It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:51 am
   
Text Size

Advantages of a Mac Pro "with DP"

Discussion of Digital Performer use, optimization, tips and techniques on MacOS.

Moderators: James Steele, Shooshie

Forum rules
This forum is for most discussion related to the use and optimization of Digital Performer [MacOS] and plug-ins as well as tips and techniques. It is NOT for troubleshooting technical issues, complaints, feature requests, or "Comparative DAW 101."

Advantages of a Mac Pro "with DP"

Postby Splinter » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:28 am

Okay, so I've been pondering this for some time. I'm not really ready to make any purchases and many things could still change in the next few months, but I'm wanting some of your input. My dilemma is this:

I've downgraded my professional status to hobbyist because I no longer make a living from producing or engineering music. That's not a sad story. I quit engineering to pursue my dream of working with a charity to develop arts in the community. That being the case, I still do a good bit of recording (studio and live), mixing, and mastering, but I don't make any money for it, which also means I don't have much money to spend on gear.

The problem is my G5 is now 9 years old! Yes, it still runs DP, but as you well know, Universal Binary is going away and Leopard is almost antique, so many plugs are not even compatible. I've considered upgrading to a Mac Pro, but Apple's apparent lack of commitment to the Pro and the Pro's lack of Thunderbolt, plus the cost involved, has me gazing towards a 27" iMac with a quad 3GHz i7 or a Macbook Pro, which would be plenty power with a Firewire interface and TB HD.

The downer with this option is my PCI interfaces become obsolete. I'd have to give up my 2408mkIII and HD192, both of which have been powerful tools. AND I'd limit my I/O with a Firewire interface. I can currently track 36 inputs at once, useful for live recording, but not necessary. Sooo...

Is it really worth it to go with a Mac Pro? Are DP and most plugs that much better, smoother, and glitch-free? Do you really think the 8 or 12 cores are that much better than an i7 for DP? How is Lion doing with DP and most plugs (I know seems like a different subject, but I feel it's an important part of this equation)? Are the internal drive bays adequate without the inclusion or TB or would TB be a huge addition? Are the PCI interfaces still superior to MOTU's Firewire interfaces in audio quality or have the Firewire interfaces caught up to the HD192? (I'd like to stay with MOTU because I know and trust their reliability and compatibility with DP.) Since MOTU has shown no apparent interest in continuing to support PCI, is it better to jump ship now and get on the FW bandwagon? What's been your best configuration (CPU, OS, etc...) with DP7.24? Lots of questions. :?

So, if you were in my shoes, what would your thoughts be?
Last edited by Splinter on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
MacBook Pro • 10.6.7 • 16G RAM • DP 7.24 • MOTU 896HD Hybrid, Apogee Duet, & MOTU Micro Lite MIDI interface • DP 7.24 • Waves Platinum, Studio Classics Collection, & RS56 • URS Classic Console EQs & Channel Strip Pro • Soundtoys FX • Stillwell EQs & Comps • IK Amplitube 3, Ampeg, and TRacks 3 • Altiverb 6 • Slate Digital VCC & VTM • Stylus RMX • Komplete 7 • SampleTank 2XL • M-Audio Axiom 49
Splinter
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:01 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby bayswater » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:07 am

I went from a slightly newer G5 to a i7 iMac. The G5 has a 2408-2 and UAD-1, and the iMac has an 828-3. I've kept the G5, the older plugins, and PCI based pieces active by linking the 2408 and 828 via ADAT. I got the power boost I wanted, and a large monitor on the iMac.

I did it this way because the cost of the Mac Pro path was huge once upgrades to UAD-2, PCI-X, new monitor, etc were taken into account. The newer iMacs have TB and can take a second internal drive, so that's still a good alternative.

If the cash had been easily at hand, I'd have gone the Mac Pro route, if only to keep things simpler, and extend the life span of the setup. The G5 is likely to die one day, and then I'm back to square one.

