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Wendy Jensen
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Windows or Mac?

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Wendy Jensen

9/29/2008 11:29:57 AM

Windows or Mac?
When it comes to home recording equipment, what do you use? Currently I'm using the starving musicians method of recording. Hooked up a mic to the back of my computer and recording live in my music room.

In the future I will be purchasing new equipment, but what to go for? I'm interested in the MAC computer systems because they're great for audio/video stuff.

Any recommendations, preferences, suggestions? It's also time to upgrade my piano, which is a digital Roland 1500. Suggestions for digi pianos?


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RedRobin

9/29/2008 11:52:30 AM ---- Updated 9/29/2008 11:53:43 AM


....

That's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned - ALWAYS a Mac!

Windows PC's were designed for the business world of number crunching etc, whereas Macs are born in the creative world and also the interface is far more user-friendly.

People will say that Macs are more expensive - But only to initially buy, they'll last you longer. I'm running 3 Macs including the eldest from 1998.

Also there's nothing better than Apple's Logic Studio (in my opinion).

Here come those who strongly disagree....

....



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Paul groover

9/29/2008 11:56:50 AM


If your,e wanting a basic setup go for a intel mac and cubase studio 4 that will give you about a 100 tracks of audio no problem. It also opens the possibility of using vst instruments and efx which there are a million free ones covering everything you can think of. The M-audio delta 10-10lt is cheap it has 10 in,s and 10 out,s. I think a windows setup about the same spec would be about half the price because mac,s are way overpriced. Keep your Roland and use it as a controller and buy a hq piano vst like Native instruments Komplete classics which is 4 instruments a piano,electric piano,b4 organ and prophet 5 emu.
http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=kompleteclassics. There is a learning curve for cubase but there,s plenty of books and tutorial dvd,s
Hope this helps


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Jesse Adams

9/29/2008 7:48:01 PM


Call me crazy but I don't even like using a computer to record. I'm a hardware kind of guy. DAW's and such.


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never never band

9/29/2008 7:54:30 PM


MAC,

as I've said before, I wont even have Coffee with a PC user.

:)


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Nigels

9/29/2008 10:09:57 PM ---- Updated 9/30/2008 12:37:10 AM


Just looking at it from a cost benefit analysis, I think the PC wins, however Macs have come down a lot in price and they definitely have an advantage of a better operating system. So I would do the sums and if there is only a few hundred dollars difference after hardware and software I would recomend to go with the mac.

As everything there is a catch and I like Paul am trying to ,move away from computer recording to DAWs. Computer fans are noisy, there power supply's can introduces hums and spikes and they can crash at really awkward times.

Ooooops should have said "I like jesse"


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Paul groover

9/30/2008 12:13:44 AM


I have a windows box which is almost silent 1 fan for cpu runs at 25c normally full load about 35c it hasn,t crashed since i built it a year and a half a ago. Plus i bought a cheap e6300 1.8ghz core 2 duo and overclocked to 3ghz by changing the memory ratio and raising the memory back up to standard settings from 533 to 800mhz and cpu vcore of 1.23 which is standard. The most i got out of it was a fsb of 490 which was 3.56 that was at cpu vcore 1.44 almost 100% overclock it was running very hot though. So backed it down to 3ghz which it has been happily running no problem. The new quads will hit 4 ghz easily i,ve heard of 5 ghz and above but that,s extreme still 16ghz of raw power. The new 8 core chips are round the corner 2009 which will take the limit away from the computer and place it firmly in the hands of the musician. Soon we will be looking at 100ghz home computers 16 cores @ 6 ghz like having your own super computer in your house about 3-5 years time i would say maybe less. This is for fun 20-30 years time the computer will be made out of living dna structures that can compute at the speed if light and the storage will be a cannister of water because water can be made to have memory functions like silicon :). How does water know it,s water it must have memory capacity to know it is that could be exploited. If this really does happen the machines will take over the world because there is no limit to how much a computer could grow it self to. The sad thing is we would let it happen. Just for fun though i am a computer tech so know a little


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never never band

9/30/2008 12:27:20 AM


paul...you're freaking me out!!

C'Mon dude, I just, finally, came to grips with the Haldon Collider.....My nerves are shot.


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Nigels

9/30/2008 12:35:39 AM


Actually the whole world is a computer already programmed by a bunch of white mice trying to answer the ultimate question? I know this for sure because I read in a book somewhere.
By the way paul what music software do you use?


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Andy Broad

9/30/2008 4:31:02 AM


AmigaOne XE G4 runing AmigaOS4.1

Using Audio Evolution4 as the recording software.

