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What has been the most stable DAW on the Mac platform? DAW Software
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
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What has been the most stable DAW on the Mac platform?

Features is another debate, I'm talking straight up stability. I've been having weird crashes with Reaper on a stock iMac and am kind of sick of it. I want a DAW that just works and wont crash in the middle of a f'in mix.

So, mac users, what say you. Who has the most stable platform?
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
SRS
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Using Logic Pro on a Mac 8 core with newest snow leopard. Been working like a freight train with no issues here for quite some while. And I commonly record 8-12 channels at once. Solid. It just works. No fuss no muss.
Old 29th December 2010
  #3
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If you're recording audio onto your system drive, there's your problem. They recommend a second hard drive for audio. You can get a external firewire drive from a place like OtherWorldComputing for around $100 or so.
Old 29th December 2010
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
If you're recording audio onto your system drive, there's your problem. They recommend a second hard drive for audio. You can get a external firewire drive from a place like OtherWorldComputing for around $100 or so.
Who is "they"?

I'm getting crashes on just a simple 2 track project. I've seen postings from plenty of people who use their internal hard drive on DAW's
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
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+1 for Logic on Mac Pro... although I generally stay away from new versions until an update or two has come out for best stability. SL is pretty solid now, from what I can tell, at least.

FWIW I have a client with an iMac who's always having random issues with Logic. Also, my dad got an iMac and has had a lot of problems. I'm not a big fan of the iMacs as a result.

Still, a 2-track project shouldn't be crashing anything.... can you be more specific about the crashes you're having?
Old 29th December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcb4t2 View Post
+1 for Logic on Mac Pro... although I generally stay away from new versions until an update or two has come out for best stability. SL is pretty solid now, from what I can tell, at least.

FWIW I have a client with an iMac who's always having random issues with Logic. Also, my dad got an iMac and has had a lot of problems. I'm not a big fan of the iMacs as a result.

Still, a 2-track project shouldn't be crashing anything.... can you be more specific about the crashes you're having?
I'll be working in a project, open the "FX" tab and as it tries to draw the window, it crashes.
Old 29th December 2010
  #7
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In the days of blazing processors and cheap ram, the hard drives are usually the weak point. Having a dedicated drive for audio data that works independently of the (usually busy) system drive is pretty logical.
Old 29th December 2010
  #8
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Does it have to be firewire, can a USB 2.0 drive work?
Old 29th December 2010
  #9
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You should also look at any 3rd party peripherals and software that you're using on the Mac. I had crazy problems with no explanation until I finally found that a USB driver for a logitech mouse was wreaking havoc on my system! Unbelievable as that may sound.... I saw several users reporting similar problems using that mouse, and reporting success when they removed the driver and device. Sure enough, I uninstalled the driver and unplugged the mouse, and the problem went away.

For better or worse, Apple's seem not to like a lot of non-apple stuff connected to them, especially if stability is a big concern.

edit: Re: the above - I believe FW 400 is slightly faster than USB2.0, while FW800 is faster than either. I think you'd be fine with a 2.0 though. The bigger factor is the drive itself - specs, RPM, cache size, seek times, latency, etc etc

Putting this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-284-_-Product
in this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817182210
would be a good solution, and not too expensive
Old 29th December 2010
  #10
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enroper View Post
So, mac users, what say you. Who has the most stable platform?
When you need to know what's the most stable, look at what people who have the most to lose are using. That would be scoring stages where a 5 minute reboot can cost $10,000. They are exclusively (at least in Los Angeles) using Pro Tools HD. It took many years of building trust, but PTHD is omnipresent on scoring stages now. For good reason. A well set up mac with PTHD is virtually bulletproof.

I'm sure there are many here who are going to blast me for even suggesting it though,...... heh heh
Old 29th December 2010
  #11
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Can anyone PLZ chime in on how Ableton Live 8.x fits into this? We have a newer gen MacBook Pro's, and are wanting to migrate into a full LIVE show (DreamPop/Electronica), and are concerned about live reliability.

thx in advance
kurtis
Old 29th December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcb4t2 View Post
edit: Re: the above - I believe FW 400 is slightly faster than USB2.0, while FW800 is faster than either. I think you'd be fine with a 2.0 though. The bigger factor is the drive itself - specs, RPM, cache size, seek times, latency, etc etc
Actually USB2.0 (480mbps) is slightly faster than fw400 (400mbps), fw800 (800mbps) is even faster than that...and USB3.0 is faster than fw800...but yeh, the drive itself is a bigger factor. I use a 7200rpm external drive, its a Lacie 500gb one i picked up for like $50 a couple of years back...i can use it either fw400 or USB2.0...so its pretty useful haha...
Old 29th December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
When you need to know what's the most stable, look at what people who have the most to lose are using. That would be scoring stages where a 5 minute reboot can cost $10,000. They are exclusively (at least in Los Angeles) using Pro Tools HD. It took many years of building trust, but PTHD is omnipresent on scoring stages now. For good reason. A well set up mac with PTHD is virtually bulletproof.

