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Cham Clowder's picture
Brampton/Toronto, ON (Canadia)
Jul 2009
1 year ago

Not buying into hype, but I just need something better to record with than my current Acer laptop that almost blows up every time I turn it on.

So yeah, I need a better computer and my friend is willing to sell me a late '06 Mac (I think it's 20"... and that's about all I know about it since I don't bother trying to understand computer jargon) she's been using for graphic design and other visual-y things. I'm wondering if this is going to be worth getting -- hopefully some of you know more about computers than I do.

Currently my acer works alright when I'm using cubase 5 (I think 2 or 3 gb or ram... and some AMD processor? correct me if I'm spewing nonsense) as long as I'm only doing Audio tracks. Once the midi stuff kicks in (I'm using kontakt for mainly drums) it goes nuts. It starts lagging and sputtering while the ASIO time whatnot is overloading (somebody explain to me what this is).

I have the same problem when I'm doing midi piano with kontakt. I can do one track (lets say the left hand) and then when I add the right hand on another track, it goes ape****.

Also, after I get the computer, I'm going to need a new interface, I'm guessing.

At the moment, I'm using this Edirol UR-80 thing http://www.sonicftp.com/articles/ima...irol_ur-80.jpg Only because it has midi (for some reason i could never get any of the sliders or transport buttons to work with cubase).

And I don't know if it'll have the right driver for the mac (or does it just not need one?)

If it does, should I get a new interface anyway? I've got mics on vocals and guitar amps, and a bass going straight into a mixer which is going into the Edirol (which goes USB into the comp). I'm using a Korg Triton as a midi controller in/out to the edirol midi ports. I'd also like to be able to 1/4inch line out the keyboard into the mixer as well for when I'd like to use the Triton's sounds.

Oh, and stereo out of the mixer might be cool?

I'm told that if I go mac I may as well do some firewire stuff, but all I know about firewire is it's some sort of super USB.

So! Let me know what would be a good idea to do. I'm not looking to spend that much on a new interface if I need to get one (maybe around 150-ish?) , since I'm already dropping $500 on the computer itself (I'm not being ripped, right?)


_seph's picture
Iowa City, IA
Feb 2011
4 years ago

is $500 a good price... what kind of Mac is it? a Mini, iMac, MacBook (regular or pro), a MacPro tower ??? ...either way it should be a large step up from the Acer. The things you will want to find out before purchasing is whether it has the old PowerPC G5 processor (which it probably does) or the newer Intel chipset and what the speed is (2GHz or better with at least 2GB or RAM and you'll be good) if it's the older G5 model I'd pass as they are no longer being supported.
btw, all of this is really easy to find out. in the top lefthand corner, click the Apple icon and select the first option 'About This Mac'

as for your interface, if you go to Edirol/Roland's website you can check on the drivers and generally in the audio world, more things are Mac compatible than PC, although these days it is fairly even. - EDIROL UR-80 24-bit/96kHz USB Recording System :: Overview

I'd only suggest buying a new interface if your current one isn't meeting your needs and yes, Firewire is better suited for high bandwidth needs like multichannel audio but USB is fine for stereo

and it isn't hype, Windows can be a nightmare if you're actually trying to do something with your computer beyond playing games. I switched more than 10 years ago and have never once had an issue with any of my Macs and I have never met a Windows user that can say the same.