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#3171233 11/16/21 05:27 PM
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I'm thinking about buying my first Mac ever. smile I feel like this is one of those things where I don't know what I don't know, if you know what I mean ... So, what should I know?!

For clarity and context, it's not completely replacing PC use in my household. I'm still going to have my PCs for work and all the other usual things. But I'd like to buy a Macbook Air for some casual use (surfing, email, etc.), and if it's also good for music stuff (VSTs, DAW software), all the better. Some things I'm already thinking about:

- For all I can tell, Pianoteq should run just fine on it.
- It comes with GarageBand, and I should also be able to install Cubase on it.
- The ports are USC-C, but I should be able to buy an adapter for the usual USB connects to my DP / keyboards.

Anything else I'm just not thinking of that I'll be unhappy about later?! laugh


Decent bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, RD-2000, & VR-730; Yamaha MX61; Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30; Casio PX-160 & PX-830
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 7 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4), Roland KC-80
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You will be fine, everything will run great, just make sure you buy an M1 Mac, not an Intel one. You can also buy cables instead of adapters for USB to piano if your piano has USB (B to C)


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, M1 Mac mini, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Garritan CFX full, Vienna Imperial, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
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M1 Mac will work better than any pc for Pianoteq


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I've used PCs since the early 90s, but my 2013 Macbook Pro has been way better for handling live MIDI input and recording.

It has always run Pianoteq and Garritan CFX perfectly, so I've had no reason to upgrade. I am tempted by the M1s though.

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Note that the first wave of M1 machines come with a default 8GB of RAM, though can be customised at factory to 16GB. If you end up going for VSL (now or later), ideally there is 32GB. It doesn't help a lot of music software has not been updated to native Apple Silicon(never?), and currently running on Rosetta (a translation engine).

I have an M1 MBP. While it is extremely good in most ways; for a musician I recommend one of the just launched M1(X) computers.


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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Anything else I'm just not thinking of that I'll be unhappy about later?! laugh

Yes, your PC laugh

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Theo,

I bought myself an M1 MacBook Air last Christmas and have been extremely happy with the performance and battery life. I went for the 16GB model to ensure a degree of future-proofing.

For connecting instruments via USB MIDI, I can use either an 8-in-1 Anker USB-C hub, or can connect the USB cable from the instrument directly into my external monitor. This monitor connects to the Mac via USB-C cable, is able to power the Mac at the same time and also has a standard USB hub.

The base M1 Macs are Apple's entry-level offering, however the performance is still very impressive. The recently released M1 Pro and Max powered MacBooks are even faster, however I still like the size and weight of the Air, and the fact that it's completely fanless.

By the way, if you're interested in learning more about the M1 Macs, I strongly recommend the Constant Geekery channel on YouTube. Their videos are very clearly explained, without the usual flashiness of most YT technology review channels.

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
I'm thinking about buying my first Mac ever. smile I feel like this is one of those things where I don't know what I don't know, if you know what I mean ... So, what should I know?!

For clarity and context, it's not completely replacing PC use in my household. I'm still going to have my PCs for work and all the other usual things. But I'd like to buy a Macbook Air for some casual use (surfing, email, etc.), and if it's also good for music stuff (VSTs, DAW software), all the better. Some things I'm already thinking about:

- For all I can tell, Pianoteq should run just fine on it.
- It comes with GarageBand, and I should also be able to install Cubase on it.
- The ports are USC-C, but I should be able to buy an adapter for the usual USB connects to my DP / keyboards.

Anything else I'm just not thinking of that I'll be unhappy about later?! laugh

I have been in the exact same situation as you have, and I am now the happy owner of a PC and a Macbook Air. Pianoteq runs very smoothly on it, and yes, Garageband as well. I don't have Cubase. You did not mention iMovie, but it is a great program if you film yourself with your phone and want to connect the Pianoteq file to it. You can then mute the sound from the phone, and nobody hears you count out loud. wink

I wish I had bought one with more RAM and more memory, but at the time, I did not yet use it with my piano and I did not foresee my needs for RAM and memory.
I would recommend you to buy an external hard drive that you can use as a time machine - my Air crashed one day due to an iOS update, and thanks to the time machine, I only lost eleven days.

One of the strange and annoying things with a Macbook is that you cannot cut files and paste them somewhere else. And it happens every now and again that I think that I have saved a file in a certain folder, only to discover that it is saved somewhere else.
But otherwise, I am happy that I have both. The best of both worlds! cool


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Originally Posted by Animisha
One of the strange and annoying things with a Macbook is that you cannot cut files and paste them somewhere else.

I think this is possible on Mac, at least on Big Sur which I am using.

Command+C to copy, then Command+V to paste, or Command+Option+V to cut+paste.

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Animisha
One of the strange and annoying things with a Macbook is that you cannot cut files and paste them somewhere else.

I think this is possible on Mac, at least on Big Sur which I am using.

Command+C to copy, then Command+V to paste, or Command+Option+V to cut+paste.

Cheers,
James
x

In addition to the above, hold CMD and do drag drop. It cuts it and pastes it (you can't do this in windows!)


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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Animisha
One of the strange and annoying things with a Macbook is that you cannot cut files and paste them somewhere else.

I think this is possible on Mac, at least on Big Sur which I am using.

Command+C to copy, then Command+V to paste, or Command+Option+V to cut+paste.

