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Topic: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

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  1. #1
    Senior Member musicmad's Avatar
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    Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Hi to all musicians,

    When purchasing a PC mainly for music production what platform would be best recommended to run a DAW on, Windows PC ? or Mac OSX ?
    Music.. the many characters of how God speaks to us all

  2. #2

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Quote Originally Posted by musicmad View Post
    Hi to all musicians,

    When purchasing a PC mainly for music production what platform would be best recommended to run a DAW on, Windows PC ? or Mac OSX ?
    Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    I think that's about the most sensible advise you'll get if you start asking incendiary questions like that

    Seriously, and I'm not attempting to be flippant here, it depends how rich you are. I use a PC, and I have recorded with a friend who has a mac. There is no difference in sound quality.
    Mac Pros: They are slightly more stable. There is not much in it these days, if you set up and look after your PC carefully.
    You can run Logic on a Mac. In terms of bang per Buck, Logic is very, very good. The set of plugins and stuff it comes with is pretty amazing.But that wil be easily offset by the amount of money you save buying a PC

    PC pros: It's just cheaper! Cheaper cheaper cheaper. It does the same stuff in the same amount of time and you just have to spend a lot less money.


    I can't see myself moving to mac. They're nice, though, and I wouldn't knock anyone who uses one. They just cost a lot more and don't do any more. You could say that about what I buy in terms of wine, cars or watches too.

    Personally, the only reason I run windows is my DAW. I'm linux for everything else and I wish they would port all the good stuff over to the penguin.

  3. #3

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Quote Originally Posted by musicmad View Post
    Hi to all musicians,

    When purchasing a PC mainly for music production what platform would be best recommended to run a DAW on, Windows PC ? or Mac OSX ?
    If you're asking what platform is prevalent and most popular in today's professional music industry (hobbyists and weekend warriors aside), the answer is most definitely mac. Period.

    What's best for you? That's like you asking me what kind of sandwich I should have for lunch without your knowing my personal tastes, how much time I have to eat, how much money I have to spend, food allergies, etc. etc...


  4. #4

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    i've used both, but now i'm with a mac. i switched because of my music software and i will never go back. this isn't too say that macs are just better than pc's, but for me they are.

    i don't have to worry about what version of windows i need to get the best results. i don't have to worry about new drivers every five minutes. i don't have to worry about my soundcard settings. i don't have to worry about what hardware i need to make my computer perform great. with my mac, everything just works perfectly right out of the box.

    i don't agree that they are more money. initially yes, but not in the long run. i bought my macbook pro like 4 years ago. i have never spent one penny on new hardware or repairs, and it still smokes 90% of other laptops out there. try keeping a pc laptop for that long with no work and still have it run perfectly. when i had pc's hardware would go bad, updates would render certain programs and hardware useless. i spent hours upon hours upon hours which totaled to months of my life troubleshooting on my pc's, and i think its ridiculous to waste your time doing that.

    computers are probably some of the most important things people own. everyone spends hours on it every week. they use them for everything they do, so why not just fork out a little bit more for something nice. i don't even mean get a mac - if you want a pc spend a little more and get a nice one.

    if you needed a new car you wouldn't buy a go-kart just because it was a lot cheaper. that's what buying a cheap pc is like - especially if you're buying it to run music software. it's just pointless.

    that's my $0.02.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  5. #5

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Macs just work perfectly? Let's not get carried away. I've owned a MacBook Pro for two years, and it's had its fair share of problems. The greatest of these is that the motherboard has died three times. Yikes. But anyway, I've had to deal with my share of bugs. Notation showing up as plain text in Finale. Older versions of Kontakt Player not working with the new OS. That kind of thing. Finder (equivalent to Windows Explorer if you don't know) occasionally gets bugged or freezes up, and I've experienced many freezes in other programs. My fault? Yeah, probably, but the same could be said for Windows machines. In fact, I didn't want to pick and choose, so I just installed Windows on my Mac. (That's possible through Boot Camp, a very nice feature of OS X 10.5+.) I primarily use OS X for music production, but Windows sometimes picks up the slack (for example, when I need to use a sample library that Finale doesn't recognize on Intel Macs), and it's been very reliable; at least, no less reliable than OS X.

