How hard is it to learn a Mac?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bard2dbone, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I am putting together a home recording studio and I am trying to make it pretty decent. Read that as better than my previous rig.

    The guitar player from my old band is a recording engineer. I asked him a hardware question and we were off to the races. His most vehement opinion, not the one I was asking about in the first place, was not to use a PC to record, but to get a mac.

    I have only ever used PC's. I know from the people that use mac's regularly that they always love them. They report far less OS probs than PC users live with and all that. But how steep is the learning curve to get the hang of a mac. Would Protools look and work the same on both? And how much is a good enough mac to record on going to cost compared to a PC?

    On the PC side:
    possibly cost

    On the mac side:
    superior reliability
    allegedly more intuitive function

    What else do I need to keep in mind? Help me guys.
  2. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    My family's first computer was a Mac (SE) and I've stuck with macs my whole life, so I'm somewhat biased, but I believe if you are able to get by with a Windows machine then using a mac should be no problem.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Since the advent of XP, stability is not an issue anymore. Same with intuition.

    Also, look beyond Protools, Cubase SX is the bomb.
  4. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    I learned how to use a mac in lie
    and i love them..and they look good to..;)

  5. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm pretty committed to my PC and record with it almost daily. But I support both platforms in my day job.

    At this point, I don't think it really matters what people use. The audio quality sounds the same on either platform, so I'd say go with what best satisfies your needs, as a user. Software will have some minor differences, but shouldn't limit you whether you choose one platform or the other.

    Go with whatever makes you sweat less.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Bah! Macs aren't worth the thousands of dollars they cost to buy, and when it comes time for upgrading -- oh, wait, sorry, you'll just have to buy a new Mac! You don't need a Mac at all, and you can more than "get by" with a PC. Toss Windows 2000 Pro and Vegas Audio or Cubase SX on there and you're golden! I have never -- ever -- had a problem with Win2k since I've been running it for two and a half years. Also, a mixer and some mics might help too, but that's not what you're asking. Macs? You don't need it. Macs are great for things like photo, film, and audio editing and all of your assorted professional special effects programs, but for anything else, PCs have a lot more support and a lot more options. Don't buy a new computer if all you're going to do is record on it, just pop a new sound card and some software in there and you're fine.
  7. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Some people find Macs easier to use, but for someone already familiar with Windows, I'm not sure I would suggest switching over. A modern Windows 2000 or XP based machine is definitely up to the task.

    For recording purposes, a PC will give you a lot more processing power for your money, which adds up to more tracks and more plugins on the PC. The G4s don't even come close performance wise. The G5 looks good on paper, but it will be very expensive.

    As suggested, there are several good programs available for PC, Cubase SX included.

    10 years ago I might have suggested getting a Mac for recording, but not now.
  8. ericplays

    ericplays Supporting Member

    May 16, 2002

    I beg to differ. I think when it comes to applications, the processor of a PC although it has more GHz or whatever doesnt mean that its nessesarly faster, or more powerful than a Mac. My 1GHz powerbook can ride with my friends 2+GHz computers, if not smoke some of them. But thats not nessesarly the subject at matter.
    Both pc and mac will get the job done, I like both.
    If you want just a home studio for a good price -go pc.

    If you want a slightly better studio (in my opinion) and have the extra cash to put into it- go with mac.

    either wont be a bad choice in the end, its just what you think you are going to use it for. (**be sure to look at what hardware/software you want to use too before hand**)
  9. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ

    What makes it "better?" Why not spend that extra cash on a better soundcard? Wouldn't that make the "better" better?

    Again, there is no audio quality difference.
  10. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Hmmm.... if you look at any serious benchmarks, an Athlon XP 2500 or P4 2.5 GHz will absolutely outperform ANY available G4 in terms of processing power for plugins. It isn't even close. I have an Athlon XP 2200+ and it can run probably close to triple the amount of plugins as my friend's G4 867. No comparison.

    The G5 will be competitive. Right now buying a G4 would mean buying a really slow computer for a lot of money.

    Macs are a cult. If you like what the cult has to offer, join it by buying a Mac. Prepare to spend a lot more money on everything because Macintosh has about 2% of the market.

    Digital audio on a PC is the most cost effective way to go. Windows XP is stable and works well as a recording platform. You also don't have to worry about all of the OS9/OSX compatibility issues going on in the Mac world today.

