Best config for music editing

Shift Option K

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
128
0
If I have enough money I'm buying a nMP for editing/remixing music. Right now I just want to highest config, so that means:
2.7GHz 12core
64GB
1TB
Dual D700
as well as
Applecare extention
Sharp 32" 4K
Logic Pro X
If I have more money I might as well buy everything else on the online configurator which will total over $20k CDN.
I'm also going to get a Blue Sky MediaDesk 5.1 which is an older version of the MediaDesk but has good sound quality (my high school had one and me and a bunch of other guys would use them as speakers to listen to rap).

Is this a good music config or is it too much for my purposes?
 

QuakeProd

macrumors member
May 15, 2010
40
0
KC
Is it good? That would be stupendous for music.

That would be pretty beast to what you'd need it for.


I've edited / produced on Significantly less powerful machines [using logic pro x, reason, and pro tools] and still worked fine with no hesitation.

But you seem to have funds to play with; go for what you want.
 

zesta

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2008
38
3
The 12-core proc is probably way overkill, especially considering that the cores run slower. Unless you are doing something crazy that will utilize multiple cores well, the 6-core is probably going to be as fast or faster.
 

propower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
719
112
If you would be so kind as to detail HOW this machine will be used for music I think I can help you :)

- Software = Logic X right - OK
- Max tracks you ever use in session
- Max number of plugins you will use in a session
- Max number of VI's you will use in a session
- If full orchestral scoring please detail software of choice - VSL, Kontakt etc how many voices you think it will take and total RAM needed to put all in memory.
- Latency required (Real time recording? all VI's?) in ms for tracking critical instruments (Vox etc..)
- Hardware interface used - UFX, Metric Halo, Lynx etc...?
- Simultaneous record tracks needed? 8, 16, 64, 128??
- Current music machine and current CPU max load you are seeing

This will get the ball rolling nicely....
 

MDT

macrumors newbie
Dec 31, 2013
21
0
London
My first post here!!

I have been mulling over what config to get. As someone who's been recording and editing on Logic and an MP 1,1 for many years I'm in sore need of an upgrade.

Since my graphic needs are modest compared to video people it seems to make sense get the 4-core and configure it to 6 or 8 or 12 depending on budget. The only difference would be the less powerful GPU which is OK.

Also, since non-Apple ram is much cheaper, I might as well get it with the minimum pre-intalled and upgrade it myself to the max.

Finally, since it will be nice to have sample libraries and Logic project files each on their own drives, it seems an unnecessary expense to have a whole TB flash. I could get a 500GB and keep the other stuff on external SSDs

Does anyone think this is a bad plan?

At the moment I use VEpro to hook up my MP with a MBP and a PC to run my modest templates but I'd rather have it all under one processor.
So I'd rather spend the money on the processor than on internal flash, Apple ram and GPU.

All I need to know is: Does the clock speed or number of cores matter most?
 

AndyUnderscoreR

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2008
256
186
The top of the range setup isn't a good fit for music making. You are putting a lot of money into 4K graphics and GPU acceleration, which isn't really going to make a lot of difference for music, and not enough into fast data storage, which would.

If I was specifying a music setup with that sort of budget, I would be looking at multiple 27" thunderbolt displays and several terabytes of external RAID storage, instead of the Sharp and the D700s.

If you haven't budgeted for some top-end AU plugins for Logic, you should factor that in too, or you'll have a setup that can make bad sounding music really quickly, not one that makes good sounding music really easily.
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
614
22
Macclesfield, UK
Here is a blog about using the nMP GPU for LogicX
http://logicrumours.com/mac-pro-gpu-to-integrate-with-logic-x/

Future Proof yourself now or wait around and see what happens, thats the question.

If money is not an object then go for D700's and know that you are covered for (at this time) maximum OpenCL support. Monitors and Storage can be purchased later but changing the Graphic card in the nMP maybe more of a challenge.

Dave Tremblay from Avid (Pro Tools) responded to some people asking about OpenCL use for audio back in 2011

Source:
http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=339930

We definitely use the GPU for drawing and stuff like that, but it really isn't a great processor for reliable, low latency audio.

We played around with this a while back and found out several interesting things about OpenCl and Audio. These are all total generalizations, but I'll share anyway.

