lets talk about apple mac

Talk about your MIDI interfaces, microphones, keyboards...

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hdr
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lets talk about apple mac

Post by hdr »

I know, this topic is dangerous within linux-communities.
Please don't hate me too much :)

I'm a confident linux (former windows) user for more than 10 years. Until I started with recording/audio production I was happy with linux.

But since I started, I'm getting bugged of linux. It took me hours, days and even moths reading tutorials and watching youtube-videos just to get a sound out of my audio-interface, to get familiar with ardour, learning how to install audio-plugins and all that stuff that is necessary. I'm still not able to do what I want with my home studio. That's annoying.

These days I took a friends macbook, installed garageband, plugged my audio interface and a guitar in and there was sound. Wow! It took 5 minutes without reading or watching any tutorials.
10 mins later I was familiar with the software and being able to record a song with the virtual drummer and a good guitar sound.
It felt like another world. After 30 mins I could do everything I want. With linux I'm still not, even I'm trying for months.

No I can understand why so many professional an non-professional musicians use macbooks. It's not easy for me to say, but apple does a great job in this field.


What do you think about?
Have you ever tried audio-stuff on a mac?
Are you happy with your linux-audio-system?
OS: Debian 10 DAW: Ardour 6.2

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Digital Larry
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by Digital Larry »

Maybe my perspective is different from others, but to me one of the great things about Linux is that I can customize the way certain apps work. Generally this involves making things simpler and working well for a specific purpose that is important to me, as compared to things having so many features that I am overwhelmed. So I am leveraging the promise of open source, at the expense of lots of learning and trial and error. I just have not found anything commercial on M-word or W-word that does what I want. Close, but not quite.

The general Linux approach of having a bunch of different bits that you hook together is great for flexibility, but with flexibility comes complexity.

merlyn
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by merlyn »

It's an interesting story. It sounds like you had the worst case Linux experience and the best case Mac experience.

What strikes me is that you aren't comparing like with like. Garageband comes pre-installed with OSX, so of course it's going to work. This would have to be compared with a Linux distro that comes with audio apps pre-installed.

The other question is how much experience of audio apps you have? Garageband is aimed at beginners, so I'd think it would be set up to be easy to use. Your problems may not be with Linux but with computer audio. If you're new to computer audio then Mac could be a good way to learn that. Then when you understand computer audio using Linux for music will be easier. Correct me if that's not the case.

For Linux music you need to know music and a bit of L:inux, so that is more involved than going straight to audio production which is possible on a Mac because it's been set up that way so the salespeople in the Apple shop can use it as a demo to shift Macs. :D

I don't like OSX. Liking and disliking isn't a rational process :D I just don't like it. I do like Linux.

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khz
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by khz »

I love freedom, even if freedom is often more arduous than bondage. But this is not only a computer area but also in other areas, for example in real life. ;-)
# Differences between the individual operating systems >> viewtopic.php?p=95083#p95083
FZ - Does humor belongs in Music?
GNU/LINUX@AUDIO ~ /Wiki $ Howto.Info && GNU/Linux Debian installing >> Linux Audio Workstation LAW
  • I don't care about the freedom of speech because I have nothing to say.

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CrocoDuck
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by CrocoDuck »

hdr wrote:Are you happy with your linux-audio-system?
Yep, very. I cannot recall the last time it took me a lot of time to set it up either. I think that once you are over the top of the learning curve, and you know what you are doing, Linux is really not different from anything else in terms of performance and productivity. As I mention in this article on my blog, the various desktop operating systems are really not that different from a technical standpoint when it comes to audio, at least from an high level*. In reality, after having worked with DSP systems specialized for audio, I can pretty much tell you that computers are pretty much rubbish at real-time audio processing in general (for many reasons). I think Mac OS does a better job at giving you a simpler configuration interface, mainly, and nothing much else. Which, all things considered, is not a thing to underestimate.
hdr wrote:Have you ever tried audio-stuff on a mac?
Yes I have. In the last 5 years I have been using macs only in my full time job. I would say that as long as music production is concerned, maybe you will be indeed be able to get started fast but getting to the advanced stuff is not any easier than Linux. Now, for advanced stuff I mean getting the most technical music software up and running, like Faust, PureData, Super Collider etc... Not really a huge fan of Homebrew. Clearly, this is not the kind of stuff most musicians use. I'd say this is the stuff those 3 guys on earth that are algorithmic composers use. Even then, if Linux is the best platform for the "algorithmic composer" perhaps Mac OS is the second best one.
hdr wrote:What do you think about?
As I said, technically the differences are not that many (from a high level, of course), it is more about the "wrapping". However, Mac OS has somewhat of a cleaner audio stack (from the point of view of a user, developers are not very fond of it actually) which, with just a little larger latency, gives better stability (see here for more info, although the post is old, who knows what is going on nowadays). I am kinda envious of that: I can accept higher latency for less xruns...

