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Vienna Instruments: To Mac or not to Mac?
Last post Thu, Apr 06 2006 by DG, 55 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 06:38
by elksman
Joined on Sat, Mar 18 2006, Posts 58
Hey Folks -

As I contend with VI in the context of 1GB of RAM, Pentium IV 2.4 Ghz, and the last Logic they made for PC (Platinum 5.5), I am tempted by the siren call of the MacBook Pro with 2.13 Ghz Intel Core, and Logic Pro 7 (ah, to have tech support again). I fear the Mac, however. I don't know how to dig into the bios to change IRQ's in a mac. I don't know how to go into Win.ini to turn the Midi functions of my M-Audio Firewire off...you get the idea. I've been using PC's since I first edited the Autoexec.bat file in a 1.7 Hz (yes, Hz) 8087 Compaq briefcase (with the 5-inch mono screen, remember?)

1) Should I be doing alright with my sysem, and I should just keep at ironing out the wrinkles? I would rather spend the money on Vienna [Wink]

2) If I do Mac, is the laptop a mistake? So nice, love to be portable, and run my sample libraries off of a very fast Firewire drive...

3) Will 2GB put me in good sted, ram-wise?

4) Should I spring for the 7200 RPM hard drive?

5) Most importantly, is VI better on a Mac or a PC, in terms of issues?

Looking forward to your advice...

Thanks,

Eric
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 07:17
by JWL
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Posts 1274
elksman wrote:
Hey Folks -

As I contend with VI in the context of 1GB of RAM, Pentium IV 2.4 Ghz, and the last Logic they made for PC (Platinum 5.5), I am tempted by the siren call of the MacBook Pro with 2.13 Ghz Intel Core, and Logic Pro 7 (ah, to have tech support again). I fear the Mac, however. I don't know how to dig into the bios to change IRQ's in a mac. I don't know how to go into Win.ini to turn the Midi functions of my M-Audio Firewire off...you get the idea. I've been using PC's since I first edited the Autoexec.bat file in a 1.7 Hz (yes, Hz) 8087 Compaq briefcase (with the 5-inch mono screen, remember?)

1) Should I be doing alright with my sysem, and I should just keep at ironing out the wrinkles? I would rather spend the money on Vienna [Wink]

2) If I do Mac, is the laptop a mistake? So nice, love to be portable, and run my sample libraries off of a very fast Firewire drive...

3) Will 2GB put me in good sted, ram-wise?

4) Should I spring for the 7200 RPM hard drive?

5) Most importantly, is VI better on a Mac or a PC, in terms of issues?

Looking forward to your advice...

Thanks,

Eric


Eric-- I can't answer all of your questions, but you've asked some doozies that have my mind spinning...

1. Being a Mac guy myself, I'm a bit biased. But, I'd recommend continued contemplation of which is more urgent-- getting more VI's right now or getting a better system. Both are either inevitable or unavoidable, but if your current system is giving you fits new software is not going make things better. It's a lot to consider.

2. Laptop? Mistake? Not necessarily. However, for something as intensive as VI, I would at least let others be the guinea pigs for even the IntelMac laptops. They do look promising, but towers have always outperformed laptops. If it were just about any other virtual instrument, I might feel differently. My personal goal is to wait for at least the second gen IntelMac towers. Portability is not an issue for me, though having as full an orchestra loaded at once as possible is.

3. 2GB RAM? Consider that OSX will claim 25% of that, and your host app will require even more. You could easily approach 1GB without any VI's. Logic can access up to 4 GB, although reports are that there is a 3.5GB brick wall. For digital audio, 2GB is fairly entry level. Expect to get more RAM to start--

4. 7200 hd is a must for digital audio, especially for external drives.

5. There are issues on all systems. Someone who has worked with VI on both Mac and PC can offer more accurate info, but I will say that I'm hearing about a lot more twiddling under the hood from PC users. Which is better? Whichever one works!! I will also add that OSX just seems user-friendlier and simpler to set up.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. What is the weakest link in your setup? Is it merely problematic? Or is it impossible to deal with?
2. How much do you expect to run on you system at once? Are you doing full Wagnerian orchestra setups or are you sweetening with just strings and maybe an oboe here or there?
3. Future expansion-- will getting a laptop lock you in later for the sake of convenience now?

