Computers/Mac

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roscoenyc
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Computers/Mac

Post by roscoenyc » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:27 am

I know an awful lot of studios still using Mac Towers as their main computer.
They were really built for the job. Bays for 4 extra hard drives. Card slots.

I don't know hardly anyone who went for the Trash Can Mac.

Making a move to a new Mac. Any of them, the iMac, the iMac Pro, the Trash can, still need card chassis and hard drive enclosures.
iMac w an i7 has a lot of power and can be loaded a SSD for the system and tons of RAM. The only thing the iMac Pro seems to offer for us music people is extra Thunderbolt 3 port but that doesn't seem to justify the extra cost. And for any of these computers you still have to purchase a bay for cards and a bay for hard drives, both work drives and backups.

On top of that the new HDX card is one of the extra long ones so companies like Sonnet tech who make chassis don't have a single chassis Thunderbolt 3 that's long enough to hold it.

Avid is backed up on the cards.

Talking to all of them and getting ready for a new rig while carefully massaging the Tower to get the work done.

kslight
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by kslight » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:13 am

Wasn’t sure if there was a question implied, but there are rumors of an upcoming Mac Pro reboot, above and beyond the imac Pro...but I’ll believe it when I see it. I personally find the iMac Pro just as worthless as the trash can Mac. I don’t know what professional wants this kind of all in one system that can’t be fixed or upgraded.

I’m still rocking a tower. Over a year ago I just ended up swapping my 4 Core tower for a 12 Core tower. That should hold me over for awhile. Seems like Apple had a really perfect design there, why change it?

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roscoenyc
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by roscoenyc » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 am

Yeah,
not really a question.
Mostly observations.
I can't upgrade the system software on my tower any further. A lot of websites don't work. Downloads are difficult.
Cowboy Technical isn't my home studio. I need to keep the place current for our clients. I have been using an iMac with my home setup for quite a while. It's been rock solid for what I use it for at home.

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roscoenyc
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by roscoenyc » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:31 pm

We got our new rig going now.

We ended up buying a custom iMac 27" Retina display with the 4.2Ghz quad core i7 processors, a 2TB SSD and 32 gig of RAM
We got the Sonnetech Echo Express SE II Thunderbolt 2 card enclosure. It's upgradable to Thunderbolt 3. We have the Pro Tools HDX card in there and a UA Octo Card for our plugs. We will update it to Tbolt 3 as soon as they release the parts.
We got a G-Tech Thunderbolt 3 dual 4TB drive as our "work drive and a
AkiTiko Thunder-3 Four bay (4 TB each) enclosure for our backups. This accepts raw drives.
We traded in our old card to AVID for the cable and ability to use our Burl 24 x 32 Mothership with the rig.
The last thing we needed was a dock to be able to get connections to older devices. We got the OWC dock.

After a couple funny things with some odd cables and a funky AVID card the whole thing is running very snappy now.

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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by bloodspoint » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:40 pm

My first studio Mac was a 2000 G4 Dual 450. Used it day in and day out for 10 years without a hiccup, till I decided I had to move forward from PT 6.4.3, which was the newest the G4 would run. It still runs. It will probably run after I'm gone.
I decided that since I needed a new laptop at the time as well, why not go with an MBP. It made sense, but after ten years of owning them, they still have not apparently fixed whatever problem eventually kills the logic boards on them. Had it happen to the 2008, bought a new late 2011. I even paid for the extended Apple Care, and needed it. That thing blew through four logic boards in under three years. Two in one month. Apple actually added a year onto my Apple Care. Still, as I knew it would, long before it was too slow or old, it too died of "graphic card disease" last Fall.
At that point, I decided I was done with MBPs and going back to a tower. But what?
roscoenyc wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:27 am
I know an awful lot of studios still using Mac Towers as their main computer.
They were really built for the job. Bays for 4 extra hard drives. Card slots.
This right here, in addition to the cost of a new trash can itself plus all the extra stuff I'd need just to be able to use it, is why I decided to go _backward_ a little from the 2011 MBP to a 2010 Mac Pro. Those machines may be 7 or 8 years old, but they're still plenty powerful and capable, and there is a whole cottage industry based on refurbing them. I paid ~$1600 USD on eBay for a 12 core Xeon with 128GB of RAM, sh1loads of space (and more open drives), and the slots I needed to expand my I/O.
I know you've already bought your system, which I hope serves you well, but I thought it might be worth posting this for others who might be looking for other options.
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http://www.bloodspoint.com/
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losthighway
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by losthighway » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:20 pm

I've only ever recorded on PCs and it was never a problem and it was always cheaper.

(Windows troll ducks out of thread)

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:18 am

Good to read.

The only thing I upgraded here recently, is the audio interfaces. There is a thread here somewhere with this.

Focusrite RedNet did it for me here. Exchanged my two Digi192's (8x8x8 each) for a Rednet HD32R (compatible with the older Digi HD cards and the newer HDX cards as well), and a RedNet2 - 16 IO. If I need more IO all I need to add is another RedNet2 and I get 32 IO for PT HD.

And they work with my laptop, or also with the tower thru Ethernet for audio. The Dante software is amazing and simple.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by kslight » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:20 am

losthighway wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:20 pm
I've only ever recorded on PCs and it was never a problem and it was always cheaper.

(Windows troll ducks out of thread)
I was always anti Mac (at least from a $ standpoint) but about 9 years ago I switched to Mac and for the most part am happy I did it. The *only* thing I don’t care for is that you really need to be careful about OSX updates, as Apple has a tendency to just lob off the software that keeps some gadgets I use working.

From a purely software standpoint I greatly prefer Mac OS, both stability and interface. I don’t know if it’s still true but I think Pro Tools has always worked better on Mac.

