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Tim Cook on Mac Desktop commitment Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 9th January 2017
  #121
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Apple has tons of money, but I can't help but wonder how the death star is a part of the equation--are they obsessed with it? Or is it just a blip? Is the money possibly an issue? Are contractors trying to bleed the project creating constant attention? There must be tons of meetings.

A little ironic how it's about the same height as the old HP buildings that it's replacing. I hope apple doesn't turn into HP, going in all directions at once, trying to force users into something they don't want (--ahem, dongles, iCloud, cough)

https://9to5mac.com/guides/apple-campus-2/

Old 10th January 2017
  #122
Tui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
What other company sells a 4 year old technology product (Mac Pro) at the same premium pice it was when new? Is anyone actually buying them now?
Every time I walk past my local Apple Centre, I take a look if the Mac Pro trashcan is still on display. It hasn't been moved, in what seems like an eternity: Tucked away in the far corner of the shop, hidden behind an Apple display. This thing looks even more ridiculous in real life... Personally, I would feel something of an idiot to pay full price for it, no doubt.
Old 10th January 2017
  #123
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I upgraded from a 2008 8-core 2.8 to a 2014 i7 2.8 MBP a 3-PCIe TB expansion chassis. Didn't want an iMac (I like my 32" Samsung monitor, thanks), and the Pros were already showing their age at the time. I figured the MBP would hold me over until the new Pro came out. 2 years later, nothing.

Honestly, the Pro is complete overkill for DAW use, unless you're running 6 monitors or doing 3D rendering. The dual GPUs come at steep premium. I don't do video. If they came out with a quad i7 Mini, I'd be all over it. The new TB Display rumors are promising...with GPU built into the monitor, maybe they will offer a powerful Mini, or even a new desktop box (cylinder, whatever) with solid CPU power and ample ports, but without $2k worth of GPU tacked on.
Old 10th January 2017
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcoughlan View Post
Again:
Steve Jobs was known for managing every aspect of a release until the minute he got up on stage to present it. He literally died two years before the Pro came out. That's not typical.

So it can be typical, even if he was never involved. That's not logical. Nor is citing 4bn in profits in one post and then 1bn in profits a few posts later, which you just did.
While it's certainly is atypical that Steve Jobs wasn't around to see the product trough, that doesn't mean he could never been a part of the vision of and the early work of the product. I'm with you on the first part, but I don't see how it can be impossible*for you to follow the other lead: values. Maybe I did a bad job at presenting this. If so I apologize.

How I meant was in a wider product value perspective. It's a typical "Steve" product if the product has characteristics that is based on values that one can ascribe to, or have at least been heavily influenced by, Steve himself at some point.
These values are also at the core of what Apple has been and still is even as he has passed. That's how I saw the Mac Pro when presented. As an Apple customer since 30 years I feel these values when I use Apple products and when a product deviate from this I feel pain and I'm angry at Apple. My personal view is not a perfect barometer of course, but I'm sure I'm not alone in enjoying the finer design points of Apple products in this way and I'm sure I share these with many other Apple customers, music pros especially (I know quite a few since many years).

At the same time, some will feel otherwise and disagree with this perspective and I can respect that. I'll return to these values that I feel are represented in the Mac Pro later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcoughlan View Post
at the very least you're making up numbers and not even paying attention to your own posts and I don't really have a time or interest in continuing this discussion.
What number did I make up? If I failed to point out the 1bn number was per quarter I do apologize. I think that was part of the first post at least, but I'll add this correction if not.

Edit
Actually you made a mistake here. I did write this: "1.000.000.000 in profits on computers alone in Q3 2016". Of course I might be wrong on the exact yearly figure as I've extrapolated this from that single quarter of which I heard the profit figure, in a episode of Mac Observer's Daily, which is less than net income. Other quarters could have been less however. But even if I'm off with $1Bn per year that doesn't change the argument: Apple makes more money of computers than many other makers, also those with greater market share. That's what we are paying for if we buy Apple computers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcoughlan View Post
(Also, if you feel the need to talk about 'derogatory tone', perhaps you should reference your own posts. Or by "Hello?" were you just extending a greeting?)
My apologies. I didn't mean this to be derogatory at all. I'll delete it. But I didn't call you anything, did I?

You have implied that I'm a troll in a thread I've started and that I make up numbers. How does that compare to a "Hello?"?