1) OpenCL is not very deterministic. You package data up, throw it up to the GPU and wait for it to come back... Eventually... We had to run really large audio buffers to not constantly glitch. And just try to open another application...

2) The GPU cores get their power from massive parallelism. That amount of parallelism is difficult to fully utilize in audio networks or plug-ins that require any sort of internal feedback or serialization.

3) OpenCL code is definitely something you have to write custom code for. You can't just build C/C++ code and run it on the cores. So effects and such would have to be entirely redesigned and rewritten to run on those cores.

And please note, I'm just talking about audio processing above. There may be other uses for OpenCL that make a ton of sense in Pro Tools...

Right now, the biggest win of using a higher power graphics card is if you use the new Video Engine.
 

propower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
719
112
Simplest answer -- spend as much as you are comfortable with. There really is no bad answer for audio with any of the new Mac Pros. The graphics power is of no audio consequence for now (nice if you do audio with video) and any purchase based on what may get added to take advantage of these is a pretty poor bet in my opinion and by the time it matters there will be better solutions out there...

I posted this elsewhere but here are my general thoughts on new macs and audio... My signature shows my personal solution.

One doesn't buy speed anymore (all machines below Turbo up to within less than 10% of one another) - you buy form factor, maximum parallel processing power and noise performance...
http://www.marco.org/2013/11/26/new-mac-pro-cpus

MacMini/MBP i7 quad TDP 45W-47W: These two machines will Turbo up to 3.6GHz - 3.8GHz but once the 90deg CPU point is reached fans will ramp up and they will fall back a lot to 2.6GHz. On the 2012 MacMini that was about 25% constant CPU load.

imac 27" 2013 i7 Quad: TDP 84W: Turbo up to at least 3.7GHz (3.9GHz for single core tasks) and due to higher TDP and much better heatsinking will stay up there till 70% load or more before ramping fans and falling back to 3.5GHz. (very similar resullt for 2013 imac i5) - note: 21.5" 2013 imac uses 64W TDP CPUs with subsequent reduction in threshold to ramping fans and loss of Turbo boost).

nMP Quad: 130W TDP - Will turbo up to at least 3.7GHz (3.9GHz for single core tasks) and due to the highest TDP and best heatsinking should just stay there. CPU performance near identical to imac i7 but much more Graphics power, faster RAM and faster internal SSD.

nMP Hex: 130W TDP - Will Turbo up to at least 3.6GHz or more and at worst come down under very heavy load to 3.5GHz - literally 50% more CPU power than Quad.... and so on to the 8 core. For the 12 core you better need 12 cores otherwise it will be slower and pretty much a waste...

The much more important question nowadays really needs to be "how many cores do you need" and "how quiet do you need it to be under a demanding load"? For my use - Pro Audio) my 2013 i7 imac can do hundreds of tracks and hundreds of plugins with CPU temps in the mid 60s degC- extra fan noise above base = zero.... I have yet to stress it past 30% in real use... very quiet machine!
 

stormchaser977

macrumors newbie
Dec 19, 2013
17
0
Simplest answer -- spend as much as you are comfortable with. There really is no bad answer for audio with any of the new Mac Pros. The graphics power is of no audio consequence for now (nice if you do audio with video) and any purchase based on what may get added to take advantage of these is a pretty poor bet in my opinion and by the time it matters there will be better solutions out there...

I posted this elsewhere but here are my general thoughts on new macs and audio... My signature shows my personal solution.

One doesn't buy speed anymore (all machines below Turbo up to within less than 10% of one another) - you buy form factor, maximum parallel processing power and noise performance...
http://www.marco.org/2013/11/26/new-mac-pro-cpus

MacMini/MBP i7 quad TDP 45W-47W: These two machines will Turbo up to 3.6GHz - 3.8GHz but once the 90deg CPU point is reached fans will ramp up and they will fall back a lot to 2.6GHz. On the 2012 MacMini that was about 25% constant CPU load.

imac 27" 2013 i7 Quad: TDP 84W: Turbo up to at least 3.7GHz (3.9GHz for single core tasks) and due to higher TDP and much better heatsinking will stay up there till 70% load or more before ramping fans and falling back to 3.5GHz. (very similar resullt for 2013 imac i5) - note: 21.5" 2013 imac uses 64W TDP CPUs with subsequent reduction in threshold to ramping fans and loss of Turbo boost).

nMP Quad: 130W TDP - Will turbo up to at least 3.7GHz (3.9GHz for single core tasks) and due to the highest TDP and best heatsinking should just stay there. CPU performance near identical to imac i7 but much more Graphics power, faster RAM and faster internal SSD.

nMP Hex: 130W TDP - Will Turbo up to at least 3.6GHz or more and at worst come down under very heavy load to 3.5GHz - literally 50% more CPU power than Quad.... and so on to the 8 core. For the 12 core you better need 12 cores otherwise it will be slower and pretty much a waste...

