What do you use for DAW recording and playback on Mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kristenanne77, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. kristenanne77 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    After having a pc with a dedicated soundcard for recording, and nice computer speakers for playback, what recommendations would all you "music production people" have for a recording audio interface and speakers for minimac? (I currently use a mbox 2 mini audio interface (usb) with my macbook and was looking for something a bit better for my new baby minimac)

    Also are there any benefits of usb or firewire over each other?

    I am not looking for something real expensive here ,but decent. Possibly with a midi in as well (although I could probably use usb for that).

    ((I think that as more usb 3 devices come to market, the usb 2 devices prices will start to come down ... but not any time soon unfortunately))

  2. BingClawsby macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    You'll be getting Garageband on a new mini if that suits you. Then there is Apples Logic Pro or Express of course. I have Logic Pro.

    I've just bought a new mini myself and have upgraded my audio interface as well. I've been using a Saffire LE firewire for the past 5+ years and back then even the use of USB 2.0 was discouraged.

    However, nowadays apparently USB drivers have progressed to where its now acceptable.. or so I've been reading. In that respect, I've purchased the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 USB interface as being, as far as I can tell, one of the best under $300 ones for a mac home studio (they run about $229 now). It also has midi i/o as well.

    Yeah, most interfaces are still fw 400 and usb 2, except for maybe some of the more high end pro expensive stuff
  3. slickadam macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2012
    Germany & Hungary

    i also use the komplete audio 6 interface with my new mini. which mini did you choose? i went with the base model (after sending back the i7 quad because of the display issues). i realized, that it's still more powerful, than what most of the people say. everybody wants the top i7 2.6 ghz model, even though these people are beginners or hobby musicians (just like i am). you don't need the most powerful machine, unless you have huge (i mean HUGE) projects, with tons of software instruments (synthesizers). CPU in the base model is just fine. RAM and scratch disc(s) are more important. IMHO. what do you think?

    (oh and sorry for my english :))
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I have Logic Express 8 and an Edirol FA-66 audio interface.

    The FA-66 has MIDI, digital audio, XLR, 3.5mm jack and RCA connections. It is self-powered from FireWire and needs no drivers, as its CoreAudio compatible. I have it connected to my old NAD amplifier and a pair of Wharfdale Diamonds. But I can also easily carry it with my MacBook and stereo mics for portable recording.

    I was disappointed that the new iMacs don't have FireWire (or audio in). The current self-powered USB audio interfaces aren't as up-spec as the FW ones. I imagine USB 3 will chance that, but for the moment, you still can't beat a FireWire interface.
  5. BingClawsby, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013

    BingClawsby macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Your english is fine. ;)

    Yeah, I went with the 2.6 i7, but to keep my budget in line I got it with the stock 1tb hdd and 4gb ram. However I also got 16gb third party ram.

    Installing stuff like SSD's I can wait a few years and prices come down and mess with an internal install in 3 years when my warranty expires

    I went with the fastest cpu because I do also use Ableton Live and NI's Komplete software package plus some assorted plugins that can eat cpu.

    I've been using a 2007 macbook 2ghz C2D with a firewire Saffire LE daisy chained to a FW recording hard drive.

    I'm also waiting to be delivered is an external OWC 7200rpm 750gb 'On The Go Pro' FW 4/800, USB 3 that I'm now going to use as the recording/sample drive with the mini.

    I haven't hooked the new mini up yet as I'm still waiting for the other things to arrive. (believe or not I haven't even taken the mini out of its box yet...a whole week so far! I'm patient)

    I have 2 LCD monitors. I figure what I'm going to do at first is connect one monitor with the HDMI>DVI
    cable and the other with a MDP>DVI cable I got. Then the Audio 6 in a usb port and the new ext recording drive into the fw port. The new mini will be my new desktop rig.

    My macbook I can use with the saffire and 'old' recording drive for use in its intended function as a portable device and plug it into my little PA rig with my midi guitar and start messing around with Mainstage which I've never have all these past 5 years. :)

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