Best DAW for PPC Mac OS X

RogerWilco6502

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So I've been fascinated with the idea of using my PPC systems to make music. I am a native Ableton user on my main machine and I would use Ableton on my PPC systems but I can only find abandonware Ableton for OS 9 and I don't have all the required hardware to set up and OS 9 DAW just yet.

I'm not married to Ableton, but I want to use it because I am really interested in making music and not learning a new DAW in the process. I'm willing to learn a new DAW, but I don't want it to interfere with my creative process. So my question is this: What DAW for PPC Mac OS X has the best learning curve?

(Posted in Digital Audio subforum and got no replies, so reposting here)
 

Dronecatcher

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What DAW for PPC Mac OS X has the best learning curve?
I can't answer that specifically because as an Ableton Live user you'll be looking to record in a similar non-linear fashion?
I could never get to grips with Ableton for that reason - plus it's unreasonably demanding on PPC hardware compared to others.
Although I've used Cubase, Logic and Reaper in the past, my choice for the past 10 years or so is Propellerheads Reason, mainly because it's so efficient and can scale up from OS9 and G3s and because of the skeumorphic interface which saves time for me coming from using hardware in the past.
As Reason (at PPC level) doesn't offer audio recording I use it in conjunction with Garageband when necessary. People can get a little sniffy with Garageband not being Pro but I find it's instant access to amp simulation and guitar effects so simple yet high quality - i'd rather spend time playing and recording rather than drilling through menus.
 

RogerWilco6502

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I can't answer that specifically because as an Ableton Live user you'll be looking to record in a similar non-linear fashion?
I could never get to grips with Ableton for that reason - plus it's unreasonably demanding on PPC hardware compared to others.
Although I've used Cubase, Logic and Reaper in the past, my choice for the past 10 years or so is Propellerheads Reason, mainly because it's so efficient and can scale up from OS9 and G3s and because of the skeumorphic interface which saves time for me coming from using hardware in the past.
As Reason (at PPC level) doesn't offer audio recording I use it in conjunction with Garageband when necessary. People can get a little sniffy with Garageband not being Pro but I find it's instant access to amp simulation and guitar effects so simple yet high quality - i'd rather spend time playing and recording rather than drilling through menus.
Ok, thanks! What's funny is I actually use Ableton almost strictly as a linear sequencer. I really only use it cuz my friend gave me a license to it and it's what I learned on. 😂

I agree, Garageband is really good. My biggest issue is that I can't output MIDI from it. I work with primarily hardware (and I don't have any softsynths for PPC really, so it would be exclusively hardware on PPC), so I need to be able to output and record both MIDI and audio. I'll look into Reason. I saw your short video on it and it looked really awesome. :D
 
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Dronecatcher

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Ableton almost strictly as a linear sequencer
Which version, I don't recall 4 or 5 offering a linear method....maybe I didn't dig deep enough ;)

I agree, Garageband is really good. My biggest issue is that I can't output MIDI from it.
True, maybe it's worth the extra leap to Logic which has the same engine but offers Pro features and MIDI IN/OUT.
 

RogerWilco6502

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Which version, I don't recall 4 or 5 offering a linear method....maybe I didn't dig deep enough ;)
I have experience with 9 and 10, but I think it has been a thing for a while. I'm not sure when they introduced MIDI out though.

True, maybe it's worth the extra leap to Logic which has the same engine but offers Pro features and MIDI IN/OUT.
That's what I was thinking. I might do that, the only thing is the learning curve is seemingly really steep. Maybe it's just because I haven't had the time to sit down and play around with it though.
 

RogerWilco6502

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I still have my ProTools CD's for PPC, that was the standard back in the day. You need an interface for that ( my old MBOX 2 is lying somewhere still )
Any interface? Or is it a version that is hardwired for a specific interface?
 

MoerBoer

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Any interface? Or is it a version that is hardwired for a specific interface?
There were only specific interfaces that worked with ProTools back in the day, and most of them came from AVID.
- - Post merged: - -

Strangely enough, the drivers for the MBOX 2 stopped working ages ago on OSX, yet when I plug it into my up to date 5.1 running Linux Mint, it picks it up no problem.
 
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RogerWilco6502

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There were only specific interfaces that worked with ProTools back in the day, and most of them came from AVID.
- - Post merged: - -

Strangely enough, the drivers for the MBOX 2 stopped working ages ago on OSX, yet when I plug it into my up to date 5.1 running Linux Mint, it picks it up no problem.
Ok, thanks :)
 

AphoticD

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Ableton Live 8.4.2 is available for PowerPC and it runs great under Leopard on a G5 - especially on my Dual Core and Quad. You can download older versions here: https://www.ableton.com/en/download/archive/

A full system compatibility list is here: https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/a...Minimum-System-Requirements-and-Compatibility

I don't have experience with prior versions, as I bought the software at version 8, but it looks like v6 might have been the sweet spot for OSX performance. It required at least Panther on a G3 (10.4 recommended) with 512MB of RAM as a minimum. So I imagine it will fly on a PowerBook G4 or similar.

I've just logged into my Ableton account and it turns out I have "Live 6 Lite" and "Live 7 Lite" licenses dating back to 2007, which I had never used, so I'll try installing these on my PowerBook G4 to see how they perform.

