Alternative to iMac for Studio Computer?

  • I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I'm getting some crackling / static during recording and I'm hoping someone can confirm if a new MacBook pro would fix it or not.
    Here's my setup:
    2012 MacBook pro (only about 1/2 of hard drive space used up)
    Ableton 9 - sample size of 128.
    If I go up to 256 there's a little bit of latency that is annoying. This does fix the crackling / static, but I can't handle the latency.
    UA Apollo MkII quadcore
    Kemper (of course!)

  • Woops, submitted too early for some reason.
    To elaborate, the noise only appears sporadically for about 5 seconds here and there while recording is armed(during playback) or during actual recording.
    CPU usage only jumps up to 4% or so, certainly no more than 10.
    This occurs with my Kemper and my synths and digital piano.


    I've got WIFI off and close all other programs...that doesn't help.
    I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the latest version of the Mac OS or some sort of in-process audio conversion.
    Again, seems that the likely answer would be to just get a brand new Mac, but not sure if this is the only path forward that will fix my problem.
    UA said it was mostly sample size and that buying a new computer may work, but they didn't confirm.
    Thanks.

  • db9091,
    The issue is there regardless if I'm using 1/4'' or XLR.
    Thanks.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Woops, submitted too early for some reason.
    To elaborate, the noise only appears sporadically for about 5 seconds here and there while recording is armed(during playback) or during actual recording.
    CPU usage only jumps up to 4% or so, certainly no more than 10.
    This occurs with my Kemper and my synths and digital piano.


    I've got WIFI off and close all other programs...that doesn't help.
    I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the latest version of the Mac OS or some sort of in-process audio conversion.
    Again, seems that the likely answer would be to just get a brand new Mac, but not sure if this is the only path forward that will fix my problem.
    UA said it was mostly sample size and that buying a new computer may work, but they didn't confirm.
    Thanks.

  • Try this: take every device off the Mac and record into it's internal microphone, and playback out it's internal speakers. Still crackling?


    That will tell you it IS in the computer as you think it is. (new recording in case the crackling on an old one is baked into the track, I've seen that before with a UAD1 to Reaper to Win 98 PC that was over-writing the WAV files! UAD2 and the problem went away.)

  • Nice tip. I will try that tonight!
    Also, your cable comment made me think of one other thing - the thunderbolt cable between the Apollo and Mac...it is very short and occasionally my Mac takes a second to recognize it. It's possible the stretch pulls it out of the socket ever so slightly or that the cable is not 100% functional. - I just saw this on the UA site as well.
    I'll get a longer thunderbolt cable for good measure.

  • Huh, I wouldn't have thought that would crackle. Maybe just drop the Apollo and have to search to reconnect, but if they are saying it on the forums, do it.


    When I trouble shoot I put myself into a VERY suspicious mode: Assume EVERY cable can be the problem.


    I once went to play and my guitar had no sound to the Kemper. I could tell because the Tuner wasn't showing anything. (If you see the tuner working, but hear no sound, you know it's a setting in the KPA, right)


    So I try everything until I get to the cable. Why didn't I try the cable first? Because I spent $50 on it and assumed with less than a year of light usage, it could NOT be THAT cable: WRONG!


    The key is to NOT have any prejudice and just, as "Gene Kranz", Flight Director at NASA's actor in the movie Apollo 13 said: "Let's work the problem people. Let's not make things worse by guessing."

  • Sweetwater - Creation Station. Fits in your rack and they give free tech support on it.

    You have to admit tho, reading the description it's easy to spit your coffee out:


    "The finest quality components available!" and Seagate 1TB, 2TB Audio Drives in the SAME sentence?


    Those drives have the highest failure rate in the HD industry. Say Bye Bye to your music unless you do backups every minute.

  • Yup. Since 2011 even iMacs have had known problems, not well publicized, that have inferior GPU's and terrible HD's (Seagate)


    MBP dropped optical drives to make them smaller and then went to fused RAM. OtherWorldComputing has found DIY ways to upgrade such RAM.
    But it's a BS planned obsolescence. There is a movement in America to get legislatures to force manufacturers to make products in a such a way
    that OWNERS can repair them. Meaning parts that are Accessible and Repairable (meaning they aren't fused) and releasing Schematics to owners.


    I hope that gains some ground. It's why a lot of those 1980's electronics are still around. You can easily see, "Oh, here's an OP AMP I can just replace" and pull and replace them and your old recorder has nice new (and better) amplification for MIC IN's.


