Mac Mini for music production?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by theinnerpalm, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    #1
    I'm eyeing the mini right now because os x >>> windows for music (inherent midi drivers instead of 3rd party, stability, etc etc). Admittedly I currently run a hackintosh on a previously windows pc. It is stable with the exception of gfx crashes every few hours and its inability to use the gfx card to its full extent. This gets to me though and is kind of a bitch.

    So I'm thinking about getting a mini when I have the money for one. I would get the standard with the 4gb ram option.

    Questions: How well does it deal with heat under stress? and is the HDD 7200 rpm for the non server edition?(edit: roarrrr just read that its 5400, so lame)
     
  2. macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #2
    I have the stock 2010 mini and the server mini. Both have performed well, although I do not think of audio as being stressful. Now if you are running DP with 24 tracks, you will be better off with an iMac or Mac Pro desktop. I do simple stereo recording, sometimes 4 tracks. Anything bigger goes to my Mac Pro.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I would definitely go down the imac path if I wasn't poor college student with a crappy retail job. I almost changed my mind towards a refurbished imac, but I'm thinking I'm just gonna get the base level mini and spice it up with 8gb of ram and possibly an ssd down the line.

    I use ableton live for electronic music, so I'm usually only recording one track at a time, while running a fair amount of 3rd party plugins etc. But I can freeze tracks I'm not touching to reduce the load. I figure 8gb of memory should allow me to do plenty at once, and I'll prolly run that fan application to up the speed. Can always point an external fan at it if I have a huge project running and its getting hot.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #4


    You should be just fine. The heat worry would be more applicable if you were rendering video. With audio there should be no heat problem. The engineers at apple did quite a fantastic job with this mini. And remember, the case is aluminum, so it will dissipate the heat quite nicely. Just try to keep it clear from having books and stuff stacked all around it. And if you monitor temperature, remember that the new mini does run a little on the warm side normally.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #5
    Hi,

    A fellow I know has his own recording studio and records multitracks of bands. His computer is a 2.5Ghz G5 Quad and doesn't have slow down. I'm not sure what software he uses but it isn't Logic or Pro Tools. Anyway, if his 4 year old PowerMac handles his business this then the mini should easily handle recording one track. My wife recorded a CD using our 1Ghz G4 iBook (RIP) without problems doing just single tracks.

    Make sure to get a fast external drive for your recordings. We used a FireWire 400 7200 drive that daisy chained from the iBook to the recording interface. The weakest link in the mini is the hdd so a 7200 external drive will take some of the stress off the system. FireWire 800 is best.

    s.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    #6
    I have the 2010 Mac Mini Server and have run up to 45 tracks without problems. Haven't needed more tracks than that yet, so I don't know the upper limit. Then again my hard drives are raided together with a 160 MB/sec sequential read.

    Your cheapest route would be getting the base Mini refurbished, making sure it has 4GB of RAM, and trying some recording. Only if you get too many "Hard disk too slow" errors should you then spring for an external firewire drive. An OWC Elite drive with FW800 will solve all your HD speed issues.

    As for heat, hottest mine has gotten is 72-75 Celsius during some really heavy audio editing/mixing in Logic 8. The fan was around 3200-3500 RPM if I remember correctly but still whisper quiet. The system remained stable.

    So for audio, I'd say you'll be fine with a Mini, especially since you can easily throw a FW800 drive on there if you had to.
     

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