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Can a Mac Mini handle this?

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  • Can a Mac Mini handle this?

    I'm in the market for a new used computer to record with. Right now I'm looking at old Mac Minis in the dual 2.0ghz range.



    What I'd like to do is record 8 tracks plus two tracks of MIDI (one from a keyboard, another from an Alesis iO drum trigger interface) while running some heavy plugins (Amplitube, various VST synths) ALL AT ONCE without my recording software hiccuping, skipping, glitching out, making weird noises, etc.



    The laptop that I have been using can't handle all that. I've got a 8-input Firepod FP10, I use various softwares for recording, I'm not really married to any of them if that could make a difference.



    So can a Mac Mini do that thing? Or do I need to up my budget?



    Thanks!

  • #2
    If you are running a good DAW, I use Cubase, the mini is up to the job. I'm not using the mini for this anymore, but the dual cores are capable. You do have the same limits that you have with a laptop. You can't record to the internal drive on that level. I was using an external firewire 400 for the drive and the input interface. USB2 wasn't able to handle the throughput I needed for 16 channels. The firewire 400 has about 3 times the throughput of USB2. (I know the USB is 480, but that's only in a burst. You need better for heavy duty recordings. I'm sure that USB3 would be up to the job, but I don't own a single machine that has it.) You will want to max out the memory. (Probably already done.) I was fine with the mini, but I got tired of moving it because I rarely recorded at home. (Now using a two year old macbook pro.)

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    • #3
      Honestly if you're using several VI's and an amp sim, I'd opt for the quad-core i7 mini. Originally only in the "server" model. It's now included in the mid-level mini. Amp sims and VI's can be pretty CPU intensive, so if you're using them simultaneously you might need more than a C2D can offer. I'm running a 2.6 Ghz C2D MacBook Pro, and while it does what I need, I just do audio. No VI's or amp sims.
      ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Metric Halo 2882 Expanded +DSP, Event 20/20 bas, Etymotic ER4-PT and HF3, MacBook Pro 15" (early 2011 w/2.2 ghz i7 quad, 8GB Ram, 480 GB SSD), Pro Tools 11, Harrison Mixbus, and Reaper. Godin Progression, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

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      • #4
        I found that Garage Band's midi taxed the OS. Cubase lets the OS loaf when running midi. (And I can't notice the lag. I know it has to be there, but it must be too small for me to notice it.)

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by CME
          View Post

          Honestly if you're using several VI's and an amp sim, I'd opt for the quad-core i7 mini. Originally only in the "server" model. It's now included in the mid-level mini. Amp sims and VI's can be pretty CPU intensive, so if you're using them simultaneously you might need more than a C2D can offer. I'm running a 2.6 Ghz C2D MacBook Pro, and while it does what I need, I just do audio. No VI's or amp sims.




          I just got the middle 2012 Mini and I'm very happy except for the current HDMI issue everyone's complaining about.
          [Z?]
          http://soundcloud.com/mus0r

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by GloomGenerator
            View Post

            I just got the middle 2012 Mini and I'm very happy except for the current HDMI issue everyone's complaining about.




            My Mac-mini is about 2008 and won't upgrade past Lion. What is the HDMI issue?

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            • #7
              If you have to have a mac...and cheap..don't get a macmini.looking into building a hackintosh.I've built several. And ive owned a mini.and still own a mac pro and a mac i5 laptop...if u get the right parts you'll stomp most macs at less than half the price.

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              • #8
                I just bought a new Mini at the Apple Store about a week ago. Their base model ($599 - dual core 2.5 w/4-gigs). I'm loving it. I installed Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit with BOOTCAMP and now I can boot either into Mountain Lion or Win 7. I was a diehard PPC user but have now retired my beloved dual 2.5 ghz. G5 tower. I use a Samsung 24" HD Monitor with it along with 2 1-terrabyte external USB 2 drives and am in Pig Heaven.



                Screw the Hacintosh - by a Mini. It works flawlessly with OS X and Win 7 too. I'm recording in style.
                I tell them young boys all the time "There's 2 things you really need to be a "bluesman" - Percodan and Whiskey"

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                • #9
                  Lol.for that price i could build a hacintosh with twice that of a mini.and stable.

                  Why are you running bootcamp? Try parallel desktop.you can be running both os at once man!

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                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by tpruitt1
                    View Post

                    Lol.for that price i could build a hacintosh with twice that of a mini.and stable.

                    Why are you running bootcamp? Try parallel desktop.you can be running both os at once man!




                    Hackintosh's still have there issues. A simple software update can kill it... There's more to running OSX than looking at just the budget.. Cobbling together a custom PC to run OSX is not the 'lounging around' experience I get with OSX on a Mac. If you're purely looking at running the eight tracks that the OP is asking about then running OSX in parallels, with respect, is a bit of an odd recommendation.. !



                    To the OP. I've just bought a late 2012 Mac Mini (which i'm typing from) to run Logic Pro 9 at home, (which I run with my 2008 Macbook Pro (2.4ghz core 2 duo) as a location machine). Smooth as you like. 2.5ghz i5 (dual core). I did a geek bench and is around 2x (+) the speed of my 2008 Macbook pro. Not a speed breaker but considering my Macbook Pro still runs all the multitrack session i've ever thrown at it, I feel pretty confident that it'll last me a few years more at the top. Either machine laughs at recording 8 ins at a time even on the internal drive..



                    With a good high speed HD and a good set up, then the first Mac mini's should easily be able to hit 8 tracks of audio at a time... However, asking people how many plugins you can throw at it on the fly is too harder question to answer.. Too many variables..
                    "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

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                    • #11
                      I tried it (parallels) and also VMware but had issues with sound, interfaces, latency, etc. with Bootcamp it works flawlessly. Running an OS inside of another OS has issues believe me especially when it comes to recording.
                      I tell them young boys all the time "There's 2 things you really need to be a "bluesman" - Percodan and Whiskey"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Agreed, you only want to be running one OS when recording. (Or playing games.) The Intel macs will run Windows just fine. Cubase runs on Windows or Mac. On my Mac, I run it in OS-X. I not running it on Windows anymore, but my drummer is running a windows computer in the rehearsal hall. We don't have any problems transferring files back and forth between the machines. (He's running the full version of Cubase 5 and I'm running Cubase Artist 6)

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                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by WynnD
                          View Post

                          Agreed, you only want to be running one OS when recording. (Or playing games.) The Intel macs will run Windows just fine. Cubase runs on Windows or Mac. On my Mac, I run it in OS-X. I not running it on Windows anymore, but my drummer is running a windows computer in the rehearsal hall. We don't have any problems transferring files back and forth between the machines. (He's running the full version of Cubase 5 and I'm running Cubase Artist 6)




                          Who is that in your avatar picture WynnD? I've always meant to ask..!
                          "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

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                          • #14
                            That's me with the Bass I built. It's my go-to bass for gigs. (I've also got a Fender Jazz plus five string with a fretless warmouth neck.)

                            Comment


                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by WynnD
                              View Post

                              That's me with the Bass I built. It's my go-to bass for gigs. (I've also got a Fender Jazz plus five string with a fretless warmouth neck.)




                              Looks amazing.. Must have been a lot of work!!
                              "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

                              Comment



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