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Which older Mac Pro can help Garageband?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 9, 2019
Hi everyone,

I just recently discovered Garageband - Yay! - and found it useful and very handy for my digital audio recording and editing. In the past, I dabbled with Audacity but found it awkward to use and not quite intuitive. I mainly used it to enhance MP3 voice audio recording in non-profit seminars, conferences and lecture halls where their recording equipment or skills (mainly donated; though they use Zoom H1 mics) are not ideal in producing good audio materials for later listening or publishing. My main interests is in Digital Video and Photography so I use iMovie, Final Cut, Photoshop to produce my non-professional materials and my current macs are meeting my needs. Recently however, I needed to have much higher voice audio quality materials from those non-profit sources to add into my digital media production process and that had led me to Garageband because it is free and especially with the latest version with its voice profile had allowed me to briefly edited some of the poor quality audios the non-profit sources made and I was able to enhance them with the clarity I finally was after. I personally own and use a Tascam DR-22WL portable mic recorder and use that for all my voice audio/live recording. But now with Garageband, I may expand into getting a USB audio input box for my Tascam so I can use it straight through with my Macbook Air for a portable recording studio and I also would not mind some thoughts on which very reasonably priced USB audio in box that will allow me noise/interference audio input from my Tascam rather than downloading my recordings from my Tascam through WIFI into the Macbook Air.

Anyhow, my main question revolves Garageband and whether an old Mac Pro 1,1, 2,1 and 3,1 will help me improve audio line input (cleaner audio in) and bouncing times with Garageband. Right now, I'm using my souped up Mac Mini 2011 i5 8Gb with 240GB SSD to process my Garageband projects with single and multiple audio tracks and I didn't realize that it took a bit of time (though not slow) for audio bouncing before it gets exported to a high quality audio file. Recently though, I see a number of digital audio studio companies selling their older Mac Pros (1,1 to 3,1) at very reasonable prices ($80-$200) as all are running El-Capitan. They are within my budget, though the Mac Pro 1,1 is more appealing but is now a 13 yr old computer, but is it going to help me with bouncing times because the Mac Pro 1,1, 2,1 and 3,1 has more cores than my Mac Mini? They all have like 4-8Gb of ram and presumably are running Logic Pro. The reason I wanted the Mac Pro is the line inputs (analog and digital TOS link) which is going to be more helpful I think to me in the future if I need to get more mixing equipment to deal with cassette tape recordings in 2019. Also, I wanted a dedicated audio workstation. Will any of these Mac Pros help speed up audio bouncing exports to a single audio file compared to my Mac Mini Core i5? If not; how about the audio line input of the Mac Pros of that vintage good for recording cassette tapes playback, so I can do without using my Tascam recording them as MP3? Are the Mac Pros line input a clean passthrough for Garageband? Need pre-amp or can I change pre-amp on those Mac Pros?!?

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