My old Windows machine has pretty much bitten the dust since our recent move and I'm planning on replacing it with a secondhand iMac as I start getting back into music. Our whole family is pretty much Apple now (2 MBPs, 2 MBAs, more iPads and iPhones than I can count, etc), so it just makes sense to me. Plus, we already have a Thunderbolt Display than I can use as a second monitor.
Both my 2011 MBA and 2015 MPB are better spec'ed and perform better than the old Windows machine, so I'm thinking an i5 or i7/16GB/500GB 27" iMac built within the last few years will be way more than I need for the little bit of music I'm making these days (photography and videography has consumed my life lately).I'll be running LPX, Studio One v4, Ableton, Cubase, and Wavelab, plus FCPX, Adobe Premiere, etc.
I need storage, lots of storage for all of my sample libraries, photos, videos, music projects, etc. My current machine has 8TB of storage on 6 drives. I'll need to archive much of it, and move the rest onto drives that my new computer can access. What do you Mac guys do for storage? Are you using external HD towers, and are you using USB3 or Thunderbolt external drives? Are they fast enough to run sample-heavy projects, with multiple instances of Maschine, Kontakt, Omnisphere, etc??? I'm thinking maybe two external drives for now: a 2TB drive for media (photos, videos) and another 2TB for samples and music stuff.
If you made it this far, thanks in advance for any advice (and, no, I'm definitely not going to build another Windows machine )
Sonar Platinum | Ableton Live 9 | Logic Pro X | Access Virus TI2 Keyboard | Kurzweil PC3X | Nord Lead 4R | NI Maschine
Hides in Shadow
Registered: Apr 2019
Location: In Deep Space
Yeah, I read the whole thing Dave, I'm also looking for a good storage option, I think I will be getting a 2nd hand true thunderbolt 3 (not type-c) ssd which is convenient for samples, Omnisphere's library, Maschine and NI related stuff. For heavy files like 192 Khz vinyl recordings and videos for youtube, I'll be using a thunderbolt 3 traditional HD.
The latest Mac we have in the house is a 2013, 27" stock model. It's only got 8GB of RAM but none of my apps have ever complained. The internal hard drive it came with seems to be on its last legs. You just know when files take too long to access, so the MAC OS is running on an external USB3 SSD drive, while the internal HD is still used for User files. Just keep a Time Machine backup for safety!
Even on a large project most of your samples, and audio tracks will be kept in RAM for instant access by your DAW. It was in the old days, with Gigasampler, where hard disk streaming performance was important. In those days RAM was expensive. So your hard disk will only be accessed when loading samples, audio tracks & saving.
You most likely won't even need Thunderbolt hard drives. Try to use USB3 first, then Firewire 800 as external hard drive cases/towers using those interfaces are cheap & fast.
Check out VSL Ensemble Pro as an alternative way of hosting plugins. It's a good way to spread the workload around several computers. You could for example, use computer A for Kontakt samples, computer B for FX plugs & Omnisphere & a modest old model iMac for your DAW.
In regards your old PC, have you tried simply removing the small clock battery on the mobo for several seconds just to reset the machine & have it boot up again. That used to be the trick to ASUS mobos when they failed to boot. You may also have to move a pin jumper around to do a proper BIOS reset.
Registered: May 2001
Ahhh, Mac Vs PC. It's like TA 18 years ago. Brings a tear to the eye.
Between home and business I probably own 5 PC's and 3 macs or varying age.
Much like Geoff (and at this point, I'm not actually sure if Geoff and I aren't actually one and the same person) I'm basically agnostic to the argument...
...but having said that, I'm writing this on a 2008 imac that is still going strong. It's ridiculous that I can use a 10 year old mid spec imac and it still delivers for music programs and graphics. Around 2012 it started getting laggy so I popped in a Samsung 840 SSD and turned it in a better computer than when it was first bought.
At work I have a 2012 higher spec Imac I was given and I haven't even done the SSD in that yet and it's still chugging along.
