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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 12th August 2008 , 12:32 PM
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Default PC or MAC

Ive been learning to produce now for about 18 months..all self taught. Mainly electonic/dance based music.

MY current Daw is live 7 with NI komplete synths & a few other plugins.
My PC cant cope any more with the CPU demand (its 3 years old) & I need to upgrade.

Now for the killer decision...

Do I buy another PC, maybe from intaudio & stay with Live

Or

Do I buy a mac pro for a bit more cash & trade in live for Logic?

I was chatting to Chris Lake on facebook & he reckons that he only uses Live, as does Deadmau5 & sebastian Leger.

Are Macs really that good & is Logic better than Live?
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Old 12th August 2008 , 12:36 PM
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Ok guys, please do not turn this into another 'PC vs Mac' slanging match or it will get closed. So play nicely.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 12:40 PM
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Mac vs. PC is always going to be a hot debate. Traditionally Mac has always had the edge in terms of reliability due to it's "closed" design and some people find the Mac OS easier to use... personally I find PC easier, but I've used PCs for years.

The thing to concentrate on is which DAW do you find easiest to use, which makes more sense to you? Once you've established that, what platforms does it run on... if it's available on both, then whcih OS do you find the most intuitiuve to use? That should lead you to your choice of platform.

You will be able to get great results fromn most of the top DAWs and from both Mac and PC... just base your choices upon which allow you to make music with the minimum of fuss and you won't go far wrong.

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Old 12th August 2008 , 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndk View Post
Ok guys, please do not turn this into another 'PC vs Mac' slanging match or it will get closed. So play nicely.
How long have you been moderating forums, ndk?

Anyway, my 2p: get a Mac if you think you really need Logic. Otherwise stick with what you know.

While troubleshooting Macs can be a bit easier, I don't think they're actually any more reliable in a professional production environment.

At my very first film dub supervision experience a couple years ago at a fancy Central London dubstage, their Powermac based Pro Tools HD3 system beachballed and needed a full reboot about ten minutes in. So the reliability argument is somewhat moot nowadays.

I use Macs, personally, but I know my way around OSX so that works for me.

One minor advantage is that Macs can be configured to also run Windows so you can get access to some of the software you wouldn't otherwise (Wavelab is a good example, Pyramix is another). There are some technical caveats to this.

But overall, unless there's something that you want that's Mac-specific, I see no reason to jump ship. The best program that Apple makes is arguably iTunes anyway, and it works on both platforms.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 02:34 PM
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I've contemplated jumping ship a few times, but I've never found a compelling reason to move to the Apple platform. I've got four reasons for this -

1) Macs are, for , slower than PCs
2) The arrogance and lack of rational thought shown by Mac followers really puts me off - I don't like being told that X is my fault just because Apple can't produce stuff to the standard I'm used to
3) It'd mean having to ditch all my software and start over
4) The only benefit Apple has over Microsoft is that, arguably, the GUI is nicer. But I don't want to know that the OS is even there when I'm working on things. I don't want to see it or hear it, I just want it to do whatever it has to do behind the scenes that lets my DAW run uninterrupted.



I guess, to make your decision, you've got to consider what you've got to gain. Will a change of scenery inspire you? Would a faster processor and more RAM let you do more things? Would all the cool things available under Windows just distract you? Will the money you save going with a PC let you buy some awesome little gadget that'll take your music in new directions?

It's not an easy choice to make. Just think about it rationally and calmly, don't let excitement get to you, and don't believe the hype. Write lists of pro's and con's. Don't buy for at least another three weeks. Neither decision will be particularly bad if it is the wrong one though, so don't get too stressed out about it.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 06:28 PM
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Thanks all...somebody told me that you dont need all the virus software for Macs as viruses are usually not designed for Macs??

I'm aware that anti virus software etc eats up your systems resources.

Do you have to defrag hard drives / clean registrys etc on Macs?

Sorry if ive opened another Mac / PC debate..but as I have no experience with Macs, I need to make sure my notes are spent wisely
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:10 PM
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You've hit a very good nail on the head there.

People never used to bother writing virus programs for mac, because it simply wasn't worth doing as windows had such a large market percentage.

But over the years, Apple have become increasingly popular. It started with the Ipod and Itunes, and they've taken the marketing, branding and styling from that and used it to push their computer products.

I remember reading an article last year that stated there were more new viruses written for mac last year then pc, but they weren't such a big issue and not reported.

The arguement over performance is pretty pointless now, as you get the same processors in either format. Apple have got what is a often called a handshake socket on their mobo's tho, to ensure that Osx will only run on their version of the hardware. Obvs people have hacked osx to remove this..
Of course the big plus that apple have, is that microsoft don't use such a system. So it's a lot easier to have a dualboot osx and xp/vista mac, then it is for a pc to run xp/vista and osx..

