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Mac vs PC


grego

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I've used PC for a number of years mainly using finale and doing some composing, mostly arranging for various groups. I would like to do some recording in the near future and may jump in to pro tools. My wife uses Mac for her work as a portrait artist. I've always thought Macs were better for both music & art. We are about to purchase a new computer as my PC is old and we're afraid it is about to crash.

 

I'd like to know anyone's thoughts about Mac vs. PC Is Mac really that much better for finale, protools, and photoshop?

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It is a kinda stupid debate, because it ignores the primary thing that you do, which is work in an application. It doesn't matter who makes the OS, it is the application that should be important to you. Buy the computer that supports the application that you use.

 

If ProTools was my audio application of choice (ignoring their current dramatic company upheaval and Apples attempt to supplant them with their own application...) I would use a Mac.

 

On a more practical note, when I built my last PC it cost me roughly $1500 and I was able to salvage some pieces/parts from my old machine. The equivalent Mac was $4,000. I wanted to get the Rock'N'Roll GirlFriend a new laptop. the PC version was about $650, the comparable Mac was over $1200.

 

Most people don't need any particular computer, if their computing experience amounts to email, watching and listening to music and video, and word processing. Any choice will do, and Mac has been staging an amazing comeback based on their cool guy/nerd guy TV ads and collateral 'coolness factor' of the iPhone.

 

But if you are indeed making music or video or doing any other big deal process, it is the application that matters, as no OS can help a crappy app. There is nothing equivalent to Samplitude/Sequoia on the Mac, so I use a PC.

 

Side issue: there has been no advantage shown with any DAW program to run it on a Mac running under Windows.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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It is a kinda stupid debate, because it ignores the primary thing that you do, which is work in an application. It doesn't matter who makes the OS, it is the application that should be important to you. Buy the computer that supports the application that you use.

+1
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Bill pretty much summed it up. Not much more to add. If you're used to PC, then use a PC.

 

Only thing I would say is if you want to use it for as a DAW and you don't know how to build your own, I would pay the extra money for a pre-built machine dedicated to audio, like the ones from Sweetwater or something similar. I would not just go an buy any off the shelf PC and try to use it as a DAW.

 

My two cents.

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I use Protools TDM on a Mac Pro. To give you some idea of the breakdown of Mac vs. PC users with Protools a good rule of thumb is to look at the number of people viewing the Digidesign forums at any given moment. Here's a sampling:

 

PT HD (TDM) MacOS: 94 viewing

PT HD (TDM) Windows: 7 viewing

PT LE MacOS: 154 viewing

PT LE Windows: 174 viewing

 

At the high-end of the Protools market it's hugely Mac. With LE it's fairly evenly distributed. Regardless, make sure your system has been tested and certified by Digi. Digi is the only company, to my knowledge, that actually tests and certifies specific computer systems and OS versions. It's stupid to circumvent this and go your own. On the Mac side this is not really an issue as the choices are more limited.

 

Busch.

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(snip)

 

I've always thought Macs were better for both music & art.

 

(snip)

 

I'd like to know anyone's thoughts about Mac vs. PC Is Mac really that much better for finale, protools, and photoshop?

Once upon a time, yes. Now, not really.

 

If you go back the early days, when Macs debuted with a Graphic User Interface and PCs were running DOS, then yes, a GUI was easier to develop artistic applications for and the Mac platform had an early advantage. (Pro Tools began as a Mac-only application, for example.) But as time marched on both platforms became increasingly alike; and today, you can get pretty much anything done on either platform.

 

I agree with the advice to pick your application first and then choose the OS that best supports it. Busch gave great specifics about ProTools. I'll add that there are probably still more Pro Tools plug-in options on Macs than PCs, but most Pro Tools plug-ins are cross-platform. Here again, it's best to research the plug-ins you'll want to use with Pro Tools first and choose the platform that best supports those plug-ins.

 

I disagree! Mac vs. PC? Let's go, we haven't done this in a while :snax:

There's a good reason for that. ;)

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Bill pretty much summed it up. Not much more to add. If you're used to PC, then use a PC.

 

I´d find it more interesting how several cross-platform apps like Cubase /Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Record and Studio One (is it cross-platform already?) behave if used on PCs and/or Macs.