Talking about configuring stuff easily, maybe PipeWire will simplify things in the future.

Other than that, be careful with things like Garage Band. At least for me, tools like that are way too refined to give ready to use presets which end up always distracting me away from my original goals for my composition, to the point I always end too far away from where I wanted. I would rather have a white canvas and not pre-mixed colors, thank you very much. But that is maybe somewhat of a more subjective thing. Not that when I get to "implement" a song the way I want it is any good either, but that is just me lacking completely any talent...

So, in few words, my view is:

Mac OS = Linux after you are fairly experienced with Linux.

Mac OS Audio stack overall more stable than Linux audio stack, but with a little (insignificant, I would say) higher latency.

Linux > Mac OS for algorithmic composition and getting dirty with developing your own plugins in general.

Linux > Anything else for embedded audio and custom audio projects: I did not mention that, but Linux runs into all automotive and in-flight entertainment systems, intercoms systems, teleconferencing systems and so on and so forth (professional audio is a much, much, broader topic than music software) and clearly you cannot make your high fidelity raspberry Pi DAC with Mac OS...

At least for me, easy to use audio software available on Mac (or Win) helps to get started but ultimately impedes becoming very proficient to the point you have great deal of control over your compositions. I guess that's the reason why very few professional musicians and composers do end up actually using Garage Band and settle on other things, even when they are happy Mac users.

* By "on a high level" I mean what the end performance ends up to be like, and what a developer that writes an audio app ends up having to do. Of course, under the hood, the implementations of the various audio stacks can be deeply and fundamentally different.
Last edited by CrocoDuck on Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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d.healey
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by d.healey »

Simple choice, free vs non-free, I'll choose free.
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CrocoDuck
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by CrocoDuck »

d.healey wrote:Simple choice, free vs non-free, I'll choose free.
Interestingly, Apple actually does publish a fair bit of open source code: https://opensource.apple.com/. In fact, there is an Open Source distribution based around the Mac OS core code: PureDarwin. So, in theory it is possible to have Mac OS free code (depending on what you mean by free, though: Darwin is licensed with APSL)...

Of course, the state of Pure Darwin is not that of a stable OS for everyday use, let alone for audio: it is pretty hard to get the thing to boot at all. Just though I would drop it here as in interesting piece of trivia.
Last edited by CrocoDuck on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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d.healey
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by d.healey »

CrocoDuck wrote:
d.healey wrote:Simple choice, free vs non-free, I'll choose free.
Interestingly, Apple actually does publish a fair bit of open source code: https://opensource.apple.com/. In fact, there is an Open Source distribution based around the Mac OS core code: PureDarwin. So, in theory it is possible to have Mac OS free code (depending on what you mean for free, though: Darwin is licensed with APSL)...

Of course, the state of Pure Darwin is not that of a stable OS for everyday use, let alone for audio: it is pretty hard to get the thing to boot at all. Just though I would drop it here as in interesting piece of trivia.
Pure Darwin looks interesting, I hadn't come across that project before.
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hdr
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by hdr »

Garageband was not preinstalled - I had to install it. After install its plug and play. No worries about jack and its configuration, no need to install any guitar-amp, drum plugin or low-latency kernel. And the latency was by default at least as good as I am able to do it on my debian system.
merlyn wrote:The other question is how much experience of audio apps you have? Garageband is aimed at beginners, so I'd think it would be set up to be easy to use. Your problems may not be with Linux but with computer audio. If you're new to computer audio then Mac could be a good way to learn that. Then when you understand computer audio using Linux for music will be easier. Correct me if that's not the case.
I don't have too much experience with audio apps. One reason is that it's not fun to make more experience. Every time I want to work on it, it ends up in hours of searching the web for solutions because sth is not working.

An example: I want to watch some youtube tutorials while working in ardour. Thats almost impossible because youtube-audio goes to internal soundcard, ardour-audio goes to external (viewtopic.php?p=112790#p112790).
So I have to switch the speakers every few minutes. As result I'm annoyed after ten minutes and stop.
merlyn wrote:I don't like OSX. Liking and disliking isn't a rational process :D I just don't like it. I do like Linux.
I don't like any product of apple either. That's why it's so hard to admit that mac os works much better in this case.

