Piano World Home Page
Posted By: OzarkCDN Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 03:14 PM
Hey!! I'm not starting a war here :-) I swing all ways when it comes to technology (android phone, old iphones for music players in the office, ipad, pc laptop and desktop, and now a macbook too)!

I bought an old macbook pro to use with my keyboard and loved that it was easy enough for even me to easily figure out how to record into garage band and export the song very easily.

I notice that the dropouts and latency is great on the mac... and my pc is not as good. The PC has more dropouts / crackles than the mac does. The PC isn't brand new, but it's still pretty beefy with 6gb ram, ssd's, etc etc. I had an old sounblaster card but it was much worse than just using the external berhinger umc204hd asio drivers that I was running.

My question is - is it the hardware, software, or both that make the mac run 'smoother' (less latency / dropouts) over the pc for running the keyboard midi? I know there are a million variables, but it seems like common convention that macs are pretty good at media creation.. and my limited experience here seems to flesh that out.
Posted By: TexasBear Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 03:31 PM
That has been my experience as well. Mac's aren't perfect by any means, but overall I prefer them to Windows PCs. Apple has always had a more defined design philosophy to their products and user interface. They charge a premium, and their customers (rightfully) demand the best in every aspect of the device.
Posted By: EPW Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 03:55 PM
Apple has control of the hardware and thus usually less problems for most folks. On the PC side especially for laptops the offerings are vast. The problem I see is too many folks expect the cheap laptop to perform like the expensive MAC. It usually doesn't turn out that way.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 03:58 PM
I hate Cook’s Apple, but I also can’t live without it.

I’ve ventured into Windows land, and though initially welcoming, it swiftly unravels into a labyrinth filled with alien entities that take on many shapes and forms. I then make an escape back to Apple and decide to remain in this marriage gone stale; but still, sticking with this bad, boring, ugly, and out of shape Apple is better than my brief yet tragic affair with that there Windows!
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:01 PM
In general, mac will give you a reasonably consistent dpc latency across products. PCs, some have low latency, some hardware/software sets have very high dpc latencies.

ALL machines can be tuned to have low latency, but then you have to do the homework. Mac generally <but not always> comes with a workable DPC latency out of the box. There's no reason to pay more specifically for this though. You can buy a regular PC, check it's DPC latency, and if it's sporadic or high, just return it, then buy a different one..
Posted By: newer player Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:01 PM
Apple OS just has to support a few computers so that helps. Apple also has a good history of supporting creative industries. And getting good audio results is pretty easy.

Apple uses some hidden safety buffers to prevent glitches. That tends to overstate latency performance "data" but in the real world doesn't matter IMHO.

Whatever works best for you.
Posted By: jeffcat Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:02 PM
Even in the case of Macs though, these days, on mobile hardware, you'd still have to do pretty much everything you'd do with the PC.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:13 PM
See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/kernel/introduction-to-threaded-dpcs

In Windows, if a faulty driver insert a too long DPC, the system may not be available to process your audio buffer at the right time, which can cause dropouts.

I suppose MacOS to be better designed about it.
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:14 PM
Say thanks to the closed Mac ecosystem.

Most Windows latency and dropout issues are caused by either poorly implemented ACPI management (BIOS and drivers), or poorly written drivers that execute DPC for too long.
Not only drivers not approved/tested by MS are allowed to be loaded, but even drivers signed, i.e. approved, by MS do not necessarily behave nicely. MS verifies only that they do not break the system.

Also, Mac is based on BSD kernel, and has much more modular architecture, while Windows is based on very outdated monolithic NT kernel model that was designed by same architect that created DEC/VAX OSes. Such monolithic structure makes change implementation much harder.

Mac was always king among media producers until Adobe CC raised to the top, and MS never bothered looking into latency improvements - their bread and butter always was enterprise/office environment.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:18 PM
This is only one opinion that I have come across - - - also, with regard to OS, I have no expertise - - - that said, a person once told me that the problem with Windows OS is that it is built for a wider variety of purposes, and so if you don't properly adjust the setup, all kinds of unnecessary processes are going on in the background which might interfere with the smooth running of a vst.

On the other hand, the prevalence of Windows means most of us are more familiar with them, and unless we use the PC only for music, using Windows is easier for us.

Certainly for me, I can code in VBA for my job in Windows, but I'd need Java to work on the Mac OS.


One way around this is the nuclear option:
A Hackintosh.

Having the best of both worlds sounds perfect. You get:
1) A PC tower which is easier to keep cool than a laptop, so VSTs might run a bit smoother.
2) You can use software specific to one or the other.
3) When one OS is having a ding dong, you can just switch, meaning that you can keep going if you need.

The downside to Hackintosh machines is that they are more complex, and getting the build to function can take a small labour of love, especially if you don't know what you're doing, and are following some Internet instructions.

Others swear by Linux OS as an even better option. However, again, there is a learning curve perhaps something that one would be better avoiding.

There has been a fair few posts already on the topic, and I would suggest that you Google them or Bing them.

Personally, having heard lots about the issues people have with getting the right setup for a VST and maybe having unrealistic expectations about how these perform, my advice is to measure twice and cut once. Make sure---before you splash out--- to ask and answer a few key questions:

1) What components are key for the smooth running of a VST (no point in having the most expensive parts for functions that have no bearing)
2) How do you set up your OS optimally (so you can evaluate the issues with competing systems before you choose
3) Do you want to use the computer for other things or have two machines both setup for different purposes?
Posted By: OscarRamsey Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:20 PM
Originally Posted by Pete14
I hate Cook’s Apple, but I also can’t live without it.

I’ve ventured into Windows land, and though initially welcoming, it swiftly unravels into a labyrinth filled with alien entities that take on many shapes and forms. I then make an escape back to Apple and decide to remain in this marriage gone stale; but still, sticking with this bad, boring, ugly, and out of shape Apple is better than my brief yet tragic affair with that there Windows!

🤣

I'd call it an everlasting friendship (due to the lack of fireworks).

VSTs aside: I bought a Mac because I just wanted something to work without any fuss... and it does!

I'm on my second mac - last of the 'upgradable' MacBooks before they made it very difficult to upgrade them yourself.

A 2012 machine... a few cheap upgrades over the years (see it as buying your mate a few pints) and it runs perfectly. Mega impressed.

I even had a flutter with pianoteq and it seemed to work very well.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:29 PM
A BSD kernel is monolithic.

The opposite is a microkernel approach : a very reduced kernel which only handles processes, and other functions (like filesystem, networking, drivers...) in normal processes. Such implementations are proposed by GNU Hurd, QNX...

To be more precise, MacOS borrows some parts from FreeBSD, some parts from OSF microkernel, then it is half BSD. (And both parts are in the same address space in a privileged mode... it is not a microkernel approach) Both MacOS and Windows are considered « hybrid kernels ». See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_kernel
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:41 PM
It depends on the software you use. Apple's own software is dreadfully buggy. I mean 1994 buggy, but the OS is good.
Posted By: 36251 Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:42 PM
Home computer - Never liked proprietary Apple. PC has made significant plug & play options over the years.

phone - I started out with iPhone. Too many updates; it seemed like every other day on some weeks. The final demise happened when Apple's latest OS broke my phone. I switched to Android and would never go back to Apple. (I use my phone mostly as a phone, for music ...)

tablet - Very happy with Apple for iPad and iTouch. So glad I can use PC with these Apple products.
Posted By: orcoaffamato Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 04:58 PM
Why pay lot's of € for an overpriced Mac, when, for the same amount of money, you can build a monster PC?
I never used a Mac and I never will! I always used PCs that I built and I never had a single problem with them.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 05:41 PM
Great thoughts, all! I will definitely research the dpc issues. I have an old laptop running a linux distro too - so I think I was half thinking about spending some time to see what I could get running vst wise in there (but I don't think ravenscroft / modern u has a linux compatible plugin)... but will spend a bit reading first!
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 05:53 PM
too late to edit my post, but found this latency checker tutorial on the sweetwater site: https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/solving-dpc-latency-issues/#CheckLatency
Posted By: PianoMan51 Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 06:39 PM
The lesson I learned in the 1980s was:

First pick your desired application software.
Then pick a computer to run it.

This why I have an iPad and not a generic tablet. For the available apps.

