PC vs Mac For Recording

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Scar Symmetry, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    So I've seen threads similar to this on recording forums and I was interested to see the views of people on here. Are PCs really that unreliable? Are Macs really good enough to justify their ridiculous price tag?

    What do you guys use?

    (P.S. I wasn't sure which forum this should be in so I placed it here as it is focusing on recording :))
     
    Mattmc74 and Konfyouzd like this.
  2. GorillaSalsa

    GorillaSalsa SS.org Regular

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    It's "common knowledge" that Macs are better, but there's really no substance behind that statement. The only thing OSX has going for it that Windows doesn't is Logic, but is Logic worth the massive price premium? Obviously it is to some.

    Use what you're comfortable with, but more accurately, use what you're comfortable with paying for.
     
  3. Jagw

    Jagw SS.org Regular

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    I've built a few recording PC's for people and i've had no problems with their reliability, if you are going to be strictly using the machine to record with, keep it off the internet and use it only for recording purposes and you are VERY unlikely to get any reliability problems at al.

    Macs are good enough to justify the price tag (i'm awaiting delivery of my new Macbook Pro :D) but you can get just as good results with a well built PC.

    I think it all comes down to personal preference; if you want to shell out the cash for a Mac, then get one. Chances are you won't regret it, but if you're on a budget, get a decent recording PC built and you'll get just as good results for a fraction of the price.
     
  4. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    :agreed: Wise.

    I use a 3 (or is it 4? Hell, I forget) year old laptop, and it works great.
     
  5. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

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    When you say ridiculous price tag, have you look into them much?

    Even the Macbooks are pretty damn good specs, and they start at £700. PC Laptops with comparable specs are not a lot less to be honest.

    In my experience though, yes, PC's are that unreliable. I deal with PC's day in day out at my job through working in IT, and have been using them since the days of Windows 3.11 and when DOS was the first thing you came to when you turned on, and its been a mess ever since Windows 95 came along as far as I'm concerned.

    The thing you have to look at with Macs is, my current desktop and laptop may have been expensive, but I've had them 2 years now, and they STILL outperform many PCs and laptops that are released today, in terms of speed and usability. Throw in the fact they seem to be almost made for recording, and you start to see the advantages.

    Heres another part. Stephen Platt from Collibus (he posts here) uses a Mac G4 for recording, with multiple tracks, lots of virtual instruments and the like, and doesn't have any problems with it. The G4's are about 4 or 5 generations ago and he's still using the latest software available, I don't know many PCs that old that could run the latest MSN without slowing down....
     
  6. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    ^ I'm sure all of that is true, but in a practical sense?

    My computer, once configured correctly, hasn't given me any problems, and in terms of performance - recording included - is highly reliable. Many other PC users can, and do, say the same.
     
  7. cataclysm_child

    cataclysm_child NOT a ss.org Regular

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    I went from PC to mac because my PC hanged all the time. It was an old computer though. But macs freezes just as much in my experience. I also went to a school that used macs..
    Being used to PC I think mac was harder to use in the start, really missed the right-click, haha. But now it doesn´t really matter. If I could go back I would probably buy a brand new PC instead of the mac.

    So my conclusion is that it doesn´t really matter what you use for recording.
     
  8. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    so they do justify the price then? I always figured you get what you pay for, and I know Andy Sneap uses G3s and G4s so that speaks volumes for what they are capable of.
     
  9. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

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    How do you mean practical sense?

    It cant be any more practical than, the 7 or 8 year old G4's are keeping up with relatively new PCs to do the same things, and I dont know a 7 or 8 year old PC that could.

    All I know is, yes, PCs when configured correctly can run reliably, but without any configuration I've found Macs do, and then when they are configured further, they run even better.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I know many people who've bought about 2 or 3 different laptops in the space I've owned mine, then complained about how much Macs cost....
     
  10. TimothyLeary

    TimothyLeary Tune in, Drop out

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    G3s and G4s, and G5s were different stuff than the macs nowadays. Those were the days that to me was really difficult to buy a mac.

    If you are talking about desktops like iMac(i have one from 2007) I don't think they are ridiculous expensive, but keep in mind that you get a beautiful computer with a great OS but the components are what you see in the others.. so, they can give you trouble too, and that old comments about "my mac can do 2 times better what your normal pc does" are over.. like I said, it maybe true in g4 or g5 era.

    I'm saying that, because a lot of people think that they have to buy a hard disk specific for mac, RAM specific por mac, and so on. That's wrong.