In your case, wouldn't you be able to get new PCI cards from MOTU for a Mac Pro? In any case, you'd might want to wait for a new MP with Thunderbolt.
iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.05 & OS 10.8.5, MachFive 3.2.1, 828 Mk3
Dual 2.0G G5 PCI 2G, DP 7.24, OS 10.5.8, 2408 MKII, UAD-1
MBP 16G DP 8.06 & OS 10.9.3, Lexicon Alpha
User avatar
bayswater
 
Posts: 4614
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:06 pm
Location: Vancouver
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby David Polich » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:11 am

If you can afford it, I recommend a Mac Pro. I had my G5 until October 2010
when I got my Mac Pro Quadcore. I had a UAD-2 Duo and UAD-2 Solo, so I
really needed a machine with PCI slots, thus an i-Mac was (and still is, for
me) out of the question.

It's pointless to try and win the obsolescense game. Every computer you buy
will eventually become obsolete. Just think of it as "renting" one until you
need to rent a new one. In five years the newest 16-core Mac Pros will seem
like museum pieces. Maybe there won't even be Mac Pros anymore. Maybe the
world will look like scenes from The Road Warrior by then and we won't be thinking about computers. Who knows.
Mac Pro 2010 2.8Ghz Quadcore, 32GB RAM,OSX 10.8.5, MIDI Timepiece AV, Apogee Duet, DP 8.06 64-bit,Waves,Slate FGX and VBC,Nomad Factory,Izotope,UAD-2,Amplitube 3,Spectrasonics,Native Instruments,Pianoteq,Soniccouture,Gospel Musicians, Scuffham,Arturia,Amplesound, Sample Modeling, a ton of VI's running on a PC, Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha Motif XS6, Yamaha MO XF6,Korg Kornos X61,Korg CX-3,Korg M361,DSI Mopho, Alesis Ion,Yamaha Disklavier MK 3 MIDI Grand.
http://www.davepolich.com
David Polich
 
Posts: 4184
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby kgdrum » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:27 am

Well the question I have is if your looking to upgrade and you don't have a big budget to work with are you aiming towards new, refurbed or used? What kind of budget do you have available?
If we are talking used I'd only consider the MacPro,there are too many issues going used with iMacs or MacBook Pros.
A new 27" iMac while a nice rig is not really inexpensive and when you start adding mods etc.. It can be pricey.
If you don't need portability the MacBook Pro IMO would also be to pricey & limited for putting together a rig on a budget.
Yes with the new Thunderbolt options for the newer Macs you have some great potential technological options, but if budget is an issue IMO they might be to pricey potentially to make sense with your circumstances.
On the other hand MacPros are a pretty safe bet used and there are some great deals out in the market place,they are easy to modify and build a DAW.
In any case if you consider the used MacPro avenue make sure it can boot in the 64bit Kernel and you have many good affordable choices available.
I went the used MacPro route found a great used deal on a budget and it's been a great experience and a much better machine than my G5 that hasn't been booted in a year now.
You can find deals on very capable used MacPros anywhere from $1000 to $2000.
You can setup with 4 internal drives,today I'm adding a mod to run a 5th internal drive from OWC that cost $25.
If you have needs or desires to still use PCIe cards they can be accommodated,I have added a UAD Quad and intend to add a card for eSATA at some point soon so these are easily configurable.
So tell us some more specifics of what you have in mind and realistically what kind of budget you are working with.
2.8 Quad MacPro 3.1,24 gig,OSX10.8.3, DP8.05 RME fireface 800,Great River ME-1NV preamp,a few microphones,NI Komplete + numerous VI's & plugins, UAD2, Vdrums (TD20 expanded) Superior 2 etc..., Focal Twin 6 monitors, Shunyata PowerSnakes and Conditioners,too many hard drives... ESATA
User avatar
kgdrum
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: NYC
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Babz » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:27 pm

I have always been a tower person my entire life. The main advantages have always been multiple internal drive bays (in a world of giganormous VI libraries and such), max memory expansion (64-bit, VIs, all that), PCI (UAD, max i/o, etc.), and multiple monitors.

But after going through the whole PCI, PCI-X, etc. thing, I'm hoping to get away from PCI. I'm hoping Thunderbolt will solve a lot of things.