When you point errors I may have done I welcome that as I started this because I wanted a discussion. I don't see why you need to brash off like that. I respect your opinion even if I disagree with it. Can you please respect that? I'll look over the tone in my posts as well.

Last edited by Mikael B; 11th January 2017 at 12:30 PM..
Old 10th January 2017
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
I upgraded from a 2008 8-core 2.8 to a 2014 i7 2.8 MBP a 3-PCIe TB expansion chassis. Didn't want an iMac (I like my 32" Samsung monitor, thanks), and the Pros were already showing their age at the time. I figured the MBP would hold me over until the new Pro came out. 2 years later, nothing.

Honestly, the Pro is complete overkill for DAW use, unless you're running 6 monitors or doing 3D rendering. The dual GPUs come at steep premium. I don't do video. If they came out with a quad i7 Mini, I'd be all over it. The new TB Display rumors are promising...with GPU built into the monitor, maybe they will offer a powerful Mini, or even a new desktop box (cylinder, whatever) with solid CPU power and ample ports, but without $2k worth of GPU tacked on.
Personally I don't think more than 4 cores ever can be overkill. The extra GPU could in theory be used in DAWs for real time calculations. I even suggested to Ableton in 2013 that they'd look into this possibility. Based on their answer it would seem that considering the lack of standards concerning plug-ins and the fact Live is dual platform, this wouldn't be viable for them.

I'm not sure if other DAWs ever explored GPUs of if this is really hard to do even with a branch standard if such a thing was established by some major players.

I also think it's quite boring they stopped selling the i7 Mac minis. I don't see it affecting iMac sales by very much. Still, that might be the reason they dropped it.
Old 10th January 2017
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Personally I don't think more than 4 cores ever can be overkill. The extra GPU could in theory be used in DAWs for real time calculations. I even suggested to Ableton in 2013 that they'd look into this possibility. Based on their answer it would seem that considering the lack of standards concerning plug-ins and the fact Live is dual platform, this wouldn't be viable for them.

I'm not sure if other DAWs ever explored GPUs of if this is really hard to do even with a branch standard if such a thing was established by some major players.

I also think it's quite boring they stopped selling the i7 Mac minis. I don't see it affecting iMac sales by very much. Still, that might be the reason they dropped it.
I'm making full use of GPU in the Pulsar 900 synth plug-in to allow for smooth pan and zoom, as well as animations, on a large modular GUI, with little or no CPU impact.
Old 10th January 2017
  #127
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Originally Posted by pulsar modular View Post
I'm making full use of GPU in the Pulsar 900 synth plug-in to allow for smooth pan and zoom, as well as animations, on a large modular GUI, with little or no CPU impact.
Well, label me intrigued. I'm checking it out.

But I meant graphic card calculations for audio work. That graphics can be accelerated with graphics cards are of course not surprising. Still, it's very useful when this works well as graphics are important quite often for working with DAWs.
Old 10th January 2017
  #128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
Honestly, the Pro is complete overkill for DAW use, unless you're running 6 monitors or doing 3D rendering. The dual GPUs come at steep premium. I don't do video.
I don't agree with that. Many producers and engineers want/need power for low latency operation with larger projects. For most movie composers, not even the 12 core is enough.
Even though 2 generations older than what Intel currently offers, the 6-core was a pretty solid deal, especially when you can use the GPUs. But even without, I'd say it was pretty OK. The 4 core never made sense for most IMO, the 8 and 12 core were always overpriced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Personally I don't think more than 4 cores ever can be overkill. The extra GPU could in theory be used in DAWs for real time calculations. I even suggested to Ableton in 2013 that they'd look into this possibility. Based on their answer it would seem that considering the lack of standards concerning plug-ins and the fact Live is dual platform, this wouldn't be viable for them.

I'm not sure if other DAWs ever explored GPUs of if this is really hard to do even with a branch standard if such a thing was established by some major players.

I also think it's quite boring they stopped selling the i7 Mac minis. I don't see it affecting iMac sales by very much. Still, that might be the reason they dropped it.
Using GPUs for audio is tough because of the parallel processing. Some plugins can/could use it but still companies like Acustica recommend the native version they offer. Up till today it is a non-topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar modular View Post
I'm making full use of GPU in the Pulsar 900 synth plug-in to allow for smooth pan and zoom, as well as animations, on a large modular GUI, with little or no CPU impact.
Unless the plugin relies heavily on fast OpenGL (like metering typically does) or you use 2K-4K resolution, chances are a small GPU would do a similar job. In the above cases, an above minimum specs GPU surely benefits, especially with a bit more video RAM.