    Also, check what audio interface you have or you want, there many people who buy macs and then can't use the audio interface because incompatibility of the firewire chip on macs, specially teh recent ones. i'm talking about firepod, rme, motu, etc.

    About the OS, remember that if you don't use original DAW's like cubase, you are in trouble to work with them in OSX. but other things you can easily "find" on net. In the pc side, maybe the windows 7 will bring the light to windows territory.

    Now, the good things, you get a great lcd, with good quality, a clean desk, and a decent computer.

    Hope it help.
     
  11. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

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    Given an OS controls how the hardware is used, and I've found Linux ALWAYS runs better on the same PC as one running Windows, I think its far from over :)

    Windows has to be the jack of all trades due to the amount of hardware it has to take into account, so can never really built with a smaller scope in mind, and can't be optimised for a smaller breadth of hardware.
     
  12. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    I mean in this sense. ;)

    prac·ti·cal (prkt-kl)
    adj.

    Capable of being used or put into effect; useful:

    The day-to-day operation, of having and using a PC, especially in regards to recording.

    I haven't experienced any issues of unreliability, and I know many others - on this forum, for a specific example - who don't encounter problems that would make a PC considered "that unreliable."

    I'm sure what you say about those older Macs is true; I don't know enough about Macs to comment. But speaking in terms of buying and maintaining a PC, while having it function with minimal issues, for recording... perfectly reasonable and possible. Practical.
     
  13. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

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    I see where you are coming from now, thanks for the clarification :)

    I guess if you are going to use them for recording only, then PCs will probably be close to, or even as reliable as a Mac for the purpose, but I use both mine, as do many Mac users, for everything, including recording, and the fact that they run so smoothly for recording, without having to be used for that purpose alone, makes them worth their weight in gold for me.

    I need my laptop for portable recording, but I also need it for network analysis and simulation of networks too, so I guess my experience comes from the angle of, I can use mine for everything and still not feel like I'm compromising any part of what I do.
     
  14. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    That's a great point, but I use my laptop in much the same way.

    I run Reaper, with tons of plug-ins, and use my laptop for home and live recording. Plus, for all my school and work stuff, for surfing... all the normal shit you'd expect. Not computer intensive stuff, but all the typical things most users encounter. It's definitely not a 'audio only' DAW.

    No issues.



    The macs might be better (dunno, but I'll take your word for it), but speaking from the PC side of things, it's A-OK. ;)
     
  15. TimothyLeary

    TimothyLeary Tune in, Drop out

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    stuh84, yes, but linux is a different stuff in the way it's you that open the doors you want to your hardware.. mac nowadays to be more friendly use have to accept a large number of hardware, altough i prefer the os x to any windows i worked.

    but i've trouble with it too. I had crashs like the blue screen in pc, i had projects on cubase that shut down completed for reasons i don't know, etc... so if anyone plan to buy a mac, remember.. errors and specially strange errors :D happen too.
     
  16. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

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    Actually, Linux needs to be open to more hardware than OS X, as OS X has only the small range of Macs it has released to work with, whereas Linux has just as much hardware as Windows to contend with....hence why theres still a lot of hardware that doesn't work with it.

    I will agree though, Macs have never, and will never be error free, I just personally find them a LOT easier to deal with. Great GUI and a command line back end should I choose to need it, and compatibility with useful software, just what I need :)
     
  17. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    yeah when my band recorded our EP, we did it with a MacBook Pro and that stalled a few times in Cubase, which I was shocked by. so really, neither one is more reliable?
     
  18. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

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    As this thread has shown, some people find PCs no less reliable, I myself have found PCs very unreliable compared, but not everyone agrees with me, however a lot of people I know do agree with me. I was a dedicated PC user until 2 years ago, and yet now I begrudge using them. Just my personal view though.

    I think you can't really make an educated decision without trying both extensively for yourself.
     
  19. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    I can't afford to try both extensively :lol:
     
  20. TimothyLeary

    TimothyLeary Tune in, Drop out

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    To be honest I think they are in the same level. In a pc you can get great results if you work with it like a professional, stop install all that games, surf on "strange" websites, strange programs, etc.

    I think we can say mac is more secure, i don't have any spyware program installed or anti virus, and I don't have problems, but they have some vulnerabilities as well.. and people will find more when macs have more and more users.

    It's a personal taste too, have you worked with os x ? do you like it?

    Don't think only in hardware, because they are very very similar, so i think you should choose between OS's.
     

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