PC vs Mac vs VF16 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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PC vs Mac vs VF16

I need some advice. We're considering a new computer, Macs are pretty kickass these days, yet I'm old school PC stuff. We would like to incorporate music with the system. What is the best way to go?

The plan is that we want to be able to set up a studio and have a website. Protools would be the preferred investment,,,,however due to financial situation we may just have to go with the "free protools version" for final mix or what ever, due to the fact of it's limitations I figured it may work just fine for finishing a recording done on a peripheral system ie. VF16.

Can a VF16 transfer recording directly to the computer? and would it matter whether it was mac or pc?

Thanks..
~A
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 04:46 PM
 
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Re: PC vs Mac vs VF16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Garrow
I need some advice. We're considering a new computer, Macs are pretty kickass these days, yet I'm old school PC stuff. We would like to incorporate music with the system. What is the best way to go?

The plan is that we want to be able to set up a studio and have a website. Protools would be the preferred investment,,,,however due to financial situation we may just have to go with the "free protools version" for final mix or what ever, due to the fact of it's limitations I figured it may work just fine for finishing a recording done on a peripheral system ie. VF16.

Can a VF16 transfer recording directly to the computer? and would it matter whether it was mac or pc?

Thanks..
~A
VF16 can backup WAV files to an external SCSI JAZ drive, which can then be read by a PC. Or, the data can be played over lightpipe into a PCI lightpipe card (I use a Frontier WaveCenter PCI) 8 channels at a time.

If cost is an issue, I'd do PC. You won't get the same flexibility at the same price with Mac.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 06:47 PM
 
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The mac is your best choice for performance, but when you mention budget issues, I might recommend saving money with the PC in favor of more software, or better software, or adding some good mic pre's for example. You'll get more bang for your buck with a PC, even though I concede the mac is better. Afterall, processing speed, operating efficiency, and ruggedness do not play into the sound of your final mix, but preamps, effects software, mastering software etc. all are detrimental.

It's a little unclear if you're asking for advice to buy a VF16 or if you already have one or have used one, but I wouldn't invest one red cent into a "box." Put every dime into the computer setup. (and a surge protector )
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have used the VF16 and like it, but don't own one yet. I'm old school like the old tascam tape recorders.
Currnently I am using a yamaha MD4. looking to upgrade and kill 2 birds iwith one stone. Looking for a no hassle yet good machine both pc and for recording.

~A
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 02:20 AM
ns9
 
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Mac vs PC is such an old debate, and a futile one at that.

Decide what software you plan to use.

Self-evaluation: Do you know the Win OS really well? If not, go Mac. If so, keep going

Which OS do you prefer? Have you tried both XP and OS-X?

DO you want to be able to upgrade individual parts inside the system? If yes, PC.

While Mac enjoyed a very brief period of being able to claim performance superiority, that month has come and gone. Current AMD offerings are out-performing the G5, and even with the 3.0 dualies coming, PC is once again ahead a step. Pricing a PC using AMD to be equal to or slightly better spec (more RAM for PC, more PCI slots, etc) results in a machine with a price tag just $5 under the current top banana (err- sorry- top Apple). Few more weeks and that miniscule gap will widen.

PC has a higher hardware configuring felxabilty, but it comes at a price: Gotta know what you are doing, and need to be able to troubleshoot should the choices not *behave* well with other components or software installed.

Apple is "computing without having to think or learn." ANYONE not well acquainted with the WIn OS would do best with a Mac, and those working with a Mac at their job would do best staying there as well. Macs are great machines, as are well-built PCs.

Nikki
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 06:12 AM
 
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Ah yes, the mac vs. pc debate is old as time itself, but hey.. the war still needs to be fought!

The idea that a computer literate person shouldn't use a mac is rediculous. With Unix behind the hood, OS X is a powerhouse for developers.

I used PCs since I was 4 years old, starting on a 286 in DOS. I finally switched to Macs about 2 years ago and I'm as hardcore a mac fanatic as they come. YMMV, but I cringe everytime I have to use a friends PC these days.

