Logic express 8 + Mac Mini C2D ?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by loungedumore, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. loungedumore macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    Well I have seen This Question thrown at the Macbook , and it is the same system right?
    Heres what I want :
    Macmini c2d 2ghz running logic 8 express w/lots of plug-ins ie: waldorf edition NI komplete 4 (sound banks on ex hd of course ) line6 gearbox gold
    with a m-audio fw410 and a fw hd to record to .

    a Sweetwater sales rep told me the video card in the mini "sucks" and would throw a hex on the whole idea . He might have been just trying to upsell me though .
    a Sweetwater tech told me I could run the audio card and a HD of the same firewire port no problem and even said I could throw a liquid mix in to the chain ! ?
    Apple care said .....they had no idea !?! (this was not a good start !)
    So here I am .
    Can this all be done ?
    a. video card ? if not ( can i alocate more ram as it is sdram)
    b. multi channel audio card and HD on the same bus ? (if not could I record to an USB2 HD or is there not enough bandwidth)
    c. is this machine really enough power for logic 8 + plug ins or am i dreaming ?
    d. side q : built in wifi ? will it connect to my at&t wireless dsl without more hardware ?
    to save everyone time ...no the macbook,MB pro ,and the imac are out of price range,And Yes I am as of now a PC user looking to make the switch ( using an amd x2 3400+ 1 gig of ram ect. = the mac mini as it looks)
    and yes i am running in fear of a vista ran PC world !
    Thanks in advance for suggestions , I hope there are some
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    It's a subjective question. Yes it will run. No, there is no way to predict when it will top out in performance given whatever mix of instruments, tracks, plugins etc. you are wanting to run.

    There is a fixed CPU budget here -- some of it is taken up with graphics, and the rest has to be shared out between all of your apps. If you want to run a flock of NI instruments, you may be restricted to only a couple of tracks in Logic. If you want a gazillion tracks live, you may be restricted to only a couple of instruments or effects.

    USB2 hard drives are a very bad idea, as they add to the CPU load, which is exactly what you don;t want to do. You can run multiple firewire devices off one port, however there can be interactions between the interface and the drive Firewire chipsets, so you may have to experiment.

    The Mini is of course the worst possible choice for pro level audio; slow hard drive, integrated graphics, limited expandability. What do you expect for $600?

    a full load of RAM is mandatory, as would be an external FW hard drive. There is nothing you can do about the video. (integrated video is not a killer, as the sweetwater rep implies, its just one more load on the machine's performance)

    If you are looking at the $$ for Liquid Channel, for pity sakes spend some more money first to get a better computer.

    Head to the library and start doing some reading -- backissues of Sound on Sound, Keyboard, Electronic Musician, Recording, Computer Music, Future Music -- and get some solid background on the subject. It sounds like you have a shopping list but not a clear idea how it all goes together.
  3. loungedumore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
  4. loungedumore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback keep the tude

    More money not an option right now.
    But why spend more for a mac book when the mini has the same specs and i don't need to sit at a star#ucks anyway.
    Is the mini any wores a choice than a mac book ? why?

    I understand that i can't run unlimited plugins .
    Just wanted some reel world feedback on L8 on the 950gpu using a few au instruments ( not just audio tracks as most reviews are panned around )

    that rep told me the mixer screen was very slow on "his" mini running just bfd ( and i don't use bfd )

    as for the liquid mix : just an example the tech spat at me as in "this is what you can do on the fw buss + hd+ sound card " - just not sure I bought that though

    Ram: well of course man

    The 5400 rpm sata drive : all macs have this exept the pro tower ; ie: as an option ?

    I am new to mac and logic, Not to music apps as i have been using cubase since 93 .

    It is not a shopping list I have had no real world experiance with mac or logic yet .
  5. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Whenever a new version of software comes out, especially if it was substantially reworked, it is often wise to give it some time before plunging in. Logic 8 just came out. Inevitably there are some teething problems.

    It appears that Logic 8 can have some memory/efficiency problems even on systems far more powerful than the mini you mentioned. Take a look at this thread:



    "Leaving aside issues of overtaxing your system drive therefore shortening drive life, the big question is with regard to Logic Pro 8. There have been numerous reports on here (this thread even) and gearslutz.com about Logic Pro 8 really taxing people with Mac Book Pros, and giving either CPU overload or disk too slow messages with only a couple of tracks or plugins enabled."