I've always been wary of the iMac thing, because I don't like the monitor and cpu all in one thing. If the monitor goes bad, the whole unit is shot. Macbook has the portability advantage over the iMac, and you can use an external display. But multiple display options have been limited with Macbooks ... Mine is a 2010 model. I'm hoping Thunderbolt will be the answer there.

I'm still pondering Mac Pro vs. a new Macbook but not in serious ready-to-buy mode just now. Just thought I'd share a few of the considerations that have crossed my mind. Haven't really investigated the details vis-a-vis the present lay of the land. Would be curious to hear more on this thread, esp. from anyone who has gone from tower to laptop and what was learned along the way....

Seems like limited memory expansion and limited display options are the main issues for a total tower-free solution.

Babz
User avatar
Babz
 
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:01 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby FMiguelez » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:51 pm

I debated with myself between a MacBook and a MacMini... The latter won.
I must say I'm VERY happy with it, especially with the 16 GB of RAM. I chose the server model, which has 2 internal HDs (+ another via FW800). Much cheaper than the MBP, and it's comparable in computing power.

I am currently usin it as a slave, and it kicks arse!

I just thought I'd thorow the idea in here as another viable option, especially for those of us who are waiting for the new Mac Pros to come out.
Mac Mini Server i7 2.66 GHs/16 GB RAM / OSX 10.9.2 / DP 8.06
Tascam DM-24, MOTU Track 16, all Spectrasonics' stuff,
Vienna Instruments SUPER PACKAGE, Waves Platinum, slaved iMac and Mac Minis running VE Pro, etc.

---------------------------

"There's random genetic variation, and non-random survival, and non-random reproduction, which is why, as the generations go by, animals get better at doing what they do. That is quintessentially non-random". ― Richard Dawkins
User avatar
FMiguelez
 
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:01 pm
Location: Body: México. Soul/Heart: NYC
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Splinter » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:04 am

Thanks guys for your responses. Sounds like you all are in favour of the MacPro. David, I agree with you that you have to jump in at some point and you can't wait for the stars to align knowing they'll be out of whack tomorrow. I just don't want to buy something that is already obsolete, and I'm afraid that's the way Apple and MOTU are already going. Many people are hypothesising (promoting) the death of the tower and for Macs to be a much more modular system, hence the lack of a MacPro update in a year and a half. I'm not a rumourmonger, I've just had a suspicion for sometime that this was the case and heard others verify the same idea.

As far as budget, I really have nothing, but I'll spend what I have to to keep a working system. If I can sell off my 2408 and HD192 and buy a 896 if I go the Firewire route. The advantage of going Firewire is I can use it with my current 2008 iMac until I can afford something more powerful, but I sacrifice I/O and quality that way. But then again, I gain portability which would be great if I go with a Macbook. Grrr...

The idea of going with a used MacPro does seem like a good option, however. Even if it was 2-3 years old it would at least run all my present wares and I could keep my interfaces. Hmm...
MacBook Pro • 10.6.7 • 16G RAM • DP 7.24 • MOTU 896HD Hybrid, Apogee Duet, & MOTU Micro Lite MIDI interface • DP 7.24 • Waves Platinum, Studio Classics Collection, & RS56 • URS Classic Console EQs & Channel Strip Pro • Soundtoys FX • Stillwell EQs & Comps • IK Amplitube 3, Ampeg, and TRacks 3 • Altiverb 6 • Slate Digital VCC & VTM • Stylus RMX • Komplete 7 • SampleTank 2XL • M-Audio Axiom 49
Splinter
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:01 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby donreynolds » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:10 am

I have always bought refurbished units. You get the whole warranty and support of Apple and also I find it more comforting that I know it has real human hands and eyes going over it personally since it is refurbished. Never had any problems out of any thing I have bought refurbished. Much cheaper also, you just don't get a fancy box......
I still have a dual core 3 gig MacPro and it has done just fine for me. When I do get another one it will be a more powerful, later model unless something is available that just blows it away.
Mac Pro dual core 3 gig , 4 gig ram. 13"Macbook PRO 2.66 Duo, OS 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, 2xWD 150gig Raptor x 2, x3 My Book Studio 1 Tb drive x 2, DP 7.24, BLA/Motu 896 HD x 2, BLA microclock ll, Presonus Central Station, Waves Plat. V7 , Slate Stuff, Melodyne studio, Addictive Drums, TruePianos, Amplitube 3, Scuffham S-Gear, SVX, Metal, Fender, Hendrix, Stomp IO, Tranzport, Event 20/20 bas, Adam A7, and other toys, Lotsa guitars and a Korg Triton)
And it is all still working !!!
User avatar
donreynolds
 