I wish software vendors would optimize the use of GPUs, possibly using Vulkan coding (if possible), but I was told that it is very complicated to optimize GUI offloading to the GPU.
Old 10th January 2017
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Unless the plugin relies heavily on fast OpenGL (like metering typically does) or you use 2K-4K resolution, chances are a small GPU would do a similar job. In the above cases, an above minimum specs GPU surely benefits, especially with a bit more video RAM.
It does rely on high frame rate rendering and filtering of high resolution textures, for retina display resolutions. You do get butter smooth response on a newish MacBook Pro so higher spec than that is currently not necessary. However, the next version currently on the workbench will also have custom shaders with configurable eye candy, and will not leave higher spec cards idle .
Old 10th January 2017
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar modular View Post
It does rely on high frame rate rendering and filtering of high resolution textures, for retina display resolutions. You do get butter smooth response on a newish MacBook Pro so higher spec than that is currently not necessary. However, the next version currently on the workbench will also have custom shaders with configurable eye candy, and will not leave higher spec cards idle .
Nice. I am curious about how they will offload that to the GPU.
That synth does look fabulous, too bad there is no Windows version yet.

[edit]Hmmm, I just realize you are probably the developer, correct?
Old 10th January 2017
  #131
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pulsar modular's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Nice. I am curious about how they will offload that to the GPU.
That synth does look fabulous, too bad there is no Windows version yet.

[edit]Hmmm, I just realize you are probably the developer, correct?
Yes. Everything (geometry, textures, shaders) is uploaded to GPU memory and cached there. In the draw loop (which runs in its own thread) it's just a few draw calls, state changes and it only takes a few parameters to effect changes to panel movements, knob movements, lights going on/off etc.
Old 10th January 2017
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post

I wish software vendors would optimize the use of GPUs, possibly using Vulkan coding (if possible), but I was told that it is very complicated to optimize GUI offloading to the GPU.
Me too. At least rendering jobs could make use of GPU. Real time is probably too difficult to be worth it. I'm getting one of those Waves boxes I think for offloading those and whoever else is supported.
Old 10th January 2017
  #133
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Personally I don't think more than 4 cores ever can be overkill. The extra GPU could in theory be used in DAWs for real time calculations. I even suggested to Ableton in 2013 that they'd look into this possibility. Based on their answer it would seem that considering the lack of standards concerning plug-ins and the fact Live is dual platform, this wouldn't be viable for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
I don't agree with that. Many producers and engineers want/need power for low latency operation with larger projects. For most movie composers, not even the 12 core is enough.
Right..maybe I wasn't clear enough. I was pointing out that the the dual 2GB GPU processors was overkill, not the CPUs. As I said, hopefully with the inclusion of the GPU processor in the TB Display, Apple will come out with a desktop box with heavy lifting CPU power, but a more civilian GPU option.
Old 10th January 2017
  #134
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lestermagneto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Personally I don't think more than 4 cores ever can be overkill. The extra GPU could in theory be used in DAWs for real time calculations. I even suggested to Ableton in 2013 that they'd look into this possibility. Based on their answer it would seem that considering the lack of standards concerning plug-ins and the fact Live is dual platform, this wouldn't be viable for them.

I'm not sure if other DAWs ever explored GPUs of if this is really hard to do even with a branch standard if such a thing was established by some major players.

I also think it's quite boring they stopped selling the i7 Mac minis. I don't see it affecting iMac sales by very much. Still, that might be the reason they dropped it.
My brother who is/was a computer scientist kept talking about this a couple of years ago as to why the gpu's in the then new deathstar macs could be of service to me as an audio professional... it was new to me at the time, but I had a tough time seeing how devs would spend the resources to code for such things with such varying cards/implementations etc... and I imagined DAW designers would be low on this list to jump on early...

