Trying to decide on getting a new Imac DAW . . . .

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by RoadieJodie, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. RoadieJodie macrumors member


    Jul 5, 2007
    So school is going to start in about 2 months and I may have enough grant money left over to either buy a Macbook or an iMac. The thing is my usb audio device that I use in conjuction with my mixer is a piece. Right now Im using a PC that I put together awhile ago for recording and mixing. Either way I know Im going to have to get another recording interface. If I stick with my PC DAW then I can go for a pci solution (i.e. the 1212m - 149.99) but if I choose an iMac I would probally have to go with a USB Solution (i.e.the firepod - 399.99). What I would like to know is what you all think about either using my current PC DAW setup and getting a Macbook or getting an iMac and stick with my Lenovo z60t. If I continue to use my PC DAW Ill have to find someway to get the cash so I can finish the build with an Intel C2D e6420. Its a pretty solid machine and gets the job done but something in me wants an iMac. Oh, and please please dont suggest a Macbook Pro. I work with a system administrator and I have had plenty of time with both(including the new SR MBP). Im not interested in one for several various reasons, and we'll just leave it at that ok?

    PC DAW
    Monitor: Dell 20.1" LCD
    O/S: Vista Business
    CPU: P4 3.0Ghz (OC - to 3.75
    Mobo: Gigabyte 965-P DS3
    Ram: 2GB G.Skill HZ 800Mhz (Oc - 100mhz)
    PSU: Antec SP 500watt
    Optical: DVD+-RW
    HDD: 160GB SATA 300Gbs

    Monitor: 14.1"
    O/S: WXP Pro
    CPU: PM 2.0GHz
    RAM : 1GB 677Mhz

    Software: Reaper
    Mixer: Behringer 1222FX
    Audio Device: Behringer UCA-202 (Complete Crap!!)
    Speakers: Harmon Kardon 2.1

    I also have a G4 Powermac GE Dual 500mhz that I use to for email and streaming music.
  2. bbain macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    Pick your DAW Software first, then the H/W

    Not sure what you're using for DAW S/W, but the selection of inexpensive DAW S/W for the Intel Macs is pretty thin -- the Live Lite that came with your Behringer interface is not upgradable to an Intel mac compatible version, Cubase SE is not available in an Intel mac version, for example, even though both products are labeled as OS X compatible (they are, but only on PPC machines). The S/W can be (is) a significant cost, so make sure that the S/W cost gets factored in.

    I had an XP based DAW with an Aardvark PCI card and Sonar and it was fine, but the XP box went to college with my kid so I have her iMac. I'm currently using a Behringer FCA202 (which isn't great), and having trouble finding S/W that doesn't break the bank. The iMac is a pretty sweet machine otherwise.

    If you're doing heavy duty recording, my experience in the PC world (even on Dell Core Duo laptops) is that most laptop hard drives aren't fast enough or have a large enough buffer, so that would color my decision, IF the platform has the software I want to use. I've not used the mac laptops so I can't comment on them for audio work, but i think with either a laptop or desktop mac, I'd want an external hard drive.

    Not sure that I helped, but hey, free advice is worth what you paid for it! :)
  3. RoadieJodie thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 5, 2007
    Thanks for the input bbain, I plan on using reaper for OS X which is available at this link.
    It is only a preview build but the official version is supposed to be out in Q4 2007. If I got a macbook I would continue to use my PC DAW, but you're right when it comes to the interface its going to be quite exspensive. What I have now (UCA-202) is far from adequate. Does anyone have expierence with the Behringer BCF2000 in Mac OS X? It cost about as much as my current setup and while I would probably not be able to use it for live applications it may be somethig to look into.
  4. bbain macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2006
    I wan't aware of Reaper -- I'll have to check it out in detail. I've been using Ardour and JACK. It's very capable, but, like a lot of open source efforts, the program is way ahead of the documentation on how to use it and I'd rather spend my time making music instead of spending time figuring out how to do things in the S/W, Hence my goal of finding a commercial product for which there's plenty of documentation, teaching guides, etc.

    The BCF2000 is a control surface, so you'll still need an audio interface to go with it (assuming that Reaper recognizes and works with control surfaces). The BCF2000 has gotten favorable reviews, and it's much less expensive than other control surfaces. I like the TASCAM FW-1082 since it's both interface and control surface, but it's not inexpensive. A lot of the price for an interface depends on how many inputs you need, and the bit depth/sample rate you want to work at. There aren't too many USB 24 bit/96kHz interfaces out there, and in general the FW ones are more expensive.
  5. RoadieJodie thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 5, 2007
    Reaper does recognize the BCF2000 with a setting to make it emulate a mackie.
    Ive been looking and haven't found an alternative interface that I would want to shell out a lot of money for. If all else fails I guess I could wait until Income Tax time when I get my fat $1,500 refund, but I really don't want to have to wait until then. As of for Reaper recognizing the UCA-202, its a no go . . . . . it sees the device but will not let me add it as an input. I guess I could go on their forum and see if I could get some help . . . . regardless I really appreciate your input bbain. So end the end the question I that is most important is, should I use my current PC DAW setup and get a macbook or should I get a iMac and use my current PC laptop. Either way Im going to have to get a new interface so I the price between the two will not be a problem.

    :apple: Jodie

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