Best Mac Pro for heavily processed dance music production?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mark., Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Mark. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm a semi-professional dance music producer who's been writing & releasing music for 7 years.

    Up until now I've always been PC-based using Logic 5.5 and more recently Cubase 5.

    Cubase isn't really working for me as I'd hoped & Logic 5.5 is too dated to revert back to continue using, so it's time to invest in a Mac to gain access to the elusive Logic Pro 9.

    I'm completely new to Apple computers & not amazingly technology-savvy, so am pretty daunted by the various options available, however online research has proven that it isn't worth me investing in anything other than a Mac Pro.

    I don't need portability & the MacMini, Macbook series, iMac seem pretty limiting in terms of power & scalability.

    I will be mainly using Logic Studio (Logic Pro 9, Mainstage 2, Soundtrack Pro 3, etc) and potentially Ableton Live 8 as my core DAWs.
    In addition I will be using a whole bunch of 3rd party VSTs & synths - some can be very CPU-hungry including Spektrasonics Trilogy, Native Instruments Massive & so on.

    Typically a single song file could include up to 40-50 individual tracks; a mixture of audio files & VST synths and each track may have anywhere between 1-8 VST effects as part of the processing.

    The Mac is purely for music production only. I will retain my PC for general day-to-day activities.

    Anyhow, onto the actual query; What is the best Mac Pro configuation for my needs?

    For example, is it better to have a single 3.33Ghz 6-core CPU, or a dual 2.66Ghz quad-core CPU.

    Will 6GB of memory be adequate?

    Will I need a 2nd hard drive to split systems/applications from my music sample library?

    SATA or SSD?

    Can I use my existing PC monitor before investing in a 27" Apple display?

    My budget is roughly £3k (not including screen or software) and I'm looking to make a purchase in the next couple of months.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Danekero macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    #2
    1. I honestly can't help you here, I don't know how well music production apps use multiple cores.

    2. 6GB of memory will probably not be enough. I'd go for 12GB (3*4GB). I'd recommend you get it from Other World Computing, and not from Apple.

    3-4. I'd get a 60/120GB SSD to boot from and a 2TB HDD to store files on. That'll speed up your system while remaining within budget. I'd recommend OWC for this as well.

    5. Yup, your monitor will work fine.
     
  3. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #3
    Logic can use all the cores of any Mac Pro, but you have to be strategic in how you assign synths and effects to output channels. So, in general, fewer fast cores will result in fewer headaches than more slower cores. I think the 6-core is probably your best bet, unless you can swing a 12-core.

    And, now that Logic is 64-bit, it will use all the RAM you can throw at it. I'd recommend a minimum of 12 gigs, obviously bought somewhere other than Apple.

    You will definitely want different hard drives for your OS and library and your actual working files. An SSD for the OS is exceedingly pleasant to use, but if I were you I'd spend the money on more RAM instead and just get two or three conventional hard drives (which, again, you don't have to buy from Apple).
     
  4. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose
    #4
    this document might be helpful to you as well.
    other than that- what dal20402 said!
     

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