New to Mac... purchasing first iMac in a few days !

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PassMeAGuinness, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. PassMeAGuinness macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Greetings all.. as the title says, im new to Macs. I know absolutely NOTHING about them, but Ive heard nothing but great things, and to be frank, Im also a bit tired of Win.

    So here is my situation. I mostly plan to use my Mac for audio composition software (IE, FLStudio, Ableton, Etc.)

    I hear great things about GarageBand and Logic Pro, and I would like to try them out.

    I am debating between the 3.06GHz iMac (27 inch) core 2... or the lower end i5 (quad core). The price diff (as you are already aware) is about $300... but I dont know if it is NECESSARY for what ill be using it for. I do like the video card upgrade on the lower end quad core, and to upgrade the core2 to the better vid card is about $200.... what is my best option here ?

    Thanks for your help !

    Looking extremely forward to my purchase ! :D
  2. thehost250 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    I have just switched over to Mac myself. Like you I also do music which is the main reason I made the switch along for video editing as well. I'm only responding because you listed that you use FL and I just wanted to make sure you understand that is a Windows only program. It will run in Bootcamp but only with XP or Vista according to their website. Keep in mind that while Bootcamp will run the program you will notice a difference in terms of speed so some glitches should be expected.
    Audio editing can tax a computer so I would suggest you buy not only the best model you can but also the best graphics card as it will only let everything run more smoothly. The quad core by far is your best buy when it comes to music creation. Garage Band is cool but Logic Pro is professional and top notch. The only real learning curve is in the terminology and some of the features but you will prefer Logic Pro over Logic Express.
  3. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    I switched in late 2007 to an iMac. Like you, I use it often for audio work.

    GarageBand runs smoothly even on my previous-gen iMac, and Logic Express/Pro runs fine as well. Just make sure you pick an iMac with a discrete (not integrated) GPU, and you should be good to go.

    A word of caution, however: If you run your DAW software in Windows via Boot Camp, get an external audio interface. I can tell you from personal experience that the built-in audio hardware has horrendous latency with VST and DXi effects and softsynths.

    I use Cakewalk SONAR in Bootcamp with a Tascam audio interface, and it works perfectly.
    I use GarageBand mainly as a sketchpad of sorts. It cannot save MIDI information to a MIDI file, nor can it send MIDI out to an external synth; it only saves completed mixdowns to AIF/MP3/AAC, and only accepts MIDI In. Logic Express/Pro, however, can import GarageBand's proprietary .band format for further editing.
  4. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    If you can afford the price difference ($300) for the Quad-Core then GO for it. Also invest in an external audio interface as previously mentioned (M-Audio for budget concerns). Minimum 4GB of RAM but if you go for more (use Crucial or another major retailer of RAM for a source; not Apple $$).

    If you go for the Core2Duo with $200 more for the same video card you'd get with the Corei5 model, you'll be kicking yourself down the road when Appleton Live, CuBase, or other said software gets upgraded: Appleton gets updates fairly quickly with new abilities from what I've heard by DJ's. Come to think of it there is a DJ/Tech Analyst on these boards that has the current iMac "Bowzer" I think his name is. Ask him how it's holding him up - I believe he uses Appleton as well so you guys can talk more indepth about latency, issues, etc that are more specific to what you will be using it for.

    PS: Don't forget to show off your new setup whenever you're set up. :apple:
  5. PassMeAGuinness thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Hmmm... I was not aware that FL Studio was WIN only. How does FL Studio compare to PRO LOGIC for electronice / house music composition ? (as far as ease of use, content, etc.)
    thanks :)
  6. PassMeAGuinness thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Great... good stuff everyone, thanks for all the input. I do have a soundcard (2 actually..I have the M-Audio connectiv, and just bought NI's new Audio 2 DJ last week) so I hope latency won't be too much of a problem.

    I guess its safer to just throw (easier said than done) out the extra $400 (or so) to get the low end quadcore with the 4850 video card.... :)

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