Just my 2ยข
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 07:42
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
I'm afraid that I am about to give the opposite advice!!! IMO there are two opposing things that you need to consider:

1) Do you want to continue to use Logic?
2) Do you want to continue to use a PC?

If the answer to 1) is yes, then you have no choice, you must get a Mac. However if the answer to 2) is yes (and this is more important to you than using Logic), then forget Macs and start looking for another sequencer. I would say that all sequencers have moved on so much since your version of Logic that the learning curves will be largish on any system, and when you add it to learning how to use a Mac I doubt that it would make much difference.

The advantage of using a Mac is the increased access to RAM, but if you are using a laptop this may not make any difference to you. Apart from that, there is no advantage to using a Mac. PCs are (I'm afraid) just faster, and PC laptops, in particular, smoke anything that Apple has to offer. Also do consider that the new MacIntels are very new and there are a lot of applications that currently won't run on them.

Next thing to consider. Once Vista is up and running Apple Mac will really be legacy technology, As far as I am aware they don't even have a 64bit OS in the pipeline, and it is unlikely that they will do so for some time. When you compare current systems for PC and Mac with the thought of 16 processor PCs with up to 128Gb RAM you will understand why Vista is so important for those of us who run out of RAM long before anything else.

Regarding the ease of use, even if you had never used a PC or a Mac before I don't think that there is much difference these days. Look at this forum and see which platform is having the most problems.....! Remember also that there are proportionally less Mac users, and most of them here are using Logic. I would say that currently the PC platform for VI is far more stable and in terms of upgrading to more powerful systems there is a clearly visible path; not so in Mac land.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 08:03
by paul lm
Joined on Fri, Feb 17 2006, Posts 68
DB, i'm not too much of an anorak on these things ( Big Smile ), but, i'm certainly not one of these mac obsessives (though i've got about 10 in the studio!), but i could have sworn that tiger was 64-bit, it's just that they need to tweak the intel processor to work with it?? maybe i've just imagined that...

but yeah, i agree, use whatever works - but i would severly doubt that any laptop is going to give you the amount of horsepower that you're after. but i'm a composer, not a technical guy, so i don't know!
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 08:05
by Christian Marcussen
Joined on Mon, Nov 10 2003, Posts 1508
10 Macs - holy hell!
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 09:20
by paul lm
Joined on Fri, Feb 17 2006, Posts 68
ok, i've just counted - it's 9. sorry to exaggerate!
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 09:32
by Christian Marcussen
Joined on Mon, Nov 10 2003, Posts 1508
Ah ok - thats something else entirely Wink

Power macs? Quads any of them?
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 15:43
by svonkampen
Joined on Wed, Jan 05 2005, San Diego, California, Posts 828
Hi....

I run 1 Mac 2.0 DUAL G5

My orchestral template for Logic Audio loads up 3.5 gig of Vienna Instruments....and all is well.....

A truly great system.


SvK
I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
MacPro 2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 16 Gig RAM, 10.6.2, Metric Halo 2882, Logic 9
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 16:54
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
svonkampen wrote:
Hi....

I run 1 Mac 2.0 DUAL G5

My orchestral template for Logic Audio loads up 3.5 gig of Vienna Instruments....and all is well.....

A truly great system.


SvK

With all due respect, a 2.0 DUAL G5 is not a laptop.........

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 17:36
by svonkampen
Joined on Wed, Jan 05 2005, San Diego, California, Posts 828
DG...


Right...

If you want to have fun and write good stuff........STAY AWAY from a laptop....get a tower and 2 monitors......this will greatly reduce stress.

SvK
I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
MacPro 2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 16 Gig RAM, 10.6.2, Metric Halo 2882, Logic 9
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 17:55
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
To Mac or not to Mac, that is the question i see before me.

So, let me see......

I use a G4 laptop for intertythingy, and everything else. Logic continues to be poor in the Score department. Sibelius is good for scoring, but lousy on playback. (IMHO) Cubase used to be deficient in the scoring department too, but i understand it has improved at a faster rate than Logic. Never used DP, or Sonar. Logic has the EXS, still a good instrument, well written. (A pat on the back for the old Emagic team.)
Mac's gone Intel, with an emphasis on gadgets, Widgets, Tadgets, digits, etc, with an even more pronounced emphasis on capturing the graphic market at the expense of us muso types, and the latest test figures have conflicting evidence in terms of performance. Windows still has the problem with internetythingy and nasty little throwbacks, trying to compensate for a lack of a girlfriend, lack of ability to interact with any meaningful degree with their fellow human beings, or lack of any chance of experiencing a real life, by writing all sorts of nasty viruses and trojans. Still, an audio setup wouldn't include internetythingy anyway. That's what the G4 is for.
And rumour has it Giga will be taking a big jump forward soon ,married to the faster, and finally more reliable Windows audio setup.

