Buying a Mac for recording

imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 897
edited December 2 in Studio & Recording
Hi all,

I have a Mac Mini from Late 2012, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1Gb Fusion drive.  I use Logic and intend to get either Superior Drummer 3 or EZ Drummer 2 (I've had earlier versions).

My intention is record at home, using the drum software, and recording everything else via Helix, etc.

Does anybody have any non-Apple bashing advice?  My knowledge of hardware/software is somewhat out-of-date but I really want to get back into writing and recording.

I'm open to any model, basically the best bang for the buck wanted.

Thanks!
So far...so good..so what!?

Trading feedback info here
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 15565
    As with all computer purchases, the only relevant question in the first instance is: "How much do you want to spend?".

    Everything else is pretty much irrelevant. Although...given that the initial presumption is Apple hardware, you might have to consider not going second hand, since Apple machines appear to rely on after-sales support more than others.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • As with all computer purchases, the only relevant question in the first instance is: "How much do you want to spend?".

    Everything else is pretty much irrelevant. Although...given that the initial presumption is Apple hardware, you might have to consider not going second hand, since Apple machines appear to rely on after-sales support more than others.
    Certainly no more than £2k, I guess.
    So far...so good..so what!?

    Trading feedback info here
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 68
    I am just a bit curious what you can't do with what you have?
    Unless you just want a newer machine, the one you have is very capable of doing what you describe.
    A definite upgrade would be to add an SSD, which is possibly hard on your model, I have a similar machine, which did allow a ram upgrade to 16 gig, but I didn't do the SSD upgrade. there are videos which walk you through it.
    My main machine, is a 2009 Macbook pro, which I got from this very forum, and it came with a 256 gig SSD, but the DVD drive didn't work so I put in a 2tb disc for storage. That machine is still capable of doing anything I throw at it mixing wise, and my recording is handled by a Scarlett 2l2, mainly for DI guitar.
    I gave up with Logic itself about 18 months ago, switched to Reaper and haven't looked back.
    My template runs 4 simultaneous Drum VSTI's, 2 instances of Kontakt for bass, and I usually have at least 4 instances of Spitfire LABS for keys / strings. This is all before I start adding stuff like Fabfilter eq's and Slate VMR for mixing / mastering. I usually keep an eye on resources and when I start to hit about 30% I think about  bouncing tracks down to audio, lets me put more VST s on for final mastering etc, but it seems to buzz along happily at around 20% most of the time.
    I am not bashing Logic, by any means, I still like to use the drummer feature, but moving over to Reaper and putting some time in with it was the best move I made in a long time. I use my Mac mini as a backup machine, so most of my work is on the older Macbook pro, Apple, IMHO, went downhill at the same rate their prices increased, and when I need to move on, I would definitely be looking at a second hand Mac pro trashcan-before I bought anything new off them--even if I could afford a good enough spec for music production.
    YMMV.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Thanks, @andy_k ;

    It seems to take ages to do near anything, unfortunately. I thought the Fusion drive was dying a while back but it’s still running. I’d be loathe to spend on an SSD when a) Logic libraries won’t fit on a smaller drive (I gave my wife my 2015 MacBook Pro because the 128gb SSD was useless for Logic) and b) It soon won’t support updates. 

    I’ll look into Reaper. Logic does what I need though!
    So far...so good..so what!?

    Trading feedback info here
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 4103
    Generally a small internal harddrive running the OS and a large external drive for the audio is the way to go. With that in mind most of the pro's I know are still happy with their older Macbook pros with small internal SSD's .... not that swapping out those older 2.5" SATA drives is a problem it's just generally better housekeeping not to  record audio on the same drive . Even though SSD's are more than fast enough. 

    My preference is to have an older mac that is used only for recording. Mine's not even connected to the internet, it  run's Snow Lep and Protools 8LE. It boots up in less than 20 seconds and happily records 20 odd tracks of audio all with plugins while running drums and soft synths on Xpand II  
    For gig'ing I have the same setup on an ancient Macbook Pro ... again Snow Lep, no updates ... internet disabled. When you dedicate a PC (Mac or Windows box) to one specific task only it's surprising how well they can do it.  

    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1228
    I’m running a late 2012 Mac mini i7 , 16G ram and fitted the SSD myself, running Studio One Pro no issues.


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 68
    Personally, IF money was no object to me, I would seriously consider a Max spec NEW Mac mini, with a care plan, but last time I looked, I think that comes close to 3K, for a base unit -without monitor-keyboard-etc. It is a cool little machine which  could easily become a mobile studio for working in any hotel room. At that kind of money, a well specced Macbook pro is the obvious alternative. It all comes down to bang for the buck and the law of diminishing returns.
    If the OP has money to spare, it is hard to recommend anything current or future proof for the budget of around 2K, it is a lot of money-but unfortunately not a lot for the current, or fairly recent Apple range.
    I agree with the points above, re-dedicating a machine to recording / mixing, and treating that specific machine as a tool  for music, which can even still be tricky with Apple, ie, using the same machine for a music archive with Itunes, which seems to be constantly looking for suggestions and comparing your own library with that online, also even the 'library' idea of music is outdated now--everything is now available online to be streamed in HD.
    At some point we have to decide what our own actual requirements are, and then just get on with it.
    My own experience has shown me that I can not justify staying locked into Apples eco system, as much as I like the older hardware, there is no practical reason I could replace my current gear with the modern equivalent, simply too expensive and limited. For this reason, I have a couple of PC/ laptop B rigs which I try to keep updated, which is always a reminder why I moved away from Windows, but by using Reaper there is at least a cross platform experience, which should let me keep working when the Macs die, they all die eventually.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.