I'm not sure about reliability. I've had one big problem with iffy updates of Logic and Osx. Apart from that I've had nothing go wrong. Unlike my pc and Cubase that would screw me over on a regular basis..

I'd get a mac and dualboot it. If you've got a legal version of 7 it won't be too much hassle swapping platforms, plus you'll be able to go back to windows whenever you like. I'd buy logic as well, just because for the money there's nothing that can touch it for creating sounds. You could get Reason 4, but that doesn't handle audio. You'd still be using Live for that..plus I'm not sure how that'd work. I thought they both went into slave mode via re-wire.. someone with more experience would have to clear that up !
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit View Post
Thanks all...somebody told me that you dont need all the virus software for Macs as viruses are usually not designed for Macs??

I'm aware that anti virus software etc eats up your systems resources.

Do you have to defrag hard drives / clean registrys etc on Macs?

Sorry if ive opened another Mac / PC debate..but as I have no experience with Macs, I need to make sure my notes are spent wisely
No antivirus software necessary. At the moment, anyway!

There are some basic utilities that can help to keep the system maintained, but a lot of that is automated by OSX and runs in the background. Onyx comes to mind though as a good little program which is sort of like a 'registry cleaner' (there's no such thing as a 'registry' on a Mac).

Some people might defrag but I don't. I'm pretty sure you don't NEED to, OSX is pretty clever about how it moves files around.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:54 PM
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ok some one told me macs os's run natively where as pc's host there os through DOS? this was then followed by there is less to go wrong in the os due to facts like there is no registry on macs? could some one elaborate because at this point the thought of what i was going to have for lunch was occupying my grey matter considerably more

btw i moved from a quad core pc to mac and have never looked back!!!!
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Old 12th August 2008 , 09:25 PM
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Im a mac man. I have been using pc;s for ages and went i switched i could tell the difference straight away.

Regarding virus software, if you go into system preferences>security>firewall>advanced>check stealth mode

Stealth mode is awesome your mac is hidden from everything but still allows you to surf the net freely. Unlike some software where if you put it into its stealth mode it doesnt let you do hardly anything.

I know what you are saying about the money side of it but at the end of the day you pay for what you get....and I think that apple have good techniques to make computing alot more intuitive(i think i spelt that wrong)...and leopard is awesome especially spaces. Spaces is wikid when working with loads of windows i.e when im using logic i can easily switch to another window where my mixer is then another window for hyper edit etc.

Now that windows have announced windows 8? hope it is betta then vista!

I think you shud go for a mac dude seriosuly i was in the same boat as u...for reliability and ease of use macs are ya best bet.

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Old 12th August 2008 , 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
ok some one told me macs os's run natively where as pc's host there os through DOS? this was then followed by there is less to go wrong in the os due to facts like there is no registry on macs? could some one elaborate because at this point the thought of what i was going to have for lunch was occupying my grey matter considerably more

btw i moved from a quad core pc to mac and have never looked back!!!!
These are the kinds of urban-nerd-myths that never seem to die away. There's loads of similar myths, like the one about the pagefile always needing to be 1.5x the size of the amount of physical RAM, the one about needing to leave X amount of disk unused, or the one about Apple being secure. It's all word-of-mouth that's been bouncing around for years, and it's nearly always wrong.

Of the two that you mention, Windows used to be loaded under DOS, but this was back in the days of Windows 95. With Windows 2000, DOS was ousted forever. It's nearly a decade since that one was true.

The registry point, that's debatable. XP and Vista still use the Registry, and do so because it's a very useful thing. Something else to go wrong? Possibly - but it very, very rarely does, and when it does, it's almost always because of hardware failure. It's not a difficult error to repair in any case.

Windows is a very stable OS these days, and has been for the best part of a decade now. I work in tech support, and find it not at all uncommon to work on PCs with installations of Windows that are older than some members of my family. I was working on an old Compaq with an original installation of Win2K last night, and that was working flawlessly, save for the lack of iTunes support. I worked on two 4 year old systems with 4 year old installations of WinXP for the same people, both of which were working perfectly, ignoring a minor smattering of spyware that was removed with reasonable ease. They only really go wrong when they;re mistreated, or run on faulty hardware. All this instability talk really is just a relic of the Win9x days or the result of dodgy hardware.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 09:50 PM
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Which is better... dark chocolate or white? It's a preference thing. Both have their supporters and both have their haters. Which do you prefer?
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Old 12th August 2008 , 10:10 PM
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Dark chocolate... every time.... can't stand that sickly pansy white stuff

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Old 12th August 2008 , 10:16 PM
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I think RedDavid made a lot of good points there.