But MACs and PCs for the most part have different but comparable apps.

(Except for Mainstage. You can’t find anything close, especially for $30.)

So, back to the old-school thinking, just pick Ford or Chevy and plan to stick with it. It will work.

Now having said that, it is possible to buy a hardware computer that is dreadfully underpowered for music creation. Don’t do that!
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
One way around this is the nuclear option:
A Hackintosh.

Having the best of both worlds sounds perfect.
If you want to take the "both worlds" option, I'd still get a Mac. Boot Camp software (free from Apple) lets the Mac boot as a Windows machine (though you have to supply a copy of Windows). And it's actually a supported config, unlike a hackintosh which is unsupported and can be quirky and can break with new Mac OS releases. With optional software (VMWare, Parallels), a Mac also adds the option of running the Windows and Mac environments simultaneously, which you cannot do on a Hackintosh. You lose some performance in that mode, but it's nice to have the option for situations where highest performance isn't required.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 06:52 PM
My problem with Boot Camp is that the Mac trackpad has really basic functionality under Windows. I haven't tried anyone else's drivers though.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 07:00 PM
You could always plug in a mouse, which I prefer to the trackpad anyway, personally.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 07:53 PM
Originally Posted by PianoMan51
(Except for Mainstage. You can’t find anything close, especially for $30.)

I don't know about Mainstage - I might have to check that out!

I just bought a 2016 mbp but it just has usb c connectors - a cable hunting I will go... again... and adapters.. my usb mouse won't hook up to usb c
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 08:03 PM
Speaking about MainStage replacements for Windows - there are Cantabile and Gig Performer.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 08:09 PM
Originally Posted by VladK
Speaking about MainStage replacements for Windows - there are Cantabile and Gig Performer.
And Camelot Pro.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Originally Posted by VladK
Speaking about MainStage replacements for Windows - there are Cantabile and Gig Performer.
And Camelot Pro.
These replace the routing and performance capabilities of Mainstage, but do not include a sound library, which Mainstage does.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 09:19 PM
We can add EWQL Goliath, IK SampleTank or NI Kontakt... but I don’t how to buy them for less than $30.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 09:21 PM
Precisely.
Posted By: PianoMan51 Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 10:16 PM
I forgot to mention the big elephant that is approaching the room.

The next versions of MacBook will have a completely new and different processor, matching those that use iOS today. Old application software will run in a shell inside the new operating system. Which might be just fine for non real-time apps like browsers. But music creation apps require all the processing power of a computer and must be rewritten to be optimized.

Most people who use the current Intel -based Macs believe that Apple and music software vendors will make the transition smoothly. This includes me. But, check this issue out to your own satisfaction.
Posted By: joemama42O Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 10:43 PM
Windows PCs to me always win. Mac PCs are too stylish and overpriced. You're paying for the brand, not the specs. You're paying for the look, not the function.
https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/...sor-with-turbo-boost-up-to-3.9ghz-512gb# MacBook Pro, i5 @ 1.4ghz 4 core, 8 gb ram, Iris Plus Graphics (i5)
https://www.newegg.com/silver-asus-..._re=asus_vivobook-_-34-235-378-_-Product Windows Laptop, i7 @ 1.8ghz 4 core, 16 gb ram, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
Twice as much ram.... A newer processor... MUCH faster graphics... I mean, come on.
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 08/31/20 11:10 PM
Originally Posted by joemama42O
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.
OTOH, a Windows user typically has to add an audio interface (for basic use, Mac users often don't need that); and, as mentioned, will typically need to spend more than Mainstage's $30 to get a comparable set of sounds and hosting capabilities. So that reduces the price difference somewhat.

Also, price and speed are not the only variables. A Windows user is likely to have to locate, download, figure out, and configure ASIO4ALL, along with whatever hosting environment and VSTs he wants, and then may have to tinker to get it all working right. It can take hours for a new user to do in Windows what might be done in minutes on the Mac. That's worth something too (the difference in time and also often the difference in frustration).
Posted By: joemama42O Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by joemama42O
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.
OTOH, a Windows user typically has to add an audio interface (for basic use, Mac users often don't need that); and, as mentioned, will typically need to spend more than Mainstage's $30 to get a comparable set of sounds and hosting capabilities. So that reduces the price difference somewhat.

Also, price and speed are not the only variables. A Windows user is likely to have to locate, download, figure out, and configure ASIO4ALL, along with whatever hosting environment and VSTs he wants, and then may have to tinker to get it all working right. It can take hours for a new user to do in Windows what might be done in minutes on the Mac. That's worth something too (the difference in time and also often the difference in frustration).
*Deleted by moderator*

You're entitled to your opinion, you're not entitled to insult people who don't share it.
Posted By: orcoaffamato Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 04:18 AM
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by joemama42O
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.
OTOH, a Windows user typically has to add an audio interface (for basic use, Mac users often don't need that); and, as mentioned, will typically need to spend more than Mainstage's $30 to get a comparable set of sounds and hosting capabilities. So that reduces the price difference somewhat.

Also, price and speed are not the only variables. A Windows user is likely to have to locate, download, figure out, and configure ASIO4ALL, along with whatever hosting environment and VSTs he wants, and then may have to tinker to get it all working right. It can take hours for a new user to do in Windows what might be done in minutes on the Mac. That's worth something too (the difference in time and also often the difference in frustration).

For basic use you don't have to buy an audio interface 'cause it's already present in every motherboard nowdays.
If you want to buy and audio interface there are many that are good and don't cost so much money (Focusrite and Steinberg little ones) and you need just less then 2 minutes to be ready to use them (1 minute to download the driver; the other minute to install it).
You don't need to use ASIO4ALL when you have the audio interface drivers.

Btw, if you need to use external hardware with your mac, for example to record a digital piano or a synth in your DAW, you need to buy an audio interface too, 'cause you need two or more inputs.

And don't forget about the problems that come everytime that Apple changes the OS!
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 04:58 AM
Originally Posted by orcoaffamato
And don't forget about the problems that come everytime that Apple changes the OS!

True - but MS hasn't been stellar in this department either with the last few releases of 10 grin Certainly interesting points either way!
Posted By: FloRi89 Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 08:08 AM
I have Pianoteq 6 running on a 2012 MBP and on a one year old high end Windows Laptop that I got for work. The Windows laptop (on paper) is better in everything: SSD, more ram, more processing power and not by little, but by a huge margin (8 years is a world of difference in the tech world).

If I listen to a midi of Chopin Ballade 1 on the Windows laptop it runs O.K but constantly on the upper limit with the occasional clipping issue when it runs out of power. The Mac doesn't even come close to clipping with the exact same settings.

The difference on paper means nothing.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 09:51 AM
It’s all ‘bout that OS, FloRi89; macOS, that is!
Posted By: orcoaffamato Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by FloRi89
I have Pianoteq 6 running on a 2012 MBP and on a one year old high end Windows Laptop that I got for work. The Windows laptop (on paper) is better in everything: SSD, more ram, more processing power and not by little, but by a huge margin (8 years is a world of difference in the tech world).

If I listen to a midi of Chopin Ballade 1 on the Windows laptop it runs O.K but constantly on the upper limit with the occasional clipping issue when it runs out of power. The Mac doesn't even come close to clipping with the exact same settings.

The difference on paper means nothing.

You have to tweak Windows to make it run smootly...
Posted By: Jitin Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 06:28 PM
without reading the whole thread, if you are going for playing vst, mac , NO question about it. I've had both, and the latency is better (less) on MAC.
It is due to the software, particularly the MAC Operating system being superior for this type of thing.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 06:34 PM
Originally Posted by FloRi89
If I listen to a midi of Chopin Ballade 1 on the Windows laptop it runs O.K but constantly on the upper limit with the occasional clipping issue when it runs out of power. The Mac doesn't even come close to clipping with the exact same settings.

The difference on paper means nothing.

Indeed. My 2012 Samsung Windows laptop with a dual core i5 works perfectly well with all but the most demanding pianos.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 07:36 PM
I have a very old windows box with a Firewire interface that has been flawless recording audio. Firewire, and its replacement Thunderbolt, do I/O via DMA, which is why the main reason they work well on a Mac. There are midi interfaces/adapters for Thunderbolt (and Firewire), though I've not used them for midi.