The much more important question nowadays really needs to be "how many cores do you need" and "how quiet do you need it to be under a demanding load"? For my use - Pro Audio) my 2013 i7 imac can do hundreds of tracks and hundreds of plugins with CPU temps in the mid 60s degC- extra fan noise above base = zero.... I have yet to stress it past 30% in real use... very quiet machine!

Is the 8 core going to be a lot more quiet than the 6 core?
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
I think you should buy a new house to put it in...you wouldn't want to bring that thing home to a house where another computer has been, would you????:confused:
 

propower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
719
112
Is the 8 core going to be a lot more quiet than the 6 core?
You don't state under what condition... at idle the same ... under max load of the 8 core the 6 core would be overloaded...

Regardless... At worst they will be the same - and the six core under audio loads will almost certainly be at the base fan speed (using Anandtechs review as a reference) thus super quiet. Though if you look at Anands real world measured noise - my imac is within 1dBA (33.5dBA at operator position) until I get to 70% CPU load (as in never). Very few people have a hi end enough measuring device to measure a room below 30dBA. My quietest room measures 31.5dBA with nothing in it!

I believe that the 8 core is on a physically larger Silicon Die and at equivalent load to the 6 core should run some amount cooler ( ie higher threshold till fans ramp up). The real advantage is that the 8 core can do 33% more parallel processing than the 6 core at about 5% lower speed - for an appx gain of 1.33*0.95= 26%). This only matters if you have come somewhere close to maxing out the Hex core (no easy task). For the financially unchallenged I am betting the 8 core represents the ultimate nMP music computer. THe 12 core only being needed for people doing full orchestral scores... maybe :)
 
Last edited:

Shift Option K

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
128
0
I forgot to mention that I live in a MINIVAN. Check my profile to see why. Would this kill the battery of the van? My iMac G5 already does.

Speaking of my G5 it was given to me by this guy while I was in high school back in Canada. He used it to edit music with Logic but got rid of it because it was obsolete. However I want to do intense music stuff so a consumer level product wont work for me.
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
I forgot to mention that I live in a MINIVAN. Check my profile to see why. Would this kill the battery of the van? My iMac G5 already does.

Speaking of my G5 it was given to me by this guy while I was in high school back in Canada. He used it to edit music with Logic but got rid of it because it was obsolete. However I want to do intense music stuff so a consumer level product wont work for me.
Completely changes things! There are so many potentials here. First off, ditch the girl friend, she is wasting your Apple money. Plus, it's just more resources and space being used in the van. Second, and I think I can help here, let's wire that thing up so the CD player in the van becomes an optical drive for the nMP!

----------

Oh, and your 32 inch iMac is display target mode compatible....so you can keep it and use it as a monitor. Go ahead and get the 4k screen too...might as well run dual screens on this puppy!!! Then you can have logic pro x plus safari both open, at the same time, and not have to swipe between the two! You can download your free mp3 clips on one screen, and drag them over to the logic x screen! This would GREATLY improve your workflow efficiency!

Can you remove the back seat from the van? Probably a silly question, as a guy as smart as you has probably already done that...
 

petsounds

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,483
497
This thread went from normal to weird real quick.

Personally I think the 12-core is overkill for audio work. Get the 6 or 8. Use the extra money on drives or RAM or recreational happiness.

One thing I've been wondering is why there's such a wide gap between the L3 cache on the 6-core (12MB) and the 8-core (25MB). The gaps between 4-6 and 8-12 are much smaller.
 

unfragile

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2013
204
0
Hi,

I work mainly to Audio for TV Post-production.