    I won't get started on iPhones. My iPhone 6S will be the last Apple phone I own, tho. They are way overpriced and way behind the rest of the market, but that intentional slowing down is a deal-breaker for the consumer in me. It's like they cheated on me personally, so I'm going to dump them.


    I'll still use an iMac for now (I can use my broke one as a monitor, no pixel problems in that mode, to my brothers iMac as the main. Or I could use one for the MBP, Ingolf's main computer)


    I think Apple is still a good buy for stable laptops, but their are coming under RAM'd, under GB'd, over-priced for the specs, and the lack of touch-screen is an intentional gambit to not interfere with the iPad.


    So my next laptop may be a PC with touch screen.


    I CAN say, manipulating many files at once on a PC is 10x better than a Mac. They really made it so much harder. Just selecting a file is a huge hassle with the new touch pad. How could they have screwed up the best touchpad in the industry? Well, they did. I select a file, it's anyone's guess whether it will select the file for moving, try to change the name, or open the file. After a year of use I still can't nail it consistently. WIth a large library of files, you'll get carpel tunnel's working them. I mean that literally, because the edge of the Macbook is razor sharp and cuts into your wrist, creating inflammation of those tendon sheaths.


    Come 2019+ I'll be moving toward Android and Windows most likely. My brother (Huge Apple fan since the 80s) has moved to PC. Aside of the larger iPad Pro (more for couch potato uses) he uses a touch screen PC and loves it. He's thinking of dropping for an Android this year. I'll let him be my guinea pig.

  • I'm using my Sony 35" HD TV (around that size). I don't need super high definition since I'm only using it for musical purposes.

    That's cool to see that I'm not the only one that uses a TV for musical purposes. I have a 40" Samsung MU6300 4K TV that I use for my computer monitor needs as well as my tv needs. I only sit about 4 feet away from the TV and my Adam A7X monitors, it works really well for me and I don't think image quality on a normal PC monitor is any better really than what I use at the distance I use it at. (I sit 4 feet away because that's the best distance for the monitors sweet spot. I couldn't imagine going any smaller than 40" at this distance, nor much too bigger either.

  • You have to admit tho, reading the description it's easy to spit your coffee out:
    "The finest quality components available!" and Seagate 1TB, 2TB Audio Drives in the SAME sentence?


    Those drives have the highest failure rate in the HD industry. Say Bye Bye to your music unless you do backups every minute.

    I always keep all my stuff backed up on 2 external drives, that way if one fails, I have another.
    External drives are pretty inexpensive.
    Here's the thing though, I like being able to keep my computer in my rack unit with the Kemper, so do you know of any other manufacturers/companies that you can buy rackmount computers similar to Sweetwaters for under $3,000 that have at least 32 GB RAM, preferabbly 64 GB RAM? Because I haven't found hardly any companies that sell rackmount computers, and the few that I have found other than Sweetwater charge over $3,000.
    I use Omnisphere and Synthogy Ivory, and I also do photo/video editing, so I like to have plenty of RAM.

  • I always keep all my stuff backed up on 2 external drives, that way if one fails, I have another.External drives are pretty inexpensive.
    Here's the thing though, I like being able to keep my computer in my rack unit with the Kemper, so do you know of any other manufacturers/companies that you can buy rackmount computers similar to Sweetwaters for under $3,000 that have at least 32 GB RAM, preferabbly 64 GB RAM? Because I haven't found hardly any companies that sell rackmount computers, and the few that I have found other than Sweetwater charge over $3,000.
    I use Omnisphere and Synthogy Ivory, and I also do photo/video editing, so I like to have plenty of RAM.

    Smart backup solution!


    To answer your question: I do not.


    I was just commenting on their obvious BS marketing. Sweetwater says they have the best advice going. They don't. I've been told a bunch of lies about products that weren't true when I got them (i.e. a UAD-2 Satellite ran on USB power, or a specific pedal would operate the transport of X-Touch, it didn't, etc) and I've often gotten "help" that didn't help. And I can't tell you how many times I've educated their staff on products I know more about and I'm an amateur. Maybe I should get a job there!


    But I am telling you straight up from experience and industry reported facts: Seagate drives are the worst drives and should be ripped out and replaced.
    Their replacement policy is a joke (pay to get expedited drive that similarly fails. Did this no less than 3 times before i decided paying more for a quality drive was optimum)


    I now mostly use SSD but I do use HD for large backup drives (3TB) and like you, keep 2 backups.