From a hardware standpoint it would be difficult and just as expensive to build a 1:1 equivalent of a Mac Pro in the PC world...if you really went for it and didn’t substitute 12 core Xeon for a quad i7 or whatever...A lot of PC motherboards don’t seem to support over 32gb of Ram...etc...is thunderbolt support still ambiguous? (In all fairness my Mac doesn’t have thunderbolt either).

IMHO, tough to argue with the value of a USED Mac Pro system right now until Apple gets their S together and makes a real tower again.

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losthighway
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by losthighway » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:12 pm

kslight wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:20 am
losthighway wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:20 pm
I've only ever recorded on PCs and it was never a problem and it was always cheaper.

(Windows troll ducks out of thread)
From a hardware standpoint it would be difficult and just as expensive to build a 1:1 equivalent of a Mac Pro in the PC world...if you really went for it and didn’t substitute 12 core Xeon for a quad i7 or whatever...A lot of PC motherboards don’t seem to support over 32gb of Ram...etc...is thunderbolt support still ambiguous? (In all fairness my Mac doesn’t have thunderbolt either).

IMHO, tough to argue with the value of a USED Mac Pro system right now until Apple gets their S together and makes a real tower again.
It's been a while, and I'm enough of a knuckle head that I'm only up on my computer specs when I'm getting ready to buy one, but I put together a Dell tower on their site from their pro/studio line for graphic design, audio/video line. I seem to remember it was a fair amount less than a grand and sported the same specs as whatever the typical studio Mac tower was for about half the price. Then again, I don't remember my Ram count so I might be blowing smoke here.

At some point I'm like a Volvo driver trying to trash talk people with BMWs.

It is shocking to me that Mac stopped making their Pro towers. Those things were ubiquitous from all the designers, engineers, video guys I've known over the years.

kslight
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by kslight » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:46 pm

losthighway wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:12 pm
kslight wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:20 am
losthighway wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:20 pm
I've only ever recorded on PCs and it was never a problem and it was always cheaper.

(Windows troll ducks out of thread)
From a hardware standpoint it would be difficult and just as expensive to build a 1:1 equivalent of a Mac Pro in the PC world...if you really went for it and didn’t substitute 12 core Xeon for a quad i7 or whatever...A lot of PC motherboards don’t seem to support over 32gb of Ram...etc...is thunderbolt support still ambiguous? (In all fairness my Mac doesn’t have thunderbolt either).

IMHO, tough to argue with the value of a USED Mac Pro system right now until Apple gets their S together and makes a real tower again.
It's been a while, and I'm enough of a knuckle head that I'm only up on my computer specs when I'm getting ready to buy one, but I put together a Dell tower on their site from their pro/studio line for graphic design, audio/video line. I seem to remember it was a fair amount less than a grand and sported the same specs as whatever the typical studio Mac tower was for about half the price. Then again, I don't remember my Ram count so I might be blowing smoke here.

At some point I'm like a Volvo driver trying to trash talk people with BMWs.

It is shocking to me that Mac stopped making their Pro towers. Those things were ubiquitous from all the designers, engineers, video guys I've known over the years.
I wold guess they quit making them because we hold onto them for 10+ years, not making them enough money.

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roscoenyc
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by roscoenyc » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:30 pm

Here's how I've got the new rig set up at the studio.
I made a little shelf for the card chassis, hard drives and connection dock.

Image

Image

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losthighway
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by losthighway » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:58 pm

^ Nice Burl rig. I'm jealous.

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roscoenyc
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by roscoenyc » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:48 pm

losthighway wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:58 pm
^ Nice Burl rig. I'm jealous.
Thanks. We had 1 pair of Burl convertors for a long time. Really wanted the Mothership. It's a great setup.

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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by comfortstarr » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:41 am

Lowly 'ol home recorder here. I'm on a 2009 iMac and an original (#200 something) MH labs 2882 interface. I think the Mac is finally closing in on it's retirement. I can no longer update Logic, as I can no longer update Mac OS on this machine. I would likely hang on it to even so, but I've started to get into mildly serious photography stuff and it's very sloooooow for that as well.

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frans_13
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Re: Computers/Mac

Post by frans_13 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:04 am

First, whatever works, works. No matter if it's a PC or a Mac or HAL or something you stole from the ship when these aliens took you for a joyride.

What is your priority? Staying current and being able to swap projects with other places? Get a new machine, get all the stuff around it ...and keep your legacy machines in the back room. :D These trashcan macs have a huge/expensive video card because they are geared for cutting movies in high resolution. You buy them, you buy that card if you need it or not.
Apart from that, the dealer here that has been a mac retailer for 30+ years said the old tower macs are still made and can be had with the right connections. Furthermore, there's a company in the UK that takes towers, puts in current motherboards and off you go with all the drives and PCI you need.

"Old" (3.1 - 4.1 - 5.1) towers still have a lot going for them. Check what you need, which versions of software and all. In case apple (again...) changes architecture and chipsets you won't be able to take them along for many OS versions, but IMHO there wasn't much going on in the last few years anyway that warrants the last few OS versions...besides connectivity to a phone.

Older macs (pre SATA drives) can be brought to live with IDE-to-CompactFlash adaptors as boot drives (or still available IDE drives) and do a pretty good job as "use me like a tape machine", mixing on a more current machine. Of course you have more than one machine, right? You wouldn't be as funny as using a recording rig as an office/web machine...? One thing is crucial: if going the compactflash route - you have to use industrial CF with SLC. Industrial compact flash is expensive. For a reason. Don't go cheap here. They have a loong life of read/write and you need that for osx. Much more if you use it as a data drive. I mean, you won't bother the OS drive with data, for a number of reasons...right? One drive OS, one data, one backup. At least. And offload that backup to three other places, regularly.

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