So, if you want a MAC because you like the Apple user interface, or prefer BSD Unix as an OS, or because their are audio or music apps you want that run on a Mac, then by all means get a Mac. But if you just want good performance with audio interfaces, tou may be able to save on the cost by getting a Windows PC with Thunderbolt interface.
Posted By: DSC Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 07:55 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
So, if you want a MAC because you like the Apple user interface, or prefer BSD Unix as an OS, or because their are audio or music apps you want that run on a Mac, then by all means get a Mac. But if you just want good performance with audio interfaces, tou may be able to save on the cost by getting a Windows PC with Thunderbolt interface.

Thunderbolt ports are usually not found on low-end/mid-range laptops.
Here is a somewhat representative sample of the laptops with Thundebolt 3 ports and their prices.

https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10579-laptops-thunderbolt-3/

All those laptops are priced in the same range as the most recent MacMini/Macbook Air/Macbook Pro, which all have Thunderbolt ports also. Perhaps there are desktop PC’s that are cheaper, but I have never researched that area.

I don’t see much of a price savings just because it’s a windows pc laptop.
Posted By: EPW Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 08:11 PM
True DSC but Thunderbolt will be renamed USB-4 and next year most laptops will have it as OEM motherboard manufacturers implement the new specs. Maybe really low ends won't have it but I'm sure most mid-level $$ laptops will.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 08:12 PM
I am not sure that the Thunderbolt ecosystem on a PC is as mature as on a Mac. (See https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207355215-Clarett-Thunderbolt-Windows-Compatibility : from 3 machines, Focusrite only recommended 2 of them) And now, USB3 may be adequate.

And the use of DMA depends more of the chipset (and the driver), than of the bus interface. The Linux driver uses DMA the on OHCI, EHCI and XHCI compliant chipsets.

(But an high speed bus chipset without DMA would be strange. Sure disk IO were made on PIO mode... until circa 2000).


Note: I am not sure an high speed bus is needed to drive some MIDI (31250 baud) interfaces.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 08:54 PM
Originally Posted by DSC
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
So, if you want a MAC because you like the Apple user interface, or prefer BSD Unix as an OS, or because their are audio or music apps you want that run on a Mac, then by all means get a Mac. But if you just want good performance with audio interfaces, tou may be able to save on the cost by getting a Windows PC with Thunderbolt interface.

Thunderbolt ports are usually not found on low-end/mid-range laptops.
Here is a somewhat representative sample of the laptops with Thundebolt 3 ports and their prices.

https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10579-laptops-thunderbolt-3/

All those laptops are priced in the same range as the most recent MacMini/Macbook Air/Macbook Pro, which all have Thunderbolt ports also. Perhaps there are desktop PC’s that are cheaper, but I have never researched that area.

I don’t see much of a price savings just because it’s a windows pc laptop.
With a desktop case you can put whatever hardware in it you want.
Posted By: DSC Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/01/20 09:48 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
With a desktop case you can put whatever hardware in it you want.
True, but if you want to add Thunderbolt 3 support your motherboard must have the appropriate header, which is not common.

This thread has devolved into a platform war, which I don’t come to this forum to participate in, so I will bow out now.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 07:49 AM
Not really a platform war, just a cost allocation problem. I would prefer to use BSD Unix to Windows anyday, but if I want a version of BSD that supports the audio applications I use, I would have to give Apple a pile of dough. Running Windows with Thunderbolt and putting the savings into the purchase of a higher quality audio interface is a better allocation of budget in my view.

I don't need Thunderbolt 3. Firewire even works fine, so an earlier version of Thunderbolt surely would work.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 07:56 AM
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
I am not sure that the Thunderbolt ecosystem on a PC is as mature as on a Mac. (See https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207355215-Clarett-Thunderbolt-Windows-Compatibility : from 3 machines, Focusrite only recommended 2 of them) And now, USB3 may be adequate.

And the use of DMA depends more of the chipset (and the driver), than of the bus interface. The Linux driver uses DMA the on OHCI, EHCI and XHCI compliant chipsets.

(But an high speed bus chipset without DMA would be strange. Sure disk IO were made on PIO mode... until circa 2000).


Note: I am not sure an high speed bus is needed to drive some MIDI (31250 baud) interfaces.
I am using Firewire successfully now with DMA on Windows. The bandwidth would not be needed for midi, but it avoids the foolishness with ASIO.
Posted By: magicpiano Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 09:09 AM
I believe the title of this thread is wrong. Rather than Mac VS PC is more like Mac VS Windows.

Personally I think ALL the major (not free) operating systems become more and more fat pigs constantly spying on users' behavior without the user receiving any real benefits.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 11:23 AM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The bandwidth would not be needed for midi, but it avoids the foolishness with ASIO.

I don’t understand : all MIDI drivers use the Windows stack and has no relationship with ASIO which only provides a low latency way of exchanging with an audio interface.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 12:23 PM
Originally Posted by DSC
This thread has devolved into a platform war, which I don’t come to this forum to participate in, so I will bow out now.

I didn't get that at all! I don't see any war here.. hope nobody is looking for one. Strong points for both platforms! The hardware for mac in this application is strong as is the simplicity of garage band - but certainly can be done on the pc side too.

I know thunderbolt 4 is coming - but look how long and how little 3 is being used. It'll be a while before that's a necessity but the fundamental latency issues aren't going to change for a while unless the shift towards a linux-y environment for windows goes full bore.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 12:47 PM
Originally Posted by 36251
I started out with iPhone. Too many updates; it seemed like every other day on some weeks. The final demise happened when Apple's latest OS broke my phone. I switched to Android and would never go back to Apple.
On the phone front, iOS and Android have opposite problems here. Apple almost always lets you update the new OS, but practically forces you to whether you want to or not, and doesn't let you revert back. While Android phones have often not let you update to the new OS at all. Pick your poison...
Posted By: magicpiano Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 01:30 PM
At least, with Android phones, after the manufacturer ends its support for it and doesn't give updates for it (usually after 3-4 years) usually you can root the system and install a newer version of Android so that you can extend the life of your phone for other 3-4 years.

Anyway, the interest of manufacturers is to get you to buy new products, rather than keeping the old ones updated. If they allow an upgrade, then chances are that the phone will be slower than before, so that you want to change the phone even if its hardware is still good.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 04:00 PM
Thanks to all the contributors in this thread - I learned a ton about os's and how they handle audio. My piano teacher will not be happy that I'm spending time mucking about with this instead of working on my scales smile ... and timing... and etc.. But at least reasons for the differences between the two platforms is clear.
Posted By: BachToTheFuture Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 04:23 PM
Originally Posted by magicpiano
I believe the title of this thread is wrong. Rather than Mac VS PC is more like Mac VS Windows.

Personally I think ALL the major (not free) operating systems become more and more fat pigs constantly spying on users' behavior without the user receiving any real benefits.

It is all about OS, so I think it should be Apple OS versus MS OS. ;-)
Posted By: rkzhao Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 05:38 PM
Where my Unix homiez at?
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
The bandwidth would not be needed for midi, but it avoids the foolishness with ASIO.

I don’t understand : all MIDI drivers use the Windows stack and has no relationship with ASIO which only provides a low latency way of exchanging with an audio interface.
If you only care about MIDI, sure. I'm assuming someone buying a machine for such an application would want it to support an audio interface. If you only care about midi, there is no performance argument to be made for a MAC either.

I am not a huge fan of Windows, but Apple products are potentially not very cost effective. Of course, there is a hidden cost when things don't just work out of the box.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/02/20 09:12 PM
Originally Posted by rkzhao
Where my Unix homiez at?

I'm here too - I have a little of everything... but the problem is my vst's aren't linux happy! I was wondering how the latency issue would go with a linux distro. Guessing it would be better than windows theoretically since I think linux isn't using dpc like windows - so should be more like the mac... but then software is always the linux issue. If there was more dev support for vst's on that platform, we'd have another 10 pages of this thread!
Posted By: FloRi89 Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/03/20 07:29 AM
Originally Posted by rkzhao
Where my Unix homiez at?

Woop, woop. But that's more work then fun stuff for me ^^
Posted By: Svennig Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/03/20 07:58 AM
Linux low-latency == configuring JACK == the slow, relentless death of hope.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/03/20 02:25 PM
Just install a multimedia oriented Linux distribution (Ubuntu Studio, AVLinux, ...) and Jack should be configured for you.