My old setup was a:

Mac Pro early 2008 2x2.8GHz
14GB ram
ATI HD5870
Avid Pro tools TDM HD3 PCIe + 192 Interface i/o - Pro tools 10HD
Genelec 8030

Harddrives internal Setup
256GB SSD OWC 6G - OSX
1TB WDBlack 7200rpms - Sessions
1TB WDBlack 7200rpms - Instruments Libraries
2TB Seagate 7200rpms - Audio Library
2TB WD Green - Misc (this was CDROM place using that extra sata port)
2TB WD Green - Misc (this was CDROM place using that extra sata port)

Harddrives external Setup

1TB Lacie D2 FW800 - Video playblack
2TB WD - Backup
2TB WD - Backup

my space for working as shrink since my kid was born and I felt the need to rethink my setup.

My future setup is this.

I've order a New Mac Pro 6 cores / D500 / 32GB from crucial / 512GB SSD (I'm using right now a Macbook air 11")

I've trade my HD3 system for a HD Native Thunderbolt and HD Omni with Pro tools 11HD (almost all of my plugins are AAX64)

Harddrives external Setup
Is "box" 4 drives JBOD connected via USB3, dual dock USB 3.0 and finally a a quad dock USB3.0 (all have eSata connection, I'm hopping that a thunderbolt to eSata cable appears in the future)

I wil not have all external drives connected all the time, I will choose only what I need when working, this will reduce the energy I spend.

and that's it, this setup will serve me well at least for 5 years (like the old one did).

ps: I might change the D500 for a D700.
 

AndyUnderscoreR

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2008
256
186
Logic is one of those programs that benefits greatly from lots of screen space. I'd swap the 4k display for a couple of 27" thunderbolt displays, one for the mixer and one for the arrange screen, and I'd want a decent portion of my budget to spend on plug-ins to add to Logic. The quality of plugins you're using will make a real difference to your music, and dependent on the genre you're in, you can easily spend a few thousand dollars on getting the best ones.
 

cubivore

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2013
2
0
Hi,

I work mainly to Audio for TV Post-production.

My future setup is this.

I've order a New Mac Pro 6 cores / D500 / 32GB from crucial / 512GB SSD (I'm using right now a Macbook air 11")

I've trade my HD3 system for a HD Native Thunderbolt and HD Omni with Pro tools 11HD (almost all of my plugins are AAX64)
please update us when you get your nMP. i also work only with protools, mostly for TV and film. i am curious how this setup will fare for our use. i usually am recording audio for HD video on second and third monitors so having a future proof gfx setup would be nice (at least 5 years of service or so).
 

unfragile

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2013
204
0
please update us when you get your nMP. i also work only with protools, mostly for TV and film. i am curious how this setup will fare for our use. i usually am recording audio for HD video on second and third monitors so having a future proof gfx setup would be nice (at least 5 years of service or so).
I will, but the delivery date is February...

;)
 

Shift Option K

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
128
0
Completely changes things! There are so many potentials here. First off, ditch the girl friend, she is wasting your Apple money. Plus, it's just more resources and space being used in the van. Second, and I think I can help here, let's wire that thing up so the CD player in the van becomes an optical drive for the nMP!

----------

Oh, and your 32 inch iMac is display target mode compatible....so you can keep it and use it as a monitor. Go ahead and get the 4k screen too...might as well run dual screens on this puppy!!! Then you can have logic pro x plus safari both open, at the same time, and not have to swipe between the two! You can download your free mp3 clips on one screen, and drag them over to the logic x screen! This would GREATLY improve your workflow efficiency!

Can you remove the back seat from the van? Probably a silly question, as a guy as smart as you has probably already done that...
The back seat folds down. How would I get reliable power? Also, my van has 2 drives; a CD/DVD and a CD/DVD/BLURAY as well as a 500GB hard drive
 

wesk702

macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2007
1,807
358
The hood
Logic is one of those programs that benefits greatly from lots of screen space. I'd swap the 4k display for a couple of 27" thunderbolt displays, one for the mixer and one for the arrange screen, and I'd want a decent portion of my budget to spend on plug-ins to add to Logic. The quality of plugins you're using will make a real difference to your music, and dependent on the genre you're in, you can easily spend a few thousand dollars on getting the best ones.
1 TBD gives me more than enough real estate on logic or any other daw for that matter. However, it would be pretty awesome to run ableton as a slave and not have to swap or minimize. But the tiny text at that ppi would be pretty counter intuitive.
 
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