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Mac or Window???


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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the sound card aspect of your PC build - I don't see one listed. The system's memory matters, but the sound card makes a big difference in how your gear interfaces with the PC and also the amount of latency in recording, does it not? (I'm asking - I always thought it was, but with modern software/OS the system resources, as opposed to the sound card resources, may have more of an effect).

 

And I have my own Dell horror story - bought a top of the line XPS system (liquid cooling, factory overclocked) from them about a year ago - would crash unexpectedly when doing any heavy task. They wanted me to troubleshoot the problem - told them that's not why I bought a pre-built PC and sent it back. That was the biggest plus with going with a Dell - it cost me absolutely nothing to return it to them.

 

I'd suggest going to a MicroCenter and having them build your PC from the parts they have available in store (their prices are usually very low for a B&M), except getting a sound card from a music store/site instead, but my Dell experience may not be the same as yours (hopefully).

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While that used to be the case, it's definitely not as true any more.


 

 

+1

 

Mac used to be in the forefront due to power. When PC's came up to spec Mac's lead due to compatibility. Not so anymore. You can toss files between the two platforms all day long these days. I've been seeing trend in the shift over to the PC platform for years now. Phil brought up an excellent point about down time with Mac, not to mention upgrades. If a mother board fries out on a PC you can go out that minute to a parts store and pickup a replacement.

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I have a Card Deluxe in my present computer. I've been told that will work well. Though, I'll be looking into that aspect (and the interfacing) as well.

 

Not sure at this point if I'll be transferring the Card Deluxe to my new computer???

 

John:cool:

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I can't believe I'm chiming in on a Mac vs. PC debat.....but....

 

I'm on a PC, do only professional paying work, have had much success. Why did I go with a PC? It's what I knew so I stuck with it. To be honest, it doesn't really matter much. I'd just go with whichever you are more comfortable with or whichever one will run the software you want to run. Both are equally stable provided it's a dedicated music machine and you aren't installing a bunch of other crap on it.

 

That said, here's some pluses and minuses:

 

PC pluses:

- Better power to price ratio

- Less downtime when something goes wrong (oh, the horror stories I've heard from friends!!!)

- There are a lot of hidden gem freeware plugins out there, but most of them are written for PC.

 

PC minuses:

- Can be more complicated

- People write viruses for PCs (although you shouldn't have your music computer connected to the internet if at all possible!!!!!).

 

Mac pluses:

- Easier to use

- nobody bothers to write viruses for Macs 'cause it's not fun to affect 0.1% of the computers... that doesn't get you on CNN.

 

Mac minuses:

- A problem can leave you down for a while, and dealing with Apple, which is not always fun.

- horrible price to power ratio

 

 

BTW - the reason you see lots of Macs in music is because back in the day they were the only people in the music game so that's what lots of the older folks learned on, and many of them stuck with it. These days that's not the case at all. Of the younger crowd, the vast majority of the people I see getting macs for music are doing so only because they intend to run Logic which is now Mac-only.

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Thanks Chris! Glad you chimed-in. For some reason I feel a little better about the choices now.

 

I can get 8 gigs of RAM with a Dell for the same price of 3 gigs for a Mac Pro. Will it run better? I'll never know, because I'll only be using one or the other.

 

Man, so many choices.:confused:

 

John:eek:

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The system's memory matters, but the sound card makes a big difference in how your gear interfaces with the PC and also the amount of latency in recording, does it not?

 

Essentially, you're correct. The audio interface you use can definitely make a difference; not only in terms of sound quality (better or worse converters being used, better or worse onboard mic preamps and other analog audio components / circuitry, etc.), but also in terms of latency. The drivers have a lot to do with latency performance, and good drivers are a must. Actually, if you are having sound card / audio interface related issues, one of the first things you should do IMO is check to see if the manufacturer has updated drivers on their site that you can download and install...

 

Of course, the soundcard / audio interface you use can also have compatibility issues. Some firewire interfaces won't work with the chipsets on certain firewire cards / onboard firewire interfaces, but will work fine with others. Some PCI / PCI-e cards won't work with certain motherboard chipsets, but work great with other motherboards.