You can get a dual 1GHz G4 for around $1300 and a single 1GHz G4 for right around 1K from the refurbished sites, like small dog. A dual G4 1GHz is a smoking machine.

In my opinion, if you're planning on opening a commercial studio (you mentioned a website), you better have at least $1500 to drop on a computer, and probably 20k-100k to spend on gear and software.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again guys for all the information.

Jester700, you mentioned PCI light pipe, can you elaborate a little on what your process is?
What I'm out to do, is to simply record some music, and have a website that is sort of a showcase of my concepts/soundtracks etc... along with art, maybe short films, and some thought provoking writings and observations. I have no intention of becoming a recording studio at this point. I just want to give the best respesentation of my music and to have enough machine both PC and Recording to make it sound and look nice without going broke ( gotta keep some cash aside for any new jems for 2004 . What sort of soft ware do you use? I really like the idea of using the VF16 along with a PC. I don't know much about Macs, I've used them but I have used Pc's forever, I've done data bases and spreadsheets and worked in autocad. I feel at home in the PC realm and enjoy the tactile feel of portable multitracks.
If you wouldn't mind, could you walk me through the process you take from recording to computer and then tell me where you can go from there with what software? Dude I really appreciate your help.

~A
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 11:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ns9
Current AMD offerings are out-performing the G5, and even with the 3.0 dualies coming, PC is once again ahead a step. Pricing a PC using AMD to be equal to or slightly better spec (more RAM for PC, more PCI slots, etc) results in a machine with a price tag just $5 under the current top banana (err- sorry- top Apple). Few more weeks and that miniscule gap will widen.
Are you sure about this? I won't say you are wrong, you might know the MAC vs AMD ratio really good. But from the tests found here, it seems difficult to set up two similar machines.

Only curious, nothing else.

Euph
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 12:29 PM
 
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If you're already familiar with PCs, I'd stay there.

I use Sony's Vegas for multitrack mixing (it used to be a Sonic Foundry program). There are other good multitrack packages, but I use Vegas for multicam video editing too, and having one interface is nice.

I record into the VF16, then port it over to the PC for mixing. You can do this 2 ways. Before I got a JAZ drive, I would record them over lightpipe into the PC. You can do this 8 channels at a time manually, or let it save the whole program. With this, it'll play out 8 channels to the end of the song, then wait several seconds (IIRC about 30), play tracks 9-16, wait again, play tracks 17-24. So you get 8 LONG tracks. One would have, say, tracks 1, 9, and 17 on it, one after the other. Then in Vegas, you can easily split these up into groups and then line them up (easier if you have a stick click at the beginning).

Nowadays, though, I only use the lightpipe for short bits. For whole songs of 8 or more tracks, I pull out my external SCSI JAZ, backup the song(s) to JAZ, then connect the JAZ to my PC (via a firewire to SCSI convertor). The tracks are already named (like TUNE1_01.wav through TUNE1_24.wav) and I can work with them right from the JAZ drive. I usually copy the tracks over, though, because I'm not convinced of JAZ's long term stability when getting hammered in multitrack audio.

Have you visited the VF16 forum yet?
http://pub15.ezboard.com/bvf16
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Excellent man! No haven't check out that forum yet but I certainly will. How much Ram are using? What size is your system?

~A
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 02:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Garrow
Excellent man! No haven't check out that forum yet but I certainly will. How much Ram are using? What size is your system?

~A
AMD Barton 2500+ running at 2100MHz (roughly 3000+/3100+ level)
512MB RAM
40GB 7200 RPM system drive
80GB and 120GB 7200RPM audio/video capture drives in swappable bays (plus external firewire case with swap bay so I can access both at once if needed)
Dual monitor (18" LCD & 19" CRT) for Vegas
WaveCenter PCI for lightpipe transfers
Echo MIA for analog in/out
Jog/Shuttle controller for Vegas
External SCSI JAZ drive
VF16 w/10GB drive
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 03:22 PM
 
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The performance issue is a waste of time with a brand new up to date computer. If you are going to use any kind of external 'box' as your primary input, a 3 year old computer of your choice will be up to processing the audio...

