Custom mac pro for music production
Of course, be sure to use our checklist above when finding the right Apple iMac for you. This is by far the safest pick as the best music making computer in the market today. View price for the Lenovo ThinkServer: Therefore, this is our our recommendation choice for Windows PC for producing music. Lenovo builds tanks, and the word among the internet supports that. This may be a bit excessive for some, but can more than handle any process you throw at it to act as the best music recording and production computer out there if you need a Windows machine.
Enter the Lenovo ThinkServer. See prices for the Acer Aspire: When it comes to the best music making and recording desktop PC, we have a few options.
Depending on which model you grab, there will be very feasible specifications to get your music making going out of the box. In fact, there will probably be people who scoff at the thought of making music anything but this. There are many specification combinations available to fit within your budget range, too such as screen size, memory capacity, processor speed for a price and more. Flying under the radar at times unfortunately due to the lack of heavily marketed brand names, PC Audio Labs brings us computers literally made for the tough processes of music production. We were unfamiliar with what they brought to the table until a few years ago, but after heavy research and asking around with other producers what their thoughts were, many had zero complaints and actually scoffed at the fact that we recommended any other music production computer aside from these guys.
They have quite a few models to choose from depending on budget — you can up go to a few thousands to grab a tank, or perhaps just under a thousand for a decent budget-friendly workstation for beginners. Check pricing for the Dell Inspiron: Dell Inspiron help is always available, too. The HP Pavilion is another popular and highly reviewed pre-built computer series in the market right now that brings us great specs and power for handling music production tasks.
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Just another decent computer series here that can act as the best music recording computer if you want a known brand and Windows desktop. These things are tanks. View price of the Acer Predator: Check price of the ThinkCentre: You are here: How to choose your computer for music production Your budget — As perhaps assumed, this is our first and foremost the biggest deciding factor.
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Many reading this article may be just starting to build a home studio , so keep in mind what other gear you need to balance your money out. However, we do recommend saving up as much cash and being as patient as you can, since computers will be a long-term investment for the next 5 or so years. Mac vs. When it comes to music production, this debacle is quite overplayed.
However, you can also read our PC or Mac for music making article for more detail into this popular argument before you continue on. What DAW are you using? Do you have your digital audio workstation picked out yet? If so, this may steer you towards a specific Mac or PC choice. Laptop vs. One of the biggest deciding factors for a laptop vs. These are all pre-built — We know many computer junkies out there who frown at those who buy computers that already have their insides picked out. I replaced it with a newer Mac Pro in and it is still my main Pro Tools computer and I must say it has served me pretty well.
Sadly though, my Mac Pro's service will have to come to an end soon. Over the last 12 months, it has started to show some serious signs of ageing, not necessarily in computing power but in everyday performance and reliability. At some point, it will be detrimental to my studio business, if I continue to ignore the clear signs of a failing Mac. In the very near future, I will have to replace this Mac Pro before it fails and leaves me compromised.
I currently have a Mac Pro cheese-grater - 2 x 2. Since then I have undertaken a number of upgrades So, all in all, I have a fairly pimped Mac Pro Cheese-grater, all be it not taking it as far as James My cheese-grater Mac Pro was an early Mac Pro, which originally shipped as a single quad-core machine.
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About 2 years ago with the help of the guys at Create Pro, it was upgraded to 2 x 3. This machine was rock solid since I got it from the Apple Refurbished store, never skipping a beat during a session. So about 6 months ago, it was time to consider a replacement and I chose to go for a Windows-based Pro Tools computer and you can read more about this further down this article. As James mentioned he introduced us to a concept that he describes as "pimping" a Mac Pro 5.
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In fact, the outcome from this pimping gave his Mac Pro 5. While this upgrade option could be a good solution for getting extra mileage out of an ageing Mac Pro one would need to consider if it might be a false economy, especially in James pimped his machine back in We also don't know when Apple will decide to stop supporting Mac Pro 5. The cost of the upgrading the processor and other crucial components to the level James chose is not inconsequential, in fact, the costs of "pimping" an old Mac Pro to match the spec of a current Mac Pro can be not that different to buying a new entry-level Mac Pro 6.
We suggest that any piece of hardware, including a computer, should be considered a disposable equipment write-off when its value depreciates to a certain point with potential costs of upgrading or fixing it exceeding that second value. In both cases you are buying older technology, all be it more recent than the Mac Pro 5.
