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Old 02-07-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
MaKaToM
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Angry New iMac

OK, so I've never used a single apple product in my life (not even an iPod, shock horror!) but I decided that for recording music, an Apple product had to be the best option, as that's what all of the music shops told me.

So, 2,200 later here I am. I bought a 27" iMac with a 3.5Ghz Quad core processor, 1TB fusion drive, GeForce 675GTX graphics and 32gb of RAM.

Sounds great doesn't it...but Mac's are a NIGHTMARE to use!!!

Anyways, I plugged my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 into one of the USB 3.0 ports and installed the drivers from their website. Now, however...the iMac built in HD webcam refuses to work at all when Reaper, Ableton, Garageband or anything else is open. I have to close all applications that could be linked to the Scarlett before the camera begins to work...???

I'm guessing I have driver issues but, being that it's a Mac and not a windows based machine, I have no idea how to fix this issue...???

Any and all help is appreciated.

Thank you :-)
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Probably because the focusrite is taking over recording duties ALL of them... even the ones it can't do.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
MaKaToM
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Correctomundo I think. THANK YOU!!!

I unplugged the Scarlett completely and then the mac began working properly again.

Now, anyone any ideas how to render an .avi in Reaper????

Tom
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #4
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Well, I'm a Mac user (and a Windows user, but not for music) and I would still not recommend a Mac to a beginner in recording/audio engineering, unless you're willing to put in the hours to become familiar with it (can be a shock to the senses).

I know you thought you did the right thing, but unless you have some background knowledge on the subject, never ask the store assistants in a music shop for advice - they usually work on commission, or are told to push certain products, and quite often they are not experts in the slightest. There may be one or two, rarely more, assistants in the shop who actually know enough to advise customers on everything they sell. The rest are just doing a job for money and probably don't know much about most things they sell, other than the RRP and what the basic info that comes with the product says.


The reason your built-in camera won't work is probably because the Focusrite replaces the onboard sound card and that is confusing the camera (mac built in mic also won't work at this point). I imagine if you go into System Preferences > Audio you can set the Focusrite as the interface (though it will usually do this when plugged in anyway) and then go into the Video preferences and set the camera to continue to work, and the audio to go from the interface.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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Thank you Disarm! You are my new go to guy!!!

I have another question now, I will have a look at the settings tomorrow, as I've gone to bed.

I have managed to render a .avi file through reaper but the video has come out all choppy like...



That's the video.

Format - AVI
Video Codec - Huffyuv (lossless)
Audio Codec - 16 bit PCM

They are the settings I changed when rendering...everything else stayed normal.

Thank you bro,

Tom
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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No problem

Well, I'm waiting for my new machine to arrive, so I can't give you an exact guide for a new Mac on Mountain Lion (I'm currently still on Leopard/OS X 10.5.8 ), but on my '08 iMac to render any video, I mix the audio (in Logic, in my case, but Reaper applies in this case) and bounce that, then I open iMovie and add the audio to the video in there, and you will have far more options for the rendering of the video. Try that and have a play around with the different settings.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaKaToM
So, 2,200 later here I am.

JESUS TITTYF*CKING CHRIST

This is why Apple is such a dumb way to go.

My mate spent around 1500 on his machine and it's a 16-core water-cooled monster with a RAID 10 array and dual graphics cards. Even after factoring in the extra 400 for his triple 28" monitors and mounting brackets, you're way below the cost of your shiny Apple toy.


Seriously, take it back for a refund and get something less ludicrous. You've paid a 1000+ premium for an operating system you don't even like.
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Last edited by kyle62 : 02-07-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:27 AM   #8
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Once you learn Mac's & OS X you'll be amazed... I use Windows 7 64-bit and Mountain Lion 64-bit (Bootcamp) - I installed my 11 Rack & Pro Tools 10 on my Mac Partition and it works flawlessly.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:19 AM   #9
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Thanks again disarm, i'll tey that after work.

as.for the mac, folk in different music shops (Dawsons, Trad, PMT etc) all said that macs were the way to go, as they are incresibly powerful and just work...no d!cking about swapping out parts when they decide to melt...theyjust work.

i sold a guitar that I don't play anymore to fund the project and, honestly, its blisteringly fast! The only issues I have are because I'm used to PCs. For example, having no right click really threw me off... I have figured it out now. Remember, anything I don't understand or can't do is STUPID!

I just have to get used to the OS.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaKaToM
as.for the mac, folk in different music shops (Dawsons, Trad, PMT etc) all said that macs were the way to go, as they are incresibly powerful and just work...no d!cking about swapping out parts when they decide to melt...theyjust work.

Complete and utter shite.

Macs use exactly the same quality parts as PCs.

The CPU is a bog-standard x86 Intel, the RAM is standard DDR3 (usually from Samsung or wherever) the same as most manufacturers use, their fancy-pants new 'Fusion Drive' is basically just a Samsung PM830 and a standard 7200rpm drive bolted together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by =MaKaToM
no d!cking about swapping out parts when they decide to melt


Actually, the iMac's slim design is a major compromise on airflow and cooling - you get a lot of overheating problems. Which makes them less efficient and reduces the lifespan of the components. Stuff is more likely to break. And what's more, when something does go wrong, you don't have the option of swapping it out.


In my PC, if for some unlikely reason my CPU fries itself midway through a great recording session, I can replace it with a different one from my spares bin in about 20 minutes, maybe an hour tops. The band can go off for a break, come back and I'll be ready to roll. Same for hard drives, bad RAM, video card, whatever.

If the same scenario happened with an iMac....I'd have to send the band home and tell them to come back in a week or two. There's NOTHING you can do except go through Apple.




....OK, so I am clearly not a fan of Apple, but I'm not just some raving fanboy....their consumer-level stuff like the iPad and iPhone is very good at what it does, if a bit pricey, and is clearly a great business model.