    It's true that OS X is coded a bit more cleanly (in UNIX) and that this helps to protect against viruses and program incompatibilities. It's also true that a user with no idea what he is doing is less likely to damage a Mac than a Windows PC because of various safeguards. I think both operating systems have their strengths. OS X simplifies and elucidates many tasks that I find needlessly complicated in Windows. On the other hand, I'm often blown away by the absence of basic, needed features. Still no right click button on mouses and track pads? Seriously? The system utilizes just as much right clicking as Windows, so Apple evidently believes users would rather Ctrl + click than right click. Okay. The latest OS, Snow Leopard, finally allows users to restore deleted files from the Trash to their original locations. Windows has had that feature for, what, fifteen years?

    If it wasn't for Boot Camp, I'd say go with a PC. However, you can have the best of both worlds on a Mac, if you can just afford it.

  6. #6

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Buck View Post
    Macs just work perfectly? Let's not get carried away. I've owned a MacBook Pro for two years, and it's had its fair share of problems. The greatest of these is that the motherboard has died three times. Yikes. But anyway, I've had to deal with my share of bugs. Notation showing up as plain text in Finale. Older versions of Kontakt Player not working with the new OS. That kind of thing. Finder (equivalent to Windows Explorer if you don't know) occasionally gets bugged or freezes up, and I've experienced many freezes in other programs. My fault? Yeah, probably, but the same could be said for Windows machines. In fact, I didn't want to pick and choose, so I just installed Windows on my Mac. (That's possible through Boot Camp, a very nice feature of OS X 10.5+.) I primarily use OS X for music production, but Windows sometimes picks up the slack (for example, when I need to use a sample library that Finale doesn't recognize on Intel Macs), and it's been very reliable; at least, no less reliable than OS X.

    It's true that OS X is coded a bit more cleanly (in UNIX) and that this helps to protect against viruses and program incompatibilities. It's also true that a user with no idea what he is doing is less likely to damage a Mac than a Windows PC because of various safeguards. I think both operating systems have their strengths. OS X simplifies and elucidates many tasks that I find needlessly complicated in Windows. On the other hand, I'm often blown away by the absence of basic, needed features. Still no right click button on mouses and track pads? Seriously? The system utilizes just as much right clicking as Windows, so Apple evidently believes users would rather Ctrl + click than right click. Okay. The latest OS, Snow Leopard, finally allows users to restore deleted files from the Trash to their original locations. Windows has had that feature for, what, fifteen years?

    If it wasn't for Boot Camp, I'd say go with a PC. However, you can have the best of both worlds on a Mac, if you can just afford it.
    Just to clarify, right clicking is 100% supported on OSX. Maybe this is a Macbook issue? I've never used a MacBook and am not familiar with the touchpad, etc. on it. On iMacs, Mac Minis and Mac Pros you can use a mighty mouse that supports right clicking or a 3rd party mouse (Logitech for example) and right click.

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  7. #7

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    I think it is great that this has not devolved into a platform flame war!

    I was on PC and my PC was rock solid stable using Windows XP. However, there are idiosyncrasies with Windows and Intel architecture that I just could not take anymore. This had to do with, amongst other things, drivers and hardware incompatibilities (UAD on Wintel is one example). Mac is more expensive at the initial cash outlay, but as Keith described the total cost of ownership over a 3 - 5 year period leans towards Mac, at least in my experience.

    OSX is superior to Windows in a whole slew of ways. Better memory management, separation of user and application execution spaces, OS efficiency (especially with Snow Leopard. Apple just raised the bar a *huge* amount.) compatibility with hardware and so on. OSX is by no means perfect, but for me it was a great improvement over Windows.

    That being said, Windows is obviously a valid choice. (I'm trying to keep this objective. ) There is a wider range of software that runs on Windows than on Macs. I had to give up several programs I really liked when I made the switch to Mac.

    I have not run into any issues where I've not been able to do something on a Mac that I could do on Windows. I'm not sure what the limitations are that people refer to, especially since none of the comments contain specifics other than the recycle bin issue, but that is fixed now. Overall I have found terminal to be very powerful and the same with AppleScript. I like how Mac applications feel and work together. Very different and more efficient than what I had on Windows. Like Henry said, if you need Windows it is only a Boot Camp away.

