YES!! First, anything a Mac can do, a PC can too, although the software might be different.
Info on any pc software that is comparible to garage band or logic??
If they're using Garage Band for music, I would recommend either Cakewalk (I love that program!) or Fruityloops. These are great programs for designing music on a computer. If they plan on using the video or slideshow features in GarageBand, I would recommend Cyberlink Power Director, Adobe AfterEffects (If they want to take it seriously), and any other software that might come with a video camera.
I've used GarageBand once, and it was a good program for the most part. It made easy stuff simple and complicated stuff nearly impossible (as seems to be the Mac's credo). I also had a tough time finding help on anything.
If your kids are asking for a Mac, ask them why. It might be for the 'flash', but it might be because of other reasons as well. Macs seem to be kid-friendly... at least in the past 5 years they have.
I love Cakewalk. I write music a lot and use Cakewalk, Acid, Audacity, and Adobe Sound studio (all on PC). The trick will be to make sure and get a good quality sound card if you are going for a laptop as many of the lower end PCs come with crappy ones.
Hmmm, not exactly true...
Originally Posted by criterion9
Your final output is rendered to a medium that is set to 44.1khz @ 16bits, so a sound card that is 96khz sample rate running at 24 bit is an overkill and your not actually gaining anything by it and that is not just the hardware, its the way our ears hear or perceive sounds. Anyone telling you that they can tell the difference between 44.1khz and 48khz is full of it. Theirs no way on earth that the ear can perceive that difference at those sample rates, so it is needless to say that as long as your card can handle 48khz top end sample rate, your going to be ok. If you want to argue about it, argue with Nyquist about it. It works like this, the upper bound range of hearing in man is 22,050 hz, the theorem is that the sampling rate has to be at least twice the bandwidth of the frequency being sampled, so 22050 hz = 44100hz. This means that you sample at 44,100 but can sample strip to 24000hz with no loss perceived and playing at 22050 hz should not introduce artefacts like aliasing and again, you should not hear any significant loss. A good mp3 encoder should illustrate this for you if you encode audio clips to try it out. You will find that 96kbps @ 32khz will sound as good as 128kbps @ 44.1khz.
Anyway, as your bulk of the work is inside the machine and is data, the issue is more a case of clock cycles and plenty of them for processing huge amounts of data. Then you use the sound output of the sound card to hear the production prior to mixdown and render to CD... Absolutely no need for an expensive sound card for monitoring. Where you need the sampling rates to be higher is when your recording audio / analogue in to your machine and for midi and digital stuff, theirs no need for an expensive audio card.
So in plain English, running out and spending £150 on a bonza sound card is a bit foolish until you fully understand what it is your doing or your requirements are. Simply put, CD's render to 44.1khz @ 16 bit, as long as the soundcard can output a nice clean signal, you shouldn't have any problems and the noise issue is often a case of line noise, so investment in line suppression or a UPS that has line suppression built in would help, any residual noise and buzzing will likely be fan noise or emf induced signals from power cables or high voltage equipment like CRT or old TV's.
Sorry, load of stuff came flooding back from my sound engineering course... But you get my point.
Anyway, Mac or PC... Both do midi and any midi instrument of worth can plug and play, the issues arise when you start delving in to hardware as a vast majority is produced for PC based systems and some mixing desks now plug straight in to the PC.
Yes Mac can be found in a pro studio but not as much as PC systems and the main reason is cost, machine and software. True that PC is not free but its worth noting from a support end, your choice of software for PC systems is not measurable because theirs millions of plugins, widgits and whatnots for music production on PC. Mac is limited in its support and range on offer and the cost of it is also a factor.
To me this is a no brainer. PC.
For output I agree....but the inputs on lower end sound cards can't take the high quality (HD/Digital) signal from modern sound equipment properly and you'll get pops and fuzz on your track as you lay it which will sound crappy even on the best outputs.
Hmmm, not exactly true...
Your final output is rendered to a medium that is set to 44.1khz @ 16bits, so a sound card that is 96khz sample rate running at 24 bit is an overkill and your not actually gaining anything by it and that is not just the hardware
I follow the age-old adage: "Crap in, crap out".
Yep but if your using a semi-pro breakout box... you will have HD inputs and other ports that you will find on studio equipment as well as plenty of midi ports. This is why it pays to shop around and get a good idea of how far you want to go with it.
So going to a proper music shop will give you a better idea of the range of hardware and software for PC based systems.
Well I have used Macs and Windows based machines for at least 15 years now. I prefer the Mac as I have had far fewer problems with it than with any Windows machine. Most problems are software related of course, and the biggest software issue is viruses even with antivirus installed and actively updated and run, though it would technically be named as malware. Though I must say that I have personally never gotten an actual virus on any Windows installation I use, but I'm more careful about internet than some users are.
I and most of those that use Macs which I am familiar with have to use both OSX and Windows on a regular basis. OSX preferably and Windows because most other people seem to think that Windows is the only qualifiedly good OS out there. I find that anyone of advanced nature can make any computer last for a very long time if they just take basic protective measures non dependent on the OS (of course each OS requires differing protective measures). So after that it all comes down to preference. For me I prefer to duel boot Windows and Mac on the same computer, since I need both, which means legally I have one option: Apple hardware.
The basic user, however, is not as advanced or technically oriented and can and will destroy a computer within a very short amount of time no matter what computer it is; so in that case I think it comes down to how each person takes care of their computer and what they do on it.
I cannot speak about UNIX or LINUX as I do not have very much experience with them and so can make no comparisons.
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