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#2027477 - 02/05/13 02:06 PM What's the ideal computer for using VST's
thercman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 147
Loc: Spokane WA, United States
So currently I am using a 3yr old 21" iMac. Since the monitor is 4 feet from my recording chair I need a bigger screen or multiple screens. (my eyes aren't what they used to be) So I am thinking about getting a Mac mini and picking up a nice 27" or larger screen for the studio. Do any of you guys use this setup? At the very least I will get a performance upgrade (not that my Mac is slow). It would be nice to have a VST up and running along side recording software and actually be able to see both without squinting....
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Heil PR-40 Mic, Allen & Heath Mixer, Yamaha HS80

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#2027490 - 02/05/13 02:22 PM Re: What's the ideal computer for using VST's [Re: thercman]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3866
Loc: North Carolina
I take it the Imac does not have a video output jack?
If it does, you could simply connect a monitor.

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#2027508 - 02/05/13 02:56 PM Re: What's the ideal computer for using VST's [Re: MacMacMac]
thercman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 147
Loc: Spokane WA, United States
Yeah I guess it does.


"Apple Mini DisplayPort video port

Using the Mini DisplayPort video output port, mirror video or extend the size of your Mac OS X desktop (extended desktop mode) with a compatible DVI (Digital Visual Interface) display or VGA (Video Graphics Display) or projector using the appropriate Mini DisplayPort adapter:

For Single Link DVI displays, use the Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter (MB570Z/A).
For Dual-Link DVI displays, use the Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (MB571Z/A).
For VGA displays or projectors use the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Display Adapter (MB572Z/A).
Video mirroring

With video mirroring, you can see the image that is on the iMac flat-panel display on an external monitor, television, or projector.

Extended desktop mode

Connect an external display and use that area in addition to the built-in display for your desktop."
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NP2, Arturia Laboratory 61

Addictive Keys, Kawai EX Pro
Heil PR-40 Mic, Allen & Heath Mixer, Yamaha HS80

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#2027542 - 02/05/13 04:10 PM Re: What's the ideal computer for using VST's [Re: thercman]
o0Ampy0o Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/12
Posts: 473
Originally Posted By: thercman
...I am thinking about getting a Mac mini and picking up a nice 27" or larger screen for the studio. Do any of you guys use this setup?....

That is what I use (Mac Mini and 27" ACD).

The Mac Mini is dead quiet.

I maxed out the RAM, replaced the internal drive, and have a couple of externals in addition to the former internal that was replaced with 7200s.

If I were doing it today I'd get SSDs instead of 7200rpms but the improved speed from the upgrade was immediately visible. I will still be adding SSDs.

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#2027585 - 02/05/13 05:37 PM Re: What's the ideal computer for using VST's [Re: thercman]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 614
Originally Posted By: thercman
... Since the monitor is 4 feet from my recording chair I need a bigger screen or multiple screens. (my eyes aren't what they used to be) So I am thinking about getting a Mac mini and picking up a nice 27" or larger screen for the studio. ....


A 27" monitor will give you more screen area to work on, but it may make print and VST displays smaller and harder on your eyes than your 1920x1080 pixel 21.5" screen. What matters is the number of pixels per inch (PPI) of the monitor because many things you display will have a fixed pixel size. Many 27" monitors (including Apple's 2560x1440 pixel 27" iMac) have a higher PPI than the 21.5" iMac. I would suggest buying the largest 1920x1080 pixel monitor (or two of them for more screen area) you can find if you want to go easy on your eyes. I currently use two 25" 1920x1080 HP monitors plus a 32" Sony LCD TV (also 1920x1080 pixels) on my Mac Pro.

(You can set your Mac to display at a lower pixel resolution to make the images larger but that will reduce your usable screen area and the scaling will add some fuzziness to the images. Never a good idea in my mind.)

The current Mac Mini supports two monitors with an HDMI port and a Thunderbolt port. You can use various simple cable adaptors to plug a DVI or HDMI equipped monitor into the Thunderbolt port, and plug a DVI (simple adaptor) or HDMI monitor into the HDMI port. But like someone else suggested you could also just plug another larger 1920x1080 monitor into your current iMac.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#2027730 - 02/05/13 09:37 PM Re: What's the ideal computer for using VST's [Re: thercman]
Bane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 91
Loc: USA
I have two optimizations I have done to my Windows to get almost flawless realtime performance with my VST libraries.

1)Turn off your Wi-fi card! I have always had clicks and pops, but especially dropouts, when my card is enabled. Disabled it and no dropouts or clicks when using reasonable latencies.

2) Get more RAM! My computer was running on 2GB out of the factory, but it had obvious problems especially loading several instruments at one time in Cubase. I recently upgraded to 4GB at a faster bus speed and have had no problems at all loading samples.

And of course your USB audio interface of choice matters alot when it comes to latency. I know the original problem was about screen optimization, but....


Edited by Bane (02/05/13 09:41 PM)
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Cable-Nelson upright piano, Casio WK-200, Mackie MR5MK2 monitors, Cubase Artist 7, Steinberg's The Grand 3, Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 interface, Asus R500a-RS52 Windows 8, i5-3230M 2.6 gHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HD (5400RPM)

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#2027737 - 02/05/13 09:56 PM Re: What's the ideal computer for using VST's [Re: thercman]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
There's a tool called "DPC Latency Monitor" or some such ... any PC with a low value on that tool is a good start. Unfortunately the data is hard to come by without running the tool yourself! It's affected by motherboard drivers, graphics drivers, network drivers, etc. Some motherboards have terrible results no matter what.

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