Mac mini?

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norton
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Mac mini?

Post by norton » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:34 am

After a complete studio rebuild (walls/ceiling/etc) I'm putting my desk and daw back together. My computer is on it's last leg and I'm looking for a replacement.

Studio is 24 in 16 out pro tools/studio one... I mix out of the box on an AMEK bc2, but do 99% of the processing/fx in the box.

I'm planning on keeping my Mac Pro networked in as a glorified hard drive storage house.

I've been firmly in the Apple world since the apple II... But I don't think I can drop the coin$ on the new mac tower, am I going to be ok with a tricked out Mac mini i7?

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:37 am

have the Mac mini's finally been upgraded so the internal HD speed is 7200?

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Post by drumsound » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:59 am

I'm running PT10 on last year's Mac Mini with maxed ram and recording to an external 2T drive. Every once in a while I get CPU oveload stops, but hit OK and can keep working. I'm mixing mostly ITB out to the console on 24 channels from an Orion 32. If I use outboard I record the tracks back into PT for recalls. I've been really happy with the system.

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Post by analogika » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:57 am

ott0bot wrote:have the Mac mini's finally been upgraded so the internal HD speed is 7200?
A terabyte SSD is under $400.

I really wouldn't bother with spinny drives for recording anymore.

norton
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Post by norton » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:17 pm

so the ssd drive helps with buffer sizes due to it's speed?

The mini I'd be looking at is the 2.6 quad core i7. or i could be persuaded to go with the 3.5ghz i7 imac if the performance/longevity would be worth the money.

Thank you!

kayagum
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Post by kayagum » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:31 pm

Zack- Neil uses a Mini at Old Blackberry Way with no problems.

I just got one but haven't set it up yet.
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norton
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Post by norton » Thu May 01, 2014 7:01 am

Hello keith! That's good to hear....but I'm guessing Neil leans on outboard a lot heavier than I do?

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Post by kayagum » Thu May 01, 2014 7:20 am

Mostlly in the box these days for mixing. Most outboard gets used in tracking only.
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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Thu May 01, 2014 2:46 pm

After my 2011 MBP shit the bed this week, I'm contemplating grabbing a quad-core Mac Mini as a backup (I am 100% freelance between print production and audio). Good to know that folks are using them for pro audio.

My only issue is that I am used to my MBP's expresscard slot, which I have loaded with an eSATA card. So I am recording via eSATA to a 7200 RPM drive, my MBP has a 7200 RPM drive, and I am running backups and audio via FW 800 (which are running at FW400 speeds due to both FW400 and FW800 using the same FW800 port. I use the Thunderbolt port for a second monitor. With the Mac Mini, I'm going to have to deal with no eSATA unless I give up an extra video monitor via Thunderbolt to eSATA.

Something to think about if you don't have an HDMI compatible monitor.

Jeff
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analogika
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Post by analogika » Thu May 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Jeff White wrote: I am running backups and audio via FW 800 (which are running at FW400 speeds due to both FW400 and FW800 using the same FW800 port.
Unless you are routing FW 800 devices THROUGH FW400 ports, using both FW800 and FW400 devices on a single FW800 bus does not slow down the bus to 400MBits.

FW800 and FW400 can live happily on the same port, at full speed.

Just make sure to either hub them, or daisy chain the slower devices downstream off the faster ones.

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Post by norton » Fri May 02, 2014 7:22 am

Good to hear that these little machines can get the job done. I understand they are ripe for an update, but one that will most likely center around feature sets that will not help me out.

With a hub or two I think it'll work like a champ!

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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Fri May 02, 2014 7:46 am

analogika wrote:
Jeff White wrote: I am running backups and audio via FW 800 (which are running at FW400 speeds due to both FW400 and FW800 using the same FW800 port.
Unless you are routing FW 800 devices THROUGH FW400 ports, using both FW800 and FW400 devices on a single FW800 bus does not slow down the bus to 400MBits.

FW800 and FW400 can live happily on the same port, at full speed.

Just make sure to either hub them, or daisy chain the slower devices downstream off the faster ones.
I have the MBP connected to an OWC drive via FW800, and then I come out of that drive's FW400 port to my MH2882, which is also daisy-chained to a MOTU 828mk2. The drive is simply for backups, sometimes for VIs or samples (rarely these days). So the interfaces are running FW400, the drive is running FW800? I was under the impression that if you had a FW800 and a FW400 device on the same port it automatically defaulted to FW400.

I record, as stated above, to eSATA via expresscard 34. Once Thunderbolt hubs come down in price and I'm able to run eSATA and a second monitor off of one, I'll have no need for an expresscard slot. However, seeing how completely taxed my MBP has been running hot (to the point of killing the logic board) with a second monitor via thunderbolt, FW800, expresscard/eSATA, and USB (large Apple keyboard), plus Bluetooth for the mouse and WIFI for internet/remote control recording via iPhone, I'm not so certain that running everything off of that little Thunderbolt port is such a great idea. I feel like its a great machine but heat is a major issue.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

norton
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Post by norton » Fri May 02, 2014 12:17 pm

esata over usb3 is available... is that a bottleneck too?

On your fw800/400 scheme... I'd imagine everything down stream of the 400 port is running 400 speed...but 800 to 800 should be full bandwidth no?

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Sat May 03, 2014 9:28 pm

after reviewing all options...the Mac mini is the only new apple device that supports most audio interfaces since it has FireWire, USB, and thunderbolt. also, you can upgrade to a 1TB fusion drive, and up 16 GBA of ram...so I think it'll do the job. plus maxing out a mac mini and buying a monitor, keyboard, and mouse is actually cheaper than an equally maxed out iMac or macbook pre...but then you still need a thunderbolt hub for FireWire compatability (if that's your interface of choice).

I guess that means I'll be getting a Mac mini soon...since my 2006 iMac is starting to fail.

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Post by RoyMatthews » Sun May 04, 2014 5:26 am

I'd say if you don't need a Mini right this second and can wait then, wait. They're really due for an upgrade. And even if the new Mini doesn't fit your needs then you at least might get a deal on the current models.

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Mini
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