He did point out the dodgy hardware element, which to me is still the pc's achilles heel. I had loads of problems with my pc. Boards blowing due to unplugging a usb pen, heat failure, dead pci slots etc. They were good spec ASUS boards as well. It always happend at critical times. Normally when I was mixing coursework tracks or writing llooong essays in the middle of the night. My latest pc board started frying wireless network adapters. It's an old P4 rig, and I looked at the cost of bringing it up to date. For the cost of purchasing vista, a new board/cpu pack, memory etc... and the fact that macs are now microsfot friendly...it made more financial sense to make the switch. I'd been dying to get back to mac for a few years, and the time was right !
Apple are the only people that design and build their hardware, so you rarely get issues on that front. Although they did actually get caught out using non TI firewire controllers. That was a bit naughty.. lots of people upgraded to new macs and got shafted when their firewire interfaces were all of a sudden incompatible.
They've also not fully supported the Iphone and Ipod Touch in Windows. I can't remember the issue, but I have a mate who bought one and he said it's the most expensive paperweight he'll ever buy !

Apple software updates have left a lot to be desired lately. They used to work flawlessly but they have given a lot of users, especially their core 'pro' group of video, graphic and audio supporters a lot of hassle with things going wild after updates..
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Old 12th August 2008 , 11:23 PM
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I've had the luxury for the past 20 years of being able to play with other peoples computers, both Mac and PC and I've owned both. I came from a PC background, and on first playing with a Mac I hated it, but things change, and I soon had one of my own. It's been retired now and replaced with a pretty powerful PC with a few Terabytes of storage for video editing, mainly because I couldn't afford the difference in price for a Mac with the same spec.

Don't beleive the myth that you can't get viruses on a Mac - the first virus I ever came across was on a mac classic (anyone else here remember them?) It spread like wildfire through our network, and had all of our IT staff tied up for days cleaning machines. I saw quite a few more Mac viruses long before I ever came across a PC one, and never saw anything quite so bad until Blaster came along. The only way to guarantee a computer will not get a virus is to lock it in a room surrounded by a Faraday cage and run it off batteries. Or don't switch it on

In an environment with almost an equal number of Macs and PC's (and we're talking about hundreds of machines here) we saw significantly more hardware failures on PC's than on Macs. However we spent significantly more in total on Mac repairs than PC repairs, because a Mac fault always cost a fortune to fix. Things have gradually changed, and both Macs and PC's are equally reliable (as long as you buy a decent brand PC), and PC's are still slightly cheaper to fix.

"Apple are the only people that design and build their hardware" - Dell might want to debate that point with you, as would a number of manufacturers. Where was your iPod made? (Answer - China). The first Apple laserwriters were HP laserjets with different electronics (which was good to know because you could buy HP spares cheaper than Apple parts!) and many of the original Apple colour displays were rebadged Sony monitors. Many of the parts in modern Macs are neither designed nor manufactured by Apple.

The issue with iPhones is mainly to do with the fact that it can't be integrated into an Exchange environment. My iPod Touch works fine on Windows XP.

Fully agree with RedDavid - a properly patched Windows XP system is an extremly stable machine, and as for server operating systems, we have machines which have been running for months on end without the slightest glitch - when they are restarted, it's usually nothing to do with them having a problem.

macs are for slower than PC's? Not strictly true - you can't just judge performance by clock speed. (I remember putting up old PowerMacs against PC's with twice the memory and twice the processor speed - the macs always won!) Even now that Apple are using the Intel platform, it's not just a clock speed comparison - Apple do have a bit of an edge on OS efficiency. But who cares anyhow - it would be hard nowadays to buy a machine which is underpowered for the average user!

The Apple GUI is more intuitive? Yes it is - there is no doubt about that - I've seen dozens of cases of non computer literate people who struggled to do anything with a PC take to a mac like a duck to water. But who wants to play with the OS all day? Anyone involved in media is probably pretty computer literate, and will have no problems handling either MacOS or Windoz, and if they can't they ought to be questioning whether or not they want to get involved in computerised recording!

Which is best? Well I like both dark chocolate and white chocolate! Benoit, the real answer is, you need to try both! Go to an Apple Store and play around with a Mac for a while. Grab a member of staff and ask him to prove to you that it's worth the extra cash! Price both of your upgrade options, and then decide whether or not moving to Mac is worth the extra money (because it will almost certainly be more expensive). Having had the chance to play with both, to be quite happy I'd be happy with either - both platforms have advantages and disadvantages.
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