I'm sure there are many here who are going to blast me for even suggesting it though,...... heh heh
Well yeh...typically the reason protools HD is so stable is because it did most of its processing on the HD cards...(this might be different with HD9, but HD9 isn't what got HD this reputation to begin with)...and well the OP is using an iMac...and iMacs don't take PCI/PCIe cards...
Old 29th December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
Actually USB2.0 (480mbps) is slightly faster than fw400 (400mbps), fw800 (800mbps) is even faster than that...and USB3.0 is faster than fw800...but yeh, the drive itself is a bigger factor. I use a 7200rpm external drive, its a Lacie 500gb one i picked up for like $50 a couple of years back...i can use it either fw400 or USB2.0...so its pretty useful haha...
I got a 7200 rpm barracuda sata drive in an external enclosure. think it can hack it?
Old 29th December 2010
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by enroper View Post
Features is another debate, I'm talking straight up stability. I've been having weird crashes with Reaper on a stock iMac and am kind of sick of it. I want a DAW that just works and wont crash in the middle of a f'in mix.

So, mac users, what say you. Who has the most stable platform?
what are your imac specs? processor, ram, etc.

but as many have said, logic is probably your best bet for price, features & performance.
Old 29th December 2010
  #16
SRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enroper View Post
I got a 7200 rpm barracuda sata drive in an external enclosure. think it can hack it?
Of course that HDD can hack it. You might want to consider partitioning off your iMac and using one side for recording and one side for "everyday use." I would ALWAYS go with FW before USB with an external HDD. Internal would usually integrate better and have even faster throughput.

Do a separate partition. Do a clean OS install. Load in your DAW software and keep it lean and clean. I think most DAW software will run pretty well on a iMac.
Old 29th December 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
what are your imac specs? processor, ram, etc.

but as many have said, logic is probably your best bet for price, features & performance.
here's the specs


Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac10,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Old 29th December 2010
  #18
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What about interfaces? I just ask that because i've found with most DAWs i've used, mixing with an interface will be more stable than mixing on the internal soundcard.
Old 29th December 2010
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
What about interfaces? I just ask that because i've found with most DAWs i've used, mixing with an interface will be more stable than mixing on the internal soundcard.
I'm using an echo audiofire 8 hooked up via firewire
Old 29th December 2010
  #20
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Being honest, it's not so much a case of 'Which DAW' as 'How you set it up'.

With Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase or Reaper; providing you spend some time setting it up properly, use separate Audio & System drives, use a decent interface, and be patient with it when it does take a second to do something, you will experience better performance than any one of them straight out of the packet.
Old 29th December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natpub View Post
Can anyone PLZ chime in on how Ableton Live 8.x fits into this? We have a newer gen MacBook Pro's, and are wanting to migrate into a full LIVE show (DreamPop/Electronica), and are concerned about live reliability.

thx in advance
kurtis
Hi, we do a dreampop/electronica live show based on Live, has been working very well for several years for us. check out the link in my sig, there is some stuff about the kinds of shows we do.

I've used both Logic and Live on a number of macs these past few years -- macbook pros and mac pros -- and to my mind, Live is more stable than Logic overall. Neither of them has been problem-free for me, and neither one is a bugfest either, but overall I feel like I've had fewer crashes in Live than in Logic, and almost all the crashes I've had, I've reported to Ableton and they have been fixed in beta releases. Live recovers from a crash a lot more gracefully than Logic too IMO, in that it rebuilds the state of your project from log files when you restart, so that there is almost never lost work.

-synthoid
Old 29th December 2010
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natpub View Post
Can anyone PLZ chime in on how Ableton Live 8.x fits into this? We have a newer gen MacBook Pro's, and are wanting to migrate into a full LIVE show (DreamPop/Electronica), and are concerned about live reliability.

thx in advance
kurtis
Been using Live 7/8 for live band shows for the past few years. No probs running mulitple VSTis (kontakt/alicia's keys/symphobia, rapture/dimension, IK stuff samples loaded onto strips with some fx (reverb/delay/eq/comp). All with a macbook 4.1. Very stable. The only 'bug' I experienced in Live 8 was incompatibility with IK philharmonik. Could still use it, but gave me an error msg every time I quit Live. Removed the .vst file and no problems. Apparently this was a known issue.

