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Would you use one of the new iMacs for music?


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Hiya,

 

I'm debating buying one of those 20 inch iMacs as my main desktop rig. I know that noone will have played with one yet, but can anyone see any obvious issues with it from a DAW viewpoint? I can't see why it combined with a Digi 002 and PT LE wouldn't make a pretty good rig....

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If you don't have any applications that need PCI cards or a second internal hard drive - I'm assuming that the iMac will only hold one intenal HD - the it should be a great machine. Portable. Quiet. G5 power. Plenty of USB and FW connectors. Stable, friendly OS. HUGE monitor!

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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I wouldn't. Yeah, I do own a laptop - but I'm getting a firewire drive eventually. I think I might invest in a Mac desktop sometime, I have a couple video projects in mind(interactive thriller/horror DVD and maybe a short film in the future)... but then I'd have 2 desktops - Mac and PC.. meh!

 

I do like the idea of the new iMac's, but I just wouldn't use it for music.

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Helloooo Nurse! :D

 

All have been said. I guess I might just remind you that a SCSI or Internal Hard Drive is way much better option than a FireWire -even than a FW 800 one- and that might be the only trade off with one of those puppies.

 

Another point might be the price of upgrading RAM so get the most RAM right now.

Músico, Productor, Ingeniero, Tecnólogo

Senior Product Manager, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus

at Fender Musical Instruments Company

 

Instagram: guslozada

Facebook: Lozada - Música y Tecnología

 

www.guslozada.com

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Originally posted by Phait:

Doesn't look very upgradeable/expandable, I'm curious what heat issues it may have... yeah yeah ok laptops have the same problems but they're even more portable.

Agreed.

 

It won't be upgradeable to a double processor G5 and buying extra RAM might be expensier than a Desktop G5.

 

If the new iMacs are like older models (I mean the i-Lamps :D ), heat won't be an issue.

Músico, Productor, Ingeniero, Tecnólogo

Senior Product Manager, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus

at Fender Musical Instruments Company

 

Instagram: guslozada

Facebook: Lozada - Música y Tecnología

 

www.guslozada.com

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How many FW drives does the new iMac have??

 

Nursers, remember, you need one for the 002. On top of that you'll need at least one more for an external audio drive, but two is better (for backup and expansion).

 

I would save the extra $$ and go for the G5. iMacs are WAY cool for kids in dorms, or moms with home businesses, don't get me wrong.

 

But for (semi or otherwise) pro audio, a G5 will be vastly more expandable, tweakable, modifyable, etc-able.

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

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I'm pretty happy with my iMac, and I use it to compose film soundtracks on a pretty regular basis. True, it's not the most upgradable machine (I've added memory, and that's about it), but there are some really good peripherals that go with it, like iMic. The quality comes out fairly decent and the software allows you to play with the effects so for what I use it for, the iMac is an excellent rig IMO.
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You can do a LOT with Firewire and USB these days. Couple that with a G5 processor and a big screen in a friendly reliable box, and you've got a cool nerve center for your studio.

 

A G5 tower (plus monitor) will cost TWICE as much.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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I have one of the newer PowerBooks (15",G4,1.5GHz) that I'm thinking of selling to get a new iMac (17", G5, 1.8GHz). Even though my PB is the fastest ever made :rolleyes: , it is still too slow to effectively run Cameleon, Reaktor Session, Absynth and Reason 2 at the same time within Ableton Live 4 with a few effects. There is just no comparison between the 167 MHz system bus in my PB and the 600MHz frontside bus on a new iMac. Then there's the higher processor speed of the iMac, the 7200RPM drive as opposed to the 4200RPM in the PB, and the G5 architecture. I think the new iMac would be portable enough if I wanted to play live with it, which would be rarely. A new iMac is a much better audio computer than a PowerBook, IMO. I also like the compact form factor of the iMac compared to the towers.
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Thanks again for all the opinions.

 

I agree that a desktop G5 would be a better option but the price difference is huge now. I do have a PowerBook 1.33 G4 as well so I should be pretty well covered.

 

So - anyone wanna buy a G4/533 desktop ;)

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Originally posted by Gus Lozada:

I guess I might just remind you that a SCSI or Internal Hard Drive is way much better option than a FireWire -even than a FW 800 one- and that might be the only trade off with one of those puppies.