Anyway, the advantage of Jack is that multiple applications can share the audio interface with a low latency. With the Windows you have too choose between the latency and the shared audio interface.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/03/20 06:06 PM
Are there any mastering software platforms available for Linux? The best noise-shaping algorithms incorporated into dithering impjementations are proprietary, and not generally available in open source tools, as far as I know. So I would need two OS platforms and two audio applications in my studio if I used Linux to capture content. If anyone has info to the contrary, I'd love to hear about the Linux toolset.
Posted By: ChrisGoesPiano Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/03/20 06:54 PM
PC or Mac ? That's like asking meat or fish...

Both can be very tasty, but ultimately, fish is better for you.
Posted By: joemama42O Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/08/20 04:34 AM
Originally Posted by joemama42O
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by joemama42O
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.
OTOH, a Windows user typically has to add an audio interface (for basic use, Mac users often don't need that); and, as mentioned, will typically need to spend more than Mainstage's $30 to get a comparable set of sounds and hosting capabilities. So that reduces the price difference somewhat.

Also, price and speed are not the only variables. A Windows user is likely to have to locate, download, figure out, and configure ASIO4ALL, along with whatever hosting environment and VSTs he wants, and then may have to tinker to get it all working right. It can take hours for a new user to do in Windows what might be done in minutes on the Mac. That's worth something too (the difference in time and also often the difference in frustration).
*Deleted by moderator*

You're entitled to your opinion, you're not entitled to insult people who don't share it.
As far as I remember this post said (summarized), "Anybody with half a brain could install programs on Windows". I have no idea how the moderator thought that this was an insult directed to the person I was talking to. I'm sorry if anotherscott felt like that was directed towards him (it was not). The frustration when I see a question I can answer, but yet i'm banned... oh well. I don't know if the moderator who banned me has had troubles with downloading programs on windows and took offense to what I said? I have no problems with people using Mac but there's better options and that was the point I was trying to prove.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/08/20 12:20 PM
Joe, I did not see the post that was deleted. But I want to pass along my own experience with Windows that I posted on another forum some time back:

=====

I was able to pick up a Surface Pro 4 with 8 GB RAM at a really tempting price, and have been playing with it this weekend. I have to say, I love the form factor and the keyboard feel (for what it is), and wish Apple had done something like this.

That said, as much as I admire the hardware, I had forgotten what a nightmare setting things up in Windows is, compared to iOS or Mac. Okay, I got a little ambitious in trying out so many different VSTs, but there is just so little consistency in installation procedures and interfaces, there are so many file formats, you get asked different questions, you have to manually move files into specified folders (or tell your environment--in my case, Gig Performer--to look in different places), there's a lot of clumsy folder navigation... (Boy, the Mac spoils you in file management, between things like spotlight search and the ability to drag a file from the desktop into an app's dialog box, and the ability to sort however you want without some insistence on grouping folders above files in your alphabetical list even when you say you want no grouping, and I can't believe all these years later, you still sometimes have to actually type a path... but onward, I'm just scratching the Surface.) Continuing in the list of Windows-specific setup complications... jbridge to adapt 32-bit plug-ins... a not-straight-forward ASIO4ALL configuration... even a mix of files that were compressed rar vs. zip, necessitating downloading an unrar program... and whoops if you double-click something to open it when you were supposed to be sure to extract it first... it's a lot of effort and there are so many places you can screw up, I was reminded of why so many hardware folk are resistant. Oh and this was a fun one... pick the option to make apps bigger, and some of the apps end up positioning important controls off-screen. Anyway, in the end, I did get at least most of it working the way I want, but even with ASIO4ALL, I'm getting too much latency out of the headphone output. Yeah, I knew that was probably going to be the case, but I'd hoped it would be "close enough." (Using my Macbook headphone jack is fine... but I wanted the tablet form factor for live use, and I wanted to run a couple of less common VSTs that are Windows only.)

I assume I'll have to pick up an interface, but I'm also open to tips on lowering latency besides just playing with buffer size (which, confusingly, can be set in both ASIO4ALL *and* GigPerformer, and neither picks up the setting you make in the other). (And p.s. -- experimenting much with ASIO4ALL settings seems to quickly make things unstable, requiring reboot to get things working right again. I guess that's the downside of depending on some years-old freeware to get the OS to do what it should have been able to do in the first place.)

Yet another complication... even just switching it to play from speakers to using the headphone jack wasn't straightforward! And all the sound options have cryptic names. They can't call the choices "Built in speakers" and "Headphone output", they have to call them things like SST1 and SST2. What the heck does SST stand for, anyway?

And yes, I'm sure some of the frustrations come from a general lack of familiarity with the Windows environment, despite using it on and off since 3.1.

======

There was more. At one point, the Surface insisted on doing a software update, The max it would let me delay it for was 30 minutes, after that I was dead in the water while it updated... and one of the things I had installed in demo mode stopped working after the update (I think the update may have messed up it's 30-day expiration or something like that). I also discovered that one need to modify power options to make sure it wouldn't throttle the cpu and degrade performance if I kept running it for a while.

And it's still true that PCs are more malware/virus prone, and while the best solution is to keep the computer off the internet, even if you're dedicating a computer to your music work and never intend to surf the web with it, you obviously do need to put it online to locate/download/configure/activate all this stuff. So there's one more thing to think about that you pretty much don't on a Mac (e.g. your initial setup is probably going to involve activating some protections, and then you'll want to run a check when you're done).

Anyway, I did add an interface and got everything working, but as you can see, it wasn't pretty. Of course, eventually, you can get a perfectly good system out of it, but especially if you're not already Windows savvy, setup is more time consuming and there are lots more potential derailments.
Posted By: ommoran Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/08/20 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by joemama42O
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.
OTOH, a Windows user typically has to add an audio interface (for basic use, Mac users often don't need that); and, as mentioned, will typically need to spend more than Mainstage's $30 to get a comparable set of sounds and hosting capabilities. So that reduces the price difference somewhat.

Also, price and speed are not the only variables. A Windows user is likely to have to locate, download, figure out, and configure ASIO4ALL, along with whatever hosting environment and VSTs he wants, and then may have to tinker to get it all working right. It can take hours for a new user to do in Windows what might be done in minutes on the Mac. That's worth something too (the difference in time and also often the difference in frustration).

I agree with @Joemama420 - the heavy prices for similar or inferior components is egregious, in my opinion. There are many, like @anotherscott, who ascribe to the "it just works" stuff that I just don't buy into, at least not anymore. Remember that MacOS is built on a "monolithic OS", namely Unix, which dates back to the '60s and operation of telephone switches and networking gear - updated to be sure, but so has Windows.

I think most people who are of the "Mac just works" camp haven't used a Windows PC since, say, Vista. XP was a solid OS, and Windows 10 has been fantastic, although like MacOS it has its pitfalls. You are in one camp, or another.

The Windows camp tends to get all the software available for Mac but for Apple proprietary software - Adobe can't ignore an install base as big as Windows, when the Mac only has 8% market share - and has had for a decade. Niche applications have always been the Mac's bread and butter - everyone likes to point out the "creative" types, but I don't think those count anymore either with PCs like the Surface Studio. It used to be desktop publishing - remember when that was a thing?

As to the Windows user having to "add an audio interface", that isn't true in many cases, but the best practices for either side are to add one. The Steinberg units add incredible functionality to both Windows and MacOS applications. Most have an audio interface into their computer, again except for the cheaper laptops. I admit to still having a desktop, which is a preferred format for my studio as far as I'm concerned; that's just me though. My laptop is a secondary PC.

Oh and - Apple just killed Bootcamp with their next iteration of hardware, if I recall correctly. They won't be able to run Windows on their Ax silicon.

Choose whichever floats your boat. Frankly if it were not for edge cases, most people could get along with a Chromebook - surfing and e-mail is basically what most people do.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/08/20 05:42 PM
Originally Posted by ommoran
I think most people who are of the "Mac just works" camp haven't used a Windows PC since, say, Vista.
I can't speak for most people, but I did post my Win10 experience.

