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Anyone using the new Mac Mini? Audio Interfaces
Old 19th December 2018
  #1
Anyone using the new Mac Mini?

My 2009 Mac Pro finally took a dump on me and I'm needing to replace it. I was going to get a Macbook Pro since I'm going to be needing a stage rig as well as something to cut on at home, but the Mac mini seems like a no brainer. Super powerful and pretty portable too. Is there anything I should be aware of before making the jump? Thanks!
Old 20th December 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 

I've heard some people complain about them not being as powerful as advertised because of thermal issues. Basically it runs so hot that it throttles the CPU and there is apparently a noticeable difference in performance.

I've not tried one myself, though. So take it with a grain of salt if you like. Just what I've seen on some forums around lately.
Old 20th December 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Andrew Mottl's Avatar
 

I am not sure what tools there are for OSX, but "undervolting" is often a remedy to thermal throttling.
You give the CPU less voltage, so it runs cooler, but have to stress test to find a aetting that doesn't cause hiccups in processing.

Probably good for a Macbook too!
Old 20th December 2018
  #4
Good info guys. Thanks!
Old 20th December 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

I wouldn't doubt the new Mac mini . Probably if you're doing a lot of graphics you need an external card but for sound I'm sure you can run a lot on there. 10gb link for servers is great. I'm getting one for an editing suite. They just last well these machines and they're not over expensive.
Old 20th December 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 

The mini is the only computer left in Apple's line that looks like a real tool to me--ports, size, etc. I wish they'd left the SD slot on it, but at least it currently doesn't follow what the laptops are doing (1 flavor of port period). Such great ideas from Apple, these days.
Old 22nd December 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
Get a used 2012 2.6 Mac Mini from Macsales.com for under $1K

Im editing and mixing 5.1 TV at home on one!!
Old 22nd December 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Oliver.Lucas's Avatar
Unfortunate time for a mac pro to die, so close to the release of the new one...
The mini seems like the best option at the moment if you can live with Mojave...
Old 22nd December 2018
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I’m using the new Mac Mini (6 core 32gb ram) and it’s flying. I have a session with maxed track count, tons of automation and a bunch of surround reverbs that literally couldn’t run for a second on my late 2013 macbook pro. On the mac mini it runs perfectly (40-50% CPU load, stays quiet). Mojave has been a bit of a pill to get stable to do with drivers and stuff, but it’s come together with some troubleshooting. Pro Tool 2018.12 and all my peripherals are running fine now. I only lost support for one free compressor plugin I had. I was holding out for the Mac Pro but I’m happy I didn’t wait to spend more because the Mac Mini ticks all my boxes. I was worried about the integrated graphics but sync is solid and video is extremely snappy to work with.
Old 22nd December 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMuffinMan01 View Post
I’m using the new Mac Mini (6 core 32gb ram) and it’s flying. I have a session with maxed track count, tons of automation and a bunch of surround reverbs that literally couldn’t run for a second on my late 2013 macbook pro. On the mac mini it runs perfectly (40-50% CPU load, stays quiet). Mojave has been a bit of a pill to get stable to do with drivers and stuff, but it’s come together with some troubleshooting. Pro Tool 2018.12 and all my peripherals are running fine now. I only lost support for one free compressor plugin I had. I was holding out for the Mac Pro but I’m happy I didn’t wait to spend more because the Mac Mini ticks all my boxes. I was worried about the integrated graphics but sync is solid and video is extremely snappy to work with.
Am shopping for a new Mini, and very glad to hear that it stays quiet even under a pretty big load!
Old 23rd December 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Ya the only time I’ve heard the fan is during video transcoding and non real-time bounces. So far so good!
Old 20th January 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

