PC vs Mac For Recording

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

  1. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

    Messages:
    15,865
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
     
  2. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

    Messages:
    3,915
    Likes Received:
    339
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    Not really to be honest. The RAM would be a bottleneck for the processor if it was less. Basically the RAM is supposed to work as a place to store information temporarily, say, samples when recording. A lot of samplers have a direct from disk option however, hard disks run a lot slower than RAM. So while the amount of RAM doesn't cause a speed increase in terms of the speed a small single process, or multiple small single processes would take, it means a lot less accessing files from the hard drive itself, and in this case speed up the system when doing something a little more intensive than general browsing and surfing.
     
  3. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

    Messages:
    15,865
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    :yesway: I think I understood that :lol:
     
  4. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

    Messages:
    13,448
    Likes Received:
    801
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Woodbridge, VA
    In my experience (unlike almost every "office" type app you use), RAM is not the bottleneck for audio, the processor is. Before my machine got upgraded, I was running CPU loads of 94-97%, but only using about 1GB about RAM.

    Multi-core is definitely the way to go, though, if your audio app supports it.
     
    Scar Symmetry likes this.
  5. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

    Messages:
    3,915
    Likes Received:
    339
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    Aye, I know people who run so little RAM for recording it seems daft. However, it depends how much sampling you are doing. When I'm recording everything live like I am for the bands latest recordings, it barely touches the RAM, however when I've been using programmed drums, virtual orchestras and the odd virtual instrument, its nearly maxed out my 4 GB in my Mac Pro.

    Theres always the Direct-From-Disk options, but they run so slow its criminal sometimes :(
     
  6. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

    Messages:
    15,865
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    ah, I would be using all 3, very useful information :yesway:
     
  7. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    What he said was weird to me, cause I've only got 3gb in my laptop pc and 4gb in my rackmount, and both machines let me run more simultaneous samples/VSTi's/programs then I could possibly ever actually need to run at once (I was literally trying to max out my cpu), and even then I'm only at about 20 or 30% usage...

    But 'Macs are better', so what do I know. ;)
     
  8. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

    Messages:
    3,915
    Likes Received:
    339
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    Enjoying poking fires?

    You'll get burned eventually dude ;)

    Seriously, if you are running a 2 GB drumkit sample set, on top of 1 GB of orchestral samples, and then other synthesizer modules on top, ONLY from RAM, not from Direct-From-Disk options, you WILL max out 4 GB of memory, because thats where it stores samples. Not a lot more to it really....
     
  9. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Frederick, MD

    I had meant to imply more strongly that I was asking about a cross platform DAW.

    Besides, splitting hairs or not what I said was valid. I'm sorry if it ruffled your feathers, but none of us should take the internet personally.
     
  10. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

    Messages:
    15,865
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    while I do believe that Macs probably are much better in the long run, I also a) can't afford it and b) think that a PC could do the job I need doing just fine so I'm gonna leave it at that.

    thanks for all the info men :yesway:
     
  11. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Who's splitting hairs now? In the post where you said your 4gb were taxed, you made no mention of 'ONLY from RAM'.
     
  12. stuh84

    stuh84 The Viking himself Contributor

    Messages:
    3,915
    Likes Received:
    339
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    I wasn't taking it personally, I was just pointing out I'd done what you asked, and you'd called me out on it. I was merely trying to make sense of telling someone they are wrong for providing what you asked.

    Also, the cross-platform part....why is that an issue here if we're talking about Macs vs PCs? You were talking in response to a Mac Pro being loaded with 16 GB of memory, asking whats the point when no DAW supports it, I provided an example of the one that would use the 16 GB in a Mac Pro. How does something being cross platform actually make any difference when discussing the Mac Pro?

    "Theres always the Direct-From-Disk options, but they run so slow its criminal sometimes"

    Given that Direct-From-Disk is running samples from RAM and the hard drive, and without using Direct-From-Disk means using only RAM, I thought it would be implied. I guess not.
     
  13. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

    Messages:
    17,582
    Likes Received:
    988
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio. USA
    Try to contribute to a rational discourse, m'kay?
     
  14. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

    Messages:
    6,314
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Rabble. Rabble Rabble!!

    ;)

    Enjoy your new machine dude. :yesway:
     
  15. El Caco

    El Caco Djavli te ponesli Contributor

    Messages:
    7,616
    Likes Received:
    917
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    AU
    For recording RAM is your friend. You can survive with little if you are not using a lot of plug-ins and lock down your tracks.