If there is no clear way to purchase a license for the older versions through the app or website then I'm sure you can contact their customer support to acquire one. It was only a few years ago that I had to reach out to their support team and they were great. I had run out of activations for version 8 as the main Mac I was running it on got replaced. They were kind enough to just give me another 5 activations for my serial number, so I could go and install it on a bunch of my PowerPCs.
 
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RhianB

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My preferred DAW for PPC in a home studio environment is GarageBand 3. In a pro environment we were always using protools.

I have copies of Cubase, Logic etc. but GB is so fast & comfy, it’s hard for me to move beyond it for home recording. Protools is great but I no longer have all of the gear (or space) to make it that comfy mix between daw & analog thumb fiddling that I enjoy.

FYI: I’m a huge fan of propellerhead too. Such a fun app to use.
 

Dronecatcher

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but it looks like v6 might have been the sweet spot for OSX performance. It required at least Panther on a G3 (10.4 recommended) with 512MB of RAM as a minimum. So I imagine it will fly on a PowerBook G4 or similar.
I think those minimum requirements were a bit optimistic - I bought version 4 (or maybe 5?) for my Powerbook Ti 667 that I'd refitted with a 7200RPM drive and I found it virtually unusable - might have been good for outboard MIDI but for self contained use, no.
 
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RogerWilco6502

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Ableton Live 8.4.2 is available for PowerPC and it runs great under Leopard on a G5 - especially on my Dual Core and Quad. You can download older versions here: https://www.ableton.com/en/download/archive/

A full system compatibility list is here: https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/a...Minimum-System-Requirements-and-Compatibility

I don't have experience with prior versions, as I bought the software at version 8, but it looks like v6 might have been the sweet spot for OSX performance. It required at least Panther on a G3 (10.4 recommended) with 512MB of RAM as a minimum. So I imagine it will fly on a PowerBook G4 or similar.

I've just logged into my Ableton account and it turns out I have "Live 6 Lite" and "Live 7 Lite" licenses dating back to 2007, which I had never used, so I'll try installing these on my PowerBook G4 to see how they perform.

If there is no clear way to purchase a license for the older versions through the app or website then I'm sure you can contact their customer support to acquire one. It was only a few years ago that I had to reach out to their support team and they were great. I had run out of activations for version 8 as the main Mac I was running it on got replaced. They were kind enough to just give me another 5 activations for my serial number, so I could go and install it on a bunch of my PowerPCs.
Ok, thanks! I have a Mac Mini G4 that I'm thinking about making my DAW machine. I'll probably use v6 (in addition to trying out Logic, as I would like to learn it for some more advanced MIDI functions) if I can get a license. :)

My preferred DAW for PPC in a home studio environment is GarageBand 3. In a pro environment we were always using protools.

I have copies of Cubase, Logic etc. but GB is so fast & comfy, it’s hard for me to move beyond it for home recording. Protools is great but I no longer have all of the gear (or space) to make it that comfy mix between daw & analog thumb fiddling that I enjoy.

FYI: I’m a huge fan of propellerhead too. Such a fun app to use.
I agree! GB is so nice to use and I really feel at home in it. :D

I think those minimum requirements were a bit optimistic - I bought version 4 (or maybe 5?) for my Powerbook Ti 667 that I'd refitted with a 7200RPM drive and I found it virtually unusable - might have been good for outboard MIDI but for self contained use, no.
How do you think Live would perform on a Mini G4 1.42GHz running Leopard with 1GB of RAM?
 

Dronecatcher

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How do you think Live would perform on a Mini G4 1.42GHz running Leopard with 1GB of RAM?
I'd grab a version off MacOSLives and try it out before putting any money down.
My Powerbook was way above the min specs for 4/5 but struggled (it was the 1Mb L3 cache version and had 1Gb RAM too) - you should see a benefit from your increased speed though.
I get the impression Ableton wasn't optimised for PPC - I don't think it took advantage of Altivec either?
 
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RogerWilco6502

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I'd grab a version off MacOSLives and try it out before putting any money down.
My Powerbook was way above the min specs for 4/5 but struggled (it was the 1Mb L3 cache version and had 1Gb RAM too) - you should see a benefit from your increased speed though.
I get the impression Ableton wasn't optimised for PPC - I don't think it took advantage of Altivec either?
Ok, thanks! :D
 

AphoticD

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Ableton Live 4.1.4 from MacOS9Lives seems to work ok on my G4 iMac at 800Mhz - however, it's OS9 only.

View attachment 899580
v4.1.4 downloaded directly from the Ableton archive I linked to earlier runs on Leopard natively, but refused to activate online.

Version 5 ran fine and activated online A OK - it appears I also had v2, v4 and v5 “Digidesign Lite” licenses on my account from an old Mbox (original) purchase I made in about ‘04.

v5 and 6 are much lighter than v7 or 8 and run really well on my 15 inch PB G4 1.5Ghz with 2GB of RAM.
 

RogerWilco6502

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v4.1.4 downloaded directly from the Ableton archive I linked to earlier runs on Leopard natively, but refused to activate online.

Version 5 ran fine and activated online A OK - it appears I also had v2, v4 and v5 “Digidesign Lite” licenses on my account from an old Mbox (original) purchase I made in about ‘04.

v5 and 6 are much lighter than v7 or 8 and run really well on my 15 inch PB G4 1.5Ghz with 2GB of RAM.
Thanks for the report! :D
 
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