 

It's ALWAYS a good idea to check with the manufacturer of any sound card / audio interface you're considering purchasing to see what their recommended system requirements / specs are, as well as to find out if it's going to be compatible, or problematic with the computer you have, or intend to use with that interface. Most companies have that information available on their websites.

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The system's memory matters, but the sound card makes a big difference in how your gear interfaces with the PC and also the amount of latency in recording, does it not?


Essentially, you're correct. The audio interface you use can definitely make a difference; not only in terms of sound quality (better or worse converters being used, better or worse onboard mic preamps and other analog audio components / circuitry, etc.), but also in terms of latency. The drivers have a lot to do with latency performance, and good drivers are a must. Actually, if you are having sound card / audio interface related issues, one of the first things you should do IMO is check to see if the manufacturer has updated drivers on their site that you can download and install...


Of course, the soundcard / audio interface you use can also have compatibility issues. Some firewire interfaces won't work with the chipsets on certain firewire cards / onboard firewire interfaces, but will work fine with others. Some PCI / PCI-e cards won't work with certain motherboard chipsets, but work great with other motherboards.


It's ALWAYS a good idea to check with the manufacturer of any sound card / audio interface you're considering purchasing to see what their recommended system requirements / specs are, as well as to find out if it's going to be compatible, or problematic with the computer you have, or intend to use with that interface. Most companies have that information available on their websites.

 

So then it may be better to go with Windows, and with the money saved by not buying a Mac, could be used to purchase a topnotch soundcard and interface.

 

It will be interesting to hear what the DAW experts at the shop say tomorrow. I imagine, just like everyone, a mix of opinions.

 

With all the info I gathered from the help of you guys and several other forums on the Net, I'll be "armed & dangerous" tomorrow.:lol:

 

Thanks! John:cool:

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Good luck John - and remember - it's about what will work best for you and meet YOUR needs.
:)

Please let us know how it all works out for you.
:wave:

 

Will do Phil!:thu:

 

Now, if I go with Dell... The Dell I wanted only comes with Vista. I should be able to unistall Vista and then purchase XP and install that. Am I correct?

 

In that case it would be better if Dell came empty without the Vista. Someone on another site mentioned this today.

 

Thanks, John:)

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Now, if I go with Dell... The Dell I wanted only comes with Vista. I should be able to unistall Vista and then purchase XP and install that. Am I correct?

 

 

It depends on whether or not there are XP drivers available for all of the hardware in that particular Dell. Sometimes the answer is "no", in which case, installing XP on that system will leave some of the components unusable.

 

Some companies give you the option of getting XP pre-installed instead of Vista - if that's an option, I'd definitely recommend that instead of trying to do it yourself - especially if you're not accustomed to doing stuff like that.

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Now, if I go with Dell... The Dell I wanted only comes with Vista. I should be able to unistall Vista and then purchase XP and install that. Am I correct?



It depends on whether or not there are XP drivers available for all of the hardware in that particular Dell. Sometimes the answer is "no", in which case, installing XP on that system will leave some of the components unusable.


Some companies give you the option of getting XP pre-installed instead of Vista - if that's an option, I'd definitely recommend that instead of trying to do it yourself - especially if you're not accustomed to doing stuff like that.

 

 

Hmm...maybe that Dell salesman was correct then.

 

John:cool:

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Don't listen to any of them John, they're all under some strange kind of curse that mr microsoft puts into his software
:evil:
:evil:
:evil:

Mac all the way!
:thu:
you'll never regret it, we all know that

 

Thanks Coschi! I started out thinking Mac & Digital Performer. I'll be able to see both Windows/Sonar 8 and Mac/Digital Performer in action today. That should convince me one way or another.

 

Best, John:cool:

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Working PC makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a spoon. I agree with everything that has been said about downtime though. If you don't have a local service center, and don't have the instant replacement/fix whatever they call it warranty, then PC MAY be better.

 

All I can say is that from my personal experience, it's always been irritating using and configuring DAW's on PC setups, but I've not had problems....ever... on any Mac system with either Logic or ProTools. That is very isolated experience (sample group = 1 = me). Even lowly Mac systems are often able to run whatever DAW at the least latency, without weird outs.