To the OP, if you're going to get a separate drive for audio, it doesn't have to be external...if it is, stick to fw (oxford chipset) for best performance. I got a Rosewill enclosure and got an OEM Western Digital Black 7200 drive for $90 on newegg. FW400/800, Esata, Usb.

However, you shouldn't be having issues recording to your OS drive with 2 tracks especially since most of my home studio friends have been recording to their OS drives for years and some still do. I only got an external drive less than a year ago and have composed music and mixed my bands' projects on the primary drive for years without issues.

I didn't even realize it was 'standard' procedure until I got into into PTLE.

(edit: FWIW, I use Cubase/PTLE/Live on PC and Live/Cubase/Reaper on Mac - In order of importance)
Old 29th December 2010
  #23
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When just mixing, i always set the buffer on my interfaces much higher, because i don't need to worry about latency...in fact my stuff is direct monitoring anyway, so my latency is generally set pretty high anyway.
Old 29th December 2010
  #24
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Digital Performer is my favorite DAW. Had never problems and is running rugged

Greets b.e.
Old 29th December 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
Actually USB2.0 (480mbps) is slightly faster than fw400 (400mbps), fw800 (800mbps) is even faster than that...and USB3.0 is faster than fw800...but yeh, the drive itself is a bigger factor. I use a 7200rpm external drive, its a Lacie 500gb one i picked up for like $50 a couple of years back...i can use it either fw400 or USB2.0...so its pretty useful haha...
The "peak" of USB2.0 is faster, but the sustained transfer rates are generally faster on FW400. Also, the "overhead" of the USB protocol is more than on FW, so in practice the FW is still faster. (Just checked some testing folks have done to double-check myself there). Also, with the abundance of USB devices, it might be easier to put a FW drive on its own bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
Of course that HDD can hack it. You might want to consider partitioning off your iMac and using one side for recording and one side for "everyday use." I would ALWAYS go with FW before USB with an external HDD. Internal would usually integrate better and have even faster throughput.

Do a separate partition. Do a clean OS install. Load in your DAW software and keep it lean and clean. I think most DAW software will run pretty well on a iMac.
Yeah I agree a barracuda in a USB enclosure should be fine. But partitioning a single drive doesn't make sense, unless you're talking about file organization. Running system and audio data off of two partitions of the same drive might even be slower than one single. The benefit is achieved when each process has its own drive, not its own partition of the drive.
Old 29th December 2010
  #26
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My very over-simplistic observations for all platforms -

1. Radar. Ten years of use, ten years of 100% reliability.

2. Soundscape. Eight years of use, one freeze as a result of a defective video card in the PC.

3. PT HD. Occasional freezes, but very seldom.

4. All rhe rest depend on the quality of the computer they are on.

So for a Mac, the simple answer has to be PT (again!)
Old 29th December 2010
  #27
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I love ableton. However, stable is not what i would call it. In fact the folks at ableton said earlier this year that they were not going to add any new features until they made sure Live 8 was stable. I don't crash all the time but it happens more than i would like it to. When i use it without any VSTi it is more stable however that is not a solution for me. I still use it to compose but i would never track a paid session with it.
Old 29th December 2010
  #28
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dp is extremely stable for me....... or buy a radar.
Old 29th December 2010
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enroper View Post
Who is "they"?

I'm getting crashes on just a simple 2 track project. I've seen postings from plenty of people who use their internal hard drive on DAW's
I use my internal hard drive (but I am running on a macbook pro) and have no issues with Logic Pro. PT is a different story, for some reason, whenever I close PT down, my computer needs to reboot.
Old 29th December 2010
  #30
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Reaper should be solid on mac osx. I've seen it enough. I also think it's 3th party hardware (mac is known for not liking that, one of the main reasons i don't like mac). The fact that you record on the internal drive can also be a problem. I've recorded a lot on USB 2.0 drives, and even 24 tracks at the time is no problem in 24bit 44.1kHz (wich should be good enough for 99% of music that is recorded)

Logic is build for OSX, so it should work flawless, PT HD works very wel once installed like it should. It's the installing that is a pain in the ass. Native should be easier, because no PT Hardware should be installed.

I would first check all 3th party stuff, and if that doesn't work, buy an external HD to record to. If that all doesn't work buy logic (or work with garageband if that is good enough)
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