Won't have a PC or a MAC in my house. :-)



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Richard Scotti

9/30/2008 6:50:11 AM


Three choices: MAC, MAC, and MAC! As far as keyboards, I love the Yamaha Motif and any keyboard by Yamaha. In my opinion the sounds are far more better than anything made by Roland but as was mentioned here there's not much point in getting a another keyboard when you can always use the Roland as a controller and just get addtional software instruments sounds for your computer. The advantage of the Motif is that it is a sequencer which you could sync with your computer giving you mucho tracks. It also has some great drum loops.


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Wendy Jensen

9/30/2008 7:42:40 AM


Thanks all for the replies :)) I'm thinking a Mac it is...I won't admit to the fact that I use a PC now....ooops just did...guess that means no ones coffee with me :P

Now for the trick question, notation software? Anyone use it?


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Wendy Jensen

9/30/2008 7:43:49 AM


Thanks all for the replies :)) I'm thinking a Mac it is...I won't admit to the fact that I use a PC now....ooops just did...guess that means no ones coffee with me :P

Now for the trick question, notation software? Anyone use it?


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RedRobin

9/30/2008 7:51:04 AM


....

Hi Wendy,

On the subject of notation software (no, I don't use it and can't read music), if you get a Mac you will get GarageBand with it and if you need something much more powerful get either Logic Express or Logic Studio. You can edit the sheet music and it's all very clever and edits the track and vica versa. All printable too of course.

Hope This Helps,
Robin
....


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RedRobin

9/30/2008 7:52:04 AM ---- Updated 9/30/2008 7:55:34 AM


....

[Posted twice - Problem with the site - Error notice loaded but it still posted unkown to user]
....


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RedRobin

9/30/2008 7:52:23 AM ---- Updated 9/30/2008 7:54:36 AM


....

[Posted three times! - Problem with the site.]
....


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never never band

9/30/2008 10:32:51 AM


I used Logic8

It has notation, a wonderful host of synths and plugins and a brilliant system where real instruments and your software sequencer are all in one environment.

You can achieve much the same effect by using ReWire to plug reason into Pro Tools.

But I an run Reason in Logic 8 as well so my world is even bigger!
My next purchase is a weighted key 88 midi keyboard..
'
The new I-Life bundle has a garage band that includes notation, I have it but havn't tried it yet.
You can get LOGIC8 pretty cheap now, I've been on logic since 7 came out and with the original purchase plus upgrades i'm into to it for like $1700..

you can get the same thing now for like $500 or less.


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Beth Fridinger

9/30/2008 10:34:46 AM


well I use a PC....I had thought about a MAC...just didn't have the money at the time...and the software I've been using would not work on a MAC....I would have had to invest thousands of dollars in new software (photography and music) (not to mention the time relearning how to do everything) had I switched over to a MAC...not possible....so I have to do what I can afford...


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LyinDan

9/30/2008 2:09:22 PM


PC's are cheaper and more flexible, and have immensely more freeware and cheapware (with often excellent quality) available, if that's a consideration for the poor musician. Just be sure to unload all the bloatware that comes with your new PC so it can breathe. And there are lots of optimizations you can do to tune a PC for music recording use.


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never never band

9/30/2008 2:20:03 PM


Pinko Commie free ware you mean....

Why don't you and Hugo have a little party with your Proletariat PCs and your free ware!


;)



heh..

you have a super valid point of course..
Having spent the money for a g5 MAC I now really would like to upgrade to an Intel Mac and I cant afford it..

Macs are groovy and the OS just Kills!
but there is a downside, especially for us with limited funds.


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RedRobin

9/30/2008 3:47:20 PM


....

You can now run Windows software on a Mac via something called Bootcamp (I've never felt the need to do it though).

8-core Macs will be out in 2009 sometime, I believe.

....


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Paul groover

9/30/2008 6:44:55 PM


I told you it was for fun for the future it ain,t going to happen. The mac versus peecee chestnut has been running since they came out i don,t think you could put a cigarette paper between them nowadays.


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Susan Raven

10/1/2008 7:39:15 AM


Satch and I use a Mac/ProToolsLE system - it's fantastic, easy to use, intuitive, never crashes (at least never yet!)... but then it does depend on budget and what you plan to use it for...


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Richard Scotti

10/1/2008 8:46:14 AM


Red robin-what's an 8-core MAC?


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RedRobin

10/1/2008 9:31:52 AM ---- Updated 10/1/2008 9:47:56 AM


....

