MAC vs Windows for production

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
KVRAF
2878 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:23 pm

Brain fart :clown:

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KVRer
29 posts since 12 Mar, 2020

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 3:58 am

I use both platforms for music production daily so here are my thoughts;

MacOS out of the box will get you up and running very fast, no OS tweaks or ASIO driver installations are necessary however you are limited to Apples hardware options. Apple are also very aggressive with their OS updates in which plugin developers have to update their plugins when apple decides to drop support for something or implement heavier OS security. Big sur & Catalina were 2 examples of this. Overall though Macs are generally a more hassle-free experience.

Windows 10 and the 11 Beta has been absolutely solid for music production for me. However one thing IMO that makes all the difference with Windows is having an audio interface with its own solid ASIO driver. MacOS doesn't have this problem purely because it has its own universal core audio driver but with Windows make sure you pick an interface that comes with a great driver. I've been using an RME babyface Pro and it's by far the most solid interface I've ever used, on both Mac & Windows. Alot of people that give Windows a negative opinion for music I've seen are using ASIO4all with a built in interface. My apogee Duet 2 on MacOS used to drop out all the time and would constantly have to re-plug it in. Windows also has amazing backwards compatibility, I'm still running VSTs from 2008 in Ableton Live 11. I probably wouldn't be able to do this on MacOS.
Win 10 9900k 32GB RAM | Ableton | FL Studio | S1 | RME Babyface Pro | Yamaha HS8 | MacOS Big Sur | MBP 15" 16GB RAM | Access Virus TI2 | Fabfilter | T-racks | Izotope

KVRist
481 posts since 21 Jun, 2010

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:47 am

Mac has been the platform of choice for any serious audio work for professionals for years now. How many pro djs/artists did you ever see using windows pcs on stage? Exactly.

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KVRAF
7014 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:58 am

The real test is the one that can withstand being kicked and tossed down the stairs when it's 4:00 am and you've been trying to get the mix right for the past seven hours. Dells and HPs fail miserably in this test, but a MacBook Pro and Alienware both take a pretty good beating.

KVRAF
29546 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:16 pm

cryophonik wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:58 am
The real test is the one that can withstand being kicked and tossed down the stairs when it's 4:00 am and you've been trying to get the mix right for the past seven hours. Dells and HPs fail miserably in this test, but a MacBook Pro and Alienware both take a pretty good beating.
I know you're joking, but, considering I also have my eye on a Dell desktop for my next PC build, can you elaborate why Dell is bad in this regard?

Alienware is Dell, isn't it?
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
7014 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:22 pm

chk071 wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:16 pm
cryophonik wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:58 am
The real test is the one that can withstand being kicked and tossed down the stairs when it's 4:00 am and you've been trying to get the mix right for the past seven hours. Dells and HPs fail miserably in this test, but a MacBook Pro and Alienware both take a pretty good beating.
I know you're joking, but, considering I also have my eye on a Dell desktop for my next PC build, can you elaborate why Dell is bad in this regard?
Naw, I was totally just kidding. :hihi: I have no idea how well Dells take abuse.

KVRAF
29546 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:25 pm

Aye. :tu:

I guess it depends on the Dell computer. They have many different builds.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
2474 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:34 pm

Johnny! wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:47 am
Mac has been the platform of choice for any serious audio work for professionals for years now. How many pro djs/artists did you ever see using windows pcs on stage? Exactly.
Most artists I see live don't have a laptop on stage... it MUST mean that computers are no good for music production. :hihi:

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KVRian
921 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from San Marcos, Texas

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:48 pm

Yes, Alienware is owned by Dell.
I can vouch for Dell; they surely have a range of quality, so shop wisely. Although their premium stuff hits the mark. for instance, look at their XPS laptop line--even a step down, the Inspiron line is really good.
In fact, I just got an Inspiron 7415 2-in-1 and I'm quite impressed. My prior Zenbook saw a good five years of use until a water spill, which killed the trackpad. Then, shortly after, a screen hinge broke and that was effectively the end of that. I went shopping for another ASUS, since I trust them. However, none of their current models hit the mark for me. Chiefly, I wanted a Ryzen CPU, AMD graphics and at least 12GB of RAM. Can't tell you why, but anything reasonable (< $1800) was 8GB? ... Anyway, lo and behold I discover said Dell laptop with a Ryzen 7 5700U, an AMDGPU, touchscreen,16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD--for $750!--so I took a chance.
It runs Manjaro Linux without any hardware issues and it does good DSP at 5ms. I'm thrilled with it so far. It also feels premium with a metal chassis, nice keyboard/trackpad, good screen. I'd say it's definitely better than the Vivobook line from ASUS, which sits in the same price range.

