Which Mac is good for music recording?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by williamh, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. williamh macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2006
    First of all, this is my first post to this forum :)

    I've been using PC for music recording for quite a while. I'm using Cubase SX and various of firewire interface for my recording.

    I'm thinking to switch to Mac because Windows XP isn't my friend anymore; always go on strike for no reason.

    I've been looking at the new G5 Dual core 2.0Ghz or 2.3Ghz. My buget is $3500 Canadian, but I don't know which one will last longer without caring too much about buying a new machine.

    I'd like to hear from people who have experience using Mac for recording!!

  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Welcome to MacRumors :)

    I don't have any experience with recording, but...

    ...You do realize that Apple is in the process of switching to Intel, right? If you can, I would wait until after the Powermac switch.

    If you want a G5 (maybe because that's what your version of cubase supports), what are the minimum system requirements for Cubase SX?

    How much HDD would you need? Would you need a better Graphics card?

    Consider any upgrades you would need to make to the 2.0 Ghz and see how close that brings you to the price of the 2.3 Ghz.
  3. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    If you can afford to wait, wait at least till WWDC :)
  4. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    The G5 2.0 Dual will be plenty powerful enough for Cubase SX plus plug-ins.

    The best advice probably is to wait for the intels, but you may have to wait another year. Also, Steinberg is very slow at doing any kind of updates for Mac, so it may be awhile before we see support for the new intels.

    Personally, I've already waited a year just to find out I may have to wait another year, so I just went ahead and bought a G5 dual 2.0 and am very happy with it.
  5. ads musicmac macrumors newbie

    ads musicmac

    Feb 24, 2006
    Macbook Pro for recording?

    i'm in my last year of a creative music technology degree, and have been using a single 1.8Ghz G5 powerPC for the duration, reasonably trouble free. Ive also had good reports from my coursemates using logic and cubase on powerbooks, G5 imacs, and dual G5s better than my own. (I wish i'd known about this site back when i first bought my G5!)

    I've been thinking about purchasing a mactop of some description as a more portable means of recording and collaborating. I was leaning towards a powerbook (just as the intels were released) as a result of software (i use pro-tools as my main recording environment), but since the digidesign press release for a free update in May i've been forced to reconsider. As i said i'm in my last year and therefore the opportunity for an educational discount is running out fast, so that fact stacked against the comments of waiting for a revB macbook are whats causing me certain unrest.
  6. Kernow macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2005
    I'm currently running a Dual 2.0Ghz G5 and plan on doing so for the foreseeable future. It easily copes with anything I can throw at it, and should last a good long time.

    However, Logic has already moved to Universal Binary, and it appears that Pro Tools will do soon, so one of the barriers to moving to Intel has now been removed.

    Both of the machines you are looking at are great computers. I would also recommend getting a decent amount of RAM to cope with plugins etc. Whichever you chose, good luck making music on the Mac and welcome to MR. :)
  7. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    It looks to me like the processor switch is going to be pretty easy to get through. Logic Pro is already universal and Pro Tools, as was mentioned, will be a free upgrade in May. I'm sure DP will come along very soon if it hasn't already, but if you're set on continuing to use Cubase, you may have to be patient for an intel version. I think your best bet would be to either wait for an intel powermac (or perhaps rev b imac) and utilize the software that's already universal by that point, or get a good deal on a refurb powermac G5. A refurb G5 will be great bang for your buck, will still be supported for a few years, and has plenty of power.
  8. ewoh24 macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003

    I used an 867 MHz 12" PB for 3 years with Logic. While it worked, it was frustrating for two reasons: 1. Not enough real estate and 2. Not upgradable enough. Also, because of the nature of Logic itself, it was incredibly slow. (All the built-in software instruments etc...). I recently bought an 20" iMac G5 for $1100.00. I've never been so happy. If youre planning on using the machine you get for music production and arn't really concerned too much with being on the cutting edge of every new product that comes down the pike than why wait? The iMac G5 smokes...I have yet to crash it and I run some pretty hefty audio projects. Save some money and get the 20" before its gone!
  9. ads musicmac macrumors newbie

    ads musicmac

    Feb 24, 2006
    I may have the opportunity to collaborate soon with someone in the US and needed a notebook for that reason. Other than that my poor old single G5 1.8Ghz is coping fine - I don't use too many plugins anyway
  10. ewoh24 macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Oh, sorry! I didn't read all of your post. I thought you were asking whether or not to pick a notebook or desktop...My apologies!
  11. williamh thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2006
    Thank you all for valuble opinion.

    I think I'll stick with PC until the Intel Powermac. It's really a bad timing for me to switch to Mac for now. Since i'm so used to the Cubase SX, I better stick to it to secure my productivity.

    However, isn't Powermac just came out with the new dual core or quad core design? or the product cycle of G5 is just hanging there and will decline until Intel develop the processor for powermac..?
  12. williamh thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2006
    honestly, I love iMac G5!! and was thinking to get one too.

    However, it's all Intel's fault!!!

    Could you please explain breifly about your setup?
  13. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    if you're really that eager to move to the Mac then i'd get the biggest, fastest Power Mac G5 you can afford. be sure to consider how long (if ever) it will take your sequencer and plugins of choice to make the Intel transition. also, will your soundcard and other hardware work on Intel anytime soon? if you need to get some work done and don't want to spend your time dealing with these compatibility issues then i'd go with what's working now. it will continue to work for quite a while.
  14. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Honestly, the difference between a 2gHz machine and a 2.3gHz machine is negligible. So whichever is more cost effective for you overall is fine.

    Realistically, you can use any OSX compatible Mac for audio recording and get the same result, I'd recommend G4 or above. So if you want to go cheaper and get yourself some good/upgraded recording gear (like mics, which are going to make a far bigger difference than your processor), I'd suggest getting a nice dual processor G4 (which will save you at least $1200) and building a system with that. Just my two cents, my studio runs flawlessly off a G3 b/w, so I don't see the need for upgrades, personally...
  15. sintaxi macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2005
    I work on dual 2.0 G5 ant dual 2.5 at school and I love them. the 2.5 feels snappyer but I think it is because of a much better video card and 8 gig RAM.

    My only complaint with them is the fans will rev up quite loud when it gets going. you should think about getting a G5 iMac to hold you off untill the intell powermacs are full tilt. The value of a iMac G5 is better thatn anything else apple has to offer right now.
  16. williamh thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2006
    I'll surely take iMac G5 and Powermac G5 as consideration. Thanx guys!!
  17. ewoh24 macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Sorry it's taken me a while to get back...

    My setup is pretty sparse but it really works for me: Basically Logic with every plug-in I can find/afford (tons of free ones out there), Garritan Personal Orchestra, all the JamPacks, an M-Audio Mobile Pre-USB and keystation 49e, a Shure KSM 27 and an AKG Perception 200 (plus my Strat, Ovation Acoustic) I like to experiment with everything I find. It's served me very well...I've recorded a solo album and have begun work on recording my classical stuff. The only thing holding me back was the limitations of my old PowerBook. So I don't mind that the iMac isn't very upgradable. Anything that I will need will be either software based or USB/FireWire. I just couldn't see spending all that extra money on a PowerMac when I didn't need the expandability (though a Quad G5 certainly does sound nice!!!)

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