Now in that same time (11 years or even 7 years), I don't have a single PC that has lasted or held up in terms of performance. It was only this year that the 2008 model finally couldn't be upgraded to the latest OS, but it really didn't matter to me as I always like to lag behind one OS anyway (any studio you ever work in work on older, tried and tested OS to avoid downtime).
Yes, PC and Mac basically both do the same thing, and althgouh I don't like being tied to the apple sphere so much (icloud sub, having to use their apps etc) if you're already on that train then it's kinda a no brainer to go with apple.
The one thing that really pisses me off with PC's is the updates. It's fucking endless. One of my PC's literally has to do an update every single day (and it's not virus definitions).
The other thing that happens with PC's is that updates often overrule the correct drivers and suddenly one day, some component will just stop working and you have to start googling to figure it out, only to find out win update decided the generic driver was a better fit than the one from the manufacturer, so you have to do a roll back.
That just hasn't happened with my macs.
For me these days, it's about uptime. I done all the tinkering I ever could from building audio specific PC's for a living, for personal use, and just playing with them for nerdy fun, but these days, I just want the thing to work, and not have to get lost in command prompt or terminal shenanigans.
My advice is to buy a previous gen large screen Imac. Maybe a 2016 or 2017. A quick look on ebay shows them going for as little as $500 with good spec.
The only thing I'd check is how upgradeable they are, amybe look at ifixit. As time has gone on, Imacs (macs in general really) have become less upgradable so it might be better to get an older version that allows you to pop in that giant SSD or max out the ram etc.
The other thing is the screens.
You basically have to spend at least $300 alone to get a PC screen that really matches the later spec imacs. Sure you can build a PC for probably the same money with a bunch of effort and shopping around and building it etc all said and done but why bother.
I'd just get the highest spec, older gen imac you can and that will be good for years, especially for video/graphics and audio.
Hides in Shadow
Registered: Apr 2019
Location: In Deep Space
Can someone please explain what in the world is NAS? Just trying to make pew pew convo, I know I can google so just point out for other cretins.
Originally posted by SystematicX1
I'd rather spend the extra cash on a PC (which I am in the process of saving for) and have a beafy computer than deal with this crap from Apple.
I get what you're saying but on my three macs, oldest being 2008, only one had a component failure which took me all of $60 and 20mins to fix.
I can't say the same for my PC's sadly which have had catastrophic failure.
yes, apple are making it more difficult to repair but my experience has been they need less repairing.
Registered: Feb 2003
🦉 Get whichever you want, you won't lose. Get whichever has the apps you use most. At least with the Mac you can Bootcamp or WINE it & run Windows apps as well. Yeah some people build & run Hackintoshs too but it sounds like you aren't that interested in being a techie, going by your reluctance to try & fix your last system. I don't find it too difficult troubleshooting desktop PCs, but laptops or all-in-ones are a headache.
🐻 I use PCs & Macs daily as it makes me feel like a genius being able to navigate both. If there's somebody nearby, I'll whip out a Bash or CMD console & start typing rapidly. I could be simply listing directory contents, but it looks like I'm an elite hacker.
👱🏻♀️ Hey, what you doing bruh?
🐻 Just checkin up on my friends at FBI HQ.
👱🏻♀️ Wait you're a MIB?
🐻 Nah, I keep them in line & make sure they aren't spending our taxes on pizza.
👱🏻♀️ Whachu doing tonight handsome?
Last edited by Mel David on Aug-14-2019 at 05:02
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: Elk Grove, CA USA
OK, seems I didn't make my point clear enough. Not actually looking for a Mac vs PC debate. I'd already made the decision to go with an iMac, rather than rebuild my Windows computer, and I'm now the happy owner of a shiny new iMac (I decided to go with a new machine after all).
My question was simply how are you guys expanding the storage on your Macs? @Zak - thanks for the NAS suggestion! I started looking into that and actually stumbled onto the OWC Thunderbay enclosures, which is exactly what I need, so I ordered one. I'll use that to pull my old files from my Windows computer and then reformat them for my new Mac.