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Old 04-08-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
IshiiKurisu
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Question Mac Mini for Home Recording - Worth?

Hello guys!
I'm not swimming in money, but I've been working and saving money so I can buy a home recording set, so I can record [ ] my own songs. But, first of all, I want to buy a good computer, and I'm tired of my of old DELL computer with Windows XP, 'cause it just can't record anything. I install the softwares, plug the instruments, but when I click "REC", the computer just stops. And I've been looking for an Apple, which I can use for my job and for my music, but please, tell me,
Is a Mac Mini worth for home recording? I'm sure I'll have to buy the Propellerhead softwares or the ProTools for the new system, but it's something that isn't a problem. The problem is the computer, and I wanna know if it's good of not.
I posted that 'cause I've never seen a thread like that here, and I even searched, so please forgive me if you've already seen something like this.

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Old 04-08-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
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Ya it will be fine, but the problem is it doesnt come with a screen so unless you have one, you need to buy one, obviously. Hard drive space shouldn't matter because you should get a external hard drive anyway. Nice to have for backing up and storing sessions, etc.

I don't know if I can look back to Windows again. Mac just works the way a computer should with no virus's or anything.
I have a Dell desktop, but now I dont even have it set up anymore. I bought a Macbook Pro and I started using my dell less and less.
I do want to get a desktop some time though. Maybe just a keyboard and mouse.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:16 PM   #3
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I use a Mac Mini for my recording and it works great for a few tracks at a time. If you try to mic an orchestra and record a ton of tracks at once, you will peg the CPU and your DAW may not like it.

But I record 4 or 5 tracks a t time with no problem. Make sure you upgrade the RAM to the max though. It helps immensely.

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Old 04-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Mac Mini for everything

Seriously though, I've had an iMac for over a year now, with zero hardware issues. Granted, I've not done any recording (save for some videos), but they're definitely the cream of the recording crop.

You can put together a nice PC DAW as well, but to get similar performance, they'll tend to cost more.

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Old 04-09-2011, 11:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spattergrind View Post
I don't know if I can look back to Windows again. Mac just works the way a computer should with no virus's or anything.
No Viruses... lol...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
You can put together a nice PC DAW as well, but to get similar performance, they'll tend to cost more.
I think you're confused. For the same specs a PC will cost significantly less. To optimise the OS (specifically Windows) for recording you would have to do some tweaking but that doesn't cost more... just takes a bit of time.




But... Mac Mini's are awesome... just more RAM and for simple production they'll be fine

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Old 04-10-2011, 12:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
You can put together a nice PC DAW as well, but to get similar performance, they'll tend to cost more.
Yeah, this is a little off as is mentioned.
To give an idea my current system was about $700 more than a year ago (may actually be two years now). It has handled anything I have thrown at it so far.
- Quad Core 3.0 Ghz
- 1 TB audio drive + 80GB OS drive
- Liquid cooling
- 8 GB DDR3 ram

That being said, a nicely spec'd Mac would be a great machine to have, but if you are on a budget a PC can do just fine.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:00 AM   #7
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No Viruses... lol...
I know they are not virus free, but you dont have to do much to keep up a mac.

A hackintosh would be sweet too. Thinking about building one in the future. Maybe.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
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Talking

That was the confirmation I needed...

So, it's something like this: mac mini is a good computer, and all i need is more HD. it can accept everything i plug and works well for simple tasks, and I dont need too much... 2 vocal tracks, 2 guitar tracks plus drum n bass tracks are enough.

Just a question: the garageband software is enough for recording or is it better buying the propeller reason/record [too expen$ive for me now]?

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Old 04-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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Garagebad is great for recording. If you want to expand I'd look at Logic after Garageband since they both work similar and also take a look at Reaper for only 40 bucks.

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Old 04-10-2011, 04:13 PM   #10
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Point blank, the ONLY reason to get a Mac is if you're going to use Logic. If you're going to use any other DAW, you will get more performance for your money from a PC. Now, I'll be the first person to say "go with Logic" because it's a great program. However, the program itself is the only actual positive (it could be argued that Apogee's interfaces are also) to using a mac for recording as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:18 PM   #11
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A hackintosh would be sweet too. Thinking about building one in the future. Maybe.
I don't advise doing this if you are planning to record. I had to compromise sound in every Hackintosh build I tried (across multiple motherboards and using every release I could find). It was just not possible for me to get a nice stable platform for recording going.

To OP, Mac mini is fine, but as others have said, upgrade the ram. This easily doable yourself.

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Old 04-10-2011, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lern2swim View Post
Point blank, the ONLY reason to get a Mac is if you're going to use Logic. If you're going to use any other DAW, you will get more performance for your money from a PC. Now, I'll be the first person to say "go with Logic" because it's a great program. However, the program itself is the only actual positive (it could be argued that Apogee's interfaces are also) to using a mac for recording as far as I'm concerned.
There is also Digital Performer that is Mac only.