Hah, meanwhile, I have a Dell keyboard from the early 2000s which I love and still use with my desktop.

Off hand story: I live in central Texas, which is home to Dell (Round Rock) and while I was employed at a small computer manufacturer, years ago, they sent a group of us to see Dell's operation and it was most impressive: A robo-automated tech wonderland. Furthermore, during my time at that job, we heavily used Dell servers and they were excellent pieces of hardware.

Notice too how many Dell monitors are out there--and really good ones at that!

Personally, I don't think Dell is a sexy brand, but I definitely think they're a sharp company and I trust their products for the most part.

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GRRRRRRR!
12522 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:40 pm

Why on Earth would anyone want AMD graphics? Are they good for gaming or something? Because they are useless for professional use. I agree that the higher end Dell stuff is excellent. Even some of their lesser models Like the G7 gaming laptop I recently replaced (ironically with an Asus) are really good and if you wait for the sales they have a couple of times a year, you can grab some real bargains.
Johnny! wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:47 am
Mac has been the platform of choice for any serious audio work for professionals for years now. How many pro djs/artists did you ever see using windows pcs on stage? Exactly.
Well, let me see. KMFDM have two Macbooks on stage because they crash fairly regularly but they find one of the two will always manage to make it to the end of the set. Then there is VNV Nation, who spent two days before one of the shows we supported them on trying to get their software to work after their Macs (one each) had updated to the latest version of macOS mid-tour. Then there are the 40 or so shows we've played with PCs and never had even the tiniest problem. And we actually generate everything live, where every band I've seen with a Mac "live" either plays pre-mixed karaoke tracks or pre-rendered stems because they don't trust their Macs to do it all properly on stage.

Then, of course, is the fact that anyone who does something just because other people are doing it is a moron. Why? because other people are definitely morons.
Last edited by BONES on Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRAF
1880 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from Seattle, WA - USA

Post Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:47 pm

I've had numerous Macs and PCs over the years, and both are fine for music production once they're all set up. After the DAW is loaded I'm not thinking about the OS its running on. Unless you have a strong affinity for Logic Pro, just go with whatever platform you're most comfortable with because migration between them is an annoying process that usually takes days to settle.

KVRian
702 posts since 22 Apr, 2004 from Switzerland

Post Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:28 am

echosystm wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:53 am
I prefer Macs for reasons that aren't specifically related to production. They are just much higher quality machines.

PC vendors churn out tonnes of different models and spend barely any time designing them well. In comparison, Apple only have a handful of different products and they put a lot more effort into how they are made. For example, temperature management is one thing that PC vendors consistently screw up. They often use the absolute cheapest and worst cooling system possible, which causes the CPU to get excessively hot and reduces its performance. I've seen many YouTube videos where prebuilt PCs are only getting 50-75% of the performance that they are supposed to.
Except the previous generations of Macbooks with Intel processors...

KVRAF
29546 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:31 am

BONES wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:40 pm
Why on Earth would anyone want AMD graphics? Are they good for gaming or something?
Nope. :) Nivida is the way to go for that.

@lunardigs: Thanks, that's very encouraging. I actually looked at the XPS desktops. I will refrain from buying now though, of course. The prices are absolute bonkers.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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fmr
KVRAF
10428 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:42 am

Johnny! wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:47 am
Mac has been the platform of choice for any serious audio work for professionals for years now. How many pro djs/artists did you ever see using windows pcs on stage? Exactly.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
This is the classic "argumentum ad verecundiam" fallacy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

Can't you ellaborate a simple argument out of your own head?
Fernando (FMR)

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fmr
KVRAF
10428 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:44 am

Tronam wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:47 pm
I've had numerous Macs and PCs over the years, and both are fine for music production once they're all set up. After the DAW is loaded I'm not thinking about the OS its running on. Unless you have a strong affinity for Logic Pro, just go with whatever platform you're most comfortable with because migration between them is an annoying process that usually takes days to settle.
^^^ THIS ^^^

I would just add: If retrocompatibility is an issue for you, choose Windows. If not, choose whatever you're into.
Fernando (FMR)

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