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: Middlesboro, ky
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Splinter » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:31 am

Yeah, hadn't really thought of a Mini. I guess I priced that out sometime ago and if you have to buy a monitor and keyboard and all the other stuff, it comes out to the price of an iMac. So, I went with the iMac, but that was before they had a server version.

Regarding the iMac, my little Core2Duo rocks. I've mixed 48 track 24/96 projects on it with an Apogee Duet. It's a nice little machine, but get's maxed out with today's plugs. It could work for me with a Firewire interface, but again I/O is a problem.

Anyone running multiple Firewire interfaces on an iMac or Macbook? Does that work with a Firewire drive also connected?
MacBook Pro • 10.6.7 • 16G RAM • DP 7.24 • MOTU 896HD Hybrid, Apogee Duet, & MOTU Micro Lite MIDI interface • DP 7.24 • Waves Platinum, Studio Classics Collection, & RS56 • URS Classic Console EQs & Channel Strip Pro • Soundtoys FX • Stillwell EQs & Comps • IK Amplitube 3, Ampeg, and TRacks 3 • Altiverb 6 • Slate Digital VCC & VTM • Stylus RMX • Komplete 7 • SampleTank 2XL • M-Audio Axiom 49
Splinter
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:01 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby bayswater » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:35 am

Splinter wrote:Anyone running multiple Firewire interfaces on an iMac or Macbook? Does that work with a Firewire drive also connected?

I have a 828 and the main audio drive connected to the FW 800 port on an iMac. It would probably choke on a big orchestral piece, but for 30-40 tracks with 5-10 MIDI/VI instances, it's fine.
iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.05 & OS 10.8.5, MachFive 3.2.1, 828 Mk3
Dual 2.0G G5 PCI 2G, DP 7.24, OS 10.5.8, 2408 MKII, UAD-1
MBP 16G DP 8.06 & OS 10.9.3, Lexicon Alpha
User avatar
bayswater
 
Posts: 4614
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:06 pm
Location: Vancouver
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Radiogal » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:37 pm

Advantages are that many that I never even could think buying anything but a Mac Pro.
The Mac Pro is long lasting, powerful, easy to maintain and upgrade, change ram, HD, and those PCI slots I need so badly.
Nothing but a Mac Pro can keep up for all the heavy studio work I throw at it, really.
MAC PRO 6 Core 3.33 GHz, 16 GB RAM, OSX 10.8.5, DP 8.05 MAC and WIN (64bit/Jbridge) AMPGUI Mellow, Logic 9.1.8, Wavelab 8 MOTU 24I/O (x2), MOTU 2408 MK3 (2x), WAVES Mercury 9, SSL, UAD2Quad, McDSP, Sound Toys, Sonnox, Sonalksis, NomadFactory, T-Racks, P&M, LexPCM, AbbeyRoad, DSM, VCC, VTM, FGX, Melda, EWQL SymphOrch/Piano Gold. Mixingdesk: AMEK Big 44, TK BC-1MK2, SSLcomp clones, GAPPre73, PCM91, TC, FMR. Monitors: Genelec 1031, ADAM A7, >40 mics http://www.ragdollproduction.com
User avatar
Radiogal
 
Posts: 1505
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:42 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Splinter » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:52 am