Hmmm, some tough choices.
However, i think Mac have not advanced for us audio fellows to a sufficient degree that would convince me to buy 5 of their flashy boxes and lash them together.
And then there's MIR.

It's looking like Windows and Cubase at this stage. Or Linux and a shed load of cash developing a decent sequencer. given the hype around Mac, and the general scepticism from many, one can only assume they're relying on the 'cute' factor to sell their stuff.

Better dust off the old Cubase Software i think, and look at a copy of Nuendo to boot. Unless of course someone convinces me this is a completely bad idea, and gives me hard evidence to back up the point.

But then i've never been brand loyal in a computer sense.
It is after all a collection of electronic transistors, resistors, wires, and a big TV, with ones and zeros driving it all.
Whatever does the job better, faster, with less hassle suits me.


Regards,

Alex.

Stick out tongue
[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:03
by svonkampen
Joined on Wed, Jan 05 2005, San Diego, California, Posts 828
Alex,

here we go Wink

Apple and Logic are PERFECT for running Venna Instruments........

DIE PC DIE Wink

SvK


PLUS ...you PC dudes need to do all kindsa crazy, zany things to get beyond even 2GIG!!!

Shhhhh###$$$$$$$tt.....i run 3.5 gig straight out of my MAC G5 ......yeaaahhhh baby


SvK
I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
MacPro 2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 16 Gig RAM, 10.6.2, Metric Halo 2882, Logic 9
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:09
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
SvK,

Eloquently put.

[Indifferent]
[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:12
by elksman
Joined on Sat, Mar 18 2006, Posts 58
Thanks everyone for the responses!

DG - You raise a very good point. A little more info, and a question:

My 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV laptop maxes out at 1GB RAM. I prefer laptops because I am a hobbyist and I like my system to be mobile. ESPECIALLY now, as I will be moving to Hong Kong for 4 months, and will have a very small corporate apartment. I crashed Logic with just 3 instances of VI, and now it can't even find the plug-in. Stress tests posted on the forum say I ought to be doing better than that. I would be happy to have 5-10 instances and 160 voices - they're getting that with a system like mine.

I would consider getting a new PC laptop.

I stick with Logic for one reason: I'm just an amateur, and its what I started out with (before Audio). Most importantly, I like the Score functions. I really prefer to write my music on the score, and last time I upgraded, no one else had scoring functions that equaled Logic's. That was a while ago. Now I see that Cubase has pretty fancy scoring functions that may exceed Logic, especially the Midi-meaning for score symbols (even crescendo!). Perhaps I could even use those to change cells in the matrix... I'm a pretty quick study, and not so good with Logic anyway. How hard is Cubase to learn?

Cubase SL vs. SX3?

Also of potential interest: Logic Pro 7.2 is Intel Dual native, but if you look at the posts on Apple's site, they all are negative - crashing, etc, doesn't work...

Thoughts? BTW, I'm really appreciative of all the advice from the experienced pros. Almost embarrased to be mistaken for one of you. Once I get this thing up and running, perhaps I'll post an MP3 to show you all what you helped me do.

Best regards,

Eric
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:13
by svonkampen
Joined on Wed, Jan 05 2005, San Diego, California, Posts 828
Hermi....

hehehehehe Wink

SvK
I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
MacPro 2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 16 Gig RAM, 10.6.2, Metric Halo 2882, Logic 9
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:16
by svonkampen
Joined on Wed, Jan 05 2005, San Diego, California, Posts 828
Regarding LOGIC 7.2


IT Runs like a dream.........it doesn't crash ...I run it every day for 15 hours using nothing but VSL /VI and space-designer plugs ++++ CS80, MiniMoog, Reaktor , Absynth......


SvK
I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
MacPro 2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 16 Gig RAM, 10.6.2, Metric Halo 2882, Logic 9
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:17
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
DG wrote:
svonkampen wrote:
Hi....

