Academy Dashboard Forum Studio DAWs Pro Tools Switching from WIN to Mac: New set up

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Jared Sherman.
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    Tony Harp

      I have recently decided to switch to the mac side from Windows.

      In the interest of needed portability, and use as my main studio machine and budget, I've decided to go with the newest mac mini. The specs will be the 3GHz Dual Core Intel i7 processor, 16 gbyte ram (only because I can't get more), 1Tbyte Fusion Drive with 2 Thunderbolt ports as well as four usb3 ports. In lieu of the Fusion Drive I can get the 256Gbyte SSD option. Fusion drive is 5400 RPM and the SSD is, well, fast! I'm willing to substitute storage for reliability during sessions, since I have a 5 Tbyte USB3 drive I plan to use as my audio drive for P-Tools.
      I'm currently using Pro Tools 12.8.3.
      The main system audio interface I plan to use will be the UAD Apollo Twin MKII SOLO Thunderbolt Audio Interface. I will also have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 interface thru an Apple Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter. Or, I may connect the two via optical for most sessions, unless incorporating an additional rack of older 8 Presonus digimax preamps (it only has Adat ouputs). In that case I'd connect the Presonus to the UAD and use firewire for Focusrite. I have other options as well. Such as chaining the Presonus to the Focusrite via optical as it currently is. My main concern is any monitoring issues for the artists.

      These mini Mac specs match my current windows machine which still performs great. So, I feel the Mac mini I am looking at will be good for me, and likely run better than my windows machine.

      Thanks for reading all this and if anyone sees a hole in this plan PLEASE chime in. Since Macs basically aren't upgradeable I want to be as sure as I can before purchase. Thoughts on SSD vs. the Fusion drive will be helpful. I"m leaning toward the SSD, if the USB3 drive as the audio drive is a feasible solution for recording and storage. However, if I"m not writing to the SSD drive, does it matter which hard drive is best?

      Also, from what I've stated, is my hardware setup questionable, especially for providing monitoring to the artists?

      Thanks for any comments and opinions!

      • This topic was modified 5 years ago by Tony Harp.
      Jared Sherman

        Hello Tony; I would go with the SSD because those Apple SSDs these days are super fast and your programs and OS will be running off that drive so it will keep things nice and snappy. As for the 5TB USB3 Pro Tools Session Drive I would reconsider that and perhaps consider using that drive as an archive drive but put current and very recent sessions on another external SSD drive that is say 512GB to 1TB (or even straight on the Mac Mini) depending on budget. Then when certain sessions haven’t been touched in a while you can move them over to the archive disk. If you don’t want to do the archive drive then consider doing 1TB+ in SSD as your Pro Tools Session drive and punt the archive storage issue for a while down the road when you really need it. This drive doesn’t have to be blazing fast but you don’t want to have to worry about exceeding bandwidth on a spinning drive on potentially large sessions.

        As for your question on musician monitoring, I didn’t really see your plan for that in your description, is that intended to be happening through the headphone outs of the Saffire?

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