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Logic 9 iMac for Logic 9 ?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by RickS, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. RickS

    RickS New Member


    New to the group, but long time Logic user. It's finally time to upgrade to an Intel Mac so I can upgrade to Logic 9. Was considering an iMac i5 instead of a Power Mac in order to save a few bucks. Anyone have any experience / thoughts on this ?

    Thanks for your input and help.
  3. seebee62

    seebee62 New Member

    I have a 2007 Imac 2.4GHz Core Duo2 running Logic 9. It's really gets the job done. To me the difference between PPC and Intel is night and day. My first Intel Mac was a Mini and it was a great machine it smoked the G4 PowerBook I was using at the time. You cant go wrong with any Intel Mac just depends on how heavy you want to get with plugin's and VI's.
  4. zerobeat

    zerobeat Senior member

    The modest upgrade fee from i5 to i7 processor (only available for the higher end 27" iMac) is VERY worth the money. It's not simply that it's faster. It's on the order of "Nehalem Mac Pro" powerful.
  5. LFO

    LFO New Member

    I second seebee62, as i have the same iMac. I'll add a caveat though. I would not purchase an iMac unless it was the top of the line Quad 4 model and then I would upgrade the internal disk and memory to their maximum. (Via a 3rd party, Apple is too expensive as we all know.)

    The question really isn't whether the iMac can run Logic or not, it is whether it can handle the kind of workload you have. A new maxed out box will provide you the same processing a regular desktop would, though you are limited to 1 Firewire port. If you run a bunch of virtual instruments that are resource hungry (EWQL, Spectrasonics, Arturia, etc.) I would carefully consider if the iMac will be able to handle the number of tracks you typically use. Again, this will be the same as other 4 way boxes, so you will get a good bang for the buck. You will, however, find if you have a lot of sample libraries that you will have a bunch of external drives. If that is not an issue to you then no big deal. If it is, go with a Mac Pro. Also, one Firewire port is very restricting, especially if you will be streaming a good number of instruments. If you are, go Mac Pro. If you aren't, iMac is fine. You can also use the iMac and then have a second box for sample libraries using VE Pro if you want, I'm doing this right now and though it is a bit of a pain it works well.

    Bottom line is, if you need expandability, iMac can't provide it very well. If you don't, iMac will do the job just fine.

  6. zerobeat

    zerobeat Senior member

    This is only a superficial limitation if you don't need a completely separate and independent FW bus. All Mac towers also have only 1 Firewire bus (but multiple jacks in parallel sharing the same bandwidth). To get a 2nd FW bus, you'd need to install a Firewire PCIe card in the MacPro.

    Unlike USB, FW doesn't require a hub. That's why most FW devices have 2 jacks in parallel, to daisy chain to the next device.

    There are also cheap FW hubs, that fan out the jacks from one central location (all still sharing the same bus' bandwidth obviously). These are useful if you have many FW devices that can all share the same bus, but that you wouldn't want the last devices on a daisy chain to be on too long of an aggregate cable length. Such a FW hub would have virtually the same result as a MacPro with many factory FW jacks on the chassis already.
  7. LFO

    LFO New Member

    I totally agree with what you are saying zerobeat. The reason I list it as a limitation is because I've found if you have a Firewire audio device and you daisy chain hard drives off of it (or vice versa) pops and clicks occur that otherwise would not. In my mind that becomes an interface data transfer limitation, (probably due to contention between the multiple devices) not a bus limitation. Hence, when you add Firewire cards to a MacPro you do not experience the same pops and clicks that you would if everything is routed through a single interface.

    Of course, others mileage may vary, but that has been my experience with a few iMacs.

  8. RickS

    RickS New Member

    Thanks !

    Thanks to everyone for the input. Very helpful. Just curious why Apple doesn't list the iMac i7 in their online store.
  9. RickS

    RickS New Member

    Found it

    I found the i7 upgrade in the Apple store. Seems like a no brainer of only $200.00
  10. seebee62

    seebee62 New Member

    The great thing about Intel Macs be it Imac or Mac Pro is that you'll get get a lot of miles out of it as opposed to the G3's G4's G5's. My 2007 Imac will be three in November and it's still rockin of course the newer ones are faster but I can still get it done. The G's got to the point were they were useless after a 3-4 years. You could probably rock a new Imac for a good six years or more.
  11. RickS

    RickS New Member

    Thanks !

    Thanks for the feedback. That seems to be the overall opinion. I'm using (barely) a G5 tower that is waaaaaaay past it's useful life. My main concern is that the iMac will have the horsepower to run Logic. Not really a true "power user" But do usually get up to 20-24 tracks using mostly virtual instruments with a few effects. Looks like the iMac i7 should work fine.
  12. seebee62

    seebee62 New Member

    The I7 will Kill. I'm running my 07 Imac with 60-70+ tracks audio Channel EQ damn near on every strip compressor on every strip EQ Compressors on Bus tracks and it's solid with room for more.
  13. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    I haven't bought my i7 yet, but I'm wondering if sample libraries should be located on a different drive than the Int. OS drive and the Ext. Recording drive? Or can it be on either of these drives?

    My libraries are Logic's samples, Ezdrummer, and I may get Konakt or something similar eventually.

    What about plugins... are they ok on the internal drive (ie guitar rig etc...)

  14. seebee62

    seebee62 New Member

    I'm using Stylus RMX,Addictive Drums,Virtual Guitarist, UVI Workstation with Plugsound Pro and Motu Symphonic Instrument a bunch of 3rd party EXS Samples and Apple Loops. I have everything on my Internal drive except the 3rd Party EXS Samples.
  15. LFO

    LFO New Member

    As a rule you should have the OS on one drive, (this will include plug-ins that go in the component or VST folders) samples on another drive and projects on a third drive. Then drives to back them up and drives to backup the backup drives. (Well, that backup part is just for paranoids like me. The rest is gold though.)

  16. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    ok thanks LFO,

    things like ezdrummer would be on the OS drive because it has a file in the component folder?

    If I put samples on a separate drive, should it be USB2 to avoid daisy chaining another drive on the FW bus? That bus will have a Motu 828mk2 and a fw drive.

    Do the Logic samples then get placed on the sample drive too or just 3rd party samples?
  17. LFO

    LFO New Member

    hey ryguy76. It so happens that I have a MOTU 828 MK2 myself. Small world. :) I run the 828 on the Firewire 400 port and my two Glyph Firewire drives off of the 800 port. This does force both into 400 mode, but I don't care. I have two other Western Digital firewire drives daisy chained off of the Glyph drives and the rest are USB2. I have my projects on the first Glyph drive, my first samples disk on the second Glyph drive and then more samples on the two WD drives. This collection of drives includes what I think are more intensive sample libraries, EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Gold, EWQL Symphonic Choir, Kirk Hunter Concert Strings II and Diamond, and Spectrasonics OmniSphere and RMX. There are some other smaller libraries, but they don't `count' as they don't need to stream like the previous mentioned libraries. I was careful to keep libraries that require streaming off of the same drive that I would use at the same time. EWQL SO and Choir are on separate drives, Kirk Hunter is on another. Omni and RMX are on different drives. My USB2 drives all handle lighter load libraries. Garritan, some SAM Brass, Chris Hein, Lyrical Distortion, etc. Again, I try to keep libraries I know I will use at the same time on different drives. Currently I have 4 250 GB USB2 drives that connect to 2 separate USB2 hubs that plug into the back of the iMac. I do have other things plugged into the hubs as I have no choice, but it is stuff like iLok, keyboard, etc. whose traffic is minimal. It all works as long as I keep the number of `live' tracks down by freezing or bouncing tracks. It is, admittedly, a pain but I have 4 gig of RAM so I can't complain. The good news is I don't have any crackles or pops because when they do show up I bounce/freeze tracks.

