Best mac pro for music recording

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by romeomaxx, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. romeomaxx macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    Hi Everyone.
    I have been reading these post for quite a while, and have discovered many of these post actually have little to do with subjects posted. No offense to anyone. What I need to know, is which is the best Mac pro for music production, recording and stuff like that. Maybe with some video editing thrown in for music videos. I would like to hear about the best Imac for the same purposes.
    Thanks for your replies
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Self-fulfilling prophecies. Gotta love 'em.
  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    All i can really contribute is my experiences doing Professional Video Editing and some Recording on my base 2.8 Quad Mac Pro 5,1 - its fantastic, and everything works fine on it (ProTools, Logic Studio and Final Cut Studio). IF you want an iMac, Id look at the Quad-Core iMac, as when compressing anything (audio,video), the extra cores really really help. Although Id say, get the best you can afford, itll pay off later.
  4. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008


    A quad core or 6-core with the 5770 should serve you well, depending on your budget.

    8 or 12 core would be overkill for audio production - current audio SW cant use all cores anyway.

    iMac is not too good due to expandability restrictions... but if you go with one and get to work around the restrictions, an i7 or quad would serve you well - the faster the better, also depending on your budget obviously.

  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
  6. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    I had not seen that... right you are: I stand corrected. It seems they've fixed it in the latest Logic update, 8-cores being the sweet spot for multitrack playback/edit performance. Couldn't find anything about ProTools and 8-12 cores though.
  7. Stephen23 macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Hi Romeomaxx,

    As you can see from the responses so far, different programs vary in their ability to make use of multiple cores. If you're using a program like Logic in its latest incarnation, then more cores is great, if not, then you're better off with higher speed and fewer cores.

    If you're looking at the low end, which I am guessing, since you're comparing it to the iMacs, then I would look at maybe the Apple refurb store, or the 2009 machines from B & H...

    Those are going to be far better machines for sound and video work than an iMac - they will hold more hard drives, which are easily replaceable, can handle far more memory, and are far more upgradeable in the future. With that in mind, the best iMac for those purposes would be the most expensive one. :/

    Go with the Mac Pro, even if you have to get one of the lowest end ones. Reading on these forums, you'd think that everyone needs the most expensive machine every day, but unless you're an extremely high end user who is doing cutting edge work, the difference between even the cheapest Mac Pro and the most expensive isn't that huge. Things like having enough memory, using SSDs and spending your money strategically to get the most bang for the buck make a much bigger difference than you'd think getting all your information here.

    For the record, I am a lighting designer, photographer, and video guy, and I do a little sound design on the side, and my 2008 Mac Pro is still a very sweet machine that I feel no need to replace. Spending Five Grand on a new Mac Pro would make my videos render a little faster, true, but generally, if I'm waiting on a video to render, I'm going to let it do that while I sleep or go out and do something else, not sit there and watch it. In that context it doesn't matter to me whether it renders in 2 hours, or 2.5 hours.

    So yea, price out the most expensive iMac, then go spend that money on the best Mac Pro you can afford, leaving yourself enough cash to buy at least 12GB or 16GB of RAM and at least one OWC SSD. You'll be happy with that machine for years.
  8. jupiter8 macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011

    Thanks for this thread. I'm considering investing in a Mac for music production (PC at present) and being new to the Mac world I'm a bit confused.

    I have a budget of around 1500 UKP and was originally thinking about an IMac as portability isn't that important for me but note the limitations above. What about a Macbook (maybe a pro) instead? I see lots of artists with them in the live environment. Is this a good way to go?

    Note: I use Reason / Record and audio in from a bunch of synths / guitars etc.


  9. Stephen23 macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Hey Jupiter,

    If portability isn't an issue, then there's no reason to go with a MacBook Pro. Not that it can't do the job - I know plenty of people who do good recording with just a macbook and an external firewire card, but with a laptop, part of what you are paying for is portability.

    Unless you're looking at trying to record or playback dozens of tracks at a time, any Mac is going to handle this stuff pretty well. It's only when you get into trying to sync many tracks that the difference is really going to show between machines. If portability truly isn't an issue and you're not going to be putting heavy loads on the machine in terms of track numbers, you could even go with a Mac Mini.

    If you think you might want to take it out to gigs and record, then yea, I'd go with a Macbook Pro, but if you're not interested in that, then basically its just a matter of how much you want to spend. The more money you invest, the more tracks you can do at the same time. (I believe that I saw tests where the newest Mac Pros with plenty of memory were playing back as many as 100 tracks simultaneously with Logic).


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