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Topic: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

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  1. #1

    Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    I'm a PC guy - but am intruiged by this little fella. With a 1GB of RAM limit, is there any point? My stuff is pretty limited in terms of CPU/RAM load but I don't like the idea of a glass ceiling...

    http://www.apple.com/macmini/

  2. #2

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    If all you're going to do is put a DAW on it then it's more than enough. But if you're going to put your sample libraries and other pluggins in there, then I think you'll be disappointed. The processor is not as fast and the ram, though I heard you can put 2 one gig chips for 2 gigs total, is still going to be a little low for the future.

    But I'm thinking of getting one because of the price and all I use a mac for is for DP. I use the pc for my sample library.

    Cheers,


    Jose

  3. #3

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    Jose, DP is probably more power hungry than the Mini will like, unless you expand it out a fair amount, by which time you could have bught the iMac with screen etc. for just about the same price. IMHO...
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  4. #4

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    You would still need to expand that iMac as well. I think the Mini is a good alternative for people interested in running primarily their sequencer on a Mac while keeping their PC's for Kontakt and GS. You can load a 2gigger in the Mini but the price of a 2gig DDR Ram chip will be more expensive than the Mini! So get it updated with 1 gig (which you should buy from a 3rd party and install yourself). Add an external Firewire drive for all your audio files and enjoy with your USB keyboard and mouse (and monitor).

    I think DP will do just fine with it considering that I used to use DP just a couple of years ago fine on a dual G4/400mhz!

    You'll end up spending about $800 when all it's said and done....but your music making experience will jump to a considerably more productive level.

    On an iMac you would have to start with a $1299 price tag, and still have to add the Ram and external drive.
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  5. #5

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    The Mini is totally viable.

    It is adequte for DP4.5 although Logic 7 is WAY more efficient. (except when it comes to the audio side of things)

    Echoing, bump up the memory to 1Gig which is cool for sequencing and light sample work.

    Also the Hard Drive is a 4200 RPM Laptop drive. Kinda slow, bump that up to a 7200 RPM doosey. yes the Mini is user servicable with care.


    and add a firewire drive as your audio/sample drive and life will be good.

  6. #6

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    Another note - my recording/sample playback technique is 'one at a time' live play-in/record. I wont be doing multiple instances of Kontakt or full orchestra MIDI...yet. Still tentative about the PC/MAC/soft synth world. I own a lot of pro outboard gear and do all my recording in that realm...but am intruiged by the possibilities of working on a MAC.

    Does this statement adjust the opinions on the MAC mini???

  7. #7

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    You will do well with a mini in that useage.

    Also Logic and DP4.5 offer freeze Tracks Feature to cope with limited CPU power.

    Also the Mini was not meant to be a "super expandable unit" but Apple is working (rumored) on certifying the mini for 2 GB Memory Chips which might alleviate that 1GB ceiling.

  8. #8

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    So get it updated with 1 gig (which you should buy from a 3rd party and install yourself).
    I didn't think you could get into the Mini - that meant buying your RAM built into the unit at Apple's outrageous prices. If you're not using a lot of plugs and VSTi's, it would work, but my dual 1.25 G4 chokes on some of my more elaborate pieces with Wavesw and Spectrasonics and GPO blasting away (of course I hate to Freeze anything till I know it's a keeper, and I tend to change things a lot as they develop. I guess it's a lot to do with how you work.

    Midphase (or anybody else,) have you actually worked with the Mini and DP? A couple years ago was DP3 on OS9, and there were a lot less plug-in options then. My estimate for a maxxed-out Mini was about $1200 plus monitor - OTOH I forgot about the extra RAM in the iMac, but Crucial is a LOT cheaper than Apple...

    I'd sure like it to be a useful otion, I think it's a great little box, I'm just a horsepower-crazed snarling fool with the need for speed...
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  9. #9

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    FWIW, I think that this is the kind of thing where it'll seem cool at first, but that you'll outgrow it rather quickly and wish that you had bought a more robust model to begin with. I'd think twice if I were you. Them's my two cents....

  10. #10

    Re: Apple Mac mini - viable option for music production?

    Quote Originally Posted by ELP71
    I'm a PC guy
    I think that answers your question. If you are a PC user I don't see any advantage to switching. Just upgrade what you have or build your own.

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