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Old 04-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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I recently got a laptop, an HP Beats Audio edition. Works fantastic, the sound card and drivers are very intelligent. 700$ for a mean machine. Anyway, my friend, who does some great production work for local hardcore scene, uses the MacBook Pro. It's a legit laptop. If you can get it , go for it - it's a great investment. The only problem is difference in OS. Which can be handled with some extra work.

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Old 04-10-2011, 06:06 PM   #14
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I've been using a maxed out 2008 macbook that is probably comparable to the minis that are available now. I just finished a project with around 60 tracks going in logic with no problem. So for the price of the mini, I'd say it's definitely worth it. It'll last you a long time if you treat it right...
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #15
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Thumbs up

I have never heard about this program, the Logic. 500 bucks? Almost the same price of the Reason/Record, but does it work as well as? 'Cause I've been working with Propellerhead since I've been recording stuff, and I don't think it's a good idea to change the software like this, although this Logic seems like an easy program to be used and dominated.
[Searched for a while in the internet ]
Yeah, it's good, like all the Apple ads make you think about their products, but I think just a test will make me choose the best. But what about quality? Does the Logic MIDI for drums sounds good or is it like the GP4 drum kit?

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Old 04-11-2011, 12:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spattergrind View Post
I know they are not virus free, but you dont have to do much to keep up a mac.

A hackintosh would be sweet too. Thinking about building one in the future. Maybe.
Well you don't have to do much to keep up a Mac... until the computer gets outdated... and then you have to replace the whole thing rather than upgrading parts.


And Hackinitosh's are usually immensely unreliable.


Quote:
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Point blank, the ONLY reason to get a Mac is if you're going to use Logic. If you're going to use any other DAW, you will get more performance for your money from a PC. Now, I'll be the first person to say "go with Logic" because it's a great program. However, the program itself is the only actual positive (it could be argued that Apogee's interfaces are also) to using a mac for recording as far as I'm concerned.
That is not true. Macs are really quite well built. Better than most computers. They are overpriced is all. But OSX is a very good operating system that is very stable for Audio. Mac also is very specific about designing parts that work well for professionals. A Mac Pro is usually a very stable platform for audio (as are most of their other computers).

Macbook Pros are some of the best Laptops on the market... and Apogee interfaces DEFINATELY make it worthwhile using a Mac.

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Old 04-11-2011, 02:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingAenarion View Post
That is not true. Macs are really quite well built. Better than most computers. They are overpriced is all. But OSX is a very good operating system that is very stable for Audio. Mac also is very specific about designing parts that work well for professionals. A Mac Pro is usually a very stable platform for audio (as are most of their other computers).

Macbook Pros are some of the best Laptops on the market... and Apogee interfaces DEFINATELY make it worthwhile using a Mac.
The only thing that I'd agree with you on about here is about the Apogee interfaces (which I mentioned in my post, however, in all honesty, there are interfaces available for PC that are as good). The rest of your post can apply to PCs just as much as macs. Fact of the matter is, Apple products end up middle to higher up the scale in discussions about dependability but rarely at the top of the pile. Also, as for the OS comparison, sure, OSX is pretty swanky. So is Windows 7. And let's not forget the availability of more compatible software for Windows machines.

As I said, I wholly recommend Logic for music production (and, therefore, macs). However, that's the sole reason and I have yet to see any other reasoning that's held up under discussion of facts.

So, summary:

Get Logic. Get a mac to use it on.

Get any other DAW. Get/build a PC.

my .02
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:02 AM   #18
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I've managed to mix a whole production using a 3 year old white Macbook with a 2.1GHz dual core and 4GB RAM. It was around 30 tracks with a good deal of plugins and automation. I admit I did need to freeze some tracks and it did crap out on the odd occasion but overall it ran great. As others have said, I would definitely upgrade to 4GB of RAM, the OS itself will run smoother because of it.

I would argue that Macs are highly priced because they are a premium product. They're not about price-matching machines with similar hardware specs. I would imagine that the high price is also Apple subsidising the cost of the Genius Bar services (what other company does that?) and stuff into the price. You're also getting a unique design, solid body aluminium, and also a tonne of useful features all thrown in for free.

In terms of music, the CoreAudio backend is super stable and far far superior to any other system (from what I've read).

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Old 04-11-2011, 09:28 AM   #19
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IMO, if the OP isn't going to use Logic (or for that matter doesn't know what it is) and isn't going for a high-end interface, it would seem to me that a PC would be a much better bet. I wouldn't buy a Mac for recording so that I could use garageband.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I would argue that Macs are highly priced because they are a premium product. They're not about price-matching machines with similar hardware specs. I would imagine that the high price is also Apple subsidising the cost of the Genius Bar services (what other company does that?) and stuff into the price. You're also getting a unique design, solid body aluminium, and also a tonne of useful features all thrown in for free.
I don't think anyone would argue its a Premium product pricing structure. Like any other high-end product, it falls to the end user to determine if the cost is worth it.