    I don't know if that's just something specific to MBPs & Logic 8, or Logic 8 on all systems, but there's a data point. FYI, that site - and gearslutz.com are both good places to ask questions about audio+mac (macrumors is great, but the audio section is not as active as on sites specifically dedicated to the subject).

    Personally, I'm waiting on both Logic 8 and on buying another mac (have my eye on an iMac, but am waiting for them to work out some bugs), as everything is a bit too fresh out of the gate - I don't like to pay to be a beta tester. Probably after the next refresh, it'll be a better time to plunge in - all IMHO, and YMMV.
  6. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I have a 1.83Ghz mini on the way that will act as a file/remote server, and possibly Logic node/Serato machine.

    My primary system is a MBP. I felt an imac was completely not worth it (same or worse specs as the laptops usually...), and did not want to spend ~$5k for a properly specced MP that Logic could not even really take advantage of when I bought.

    I have felt like there were very few roadblocks with the MBP. I have a 2.33Ghz C2D, 4GB Ram (3.3 addressed), and a 7200rpm HDD.

    I have another 4GB kit and 7200rpm HDD waiting for the mini when it arrives. I imagine this will speed things up quite a bit, but it also adds a lot to the cost of the machine... If you can afford it, I think the base imac probably presents a better value, and once you can get a refurb, you can grab one and throw a 4GB kit in it for little more than a hopped up 2Ghz mini.
  7. loungedumore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    Thanks to all for the info.
    Looks like a mac is out of the park then for me.

    I did not factor in the hd speed as I had thought sata was fast enough 5400 or 7200 rpm .
    Hmm can't beleve apple would sell such old tech crap for such high end machines (macbook $1100-1500)
    Come to think of it I had a 5400rpm drive in my fist machine with a 75mhz Intel chip .....How far we have come ....well almost eh ? :mad:
  8. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Yeah, I hear you. However, the problem is not "expensive macs" so much, as the fact that when you're dealing with demanding audio apps, you need more computer - which is going to be expensive, pc or mac.

    If you can swing it, I'd recommend the entry level iMac at around $1200, and max out the memory. Mind you, I'd wait first for Apple to fix the initial problems with the iMac and Logic 8.

    The other thing to keep in mind, is that if you get a mac, you can run XP/Vista on it too.

    There are many new versions of audio apps coming out... Logic 8, Reason 4, Live 7... interesting times!

    If you take a look at the pricing on those, Logic 8 is a bargain! Seriously, once they work out the initial bugs, I think you gotta have Logic :)
  9. juxtaposer macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2007
    In A Field
    Hi there 'loungedumore', I'm new to this forum so excuse me if my answer is a)misinformed or b)just plain stupid. The bottom-end C2D Mac Mini's now come with 1GB RAM as standard if my memory serves me correctly. Obviously more RAM would be beneficial, but currently I am running Logic 7 on my Mac Mini (512 RAM / 1.66Ghz CD) through a Focusrite Saffire and it runs perfectly fine (and sounds beautiful may I add!). There have been a few instances when it argues and refuses to load a track quickly (when running a LOT of tracks/plug-ins/synths - due to the 5400rpm drive) , but in the end it does the job just as well as my friend's iMac 24" even if it does take a few seconds longer here and there. And as far as the video card is concerned, I don't see how that will affect either the program/plug-ins too much. I will be upgrading to MacBook/Pro as soon as Leopard arrives, but the Mini will definitely still be used and once I have installed the 2GB of RAM I will continue my Logic journey with Logic 8 Studio.
    I hope this post helps.

  10. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    Do not let anybody talk you out of it.

    The specs of the mini are certainly not "slow". Most laptops the world over (and all macs I think) come with a 5400rpm HDD stock. Just get in the game, and then upgrade as you see fit. There is no reason to add more hardware when tight on budget if you are not having pain points.
  11. aafuss1 macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2002
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I do a lot scoring with my project, as I mainly use Logic Express 8 but I often export my compositions as MIDI and create a different score in Finale Notepad or Songwriter.

    I'm running Express 8 on a single core Intel based Mac mini with a 1.5GHz CPU and just 512MB-the memory used by Logic is under 70MB all the time and not slow at all.

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