Yes of course, copy and paste, that is what I do sometimes, and then move the doubled file to the bin.

I immediately tried Command+Option+V to cut+paste, and in a way it worked, but it just put the file in the wrong folder! crazy With windows, when a file is in one folder, I cut that file, then close that folder, open the destination folder, and past the file in that folder. In mac, my way of cut and paste is to move a file unto the desktop, and then I open the destination folder and move it from the desktop to that folder.


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Originally Posted by Abdol
In addition to the above, hold CMD and do drag drop. It cuts it and pastes it (you can't do this in windows!)

It's actually the default in Windows with drag and drop between different disks (using the left mouse button). Windows calls it "move". Go figure.

With a right button drag and drop Windows lets you choose between move and copy upon releasing the button on the destination.

Then you have the usual Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+X.


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Thanks for the feedback, folks! And thanks for not turning this into a bitter "Mac vs. PC" debate - as seems to be happening at another music forum at which I asked this question ...


Decent bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, RD-2000, & VR-730; Yamaha MX61; Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30; Casio PX-160 & PX-830
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 7 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4), Roland KC-80
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Originally Posted by Erard
Originally Posted by Abdol
In addition to the above, hold CMD and do drag drop. It cuts it and pastes it (you can't do this in windows!)

It's actually the default in Windows with drag and drop between different disks (using the left mouse button). Windows calls it "move". Go figure.

With a right button drag and drop Windows lets you choose between move and copy upon releasing the button on the destination.

Then you have the usual Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+X.

And even more: you can drag files in the usual way, with the left mouse button, and use the Ctrl or Shift keys to define the action. If you drag with the Ctrl key, it will be copying. If you drag with the Shift key pressed, this will be moving the object. And if you drag with the Alt key, it will create a shortcut to the object.
https://www.alphr.com/drag-and-drop-copy-move-shortcut-windows/

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Quick Mac tips for music:
* the cheap generic midi to usb cables on Amazon (in the $10-$20 range) magically work. I’ve tried 3 different brands - the semi name brand Mio, a generic black and white one that looks virtually identical to the mio, and the red and black. They all work equally well. Sure you can get a more involved audio interface, but if you’re looking to just get moving quickly, these do the trick.
* Macs have excellent Audio circuitry built-in. Even on my 2009 MacBook Pro or my 2008 iMac, I can use the lowest latency with Pianoteq stage with optimistic polyphony - it doesn’t crap out if I’m using it directly. No special audio drivers, no fiddling with asio4all. Just select the lowest latency and play. The sound using the built in headphone Jack is quite good as well. (Of course it also works well on my 2021 14” MBP).
* GarageBand is also excellent. Gives you access to a wide range of sounds.

* little known trick: if you’re into live performance, for $29.99 you can buy the amazing MainStage app, which gives you access to all of the sounds available in Logic Pro X. Even though some of the patches are named the same, it upgrades you to a version of Apple’s Steinway and Yamaha pianos with more multi-samples than the one that comes with GarageBand.
* for $199.99, you should look up the Apple Pro Apps bundle for education. So long as you can rationalize you’re learning these apps (I’ve never heard a report that apple checks in any way) you get Logic Pro X, MainStage, Final Cut Pro X and some other companion apps for 1 super reasonable price.

* Pianoteq as noted above runs really well on old Macs and has no problem running within GarageBand or anything else. (I run it with built in outputs as well as various USB interfaces, all low latency, no headaches)

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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Thanks for the feedback, folks! And thanks for not turning this into a bitter "Mac vs. PC" debate - as seems to be happening at another music forum at which I asked this question ...

You would be hard pressed to find anyone arguing that Windows is better for audio and music production. Macs have incredibly good audio hardware that’s standard and their audio software systems perform with excellence. This is in one part due to only having to support their own hardware (where windows has to deal with any random thing plugged in and drivers written by god knows who) and in the other part, a long history of pro audio support leading to good engineering.


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Originally Posted by Chrispy
You would be hard pressed to find anyone arguing that Windows is better for audio and music production.
You clearly don't hang out at TalkBass.com! laugh

BTW, enjoying the new Mac so far. PianoTeq works like a charm. Looking forward to diving into GarageBand when I have some time over the holidays. Fun stuff!


Decent bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, RD-2000, & VR-730; Yamaha MX61; Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30; Casio PX-160 & PX-830
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Originally Posted by technomaster
* little known trick: if you’re into live performance, for $29.99 you can buy the amazing MainStage app, which gives you access to all of the sounds available in Logic Pro X. Even though some of the patches are named the same, it upgrades you to a version of Apple’s Steinway and Yamaha pianos with more multi-samples than the one that comes with GarageBand.

MainStage is hardly a little known trick. It's about the best $30 you can spend if you like to play different VST's, even for just playing at home. (Amazing it doesn't cost $100-$150.) I have it load 4 piano VSTs (Vintage D, Garrison CFX, Pianoteq, and Ivory ACD) when MainStage is opened and then you can switch between them instantly with a mouse click, or just program a piano key (for instance, top or bottom key on keyboard) to switch between VST's. Anyway, it's incredibly versatile software to do a huge number of things wherever you want to use it and includes a boat load of processing features and plug-ins even if you are doing nothing but playing piano VSTs at home.


Macy

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Hi...what did you end up buying and how is it working for you.... I'm in a similar situation like you and little lost
Happy holidays


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