Hey Richard,

8-core MAC info:

Link to Apple

Or, in non-tech-speak, A Great Big Mother Fecker!! :)


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AusDisciples

10/1/2008 9:46:05 AM


I have two Macs and three PC's in my studio. Presently though, my main studio computer and my mobile rig are based on PC's quite simply because I got far more power for the money going with PC's.
I am also a qualified tech with almost 1/4 of a century of computer experience (sheesh... that makes me sound OLD!!!) so building, tweaking and optimising PC's is second nature to me.

Like Susan and Satch, my main DAW of choice is Protools and my original Protools rig was based on a G4 (a 400 MHz single CPU model I have had since new). That Mac has done a TON of work and still works flawlessly. I actually used it (coupled with my other identical Mac / Protools rig) last year to record a live gig while I was rebuilding my current mobile rig. It is nowhere near powerful enough to cope with my current technical requirements for mixing and mastering but it served me very well when it was state of the art.

My main studio rig now is based on an Intel Quad core Q9450 CPU with 4GB RAM and 1.2TB of hard drive space split over a couple of drives. I chose an Asus P5Q motherboard simply because Asus stuff is top quality and ultra reliable.
The best part about this is the power and reliability vs price is just amazing. This PC cost me just over $1000 Australian (around $800 US). There is no way in the world I could get anywhere near this price for a Mac with equivalent performance.
My studio Protools interface is a Digi002r which I love.

My mobile rig is an Asus dual core laptop (2 x 2.53GHZ cores) with 4GB RAM, 15.4" widescreen, 320GB fast HDD and just about every conceivable extra you can name (I use this laptop for other things as well as audio when I'm away from home). I have it set up to triple boot with one OS (win XP Pro) for Protools (with my new Mbox2 Pro), another OS (also WinXP Pro) for mobile recording with my Mackie rig (Onyx 1640 and 1620 desks linked via firewire for 36 inputs and four outputs) and a third OS (Vista Ultimate) for internet, video editing, Photoshop, web design, watching and recording TV (it has a High Definition tuner built in) and any other general computer stuff.
The best part about this is this laptop cost me a measly $1500 Aussie (about $1200 odd US) and it is almost three times as powerful as my previous studio PC!!
In fact, I recently mixed a Protools session on it that had 60 audio tracks running at 96K / 24 bit and it coped with it easily!

So you could say I have crossed over to the dark side from Mac to PC but, in truth, I simply use what makes the most sense. I have used both Microsoft and Apple based systems since the very beginning. As a matter of fact, I STILL OWN my first computer which is a Tandy TRS80 (with Microsoft extended colour BASIC) and it still works!!
The first computer I learnt to program (in machine code) was a Z80 based CPU in the form of the Dick Smith System 80 which had a whopping 4K of RAM!!!


I also have fond memories of the Microbee....


and, of course the Apple II....



OK, enough reminiscing.... back to the regular program (pun intended!)




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LyinDan

10/1/2008 5:53:48 PM ---- Updated 10/1/2008 6:48:38 PM


You tell em, SP!

Hey, I programmed a TRS-80 based tape-sync system back in the 80's. I loved doing assembler stuff on Z80's. It was just neat. To be all 70's and all. Which was before the 80's, but still. I still have that box that I stuck on the TRS-80 buss. And reams of dot-matrix printouts of that code. It was a neat (heh) system. Based on using a two level pulse to trigger a comparator. Low level pulse = 0, high level pulse = 1. I actually think it was better than SMPTE. I could grab the reel, slow the thing down to almost a stop, then let it go, and the MIDI time code the thing generated would keep perfect sync.

Those were the daze.

Addendum:

That was a TRS-80 Model 1, of course. It's possible I predate you. :)

I own 4 of these



Three of these



Two of these



The first computer with built in MIDI

I also developed a hardware ram expansion for the Atari XL. Which never made it to market because of rapidly changing tech. It was a three-chip LS logic version of Atari's own official proprietary expansion.

(Uh, I also realize no one cares except me and possibly you, SP. But I like to brag on esoteric meaningless accomplishments anyway)


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AusDisciples

10/4/2008 1:33:36 PM ---- Updated 10/4/2008 1:35:01 PM


Classic stuff Dan!!! Awesome! Perhaps one of us should start a geek station in tribute to our bits, bytes and nibbles past :-D

....ah those days of EDTASM.... LDA STA STB STX etc... :)

I still remember getting all excited about writing a computer program for my TRS80 to get it to draw fractals.... I proudly showed the program and the fractals it generated to my parents but it went right over their heads!! Oh well!


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