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Topic: Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

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  1. #1

    Question Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

    Does anyone here use Ivory pianos on a Mac Mini successfully? I would really like to purchase Ivory but would like to know how well it works on a Mac Mini and whatever special hardware is being used.

    Thanks,
    -Greg

  2. #2

    Re: Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

    Greg,

    I just finished setting up my Mini to run some of my audio stuff including Ivory and a few other piano VSTs. Ivory has been running fine on my PC so I am really experimenting with the Mac more than anything.

    I have a newer Mini with 4 Gigs of RAM. I'm using an Apogee Duet with it so my FireWire port is taken up with that. As a result, I'm running all my soft synths from a external USB drive. For the most part, I've had decent luck with this configuration but, knowing what I know now, I think I would have been better off using the FireWire port for a faster external hard drive and go with a USB audio interface.

    The problem with my setup is not that it doesn't work or it doesn't sound good, but that the speed of the USB drive (even though 7200 RPM) isn't quite enough to keep up with the demands of Ivory when you really start to push it. And by pushing it I mean setting the voices above say 48, select both the release sample and soft pedal samples and then start playing big, sustained chords or long passages with the soft and sustain pedal.

    The reality is that I rarely play passages that require all of the things I just mentioned so Ivory actually runs pretty well in this configuration. Nevertheless, I can push my PC setup much further (older Athlon 64, 2 GIGS RAM and Ivory running from a RAID HD setup) before I start getting the "Slow Disk" message.

    I'm not a concert pianist by any means so the music I play can be handled quite easily on either computer. It's just that the Mini bogs down before the PC. Like I said before, if I could start over I could live with a decent USB audio interface and get an external FireWire 800 drive. I can't say what, if any, difference it would make but I'm guessing that, especially in the case of Ivory, it probably wouldn't hurt. Even Synthogy makes it clear in there support docs that the external USB drive is the one that results in the worst performance.

  3. #3

    Re: Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

    Thanks so much for the reply setchman. Although I purchased my Mac Mini early this past summer, I think it is a slightly older model. It had a great price with a $100 rebate so I couldn't turn it down. I'm more of a PC person myself just experimenting with the mini. It's a 2.0Ghz Intel Duo Core but the Firewire is 400 and not the 800. I have 4Gb of RAM but only 3Gb is usable. My concern is if I use an external drive, it would not be fast enough to keep up with the streaming.

    Also, do you have to have an Audio interface? I was under the impression that I could use the Ivory as standalone and just plug the audio out of my mac mini into my sound source?

    Thanks again for your experience with the mini.

    -Greg

  4. #4

    Re: Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

    Quote Originally Posted by greddin View Post
    Also, do you have to have an Audio interface? I was under the impression that I could use the Ivory as standalone and just plug the audio out of my mac mini into my sound source?
    Greg,

    The Apogee Duet is the audio interface. It uses the FireWire port on the mini which is why I was forced into using a USB external drive. You are correct in that Ivory can run as a standalone player. But given the fact that even with a quality audio interface and an external hard drive I can still get glitches using Ivory when I jack up the voices and start adding soft pedal and release samples, etc., I can't imagine you would be satisfied trying to run Ivory off of the internal hard drive using just the mini's built-in sound.

    I never tried running Ivory under those conditions so I can't say it wouldn't work, I just don't think it would work very well.

  5. #5

    Re: Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

    Setchman - have you tried daisychaining the apogee duet through a firewire external HDD? I think I've tried this and theres no problems.. Allows for quality audio and fast streaming..

  6. #6

    Re: Synthogy Ivory & Mac Mini

    Quote Originally Posted by reflekshun View Post
    Setchman - have you tried daisychaining the apogee duet through a firewire external HDD? I think I've tried this and theres no problems.. Allows for quality audio and fast streaming..
    reflekshun,

    Sometime after I made my last post to this thread I did exactly what you suggest. I had forgotten about the daisy-chaining capabilities of the firewire components so I returned the USB drive and purchased an external 7200 RPM firewire 800 drive.

    With the Duet connected to the external drive I get pretty decent performance, certainly good enough for my style and ability. If I go much above 64 voices and start playing long, sustained chords I will hear an occasional glitch but, generally speaking, I'm happy with the performance of Ivory in this configuration.

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