However, this ludicrous fallacy that Macs are somehow 'better' for audio and creative work....that's a load of bollocks. I just cannot believe you can spend 2,200 and get so little.
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Last edited by kyle62 : 02-08-2013 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #11
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Fair Do's mate. Guess its lucky for you that its my cash.

I'll stick with it and see how I get on.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:27 AM   #12
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Don't worry about Kyle, as he admitted - he hates Macs

As long as you know what you're getting, and don't buy into Apple for the wrong reasons, I don't personally see the problem. Apple are very expensive for the 'on-paper' spec. but what Kyle has skirted around, and partially dismissed incorrectly, is that you do get far fewer driver issues with a Mac than many PC's, because when drivers are made for Mac, the developers know there are very few possible hardware configurations they need to code for - with a Windows-based machine there are so many potential configurations available, that it is obvious that some will work better than others, which is clearly shown by the fact that everybody recommends Texas Instruments FireWire chipsets over the other brands, because they tend to be more stable.

Additionally, there is a lot of high-quality professional audio equipment that is Mac-only, and I wouldn't be able to use my Apogee Duet if I didn't have a Mac, nor could I use Logic Pro, which I prefer to all the other DAWs I've used (and that's the majority of commercial ones). Whether you like Macs or not, it's personal preference in many respects and while I think that the shop were trying their best to sell you an expensive product (and Kyle is correct that the 'Macs are the best for audio' thing is often very exaggerated*) I do think you have a great machine that will last you a long time.



*Ok, technically Kyle flat-out disputed it, but I will agree to take him at a compromise
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:34 AM   #13
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Ahh, I love the whole Mac Vs PC debate. 99% of the time, it just comes down to "who gives a ****?"
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
As long as you know what you're getting, and don't buy into Apple for the wrong reasons

There's the answer for the whole PC/Mac debate right there.

Apple make 'premium' stuff with a very specific target audience. If you want a simplified, stripped-down user experience with a self-contained ecosystem, it can be very useful.
I personally hate the whole Apple ethos, because I want lots of control and like to save money, but for some people it makes computing much less stressful.



The important thing is to never listen to blanket statements that can't be backed up by evidence.

"Macs are just better for recording"
"You'll never get a truly pro mix without using Pro Tools'
"If you're not using an SM57 for guitar, you're doing it wrong"
"Digital is cold and sterile, you need tape to get that warm pro sound"
"Everyone knows you can't get a good guitar tone using modelling"

If you don't learn to spot unsubstantiated opinion presented as fact, you can end up getting some very bad advice.

I only brought this up because it sounds like the OP got pretty heavily pressured into buying a Mac, though it may not have been the ideal choice for his needs.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
"Digital is cold and sterile, you need tape to get that warm pro sound"


Heh, thats actually what Slate Digital's VCC's Marketing Campaign is nowadays. One of their recent posts was about how a guy tried VCC versus an outboard summing box (I'm gonna assume the 2-Bus since its one of the more popular ones) and VCC won.

Anyways, back on topic.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
However, this ludicrous fallacy that Macs are somehow 'better' for audio and creative work....that's a load of bollocks. I just cannot believe you can spend 2,200 and get so little.

As a Comp Sci student, I've always kind of been on this side of it. I mean, Macs are fairly easy for someone like me to use. But honestly...I'd rather get a PC. The thing that annoys me most about Macs is that you HAVE to use Apple's machines. You can't just buy an OS dvd or whatever. So, basically...you're paying for their brand.

Anyway, I do know there are a lot of Mac only recording things. That said, I'm sure you don't always need them. It's that some people prefer those things.



Anyway, since you already paid for it, TS, and seem to want to stick with it; you're looking forward to an adjustment process. But that may actually make you better at recording in the long run.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
As a Comp Sci student, I've always kind of been on this side of it. I mean, Macs are fairly easy for someone like me to use. But honestly...I'd rather get a PC. The thing that annoys me most about Macs is that you HAVE to use Apple's machines. You can't just buy an OS dvd or whatever. So, basically...you're paying for their brand.


Let me introduce you to the world of Hackintoshing
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by lockwolf
Let me introduce you to the world of Hackintoshing

Well, yes...but you get zero support from Apple that way.

They technically consider it illegal. If I loved Apple, I'd run it via Hackintosh. But I don't love Apple enough to want to do that.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockwolf
Heh, thats actually what Slate Digital's VCC's Marketing Campaign is nowadays. One of their recent posts was about how a guy tried VCC versus an outboard summing box (I'm gonna assume the 2-Bus since its one of the more popular ones) and VCC won.

Anyways, back on topic.

I'm very partial to TB Reelbus or Waves Kramer Master Tape on the 2bus, for sure. I didn't like Waves NLS at all though when I tried it, I thought it actually summed the audio through physically modelled console but it's just a nice-but-expensive bus/track colouring tool. Harrison Mixbus is marketed around the same principles.

Terry West's Saturn is a great free plugin for adding some subtle colouration, as well as FerricTDS, TesslaPRO etc.


Ok, tape/analog really does sound better for a lot of things, but people need to remember that's due to flaws in the medium that happen to be pleasing (saturation, crosstalk, wow and flutter etc) and not because it's better quality.

The fact is, modern digital recording is far better quality than the old analog techniques in pretty much every measurable way.
If you could go back to the 60s and show an engineer Pro Tools HD, I bet they'd happily scrap their Neve consoles and Pulteq EQs within a week!
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Last edited by kyle62 : 02-08-2013 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaKaToM
For example, having no right click really threw me off... I have figured it out now.

Huh? Mac has had right click for quite a while... Just because the mouse only has one button doesn't mean you can't click on the right side of it.
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