 

Someone made a point about Apple being behind the curve on development. That is an extremely tenuous assertion. Developing in OS X is a dream. One could take some isolated examples of various tech "I guess", I hardly think that one could say that Vista, or whatever they have had to rename it to so that people will buy it, was a leader on anything, or is ahead of the curve. To my mind, the way that writing code in Windows works is horrid. Equal arguments on either side really, not getting into the age old mac vs win debate :o)

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Thanks everyone!!!

 

Here's what I decided on (still haven't checked the MIDI interface out with my Motif ES8 though):

 

Mac: 2.66 GHz Intel Core2 Duo (24" display) - 4 gigs of RAM

Logic Pro 8

Roland GI-20 GK- MIDI Interface (?)

Garritan Personal Orchestra

 

Best, John

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John:


What made you decide in this configuration?


(BTW I Like it)


share with us what got you sold, (if you do not mind, of course)


Thanks

 

Hi Orbm! Simply seeing and hearing it in action. The simplicity of use, since I'm not a techie type. I'm not use to that speed in the tasks it performs. I was totally impressed.

 

Also I have an instructor that will answer all my questions in weekly classes for a year. That ought to be enough time for even me to master it.:lol:

 

All I need now is a top quality MIDI interface/soundcard combo. The one I listed above is made for guitar & bass. I'm thinking the $400 - $500 range. Any recomendations will be seriously considered.

 

Best. John:cool:

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Hi Orbm! Simply seeing and hearing it in action. The simplicity of use, since I'm not a techie type. I'm not use to that speed in the tasks it performs. I was totally impressed.


Also I have an instructor that will answer all my questions in weekly classes for a year. That ought to be enough time for even me to master it.
:lol:

All I need now is a top quality MIDI interface/soundcard combo. The one I listed above is made for guitar & bass. I'm thinking the $400 - $500 range. Any recomendations will be seriously considered.


Best. John:cool:

 

 

I am very happy for you....

 

but be careful, the interface you have there is one that requires that your guitar has a special GK3 pick up, it does not work with a regular 1/4 inch conection...

 

if you are looking for an interface to record guitars, bass, drums, vocals, etc, look for any of the brands, m-audio, presonus, focusrite, etc, most good interfaces have a midi interface, which will let you hook your keyboard/ controller to use the sounds you'll have in logic.

 

If you want to use your guitar as a controller, then you'll need the interface you mentioned and the special pick up....

 

Hope this helps!

 

Congrats!

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I am very happy for you....


but be careful, the interface you have there is one that requires that your guitar has a special GK3 pick up, it does not work with a regular 1/4 inch conection...


if you are looking for an interface to record guitars, bass, drums, vocals, etc, look for any of the brands, m-audio, presonus, focusrite, etc, most good interfaces have a midi interface, which will let you hook your keyboard/ controller to use the sounds you'll have in logic.


If you want to use your guitar as a controller, then you'll need the interface you mentioned and the special pick up....


Hope this helps!


Congrats!

 

 

Yeah, that was my mistake. I'm just looking for an interface for my MIDI keyboard (Motif ES8).

 

John:)

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You should probably consider putting in a little extra and going for an audio interface. Something with maybe two ins and a few outs will do fine. That way you can also record some nice acoustic guitar, or vocals or anything to complement your midi ventures

 

I heard nothing but great things about the Apogee Duet.

You've gone for a quality setup there John, good work! If you do decide to go the audio interface route, you most definitely shouldn't skimp on choice. Motu, M-Audio etc.. all work fine, but the Apogee or maybe even a (I know I'll get blasted for this..) MACKIE!! Onyx 400F are both great quality units that'll do everything you want

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Here's my basic DAW set-up:

 

IMac -24"-3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory

Logic Pro 8

East West Orchestra Gold samples

Native Instruments Akoustik Piano samples

Motif ES8 (I'm looking around for the mLan interface)

 

It's up & running, but I'm waiting for the samples to arrive. Should be here by Saturday.

 

Best, John:cool:

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