I think the opposing viewpoints were that for someone saving up and scrimping by to get started on a DAW platform, that a PC would have a lower entry level cost and work as well or better for that role.

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Old 04-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #21
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I would argue that Macs are highly priced because they are a premium product. They're not about price-matching machines with similar hardware specs. I would imagine that the high price is also Apple subsidising the cost of the Genius Bar services (what other company does that?) and stuff into the price. You're also getting a unique design, solid body aluminium, and also a tonne of useful features all thrown in for free.
(Sigh, I really hate myself a bit for furthering this aspect of the discussion but...)

Premium how? In that Apple has made their products pretty? Because, component-wise, Apples have been made from the exact same stuff as PCs for years now. When you buy a Mac now, you ARE getting the exact same hardware you can get in a PC assembled in specific configurations.

Also, I may be alone on this but... .... the genius bar.

And this concludes my portion of this Apple vs. PC discussion.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:10 AM   #22
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(Sigh, I really hate myself a bit for furthering this aspect of the discussion but...)

Premium how? In that Apple has made their products pretty? Because, component-wise, Apples have been made from the exact same stuff as PCs for years now. When you buy a Mac now, you ARE getting the exact same hardware you can get in a PC assembled in specific configurations.

Also, I may be alone on this but... .... the genius bar.

And this concludes my portion of this Apple vs. PC discussion.
I was and, to a certain degree, still am, of the same mindset. For their laptops, they're definitely much higher in quality, which matters when you're moving it around and dont want it to die.

Also, despite the same internals, there is less variation, which means Apple can integrate that hardware into their systems much better and have a far better optimized system. Plus, I personally far prefer the OS (although I'm more of a Linux guy, and end up using windows the most)

For you, clearly, it's not worth it. But I personally enjoy Apples products that bit more. They're just nicer to use and not that much more expensive after factoring in the wonderful chasis they're housed in and (most importantly) my student discount.

It comes down to preference and how much more you're willing to pay for that bit of luxury.

EDIT: Oh wow, shocking grammar. ._. I apologise for giving any other Mac users a bad name.

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Old 04-12-2011, 09:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lern2swim View Post
(Sigh, I really hate myself a bit for furthering this aspect of the discussion but...)

Premium how? In that Apple has made their products pretty? Because, component-wise, Apples have been made from the exact same stuff as PCs for years now. When you buy a Mac now, you ARE getting the exact same hardware you can get in a PC assembled in specific configurations.

Also, I may be alone on this but... .... the genius bar.

And this concludes my portion of this Apple vs. PC discussion.
I would have to disagree with you to a point. Apple uses higher quality components...


To think of it in PC terms, its more like using Giagbyte's high-end over-manufactured components versus using the PC Chips type .... that Dell uses for its lower cost.

Apple also uses an extremely well-designed and damn near bullet-proof unibody construction for laptops (with only the type of metal varying between the entry level and pro grades).

I still advocate that building a per-purpose DAW PC would be cheaper for the OP then using a Mac Mini, but there is no denying that Apple makes a superior product to your average, run of the mill pre-manufactured PC.

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Old 04-12-2011, 09:30 AM   #24
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I would have to disagree with you to a point. Apple uses higher quality components...


To think of it in PC terms, its more like using Giagbyte's high-end over-manufactured components versus using the PC Chips type .... that Dell uses for its lower cost.

Apple also uses an extremely well-designed and damn near bullet-proof unibody construction for laptops (with only the type of metal varying between the entry level and pro grades).

I still advocate that building a per-purpose DAW PC would be cheaper for the OP then using a Mac Mini, but there is no denying that Apple makes a superior product to your average, run of the mill pre-manufactured PC.
I'm typing this off of a MacBook Pro and speaking as someone who has built and repaired many different PC systems over the last few years.

But I have to disagree. Internally, Macs and PCs are pretty much identical. The cases (while not bulletproof), screens and keyboards etc. are all very high quality and much better then the competition, but it's up to the individual to decide whether it is worth it.

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Old 04-12-2011, 01:44 PM   #25
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1. Do these discussions about MAC X PC [THE ULTIMATE BATTLE FROM THE SILICIUM VALLEY TO THE WORLD ], are common here in SS.ORG?

Actually, I've used Mac only once, and I felt in love with that Notebook [it was a Macbook at 2009, I think, and we, I and a friend, used the Mac to edit a video, and it was just amazing, no lags at all], and I've used PC since there's me in this world, and I'm tired of the old Windows, almost the same since '95, I think, but I won't choose a side before I use both systems.

2. I listened to an recording at YouTube [the first one when I typed "logic drum"], and the drumming at Logic sounded good to me; more than I need.

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