Using Logic, no question, it must be a Mac,- but using the others, there are options.

 

Features of both the machines should be equivalent then,- same mobo, processor, processor cooler, similar PSU and Ram type, same Ram size, both 2 or 3 internal harddrives.

 

Wintel Macs are PC components most now, so the OS and workflow might decide and eventually a difference in AU and ASIO.

 

Only thing I would say is if you want to use it for as a DAW and you don't know how to build your own, I would pay the extra money for a pre-built machine dedicated to audio, like the ones from Sweetwater or something similar. I would not just go an buy any off the shelf PC and try to use it as a DAW.

 

My two cents.

 

That´s right, but possibly this kills the price difference then.

 

A.C.

 

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I´d find it more interesting how several cross-platform apps like Cubase /Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Record and Studio One (is it cross-platform already?) behave if used on PCs and/or Macs.

One factor in this comparison is how good any given company is at writing code for Mac OS X and Windows. Some companies do one better than the other.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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I almost forget to add an another piece of advice I always give in these kinds of threads: if you plan to collaborate with others, it's a good idea to find out what they use and factor that into your decision as well.

 

It's not necessary to have the same thing, but it's the path of least resistance.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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My experience doesn't align well with the general advice being given in this thread, although admittedly I am an atypical user. In my day job I run servers farms, I work on a computer all day long, and I am extremely comfortable with a Command Line Interface (CLI). GUIs always seem like an "overlay" to the underlying CLI to me.

 

Having said that...

 

I had a love/hate relationship with Windows for many, many years (starting with 3.11 really). Love because I knew it well, and had all my tools for work and play well sorted. Hate because it was highly prone to kruft and viruses, and just many little annoyances that are well-documented elsewhere. I resisted switching to Mac every since OS X came out because I was afraid of the learning curve's impact on my daily workflow, and because of the price.

 

Two years ago I took the plunge, and switched to Mac. The learning curve was, in fact, steep. It was quite difficult doing day-to-day work for the first month or two.

 

And, it was worth every penny and every hour of learning new tools. I am extremely happy that I made this change. I will never go back to Windows. I may decide to go Linux on my next laptop, but definitely not Windows.

 

Your Mileage May Vary.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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Hey, Dave:

 

I have had a very similar experience to yours. I was a FORTRAN, then CP/M, then DOS guy until Win3.0, and admin'd Windows from 3.11 to XP. Was VP of Adv. Tech for a big dot com back in the day. It was very much a love/hate for the same reasons - tools, methods and knowledge base.

 

Bout three years ago I went Mac and felt like a complete neophyte. But now, unless forced by work, I don't foresee myself ever going back to Windows for my primary OS. I also have reservations about the unqualified position "the application is everything, the OS is nothing". That has never been my experience, but if I'm in the minority, so be it.

 

 

..
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+1 that the main thing to consider is what applications you plan to use. When it comes down to brass tacks, there's little to no tangible difference between PC and Mac. That's not to say that you may not have a preference when it comes to OS, but that's a personal thing. There's no technical basis for one to claim superiority over the other. There's a belief (more of an urban myth that's unfortunately often cited as fact) that Macs crash less. Simply not true.

 

For me personally, the computer is only as good as its hardware. I've owned a number of both Apple/Mac and PC computers, and I can't honestly say I prefer one over the other. When I was in the market for a mobile studio rig recently, I checked out some Macbooks, but quickly realized that, at almost half the price, I could spec out a PC with with components superior to any of the Macbooks I could find. That made it a done deal to me. Installed a stripped-to-the-bone version of Windows XP, and the thing is an absolute monster, figuratively speaking.

 

Just my 2 cents. If I had wanted a Pro Tools based rig, I might have thought twice about a Mac, although I occasionally use Pro Tools on my current PC and haven't experienced any issues thus far. I know a few guys who are making the switch from Pro Tools to Logic, and that's another program only available for Mac. In the end, you gotta go with what makes sense for you.

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" In my day job I run servers farms, I work on a computer all day long, and I am extremely comfortable with a Command Line Interface (CLI). GUIs always seem like an "overlay" to the underlying CLI to me."

 

ain't it the truth? Loved the command line, and I had a lot of trouble giving up using language for the pointing and grunting of caveman communications.

