Audio recording - what computer to buy?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I will use my computer for recording music, using software like ProTools along with their new USB module. I was wondering if the new iMac would work well with it, or should I save my money for a little longer and get the PM 933? I know the bus speeds are different 100 vs 133, how much of a difference will that make? Also the L3 cache on the 933, how much of a difference would that make? BTW I will be mixing music more often than recording it. Thanks.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    I forgot to ask would an ibook (Combo Drive) be an option to consider for what I want to do. And the module made by Digi is called the Mbox. Thanks
  • Reply 2 of 3
    If you're just starting out, ANY of the Mac models will do fine for basic digital audio recording. And if you're using a USB audio interface, I'm gonna assume that you're not doing high-end pro work for major $$$. An iBook will do you just fine, same goes for an iMac (at least the recent models). A Powermac will be that much better, allowing you more channels of simultaneous digital audio recording & playback, due to the faster processor, bus and hard drive.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Check out some of the mac audio web sites (eg <a href="" target="_blank"></a> to get a feel for the trade offs. In audio, a fast cpu lets you run more simultaneous synth / effect thingies in your mix and a fast drive lets you mix more simultaneous tracks at deeper bitrates. A tower (eg the 933 PM) lets you add disk and wierd audio pci cards. It also lets you get an extra monitor (non mirror) to handle all the real estate of the big pro mixer guis. But with the newer, faster firewire drives, you can add disk add nauseum to an ibook/imac. So the rationale for the tower really comes down to the cpu-intensive effects, monitor and potentially upgrading from the mbox to some pro audio capture device.

    To mix 8-16 tracks with a couple of reverbs and a live synth track you shouldn't need anything more than an ibook (G3). The new imac ought to be just peachy.

    Maybe in a while when you've got dozens of simultaneous tracks to mix and want to load up on the electronica effects you can dig deep and shell out for the biggest baddest PowerMac tower. By then it'll be a quad 1.5gig wonder. Right?
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