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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 05, 2010
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    2
    Question iMac, soundcard & music production?
    Hi there!

    I'm an amateur (soon-to-be professional, I hope!) composer for orchestra, mostly soundtrack style, yadda yadda, & I'm looking for a new computer that will be able to support a variety of heavy programs such as Miroslav Philharmonik (soon upgrading to Vienna or EastWest), Sibelius 6, Logic, etc.

    The iMac caught my attention and from looking at the specs and playing around with customization, it seems to be able to cover my need fairly well (I have at least 2 older computers to serve as slaves, so the lack of high-performance, high-end drives & RAM chips isn't much of an issue). Besides, it's fairly cheap for a decent computer.

    However, I fail to find ANY mention of a sound card. Not anywhere, and this worries me greatly. The reason I am attracted to Macs is that I hear so much good about them from other composers I know and a lot of well-known composers use them too, and seeing that there might not be a soundcard (or worse yet, an INTEGRATED one) that's going to put a huge damper on my potential Mac adventure.
    The issue with composing using VSTi's is that 1) there is sound lag & 2) without a good soundcard, you're sacrificing sound quality.


    So how good IS the iMac for music production, then? How is the sound lag? What type of soundcard does it have (if any)?

    If it doesn't have a soundcard, can I add one?
    Is it ASIO4ALL-compatible?

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
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    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    It does have a sound card, the sound chip is built in to the motherboard.

    But Apple have always had a string presence in the music industry, I know at least 3 people in bands, all use macs.

    With Apples strong presence in the music market, they must be using good hardware
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 05, 2010
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    2
    Quote Originally Posted by louishen View Post
    It does have a sound card, the sound chip is built in to the motherboard.

    But Apple have always had a string presence in the music industry, I know at least 3 people in bands, all use macs.

    With Apples strong presence in the music market, they must be using good hardware
    Do you know the technical details of that sound chip?

    & I know Apple's popular in music, but I am always sceptical of computers I don't build myself, so I found it very odd that there wasn't any details on the sound card at all, not even in the Apple Store. Assuming that their hardware is "good" without seeing the technical details, because a lot of people say so, would definitely make this a risky purchase by any degree.

    I'm just not that keen on the chance I might end up wasting money on a Mac with a sub-par sound setup (even by my budget standards). Just doing my research.

    At the moment I'm coping just fine with 72.5ms sound lag with an inbuilt Realtek High Definition Audio card (of no particular brand, according to my system specs). Then only important thing is that the Mac won't give me *more* lag than that. & If it doesn't, iMac will probably be the next computer I buy.

  4. #4

    JUKE179r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2009
    Location
    DohaLondonVegas
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    886
    Specs:
    MacBookPro 11,2 <--DAW!!!
    I don't have an iMac (next purchase though! ) but i do music production on my 3,1 MBP (4GB RAM) with Logic 9/Ableton LIVE and an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile interface with no problems or latency. You shouldn't have any problems with an iMac for music production as long as you max out the RAM and save your projects to an external HD (cuts down on reading/writing to same HD your DAW and System are using).

    Your best bet for capturing music into your iMac is either an external audio interface or an external digital mixer.

    And No, you can't use ASIO4ALL on a Mac. Depending on which DAW you will use, the only way to use VSTi's on a Mac is to find "wrapper" program to use them in you production.
    MBP 11,3 | Logic Pro X | Ableton Live 9 | Traktor Pro 2 | AKAI MPC2000XL, X7000, MPK-49 | Roland MV-8000, SP-808, TR-707, TR-808 & TR-909 | Ensoniq ASR-10 | x0xb0x #911 & Willzyx | Denon DN-MC6000 | (3) Technics SL-1200MK1 | 4000+ vinyl records

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