Originally Posted by ommoran
The Windows camp tends to get all the software available for Mac but for Apple proprietary software - Adobe can't ignore an install base as big as Windows, when the Mac only has 8% market share - and has had for a decade. Niche applications have always been the Mac's bread and butter - everyone likes to point out the "creative" types, but I don't think those count anymore either with PCs like the Surface Studio. It used to be desktop publishing - remember when that was a thing?
This thread has strictly been about using the computer in music applications (MIDI/VST/DAW), and that's an area where it continues to have the advantages some of us have been talking about

Originally Posted by ommoran
As to the Windows user having to "add an audio interface", that isn't true in many cases, but the best practices for either side are to add one.
As I described, I was not able to acheive suitable low latency VST playback on my Surface Pro 4 without an interface; I had no such issue on my 2011-2013 era Macbooks. Though yes, if you're recording analog audio, you'll want an interface for either.

Originally Posted by ommoran
Oh and - Apple just killed Bootcamp with their next iteration of hardware, if I recall correctly. They won't be able to run Windows on their Ax silicon.
Yes, I expect Bootcamp to go away. But as of today, any Mac you buy can also function quite well as a Windows PC if and when needed, the reverse is not true. (And it will probably be years yet before you won't be able to buy some new Mac model that can run bootcamp.)

Originally Posted by ommoran
Frankly if it were not for edge cases, most people could get along with a Chromebook - surfing and e-mail is basically what most people do.
Yes, but again, we've been talking in the context of MIDI/VST/DAW apps. For what you're talking about, lots of people don't even need chromebook. Indeed, there is a new generation of folks whose entire silicon life is based on their smartphone, they don't even bother with a traditional computer.

But I agree, people should buy whatever floats their boat!
Posted By: Abdol Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/08/20 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by joemama42O
The frustration when I see a question I can answer, but yet i'm banned... oh well. I don't know if the moderator who banned me has had troubles with downloading programs on windows and took offense to what I said? I have no problems with people using Mac but there's better options and that was the point I was trying to prove.

Quote
You'll see people that don't know a lot about computers still trying to argue that macs are better than windows.
The windows laptop is $600 USD cheaper than the mac, while being much, much faster.

Are we talking about computer games here or DAWs? Are we talking about latency? joemama42O your posts are not clear and misleading. They are inaccurate.

I agree with anotherscott and I think he's giving an experienced person's advice. OS X and mac have many benefits. Windows platform is not bad but it takes some extra effort to come up with a 100% working music workstation.

I'll vote for mac. I have worked with both Windows and OS X and I think OS X provides a much better/professional environment for music production. If it was games or 3D animation works my opinion was different.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 04:54 AM
Until 2013, professional audio mastering applications were more prevalent on Windows:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/sony-sound-forge-pro-mac

Professional recording and mixing was always more prevalent on a Mac.

Until I recently decided to use a Tascam DR-100iii for recording, I used an M-Audio Firewire 1814 connected to a Windows box with a Firewire card and Sony Soundforge Pro to capture stereo recordings from keyboards and midi modules mixed in the analog domain when recording. The Firewire interface on the Windows box saved me from having to buy a 2nd computer. Maybe I just got lucky with the chosen hardware, but I just installed the m-audio driver on the Windows machine, and everything just worked flawlessly for years. I still use the 1814 as an external soundcard/DAC on the machine, and it is a backup interface for recording if needed.

Instead of framing a discussion as Mac vs. PC, spend time understanding your requirements, decide what software and audio hardware will best meet your requirements, and select an OS/hardware platform that best meets your requirements or is the most cost-effective solution or the one you are most comfortable using.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 07:23 AM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Until I recently decided to use a Tascam DR-100iii for recording, I used an M-Audio Firewire 1814 connected to a Windows box with a Firewire card and Sony Soundforge Pro to capture stereo recordings from keyboards and midi modules mixed in the analog domain when recording. The Firewire interface on the Windows box saved me from having to buy a 2nd computer. Maybe I just got lucky with the chosen hardware, but I just installed the m-audio driver on the Windows machine, and everything just worked flawlessly for years.

I've generally had no trouble with Windows. I sent a Dell laptop back before I bought my current computer (Mac), but the problem was of Dell's making, and had nothing to do with Windows. The computer had some DSP hardware that couldn't be bypassed, and it was causing latency. It was fine with an external interface.
Posted By: newer player Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 01:46 PM
The Mac is generally the best bet for those who want to quickly set up and start playing piano VIs IME. But it seems some people still add an external interface. Caution with the defective (and expensive to repair) butterfly keyboards pre-2020 laptops. Also, the operating system is somewhat irritating IME and apparently being phased out.

Windows PCs can provide a lot more processing and storage at attractive prices but IME can be difficult and time consuming to optimize for piano VIs. I have spent too many hours "optimizing" some Dell XPS laptops and finally they are OK...usually but not always.

A decade ago, the decision was easier as OSx was superior to rotten Windows Vista or 8, and Mac prices were similar to premium PC prices.
Posted By: Abdol Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Until 2013, professional audio mastering applications were more prevalent on Windows:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/sony-sound-forge-pro-mac

Professional recording and mixing was always more prevalent on a Mac.

Until I recently decided to use a Tascam DR-100iii for recording, I used an M-Audio Firewire 1814 connected to a Windows box with a Firewire card and Sony Soundforge Pro to capture stereo recordings from keyboards and midi modules mixed in the analog domain when recording. The Firewire interface on the Windows box saved me from having to buy a 2nd computer. Maybe I just got lucky with the chosen hardware, but I just installed the m-audio driver on the Windows machine, and everything just worked flawlessly for years. I still use the 1814 as an external soundcard/DAC on the machine, and it is a backup interface for recording if needed.

Instead of framing a discussion as Mac vs. PC, spend time understanding your requirements, decide what software and audio hardware will best meet your requirements, and select an OS/hardware platform that best meets your requirements or is the most cost-effective solution or the one you are most comfortable using.

There is no question in superiority of OS X and its CoreAudio APIs in pro audio applications! It is a known fact.

We need to refien our statistics here. The bulk number of users don't count. There is a very narrow portion of users who are considered as professionals. Using mac requires more money not just for the Mac PC but also for external hardware and software.

Compatible hardware need to meet certain specs and other extra costs that adds up to the finished products so not every ordinary musician can afford more expensive audio gears.

You can achieve the same with windows for sure but as I said, the workflow for audio production and ease of use in Windows is no where near Mac OS X. One really simple example that we often see here is the aggregate audio devices! You can't have them on Windows unfortunately. ASIO4ALL is a tricky unofficial software which is of course not reliable.

The idea of using ASIO4ALL for a multi million dollar movie is plain stupid.
Posted By: EPW Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 04:24 PM
I have been on the Windows side and it suits my needs. That is all I will say as I don't like these arguments about MAC vs. Windows. Use which one you're comfortable with.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 06:26 PM
Originally Posted by johnstaf
I've generally had no trouble with Windows. I sent a Dell laptop back before I bought my current computer (Mac), but the problem was of Dell's making, and had nothing to do with Windows. The computer had some DSP hardware that couldn't be bypassed, and it was causing latency. It was fine with an external interface.
"I had latency I couldn't get rid of, but it was fine with an external interface" is not Dell-specific... it seems to be the case with most (maybe all) PCs... and not Macs. That's one of the things we've been talking about.

Originally Posted by newer player
The Mac is generally the best bet for those who want to quickly set up and start playing piano VIs IME. But it seems some people still add an external interface.
If you want to record analog audio in, you'll want an interface for either platform. Or if you need more than a single pair of stereo analog outputs (say, for 5.1 surround mixing). But for VST playback, I doubt any Mac user needs one, while most if not all PC users need one. That's my understanding, anyway.

Originally Posted by EPW
Use which one you're comfortable with.
I completely agree! But for folks like the OP who have not already committed to one platform or the other for their music work, a thread like this can help show them the pros and cons of each route.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 06:56 PM
Quote
The idea of using ASIO4ALL for a multi million dollar movie is plain stupid.

As noted upthread, I don't use ASIO4ALL. Firewire and Thunderbolt do I/O by DMA which eliminates the latency issues that lead some to believe a MAC is a necessity. I would be perfectly happy with a MAC. My point is just that most or all of the insufficiencies of Windows for audio arise from using USB.

