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Old 12-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
Cyonge
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Apple - The Complete Desktop Recording Studio with Mac Mini

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-...o-with-mac-mini

I found this on Musician's Friend and wanted to know what UG thought.
Is this worth the $1000???
My aim is to do covers by myself, I have a guitar and bass, I can do vocals with a backing track... and post up videos on YouTube.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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No, the Mac is outdated as they just released a new Mini. The interface is crap. The mic is crap.

You can get setup to do covers for much less. If you've already got a PC that's stable, you can get setup for about $350. All you need is:

A Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 $200
An Audio Technica AT2020 $100
Some decent headphones $50ish

Then you've got an extra $650. Honestly , if all your going to do is covers, I wouldn't waste too much money on a Mac.

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Well, you can put together a similar mac mini-based package yourself for about the same amount of money, and get slightly better equipment. There's nothing wrong with the mac mini, but you can probably find that exact same model refurbished from Apple for $4-600. Then get a nicer interface and mic etc, do your homework on that stuff.

If you don't already have a computer, I do highly recommend the mini. It's a great machine, and it's far superior to any cheap PC. I don't feel like opening a can of worms with the mac vs pc debate, but I work for a music company, and we have both macs and pcs, and in MY EXPERIENCE the macs have always run better. This is my expert, not amateur, opinion.

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sid McCall
I don't feel like opening a can of worms with the mac vs pc debate, but I work for a music company, and we have both macs and pcs, and in MY EXPERIENCE the macs have always run better. .


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Old 12-03-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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macs are the go-to for music related stuff.

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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While I'm a Mac-user myself, and prefer them for anything media-based (graphic design, CGI and audio, though my experience in CGI is basically nothing... just going on what I've seen/witnessed done ) I will point out that for what that package offers you may as well just get a cheap desktop PC and save a load of money - Pro Tools M-Powered is a con, and not worth buying into (just buy Pro Tools 9 etc. and enjoy native use) and also runs on PC just as well; the included hardware is pretty crap; and that Mac Mini is a very dated spec. now (2GB RAM, dual-core processor running just over 2GHz etc.)

If you really want a Mac, I recommend going to the Apple website for your location and looking at the options available for Mac Mini (you can configure your own) and do so that way (you don't have to buy through Apple after checking out the latest options, but few places will offer you it for much cheaper anyway and you'll get the full warranty etc.) and also the entry level iMac (or even the Macbook Pro, if you want to go mobile, but you get a lot more processing power for your money if you go with the iMac or Mac Mini).

Then look at the Interfaces sticky at the top of this forum section, to learn all about interfaces and consider what you actually need for the stuff you plan on doing. Then feel free to ask about microphones or anything else, in the Official Llama Chat Thread, if you're stuck or even ask here in this thread (but please don't create a new thread for a new question - people asking every question in a separate thread does tend to annoy the regulars here, and give you less responses!).

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips dudes.
I actually am thinking of heading to Apple website and get a computer there.. don't they have some discounts for students?
As for interfaces, thanks for letting me know about that thread.
I was also thinking of going to one of those Guitar Center Pro Tools seminars this weekend to see everything and get acquainted with it.
Thanks again, everyone.

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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As for the PC I already own, it's a HP Pavillion DV6700.. with the basic RAM and processor and all that crap.. for what I use it, it runs good.
But will that be able to run Pro Tools 9? Does that program need more to run?

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cyonge
Thanks for the tips dudes.
I actually am thinking of heading to Apple website and get a computer there.. don't they have some discounts for students?
As for interfaces, thanks for letting me know about that thread.
I was also thinking of going to one of those Guitar Center Pro Tools seminars this weekend to see everything and get acquainted with it.
Thanks again, everyone.

No problem - and yes, Apple do offer student discounts but you'd have to check that your college/university etc. are applicable. I don't know how it works in the US, and haven't needed to know how it works here either, but I'm fairly certain when I got my Mac in '08, I had to order it from one of the computers on the Uni network, or in store with proof I attended that uni.

As for the Pro Tools thing, I would say that unless you get a really good deal there is no need to jump straight to Pro Tools - as lockwolf (regular here who uses PT, unlike most others here) will probably tell you, it is not a cheap program/brand to 'get' into. The plug-ins it uses are a format specific to PT (and worse still, the native Pro Tools uses a different plug-in format to Pro Tools HD; though AAX or whatever that new file-type was may have addressed this compatability issue...) and it will lock you out of using a lot of stuff.

I highly recommend you get acquainted with some of the stuff mentioned in the stickies and consider a different DAW (recording program) as all the other major DAW's may look a little different, or do things slightly differently, but they're all capable of making professional-standard recordings and mixes, at the end of the day.

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Ok, disclaimer: I absolutely despise Mac.

This nonsense about them being the 'best for audio' makes me laugh. This is a cool little package though. Not amazing value (the mic and headphones look crappy) but certainly simple and convenient.

You could build a $400 PC that would completely outclass the Mac Mini, and you've got much more choice of hardware, software and VST plugins. DisarmGoliath nailed it when he recommended you stay away from ProTools for now.
Personally I reckon Sonar X2 Essential is the best value out there right now.

Your current computer will easily handle multitrack recording, in fact it's about as powerful as that Mac Mini. All you really need is an interface, cheap/free software and some mics. If so, consider reformatting the PC to give you a clean slate and better performance.

With all the money you saved by not buying Apple, you could afford a cheap set of monitors instead of attempting to mix on headphones.

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Last edited by kyle62 : 12-03-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:28 AM   #11
Cyonge
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Ok, I think I'll just stick with the computer I have. I will do a system restore to clean up all the porn.. haha.
I also downloaded Reaper, going to try it out before I actually buy.
I'm looking at the interfaces thread under "Recordings".
And I'm pretty much set with the headphones I have.

All in all, I'm pretty much set, just gotta work for the money. Thanks for all your help, everyone.. this was so much better than everywhere else.
I went to my local music store, Sam Ash, and Guitar Center.. and they were all douchebags about it..

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
As for the Pro Tools thing, I would say that unless you get a really good deal there is no need to jump straight to Pro Tools - as lockwolf (regular here who uses PT, unlike most others here) will probably tell you, it is not a cheap program/brand to 'get' into. The plug-ins it uses are a format specific to PT (and worse still, the native Pro Tools uses a different plug-in format to Pro Tools HD; though AAX or whatever that new file-type was may have addressed this compatability issue...) and it will lock you out of using a lot of stuff.


Even though it looks like you've already downloaded & started using Reaper, I'll just confirm what Disarm was talking about. Pro Tools is like driving a Mercedes Benz, its cool but everything for it is expensive as shit compared to other DAWs like Reaper.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lockwolf
Even though it looks like you've already downloaded & started using Reaper, I'll just confirm what Disarm was talking about. Pro Tools is like driving a Mercedes Benz, its cool but everything for it is expensive as shit compared to other DAWs like Reaper.


Yeah.. I went to the website, saw the price. Almost got a heart attack. Why must it cost so much?!
I'm actually thinking of attending a school in Hollywood called LARS (Los Angeles Recording School), do you guys have any idea if it's any good? I took the tour and shit already, but it really didn't convince me. So I scheduled a private tour. And they use Pro Tools only.

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cyonge
Yeah.. I went to the website, saw the price. Almost got a heart attack. Why must it cost so much?!
I'm actually thinking of attending a school in Hollywood called LARS (Los Angeles Recording School), do you guys have any idea if it's any good? I took the tour and shit already, but it really didn't convince me. So I scheduled a private tour. And they use Pro Tools only.
Do you have to pay for the course?

Honestly I'm not a big believer in sound engineering courses now, except for a small minority. They're training you for a job that in practical terms doesn't exist, every other musician is a 'sound engineer' these days and the market is saturated even though there's no one hiring. Loads of supply, no demand.

I know a few people who've paid upward of 5000 for a course at SAE Institute and most of them are at a considerably lower level of ability than I am, even though I just sit at home with a PC and a few bits of budget gear teaching myself to mix. One of them had no clue what sidechaining was. I know people who've spent years studying audio production and don't know what a bus is!

If I had a few thousand to spend on a recording, it sure as hell wouldn't get spent on a course! I'd blow half of it on studio gear, and then put the rest in a savings account for a few years to help me set up a little business once I'd got really good.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kyle62
Do you have to pay for the course?

Honestly I'm not a big believer in sound engineering courses now, except for a small minority. They're training you for a job that in practical terms doesn't exist, every other musician is a 'sound engineer' these days and the market is saturated even though there's no one hiring. Loads of supply, no demand.

I know a few people who've paid upward of 5000 for a course at SAE Institute and most of them are at a considerably lower level of ability than I am, even though I just sit at home with a PC and a few bits of budget gear teaching myself to mix. One of them had no clue what sidechaining was. I know people who've spent years studying audio production and don't know what a bus is!

If I had a few thousand to spend on a recording, it sure as hell wouldn't get spent on a course! I'd blow half of it on studio gear, and then put the rest in a savings account for a few years to help me set up a little business once I'd got really good.


I was talking to one of the admissions reps at this LARS.. here's what she said.
"Cash pay students (NO FINANCIAL AID) pay $29,000."
This is for a 2 year course at their facilities. They're known to have most of the up-to-date PT equipment and have a lot of award winning teachers. According to what they told me.. haha.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:38 PM   #16
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Ahh, recording school. Its either a great investment or a money pool. I know you learn much more than you can at school than watching vids online & such but at the same time, recording is about who you know, not what you know.

Anyways, I'd rethink Pro Tools & check if your school offers a student discount on PT. I know PT is a money pit but if your school is using it and if you've gotta mix sessions outside of class, it'll be much easier to do it with PT than to mix it in Reaper then bounce it out to PT.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:16 PM   #17
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:42 PM   #18
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Oh God, Disarms on another one of his drunken Llama edits again

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:44 PM   #19
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Oh God, Disarms on another one of his drunken Llama edits again


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Old 12-04-2012, 11:51 PM   #20
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