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Author Topic: Anyone recording with an iMac G5 or a Mac Mini?  (Read 1057 times)
thewallylama
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« on: November 27, 2005, 03:30:08 PM »

Time to replace my all-in-one digital audio workstation that I have used pretty happily for several years.  I'm thinking of going to a Mac based system, and do not have the money for a G5 tower.  So, I'm considering the iMac G5 or the Mac Mini.  The iMac G5 seems like the more logical choice; it's more powerful and has more room for future upgrading.  Because the fan is right up there with the display, I'm wondering if anyone has had issues with a condenser mic picking up the fan sound.  The iMac is also more expensive which leaves me less money for other hardware/software.  The Mini is of course cheaper and slower, but also quiet.  It would leave me more money for other hardware/software.  If anyone is using one successfully, I'd be interested in hearing about it.  Thanks!  --Wally
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damianip
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2005, 08:14:49 PM »

I use an iMac G5 20", 1.8 GHz with a 1 GB of RAM.  I use a Presonus Firebox as an interface. My mics are R0de NT1A which are mighty sensitive. I've recorded four simultaneous tracks at a time with no problem.

What I do is put the computer on one side of the door by the doorway and use the adjoing room as the studio. I close the door most of the way. I haven't picked up any noticeable fan noise. Actually, the G5 is pretty quiet. The fan rarely comes on.

The G5 is a lot more computer than the Mini, but that reflects itself in the price. However, the Mini maxes out at 1 GB of RAM and if you add a SuperDrive to it, it's up to 700 USD with no monitor. You're also using a G4 processor in the Mini as opposed to a G5.

If you can swing it, I'd go with the iMac G5.

Paolo
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thewallylama
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2005, 12:16:36 AM »

Thanks for your comment!  Your setup is similar to what I am thinking of doing (PreSonus firebox to an iMac).  I don't have room to distance the computer a great deal, but if needed, I think be able to make a baffle or sorts to help out.  What software do you use?  --Wally
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2005, 12:45:39 AM »

kind of in the same predicament here,,,but now dinero :<>
i'd go for the G5 imac over the mini in a minute. i hear the mini's make pretty good little workstations, but
i'm running on a 1ghz G4 tower (loud fan), using a presonus firebox and Garageband, and it doesn't take a ton
to start choking. i lay off the software instruments and record direct with no real problems, but it would be nice
to have the extra headroom. the Presonus comes with Cubase LE, but i haven't used it yet.  i've heard good things
about Tracktion 2 and Logic Express.
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damianip
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2005, 02:40:50 AM »

Thanks for your comment!  Your setup is similar to what I am thinking of doing (PreSonus firebox to an iMac).  I don't have room to distance the computer a great deal, but if needed, I think be able to make a baffle or sorts to help out.  What software do you use?  --Wally

I'm using Cubase LE which came with the Presonus. So far it's pretty good. I had to print out the manuals, and I picked up a book on Cubase  (Prostart: Cubase SX/SL Mixing & Mastering) to help flatten the learning curve.

I tried using GarageBand, but it really bogged the machine down.

BTW, I've read reports that running Cubase LE on Tiger limits you to two simultaneous tracks while recording . I believe that there is a workaround. That fact alone has kept me on Panther 10.3.9. I'm hoping they'll iron that out because I believe there are performance gains to be had in upgrading the OS.

Paolo
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 04:00:46 AM »

Wally L

Why not go for the smallest powetbook? It's 200 more bucks than the smaller iMac.  I use my 15" PB with Logic Express and it's a dream. It's got basically the same specs as the newer 12".  It's Quiet, portable, dependable.  Portablility is an incredible asset.  The only problem with the PB is the size of the screen.  It really is nice to have some space to see all your gizmos when recording.  That said, you probably already have a PC with a monitor, so you can use both that monitor and the PBs monitor at the same time and double your real estate. 

Garageband is a good program, and free with your mac.  It is perfectly capable of sounding fantastic.  It's biggest problem is that it eats up CPU and RAM more than most (Logic, Cubase, etc.) But if you are doing mostly recording of real instruments and aren't into a zillion effects, you'll be fine with it.

Either way, dig through the forums at apple, you'll find plenty of info in there.

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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2005, 01:50:51 AM »

Quote
Time to replace my all-in-one digital audio workstation that I have used pretty happily for several years.  I'm thinking of going to a Mac based system, and do not have the money for a G5 tower.  So, I'm considering the iMac G5 or the Mac Mini.  The iMac G5 seems like the more logical choice; it's more powerful and has more room for future upgrading.  Because the fan is right up there with the display, I'm wondering if anyone has had issues with a condenser mic picking up the fan sound.  The iMac is also more expensive which leaves me less money for other hardware/software.  The Mini is of course cheaper and slower, but also quiet.  It would leave me more money for other hardware/software.  If anyone is using one successfully, I'd be interested in hearing about it.  Thanks!  --Wally

Deefinetly go with the iMac G5. I think you will find the mac mini to be way to slow. For software i would reccomend apple's Logic Express. Its really professinal software and relitevly easy to use. Its about $300 dollars but if you can get an educational dicount it down to about $150. hope this helps
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2005, 06:24:43 PM »

Deefinetly go with the iMac G5. I think you will find the mac mini to be way to slow. For software i would reccomend apple's Logic Express. Its really professinal software and relitevly easy to use. Its about $300 dollars but if you can get an educational dicount it down to about $150. hope this helps

Depending on what hardware you already have laying around, the Mac Mini can be more expensive. Right away, you need to expand the RAM, get a monitor, keyboard and mouse just to make it usable. And you'd need an external hard drive to get anything done.

Jim
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