    When it comes to the quality of music you can create, both platforms are equal. A deciding factor should be what DAW you want to use. If it is Windows only (Cakewalk) or OSX only (Logic, Digital Performer) then you don't have much of a choice. When you do choose you will find with the right attention to detail that both operating systems will provide you with a powerful platform to make music. That is what it is all about, right?

    Good luck on your choice!

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  8. #8

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Quote Originally Posted by LFO View Post
    I think it is great that this has not devolved into a platform flame war!
    Just a quick aside. . .

    One has to wonder how many PC verses MAC heated debates have presented themselves on this and other music/video related bulletin board. Lots, I'm sure! LOL!

    It seems that each topic-focused bulletin board has its frequently debated topics. On the nursing-focused bulletin boards, the REALLY HEATED debate is usually the "RN verse LPN" topic. (One time there was a REALLY HEATED debate on the benefit and risks of breast feeding. Unbelievable!) On the news & politics bulletin boards, the heated debates are usually related to some kind of "Liberal verses Conservative" topic. As you know, currently in the U.S., the VERY FREQUENT heated debate topic is over healthcare (and, predictablely, it's along Democratic/Republican party lines).

    And there are those musician/audio engineering/composer focused bulletin boards. "PC verses MAC" is probably the number 1 frequently debated topic. A close second would be those "Logic verses Cubase verses ProTools verses Sonar" debates.

    Now, getting back on topic. . .

    I have both PC and MAC computers in my happy studio. I also own the current version of Logic on the MAC side (and an old version of LAWP - Logic - on the PC side). On the PC side, I own older versions of Cubase and SONAR. I've had issues with both computer platforms. I've had issues with all of the above software programs. And, they all have done me good. For me, it comes down to preference. I really like the Logic Pro program which led me to the Macintosh computer platform 2 years ago. But I've done a fair amount of work on older versions of Cubase and SONAR. (I still have the floppy disks to Cakewalk when it was just a sequencing program.)

    I am a software junky! LOL! (AND! FYI, I paid for each and every program and update! )

    Back to the debates. . .

    Obviously, I get caught up in these debates sometimes. It's part of the fun of using these bulletin boards. It's also a nice way to exchange ideas and learn, provided that the debates & discussions are kept relatively civil.

    By the way. . . I never got involved with the debate on breast feeding. I don't remember why it got so wildly heated. But, they had to lock the thread because it got so hot!

    Cheers. . . and. . . Happy Composing!

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  9. #9

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    Quote Originally Posted by LFO View Post
    Just to clarify, right clicking is 100% supported on OSX. Maybe this is a Macbook issue? I've never used a MacBook and am not familiar with the touchpad, etc. on it. On iMacs, Mac Minis and Mac Pros you can use a mighty mouse that supports right clicking or a 3rd party mouse (Logitech for example) and right click.

    -Kevin
    Yup. What I meant is that it's odd that Apple itself does not make right-clicking mouses or track pads. If you're using those you have to Ctrl + click instead. Maybe the Mighty Mouse is just too iconic to change, hah...

  10. #10

    Re: Music Production PC Or Mac ??

    I'm a happy mac user (since '87 or so), and Windows and Linux (and Solaris). The general user experience on a mac is superior, but you pay for that. If that's not that important to you (and let's face it, most people get along with their pc, as long as they use it sensibly), then your choice should be constrained only by the question how you want to use your computer.

    You could start by trying to figure out what software (and possible hardware, such as graphic tablets or sound cards) you would like to use. If you find that the one you really like only runs on one platform, you've found your answer.

    If you end up with a choice, look for support in your direct environment. If people around you use macs and can support you, a mac is a better choice than a pc (and vice versa).

    One thing about Windows: it requires a lot of maintenance and careful use in comparison to Mac OSX. You definitely need to factor in a virus checker in your budget.

    Once you're done choosing, take a look at free software for common tasks, such as Open Office for text editing, Picasa for photo management (Windows and Linux, OSX comes with a photo app), GIMP for picture editing, etc. That can save you a few bucks.

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