Next purchase to use with Logic, Imac or Mac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kaufman, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. kaufman macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Afternoon, First time posted long time reader (too many hours reading this forum to be truthful but always a good read)

    I don't often see people talking about their Mac on here with regards to logic and Interfaces.

    Here is my dilema
    I currently own a White macbook 2ghz intel core duo and have maxed it out to 4gb and put in a larger hard drive. As well as using it as my main laptop it is also main main source or recording audio as a songwriter, producer e.t.c.

    I'm finding that my machine is struggling when using some of the 3rd party plugins, waves, ik multimedia so thought now is the time to upgrade my machine. (whether i do that now or wait for the sandy bridge model early next year is my one of my decisions)

    Of course the Mac Pro is going to be more expensive but with the Imac having only the one firewire connection that means having to daisy chain my apogee duet with a firewire hard drive which I'm not sure will work correctly.

    Most people recommend using an external hard drive to record the audio to and the same for samples so It's not working the internal drive as hard.

    So you can see I've read up what i need but I'd like to get people's experiences of using logic and how it performs with daisy chaining your soundcard using the single firewire slot.

    Also would love to if i would notice a massive difference between what i have now and the next slight refresh this year regarding how many plugins i can use e.t.c

    I know there are a lot of questions in this thread but I'm sure there are many musicians who record have the same questions that surprisingly don't always get answered on logic forums as it mainly talks about the software as opposed to what you can get out of the machine.

    I know the Mac Pro would solve my problems as it has a plethora of connections but I do love that Imac display and although i would love to be able to get an i7 the screen size worries me. I'm guessing it would run logic considerably better though?

    I'm done!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It looks like you would really benefit from Mac Pros expandability as you could have PCI soundcard(s) and multiple internal HDs in MP's HD bays along with dozens of externals. If you can, hold on till the update and then decide as we never know what the next gen brings, it should at least provide better performance.
  3. vixducis macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Indeed you should wait for the mac pro refresh and then decide. Buying a mac pro atm is just a waste of money. The imac's display is definitely a plus, don't know whether you already have a good display.

    How many channels do you record simultaneous and at how many bits/kHz? This will influence the firewire throughput a lot, and determine if there's enough bandwidth available for using the HD.
  4. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Wait.. one firewire connection? The Mac Pro has 4 FW800 ports, 2 in the back and 2 in the front.

    *slightly confused*
  5. kaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Damn you quoted me so i could not correct my mistake, that's the problem of writing too quickly and not reading back.
    I meant only the one firewire connection on the Imac as i know connections are not an issue with mac pro's

    I only record 2 tracks at a time as i have the duet by apogee. It's not the recording that's the issue as such more so when it comes to mixing with all the plugins / sampler instruments e.t.c..

    I do have a monitor that i use with my macbook when recording (have magic mouse and wireless keyboard.

    It's just one of those things that you spend £2000 on a mac pro and you're still looking at the crappy screen you had with the last system. :)
  6. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    You did have a day to correct yourself :p

    To go the Mac Pro route, monitors shouldn't be a concern, cause you should be inclined to have more than one monitor - hell, more than two monitors ;)
  7. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    Glad to see this thread....

    Glad to see this thread here. My G5 2.5 ghz PowerMac G5 was about on its last legs after a power transformer zapped most of our neighborhoods' electronics when it exploded. It still boots and works but when it gets put under heavy load it just seizes and halts and I can tell its days are numbered.

    I was in your exact shoes in a way - I routinely would do these enormous music projects (plug for a listen to my music) and it was getting to be that old sessions that I'd run flawlessly before were starting to cause my machine to seize up or grind to a halt altogether. Real worrying.

    My machine was five years old on 6/15/10 and I needed to replace it but I felt that the low end Mac Pro was overpriced for what it was and I felt the high end was too out of reach financially. The 27" iMac with Corei7 processor looked appealing but I wasn't sure it could cut it in terms of expandability.

    My G5 has 8 gigs of ram, two internal 1.5 TB drives, then one external 1 TB drive and another external 768 gig drive. It wasn't a tiny little system and my music projects end up being 60, 70, 80 tracks. The biggest track I ever did I think was 110 tracks or so, just stupid big. I just don't know when to stop and people say it sounds like movie soundtrack music and I guess they're right.

    I went to the local Apple store and they had one of the 27" Corei7 Macs running and it did have Logic Pro on it so I fired it up.

    They had a demo session with 81 stereo audio tracks with multiple effects on each every instrument and voice and also a track of high-definition video. I watched the processor stress meter and it seemed like the machine was thinking "is that all you can throw at me?"

    The corei7 is labeled a quad core processor but it has hyperthreading so you'll see eight little processor meters in Logic and then the disk i/o meter. The cpu cores were just loafing along like it wasn't a big deal.

    I decided to take a chance and get it. Presently my G5 is still connected to the system via firewire 800 in target disc mode so I still have access to my 1.5 TB drives - I'm not entirely sure if I'll find a Firewire 800 enclosure for these but the idea of having a double Mac audio system is appealing.

    Audio interfaces are another story: I have a bunch of them: some of them are built into the instruments I use too. I'm still copying over my music software and data and software instruments as I just got this late in the day on friday. I'll be ready to work on a music project soon and will report my findings.

    For me the weak link is the small (yes, it is!) 1 TB internal drive which will eventually be replaced with as big of one as I can find with large cache and fast mechanism. I'll soon get this expanded to 8 gigs of ram as my current machine has that amount. 4 is nice but some of my music projects are as large as 6.5 so...

    Stay tuned.
  8. kaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Brilliant, yes please tell me how you get on with the imac running logic and all those plugins and tracks.
    Also anyone who has been daisy chaining their apogee of any firewire interface with an external hard drive into the one port I'd love to know how it works for you.
  9. bprice macrumors member

    May 28, 2007
    LA, Ca.
    I've heard of very few problems daisy chaining( I did it and it worked fine)even with multiple FW drives.
    I'm going to get a i7 this week .I have an Apogee One (which is USB) and will get a ex FW HD for recording and sample drive.

    Eventually I'll swap the optical drive for a SSD and use that as the boot drive and apps.then record to the internal HD.That seems to be the fastest and most efficient.I could swap the internal for a Raptor or even crazier ....a BIG SSD but I don't think it's necessary or cost effective.

    The i7 is the only GOOD stop gap to a MP I've seen for home recordings(but still pro...I DO get paid!!) where there usually isn't a need for cards it's a great fit.

  10. Gakboi macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    daisy chaining should work no problem... get over to and you'll find a better answer for your question
  11. kaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Thanks, My apogee does tend to run the macbook fan quite hot and daisy chaining was something i was worried about because of the heat.
  12. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi kaufman,
    do you think it's efficient to repeat 30 lines of text & then add 2 lines of your own?
    Think next times you post...
  13. kaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Hi stan, I did think about it and noticed many others on this forum do the same.
    Thanks for a nice welcome.

    Thanks for the 3 full stops
  14. kaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Right ok

    So since i last wrote we have the new imac and mac pro here (almost)

    I narrowed my choices down to two machines.

    1. i7 imac as for logic with the hyperthreading this should help me no end judging by posts on mac rumours and gearslutz.

    2. The Mac Pro Quad which is just about to be replaced by the new models. (should appear in refurb store soon i hope) (discuss on that)

    There is no way i can afford the new Mac Pro.

    I have a cheap monitor that i use linked up to my macbook at present but here are the two main things that worry me about the imac.
    Heat and fan noise while I'm recording. (do many people on here use logic with their imac's on a full time job basis?

    I know a Mac pro will do what i need it to and also means i can have all my hard drives internal but the display on the imac is still so tempting, although i know someone who has a monitor the same as mine who would be willing to give it to me for free so i could have a 2 monitor system set up with a mac pro. Not great monitors, but a 2 system nonetheless

    Thanks in advance for any responses and advice
  15. Neuro macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2003
    Hello kaufman, I use an iMac 24" (Core 2 Duo 3.06Ghz / 4GB RAM) with Logic Pro 9 on a professional basis and have to say I'm not very happy with it.

    I think one of the main problems is that I run everything from the internal disk, which often chokes and I get long pauses in my workflow. Logic crashes pretty often too, but I don't know if that's just because it's unreliable software?

    My audio interface is an Edirol FA-101 which connects via Firewire 400.

    I bought a Western Digital MyBook Pro Edition external disk and connected via Firewire 800 (so no daisy-chaining), but found the extra noise and spin-up lag times were quite annoying. The internal disk actually works much better than this particular drive.

    If you could find a fast external drive that's quiet and stays 'spun-up', then you'd probably be ok.

    Even with the older Core 2 Duo, the iMac fans don't often get audibly loud, unless it's a really hot day, then it's just a quiet-ish airflow sound.

    If I could buy again, I would go Mac Pro. The iMac seems to be dogged by little problems when running Logic in my experience.

    I did read that OWC offer an eSATA modification service for the new iMacs so you can connect an external eSATA disk: Link here

    Hope this helps.
  16. D'Illusion macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2010
    Have you considered using the Freeze function in Logic ?
  17. kaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Thanks for the reply on this, I actually made the decision to buy an mac pro yesterday after some help on the mac pro part of this forum.

    At the end of it i need a mac that will run flawlessly and i feel i have a better chance with the mac pro and also being able to upgrade and put a few hard drives in the machine as well as upgrading many others things it just seems in the long run to make sense.

    Yep have used that more when i had logic 8, in 9 i tend to use the bounce into place feature as i find the freeze option just does not work too well.

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