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Mac Thread, Imac vs PC for Music Technology classes in Technical; Originally Posted by Davit2005 As someone that has used both PC's and MAC's for music (although in a non-professional sense). ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davit2005 View Post
    As someone that has used both PC's and MAC's for music (although in a non-professional sense). I find MACs are way more suitable, there is a reason why they are so widely used. The application support even for the MAC inbuilt sound hardware is way ahead of your thrown together Windows PC.

    Everywhere that I've worked and they've tried to cut corners by using Windows PC's with completely inadequate sound cards with 3rd party ASIO utilities that can provide low latency when using things like Sibelius have had issues.
    I have an issue with this tbh. You'll want to have preamps in order to take a decent signal into the machine, and you don't get that on either windows or a mac, so it's worth investing a few quid in a USB audio interface and letting that do the work. If you do that then windows or OSx is irrelevent and it should come down to cost.

    I've worked on both systems and both work perfectly well in the same situations. Yes Macs are pretty and OSx is lovely to use. but if you're dedicating the ausio drivers to an external source with decent quality codecs you'll get no difference in performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTDirect_Dave View Post
    I have an issue with this tbh. You'll want to have preamps in order to take a decent signal into the machine, and you don't get that on either windows or a mac, so it's worth investing a few quid in a USB audio interface and letting that do the work. If you do that then windows or OSx is irrelevent and it should come down to cost.

    I've worked on both systems and both work perfectly well in the same situations. Yes Macs are pretty and OSx is lovely to use. but if you're dedicating the ausio drivers to an external source with decent quality codecs you'll get no difference in performance.

    Very true. I've used decent m-audio cards in PC's and the results are good.

    I was making the point that skimping on said items and buying a plain PC not adequately designed for the purpose can lead to an unreliable and frustrated user experience.
    Last edited by Davit2005; 24th April 2014 at 12:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    No issues here with our Windows PC's in Music. There have been rumblings about Macs but unless someone can magic up a large amount of cash for 30 machines, server, training, licenses for the relevant software, that's never going to happen.
    .
    Exactly the same problem here.

    I completely re-equipped my department at zero cost to the school & council using perfectly adequate cast offs.

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    Agreed! You should always have something to do the work for you as the on board stuff just isn't up to scratch on either system.

    In my blog I talk about this: http://www.studiospares.com/audio-in...i2/invt/389820

    It's a lovely piece of kit, especially for the price

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    Mac Mini is very cheap (for a mac), when you knock off VAT and put the edu discount on. You do get some subject specific program's like garage band that are Apple platform only. So cost wise if you do the mini route I doubt there will be too much difference price wise and you keep the department happy. I doubt a basic PC running windows will be suitable and at the least may need a dedicated sound card as last time we used on board sound cards we had to put creative labs cards in the machines due to latency in Cubase.

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    May be I am off the topic, but either PC or Mac is just one element of Music Tech and both should not be a matter if the teacher knows how to teach Music Tech. All the software are fine whether that is Cubase, Pro Tool, Logic Pro or Reason, etc.

    To get students to learn and interest them, you need to have all the right gears e.g. Audio Interface, MIDI controller, synthesizer, good pair of headphones (good pair of active monitors if in studio) , mixer, mic, different music sequencing software, good choice of plugins, Good quality of sampling and the list go on and on.

    I went to two Music Tech schools both in London and Manchester, they have both PC and Mac for various purposes.

    If for just MIDI recording and simple music on the music sequencing then use PC providing each PC has good quality Audio Interface.

    If for Live Music recording then use Mac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disease View Post
    They are after iMacs- If it's just garageband they are using will the new range of Mini's run it adequately?
    We have a suite of Mac Minis running final cut pro perfectly adequately for video editing and it's what we (I work with @Norphy) will be specifying here for running logic goes ahead. We can get a Mac Mini plus a good quality Dell monitor for quite a bit less than an imac with the same size display.

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    At my last school the Art department gave us their iMacs in favour of PC's that both they and the students knew how to use, especially since using Adobe software does everything they could ever need.

    As for teachers, HoD or not, demanding specific hardware, please bear in mind the staff don't always stay for long, i.e. a year or two and then they're off. The new incumbent may have a preference the other way, i.e. PC's and not iMac's!

    I've had the above happen with Head of ICT demanding one software suite at a cost of thousands only for her to leave after one year and the next Head of ICT demand something else.