Guy
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 05:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyCool
The performance issue is a waste of time with a brand new up to date computer. If you are going to use any kind of external 'box' as your primary input, a 3 year old computer of your choice will be up to processing the audio...

Guy
That may be true. I buy based on needs (well, OK, WANTS) for video, and I never have audio issues. But it does depend on what is going to happen - 8 tracks with 1 effect per track? 24 tracks with comp, gate, delay, and verb for every track?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 07:18 PM
ns9
 
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[quote="SKM"]
The idea that a computer literate person shouldn't use a mac is rediculous. <snip>quote]

Never said that

Simply said that if you are NOT savvy, go Mac. Apple does *most* of the extra work a "power" user, or "tweak geek" would require (or want), but that is only my opinion , and thus my suggestion.

Nikki
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 07:27 PM
ns9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Euphor
Quote:
Originally Posted by ns9
Current AMD offerings are out-performing the G5, and even with the 3.0 dualies coming, PC is once again ahead a step. Pricing a PC using AMD to be equal to or slightly better spec (more RAM for PC, more PCI slots, etc) results in a machine with a price tag just $5 under the current top banana (err- sorry- top Apple). Few more weeks and that miniscule gap will widen.
Are you sure about this? I won't say you are wrong, you might know the MAC vs AMD ratio really good. But from the tests found here, it seems difficult to set up two similar machines.

Only curious, nothing else.

Euph
Hi!
Posted this on another forum amidst a very heated debate on Mac vs PC as far as the price/power thing is concerned...This was a few weeks ago, prices may have come down slightly, and *better* components for the PC (and maybe Mac) available as well.

<snip>
With that in mind, lets go shopping!

A true PC geek will shop. A PC girl geek is more dangerous Let's see what we can get!
OK- want those Apple 23's? Cool! Can use em with PC. So price is equal there. Next is the basics: Case, PS and fans:
Chieftec server case minus PS, with clear quick-off side panel- $60
Antec TrueBlue 480 (max geek)- $90
Fans- alot to choose from- Zalman, Papst, Panaflo, etc. Av. $20 ea, need 2, $40

Now onto MB, CPU and mem. Since the G5 has 8G cap, dual cpu- time for some fun
Motherboard:
Tyan Thunder K8W, S2885ANRF Dual Opteron/SATA RAID/8X/GB/1394 mboard. AGP8X/PCI-x/Firewire.
We will ignore that it can do up to 16G o' RAM, since the G5 cant do that But, the Mac does have the new firewire800. Then again, the Tyan does have FOUR PCI-X, and one "old" PCI. Both have 8x AGP. Price: $450
Opteron 2G- $750 ea., $1500
RAM- G5 comes with 512, with some places offering up to 1G additional free. Matched price: $400
$2540 so far! Getting close!

Video: ATI 9600: Well, we'll exceed the G5 here again- 9600 Pro 128 (vs G5 64M): $85
SATA 160G 7200rpm (match G5): $120
Win XP Pro: $120
DVD/CD equiv: $85
Keyboard/optical mouse- $40
TOTAL: $2990
Mac G5: $2994.98

So, if ya want a system, those two are within $5 of each other.
Differences:
With PC, on your own Better know what you are doing!
But, case has enough room for a few more drives.
As faster Opterons come out, pop 'em in.
RAM is equal on both sides, but- poor G5- PC can go TWICE as much.
Oh wow- can actually sub an ATI 9200 128M Fanless vid card, and have quieter performance. Original card choosen can always have the fan replaced with fanless system.

<snip>

Win XP is available in 64-bit version, Mac currently does not offer an equivalent.

Like I said- they are both GREAT machines. It is simply preference, and what your use will be. A commercial recording studio in North America is best served with Macs. Go elsewhere in the world, and this will not always hold true. If one has the time and money, best solution is the same as it has been for years: Buy both!

Nikki
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