New to Apple. New or Used IMAC for music studio?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lukeymole, May 18, 2011.

  1. lukeymole macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    Hello there.

    I would be really interested in your thoughts about buying an IMAC. I have wanted one for years and never really had the money to splash out the money to buy a brand new one- (family, beer etc!) I want to make my own recording studio at home to record music and I have found fairly new (late 2009) models on ebay for about 500 pounds. This would make it affordable to get all the gear for a home recording studio for around 1400 pounds.

    I dont particularly like buying second hand electronic products on ebay but it would offer me the chance to set up relatively cheaply and quickly. I could wait and stretch myself to buy a new one but this would mean I probably couldnt afford everything I need until next year. :(

    What are the main pitfalls in buying a second hand machine?

    I have read that newer Imacs do not allow upgrades so is it actually better to buy older ones that allow it?

    Any tips?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. ScrapsMusic macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2011
    It depends on what syle of a recording studio you want to set up.

    I'm not very familiar with live audio recording, so this will be more from a viewpoint of using plugins for everything.

    If you mostly use synthesizer plugins or samples then you're going to want to have as much CPU as possible. Right now on my Macbook Massive takes up 18% CPU for a simple synth/pad, while Sculpture uses up at least that much for a single instance.

    However, when I run just a plain sample (a break or a sampled synth line) with some effects plugins there's barely any CPU usage (maybe around the 5% mark if I have a ton of effects).

    So if you are focusing on doing more electronic sorts of music (hip-hop, breaks, dubstep, drum and bass) then you would get quite a bit out of the new CPUs.

    From what I gather, when recording live it's just as important to have a good audio interface as it is to have a fast computer. Unless you're trying to achieve super high sample rates you'll probably be fine with an 09 and a really decent audio interface. But you should probably wait for a live audio person to chime in before I pulled the trigger, just incase I'm missing something blatantly obvious here.
  3. lukeymole thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    Thanks for the swift response! Although buying a new one would be better, buying a second hand one would mean I can get all the gear I need relatively cheaply and quickly to make some music. I would be plugging in my guitar, vocals, and midi keyboard/ drum machine with a good quality audio interface.

    Anyone else got any thoughts?


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