Return of the mac (mini)

I would try the new Macbook keyboard in person if you haven’t already. I have a 2014 Macbook Pro (essentiallt the same as to the 2015), and I much prefer that keyboard to the one on the newer models, which has less travel. Friends of mine with the new macs also complain about always needing adapters to plug in flash drives, charge their iPhone on their computer, etc, since the new machines just have usb-c.

I bought one. Was 10% off for Black Friday in Norway. Went with i5(to have it not get to hot on stage), 8gb ram(to put in my own) and 512gb ssd(for those sweet sweet samples)

Also Luna display was 20%off so got one of those.

1 Like

If I were you I’d go for the new 13" MacBook Pro with touchbar. Yes, they are pricey but well worth it for the quad core processors plus the new true tone display is great. A lot of ppl complain about the touch bars but I actually kind of like them. I just bought a refurbished one and got a great discount, they are practically same as new. And it’s been amazing so far. I think down the road you’ll be glad you got the pro since the new 13s will out perform any MB, MBA or previous 13" pro plus you have about the same compactness/portability.

And that’s from two months ago.

I suppose once I am ready for a Mac Mini, if this isn’t resolved, I’ll have to add in the cost of a Thunderbolt or USB 3 interface, or (more likely) one of these CalDigit $129 TB3 docks.

Apologies for derailing this laptop thread toward the Mini, but I suppose it is indicative of the general unfortunate situation in modern computing we have found ourselves in.

FWIW: I recently returned a MacBook Pro and replaced it with a Mac mini. Just felt the mini had more to offer and was using the MBP with an external monitor mostly anyway.

3 Likes

How do you like the Mac mini/audio performance so far? Been thinking about replacing my mbp with the new mini recently (but also I had a mishap of spilling coffee on my mbp lol :frowning: )

The current Mac mini is beefier in every way comparable to the previous version. It’s been fine for my needs.

Yeah, was thinking this as well… seems like a more reasonable price tag for what you get with the mini vs the laptops, plus coreaudio is sooo much better than ASIO drivers imo…

Had heard some concerning stuff about SSD wear but I think it’s been resolved.

2 Likes

I’m using an Intel 2018 Mac Mini, so not “the new” (as in the M1) mini, but it rocks just fine for me, audio-production-wise. I’d be delighted to get the M1 right now, but I’m perfectly happy waiting for the M1X or M2 to come out first.

Edit: I have a friend with the M1 Mini and it beats the pants off my 2019 i9 loaded Macbook Pro. So if you’re looking as to whether you should buy a M1 Mini now (as in, you need a computer now, you don’t want to wait for the M1X or whatever 2nd gen Apple desktop chip to show up in a Mini format) - my answer would be hell yes!

3 Likes

i was in a similar boat in late 2020. needed an update for my 2013 mbp and apple computer prices that could handle my video editing needs were looking like they would cost $3k. pc build ended up feeling like too much trouble with the lack of reasonably priced modern computer components (especially gpu’s).

when the m1’s were announced i impulse bought a 16gb mini for $850 and have been happy with the decision. ended up being less expensive than the pc would have and it handles my workflow. simple music and video projects i’ve thrown at it so far have been a breeze and really does feel a good bit snappier whenever i switch back to my previous computer, but i have still had the spinning ball a handful of times and a couple more glitchy things than i recall having from my macbook (probably from being an early adopter?).

it really is a great value that performs pretty similarly to the significantly more expensive computers apple has had for sale with the previous architecture. it doesn’t really feel like a huge quantum leap forward but i am quite happy with the decision because it got me doing the work i want to do without much hassle nor the burden of a multi thousand dollar purchase.

5 Likes

This is exactly what I want to hear. Just need to check on thunderbolt connection to my Apollo. Maybe in 2-4 months.

If you use VCV Rack are you able to comment on how it runs on the new mini?

i’ve been using the m1 mac mini for about a month as my primary computer for music production. i haven’t had any issues so far, it’s a great little machine. ableton live 10 (i still need to update to 11) runs fine through rosetta for me, but i don’t use any third party plugins that could potentially cause some trouble. i’d recommend it to anyone as long as you do your research before purchasing to make sure your crucial software runs smoothly, but all in all rosetta seem to be a good solution to bridge the gap as developers update their applications.

2 Likes

Happy M1 mini owner here, my Apollo X6 works okay but I have had some bugs waking from sleep where I need to restart the Apollo.

fwiw, i’ve been having those issues too with an apollo interface since big sur and i’m not on m1.

The M1 looks like a solid deal right now, the only other thing that I would think about – besides what has already been said – is if 16Gb of RAM is enough on the long run. 16Gb is not a lot for todays standards and might be even less in 3-4 years. Though of course Harddrives are so fast nowadays that they can make up for it and it really depends a lot on what you’re doing.

The VST architcture (process() is called in the audio thread, directly) doesn’t make it easy or even optimal for a VST to be, itself, multi-core capable (it is entirely possible, but very complex to implement for diminishing returns). DAWs are usually responsible for distributing each track’s processing across the cores already, so in most cases there’s very little to be gained from a single VST being multi-core to begin with as you spread out its contention for resources across cores that are already contending for resources for other plugins and tracks. Unless you’re running one single track with one single VST that needs ALL your horsepower, which is a niche case, there’s less to be gained from a VST being multicore than there usually is to be lost by it in overall system performance, DAW-wide.

3 Likes

I’ve been using a Mac Mini 2018 and it has been ok, although I was having strange issues where the computer wouldn’t wake from sleep properly and would shut off. Those seem to have gone away for the most part after the Catalina upgrade which I think replaced the t2 chip firmware. Occasionally my samsung monitor doesn’t work when I wake it but that’s probably the monitor.

Do you have a source for this? I expect that Apple will spend the next 1.5-2 years re-establishing their product hierarchy. So in my view, we won’t see new chips in the mini until every other product tier is established with a faster better chip. At that point I expect they’ll start to refresh the entry models that were given the ARM chips in the roll out.

I went 16gb RAM and 512 SSD. For my uses (Ableton, Logic, Max without large symphonic libraries etc) that is plenty and external storage is relatively cheap for archiving non-active projects etc.

1 Like

yeah, it just kinda depends if apple chooses to do an upgrade to the mac mini chipsets when (or shortly after) they roll out the new imacs.