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DetourDJ
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 16:59:22
Messages: 81
Location: Cleveland, TN, USA
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Okay...I'm considering picking up a used Mac Mini and use it exclusively for recording with the SL. I'm a PC guy...I don't know Apple stuff at all...though I've heard "Once you go fruit, PC ain't worth a toot". My minimum requirement so far is a recent-model dual-core 2GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and 320GB hard drive. If I find the right deal, I'll try to get a 7200rpm hard drive. Most units for sale seem to come with Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard. I plan to uninstall everything except the OS and then install just the PreSonus Universal Control, Capture and Studio One.

Any words of wisdom from the Mac community out there so I can end up with a reliable, robust recording system without pulling my hair out or spending every dime of my hard-earned money? Any and all help is greatly appreciated...
Larz Hanson
Detour DJ & Audio
Cleveland, TN
www.DetourDJ.com
DetourDJ@gmail.com

Setup:
StudioLive 16.4.2 AI
Apple Mac Mini 2.3Ghz, 4GB, 750GB/7200rpm
JBL PRX718S/635 speakers
[Email] [WWW]
RJCStudios
Presonic
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:43:38
Messages: 106
Location: Hamburg, NJ
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If you are going to use it for live recording of 16 tracks Max. The Mini should be OK. However, You definitely need a 7200RPM drive and I would suggest upgrading to 4 GB of Ram. Despite what apple says, both the Drive and memory are user upgradable, I've done it many time.

The best place I've found to purchase drives and memory is here: http://eshop.macsales.com/
They even have videos to show you how to install the parts.

A word of caution, the Mac Mini was NOT designed to be a audio/video powerhouse. It will not be able to process a lot of VST plug-ins at the same time. For Live recording and minor editing, in addition to getting your feet wet with MAC, it should be OK. If you are looking to use a lot of VST plug-ins, extensive editing, and zero latency monitoring on 16 tracks along with separate monitor mixes, I would look for a used Macbook Pro.

I was running S1 Pro on a G5 iMac with 4GB Ram and an upgraded drive, I was not happy with the performance, so I upgraded to a G5 Multi-core Server. The G5 Server runs S1 great but still uses more CPU then my 2.93mhz Macbook Pro with 8GB Ram and a upgraded 500 GB 7200rpm HD.

Short Answer - IMHO
Will the Mini Mac work - Yes
Will I want to upgrade it less then a year - Yes
Should I save up for a Macbook Pro - Yes
Server
Apple Mac Pro "Eight Core" 3.0 Ghz
5GB Ram
3 TB on (3) HD's
OSX 10.6.7
Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2
Monitor Station
(2) Presonus Blue Tube preamps
Fader port

Laptop
Macbook Pro 2.93Ghz
8GB Ram
OSX 10.5.8
500GB Int. 7200rpm HD
FireStudio Mobile
DetourDJ
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 16:59:22
Messages: 81
Location: Cleveland, TN, USA
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Thanks for the reply. For what it's worth, all I want the Mini (or whatever) to do is flawlessly record the max 18 tracks off the SL without any fuss. I don't plan to use it for anything else. I don't care about latency, VST plugins, or anything to do with operations after the tracks are recorded. If I can get good tracks, I'd copy them to a portable hard drive and import them into my home system for further mixing and editing. My problem up to this point has been reliability in recording the original tracks without dropouts, glitching and outright stopping. If I can solve the live recording issue, everything else works fine. Then I can retire my trusty ADAT HD24 and move forward with confidence.
Larz Hanson
Detour DJ & Audio
Cleveland, TN
www.DetourDJ.com
DetourDJ@gmail.com

Setup:
StudioLive 16.4.2 AI
Apple Mac Mini 2.3Ghz, 4GB, 750GB/7200rpm
JBL PRX718S/635 speakers
[Email] [WWW]
RJCStudios
Presonic
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:43:38
Messages: 106
Location: Hamburg, NJ
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I know the Presonus also offers Capture. I don't know anything about the program nor do I own/use it.