Sony used their Soundforge Pro mastering package for production mastering of their CD music product base for many years before it was even available for a Mac. I believe they also produce soundtracks for movies.
Posted By: EPW Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 07:23 PM
I wonder how this discussion will be when MAC is all on ARM in several years.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/09/20 07:48 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
My point is just that most or all of the insufficiencies of Windows for audio arise from using USB.
Getting back to the initial post about using a computer to play VSTs, I don't think the MIDI IN via USB is really an issue, it's getting the audio out that's the bottleneck, right? So if the on-board audio out is insufficient for low latency, what is the real advantage of thunderbolt compared to USB, if you have to buy an interface either way? I think you're saying that if you use a thunderbolt or firewire interface for your audio out, you don't need ASIO4ALL, so yes, you can eliminate some complication there. But there goes your price advantage compared to a Mac, since a thunderbolt interface is probably going to be $500. And your computer price could go up as well (e.g. the least expensive Dell laptop with Thunderbolt is $300 more than the least expensive Dell laptop without, though it's better for other reasons as well). So to the extent that someone prefers PC over Mac for its price advantage, that benefit erodes. Unless you intend to use a thunderbolt interface regardless, for its other capabilities. If you're going to put a $500 interface on whicver unit you buy whether PC or Mac, then yes, you're back to Windows having a likely cost advantage.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 03:29 AM
I'm just pointing out that there are more options than the MAC owners on the thread were articulating. I could use either OS.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 09:13 AM
Originally Posted by anotherscott
"I had latency I couldn't get rid of, but it was fine with an external interface" is not Dell-specific... it seems to be the case with most (maybe all) PCs... and not Macs. That's one of the things we've been talking about.

This was a hardware issue specific to the computer that had nothing to do with Windows. This is not typical of good PCs.
Posted By: Skyscrapersax Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 12:27 PM
1. What is "IME"?

2. What is "ARM"?

3. Don't new MACs eliminate audio ports? I just bought my first iPhone, it needs a dongle, and Drum Genius does not work on it as it clicks every loop. So, how would using a dongle work with good headhones for mixing, recording, etc. with a click?

4. I'm considering a MAC (I have a nice Windows machine, Lenovo 720), but I'd have to be super convinced it's way more better for music. So, why is it? I play sax and thus need an audio interface, but for piano gigs it would be nice not to have to bring one just to get VST keyboard sounds. But plugging speakers into a dongle? Or a single 1/8" audio out?

Thanks....
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 01:12 PM
Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
1. What is "IME"?

2. What is "ARM"?

3. Don't new MACs eliminate audio ports? I just bought my first iPhone, it needs a dongle, and Drum Genius does not work on it as it clicks every loop. So, how would using a dongle work with good headhones for mixing, recording, etc. with a click?

4. I'm considering a MAC (I have a nice Windows machine, Lenovo 720), but I'd have to be super convinced it's way more better for music. So, why is it? I play sax and thus need an audio interface, but for piano gigs it would be nice not to have to bring one just to get VST keyboard sounds. But plugging speakers into a dongle? Or a single 1/8" audio out?

1. I beliebe IME is probably In My Estimation, which would be a variation of IMO.

2. ARM is a kind or processor. Relevant here in that it is not Intel. It is what iOS devices use (as well as many other devices). Once Macs switch, they will need to be running updated software, or the older stuff will be run through an emulation layer, so there are questions about how that might impact performance, and also whether bootcamp will still allow Macs to run Windows. Which is actually not an impossibility since Microsoft themselves are committed to Windows on ARM, something I should have mentioned in my post about that but thought of too late to edit.

3. Macs still have audio ports, the only removals have been some iOS devices AFAIK.

4a. "why is it" is exactly what the OP asked at the top of the thread. It has been thoroughly answered in this thread.

4b. Single 1/8" audio out usually works fine if all you need is a straight stereo output. (Same with most iPads/iPhones which people use as well.) Not the most ideal/rugged connector, and you'll almost certainly need some kind of adapter on the other end, but workable. Get an 1/8" cable that has a right-angle connector, they are much less susceptible to getting knocked around while plugged in, which is the biggest vulnerability. (There are also things like 1/8" to XLR direct boxes and such, if needed.)
Posted By: Skyscrapersax Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 04:55 PM
Thanks for the complete answer, Another Scott! I have to avoid plugging my headphone directly into my Windows laptop, as I tripped on the cord once, my laptop fell to the ground (destroying the plug) and taking down my satellite hard drive, destroying it (only $600 to repair to retrieve the data!).

Maybe somebody makes a 1/8" to 1/8" right angle adapter?
Posted By: EPW Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 06:09 PM
Hosa makes those apapters smile
Posted By: Abdol Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 06:40 PM
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Del Vento Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 07:17 PM
Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
Thanks for the complete answer, Another Scott! I have to avoid plugging my headphone directly into my Windows laptop, as I tripped on the cord once, my laptop fell to the ground (destroying the plug) and taking down my satellite hard drive, destroying it (only $600 to repair to retrieve the data!).

Maybe somebody makes a 1/8" to 1/8" right angle adapter?

How would those right angle adapters help with the problem of tripping on the cord, pulling the equipment on the ground and causing expensive damage? Only longer cords, properly routed around the room to avoid tripping hazards in the first place can help, IMO.
Posted By: ChrisGoesPiano Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 07:23 PM
An old one, but still true :
Linux for development,
Mac for productivity,
Windows for Solitaire...
Posted By: EVC2017 Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/10/20 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
1. What is "IME"?


https://duckduckgo.com/?q=internet+acronyms&atb=v188-3&ia=web

My goto search when I stumble upon some of these acronyms.

IME IME stands for "In my experience". smile
Posted By: klausi6 Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 04:37 AM
MAC for production?
Windows for solitaire?

https://makemusic.zendesk.com/hc/en...an-Instruments-with-macOS-10-15-Catalina
Posted By: Skyscrapersax Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 09:38 AM
Thanks ... Gotta look into the Duck...
Posted By: ChrisGoesPiano Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 02:44 PM
Originally Posted by klausi6

Your link doesn't work. Windows server ?
Posted By: klausi6 Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 05:17 PM
i copied the link from this thread of the piano world forum:

Is Garritan CFX for $139 a good deal?

There is mentioned:

It seems OS Catalina still is not supported by Garritan;
Posted By: David B Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 05:24 PM
Originally Posted by klausi6
i copied the link from this thread of the piano world forum:

Is Garritan CFX for $139 a good deal?

There is mentioned:

It seems OS Catalina still is not supported by Garritan;

According to the Garritan website (sorry for no link) it might only be a problem when installing the samples. If you already have Garritan CFX installed, it shouldn't be a problem. I've had no problems with Catalina/Garritan CFX combo.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 09:30 PM
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is the major source of noise and distortion in an audio amp. Amp designers go to great lengths to minimize it. Computer manufacturers try to neet EMI standards for external interference, but the inside of a computer case is a fairly nousy environment for EMI.

Thus, having an external soundcard, whether an outboard DAC, or audio interface (DAC & ADC) has the advantage of moving all of the analog audio out of the potentially noisy computer case. It is not mandatory to do so, but let's just say that acquiring an expensive audio system to which to route the analog output of an internal soundcard is probably a waste of money.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
But there goes your price advantage compared to a Mac, since a thunderbolt interface is probably going to be $500. And your computer price could go up as well (e.g. the least expensive Dell laptop with Thunderbolt is $300 more than the least expensive Dell laptop without, though it's better for other reasons as well).
A Thunderbolt 2 interface for a desktop Windows box is about $125. Thunderbolt audio interfaces start at $600. If you spend $900 extra for a higher level Dell laptop with faster hardware plus Thunderbolt and a Thunderbolt interface, then you are in the same cost range as a Mac laptop so it comes down to whether having a good quality (not entry level) audio interface, or having a Mac is more useful.

