Discuss other brands keyboards, synthesizers, modules, software, controllers including how they compare or work with the Nords.

PC or a Mac?

Postby DoctorC » 27 Jul 2012, 20:02

I've out grown my current PC, and I'm starting out with a clean sheet - so no previous DAW software bought to influence choice.

Which should I go for: A good-spec PC or an iMac / Mac mini / Macbook?
Pros / Cons of each?
Is the extra price of buying a Mac justified?

I'd appreciate advice or experiences (good or bad)

Thanks.
Last edited by DoctorC on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
Paul

Stage EX Compact
User avatar
DoctorC
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 97
Joined: 30 Nov 2009, 15:31
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire
Country: Great Britain
Has thanked: 63 times
Been thanked: 26 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage EX

PC or a Mac?


Sponsor
 

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby sakari » 27 Jul 2012, 20:09

Now that malware has started to show up on Macs, there is no justification for their high price.
You can get three times the PC for the price of a MAC...
Last edited by sakari on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
Stage 2 88
Roland td9+td6v drums
Gibson (E) and Norman (A) guitars, Line6 Pod XTL
Fender J-bass, Boss GT-10B
lots of headphones
3 shelter cats
Reason 6.5 Cubase 6.5 Artist, Sibelius 7, Garritan GPO JABB, EWQL SC
IPAD 2 with soft synths
User avatar
sakari
 
Posts: 341
Joined: 26 Feb 2012, 14:51
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Country: Finland
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 97 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby ThisPoison » 27 Jul 2012, 23:06

I'm not a Mac fanboy (although I know a few).............

I can only speak from experience, but my Mac G4 is over a decade old and still runs Logic 7 daily on a rock solid basis, with a powercore PCI card and various plugins.

In the same timeframe I have binned numerous PCs and ditched Cubase and many other VSTs and programs as they all slowly but surely ground to a halt. They made me miss my Atari ST by the end.

Whether that was malware, bloatware or just progress I'm not quite sure. But it always happened.

I'm typing this on my last purchase, a Lenovo 570 which got (largely) good reviews - I love it for 80% of what I use computers for - the other 20% being music.

With the exception of the Nord Sound Manager (and Itunes I suppose), I don't use PCs for anything musical. I'm told PCs set up as dedicated music workstations are more solid, and to be fair that's what my G4 has been, so that might be all it is.

For now I'm still Logic 7 on a G4 and Nanostudio on an iPad. When my G4 dies I'll replace it with another Mac. I have certainly got my moneys worth from it - can't say the same for PCs (even in a non-music sense).

My Lenovo has crashed, slowed down, blue screened and coughed numerous times in the month since I bought it. I dare say already more times than my Mac has in a decade.

For me, Mac.
:keyboard2:
Last edited by ThisPoison on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
ThisPoison
 
Posts: 28
Joined: 24 Nov 2010, 18:12
Country: Great Britain
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage Classic
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Lead 1/2/2x

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby soratach » 27 Jul 2012, 23:43

I'd recommend the new retina macbook pro mainly because of its SSD. I just ordered one myself and i think if you push the spec to the max it'll probably be able to run almost as good as a tower in terms of plugins. For me this new retina mbp is a perfect choice especially when working offsite.
Last edited by soratach on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
soratach
 
Posts: 114
Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 10:16
Location: Bangkok
Country: Thailand
Has thanked: 51 times
Been thanked: 16 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby bdodds » 28 Jul 2012, 00:44

I ran DESQview in the 80s to get around DOS's memory limitations, and I bounced between that and OS/2 until Windows became a viable multitasking platform. By that time, however, Linux had come into use so I went to that pretty much exclusively until the late 90s when DAW software appeared. Since my background had been in hacking together computers from scratch - partially due to hobby interests, partially due to money concerns (you could always get way more Intel/PC hardware for the same cost as Mac stuff) - I went with Windows to run Cakewalk Pro Audio. I always maintained a Windows PC for that, and I still have Windows 7 running on my studio computer with Sonar X1 now. A colleague of mine and I started a music collaboration and tried to sync two copies of Ableton across his Macbook and my Windows 7 laptop. No end to the frustration on the Windows 7 laptop.

I now post to you from a Macbook Pro Retina for two reasons:

1. It just works. It does. It works.
2. It's a great value. This one has an amazing display that is unmatched currently, an i7 processor, 256G SSD drive 8G of RAM, nice aluminum case, very elegant hardware execution, all for a hair over $2k USD

Once I got past the UI learning curve, I'm far more productive than I am in Windows, even after using it for 15 or so years. Took me about a month to get used to the last generation Macbook before I bought this one. Application response is very fast, all audio and MIDI interaction I do is perfect the first time. No fudging latencies nearly as much as with PC hardware.

Now, everything is possible on either platform, and either one you get will certainly work, but after 25 years of putting these things together and making them do things they shouldn't be doing, I'm converting to Mac for my day-to-day home computing and 'family' computing, and for any music production that happens outside of my studio control room desk. So, the Mac is with me inside the studio and on the road when I gig to record the shows.

