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Old 26th July 2015
Gear Maniac
killedaway's Avatar

Hopefully you folks don't mind me grabbing a ride on this thread, for a similar question:

I'm looking to reduce my physical studio footprint in as many ways as possible. I currently do not own a computer suitable for music production so I'd like whatever I buy to be as small and efficient as possible. The Mac Mini looks like a good choice in that regard. I also love the portability of it, being able to drop it in my bag and set it up elsewhere with just a few connections.

I have several hardware synthesizers I'd like to record (mostly desktop units, including Elektrons, and a few others of a similar nature). I don't plan on using the computer for much more than recording and mixing; I don't have any desire to use VST plugins (strongly prefer doing all that OTB, for better or worse), other than perhaps the occasional mastering effect. Ballpark for an average tune would be in the neighborhood of 10-20 tracks, the upper end of that figure being extremely generous.

That said, would a 2012 Mac Mini i5/4GB/500 be suitable? The used price on these seems reasonable, if it will fit the bill specs-wise. Upgrading the RAM and HD down the road is absolutely a possibility, but I'd love it if the base memory configuration would suffice for what I'm trying to do. I imagine a DIY PC in the same price range would be at least as good, but it's been ages since I've put together a PC myself (last one was in 2007) and I really don't have the time these days. Also, any DIY machine is likely going to be louder (fan-wise, anyway), and have a much larger footprint -- two things I'm trying to avoid.