My usage of BSD Unix goes back to 1983. I did not even consider Windows to be a real operating system until 20 years later. I'm not sure why VST vendors are not supporting thrir products on open-source platforms, but maybe they are concerned that if they build out the infrastructure then open-source VSTs will kill their business.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
My usage of BSD Unix goes back to 1983. I did not even consider Windows to be a real operating system until 20 years later. I'm not sure why VST vendors are not supporting thrir products on open-source platforms, but maybe they are concerned that if they build out the infrastructure then open-source VSTs will kill their business.
I don’t think that there will be more open-source VSTs (or LADSPA v2 alias LV2 plugins) if one virtual instruments developper sell one. I think that the market is too tiny to justify a development. People who would like to pay for a virtual version Instrument are more likely to use Windows or Mac, and many Linux user care less about paid software. One other point us that iLok and eLicensor don’t support Linux.
Posted By: Del Vento Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 10:38 PM
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
many Linux user care less about paid software. One other point us that iLok and eLicensor don’t support Linux.

While it is true what you say about iLok and eLicensor, there are a plethora of paid licensed software on Linux which people buy. In the context of what we care here it's just PianoTeq, but on a broader field there is IDL, Matlab, Totalview, ARM Forge, Intel Compiler and others.

I, for one, started learning about PianoTeq first among all the VI, just because it ran on my only OS of the time (Linux). I now have a work laptop with one of the other two OS discussed here (won't say which one laugh ) , but frankly I don't like it, and I think at the next hw update I will ask to go back to only Linux.
Posted By: Zaphod Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/11/20 11:11 PM
You can get PC's (mainly tower) - by "PC" I mean Intel driven machine running Windows or Linux, that are especially built for audio, from some of the more cottage-industry type companies, who will build it to spec.

I always understand that nowadays for the same money, PC for power, Mac for stability.

I also understand (and correct me if I'm wrong) that the difference in the internals of PC's and Macs nowadays isn't nearly as different as it used to be, Macs being powered by very similar chipsets. Don't hold me to that though.

I think it really boils down to choice of OS nowadays.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/12/20 11:06 AM
Originally Posted by Del Vento
In the context of what we care here it's just PianoTeq, but on a broader field there is IDL, Matlab, Totalview, ARM Forge, Intel Compiler and others.

This doesn’t contradict what I have said. Even RedHat should be paid. But among Linux users a part would prefer to use free software than paying a software. Then the user base which interest a virtual instrument editor is less important than the Linux user base.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/12/20 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is the major source of noise and distortion in an audio amp. Amp designers go to great lengths to minimize it. Computer manufacturers try to neet EMI standards for external interference, but the inside of a computer case is a fairly nousy environment for EMI.

Thus, having an external soundcard, whether an outboard DAC, or audio interface (DAC & ADC) has the advantage of moving all of the analog audio out of the potentially noisy computer case. It is not mandatory to do so, but let's just say that acquiring an expensive audio system to which to route the analog output of an internal soundcard is probably a waste of money.
While your point is well taken, I think the consequence may be over-stated. The sound quality of audio out from built in sound circuitry is really not inherently noticeably noisy probably in any but the most pristine environments, as most people would probably attest to from years of (for example) listening to music out of the headphone jacks of their smartphones and laptops. If you're playing a piano VST out of one of these jacks into the typical home or stage keyboard playback system, whatever slightly higher noise floor there may be is probably irrelevant. (I suppose PCs may vary more than Macs because of all the different manufacturers, though latency is such an issue on PCs that it probably doesn't matter, you probably won't bother using those outputs for a VST anyway.)

Now, audio IN is another issue, and yes, I have experienced excess noise from onboard audio inputs (on a Mac), and would then use an interface.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 12:51 AM
Originally Posted by anotherscott
I was able to pick up a Surface Pro 4 with 8 GB RAM at a really tempting price, and have been playing with it this weekend. I have to say, I love the form factor and the keyboard feel (for what it is), and wish Apple had done something like this.

I love my surface too and thought to try it with ravenscroft but was very laggy. I agree the form factor would make it a fun option! Having a touchscreen that fits on the music stand would be handy (ha). I researched it a bit and found Surface lag seemed related to cpu throttling. For a possible solution, you can check the article here. I believe it has to do with trying to be battery sparing at too high a cost for this application, but there are work-arounds.

Newer laptops, both mac & windows, seem to be unifying around the thunderbolt interface, and it *seems* like that interface inherently deals in dma vs dpc mode of window's usb interfaces (please, someone more knowledgable than me please correct me if I'm wrong). There's an interesting artice from Presonus here with latency on the interface of 1ms! I have a new PC laptop on the way with several thunderbolt 3 ports and a 2016 mbp also with tb3 ports, so it will be fun to compare.
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 02:31 AM
Originally Posted by OzarkCDN
it *seems* like that interface inherently deals in dma vs dpc mode of window's usb interfaces
DMA for PCI exist since Windows XP; it means 'direct memory access', and it allows hardware devices to update memory directly by omitting CPU - this speedups many I/O operations.
DMA is asynchronous - the sender does not wait for DMA operation to complete.
But when hardware related DMA I/O operation is completed (data is copied), most I/O hardware devices trigger IRC which queues all necessary DPC to let interested parties know about this update - there is no other way to deal with it in Windows. So poorly written DPC will still cause low latency and droputs.
The DPC model needs to be changed to avoid locks caused by slow DPC routines IMHO.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 02:03 PM
Great info - so, if I understand properly, this is a driver / software / os issue, not a hardware issue? I have a laptop on order with options for the processor and was debating between an i7-9850h processor or xeon e-2276m for a little extra, but would the be any benefit for this application of one processor over the other?
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 02:23 PM
The days of poor latency are fading into history.
Originally Posted by anotherscott
"I had latency I couldn't get rid of, but it was fine with an external interface" is not Dell-specific... it seems to be the case with most (maybe all) PCs... and not Macs. That's one of the things we've been talking about.

Years ago I had terrible latency using the internal audio on my 2005-era Dell laptop. That's why I bought an external interface.
I assumed I'd always need one. And anyway I needed the MIDI ports, too, because USB/MIDI was a bit wonky in Windows XP.

Recently I discovered that the WASAPI (Whuzzzzup!) interface works just fine.
Even with this Dell desktop's internal Realtek-based audio, the latency is good.
Not as good as with the Presonus with ASIO. But quite acceptable, and far better than what I got in my my XP-based no-WASAPI days.

Had I started into this today instead of in 2009 I'd likely not buy the external interface at all.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 03:35 PM
That's good to know - have you compared wasapi to the asio4all driver?
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 04:21 PM
You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? smile
Originally Posted by OzarkCDN
That's good to know - have you compared wasapi to the asio4all driver?

I've not used ASIO4All since I got the Presonus box around ten years ago. The latter came with its own ASIO driver, so there was no longer a need to use ASIO4All.
Posted By: Abdol Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 05:09 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The days of poor latency are fading into history.
Originally Posted by anotherscott
"I had latency I couldn't get rid of, but it was fine with an external interface" is not Dell-specific... it seems to be the case with most (maybe all) PCs... and not Macs. That's one of the things we've been talking about.

Years ago I had terrible latency using the internal audio on my 2005-era Dell laptop. That's why I bought an external interface.
I assumed I'd always need one. And anyway I needed the MIDI ports, too, because USB/MIDI was a bit wonky in Windows XP.

Recently I discovered that the WASAPI (Whuzzzzup!) interface works just fine.
Even with this Dell desktop's internal Realtek-based audio, the latency is good.
Not as good as with the Presonus with ASIO. But quite acceptable, and far better than what I got in my my XP-based no-WASAPI days.

Had I started into this today instead of in 2009 I'd likely not buy the external interface at all.

External interfaces are not just manufactured to just have better latency. There are many other advantages. better ADC/DAC, better amplifier for both headphones and speakers, MIDI I/O better mic pre amps.