I didn't know ableton actually looked into this, interesting...

so there is no standards developed for addressing such things? It seems like one that should be established (and I am NOT a computer coder...so may be dumb question)... as it seems GPU's are getting obviously more powerful and implemented into systems...

is developing the groundwork established for addressing this additional processing a real no-go? Or one fraught with complete hassles of incompatibility/differences or lack of demand?
Old 10th January 2017
  #135
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One problem with using a GPU for realtime audio is getting the input data uploaded and getting the results back, for each processing buffer. The CPU/GPU data transfer overhead is significant and so it's better to do larger transfers. Larger transfers means bigger buffers which means greater latency. So if you already have a more powerful, multicore CPU, readily available without this overhead, why bother?
Old 10th January 2017
  #136
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lestermagneto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar modular View Post
One problem with using a GPU for realtime audio is getting the input data uploaded and getting the results back, for each processing buffer. The CPU/GPU data transfer overhead is significant and so it's better to do larger transfers. Larger transfers means bigger buffers which means greater latency. So if you already have a more powerful, multicore CPU, readily available without this overhead, why bother?
that helps make a little more sense of it, and lack of implementation in audio software.... thanks pulsar modular!
Old 10th January 2017
  #137
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Originally Posted by lestermagneto View Post

is developing the groundwork established for addressing this additional processing a real no-go? Or one fraught with complete hassles of incompatibility/differences or lack of demand?
I'm no expert on this at all, but I think it's the lack of actual possibilities for real time processing that is the deeper issue. There might be ways around this for new thinkers, but if this knowledge is out there it doesn't appear to be widespread.

I could envision a framework based on something in most graphic cards that plug-ins could support. But I'm not a plug-in coder. Probably multiple aspects that are hard to solve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestermagneto View Post
I didn't know ableton actually looked into this, interesting..
Well, they responded to my suggestion with a clear indication of understanding it as well the problems involved, but I wouldn't say that they looked into this, as that was what I suggested they'd do and they respectfully declined.
Old 10th January 2017
  #138
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Usually I record Jazz quartets. My late 2011 MacBook Pro quad core i7 with 16 gigs Ram and Samsun 850 EVO SSD together with an Apollo 8P is pretty good for the task. Recently I started using Vienna Symphonic to orchestrate some of the Jazz pieces. In Pro Tools this can be done in real time with the score opened up on screen. The thing is I have to remove all the plug-ins (not a big deal) to record the orchestra but it is still a little clunky and strains the computer. I could see how a 12 core MP would be great but how a 6 core MP with one or two quad core minis would be even better. The 6 core to run the analog session with plug-ins, one mini for the orchestra and if needed another mini for sundries. I really hope the update the MP soon and offer a quad mini again.
Old 10th January 2017
  #139
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangking View Post
during the snow leopard era. mac was easily the best operating system. to me that was the definition of a great operating system, and when they were at the top of their game. especially for audio or multimedia. everything ran SMOOTH. yes it has gone downhill. When they killed final cut I knew something was wrong. I pretty much built a hackintosh (never could afford a real mac) exclusively to use Final Cut. Then they upgraded to the most horrible Editing program and I don't care how many updates they made, its still garbage!
I simply disagree. FCPX is a fine program, and the multicam workflow has been nothing short of spectacular for my use.

Plus, it's like 1/3rd the price of the old FC Studio
Old 10th January 2017
  #140
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

I was having a conversation with a cinematographer buddy of mine about Apple. He said that his production company has moved to Premier. He said one of the reasons was that importing from FC9 to After Effects was pretty simple, but with FCX, you can't do a direct export, and you basically can't edit your FCX project once you've done the export. I guess this is so Apple can push more people into using Motion over AE, but in reality, it has simply pushed people away from FC to Premier.

He also mentioned that when his company expanded, it made no sense to purchase a bunch of outdated Mac Pros, and they went with AMD based PCs.
Old 10th January 2017
  #141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
I was having a conversation with a cinematographer buddy of mine about Apple. He said that his production company has moved to Premier. He said one of the reasons was that importing from FC9 to After Effects was pretty simple, but with FCX, you can't do a direct export, and you basically can't edit your FCX project once you've done the export. I guess this is so Apple can push more people into using Motion over AE, but in reality, it has simply pushed people away from FC to Premier.

