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Topic: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

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  1. #1

    Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    I've been a Windows user since 1.2, a Finale user since 1.1, a Cakewalk user since 2.0, and Giga since 2.0. But I'm finally wondering if this is all worth it. Is the Mac world any better for DAW? It's time for me to upgrade PC hardware, and I'm really thinking about Mac this time. Thoughts?

  2. #2

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    The answer to your title question is no. They're not a better choice, just a different one.

    The answer to the rest depends. Giga and Sonar are Windows only so running them on a Mac would be a hassle (bootcamp for intel I guess is the way... no idea if it would work). If you're looking for a change of sequencer and sampler too, Mac might suit you better personally, who knows?

  3. #3

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    At the moment changing to Mac is a bad idea. The traditional machines are legacy hardware and the new ones don't run most of what a DAW needs very well. This will all change, but not for another six months or so.

    Personally I'm trying to "make do" for the next year or so and will be upgrading once Vista is established as it will make the current PCs and Macs look like toys.

    D

  4. #4

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    Quote Originally Posted by chammell
    I've been a Windows user since 1.2, a Finale user since 1.1, a Cakewalk user since 2.0, and Giga since 2.0. But I'm finally wondering if this is all worth it. Is the Mac world any better for DAW? It's time for me to upgrade PC hardware, and I'm really thinking about Mac this time. Thoughts?
    I have been using both Mac's and PC's professionally to make music for about ten years now. I can tell you from my experience that the problems I've encountered with the PC are tenfold that of the Mac. Bizarre, inexplicable things happen with the PC that rarely, if ever, happen on a Mac (programs/processes that won't shut down, etc.) And these are PC's that are never connected to the internet (no threat of viruses), and only run music apps -- nothing else installed. When things go wrong with a PC, everybody points the finger at each other: Software manufacturers say, "Can't be our app, you must have bad memory." Memory folks say, "Can't be our memory, you got a bad mother board." Mother board folks say, "Can't be us, you got bad software." Ad infinium.

    With my Macs, I can trust that I'll turn them on, and they'll just reliably work, day after day. If GS were available in Mac format, I'd ditch the PC in a heartbeat. Reliability seems to be a crapshoot for PC's. Much less so for Macs.

  5. #5

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    In my studio I have 7 PCs and 1 Mac. The Mac is my DAW, and that's all it is ever used for. Frankly, I'd feel comfortable running either Mac or PC as my main system, but when I need to upgrade mine, I will definitely buy another Mac.

    Having said that, I'd agree with Daryl that now isn't the time to switch to a Mac. I'd wait until the Intel desktops are out and all the apps and plugins you'd want are ported over to Intel native.

    And once Vista comes out on the PC side, I'd expect at least a year of "transition" where companies try to iron out all the problems and take advantage of running on the new operating system.

  6. #6

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    What do Mac users do when they crash? They erase it from their memory and never talk about it again. Actually, this also sounds a bit like a Mac when it crashes... just closes down. Doesn't give you any clue as to what's wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by RealJethro
    When things go wrong with a PC, everybody points the finger at each other: Software manufacturers say, "Can't be our app, you must have bad memory." Memory folks say, "Can't be our memory, you got a bad mother board." Mother board folks say, "Can't be us, you got bad software." Ad infinium.

    With my Macs, I can trust that I'll turn them on, and they'll just reliably work, day after day. If GS were available in Mac format, I'd ditch the PC in a heartbeat. Reliability seems to be a crapshoot for PC's. Much less so for Macs.

  7. #7

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    Macs are no more reliable than PCs. This was not the case about eight years ago, but things have changed. For example Macs generally used to be faster than PCs; these days the top spec PCs smoke anything that Apple can put together. I know people who have had problems with both platforms. I only ever had problems with Macs; my PCs have been trouble free. There are advantages and disadvantages to both platforms, so in the end it is really down to personal choice.

    D

  8. #8

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    Thanks to you all so far for your responses.

    Let me ask another question: does the platform matter at a professional collaborative level? As a songwriter or scoring composer, will Windows be a limiting factor in working with others? I guess with Finale, no problems. But with audio and sequencing, it seems pro studios are exclusively Mac. If I were to take audio tracks to a session, they should probably be Pro Tools files and I should be adept at using that tool on the Mac platform, no? In other words, in the pro studio environment, isn't the Mac the overwhelming platform for DAW (except for GS)?

  9. #9

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    Quote Originally Posted by chammell
    Thanks to you all so far for your responses.
    Let me ask another question: does the platform matter at a professional collaborative level?
    No.

    As a songwriter or scoring composer, will Windows be a limiting factor in working with others?
    No.

    I guess with Finale, no problems. But with audio and sequencing, it seems pro studios are exclusively Mac.
    Some are... some are exclusively PC, some use both.

    If I were to take audio tracks to a session, they should probably be Pro Tools files and I should be adept at using that tool on the Mac platform, no?
    No. Platform doesn't matter with ProTools.

    In other words, in the pro studio environment, isn't the Mac the overwhelming platform for DAW (except for GS)?
    No.

    Two final statements -

    1. The philosophy that Macs and Windows machines can't live in harmony is largely outdated. They can share files easily.
    2. If you are on a tight budget, you'll find that the Mac platform is not your friend. Forget the initial expense which may not be significantly different to PC's - costs of ownership through upgrades and poor choice of titles makes the Mac more expensive to run.

  10. #10

    Re: Is Mac a better Choice for DAWs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dabbler
    2. If you are on a tight budget, you'll find that the Mac platform is not your friend. Forget the initial expense which may not be significantly different to PC's - costs of ownership through upgrades and poor choice of titles makes the Mac more expensive to run.
    Well said. I noticed Logic is about $1000. Seemed like Mac users got screwed in that deal when people wouldn't give up their PC for Mac/Logic.

    Anyone who knows how to build a system can build a great PC for half the price of a Mac.

    I hear Macs are top notch for working with video.

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