    Additionally, if you are already a PC user, why switch to another platform when the one you are used to is perfectly suited to your purpose?
  11. ericplays

    ericplays Supporting Member

    May 16, 2002
    not to piss you off with the reply. I wasnt really talking much about paper stats-- the point I was trying to make is that either machine does the same thing, and to go with what you are cool with. Some people like macs, some are like their pcs.
    To anyone wanting computer based recording - Try both, ask questions, see what is best suited for your use. Hardware/software is #1. garbage in = garbage out. Find the platform that supports the hardware you want, with the software it needs to do what you want the most efficient way.
  12. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I've been a long time Macintosh evangelist. But I must admit that Win XP (and most specifically XP Pro) has settled a new challenge in terms of reliability, which was THE point of superiority for Macintosh.

    My new home studio, currently in preparation, will be PC-based, no more Macintosh-based. New Macs don't boot on OS9 any more, and all my softs (VSTi's) are Win / OS9, but not OSX, compliant.

    But I also admit that in terms of seduction, Macintoshes always ruled over any other machine.
  13. rygelxvi


    Jan 6, 2003
    Ok a mac running OSX will take you about 10 minutes to get used to. Macs are better for audio/video. PCs can get the job done but macs are better, here why. First cpu power doesn't mean sh!t. Bus speed and type/amout of RAM are far more important. Benchmarks are marketing statistics used to sell a product. Don't always believe them unless you do them yourself. Also chip architecture has a huge roll. Intel and AMD chips are good at moving small bits of data quickly, G4s are better at moving larger bits of data at marginally slower speeds. This means the their will be less degridation of files on a G4, which means better quality of audio/video. As far as os's go OSX is still new and some old software does have compatibility issues, But some of the best new audio programs are OSX only. Like digital performer 4 (the best IMHO) and Logic 6. I've been using a Mac now for about a year and have NEVER had a crash, choke, hickup, or even an error message. recently I recorded 16 tracks simultainiously at 48khz and didn't even come close to using all my cpu power of my 1ghz G4. Some moron above stated that you can't upgrade macs. Thats the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. Only iMacs cant be upgraded. The G4 tower can add PCI, memory and drives just like any PC. And there are alot more soundcard options availibly for Macs. Yes Macs can be expensive, but not by much. Besides Fodoras are more expensive than Ibanezs yet their both usable basses. I have yet to do anything on my Mac that has caused any problems. that incluse recording/editing audio, surfing the net, doing homework, and even playing games (check this out. I ran NWN, a very graphicy intense game, with iTunes ,safari (mac web bowser) and my mixer software all at the same time and the game ran flawlessly. That could never happen on my pc). I highly recomend you do some research and figure out wht type of software and hardware your going to use and make a decision from their, good luck.
  14. I use a G3-700 iBook for a lot of audio work that doesn't require more than say 8 simultaneous tracks at 44.1 and a few plugins. The last project I did I had a guy looking over my shoulder, a fellow Logic user, and he was just blown away at how smooth it ran. He kept pointing and saying "XP scrams Logic every time I do that"

    But, I still run a 1G Celeron box with Vegas, Sound Forge, and Acid and it is rock solid. I'd say they two boxes perform similarly, but A G4 867 would flat out blow the doors down, not to mention the dualie G4 tower. That is hands down a Pentium killa.

    Both work, and the PC route has a cheaper entry price tag. You can make good music on either.
  15. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    You rock, MACS RULE. Peace out.:bassist:
  16. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Just a matter of choice. I work with both and if the mac has any edge, its in video-production. And thats mostly because Apple has control of the software. Otherwise there's not much difference. Just what you're familiar with. Frankly, I'd prefer a hardware solution, with minimal computer involvement.
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Your comment about "less degradation of files" is bizarre. Neither architecture should degrade your files! Everything in between the A/D and the D/A should modify the files algorithmically (ie, the same on any architecture).

    Audio or video playback may be smoother on one system than another (debatable), but the finished product should be no different if the same steps were involved.
  18. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    There was an article in MacWorld a couple months ago listing 10 ways to upgrade your iMac.
  19. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    it all boils down to personal preference. all computers are so fast these days you cant tell much of a difference. use a new mac for awhile, then use a new pc. see which one you like better, and which one works better. then, you will come to your conclusion ^_^

    btw - /me mac user :p
  20. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thought maybe this thread would get more info/thoughts/opinions in OT.

    Off we go.....