I have always been updating the new OSX versions whenever they were released but this time i was a bit hesitant because my Late 2009 model iMac is about to be quite old already. I haven’t had any problems with it though but when it comes to music making, it’s critical that the performance is not affected too much when updating core components of your system. I installed the new macOS Sierra 10.12 and after using it for a week and i haven’t noticed any performance issues so far. Logic Pro X 10.2.4 is working like it did with the previous OS.
About the iMac itself. I bought this workhorse in 2009 and it was the cheapest 21,5″ iMac available at the moment. So nothing fancy even at the time of purchase. However, i have been more than happy with this computer even though sometimes it can feel a bit slow when booting it up or when watching 1080p youtube videos (which you can’t). Most importantly this iMac can be described as rock solid. I don’t remember it crashing not even once. I can use the computer for weeks without ever booting it – only putting it to sleep mode in the evening.
The 3,06 GHz Core 2 Duo with 8 GB of RAM is enough for Logic Pro X if you don’t get too greedy with many instrument channels. My projects have usually something between 25-60 tracks (usually about 4-5 audio tracks and the rest are Audio Units or Logic’s own software instruments) with multiple effect busses. Sure, the loading times for different Alchemy presets can be a bit longer as with any sample based synths on a computer with traditional hard drives. And yes – i still have the original 500 GB spinning hard drive on this machine! I have been thinking of updating it to an SSD drive but due to incompatibility issues between the Nvidia MCP79 controller and most of the currently sold SSD drives, i have decided to stick with the original setup so far.
I have been thinking on buying a new MacBook Pro some time this year but even though i know i would be getting a faster computer with an SSD drive with the added bonus of portability, i still cannot justify myself spending 1500-2000 euros into a new MacBook. At least not until Apple releases the new models because current MacBook Pros are based on a few years old designs.
Apple is about to release new products in 27th October and possibly new Macbook Pros are on their way. Interesting to see what’s coming.
Ever since my brother made huge investments on his professional home studio last year, i’ve been thinking of also buying some real new hardware with music creation in mind. I’ve been doing music with what i’ve had.. old PC computers and some miscellaneus software with VSTi instruments. They’ve been working fairly well but i’ve been thinking of getting something totally new for a while. The only thing that kept me from updating my hardware for so long was the fact that i’m doing music mainly just for fun – as a hobby – unlike my brother who makes a living with his music. But recently i started to realize that there are people who use huge amounts of money in many different kinds of hobbies. So why wouldn’t i? I realized that for me, the hobby of music composing has always been a good opposite for my job which can sometimes be more or less stressful. So if i buy new hardware and software, wouldn’t it be a direct investment on my mental health? Bingo! And the result of this is that i bought an iMac last week! 🙂
It’s a standard 21,5″ iMac with 4 GB of RAM, 500 GB hard disk and the basic stuff. And as a music creation software, i bought a Logic Express 9, which is more than enough for me. At first i was thinking of buying the complete Logic Pro 9, but after studying the differences between the express and the pro, i decided to go express. There’s nothing in pro which i’d absolutely need right now.
This week has been very interesting. I’ve never had a Mac before and it seems to take a while to get used to it’s operating system OS X. It’s all those little differences which take their time to get used to. I’ve used Logic 5 (the last version ever released for Windows) for a long time and i immediately felt “at home” with Logic Express 9. Many things are more intuitive and simpler than in the ancient version i had before. And what comes to performance, it really was worth the money to make the transition from PC to Mac.
Alongside the iMac with Logic, i have an old (and cheap) midikeyboard (MK-4903) from Thomann working as the input device. I use it for pretty much everything when composing. I make the main melodies, pads, drum patterns and basslines by playing them in with it. I’ve been thinking of buying an external audio interface and a new input device, such as the Korg Padkontrol, for drumming. The speakers at my computer are Wharfedale Diamond 9.0’s driven by an old Technics SU-V500 stereo amplifier. The speakers are not originally meant for close monitoring but i find them working quite well in my situation. I also use Grado SR80 headphones a lot when composing.
I might be releasing new music very soon so stay tuned! There’s some nice ambient stuff coming in the spirit of my previously released song ‘Strange paths’. 🙂