You can't have decent amp and ADC/DAC in a laptop that have direct influence on the latency!
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 05:41 PM
I've been using my vpc1 via usb... and didn't even think about using the midi connections for my UMC204hd. I'm still pretty green around music technology - but if I used the vpc1 with the midi instead of usb (having to power the vpc1 with an external ps right?? or can I leave usb connected for power?) would I just use the vpc1 -> midi out -> behringer -> usb to pc/mac? I'm not quite sure if there would be any reason to use the vpc1's midi input, is there (ie, connecting behringer midi out -> vpc1 midi in)
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 06:07 PM
WASAPI driver latency is usually so high, because general purpose WASAPI drivers use Shared Mode. However if AI maker offers proprietary WASAPI Exclusive or WDM-KS (Kernel Streaming) driver - these can deliver latency similar to ASIO.
By the way, ASIO4ALL is wrapper around WDM-KS driver - it can't be used without WDM, this is why it never worked with Win95 or NT.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 06:33 PM
It is not the driver which decides if the WASAPI is shared or exclusive. It is the application. With Reaper, we have the choice. But we can have applications which don’t propose the exclusive mode.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 07:21 PM
Quote
Remember that MacOS is built on a "monolithic OS", namely Unix, which dates back to the '60s and operation of telephone switches and networking gear - updated to be sure, but so has Windows.
Multi-tasking and asynchronous I/O were well understood by the 1970's. If you look at the typical features of a state-of-the-art operating system in the 1970's as implemented in Unix systems and DEC proprietary operating systems, I think NT4 was when Windows caught up to that, and Windows 2000 was the first with widespread usage.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 09:10 PM
I would add that the design center of Unix was software development, not control of telephone switches.
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 09:29 PM
UNIX is just a set of API the OS must conform to, implementations can be very different.
UNIX-RT and UNIX-RTR both were true real time OSes with UNIX layer.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/14/20 11:33 PM
Originally Posted by VladK
UNIX is just a set of API the OS must conform to, implementations can be very different.
That may be true today, but was not true in the 1970's.
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 01:04 AM
Yes, IEEE POSIX standardization began in 80th. Before that all versions of UNIX were based on the source code licensed by AT&T to other vendors, and all major version updates were from AT&T.
The first major split happened only when free BSD NET/1 was released, and this was 1989, right after the first IEEE standard was published.
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 01:58 AM
Originally Posted by VladK
The first major split happened only when free BSD NET/1 was released, and this was 1989, right after the first IEEE standard was published.
Also about the same time, the unix-based OS for NeXT was released (which became the foundation for Mac OS X), based on Mach that originated in 1985.
Posted By: OzarkCDN Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 02:27 AM
I remember those NeXT computers - square black desktop cubes. Almost like the original mac.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 03:59 AM
Originally Posted by VladK
Yes, IEEE POSIX standardization began in 80th. Before that all versions of UNIX were based on the source code licensed by AT&T to other vendors, and all major version updates were from AT&T.
The first major split happened only when free BSD NET/1 was released, and this was 1989, right after the first IEEE standard was published.
That's not historically correct. The first major split was when UC Berkeley implemented what became BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution) in the late 1970's. There was Bell Unix and Berkeley Unix. Posix started as a result of that split, as an attempt to provide a uniform platform for software portability across Unix platforms.
Posted By: VladK Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 04:40 AM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by VladK
Yes, IEEE POSIX standardization began in 80th. Before that all versions of UNIX were based on the source code licensed by AT&T to other vendors, and all major version updates were from AT&T.
The first major split happened only when free BSD NET/1 was released, and this was 1989, right after the first IEEE standard was published.
That's not historically correct. The first major split was when UC Berkeley implemented what became BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution) in the late 1970's. There was Bell Unix and Berkeley Unix. Posix started as a result of that split, as an attempt to provide a uniform platform for software portability across Unix platforms.

Nope, intially BSD was just PDP/VAX software distribution package (Berkeley Software Distribution - Pascal compiler, ex, vi, c shell, tty, etc) built on top of AT&T Unix code when Thompson worked in Berkeley. BSD added new utilities, its own networking stack, and still used but slowly replaced AT&T code until Net/2 which was first BSD competely free from AT&T code.

You are right though that POSIX was needed because System V and BSD became technically completely independent, both were widely used by big guns (System V - IBM, HP; BSD - DEC, Sun) and there was risk of application incompatibility nobody was interested in.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 06:44 AM
I believe the original BSD implementation included a denand page virtual memory system that was lacking in Bell Unix at the tine. By the time of 4.1BSD and Bell System III around 1980, Berkeley and Bell Unix were not compatible platforms for running software. Bell System V just made it worse.
Posted By: Skyscrapersax Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 10:10 AM
Is there any particular reason why some computer geek cannot develop a replacement for ASIO4ALL (which is ancient and single-client)? As in a multi-client application with a modern interface? I don't need an external box interface for piano gigs as not recording saxophone. Having to not bring a box would be great.
Posted By: Skyscrapersax Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 10:12 AM
AnotherScott, are you achieving good results with your Surface Pro? I'd like to bring VSTs to a gig without bringing my 17" day gig work laptop. Thanks...
Posted By: anotherscott Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 01:25 PM
Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
AnotherScott, are you achieving good results with your Surface Pro? I'd like to bring VSTs to a gig without bringing my 17" day gig work laptop.
I was happy with the results in my limited experimentation, but never actually gigged with it or stressed it much. I added an Alesis Control Hub to get the latency down, which worked well since it was a small, inexpensive box that gave me audio out AND the MIDI in jacks (which is important because the SP only has one USB port). I ended up adding a small USB hub anyway because I had to connect an iLok, but that's not always necessary, there are lots of VSTs that don't need iLok, and even those that do can now often work without the physical dongle.

BTW, I had previously briefly experimented with the first Surface Pro, but found its screen was too small (it's 10.6" instead of the SP4's 12.3"). Too many Windows apps just don't scale down well, and that was below my threshold of usability. If you need something super small to enhance your rig, I'd give up on proper VSTs and stick with an iPad (even the iPad Mini's 7.9" works).
Posted By: newer player Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 02:12 PM
Robin Vincent designs computers for professional audio studios in the UK.

He also has a series of videos on the SurfacePro for homegamers, with recommended tweaks. He recommends certain SurfacePro models below.

http://surfaceproaudio.com/
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 02:43 PM
Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
Is there any particular reason why some computer geek cannot develop a replacement for ASIO4ALL (which is ancient and single-client)? As in a multi-client application with a modern interface? I don't need an external box interface for piano gigs as not recording saxophone. Having to not bring a box would be great.

Perhaps ASIO4ALL is good enough and the pain to develop something new is too high compared with the gain.

(And if someone find I am wrong, let him roll up his sleeves and develop the new interface).

Note that we have Jacks on Windows which :
- can use WDM KS access,
- is multi-application.
- has an ASIO access.

But I have no use of it and have tested it.

https://jackaudio.org/faq/jack_on_windows.html


Note: ASIO4ALL is not OpenSource, then we can’t improve it, we would have to redevelop it from scratch.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 04:15 PM
I don't think I know what this does. And I would not know how to use it ...
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Note that we have Jack on Windows which :
- can use WDM KS access
- is multi-application
- has an ASIO access

I guess I don't know Jack. smile
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 04:41 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I guess I don't know Jack. smile

Jack is an audio framework designed for Linux which is adequate for low latency and multi application accesses.

It has been ported to Windows, but I don’t know how it compares to ASIO4ALL. However, it has multiple common points : direct access to the driver (WDM KS), low latency, ASIO interface.

If I would want to build a multi-application ASIO4ALL, I would surely start assembling Jack for Windows and adapt it for my needs.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 06:01 PM
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I believe the original BSD implementation included a denand page virtual memory system that was lacking in Bell Unix at the tine. By the time of 4.1BSD and Bell System III around 1980, Berkeley and Bell Unix were not compatible platforms for running software. Bell System V just made it worse.
I think the Berkeley distribution on a PDP-11 was just the Bell unix system. When BSD was ported to a Vax, virtual memory and other changes were added, and the two code bases diverged. This apparently was released in 1980. I was using 4.1BSD in 1983, and documentation and manuals were already distinct (the infamous Berkeley brick and Bell brick).

To make this more relevant to the thread, I am not keen on companies that produce proprietary systems that incorporate open source systems. Apple takes advantage of the work of the open source community, but has been late to the party giving back to the open source community.
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 07:15 PM
As you can read here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_(kernel) the memory management of the Mach (no direct relationship with Mac), has been reused in FreeBSD (NetBSD has its own memory management). And FreeBSD AND Mach has been reused by Apple To build MacOS. Then the MacOS memory management is quite new.
Posted By: Sweelinck Re: Mac vs PC? - 09/15/20 08:12 PM
I wasn't trying to suggest that Apple used the 1980 memory management code, which would even be impossible because the Vax hardware was different. Apple still used substantial open source code in the core OS.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums