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peletrane

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 19, 2007
86
7
Chicago, IL
Just curious, given the improvements made to Logic Studio Pro X, what would the sweet spot config for the new Mac Pro for AUDIO ONLY-not processing video, just music and music plug-ins.

I'm thinking I would need:
a 1 or 2 TB boot drive
32 GB of RAM is ok and if needed more, can go third party later.
What core processor? That's the key.
Stock Video card is ok.

So, the upgrades would be, specifically:

Bigger Boot Drive
Better Processor with more cores.

Also: best way to store data? eSATA or Thunderbolt?

Thanks in advance.

I"m gonna upgrade (my 2007 Mac Pro is still working, heh heh, but it's time).

I'm not gonna max it out, for audio only. Just trying to get a sense on applicable CPU upgrade and HD upgrade. And, down the road, RAM upgrade.
 
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ekwipt

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2008
856
263
Anything over the 8 core would suit music, depending on your track count, they all have the same single core turbo boost, I guess we'll have to wait until they are out for benchmarks. So I'd say 12 or 16 core

1-2 tb boot drive up to

Stock Video

Internal Sata SSD will be fine

You can also make a DIY blade with a 4 x card NVME enclosure and put it into the PCIe slot

Other than that any Thunderbolt Drive for your samples and projects
 
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peletrane

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 19, 2007
86
7
Chicago, IL
I've got a 4 mic inputs through Apogee, MIDI will be mainly Hollywood Strings and Hollywood Orchestra, etc. Going to start modest and build up. I'm a jazz musician who plays guitar and has a lot of other instruments, who will be incorporating a lot of electronics and orchestral sounds through MIDI.
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The Hollywood Orchestra Strings has an external HD drive that is packed with samples.
 
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thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,394
5,035
known but velocity indeterminate
I've got a 4 mic inputs through Apogee, MIDI will be mainly Hollywood Strings and Hollywood Orchestra, etc. Going to start modest and build up. I'm a jazz musician who plays guitar and has a lot of other instruments, who will be incorporating a lot of electronics and orchestral sounds through MIDI.
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The Hollywood Orchestra Strings has an external HD drive that is packed with samples.

if you plan to virtualize 150 tracks you might tax things but otherwise the base CPU will handle what you're describing.
 
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ekwipt

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2008
856
263
I would also seriously think about maxing out a Mac mini and see how you go with that? You could get away with it, or an iMac Pro. It doesn't sound like you need any PCIe slots. It would save you a tonne of money too
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,956
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Modern audio controllers are embracing TB/TB3 or USB3/USB-C. If you’re using any legacy “stuff” or have ambitions to in the future, it adds a larger cost to add those external PCIe TB3 controllers that reliably work.

I’d recommend you sit on the sidelines for 4-6 weeks until after first availability. Wait for reviews and benchmarks. Base MP7,1 system might not actually be enough for your needs. Especially would look at RAM and SSD capacity.
 
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DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
954
241
Rancho Bohemia, California
You will experience an incredible jump in performance from your 2007 MP regardless of how you configure a 7,1. Aftermarket everything (RAM and Storage) except the CPU upgrade (if you think you actually need it) and you'll save a bundle. Stock GPU will be more than enough. Even SATA SSDs do a great job with audio, so you certainly don't need to go PCIe SSD beyond the stock boot drive.

The Mac Mini or iMac suggestion is a good one. So would a used 5,1 12 core x5680/90, if money is an issue.
 
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natallica

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2005
279
42
Fairfax, VA
I'm going with the best CPU I can afford, 32GB RAM (will add OWC down the line), stock video and at least 1TB SSD.

Most of my storage is TB2 right now in an OWC enclosure and I use a UAD Apollo Quad w/TB2 card + Satellite Octo for audio.
 
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peletrane

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 19, 2007
86
7
Chicago, IL
yeah, I just talked to an Apple specialist in Austin, TX. They said they're working on, for example, a Beck tune with over 100 plug-ins and it barely even registers or taxes the processor on the iMacPro. Which is about, from what he said, 75% of the power of the Mac Pro.

Definitely gonna want to upgrade the Boot drive as Logic X Pro with add ons is about 140 GB. There really is no need to upgrade the processor, he said, it will handle everything short of really high end music sound production just fine. He said the best solution for storing audio data is Thunderbolt.

32 GBs is fine for audio. Can always upgrade later.

So, it looks like the only thing I need to upgrade is the boot drive. Depending on the price difference between 8 core and 12 core, I may do that too. But it looks like the basic 8 core machine should work just fine.
 
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profdraper

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2017
159
119
Brisbane, Australia
I would also seriously think about maxing out a Mac mini and see how you go with that? You could get away with it, or an iMac Pro. It doesn't sound like you need any PCIe slots. It would save you a tonne of money too
Agreed, the 2019 Mac Pro is overkill for a DAW environment, is designed for Film production & a very different workflow /throughput-expectation. The price is so high because of the base investment in the Mobo etc (and Apple being greedy as well). If you really must go Mac OS, I'd suggest one of the iMac flavours or a Mac mini. See for example, these reviews of a Mac Mini for Pro Tools use:
 
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natallica

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2005
279
42
Fairfax, VA
You likely can save yourself a LOT of money buying elsewhere, but that's a topic once the machine is available and RAM upgrades can be thoroughly tested.

I've been using 32GB for audio for years and never had issues. CPU I have had issues with high plugin counts -- even off-loading some of the work to the UAD cards.
 
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deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
9,458
2,045
yeah, I just talked to an Apple specialist in Austin, TX. They said they're working on, for example, a Beck tune with over 100 plug-ins and it barely even registers or taxes the processor on the iMacPro. Which is about, from what he said, 75% of the power of the Mac Pro.

The iMac Pro's 8 core is probably within 10-15% of the Mac Pro's 8 core. There are some security fixes, some instructions added that don't matter at all in DAW, and some clock speed differences ( about 9% ), but there isn't a substantive change in implementation there. The next step at the iMac Pro is 10 cores whereas the Mac Pro steps to 12. That is a bigger gap on core count.



Definitely gonna want to upgrade the Boot drive as Logic X Pro with add ons is about 140 GB. There really is no need to upgrade the processor, he said, it will handle everything short of really high end music sound production just fine.

The other option is to get another boot drive. If possibly going to get 2-3 apps with bulky 140+ GB footprints then Apple's $/GB is prohibitive. Apple is probably going to charge in the $400/TB range. If you are going to have lots of bulk data just sitting around that is pretty high.


He said the best solution for storing audio data is Thunderbolt.

Long term storage (mostly archiving ) ? USB 3.1 would work fine. If the storing is being done to a single HDD then Thunderbolt is overkill. Even low end two drive RAID HDDs is pretty tame for Thunderbolt.

If the is only an 8 core CPU that isn't putting out maximum heat, there will also be options to put a SATA device inside the Mac Pro. ( I don't think Apple is going to sell that pre-configured from the factory, but it will be an option).
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...

I’d recommend you sit on the sidelines for 4-6 weeks until after first availability. Wait for reviews and benchmarks. Base MP7,1 system might not actually be enough for your needs. Especially would look at RAM and SSD capacity.

I'd wait a couple of weeks to see of there was firmware , T2 , etc low level issues with potential cards and/or external components working with .

RAM isn't really an issue to wait on. If not using more than 32GB now then probably need much just after transition to Mac Pro. if need more there will be multiple 3rd party vendors can get that from. It isn't a sealed case (iMac Pro ) adding more later isn't rocket science.

SSD capacity. Again, adding a second internal SSD to the new Mac Pro has multiple options. Every single Application doesn't have to the in the boot volumes /Applications/ path. [ for MacStore stuff that is a useful default as that is where it likes to stuff updates, but otherwise it should be all that necessary. ]
 
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DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
954
241
Rancho Bohemia, California
Logic's drive footprint is primarily comprised by VI samples and loops which do not have to be stored on the boot drive. The program itself is relatively small. Same goes for most other audio software... it's the sample content, not the programs, that take up the lion's share of drive space.

If you get into heavy VI production, you may want more than 8 cores of CPU. It all depends on the style of music you are creating and your instrumentation. Keep in mind that when you grab fistfuls of notes with a single stereo VI, you are triggering up to twenty tracks of audio in real-time. Hold down that sustain pedal on your piano VI and the count goes ever higher.

Although it may not be an order of magnitude more demanding than straight audio playback, VIs place a heavy load on CPUs.
 
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davidec

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2008
371
378
I struggle on everything that is out there at the moment. I need to run 20+ Large Kontakt 6 libraries, 20+ CPU intensive third party soft synths whilst routing it all through several inefficient third party audio and midi FX plugins. So 16 core is my minimum as is 96GB ram. I’m going to invest in the max 4TB CTO plug in proprietary sticks as they will be the fastest storage available. I’m hoping for 15k all in but happy if it’s 20k. I’ll build my own stock blades for further storage and leave myself enough room to run the three of four PCIe cards for my external hardware. Really looking forward to this machine and hoping hardware wise there are no major bugs. My tower had done its job and I’ve replaced and upgraded everything but it’s bottleneck bus architecture has rendered it slower overall than my newest MBP.
 
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tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,868
1,313
Ireland
I ordered mine with audio production in mind and like many others have suggested I went with:

- 12 Core Xeon (more cores, faster memory than 8 Core)
- 32GB (can upgrade later as needed)
- 1TB SSD (can upgrade with SATA/PCIE SSDs as needed)
- Radeon Pro 580

Will be an almighty improvement over my 2011 13" MBP which does it's best but the old dual-core i5 can't handle meatier Logic Pro projects anymore like it used to.

Can't wait for this beast to arrive!
 
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3SQ Machine

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2019
133
63
Phew! Reading this thread made me wonder how I was able to use a core2duo mac mini to record my first album. My 2013 iMac was fine for my other projects and my new 3.0 2019 iMac handles my current workflow just fine. I better never get into VI or I'll go broke.
 
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Parzival

macrumors regular
May 12, 2013
114
52
I ordered mine with audio production in mind and like many others have suggested I went with:

- 12 Core Xeon (more cores, faster memory than 8 Core)
- 32GB (can upgrade later as needed)
- 1TB SSD (can upgrade with SATA/PCIE SSDs as needed)
- Radeon Pro 580

Will be an almighty improvement over my 2011 13" MBP which does it's best but the old dual-core i5 can't handle meatier Logic Pro projects anymore like it used to.

Can't wait for this beast to arrive!

How many tracks do you use on average? And how many of them audio channels or VST instrument channels?
 
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uller6

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
415
343
Phew! Reading this thread made me wonder how I was able to use a core2duo mac mini to record my first album. My 2013 iMac was fine for my other projects and my new 3.0 2019 iMac handles my current workflow just fine. I better never get into VI or I'll go broke.
I recorded my first album on an iMac G5 1.8 GHz single core using logic 7. It was reeeeeaaalllly painful.
 
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tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,868
1,313
Ireland
How many tracks do you use on average? And how many of them audio channels or VST instrument channels?

Mostly all virtual instruments, and a lot more than a 2011 MBP can handle. But in all honesty I'll have a lot of headroom with this 12 Core MP.
 
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