Some of you were speaking about complexity.
I think my claim is not very high. I want a virtual guitar amp (working), a possibility to record (working) and a virtual drummer (not working). That's all for the moment.
I know there is drumgizmo, hydrogen, avldrums and some others. They are not bad, but they are not what I would like to have.
I don't want to spend time on searching for midi drum patterns or do them by myself. I want to plug my guitar in and tell my "drummer" play some rock in eights at 120 bpm. All that worked on garageband within minutes.

Although I'm trying for months, I was not able to find something similar.
OS: Debian 10 DAW: Ardour 6.2

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Digital Larry
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by Digital Larry »

hdr wrote: I know there is drumgizmo, hydrogen, avldrums and some others. They are not bad, but they are not what I would like to have.
I don't want to spend time on searching for midi drum patterns or do them by myself. I want to plug my guitar in and tell my "drummer" play some rock in eights at 120 bpm. All that worked on garageband within minutes.

Although I'm trying for months, I was not able to find something similar.
I agree, Garageband's drummer is great! I'm OK writing my own patterns too though. Makes me feel boom-thwack original.

rghvdberg
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by rghvdberg »

Linux is Linux and not competing with anything.

If Mac / Windows works better for you, use that.

We owned a Mac and after a failure of the graphics card I could throw it away.
Obsolete they said.
Wtf it was working fine, just plugin a new gfx card.
Nope...

No more macs for me, thank you.
Only buy a mac if you are willing to buy a new one in only a couple of years.

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by Linuxmusician01 »

What @rghvdberg said.

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milo
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by milo »

It's all about tradeoffs.

I had a G3 iBook that I used a lot in 2004-2007. For as much money as I spent on the thing when I was a poor student I expected to get a lot more mileage from it. But when the GPU failed for second time it was no longer under warranty, and there was no point in spending so much to fix it. I did use it to record audio, not with Garage Band but with Audacity, and it was an adequate machine for that. In general I thought that OS X had a beautiful interface, but one that I couldn't customize at all. And it was nice that things Just Worked. There was a lot of Free software for Mac then, and there is probably more now.

But if you buy a Mac you have to accept the fact that you will fall off of the hardware and software upgrade curve in a very short time, as has been said.

I love the freedom of Linux, the customizability, and the incredibly shallow hardware ugrade curve. I like being able to tinker with things.

Incidentally, one of my kids just found an old i Mac at the secondhand store and brought it home last month. It is about 10 years old, and useless as a Mac because no modern software will run on it. But it makes a great Debian workstation!

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CrocoDuck
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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by CrocoDuck »

milo wrote:In general I thought that OS X had a beautiful interface, but one that I couldn't customize at all.
I must be in the minority that absolutely hate Mac OS interface. I cannot stand how multiple desktop and screens are managed, and how it cycles focus between windows, and how laggy thee effects are. Window maximization and tiling are as awful as they can get. Luckily there are many window managers, also open source ones, that work on Mac OS, like this one. Beside the window management, I cannot stand how Finder works. But that's it for the outburst. On the proes, at least I am OK with the shell.
milo wrote:There was a lot of Free software for Mac then, and there is probably more now.
Plenty of. I think all the apps I normally use on Linux (all Free stuff or at least Open Source) have a Mac version.
milo wrote:But if you buy a Mac you have to accept the fact that you will fall off of the hardware and software upgrade curve in a very short time, as has been said.


Well, I brought my company mac all over the world, abused in multiple ways, including punching the track-pad with all of my might in multiple occasions during bursts of rage, and it survived for 4 years just fine. It is actually very easy to restore the OS too, or install a new version (for free), which I did a month ago. Perhaps, the most complicated thing was to setup a dual boot with Linux: still today I do not think I understand in what way the bloody booting process works on those machines. Anyway, as far as my experience go, I cannot say a lot of negative things on this side. Vendor lock-in is really something to be worried about, though.
hdr wrote:I don't have too much experience with audio apps. One reason is that it's not fun to make more experience.
Then you should definitely stick with the Mac. For me, learning and making more experience is fun. In fact, I see it the same way I see practicing a musical instrument. As you practice you see the results and unlock more things that you can do on your instruments. Hence, after some disciplined practicing, creating and playing music becomes more fun and personal. Hence, you keep on practicing and you have a good time doing it because you are focused on the things you will be able to do afterwards. To me, my OS and its applications are just other instruments to learn. And it is pretty fun to learn how to create those applications too. I think it is the same for a lot of other guys around here.

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Re: lets talk about apple mac

Post by Michael Willis »

bitsnpcs wrote:I have a 5 books by this publisher called No Starch Press, such as, The Linux Command Line, book and some Python books, I notice in the rear of one there is an advert for an, Audacity Book, I don't have this book so do not know if it would be useful for you.
I can already tell we're going to be great friends.

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