I'd like to know why someone would need a SCSI internal drive instead of an external FW drive? I can get over 24 tracks on my internal 4200RPM PowerBook drive, and a FW 400 external drive would probably do at least double that. Do we really need the ability to record 256 tracks on an internal SCSI drive? I know I don't.
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Originally posted by php:

Originally posted by Gus Lozada:

I guess I might just remind you that a SCSI or Internal Hard Drive is way much better option than a FireWire -even than a FW 800 one- and that might be the only trade off with one of those puppies.

I'd like to know why someone would need a SCSI internal drive instead of an external FW drive? I can get over 24 tracks on my internal 4200RPM PowerBook drive, and a FW 400 external drive would probably do at least double that. Do we really need the ability to record 256 tracks on an internal SCSI drive? I know I don't.
Maybe you have been lucky... that or you don't use a lot of plugins. A good, fast and lot of RAM machine helps too.

 

Without plugins, my track count on internal HD on the Mac is quite high too... add some plug ins and it goes down drastically

 

But you're right. If you don't need it, no problem.

Músico, Productor, Ingeniero, Tecnólogo

Senior Product Manager, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus

at Fender Musical Instruments Company

 

Instagram: guslozada

Facebook: Lozada - Música y Tecnología

 

www.guslozada.com

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Whats the big deal? It's a laptop on a stand.
It's a G5 iMac though.

 

There's no such thing as a G5 laptop - G4 is as high as they go, apparently because G5 processors generate too much heat to function well in a laptop.

Just a pinch between the geek and chum

 

 

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Originally posted by php:

Originally posted by Gus Lozada:

I guess I might just remind you that a SCSI or Internal Hard Drive is way much better option than a FireWire -even than a FW 800 one- and that might be the only trade off with one of those puppies.

I'd like to know why someone would need a SCSI internal drive instead of an external FW drive? I can get over 24 tracks on my internal 4200RPM PowerBook drive, and a FW 400 external drive would probably do at least double that. Do we really need the ability to record 256 tracks on an internal SCSI drive? I know I don't.
I know I don't, as well. I use an external FW drive off my old G3 Powerbook and an 896 and do just fine. While I'm sure there's a track limit, I've yet to hit it.
I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
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The day the new iMacs came out, I put in an order for a dual 2.5 PowerMac!

 

While I think the new iMacs actually look very good for music, once concern of mine is the fan noise they generate. While the powermac fan noise will obviously be more (and I've already heard that people are grousing about noise problems with the new 2.5s), I can banish the powermac to another room or a sound-proofing box, and simply have the no-noise-making monitor wherever I like. However, if I were using the iMac and started recording, I'd pick up fan noise with my mics.

Dooby Dooby Doo
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Originally posted by Phait:

Duddits, I think they're quiet. Read the interview link I posted.

Thanks. I read it -- it seems to say that yes, there are fans, although they're very quiet.

 

Still, they're fans and must make some noise. Thus, if you wanted to record yourself at the piano, you couldn't use one of these things (perched on the piano) because its fans would probably be picked up by the piano mics.

 

What would have been great, although I suppose it will have to wait until they have the technology to put a G5 in a Powerbook first (i.e. cooler-running chips) would be to make a totally silent iMac reminiscent of the cube that required no fans at all. That would truly make it the music computer of choice.

Dooby Dooby Doo
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Originally posted by php:

Originally posted by Gus Lozada:

I guess I might just remind you that a SCSI or Internal Hard Drive is way much better option than a FireWire -even than a FW 800 one- and that might be the only trade off with one of those puppies.

I'd like to know why someone would need a SCSI internal drive instead of an external FW drive? I can get over 24 tracks on my internal 4200RPM PowerBook drive, and a FW 400 external drive would probably do at least double that. Do we really need the ability to record 256 tracks on an internal SCSI drive? I know I don't.
I've encountered one situation where the all-Firewire setup doesn't work well. When I was streaming samples off of a FW drive AND sending the audio out through a FW interface, I got a lot of dropouts and noise. I since switched to a PCI audio interface, and I don't have those problems anymore even though I'm streaming samples off of a FW drive.

 

So, yes, there CAN be limitations to how hard you can push those FW busses.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by nursers:

That's a good point. If you are wanting to really push the limits then the lack of FW800 on this imac may be a problem...

Not necessarily. I was USING my FW800 connection, and I STILL had the problem. I think that it had something to do with buffering real-time data through the FW ports. My G4 couldn't seem to manage this properly. Was FW designed for real-time data transfer? I doubt it, even though it WORKS under most circumstances.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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