Through reading the forums I understand that it is a great tool for recording from the SL mixers with just 2 clicks. I assume that since it doesn't have all the features of S1 it will be less demanding on the CPU. If this is the case the Mac Mini will be fine if it has the 7200rpm HD.

Try and do some research on the forums to get members, experienced using Capture, opinions.
Server
Apple Mac Pro "Eight Core" 3.0 Ghz
5GB Ram
3 TB on (3) HD's
OSX 10.6.7
Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2
Monitor Station
(2) Presonus Blue Tube preamps
Fader port

Laptop
Macbook Pro 2.93Ghz
8GB Ram
OSX 10.5.8
500GB Int. 7200rpm HD
FireStudio Mobile
DetourDJ
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 16:59:22
Messages: 81
Location: Cleveland, TN, USA
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Yeah, I usually use Capture as opposed to S1. Even with its super-streamlined design though, I've still had many ruined recordings due to dropouts. In several cases, I'd start recording an 18-track session, then look over a minute later and see it's popped out of record and kept the "transport" in play mode. Yet, the next set might record perfectly. Very frustrating!
Larz Hanson
Detour DJ & Audio
Cleveland, TN
www.DetourDJ.com
DetourDJ@gmail.com

Setup:
StudioLive 16.4.2 AI
Apple Mac Mini 2.3Ghz, 4GB, 750GB/7200rpm
JBL PRX718S/635 speakers
[Email] [WWW]
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
Messages: 3002
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I made the leap to the SL for the very reason you are moving to Mac for tracking -- reliability. I do a lot of live work where I can't afford to have some annoying CPU spike ruin a recording, so I understand your concern.

For straight tracking, as you are talking about, the minimum configuration you specified above should be just fine. If you were planning to use S1 and do a lot of VIs and plugs, I'd say make sure that you get one in which you can have (and fully address) a full 4GB of RAM, and make sure you max it out. Extra RAM may or may not be particularly useful if you are just capturing. I think I'd inquire with PreSonus about that and see if they think there is any benefit for your application.

I'd wipe the internal drive clean and reinstall the OS, too, first. Do the basic tweaks: disable Airport, Time Machine, Dashboard, power saving, etc. You should have smooth sailing. I've got an awful lot of hours logged with my older MacBook, and for tracking everything has been rock-solid. The Minis don't differ much from what I've got, and mine is a champ every time. IIRC, the PreSonus guys have used Minis quite a bit in their testing and roll-out of the SL/Capture and also the linking feature.

RJCs tip on OWC as a source for memory and drives is excellent. They really know how to take care of audio/video pros by offering the things that work for our really well for our applications, and at a very decent price point.

If I owned an HD24, I think I'd be inclined to keep it. You just never know when you might want it for backup. That is not to suggest that I think you will have any reliability concerns with a Mini based system -- not at all.) Yet, computer-based recording on any platform/any hardware is still something of a leap of faith, and there are so many chances for things to go wrong, that sometimes they just seem to do so on their own, despite our best efforts at aligning all the planets properly. In my book there is a beauty and simplicity to a dedicated recorder like that. I wish there were more flavors out there -- seems like its just the big Tascam and the HD24 out there these days. End of rambling muse!

Let me know if you need any help with transition, Larz. Cheers!
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
PhilG
Presonoid
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Joined: 29/07/2010 01:46:55
Messages: 1172
Location: Brisbane Australia
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for what its worth, when I got my mac book pro, it had a 320gb 5200 rpm drive and I could record / stream 16 channels at a time without glitching.

I only upgraded to the 7200 when I went to a 500gb drive - it is alot cheaper to upgrade the hard drive yourself - you do not need a mac specific part - any 7200rpm SATA drive will work

2 x SL16.4.2's
Audiobox USB
Studio One V2 Pro
/ Rack System
AMD FX-4170 / 16GB DDR3 / Win7x64 / Via 6308FW Onboard
/Mobile System
Toshiba Satellite P200 / 8GB DDR2 / Win7x64 / Ti FW & i7 13" MBP
/Wireless
Ipad v1 16gb - Samsung Galaxy Tab - Asus Black Diamond router

[Email] [WWW] [ICQ]
DetourDJ
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 16:59:22
Messages: 81
Location: Cleveland, TN, USA
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Thanks, guys. What about the OS/Restore DVD that comes with Macs? Can you replace your hard drive and use the DVD for a clean install of the Mac OS, or is it just to fix the the installed OS on the stock hard drive?

The really nice thing about Apple constantly upping their own products is that there are a lot of really nice, lightly-used Macs for sale. I'd love to get a deal on a Mac with a smallish drive, then replace it with a new 7200 big drive, if the OS can be installed without having to buy a new copy or license.
Larz Hanson
Detour DJ & Audio
Cleveland, TN
www.DetourDJ.com
DetourDJ@gmail.com

Setup:
StudioLive 16.4.2 AI
Apple Mac Mini 2.3Ghz, 4GB, 750GB/7200rpm
JBL PRX718S/635 speakers
[Email] [WWW]
Monolithent
Supreme Baconator
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Joined: 28/07/2010 18:47:25
Messages: 13464
Location: Central New Jersey
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Unless I'm mistaken a drive's a drive. Just has to be compatible with the connectors and formatted to the apple file system. I think the recovery disk will even do the format for you. Not a mac user yet but I'm doing the same thing you are. Macs make good tracks.
http://support.presonus.com

Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
--MultiBoot System--
Win Vista 64/XP Pro/7 x86/7 x64 - Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Lion
Gigabyte motherboard--SYBA TI Firewire XIO2200A--i7 2600k Quad Core--16 GB DDR III--Custom 2U Rackmount--4 TB Raid (all internal SATA II)--19" Samsung HDMI LCD on pivoting VESA 1U Mount
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talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
Messages: 3002
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If you're picking one up second hand make sure you get the disc(s) that came with it when it was new. The full OS will be there, and you can install from that (although there is a possibility that it will be an older OS, if you get an older model, and you may not necessarily be able to count on the original discs being included -- unless the seller specifically says so).

I would make sure you have Leopard (10.5.x) or Snow Leopard (10.6) OS. I would avoid Tiger completely for audio work.

Mono is right: the machine/OS don't care about what drive you put in there -- it is not like some software protocols where the hardware configuration is tied to authorization. You can do a fresh install on any drive you put in there with no problems, you'll just need the OS disc(s). With a Mac, you just put in the disc that came with it and you can boot from that to get your clean install.

I think the more current Minis just use standard 2.5 SATA notebook drives. I prefer the 7200 rpm Seagate units with the largest cache that is available in the capacity you need.

If the machine has a working install on it already, you may just want to clone the existing internal drive to the one that you'll use to replace it. Then once you have your newly cloned drive installed you can just startup, install Capture and UC, and you should be good to go. Then if you get any whacky behavior and you suspect the OS could be corrupted, you could always do a clean OS install if needed.

I would be very careful to get a Mini that was 2007 or newer (make darn sure it has an intel core2duo processor -- see link: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/mac-mini/). DO NOT get a G4. They are effectively obsolete for audio, at this point.

It might work, but personally I would want to avoid the single core generation, too. To be on the safe side, if it was me, I'd make the 2007 (v2.1) the minimum starting point, or better yet the 3.1 version (if your budget allows). Max out the RAM. (As with drives, OWC is a trusted source for memory.)
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
RJCStudios
Presonic
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:43:38
Messages: 106
Location: Hamburg, NJ
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Upgrading the drive is a 8 step process. You will not have to reinstall the OS, nor will you need any backup disks. When you purchase the drive you should also purchase an external FireWire enclosure. Here is the procedure.

1. Install the NEW drive into the FW enclosure and connect it to your MAC.
2. Download a program call Carbon Copy Cloner.
3. Run Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your internal Drive to the NEW drive you have installed in the enclosure.
4. After the the cloning is complete, Restart the computer while holding down the option (alt) key. This will allow you to select which drive you want to boot from.
5. Select the External drive to boot the machine, confirm that the drive is bootable and everything is working.
6. Shut down the machine.
7. Physically swap the NEW External drive and Internal Drive. Now your Mac will have a New larger internal installed and you will have your old drive mounted in the FW enclosure as a backup.
8. Boot the machine as normal.
Your FINISHED!

I usually leave my old internal drive untouched for at least 2 weeks just in case something didn't transfer properly. I've upgraded more than 30 drives in MACs using this method and I have never had a problem.

One word of caution, If your internal drive is partitioned to run BOOT CAMP. You will need to clone and mirror the new drive using a slightly different procedure. BOOT CAMP drives are a PIA.
Server
Apple Mac Pro "Eight Core" 3.0 Ghz
5GB Ram
3 TB on (3) HD's
OSX 10.6.7
Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2
Monitor Station
(2) Presonus Blue Tube preamps
Fader port

Laptop
Macbook Pro 2.93Ghz
8GB Ram
OSX 10.5.8
500GB Int. 7200rpm HD
FireStudio Mobile
funkafize
Prenoob
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Joined: 29/07/2010 06:28:43
Messages: 60
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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forgot step 9: Donate to Bombich Software as a thanks for the handy CCC.

But yeah, this is the way to go. Both CCC and Shirt Pocket's "Super Duper" are easy to use and are a great alternative to Time Machine when doing regular timed backups of your internal. They copy 100% in a block by block fashion and can actually free up some space due to the defrag-ing this method produces.
StudioLive 16.4.2 (Firmware 1.13, Build 159)
Universal Control (Version 1.2.2715, UC Driver Version 3.5.5.10705, SVN:2715)
Capture (Version 1.1.112213, Built on May 4th 2010)
Studio One Pro (Version 1.6.0.13233)

QSC HPR 122i(x2), 153i(x2), 181i(x2)

Macbook Pro early 2009 15.4"
http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...ody-specs.html
Mac OS X 10.6.7 (10J869)
Model ID 5,1
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM
Seagate 500GB, 7200RPM
[Email]
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
Messages: 3002
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Right on -- that is the exact method I use. I use SuperDuper, myself, but I know many are very pleased with CC, too. You're right on with that being a way to de-fragment -- I've sometimes exploited that -- it can actually be much faster than using another utility.

I always keep a good working clone around. Then, if I get the notion to upgrade some software or OS, I can always easily revert if there is a problem.
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
PhilG
Presonoid
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Joined: 29/07/2010 01:46:55
Messages: 1172
Location: Brisbane Australia
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if its a dedicated recording pc - go and download snow leopard - burn it to a DL DVD - fresh install with nothing but UC / Capture / S1 and you will never have any problems with it

2 x SL16.4.2's
Audiobox USB
Studio One V2 Pro
/ Rack System
AMD FX-4170 / 16GB DDR3 / Win7x64 / Via 6308FW Onboard
/Mobile System
Toshiba Satellite P200 / 8GB DDR2 / Win7x64 / Ti FW & i7 13" MBP
/Wireless
Ipad v1 16gb - Samsung Galaxy Tab - Asus Black Diamond router

[Email] [WWW] [ICQ]
nkosonido
Prenoob

Joined: 07/07/2011 02:29:16
Messages: 2
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I´m looking for a Mac Mini too , something stable for work with UC and Capture.... this model it´s ok?
Apple Mac Mini Mc815ll/a

thanks, and sorry for my english...
Nico
 
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