I run 1 Mac 2.0 DUAL G5

My orchestral template for Logic Audio loads up 3.5 gig of Vienna Instruments....and all is well.....

A truly great system.


SvK

With all due respect, a 2.0 DUAL G5 is not a laptop.........

DG


What do you think Daryl?

Pc or Mac?

Where's the mileage in the next 4 years? (No pressure, you understand)

Regards,

Alex.

p.s. How's the shed coming on?

Smile
[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:20
by svonkampen
Joined on Wed, Jan 05 2005, San Diego, California, Posts 828
VISTA is not ready (and it will NOT be for years)....and once it is it will have teething issues galore.....(for years)

Once the Intel Apple Towers are released they will have a 64bit chip enabling Logic to adress 8gig of RAM.......that is what I am waiting for

SvK
I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
MacPro 2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 16 Gig RAM, 10.6.2, Metric Halo 2882, Logic 9
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:22
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
elksman wrote:

My 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV laptop maxes out at 1GB RAM. I prefer laptops because I am a hobbyist and I like my system to be mobile. ESPECIALLY now, as I will be moving to Hong Kong for 4 months, and will have a very small corporate apartment. I crashed Logic with just 3 instances of VI, and now it can't even find the plug-in. Stress tests posted on the forum say I ought to be doing better than that. I would be happy to have 5-10 instances and 160 voices - they're getting that with a system like mine.

I would consider getting a new PC laptop.

I stick with Logic for one reason: I'm just an amateur, and its what I started out with (before Audio). Most importantly, I like the Score functions. I really prefer to write my music on the score, and last time I upgraded, no one else had scoring functions that equaled Logic's. That was a while ago. Now I see that Cubase has pretty fancy scoring functions that may exceed Logic, especially the Midi-meaning for score symbols (even crescendo!). Perhaps I could even use those to change cells in the matrix... I'm a pretty quick study, and not so good with Logic anyway. How hard is Cubase to learn?

Cubase SL vs. SX3?

Also of potential interest: Logic Pro 7.2 is Intel Dual native, but if you look at the posts on Apple's site, they all are negative - crashing, etc, doesn't work...

Thoughts? BTW, I'm really appreciative of all the advice from the experienced pros. Almost embarrased to be mistaken for one of you. Once I get this thing up and running, perhaps I'll post an MP3 to show you all what you helped me do.

Best regards,

Eric

OK, well if you are set on getting a laptop then all this talk of RAM is irrelevant as I don't think that any flavour of laptop does more than 2Gb (please correct me if I'm wrong). So the choice should become easier. I would recommend Cubase SX, run it from your current PC and see if you like it. Then if it all works to your liking, then get a new PC laptop. If you wish to wait a few months then you could consider a MacIntel lappy (I can't remember what it is called) and run Logic. However, I wouldn't recommend an old Mac laptop, as it will be far slower than newer models of either PC of Mac.

Oh, and another thing. You could always put your old laptop to work as a slave on the end of a network and run a few VI instances via FX Teleport.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Mon, Apr 03 2006 18:26
by Dar32
Joined on Fri, May 20 2005, USA, Posts 373
Quote:
Logic continues to be poor in the Score department. Sibelius is good for scoring, but lousy on playback. (IMHO) Cubase used to be deficient in the scoring department too, but i understand it has improved at a faster rate than Logic.


Mr. Alex
How could logic be poor in the score depatment ? Its the only score program one can use with ease of use. Not to mention the rest of the monster features. Its the best program for score, it was originaly a score program. Logic users like to moan and groan & complain to apple to keep them abreast on the score feature upgrade issue.
If logic fixed its font (sonata, ect..) feature to use again. And implemented scanning.
There would not be a reason for one to use any other program.

The issue is using mac as opposed to pc. Pc is a world wide standard that is put together by many companies. There-fore its feasable to use for any manufacturers for business & marketing. Thats were the money is. And its price is very low. Getting it to use for multiple software is the issue. Mac is built by one company therefore its software will work no questions asked. Because they only have to test it out on one computer put together by one company. Of-course you already know that. but if you at any time feel that you have gotten some bad information and or misconceptions and need to escape from the land of slavic, (I think it stands for the land of slaves) . Don't hesitate to Bluetooth yourself west via, Modem and scotty, captain kurk and the uss enterprise. Any of us will be glad to help. Also The prices on the hoof is low this time of the year.
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