How to choose your computer for music production
On the other hand, the Mac Mini's do have new features like Thunderbolt unlike the Mac Pro cheese-grater and it is possible to buy the late model new and take out Applecare with it, whereas it would be pot-luck with a secondhand 2. More about these further down this article. However, for HDX users it may be more problematic as the computer and screen are in one box and may not be a viable solution. For example, Mike has his computer in a separate cupboard to keep the noise down, with the keyboard and monitors on extension cables. Not being able to split the monitor and keyboard would be an issue, with Mike either having to invest in an expensive fibre Thunderbolt cable, so the chassis with the cards can be in the cupboard with the hard drives, or bring everything out of the cupboard and suffer the noise issues.
The iMac is not a cheap solution either and the form factor probably rules it out for most HDX users as you are more than likely need to have the Pro tools computer, expansion chassis and storage in the room with you. The iMac Pro machines are due out this year but initially, they won't be approved by Avid so until they are and we have more detail on the pricing we will need to park this option.
Although looking at the provisional spec they do have a lot going for them So if the iMac form factor suits you then it might be worth waiting until the iMac Pro comes out, hopefully before the end of In Apple announced the latest Mac Pro, what is usually referred to as the Trashcan. This bold new Mac Pro design ditched internal expandability, and although it is ideal for a wide range of professional users, the world nearly ended for us audio guys.
We could no longer install cards such from brands such as UAD or Avid without some kind of third-party Thunderbolt chassis attached. There are 4 Mac Pro 6. The one thing to consider with the current Mac Pro 6. In , the Mac Pro 6. But in would you consider buying a model Mac Pro, especially with the Mac Pro just over the horizon?
Is investing in a current Mac Pro today as silly as buying a new iPhone in August - no one does it because new iPhones are usually announced in September, or this case two new iPhones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X! If it isn't smart purchasing a new Mac Pro 6. Dan investigated this option as he believes that short-term leasing could be a smart move for the professional, but this probably wouldn't be a viable solution for music producer hobbyist or enthusiast. Apple has stated that a new Mac Pro is on the horizon in , so why not wait for it?
Why not have a stepping stone that can bridge the gap affordably between now and then? We have found two UK based companies that lease current Mac Pro 6. These services include software and hardware support. If the computer fails for any reason you get another delivered immediately.
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If you lease a Mac Pro 6. The cost of buying a Mac Pro 6. A temporary Mac Pro lease could be a pretty good option for the professional. Leasing saves investing thousands in purchasing a current Mac Pro 6. Would anyone want to buy a 1-year-old trashcan with technology when the new modular Mac Pros are available? Maybe not, and it is likely that will have a negative impact on the resale value of a Mac Pro 6. If you went down this lease route and wanted to retain your HDX cards then you will need to buy a PCIe expansion chassis. If this a stop-gap whilst waiting for the new Mac Pro, then you are almost certainly still going to need an expansion chassis so you can use your HDX cards with the Mac Pro so that will not be a wasted investment.
Another option is to hold on and wait for the new modular Mac Pro that Apple is planning to release in We have very little information on the new Mac Pro. We do know from the Apple discussions, that were made public about the limitations of the existing trashcan, that the Mac Pro will have one larger GPU and we think we can surmise that elements, especially the GPU, will be replaceable but it is Mike's view that this modular design will be mainly to make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis including high-end CPUs and GPUs, rather than a Mac Pro that will have a lot of user-upgradeable elements to it, as the Mac Pro cheese-grater had.
In his opinion, as much as it pains him to say it, this concept would sit much better with Apple's design ethos, as it seems that the only reason they are looking at a new Mac Pro is the way that GPU usage has changed which means the existing Mac Pro 6. Being realistic we would expect it to have Thunderbolt 3 capability.
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Surely it would be bonkers to produce a new version of the Mac Pro which only supported Thunderbolt 2? Moving onto processors, it needs to support the latest processors so that Mac users can get the same bang for our buck as Windows users who have access to the current generation of processors. It should have memory slots with plenty of expansion space, rather than soldered in memory, so we can extend the machine's memory as software and the OS develop. It would be lovely if it was rack mounted but we suspect that the new Mac Pro will still be a 'designer machine' rather than a workhorse, so the best we can hope for is that it will be equally at home in a machine room and in the studio.
As to price, it's not going to be cheap. Apple is going to be looking for a swift return on their investment from this single digit percentage market of Mac users. That said, hopefully, the modular design will provide Apple with a product with a longer life and so a better ROI but we will have to see.