 

My main experience with the Mac runs back before they adopted a Unix-based OS, since they've made that switch I've only worked with Mac apps, never had to get under the hood. So I have not experienced the 'transformation', just as, since I've stopped digging under the covers with Windows and just use the apps to get work done, I've not had many (or any) problems with XP.

 

Everybody TALKS about how bad or good a given OS is or isn't, and whatever the truth is, the difference eludes me. I don't get viruses. My applications work. I get paid. Hooray! When I was a part of the chain of keeping the company computers functioning, I had a different pointy of view. It's been nice being a consumer instead of a guru.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Care to share? I wasn't aware of any upheaval at Avid.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

I'm not a follower, but there has been a thread on another site that I frequent... here are some random quotes. I can'r speak tot he truthfulness of any of them, other than to say that these guys usually do know what they are talking about. Take it for what it is worth, you likely know more about it than I do. It seems that the Dig name is dissappearing, too.

..................................

Over the past 18 months, the executive management (at Digidesign) has been cutting costs mostly by laying off US workers and moving jobs to Kiev. Over 50% of the company will be overseas very soon.

 

When the video and audio engineering groups work together on projects, the efforts are dysfunctional at best and completely adversarial at worse."

 

Interesting to note other key positions now open as the ax fell (and people jumped ship): principle software engineers, software engineers, sales engineers, the VP Engineering, the CRM Developer Analyst, a consulting engineer, software testing, The Technology Program Manager, A Senior Tech Support Engineer, etc.

 

........................................

They layed off 44 Digidesign employees last week, including a number of folks who apparently were key to PT's development to date, and seems they are also planning on a good number of more layoffs coming soon as well. They're in the midst of outsourcing about 50% of the coding, testing and support staff to the Ukraine and elsewhere. Straight out of the movie "Outsourced" my friend who works there was being made to train some of the folks who will soon most likely be his replacements.

........................

[happened]... in June but you can't get more "top guy" than Dave Lebolt (senior vice-president and chief technology officer - who left for a position with Apple). Peter Gorges (Wizoo/AIR) left then as well. And none other than Larry Thrasher split in August. Apparently they had to hire three guys to take Larry's place. So it's not like it's just mail room guys being shelved due to "redundancy" here.

 

More perspective from a few anonymous Digi employee's posted here:

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Dig...ews-E27661.htm

 

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Avi...iews-E2291.htm

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I´d find it more interesting how several cross-platform apps like Cubase /Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Record and Studio One (is it cross-platform already?) behave if used on PCs and/or Macs.

 

Aren't they all written in C++?

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Aren't they all written in C++?

 

The fact that they are is pretty much meaningless. You think that application can do all you want without interfacing with an API? Or driver models? Or...

 

Getting useful cross-platform code is hard. Having to do everything in AU, RTAS and VST is hard. Drawing interface elements is hard; it's why you get crap like this; companies build their own UIs instead of hoping on the OS UI to behave.

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"Having to do everything in AU, RTAS and VST is hard. "

 

First, why would apps like Cubase /Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Record and Studio One bother with RTAS?

 

Second, as a user, I don't care much how hard it is for you to make the app operate and appear the same on however many platforms you choose to try to support. So long as it looks the same and works the same to me, the user, when I step in front of any machine running the program, I won't complain.

 

The idea that there will be some way to quantify the performance of a cross platform app between the OSes is really silly, given that you can't do that between any two users machines. There isn't any way to do this in a meaningful fashion. The only thing that the manufacturers can do that makes any sense is to do what I said above: make the app operate and appear the same on however many platforms they choose to try to support.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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While I agree with Bill's advice (choose your apps and then buy what that app runs best on), reading this thread I find it telling that Tim and Dave, who have run networks of Windows boxes, now prefer to use Macs.That mirrors my own experience. I've spent the last 17 years doing IT management and network design on large-scale, multi-site Windows, Unix, and Linux networks. The past 3 years I've done that on a Mac.

 

It isn't so much about what the machine can do because, for all but the most specialized applications, you can do the same work on any platform. PCs are far more flexible than Macs in terms of initial cost, hardware choice, and system configuration. In my experience that flexibility comes with a greater maintenance overhead.

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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If you don't care about paying at least twice as much for the same computing power, get a Mac.