    The initial question was answered correctly at the beginning of the thread, if it is just for recording both are fine, which is superior comes down to which is more productive for you and if you need Logic.

    However you asked the question, is the price is justified? I don't think this was answered completely. The mistake most people make is looking at entry price and even entry price it is not simple. Macs can be expensive to get into but you can also get a Mac very cheap however what is more significant IMO is the ongoing cost. My Mac mini for example will do everything the average person would want to do easily, it cost $850 AUD if I sold it now I would lose only a couple of hundred dollars because low end macs hold their value, this means the cost of owning that mac has been less then $100 AUD per year. Macs also use very little power, this means that compared to some PC's they may save a decent amount on your power bill.

    My 24" imac can be sold on eBay for the same amount I paid for it, crazy I know but for some reason people are willing to bid more for a second hand Mac on eBay then you can buy a new one from the Apple refurbished store for. This means if you buy the right model new from the refurbished store and upgrade often the actual cost of ownership can be very low.

    My MBP is a different story, I bought it second hand for $2000, I am selling it here for $1000, it will go for more on eBay but based on that price the cost of ownership is close to $400 per year which is about the same as a Windows laptop. So the high end Macs can cost more to own especially if you hold on to them as long as I did with that one.

    Overall as you can see the cost of owning a mac can be less then a PC. I have said it before, I am more productive on a Mac, I prefer the way they operate and I prefer Mac software.

    However I use my Macs for everything and one thing I would like to point out is Macs are not always more reliable then Windows PC's. I run a bit of third party software as well as a developer version of xquartz and Safari 4 beta, as a result my iMac is just as unstable as any Windows PC. However I do not have to run a security suite so money and system resources can be saved there, at this time the few threats that exist for macs are easily avoidable and in the entire time that I have owned Macs I have never needed to reinstall my OS and I have spent only a couple of hours in these many years on maintenance.

    Having said all of that if you feel more comfortable on Windows and do not need or want any Mac software none of this matters, even if the Windows PC worked out more expensive, that is the one you should use.
     
    -K4G- and Scar Symmetry like this.
  16. newamerikangospel

    newamerikangospel Tonight.......you

    Messages:
    2,583
    Likes Received:
    207
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Wow. Put Mac vs. PC right up with politics and religion on the discussion block :lol:
     
  17. 7slinger

    7slinger wake up dead Contributor

    Messages:
    3,883
    Likes Received:
    169
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    work...in St. Paul
    apologies up front because I did not read the entire thread, so this has probably been covered.

    There is no answer to this question. Both mac and pc do the job just fine. Pick the machine that you are most comfortable with or can get the better deal on.

    This argument will rage on as long as mac and pc exist as separate entities

    I kinda just said titties there, and it made me giggle
     
  18. sethh

    sethh ss.org SpongeBob

    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    125
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Moon
    a slight off-topic if you pardon me (though still relevant to main topic in a way)

    i just converted to a Mac after being a PC user my whole life and i'm not fully familiar with the plugin selection on OSX. assuming there are great plugins that a Windows user wouldn't know to look for, could you please recommend me some of 'em? also i haven't tried both yet but which do people here prefer on a Mac and why - Pro Tools or Logic?

    thankz :)
     
  19. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

    Messages:
    15,865
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    this thread has turned into a fountain of knowledge for all :)
     
  20. Ze Kink

    Ze Kink the black wizards

    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    107
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    There's not as many good free plugins as for PC, that's for sure. That said, I only really miss the Kjaerhus package, Gclip and Fish Fillets (which do have Mac versions, but only for older PowerPC's).

    I recommend that you start there: KVR Audio

    That's what I did, and I found a few that I downloaded, and will try when I get my rig back together. So far I've just been using the OSX version of Reaper and the plugs that come with it (which are pretty good).

    If you mean better plugins that you need to pay for, those nearly always have Mac versions available as well. I'm probably going to purchase some Stillwell and Voxengo plugins in the near future; I've been liking some of the Stillwells a lot, they also come with Reaper as "rough versions".

    I don't really like PT LE because of the silly restrictions and lack of ADC (even if you can solve it with the Mellowmuse plugin). I've been thinking about buying Logic but I need to try it first. Apparently the plugins and virtual instruments that come with it are very good. Logic also comes with Mainstage. I also read that it might get an update soon, so if I end up liking it, I'll still probably wait a bit longer to know if the rumours are true.
     

Share This Page