Log in
Log in

Create an account


Thread MAC vs PC : the best solution for home recording/mixing ?

  • 23 replies
  • 19 participants
  • 0 follower
1 MAC vs PC : the best solution for home recording/mixing ?

I know there is already a post on the subject, but the question is now: what are you using for homestudio applications: PC or MAC? And why??

Quote: Hey,

I know there is already a post on the subject, but the question is now: what are you using for homestudio applications: PC or MAC? And why??

Hi, i'm using pc, cheaper than mac and it works well, important to known how to install and how to adjust settings. Adviseable to use XP.
The most important thing to know is if your soundcard ( should be pro)
can work together with the processor's chipset.
chris at www.tsunamimusic.be
I use PC...

MAC was better some times ago.... but now, with new HW technologies, you can record music without problem with a not so powerfull PC...

If you have a recording studio is a bit different, you have to use CPU with more cache memory, and Pentium or AThlon are not recommended... :!:
I recently upgraded my computer recording system. I spent most of my time deciding which OS to go with. I decided to stay with a PC based system. From what I had read, Windows XP was a much more stable platform than previous Windows versions. The music people I had talked to said not all of the compatibility bugs had been worked out with software and the new Apple G5. I spent the weekend tracking drums for a new project. I was using the Digi 002 with Cubase recording 8 tracks simultaneously and the computer never skipped a beat. I think the secret is to use high end components.
I think the ability to build to your exact needs is extremely important.. PC has it all the way IMO..

Major Studios most likely use Macs, because they know recording, not computers.. they want to get a package that is ready to go, obviously with PC, you are going to have to piece it together the way you want it.

I got myself a nice little Athlon 64 system, with a main EIDE 128 gig hard drive, and for storing the tracks I have two 120 gig SATA drives in Raid 1.

I personally like Cakewalk Sonar better than any other tool I have used....

Now all I need is the right input card, and my studio will be complete..

I am a long time MAC user (for graphic design) but have been working now for a software company mainly on PCs for 8 years. Always been a musician and have worked with both Macs and PCs for small projects here and there. Last year I decided to get serious a build a full home recording studio and am getting up to date and comfortable with it now. Here is what I did.

Starting with an existing PC with AMD 850 with 512 mb Ram I installed Cubase SX. For input I used a RME PCI card with a Frontier I/O device. I had borrowed the input devices from a studio firend to try things out (very helpful). I have to say this experience was fantastic! With a slow processor I knew I would be somewhat limited in symultaneous tracks, effects, etc until I upgrade. Knowing the limitations I was very successful in making great recordings 2 - 4 tracks at a time.

The real trick I found was that Windows XP has been stable and reliable. However, I believe my experience as a software technician has helped a great deal with my ability to optimize the OS. Here is a link which will give some great tips on optimizing.

Also, I believe operating with two hard drives is essential. I use my main drive C for my OS,all installed programs (including Cubase and WaveLab). My secondary HD is used ONLY for recorded data.


Couple of updates.

I recently gave back the RME and I/O box and purchased a MOTU 828mkII (firewire) and am currently recording on the same low spec pc. So far so good! :D

I will be updating my pc soon. Plan to install a new Asus motherboard, AMD Duron processor, lots of dual channel ram. Can't wait!
If anyone has any tips on hardware models ...please share.

Joe C, CT
what a cool page!!!

I see that you know very well How PC works.... so, can you help me?

I need a Notebook to use with my keyboard in live performances (as a sampler) an as a portable studio (with SW like Reason, Cubase and Logic).

But I have some big problems:

- the hardDisk: does a firewire or usb2 disc works well? what's better?
- the soundCard: does a PCMCA soundCard can be used to record in a professional project?

I know nobody that use notebook as studio... it's possible? I think it's, if I can resolve these problems....

you'll find everything on the net about HD recording.
About notebook, choose an external soundcard like M-audio, edirol etc..... via USB, pci will cause trouble.
Work with OS XP and install as "standard pc" not as acpi.
Make sure that your s. card is compatible with the MB's chipset.
I've not had any first hand experience with PCMCIA cards and audio recording, however a friend of mine has used this exclusively for a few years. He uses a card from RME Hammerfall and makes great recordings.

When I began purchasing new studio equipment this year I had both laptop and desktop recording in mind. I settled on the MOTU 828mkII because of its portability (though I know there are more portable devices available now). This unit connects FIREWIRE and provides me with 10 anolog inputs and outputs, including 2 pretty decent XLR Mic Preamps with phantom power. The unit is very flexible with mixing capabilies on board. From what I've read I could be using a standalone FW HD and really don't need the laptop at all. I've not used this method, though.
I typically use this for live recording. This allowed me to record live shows of my trio as well as start a small side business recording bands live performances (very well I might add).

The laptop I use belongs to my work so I didn't have choice in selecting it, but here is my experience. I use a powerful Sony VAIO P4 2.4 Ghz with 512 Ram. I don't think I'd have chosen this PC because it has too many on board devices, software, etc. from the factory, but all in all it has worked well for live recording.

Hope I answered your questions

Joe C
Mac Hands down ,someone said ealier in the post about people geting Macs because they come ready to use an most musicans are not computer tecs,they were right an to me the thing(computer) that comes most ready for the job is better ,plus every body talks about the cost of Macs well you can get A G4 now for $1200(that is cheap when you compare how much you will have to pay to get a decent PC for audio recording) an not have to add another thing to it. So anybody serious about music I would say save your self the hassle an extra money spent on upgrading your PC an buy a Mac. 8)