten so fast disk issues are a thing of the past? Or should I just get a USB drive and back up my work? Will 8 GB of RAM be enough or should I just get 16 GB? It seems these days any hard drive has more than enough real estate for my needs, but I know solid state drives are way faster than disks.
Your thoughts please?
I'll answer more later. But....
i5 or better cpu
Minimum 16 gb ram
Late for work, gotta go
It's really difficult to advise on this. I've always used Windows on PC since leaving my late 1980's Atari behind.
I've been a Steinberg music app user since the Atari and now on PC, Windows 10 Pro, Cubase 9.
All DAW's do the same basic job but there will be a steep learning curve when changing from something you know well.
Without knowing what disposable income you have to play with it's impossible to give clear direction but....PC and Windows will allow more choices at a lower price.
btw, my audio interface is a RME Babyface. RME drivers are some of the best on the market and are updated regularly.
If I'm considering buying a Mac then I'm considering making a significant investment. Buying a Windows machine would allow some savings on the hardware side and going to CuBase would allow me to continue using VST plug-ins. I used an RME interface card in one of my systems. The RME Babyface Pro would solve the midi I/O challenge, but negate some of the savings. My M-Audio Midisport 8x8 has a Windows 10 driver and the Scarlett would be much less than the RME as an audio interface.
Do I understand your recommendation is also to stay on Windows. Look forward to your more detailed response.
It depends how much real-time sample playback you're doing, etc etc. But for context I have an older refurbed 2010 mac pro with 96gb of ram. PCs will probably be cheaper but getting a refurbed Mac is the option I'd recommend, taking care to check compatibilities of platforms, software versions, OS etc.
I'm biased of course, but I've only experienced really (relatively) unrestricted freedom in sample composing since I got my mac which can handle essentially anything I give it, in real-time playback, with high-quality libraries, without stuttering or giving me memory complaints.
It's recommended to have the libraries on their own drive, preferably something solid-state like flash. Otherwise if it goes idle the drive has to spin up between you loading samples and playback and this can cause hangs, stutters and crashes.
I know how you feel. I recently got rid of my early 80's TRS 80 from Radio Shack.
You can't really go wrong with either system. But...
Don't buy a Mac because you think it's a more professional system. That was true of graphic capabilities in the past, but not now.
Don't buy a Mac because you think it is safer on line. True there are fewer bugs written for Apple, but they are out there. And when you do catch something, it can be nasty.
Ever since Apple gave up building there own CPU's, most of the components in both systems can be the same. So it's the OS that sets them apart. Macs are a closed system. So only things approved by Apples' tough standards will reliably run. Nothing wrong with that. But then there are fewer choices.
If you are already familiar with Windows, there really isn't any reason to change. It's that simple. People complain about new versions of Windows looking different from the older ones. The outcry when Vista came out was huge. Big deal. Do you know what has been the same from 3.1 to W10? Right click. Speaking of which, why does Apple make such a useful function as right click into a two hand thing (two finger, and the very least).
Yup, Dave's Mac hums along because of 96gb of ram. You can't have too much ram. That has always been the case.
If you are going to do serious work (regardless of the OS) I suggest a desktop with a separate tower and monitor. I know most companies offer single units where only the mouse and keyboard are separate. That's great if you are going to throw your computer out in three or four years because it is out dated or something broke inside. A component system is easier and cheaper to fix and update. In fact, much of it you can do yourself. It's not really a big deal. Folks are afraid of computers. But they are here to stay, and the more you know about them the better. I'm 65 and I built my music computer from the ground up. It's just not that hard.
Nothing wrong with a laptop. It just depends on what you want to do.
And again, SSD is the way to go. From firing the box up first thing, through loading software, to numerous restarts. All happen faster with an SSD. Not important, you say? Maybe not. If you can go out for coffee every time you have to restart, (and the computer is still not up when you get back) an SSD can do it in as little as 35 seconds, or so.
And, interestingly enough, a separate GPU is more important than a sound card, though you'll probably want one of those, too.
Just a few things to consider. Good luck. More importantly, have fun.
For myself I cant recommend getting a Mac highly enough. Ive used them since they first came out, and am completely satisfied, and so are all of those who Ive recommended it who switched--not only for the computer, OS. etc, but for the Applecare extended warranty, which in NY here or at least in my case, they come to my home and make repairs here, same day, ready to go.Id look into this Applecare wherever you are to see if they provide home service where you are.https://www.apple.com/support/products/mac.html
Don't let others in this thread try and scare you away from Apple, or take my recommendation for it..try them and see for yourself :)
Good luck in whatever you buy!
Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito
I own both PC and Mac and they both can either work fine or drive you crazy with issues. You do not have to go far to find someone who will complain or brag about either one.
Yes to lots and lots of RAM and yes to an SSD. Back up several times, at least one of which should be off site if your files mean anything at all. Check the compatibility issues carefully and use trial versions of stuff as much as possible, try and shop at places that have a liberal return policy.
Cubase Pro user on Windows here. Runs like a charm. Mac is overpriced hooey IMHO.
If you're not running mem- or ram-intensive projects, sure. And for the modern/current macs, also sure. Don't like the direction they've gone in. But for high-end sample library usage? Macs are as far from hooey as you could get, talking specifically about standalone tower units here.
To answer Bob P, I agree the current Macs have lost their edge in the specialised-pro market - that's why the refurbs are sought after by a lot of A/V people, as they precede to some extent the degeneration of Apple's philosophy and the horrible compatibility issues between their own hardware and software. I would never recommend anyone buy a current Mac Pro.
Cubase Pro user on Windows here. Runs like a charm. Mac is overpriced hooey IMHO.
Okay, so I priced a current MacBook Pro with a 2.9 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 512 GB SSD drive, 16 GB RAM and it was $2800, plus $200 for Logic. There was no option to add additional memory. I've been informed that a refurbed 15" MacBook (last generation) would be $1500 or $1800 (she wasn't sure), and she didn't know the specs (well meaning, but not tech savvy girlfriend). Finally, I looked at an iMac 27" screen, 4.2 GHz quad-core i7, with 32GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD drive with Logic X and it weighs in at $3500.
CuBase is $579, and here's what I could get from Dell, 27" all in one (like iMac), with i7-7700 3.6 GHz quad-core processor, 32 GB RAM (non ECC), two SSD drives one 256 GB the 2nd 360 GB for $2658.47.
Or I could replace the crashed drive in my WinXP system, keep Logic 5.5.1 alive a little longer and start saving.
FYI, I won't be putting everything in one box anytime soon. I am sentimental about Logic. I've been using it for decades, but Apple isn't Emagic. I would like to avail myself of all the goodies in Logic X.
One last thing, the guy at the Apple store told me I should get 4 GB vs 2 GB of video memory. Frankly, unless you're putting sound to video I can't see why Logic would need high end graphics (and even then it's doubtful).
I'd suggest checking this site https://create.pro/ who made mine and, somewhat to my chagrin and thanks to the perpetual obsolescence of technology, will now make a machine about as powerful as mine for about half the original cost ($4000-4500 instead of 9-10,000). That is an absolute composing beast and I don't see you could do better for the money. Even if you choose 64gb instead of 96gb ram or above, that's still excellent and drops you to about $3500. That's assuming a single 1tb flash drive and nothing else, but you can add all sorts of extras. I'm almost begging you to talk to them because i know the difference it will make :)