 

I've used PC's for over a decade, but am certainly not loyal to ANY platform. I recently switched from Blackberry to Iphone and am very pleased. But the kicker here, the iphone cost less. Would I have switched if it cost twice as much? No way.

 

Since I was so pleased with my IPhone, I decided to price out Macs again. Unfortunately, the Mac would cost almost 3 times as much (even with educational discounts)as a similar PC. $3,000 vs. $1,200? Never, EVER going to happen.

 

But yes, all about the application. Since there isn't a unique, must have Mac application...it just doesn't add up for me.

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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If you don't care about paying at least twice as much for the same computing power, get a Mac.

I don't think that's still true. The acquisition price of a PC is commonly accepted to be 1/3rd of the total cost of ownership. Some of the other costs are system maintenance, software cost, training, and the temporary loss of productivity that accompanies any system implementation as the users adjust to the new workflow. Once you factor in those differences over the lifetime of a computer (3 - 5 years is industry standard) the Mac may cost more but I doubt it's twice the cost of the Windows equivalent.

 

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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"The acquisition price of a PC is commonly accepted to be 1/3rd of the total cost of ownership. Some of the other costs are system maintenance, software cost, training, and the temporary loss of productivity that accompanies any system implementation as the users adjust to the new workflow. Once you factor in those differences over the lifetime of a computer (3 - 5 years is industry standard) the Mac may cost more but I doubt it's twice the cost of the Windows equivalent."

 

Here nor there, if you are a home user looking for a good value on a machine on which to record and edit your audio. In either case, you need to learn to use the software, and maintain the machine, so that is pretty much a wash no matter which system you choose. (Although there is something to be complained about when it comes to the price of replacement parts with the Apple logo.... but let us start simple, and assume that either machine is a well crafted piece of hardware.) Where the rubber mets the road is in the software that you choose, and there are so many choices that ALL DO A GOOD JOB. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and everybody has their preferred pick. Truth be told, NONE is the be all and end all of audio editing, which is why there are so many viable choices.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I think a lot of the advantages and disadvantages stem from one sort of basic difference between the two platforms:

 

PC is more open with many vendors for PC's, parts, etc., and there's a ton more software out there. Plus, you can get a little deeper into the setup more easily.

 

Mac is made by Apple - that's it. The OS and it's GUI is kind of designed to hide all of that stuff from you that would allow you to mess with it to the extent you can on a PC.

 

So PC advantage obviously is cost and there's a lot of stuff out there for it. Downside is that for the same reason, you have lots of drivers, some hardware (and software) that may not play well with others, and it's a lot easier to screw up your system. Basically, it's great until you screw something up (maybe by no fault of your own), then it can be a PITA. But if you want the flexibility of building your own system and you're careful about your software & drivers, you can have a great system for pretty cheap.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Mac is made by Apple - that's it. The OS and it's GUI is kind of designed to hide all of that stuff from you that would allow you to mess with it to the extent you can on a PC.

That's true to an extent. On the other hand, if you open up OS X's Terminal application and access the Unix command line interface, you can do a lot to reconfigure and possibly screw up OS X. ;)

 

Mac OS X's core is a POSIX compliant operating system (OS) built on top of the XNU kernel, with standard Unix facilities available from the command line interface. Apple released this set of software as a free and open source operating system named Darwin. On top of Darwin, Apple layered a number of components, including the Aqua interface and the Finder, to complete the GUI-based operating system which is Mac OS X. (Source)

But most people never go there.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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True that. One thing Apple does really well is integration of all their various programs, gadgets, and whatnot, which something that's much tougher to pull off with the open architecture nature of the PC. They've got the iPod, iPhone, iMovie, iLife, pretty much iEverything. They also just plain look cooler. The whole Mac/Apple "image" is important to their marketing strategy. PCs are more about giving you options, whereas it seems like Apple is more interested in pulling you into their "world" and shutting out all other options. Basically turning you into a Mac person for life. After all, if you switched to PC, what would you do with all your iStuff? On the other hand, because a PC can be built by any number of third-party manufacturers, you do have to be a little more selective and know what the good brands are.

 

Anyway, two very different business models, but in the end, you can't really go wrong with either one.

 

 

 

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