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Would the Mac Mini be a good machine for Pro Tools? : protools

Mixes of modern productions see track counts that commonly reach 3 digits. While many audio professionals are used to having multiple traditional drives physically installed within their Mac Pro, the new design with 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports and 4 USB 3 ports provides PCIe-speed connections for external drives, allowing you to house your write disks, samples, loops, and libraries externally.

Unless you will also use the machine for video editing, you will be fine with the stock GPU configuration. If you are tagging along an older display, you might need to find an adapter , depending on the model. The new Mac Pro comes standard with Skip to main content. Processing For music production, recording, and mixing, technology is best when it is transparent and functions as seamlessly as possible.

Solid-State Operating Drives For many audio professionals working with previous generation Mac Pros, there is a handful of hard-and-fast rules that apply to your operating drive, and two of the most important the new Mac Pro build takes to heart: 1 Never write to your operating drive, and 2 Use a drive with the fastest rpm that is still stable.

Thunderbolt 2 Connectivity As more and more converters begin to offer Thunderbolt -connectivity options, it is apparent the format is here to stay. In-the-Box Production As virtual instruments and effects continue to evolve and become capable of more complex, multi-timbral performances, adequate processing power and RAM to handle them are crucial.

Mixing Mixes of modern productions see track counts that commonly reach 3 digits. Does a GB flash drive provide enough storage? Should I max out the GPU? Changing windows, opening plug-ins and scrolling while playing all feel smooth without interrupting playback or the refresh of the user interface meters, faders etc. The CPU Usage window also reflects the increase in power. The meters show an average position of 45 to 50 percent, a little bit over half of that on the older Mac Pro see right most meter below.

Apple Mac Pro 5,1 CPU Upgrade Guide - 6-Core Xeon X5690 3.46Ghz

It has peaks of between 50 and 65 percent. I would say the new Mac Pro is about 70 to 80 percent faster. What strikes me again is that the System Usage meters are jumping a lot more nervously when the session is not playing back. Sometimes the little peak indicator of the top meter jumps to 90 percent, while the average hovers between 55 and 65 percent See left meter below. This is with the Dynamic Plugin Processing option off. If I turn that on, the meters immediately drop to around 11 percent when the session sits idle see center meter below. Playing back with Dynamic Plug-in Processing, makes the meters more stable and the average CPU percentage a little lower then before.

With 81 tracks, the CPU Usage meters are now averaging around 85 percent during playback.


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It shows that the nervous spikes of the meters are nothing to be alarmed about. Increasing the track count makes the average percentage of the meters go up without the session being interrupted by a Hardware buffer size or CPU Error. Once we get to the stage where the average level of the individual CPU meters reach 85 to 90 percent, we start getting CPU errors. This happened somewhere around adding tracks 85 to I had to reduce the number of tracks to 81, to be able to record a new track using a low buffer size.

Extended test session with 81 tracks. The question is, does it still bounce to disk using offline bounce? Well, yes it does! But with an average speed of 0. Real-time bounce also works fine and should theoretically be faster than offline bounce in this situation.

Apple iMac Pro

The Virtual Instrument test allowed me to create the maximum number of Instrument Tracks with each an Xpand and Dverb plug-in and have an average CPU load of only 30 percent with spikes up to 45 percent. Recording was a breeze with a buffer size of 32 samples. The DVerb test resulted in DVerb plug-ins 36 tracks with 10 DVerbs , while still being able to record on all tracks for 5 minutes with a buffer size of 32 samples.

And of course the sine wave from the first track stayed uninterrupted.


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  8. This is in a session with a 48kHz sample rate bit audio. Apparantly the code of the native Dverb plug-in is not the same as the HDX version. If you want to get yourself a new Mac Pro for Pro Tools but are not also using it for any heavy video editing or rendering, I strongly advise you to get the basic model with the D GPUs and then upgrade it to 6 or 8-core processor. If you ask me, the new quad-core model is not a smart choice for professional audio. The latest i7 iMac scores only a tiny bit lower on the Geekbench for multicore processing. If on the other hand your current machine is a or quad-core model, the quad-core model of the new Mac Pro will certainly deliver a significant speed increase.

    The MacBook Pro 12222 we've been waiting for?

    But again I would suggest upgrading the basic model to at least a 6-core CPU. With such impressive specifications on paper, just how powerful is the iMac Pro? But what does this increase mean in the real world?

    In this test, the Mac Pro performed 1. Here, the Mac Pro was 1.

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    But such an opinion would be entirely wrong; the only two things the iMac Pro and the iMac have in common are the form factor and the name. Truffles are included at the discretion of the chef. Pros Incredible all-round performance. Stunning display.