#1
I'm not terribly serious about my musical career - it's a hobby that I like to share with friends and family. Some of those friends take music a bit more seriously, and I try to help them out when I can - fill in on bass, help write songs, and now . . . . recording.

Currently, I have a PC running Windows Vista Homewith- 3GB RAM, AMD Athlon 64 4000+, and a SB Audigy 24-bit EAX sound card. So, I'm trying to decide between just buying a USB audio interface and some solid recording software - maybe a Digidesign Mbox 2 Mini Recording Bundle from Musician's Friend - or buying an iMac or even a Mac Mini and running Garage Band.

I'm leaning towards the Mac option, just because then I would have a computer dedicated to the creative process. At the same time, it's a lot more money to accomplish basically the same task.

So, if it were you, personally, which way would you go?

Thanks, ya'll.
#2
well i am a mac kind of guy but in your case I think it would be a good idea to put the computer money into a better interface and other hardware and or software.

Do you have a budget?
What will you be recording? guitar bass drums?
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
#3
My budget is around $1500 - enough for a decent Mac. Mostly, I'm going to be recording guitar and vocals. For writing and recording demos, I don't mind doing drums and bass and such as computer-generated instruments.

Right now, I'm using the "tape out" on a 4-channel mixer to run to the stereo line input on my sound card, recording in Audacity and using Hydrogen for drums. The whole "rig" cost me less than $100, so really, anything's an upgrade.

#4
I personally say go the mac, then when you can buy another interface like the emu 0202 (apparently its like 130 bucks) so then you'll have decent quality for a good price.

A lot of people trash mac on here but yes, its more expensive, but your not paying just for the computer, your paying for the whole package it comes with and the knowledge that it works perfectly out of the box and it still is the creative industry standard. Hell apparently even some of the windows vista promo flyers that were made for vista were made on a mac.
#5
You don't have firewire by any chance do you?

Do you have to buy the software, or do you mind stealing it. The software will cost half the budget

I liked adobe audition last time I used it. I only used it for the audio restoration functionality before I got iZotope RX though. Looked quite nice.

Get a USB 2.0 audio interface. MOTU 828 MKII USB are probably good (I only have experience with the firewire MKI but can vouch for that).
It only has two preamps so you'll probably want to grab a couple more. Even cheap 3rd party pre-amps will be good enough though. Stock pre-amps are never that good unless you go really high end.

Then a couple of SM57's and a stereo pair of Rode NT1-A's.


Basicly, you want:

- A good audio interface (USB 2.0 specifically. Anything older and you won't be able to stream more than a single stereo stream).
- A couple of general purpose dynamics and a couple of general purpose condensers (preferably matched for x-y pair usage.
- Some half decent software.


For $1500 you should be able to score some decent kit.

Don't bother with the mac unless you really feel the need for one. That PC you got sounds nicely spec'd.


Get some half decent monitors if you don't have any too. Rokit RP5's are superb value (and just generally great, irrespective of the cost..).


Edit: I would like to add that I'm a self confessed mac fanboy.
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Last edited by willieturnip at Jan 29, 2009,
#6
If you were to go the mac route are you looking for an imac or a macbook? new or used? Take note the new macbooks no longer have firewire so you will not be able to easiy upgrade if you were to go the macbook route. If you are going the imac route than I would wait about a month or so when the new imacs come out. This upgrade seems like it will be a significant one for the new imac lineup.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
#7
I was thinking of an iMac, yes. Some of the amp and effect modeling features in GarageBand '09 look to be fairly easy to use (which is a key element for me) and sound solid.

Just out of curiosity, and since I'm kind of on the topic, what about the MacMini? If all I'm really doing is recording music and making the occasional video, would the Mini have enough power?
#8
Do you want decent recording hardware or a nice shiny new mac?

Sounds like you have already made up your mind..
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#9
I can vouch for the MacMini. I use LogicStudio on it, with no problems whatsoever. If you get the top model, it will be more than enough. Its pretty similar spec's to the iMac's anyway - the only differenciator being the graphics card, screen and hardrive.

So yeah, I'd save your cash and get the MacMini over the iMac.
#10
Everything arrived yesterday and today!



That's a Mac mini with 2GB of RAM, a 22" LCD monitor, M-Audio monitors, and an M-Audio keyboard midi controller. It was literally the easiest computer setup I've ever done. I opened the boxes, plugged everything in, and it was ready to go.

Why have I wasted so much time of PCs?
#11
No idea. Macs are the only way forward.

Congrats .
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#12
Nice setup. That screen looks awfully yellow though? Have you set it up properly? Or was it just the flash messing things up?

Still, you definitely made a brilliant choice with the Mac Mini. Are you going to get Logic at some point?