He also mentioned that when his company expanded, it made no sense to purchase a bunch of outdated Mac Pros, and they went with AMD based PCs.
That's interesting. Motion is $50 now, which is an amazing price. You can't buy Premier, only rent it. I'm not sure it's money well spent tbh.
Old 10th January 2017
  #142
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
That's interesting. Motion is $50 now, which is an amazing price. You can't buy Premier, only rent it. I'm not sure it's money well spent tbh.
From what I understand, After Effects is much more suited for larger production animation stuff. A common workflow was to use FC9 for editing, and AE for animation. FC9 had a way to export into AE for animation, where when you brought it back into FC, you could still edit your pre-export work. With FCX, you need to render the project somehow (I'm not an expert, just going with what he told me) to import it into AE, and when you went back to FC, you were basically done. If you wanted to change something, you'd have to go to the pre-export, edit it, then do the AE import and rendering all over again.

I guess his point was that AE is still a preferred choice with animation. He had no problems with FCX other than it simply did not integrate with AE the way FC9 did, nor the way Premier does.

He works for a commercial studio (as in makes commercials, not movies), and so I guess they rely heavily on animation.

Not sure if it's the norm. Just the experience of one guy in the industry.
Old 11th January 2017
  #143
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thepoison606's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
From what I understand, After Effects is much more suited for larger production animation stuff.
Depends on how large you mean.. AE is 2D only (even if some plugins offer a 3D workaround). For the real big stuff there is always a compositing software like Fusion or Nuke beeing used.
Old 12th January 2017
  #144
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepoison606 View Post
Depends on how large you mean.. AE is 2D only (even if some plugins offer a 3D workaround). For the real big stuff there is always a compositing software like Fusion or Nuke beeing used.
All I can think of right now is this:
Old 14th January 2017
  #145
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zephonic's Avatar
Don't know if this was linked to before, but man, wouldn't this be cool:

iPeg - I, Pascal Eggert
Old 14th January 2017
  #146
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
Don't know if this was linked to before, but man, wouldn't this be cool:

iPeg - I, Pascal Eggert
Which goes to show that, at this stage, just about anybody would be capable of designing a better Mac than Apple.
Old 14th January 2017
  #147
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Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Which goes to show that, at this stage, just about anybody would be capable of designing a better Mac than Apple.
Fantasy designing being the proper term. Actually building it at an acceptable price and delivering it as well as supporting it is something else.

I think if you had attempted to replicate the multicore Mac Pro in 2013, as I did, you'd have been amazed how difficult it was then to get those same components inside a box at less than what you'd pay Apple.

Now, if Apple only had kept incrementally updating the Mac Pro since, say once a year or so, this could still be true. It's a mystery why they haven't.
Old 14th January 2017
  #148
Tui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Fantasy designing being the proper term. Actually building it at an acceptable price and delivering it as well as supporting it is something else.
Sure. I was referring to the fact that this fantasy design looks a great deal more "pro" than Apple's offerings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Now, if Apple only had kept incrementally updating the Mac Pro since, say once a year or so, this could still be true. It's a mystery why they haven't.
Not a mystery to me. Tim Cook doesn't have a clue and doesn't care. Let's revisit his nebulous remarks about desktops:


"The desktop is very strategic for us. It's unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop — the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.

"The current generation iMac is the best desktop we have ever made and its beautiful Retina 5K display is the best desktop display in the world."


So, according to Cook, desktops are iMacs with "beautiful Retina 5K display"s, and are "in some cases critical to people."

I fear it will rapidly become apparent that the man is a disaster for Apple.
Old 14th January 2017
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
S


So, according to Cook, desktops are iMacs with "beautiful Retina 5K display"s, and are "in some cases critical to people."

I fear it will rapidly become apparent that the man is a disaster for Apple.
You're clearly coloring your interpretation of what Tim says with your own fears. I disagree that's what he said. It's just what he said. Exactly, without your added hidden meanings.

So the iMac is currently arguably the best Mac desktop. You'd feel better if it was the Mac Pro. No.

The situation is what it is. It doesn't improve with misrepresenting what there is.
Old 15th January 2017
  #150
Tui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
You're clearly coloring your interpretation of what Tim says with your own fears. I disagree that's what he said.
I'm not sure what you mean. I quoted him, verbatim.

Not with one word did he mention the MP machines, or the target customers. I honestly get a sense that he is out of touch. He multiplies the worst of what Apple always has been - control-freakish and with a propensity for placing design over function - while missing out on the creative genius and longterm vision of Steve Jobs. Apple became great and a leader in tech because they could walk and chew gum at the same time. It seems those times are over.
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