i just ordered the i7 mac mini with 256gb, will upgrade to one 16gb ram stick and see how that goes.
Going to use for ableton/overbridge as my dell xps 15 i have got tired of trying to fix dpc latency issues on.
Old 29th January 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Little update here, it turns out the new Mac Mini (and reportedly new Macbook Pros) are not able to provide stability in a low latency USB audio stream. So with my RME UFX, I've been having dropouts when background processes overload the USB bus (or something like this). Workarounds include eliminating every background process you can, or hooking your USB audio device up through a Thunderbolt 3 hub/dongle. The dropouts have been a pain, but at least there is a workaround and hopefully Apple will fix this issue also.
Old 31st January 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
iluvcapra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMuffinMan01 View Post
Little update here, it turns out the new Mac Mini (and reportedly new Macbook Pros) are not able to provide stability in a low latency USB audio stream. So with my RME UFX, I've been having dropouts when background processes overload the USB bus (or something like this). Workarounds include eliminating every background process you can, or hooking your USB audio device up through a Thunderbolt 3 hub/dongle. The dropouts have been a pain, but at least there is a workaround and hopefully Apple will fix this issue also.
Is this in Mojave?
Old 31st January 2019
  #15
Old 16th February 2019
  #16
Just thought I’d follow up on this. My new Mini just made it through it’s first mix and I couldn’t be happier. I had a session going with every track both mixers had in it (dia, adr, group, fairly wide fx and bg’s, foley) and the thing ran dead quiet and was super snappy. Granted there were no plugins really running, but still. It’s really pretty great and can’t beat it for the price imo.
Old 17th February 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by srheiss View Post
Just thought I’d follow up on this. My new Mini just made it through it’s first mix and I couldn’t be happier. I had a session going with every track both mixers had in it (dia, adr, group, fairly wide fx and bg’s, foley) and the thing ran dead quiet and was super snappy. Granted there were no plugins really running, but still. It’s really pretty great and can’t beat it for the price imo.
No plugins running kinda makes it pointless.
It's about running a session with full plugins.
Old 17th February 2019
  #18
I don’t think it’s pointless. An editor using it as a stage rig doesn’t need to run a session full of plugins. I was just happy it handled a busy session with a couple hundred tracks sitting silently on the desk right be the mixers. I’m guessing it’ll handle a bit of plugins running too, but I haven’t needed to try that out yet.
Old 17th February 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by srheiss View Post
I don’t think it’s pointless. An editor using it as a stage rig doesn’t need to run a session full of plugins. I was just happy it handled a busy session with a couple hundred tracks sitting silently on the desk right be the mixers. I’m guessing it’ll handle a bit of plugins running too, but I haven’t needed to try that out yet.
Ah yes. My bad.
I just realised you needed something for a stage editing rig.
Old 17th February 2019
  #20
No worries. I love it but I have doubts about it being powerful enough to do any heavy duty mixing. I am curious how far it can be pushed though
Old 17th February 2019
  #21
Is there anyThunderbolt 3 expansion chassis with at least 3 PCIe slots that could be hooked up to accommodate HDX cards and video cards? That could make Mac Mini a viable option for bigger systems?
Old 18th February 2019
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branko View Post
Is there anyThunderbolt 3 expansion chassis with at least 3 PCIe slots that could be hooked up to accommodate HDX cards and video cards? That could make Mac Mini a viable option for bigger systems?

There`s the Sonnet Echo Express III:
Echo Express III-D (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) PC Ie Card Expansion System | Sonnet

Same chassis lots of people I know use with their MacPro 2013 and HDX cards, just with a TB3 card.
You can even upgrade your TB2 chassis to a TB3 by getting the TB3 card.

Last edited by clipgod; 18th February 2019 at 07:46 AM.. Reason: wrong link
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clipgod View Post
There`s the Sonnet Echo Express III:
Echo Express III-D (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) PC Ie Card Expansion System | Sonnet

Same chassis lots of people I know use with their MacPro 2013 and HDX cards, just with a TB3 card.
You can even upgrade your TB2 chassis to a TB3 by getting the TB3 card.
Unless it changed recently, I think HDX cards aren’t working with the TB3 Sonnet chassis. Awaiting an update from Avid apparently. TB2 with an adapter works.
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