For me, a big part of it is time, I am too busy with the bands, work and chasing two tiny band members around to hack at things anymore. Which is why I abandoned my home-rolled btrfs NAS project (to replace my doomed zfs NAS project) and just went with a ReadyNAS Pro 6 - slap drives in, get myself root on it, good to go. Another thing that just works.

Just my $.02
Last edited by bdodds on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
clavia ddrum4
nord lead rack 2
nord electro 73 (sold!)
nord stage classic 88 (sold!)
nord electro 3 73 (sold!)
nord stage 2 compact
User avatar
bdodds
Former Team Member
 
Posts: 723
Joined: 02 Jun 2011, 08:46
Location: Leesburg, VA, US
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 67 times
Been thanked: 176 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Electro
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Stage 2

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby juholaatu » 28 Jul 2012, 01:30

Mac, unless your budget sets strict limits. To me the reasons are less headache and more reliability. Macbook can be moved easily together with your instrument.
Last edited by juholaatu on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
juholaatu
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 54
Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 22:59
Location: Finland
Country: Finland
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 20 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby walkerdata » 28 Jul 2012, 04:12

Another vote for Mac. Loads and runs Pro Tools and other DAWs a lot quicker and smoother...
Last edited by walkerdata on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
walkerdata
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 123
Joined: 04 Nov 2010, 20:10
Location: Tennessee, USA
Country: United States of America
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 75 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage 2
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Stage Classic

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby DoctorC » 28 Jul 2012, 17:34

Thanks very much for your replies. It seems that Macs still get very positive reports especially with regard to reliability.
I am on a budget, and cannot go to more than 700 GBP, but I might have the opportunity of buying a 3 year old iMac from a work colleague for around 600 GBP (not sure of the spec), but for a little more than 1/2 that price, I could build myself a decent PC and have cash left over for DAW, monitors and an audio interface.
There's no rush to buy yet, so I'll keep on with the research.
Last edited by DoctorC on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 2 times in total.
Paul

Stage EX Compact
User avatar
DoctorC
Patch Creator
 
Posts: 97
Joined: 30 Nov 2009, 15:31
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire
Country: Great Britain
Has thanked: 63 times
Been thanked: 26 times
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Stage EX

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby mjbrands » 28 Jul 2012, 19:44

DoctorC wrote:I am on a budget, and cannot go to more than 700 GBP, but I might have the opportunity of buying a 3 year old iMac from a work colleague for around 600 GBP (not sure of the spec), but for a little more than 1/2 that price, I could build myself a decent PC and have cash left over for DAW, monitors and an audio interface.

I wonder if that 2nd hand Mac is such a good choice. If you buy a Mac Mini and use a monitor you already have, you'll have a better specced machine. Still, a Mac Mini with a dual-core 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 and 8 GB of RAM already costs 860 pounds.

I like a Mac because it generally just works (and I'm a bit of a UNIX geek, only slightly) but I really don't mind using Windows 7, I quite like it actually. One thing that's more of a problem with a PC than a Mac: if you keep installing all kinds of crap on it, it becomes slow and unstable. Ideally you'd use your 'music' PC for music, or at least not for games and lots of internet browsing, testing software, etc. Question is: is that viable. You could also just reinstall Windows and your music software every 6-12 months, that should solve that too.

I'd say go for a Mac Mini or even better yet, the Windows PC you mentioned, leaving room for a decent audio interface (I really like my Focusrite i2i - small, sturdy, Focusrite quality and excellent sound), monitors, etc. You don't need a super fast graphics card for music software, so that'll free up an easy 60-150 pounds. You could even go for a very quiet PC, especially since you don't need a fast graphics card or a big, honking 1200 watt power supply. A quick processor and lots of memory would probably be the main ingredients, a small SSD to place Windows on with a 2nd large drive (1-2 TB?) for samples, etc. might be nice too.

Before you make a decision between a Mac or a PC, look at what DAW you might want to use. Some are only available for the Mac, others for PC.

Mac-only:
  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Apple Logic Pro
PC-only:
  • Sony ACID
Both platforms:
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Propellerhead Reason
  • Ableton Live
  • Bitwig Studio (will also run on Linux)
  • Cockos REAPER
  • Avid Pro Tools
  • Image-Line Fruity Loops (Mac version is still beta, I think)
  • Presonus Studio One
  • Cakewalk Sonar X1
  • Renoise (also works on Linux)
I'm sure the list is far from complete. :P

Seems Logic might the only 'important' one that requires a Mac.
Last edited by mjbrands on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
mjbrands
 

Re: PC or a Mac?

Postby Soljanka » 29 Jul 2012, 16:01

Mac
Last edited by Soljanka on 31 Jul 2012, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
Soljanka
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 29 Jul 2012, 15:42
Country: Germany
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 0 time
Your Nord Gear #1: Nord Electro 3
Your Nord Gear #2: Nord Lead 4

Next

Return to General Synthesizers/Keyboards Forum



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests