Do I really need a MAC?

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abhayadevs
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Have been doing my recording and mixing in Linux Laptops and Desktops for some time. Now planning for a Interface upgrade and most of them are having Firewire outputs(for more bandwidth) and my laptops don't have one to plug them in :(
So need to consider a MAC so that i can do some on-site recordings and also Ardour have MAC version too,,,

any suggestions/advice...

abhayadevs
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also there are some other attractions... i get original drivers for MAC and i get Ardour for MAC.. thats really great ;)

fernesto
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@abhayadevs: firewire is a good solution, sadly not included in today's 99,5% of PC Laptops, however there are a few USB 2.0 devices that work on linux and have a lot of I/Os, not going to make a list since i've only worked with one but i know for sure the Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 works pretty well on linux, in fact i'm using it right now, i know also that other interfaces in the scarlett series also work with linux, like the 18i20 which has 18 inputs and 20 outputs. there can be other interfaces of other brands but i've only worked with the 18i6, and is very good, not as stable as Firewire but close enough.

If your budget allows it (mine doesn't) and you actually find Apple's software and license policies attractive (i don't the latter...) then you'll get a very nice setup, stable with updated drivers, free to buy any interface without minding ffado or alsa supporting it, and easier to work with user interface overall (although too minimalistic for me, i like to change things and being able to screw it all, feels like freedom linux vs "do what we let you" in mac). At some point my work will make me buy one, but in 2 and 1/2 years using Linux i've been happy, free (to either improve or screw my system) and been able to use either PCI, Firewire or USB on my Desktop and Firewire and USB on my Laptop.

Hope that helps a bit.

nedzad
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Hand on heart it is the best way, mac and ardour.
(i still must use PT, Logic,Wavelab...)
At professionals Its still a "must be".

There are second hand macs, driver is core audio.....

But, its almost always more money.
Trouble comes when you need one daw stationary at studio, one for onsite recordings, one....
Here, you would be better at making your own audio PC´s!
the power of knowing alsa system and rt kernel is real freedom.

Try linux, try some pc´s with linux and ardour.

nedzad
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try some pcmcia cards on linux laptop (if you dont have FW), and RME products.
You ll get crazy :)

abhayadevs
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its been a decade iam with linux and into audio/home studio domain since last 2 years.. sticking mainly with Ubuntu Studio for years and playing around with my Focusrite 8i6 (connected to windows laptop for less/no support tin Linux) and Delta 2496 in Linux desktop (interconnected via SPDIF/analog inputs) so that i can enjoy the Scarllet Mix Control in Windows and also have a 4 channel mono available in Linux desktop for multi track recording. This is good as long as i need to do in-house recordings. Now, planning for an upgrade, mainly with more mic-pres and thus more tracks.. and I still love Linux if given a chance i wont get out of it. Also, i need to upgrade my a decade old laptop also... so all these together is driving me towards the MAC Book Pro ! The RME is a good option but my laptops don't have the cardbus slots !

abhayadevs
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@fernesto: I also use the 8i6 and Ubuntu Studio 13.04 started supporting it.. but don't have the mixer application available in Linux and hence using it under WinXP for getting multiple mixes and using the SPDIF to get the stereo recorded using Ardour in my desktop.
the USB interfaces from Focusrite are good and i am not sure these might number of tracks can be run via USB on full sample rates? This is my primary choice of Firewire and lack of ports in PCs and laptops driving me to MAC...

JL
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Hi
MBP , inside 2 SSD ( 16 Gig ram ) + RME UCX: great
( I come from PT HD)

fernesto
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@abhayadevs: Yes, the mixer is a problem, what i do is set the mixes in Windows and then go back to Linux and record, i've used the 18i6's 18 channels and all of them have worked, including MIDI and SPDIF, ADAT and Mic/Line I/Os, however i can get x-runs when i try to get low latency, but when recording only audio there not much need of that since you get direct monitoring wih any scarlett or saffire using their own mixer (back in windows), now about high sample rates i really don't know since i have not tried yet, the weakest link in my chain is not the sample rate but the mics and acoustics of the room so i wont bother yet trying to get 96Khz of a so-so room with a so-so mic and cheap cables.

So in a "sort of" short answer to your main question: no, you don't NEED a Mac, but if you do get one you will get more choices when it comes to Audio Interfaces, also you will get a better optimized system for Audio, better response in latency i guess, maybe Paul could answer a little more about that, but personally i wouln't mind having a Mac with Ardour except for the hyper minimalistic OS, in fact im planning on getting either a Mac Book Pro or a Mac Mini, the problem is i use a Desktop and a Laptop so it should be both and thats where it gets really out of the budget, also would be great being able to bring my LV2 LinuxDSP plugins to Mac, i know the second i switch i'll lose those about 120$ in LinuxDSP plugins which i'm very fond of and used to and that's NOT GOOD.

abhayadevs
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@fernesto: switching between the OSs won't work out especially when I am tracking and some thing needs to be adjusted in the Mix.

I think i should go for Mac Book Pro to get future proof.. any way i have a couple of months by when i am planning for this upgrade to my home studio and let me see how things are getting aligned...