    Don't respond to individual teacher demands. Expect SLT to take a strategic view of what's best for the school in the mid to long term. Short term strategies are often very costly...

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    We replaced a load of g5 imacs a couple of years back in our music dept. Best thing we ever did. Our support calls went right down - we only ever get called out for printer issues now.

    You do need to look at the latency and audio issues as other have said, but a decent sound card or interface will sort this out.

    We were recommended mixcraft as an alternative to garage band. Reaper is a reasonable alternative to logic.

    We still use imacs in the recording studio, but they are more recent and not due for replacement. I've done live multi-track recording from our Behringer x32 mixer onto a new PC. No quality or latency issues - and thats up to 32 channels over usb2.

    You do also need to look at training issues, but if they are already using PCs, I can't see any benefits in a school.

    Ultimately, it should come down to the whole school priorities. If everyone else is expected to make lots of budget cuts then it would be wrong to get imacs. If there is lots of money available, then maybe - in some ways - they would be the preferred option if that's what the teachers are familiar with. But I would rather spend the extra on decent mics, speakers, pre-amps and instruments, and also on data storage. That would have a bigger impact on the quality of sound you get in the end.

  10. Thanks to Chris_Cook from:

    ICTDirect_Dave (24th April 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Just ensure that any Macs that are purchased come out of the Music budget and not the IT budget. I did this, and they tried to go ahead and make the purchase and claim it on the IT budget, at which point I blocked the purchase from going ahead by speaking with SLT and explaining that it is using funds not allocated to the department. The Music budget was on a par with the IT budget as they did the school productions (with the drama group) and such like. As a result, the HT called myself and the music HoD into a meeting, by the end of the meeting, Music Dept had to drain their budget to buy the Macs, I agreed to service them.

    As for software, I would say personally, yes Logic is better than Sonar, however Sibelius is a great piece of software and may well be worth running bootcamp to keep the Windows software going, just for the added option.
    Windows and or OS X ( Apple Mac OS ) --> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avid-Technol.../dp/B005FCW42K

    Presume what I have linked to is the correct piece of software ?

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    We (actually I did) installed 17 iMacs into the new Music rooms during October Half Term. The project started about a year earlier due to a new building for the PAMMS department.

    They integrate with RM/Windows pretty badly but they work. Students log on with their PC/Windows Log on accounts and get a local account on that computer. They can then save anywhere, however to save to the network share, they have to physically save it in the drive assigned to them.
    Installing software is done via an image, change the image, take a snap shot and then roll it out. Basic, but it works, however it has its downsides too.
    Here we have Logic, Sibelius, Reason and Office on the iMacs. they also have MBPro in a trolley.

    Cost wise, it was expensive. We didnt buy their keyboards, midi boxes, headphones etc as they had them already. We did buy the security brackets to clamp them to the worksurfaces, that was a days work in itself!

    Overall, students were able to create something very quickly in their first Music lesson using this equipment. It made teaching Music Tech more interesting for the teachers and students.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Cook View Post
    We replaced a load of g5 imacs a couple of years back in our music dept. Best thing we ever did. Our support calls went right down - we only ever get called out for printer issues now.

    You do need to look at the latency and audio issues as other have said, but a decent sound card or interface will sort this out.

    We were recommended mixcraft as an alternative to garage band. Reaper is a reasonable alternative to logic.

    We still use imacs in the recording studio, but they are more recent and not due for replacement. I've done live multi-track recording from our Behringer x32 mixer onto a new PC. No quality or latency issues - and thats up to 32 channels over usb2.

    You do also need to look at training issues, but if they are already using PCs, I can't see any benefits in a school.

    Ultimately, it should come down to the whole school priorities. If everyone else is expected to make lots of budget cuts then it would be wrong to get imacs. If there is lots of money available, then maybe - in some ways - they would be the preferred option if that's what the teachers are familiar with. But I would rather spend the extra on decent mics, speakers, pre-amps and instruments, and also on data storage. That would have a bigger impact on the quality of sound you get in the end.
    Several good points very well made

    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Windows and or OS X ( Apple Mac OS ) --> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avid-Technol.../dp/B005FCW42K

    Presume what I have linked to is the correct piece of software ?
    Yeah both Protools and Sibelius are multi format

  14. Thanks to ICTDirect_Dave from:

    mac_shinobi (24th April 2014)



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