lockwolf
Recording's AdBot/Dick
Join date: Jun 2007
1,422 IQ
#2
No, the Mac is outdated as they just released a new Mini.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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Sid McCall
(Actually, I'm Scott)
Join date: Jul 2006
2,713 IQ
#3
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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Tempoe
. . . ∆ . . .
Join date: Oct 2008
2,517 IQ
#4
Quote 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. .


+1000

DisarmGoliath
Disarms Goliaths
Join date: Dec 2008
1,411 IQ
#6
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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Cyonge
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
122 IQ
#7
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.

Cyonge
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
122 IQ
#8
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?

DisarmGoliath
Disarms Goliaths
Join date: Dec 2008
1,411 IQ
#9
Quote 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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kyle62
Need a dispenser here!
Join date: May 2007
1,619 IQ
#10
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.

Last edited by kyle62 at Dec 3, 2012,
Cyonge
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
122 IQ
#11
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..

lockwolf
Recording's AdBot/Dick
Join date: Jun 2007
1,422 IQ
#12
Quote 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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Cyonge
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
122 IQ
#13
Quote 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.

kyle62
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Join date: May 2007
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#14
Quote 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.

Cyonge
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2011
122 IQ
#15
Quote 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.

lockwolf
Recording's AdBot/Dick
Join date: Jun 2007
1,422 IQ
#16
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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lockwolf
Recording's AdBot/Dick
Join date: Jun 2007
1,422 IQ
#18
Oh God, Disarms on another one of his drunken Llama edits again

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blind illusion
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
11 IQ
#21
I just bought mine . I look forward to using it! I already have good headphones, and I use impulses and a line 6 pod for a lot of my recordings(keep in mind, im a hobbyist), and I mainly bought it for recording my music and my band. I can get more mics later, once I get the hang of recording and mixing a little bit more. The thing that sold me on it was that it comes with quite a bit of software. This is from the 2011 model- Included hardware:
• Mac Mini - 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 with 500GB internal HD and 2GB RAM with MacAlly keyboard and mouse
• Asus VS208N - 20” ultra-slim high-contrast LED monitor 1600x900 resolution
• Avid Recording Studio, including M-Audio Fast Track II USB audio interface
• Tascam TM-78 condenser microphone with cable and tripod
• Tascam HD-VT1 studio headphones

Included software
• Tunecore
• Big Fish Audio
• Sonivox
• Garageband
• Pro Tools SE
• Cubase 6 Elements
• Presonus Studio One Artist version 2
• Bias Peak Express 7
• Waves AudioTrack
• Toontrack EZmix
• iZotope Ozone 4
• BBE D82 LE plug-in
• Ik Multimedia T-Racks 3
• Focusrite Scarlett Compressor
• Antares AutoTune EFX
• Antares Punch Evo
• Melodyne Essential
• Native Instruments
• Komplete Elements
• Arturia Analog Factory Hip Hop Edition
• Steven Slate Drums GC3
• Sugar Bytes WOW Filter Box
• Lexicon MPX-L Reverb
• Music Lab Real Strat LE
• Softube Spring Reverb

Special added values
• Sonivox - $100 online voucher
• Tunecore – One free year ($50 album voucher)
• Big Fish Audio - $50 online voucher
• Macprovideo.com - $50 online library voucher
Features

Mac Mini - 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 with 500GB internal HD and 2GB RAM with MacAlly keyboard and mouse
Asus VS208N - 20” ultra-slim high-contrast LED monitor 1600x900 resolution
Avid Recording Studio, including M-Audio Fast Track II USB audio interface
Tascam recording microphone, cable, tripod and studio headphones.

Quite a lot of software if you ask me. In my opinion its not a bad deal for someone wanting to learn recording and mixing/mastering.
lockwolf
Recording's AdBot/Dick
Join date: Jun 2007
1,422 IQ
#22
Quote by blind illusion
• Mac Mini - 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 with 500GB internal HD and 2GB RAM with MacAlly keyboard and mouse


This is where my main hangup with this bundle comes from. Its an old Mac Mini and you can buy the bundle with the newer Mac for around the same price.

$600 for the new Mac Mini with a faster Processor & 4gb ram
$150 for the Mobile Pre
You can't buy the mic by itself but considering it comes bundled with a ton of other interfaces, it can't be more than $100 (and thats pushing it IMO)
$60 for the NanoKontrol
$30 for the Headphones
$100 for the monitor

So, for $1040, you've got the same bundle with a better Mac which I would prefer, especially with Pro Tools. I know Macs use less resources but with only 2gb of RAM, you aren't going to have very large sessions.
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ChemicalFire
King of Bacon Pancakes
Join date: Oct 2007
5,773 IQ
#23
They're charging HOW much for only 500gb and 2gb of ram?


This is why I don't like Macs.

Hackintosh's are fine, but Macs... ugh.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
lockwolf
Recording's AdBot/Dick
Join date: Jun 2007
1,422 IQ
#24
Quote by ChemicalFire
They're charging HOW much for only 500gb and 2gb of ram?


The model with the bundle is an older model but it retailed at $600 new. The Mac Minis are great systems if you want a surprisingly powerful Mac in a small footprint. The new ones can come equipped with a Core i7 & 1tb of Hard Drive. Swap out the stock 4gb of RAM for 16gb on your own (Because Apple charges $300 for $50 worth of parts and 5 minutes worth of extra labor) and you're set.

Though I think the Mac Mini's run on the laptop Processors instead of a traditional desktop processor since there is no 2.6ghz Core i7 and theres one for Mobile.
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kyle62
Need a dispenser here!
Join date: May 2007
1,619 IQ
#25
Quote by ChemicalFire
They're charging HOW much for only 500gb and 2gb of ram?


This is why I don't like Macs.

Hackintosh's are fine, but Macs... ugh.
My sentiments exactly.