    All that and I didn't answer your question! The plug-in itself should go on the OS drive and the sample library the plug-in accesses should be on another. I do have my Logic samples on an external drive, there are no samples that I can think of that are on the internal drive.

    I never tried daisy chaining a hard drive off of the MOTU. In theory, you should be able to chain one or two, but I worry about contention (that is part of my `real' job) and thus I avoid any issues by not doing it. I can't say that it won't work well, I have no idea. Hence, it might be worth trying. I would experiment with both high streaming and low streaming libraries to see how they perform. If it does work well post it to the forum as it would be useful to know!

    Hope this helps,

  18. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    Hey Kevin,

    It all makes sense, but my problem is going to be the lack of a second FW port.... I can clearly see that. I don't have the funds to upgrade to a Mac Pro, so I'm gonna have to make it work.

    It was recommended to connect the fw800 drive directly to the iMac and then daisy chain the interface (sorry, type error - meant to say 828mk3) off the drive on the Motu site as well as another site I was reading. This will of course force the drive into 400, but I won't ever be recording more than 2 audio tracks at once anyway and won't have more than 24-30 track playback, so I'm hoping I'll be ok.

    Running 2 800 drives of one port forces 400? How come? I thought this only occurred when one device was 400.

    I'm not sure of the difference between streaming and non-streaming samples. Do some plugins buffer the samples into memory within the plugin and some continuously stream live?

    So having multiple smaller drives is better than 1 large drive to avoid the drive from having to read from multiple locations at once if you are using several libraries? Is several different samples within one library any different though?

    Do I just change the sample folder location within the preferences of each application so the plugin knows where to look for the samples?
  19. LFO

    LFO New Member

    I agree if you are going to only be recording a maximum of 2 audio tracks. Given you have an MK3 (or an MK2 for that matter) I assumed you would be recording more than 2 tracks, that's what I get for assuming!

    Apparently the bus is shared by both the 800 and 400 FW ports. Hence, if you run anything on the 400 port the 800 port has to slow down to the 400 speed. Yes, that sucks. :/

    Correct. Many libraries stream to one degree or another to keep their memory footprint down. Larger libs (EWQL, VE, etc.) stream more because they have more depth (and thus more samples) in their libraries. Other libraries have low to no streaming. For instance, if I load Garritan Personal Orchestra, I load everything into memory as the footprint is relatively small. The same with various single instruments that I load into contact. I've spent zero time looking at how Kontakt streams, so there might be some streaming for every instrument for all I know. However, for the `smaller' libs the streaming in inconsequential.

    Anytime you load an instrument something gets put into memory. How much gets loaded depends on a few factors.

    I am a smaller drive believer for exactly what you mentioned. I will not go over 500 gig per drive, but that is just me. Some folks will agree with me, others will not. However, we all do agree that spreading out samples across multiple drives is important. What method you use depends on how heavy a user you are. For instance, if you are using EWQL Platinum Plus and you have lots of tracks, you would want to spread instrument sections across drives. In your case, just keeping libs that are used at the same time on separate drives will do just fine. In fact, with just 24 or so tracks you won't even need to be that careful.

    Yes, you can change the sample folder for each application or in the sampler you use for instruments that just load into a sampler.

  20. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    Great responses, Kevin. You write clearly, which makes understanding easy! Thanks.

    I am new to all this, but I'm starting to get the idea now. The recording aspect isn't new, but the computer hardware/software and all the associated ins and outs are new.
  21. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    First off, I just want to apologize to RickS for hijacking your thread. Sorry.

    I've thought of a couple more questions. If I buy a single drive with a larger cache (32MB), can I get by with 1 drive as a starter for my Libs?

    If my FW bus is already reduced to 400 from the interface, does it make sense to still buy a 800 drive?

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