Yeah, I mean I'd love to just be able to throw the money at an 8 core MacPro, but I just don't have it. I'm pretty certain I could get by with the power of an i7 iMac for tracking and mixing. I don't do a lot with VI's, and if I do, I just print them. I guess the question I still have is whether replacing my entire set up with an iMac, TB HD, and Firewire interface is cheaper than getting a used MacPro, upgrading to a PCIe-424 card, installing a couple additional drives, and buying a proper monitor. Hmm... Thoughts?
MacBook Pro • 10.6.7 • 16G RAM • DP 7.24 • MOTU 896HD Hybrid, Apogee Duet, & MOTU Micro Lite MIDI interface • DP 7.24 • Waves Platinum, Studio Classics Collection, & RS56 • URS Classic Console EQs & Channel Strip Pro • Soundtoys FX • Stillwell EQs & Comps • IK Amplitube 3, Ampeg, and TRacks 3 • Altiverb 6 • Slate Digital VCC & VTM • Stylus RMX • Komplete 7 • SampleTank 2XL • M-Audio Axiom 49
Splinter
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:01 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Radiogal » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:16 am

If short on money I'd buy a used Mac Pro instead.
MAC PRO 6 Core 3.33 GHz, 16 GB RAM, OSX 10.8.5, DP 8.05 MAC and WIN (64bit/Jbridge) AMPGUI Mellow, Logic 9.1.8, Wavelab 8 MOTU 24I/O (x2), MOTU 2408 MK3 (2x), WAVES Mercury 9, SSL, UAD2Quad, McDSP, Sound Toys, Sonnox, Sonalksis, NomadFactory, T-Racks, P&M, LexPCM, AbbeyRoad, DSM, VCC, VTM, FGX, Melda, EWQL SymphOrch/Piano Gold. Mixingdesk: AMEK Big 44, TK BC-1MK2, SSLcomp clones, GAPPre73, PCM91, TC, FMR. Monitors: Genelec 1031, ADAM A7, >40 mics http://www.ragdollproduction.com
User avatar
Radiogal
 
Posts: 1505
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:42 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby Splinter » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:26 am

Well, one thing is sure... I'm not going to go wrong with a MacPro. I looked on eBay to see what one would cost used and it's certainly cheaper than a new iMac! The only question at this point is how badly do I need portability. Thanks for your help all. I'm getting closer to a decision!
MacBook Pro • 10.6.7 • 16G RAM • DP 7.24 • MOTU 896HD Hybrid, Apogee Duet, & MOTU Micro Lite MIDI interface • DP 7.24 • Waves Platinum, Studio Classics Collection, & RS56 • URS Classic Console EQs & Channel Strip Pro • Soundtoys FX • Stillwell EQs & Comps • IK Amplitube 3, Ampeg, and TRacks 3 • Altiverb 6 • Slate Digital VCC & VTM • Stylus RMX • Komplete 7 • SampleTank 2XL • M-Audio Axiom 49
Splinter
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:01 pm
Primary DAW OS: Unspecified

Re: Advantages of a Mac Pro

Postby dpg4macman » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:17 am

I record mainly as a hobbyist and I went from a G4 800GHz Power Mac to a Macmini 2.0 Intel Core2Dual 2G ram - At first I thought that little mac can no way handle as many tracks as I'll be recording - Much to my surprise it could handle much-much more than I thought. If you’re looking for a fairly inexpensive way to make music with DP on a Mac and you’re a hobbyist like me the Macmini can't be beat. IMO

I can easily run over 20 audio tracks all with plugins - busses running the normal stuff with Melodyne running on a few tracks and still not have to freeze any tracks.

Hope this helps - : )
Mac Mini 2.5GHz i5,OSX 10.9,16G ram,DP 8.0.5, S1v2, Mixbus, MachFive 3, MX4, IK Total Workstation 2 Bundle, T-RackS 3 Deluxe, Wave Arts Power Suite 4, Gigs & Gigs of samples, EZ drummer, BFD ECO, Stephen Slate Drums, List goes on..., Kurzweil K2000s, TrapKat, Washburn Idol & G5V Guitars, Ibanez Bass, Vox-ToneLab LE, Epiphone Valve Jr., Mackie 1202, Symetrix 525, Alesis 3630, Axiom 49, Audix_Cad 300e_AT 4033 mics, KRK Rokit 5 monitors, Etc...
User avatar
dpg4macman
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:59 pm
Location: Central PA USA
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Next

Return to Digital Performer [MacOS]: Usage, Techniques, Tips & Optimization

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


Who is online

In total there are 2 users online :: 1 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 151 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:07 pm

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest

Login Form