Computer for making music can use Mac or Windows platform depends on your preferences and hardware/software demands. We will discuss pros and cons of each platform in this topic.
Why computer is an Essential part of Digital Recording Studio?
Computer has an important role in digital studios, central processing unit. It is connected to external audio devices such as microphone, studio monitor, studio headphone,… through intermediate device called Audio Interface.
Functions such as recording, editing, storing, extracting files in music/audio production process are of computers. Of course, I’m talking about when you don’t use external audio processor like EQ, Compressor, Reverb or other processors.
Audio Interface has an intermediate role to connect computer to external devices. It doesn’t directly join the process like many people think, it just exchange back and there analog and digital signal between computers and other devices.
Note: Some high-grade Audio Interface integrated with audio chip to control some plugins (like interface of UAD brand) instead of directly process on computer’s chip.
Laptop or Desktop?
You’re wondering we can record music on laptop or Mac-book or not? Absolutely we can, many people are recoding and mixing music, playing live show with these devices. However, if your project is big, you’ll need PC or specialized Mac to guarantee their efficiency to your project. Mobility is the only advantage of laptop or Mac-book to desktop.
PC has many advantages like strength, storage, convenience and more flexible compare to laptop. Working with PC is also more comfortable. If you’re serious in recording music, PC is must have.
What computer do you use to record with, Mac or PC?
There are debates everywhere about whether windows or Mac is better of studio. They’re like star wars and never ending stories just like debates between digital and analog.
To help you have a right look for yourself, I’ll analyze the basic features of these two platforms. Of course, my scope is just within studio and recording music.
First, without any thinking, I assure you that you have to spend many money on a Mac especially high-grade model specialized for multimedia.
The “cons” of Mac is that upgrading is fairly difficult, beside RAM, hard drives and other external equipment, you can hardly upgrade any other parts. In this point, PC has big advantage, the cost of self-assemble strong PC is quite reasonable price. Moreover, you can easily upgrade, maintain any parts of PC with basic IT knowledge.
The best point of PC compares to Mac is that you have 1001 options to build your PC suits your preferences. From numbers of ram, hard drives, cpu and so on. All is at your hand, problem is how big is your purse.
2#: High Performance and Work Efficiency
Mac platform is very great, it reduces conflicts between hardware and software, you always see your Mac runs smoothly because apple is the one who make it. Apple chooses hardware, produce platform, control driver writing process of other producers, all is checked strictly in order for the system to run smoothly. The result is you don’t waste your time to deal with small conflict errors, you just need to focus on you music project so your efficiency is high.
PC is more flexible than Mac is obvious. If you like, you can make some remodels from IT folks which make deep changes in hardware and software for you PC to run its best. The fun part is when you spend your time on fixing PC, you have less time to do your main job, recording music/audio.
Fortunately, adjusting system is one-time doing job. If you worry about the stabilization of self-assemble PC but also want flexibility, you should spend money on workstation specialized computer for pro audio.
You can be hooked with benchmark about strength and speed of PC, et cetera and I am too on the first time, but the important point is that the utilization of software is vital element to whether you work fast or slow, not your PC – nonsense!
You don’t use keyboard shortcuts, don’t utilize software or don’t plan the project well, even placing a missile for your PC or buy a Mac worth 10 times to PC, your work is still slow as usual. 80% of efficiency and effectiveness is from your skills, don’t blame on your old Mac or unstable PC.
3#: Hardware and Software Support
This is quite important when you usually have to buy pro equipment for recording studio. When thinking of which system you should choose, don’t just focus on your “metal scrap” and two platforms. Researching about “ecosystem” of hardware and software support also.
PC and Mac are two different system so they have their own software. Some are for just one platform. Till now, which is the time I write this guide (2016), Mac has its Logic, Garage Band,… PC has its FL Studio, Sound Forge, Sonar and so on. Some suit for both (can be installed on both platform Mac and Windows) like CUBASE, NUEBDO, PRO TOOLS.
However, aside from main DAW software, you need to consider plugins producer (third party software for adding functions to DAW). The direction of DAW production nowadays is that they can be used on different platforms so that they can increase their sale. So, you don’t have to worry unless you can’t live without Logic or Garage Band.
Moreover, when you’re looking for free DAW or plugin, know that many of them are just for PC and don’t you think that free is low quality, if you have that thinking in your mind, you’ll will have to pay high cost with you money.
About hardware, previous Mac has advantage while some high-grade hardware producers like UAD, their products are just for Mac. Fortunately, windows do have many other high-grade options form other producers such as legend of RME, Link,…
4#: Sound Quality
Next, the most subjective aspect – sound. This is the most controversial problem. Many people claim that Mac is popular in using for music recording because it produces better sound, DAW software in Mac gives better efficiency than PC.
In fact, things are not simple as those rumors. And I don’t believe them unless I can see accurate data or serious research. I think you should build that habit too when you assess any products that you haven’t had a chance to experience yourself for a long enough time.
So, Which Is BEST Computer for Recording Music, Mac or PC? You can own a Mac or a PC or both. You prefer this than that, think this is better than that, et cetera. I think both platforms have their pros and cons.
Mac or PC is your choice. You buy what you like but you have to make sure: your hardware and software are supported by that platform.
Finally, the most important thing I want to tell you before you decide to buy Mac or PC:
- What’s your preferences?
- Which software you decide you use?
- Those softwares run on which platform? Mac OS or Window?
- Your skill is vital not PC or Mac.