The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
What would be easier-learning Mac or learning the simplest DAW Audio Interfaces
Old 24th January 2013
Lives for gear

Thread Starter
What would be easier-learning Mac or learning the simplest DAW

Sorry I couldn't think of a better way to word my title. Here's my situation: My recording experience has all been with hardware based systems and I want to take the DAW plunge finally. I have always been a PC/Windows guy and struggle sometimes with the technology side. I am more instinctive or intuitive based. So, my daughter (who works in our local Apple store) is getting a new Macbook Pro and since she and my granddaughter live with us and I won't take a dime from them, she wants to give me her Mac tower as a gift. I would have to learn just enough about the operating system to be able to run the DAW. Her tower already has Garageband and Logic I think (apparently employees get a lot of apps so they can learn them to be able to help customers or some such thing) so I wouldn't have the expense of software. So my question is, which would be easier to learn-the Mac OS and Garageband (I would eventually move on to Logic) or is there a simple but very effective DAW for Windows that would be easier to learn and what would that DAW be? All opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Old 24th January 2013
Gear addict

There's not much easier than garage band.

Mac is very easy to use, far easier than say windows xp, it will take a while though, because you will be confused about how simple it is.
Old 24th January 2013
Gear nut

Well Larry. Let me start by saying I was in a similar situation a few years back. I was very anti-mac. I didn't understand why people shelled out double the money for inferior machines (the Mac-Pro lines at least). I was a Sonar user and loved it. I even bought a V-Studio 700. But reality settled in when I moved to LA and started working at larger facilities. Pro-Tools (and arguably Logic) were absolutely essential and 90% of the studios I was working in were using Macs. Thats when I started using the mac OS (at the time Snow Leopard) and learning PT.

Mac OS is intuitive, but in a different way. Little things were highly confusing at first. Not having a right click (at the time), kexts (drivers) and the installation of some software by simply dragging it to the Apps folder left me confused. In the end, I can confidently say that the Apple OS has a much lower learning curve. That is part of Apple's key functions in everything they do. Simplicity.

I built my dad a hackintosh and have been teaching him Logic for 2 months. I get a phone call daily when he gets stuck. Granted, his last DAW experience was Cubase on an Atari Commodore. You should hear the awesome stuff he is sending me though.

I've written a bunch of nonsense and realize none of it gets you closer to a decision 0_o

I think you should compare machines. Is your current windows machine better than the Mac your daughter it offering you? I would consider this heavily. The computer is the heart of the DAW.

Garageband is about as easy as it gets.
Logic isn't easy, but its great for midi (I prefer pro tools for audio).

I heard the new Cubase is amazing. It works on both OSes.

I hope this 4am ramble has helped!
Old 24th January 2013
Gear addict
jwleeman's Avatar

Wow you're up early! Without a doubt, the Mac OS is easier to learn. I switched to Mac about 3 years ago.. very simple! At the time, I went through this book ( BARNES & NOBLE | Switching to a Mac Portable Genius by Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated ) just because I was also somewhat nervous at first. But you'll actually be surprised how easy it is to change system settings and such.

On the other hand, any DAW has a steep learning curve, even if you're already familiar with audio hardware. It's like Adobe Photoshop: There are just so many operations and skills to learn! My advice would be to start with a very simple project that uses a minimal set of the DAW's features. Then start layering more on top.

Good luck!

Old 24th January 2013
Go with Logic on the Mac.
There are lots of good online video courses.
Sign up or a couple of months subscription and gradually work your way through the course.
Old 24th January 2013
Lives for gear

I'm anti mac and windows but a free computer is a free computer. Get logic and watch some youtube videos on getting started and stuff. Don't be afraid to learn something new even if it takes a while. Macs are pretty simple to use and once you get use to logic it will make it easier for when me and the rest of the borg force everybody to switch to linux.
Old 24th January 2013
Deleted User
This is the easiest recommendation to make. I'm on Windows, but, use the Mac & Logic. 1) It's Free! 2) You have in-house access to an Apple-store employee with knowledge and training on the computer and the DAW. 3) It's always cool when a parent is willing to learn from a child. Isn't it great to think that your daughter can utilize her knowledge and training to help out her dad develop his musical talents? 4) It's important to be a grateful receiver (and to let her pay you somehow for letting her stay with you).
Old 24th January 2013
Lives for gear
shanabit's Avatar

EASY, use the FREE Mac and Garageband, move to Logic when you got your chops going.

I use Mac and PC here but thats an easy question IMO

BTW, I dont "KNOW" Mac here, really nothing to learn to be honest. I still dont know or care how to do most stuff on the Mac, Im doing music using a DAW, same with a PC IMO.
Once your working in your DAW the operating system doesnt matter
Old 25th January 2013
Originally Posted by shanabit View Post
EASY, use the FREE Mac and Garageband, move to Logic when you got your chops going.

I use Mac and PC here but thats an easy question IMO

BTW, I dont "KNOW" Mac here, really nothing to learn to be honest. I still dont know or care how to do most stuff on the Mac, Im doing music using a DAW, same with a PC IMO.
Once your working in your DAW the operating system doesnt matter
+1. Essentially a Mac is just a PC with slightly different names for things.

If you've got an apple employee "on site", I'm sure you won't have a problem with the file system, which is really all you need to know - where your stuff is saved.
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
I loved it when Macs first hit the market in the 80s because they were so easy to figure out. Prior to that, I was developing interfaces for scientific instrumentation with computers from the dinosaur age like the PDP-8A. I turned into one of those lemming-like Mac fans that found the money to upgrade to the next fastest Mac before I really needed to and used the excuse that science needed faster flops.

In the 90s I got into military grade digital image capture devices and only Macs managed to get the work done in a compact platform because PCs sucked. Then Windows XP happened and PCs began to compete. By the time W7 hit, I was convinced that Microsoft had stolen away some OS expertise from Apple because Windows had become simpler and the hardware was way better at pure performance per dollar.

I still use both and actually prefer Cubase on a PC to Logic on a Mac. And I like W7 better than all of the newer Mac OS's but the difference is not enough to matter. The MBP is an awesome laptop. I use one for remote recording work with Logic and it's great. When I get back home, I push the tracks onto a PC and mix with Cubase. That probably did not help you decide, huh?
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear

Thread Starter
Thanks so much for all the great replies. I had my daughter read the thread last night and I am so thankful for all the support for going the Mac route. She confirmed to me that it does indeed have garageband (of course) and Logic already installed, along with another one she "couldn't remember the name of" LOL. She won't get the Macbook for about another month, so I will get the tower then. I will be doing simple demos on my little Tascam DR40 until then so I will know how I want to arrange the songs before I record them. Initially, I only intend to track everything myself. I will send the finished tracks as 24 bit wav files via e-mail or perhaps Fedex to my good friend Bruce Bartlett for mixing and mastering. I need to put out one more album while I'm still around and, due to illness, feel a great sense of urgency. I am now certain thanks to you guys and my wonderful daughter that this is my best option. Thanks again for your support.

Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
Nevelicious / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
fafalio / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
CareerTech1 / Music Computers

Forum Jump
Forum Jump