Music Production

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sanderr, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Sanderr macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007

    I was wondering if there is anyone here that could help me in deciding what new imac to get. I really need to upgrade my macbook because I do a lot of music production and I need more cpu power. Currently I have a C2D 2.0 ghz T7200 and 2gb of RAM.

    What I need to run: Around 40-45 tracks (24 bit 44100Hz) in Ableton/Logic with around 4 devices (EQ, reverb etc) on each track.

    As one can imagine my macbook doesn't cope with this. Audio starts lagging and I need to freeze tracks which dramatically decreases my working efficiency.

    So I decided to get a new imac, I don't need more power than what the above requires. Other apps I will run is the CS4 suite but that doesn't require as much power as my music production. So mainly for music I was thinking a 3.06 ghz would do the trick. From benchmarks I see it's about twice as powerful as my current CPU. Would it be enough? By the way, I know about the coming update, but that can only be better than the 3.06 C2D so that's not the issue here.
  2. Migra macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    27" i7
    i7 because obviously is the fastest you can get and for what you need it's the best choice, 27" because if you're gonna work with Photoshop you'll have lot of space to work on, for Logic/Ableton as well, you'll need lot of space to put all your VSTi/AU/FX/Etc on the whole screen to see what you have on each audio/midi tracks and all that, so 27" i7 is the best choice.... BUT I'd recommend to wait at least to october, an iMac refresh is coming soon! :D
    I'm on your same boat using Logic/Ableton/Traktor/Photoshop/Etc and I'm impatiently waiting for that refresh to go buy it!
  3. Sanderr thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007
    Well, the resolution that the 21.5 inch has is sufficient for me. I don't really need more than that. I know i7 is obviously the fastest. But I need the cpu to handle my requirements, it doesn't need to be capable of much more than that. For the huge projects I can go to a studio with some mac pro's if I really need it.
  4. bprice macrumors member

    May 28, 2007
    LA, Ca.
    40-50 tracks of what??? VI's ,amp sims, sampled instruments.If its straight audio recordings gtr,bass,drums vox not as much reason to have a more cores or CPU speed but man... 40-50 tracks is a lot !!
    In general

    FX VI's sims are hard on the CPU faster and more cores are better,for sampled instruments more ram.

    For that many tracks and FX the i5 at minimum.It's a quad.A dual core will be pushing it (freezing tacks, bouncing tracks using aux busses will help).

    The i7 is the optimum for what you've said you are doing and IMO the best deal for a home studio
    Its quad core ,hyper threading (shows 8 cores in Logic) and can over clock up to 3.3ghz I believe.

    I'm going to swap out the optical drive in mine for a SSD for the system/app drive,that will be even more efficient.I may even spring for minimum a 256gb SSD as a write drive.(when they come doooown!)......

    In 3-4 years when I outgrow it I'll still have a killer 27 inch monitor(it might not be the best monitor but it's the best I've ever had!!.

    I don't see any downside to it .,,,btw if you didn't know you can get an i7 refurb for $1850.If you are a music pro in Ca. you can get a tax reduction down to 3.5%!!(every little bit helps!!)

    my vote i7 all the way ..anything less is ...less..

  5. Sanderr thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007
    Some tracks of those are VI's. Most are wav recordings though. Usually it's about 30 tracks of wav recordings and 10 of VI's. Something like that. The tracks with the wav recordings generally hold an EQ, reverb and compressor at least. The VI tracks have a bit more than that, some saturators etc. etc.
    Are you sure I would need i5 for that? I was thinking that when my macbook is choking something with twice the speed (3.06 ghz) would be sufficient..
  6. DJCeeJay macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010

    You are asking whether a dual Core would be sufficient to work with 40 to 50 tracks as the most demanding task.

    A couple of thoughts:
    - I believe it would be powerful enough to run what you need now without having to freeze tracks.
    - I am also doing music with Cubase, Reason, Kontakt, Albino as the main gear. I decided to go for an i5 refurb due to the big screen and the higher chance of it lasting longer with bigger projects and more demanding apps in the next years to come.
    - If you more opinions, talk to Apple store. I demoed Logic in store and asked staff who knew music production for their advice. The demo will show you how much power is there. Maybe they will even let you try a project if you bring it on a stick.
    - A good Forum specialized on Mac Music is www.soundonsound.COM . People will Provide more views.

    Good luck in Making the Choice. I would rethink the 21 inch Monitor alone - I find even 27 inch too Small to See everything when i produce !
  7. bprice macrumors member

    May 28, 2007
    LA, Ca.
    10 tracks of VI's..depends what the VI is.1 track of NI Massive could bring a C2D to it's knees.It depends on the sound the plug they aren't created equal.

    BTW are you using amp sims(Guitar Rig Amplitude etc) if so they do the same thing.

    do you ever use aux bus?.That saves a LOT of CPU.When you are ready to mix then you can throw them on the tracks if you want but more than 2 FX on each track(hell 1 FX with how many tracks you have. is a BIG load again CPU (cores),.You DEFINETLY need to use the aux bus.i don't know anyone that does what you are doing it just chews up resources.

    your Macbook is 1.66ghz!....well anything over 2.ghz would be an improvement but if you DON'T want to come up with strategies to save horse power just get the i7. IMO a MUCH better deal than the i5 has hyperthreading and turbo boost(can overclock over 3ghz).

    I'm going to running a lot of sample stuff so the ram is most important(max it our to 16gb) but it all works together.IMO best to get the top Q you can get without far exceeding a budget.

    IMO the i7 is the best recording rig for it's price out there.Right up with some 2009 MP's in some areas and not far behind in others AND a killer 27" screen...what's not to love!!

    PS remember... get the refurb that's a few hundred right off the top!


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