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-   -   Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=406388)

JoeLouis 09-20-2019 03:18 PM

Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
Hello, urgent help please. I need to update my Mac, Protools ... I want to buy an iMac 27 "and I need to know the updates/upgrades I need to do in software and hardware. I also want to link the Monitor I have to the iMac and / or an extra wide monitor.

My current gear:

Mac Mini (late 2014) 2.6 Ghz Intel Core i5 8GB DDR3
OSX Yosemite 10.10.5
2 3TB Segate HD (Mac OS Extended)
1 2TB Segate HD (Microsoft NTFS)
27” Samsung S27D360

Pro Tools 12.2.1 ilok-2
Focusrite Scarlett 61.6

Melodyne 4
Toontrack (Superior Drummer)
Waves Bundle
AMBER Virtual Guitarist

Thanks so much :D

Darryl Ramm 09-20-2019 03:21 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
Why are you upgrading? What exact problem or issue are you trying to solve?

What is your budget?

Are you ready to move to Pro Tools 2019.x?

Darryl Ramm 09-20-2019 03:44 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
The genetic answer is these iMacs can run Pro Tools well.

Do not buy one with a fusion drive (combined HDD and small SSD). You really want the SSD version, and if possible max out the size of that SSD. Those NVMe SSDs are so fast you can combine system, sessions and VI samples on the same drive. Being able to avoid any external drives is also nice. Timeline/Disk Cache in recent versions of Pro Tools also helps there, and a reason to get lots or RAM... but you can easily upgrade that yourself on these Macs.

The PCIe/NVMe SSD is also upgradeable but with a lot of hassle to open up the iMac, but at least it’s not soldered to the motherboard.

Some folks have had issues with 5K models with graphics performance with Pro Tools, but I think that is mitigated/tunable for most of those folks.

Your old HDD will be boat anchors compared to modern SSD... but great for backups. You can hang Thunderbolt 3 SSD like the Samsung X5 off the iMac and get ~performance of the internal SSD if needed. A bit cheaper than the internal Apple tax drive, but I would still get that internal drive as large as possible.

You can connect your HDMI monitor via an adapter dongle to Thunderbolt 3.

You may want to get a Thundetbolt 3 dock like OWC sells, that gives you a HDMI graphics port as well and multiple USB 3 ports, and S/PDIF output, etc. I find my one super handy.

How many CPU cores do you need? ... you hopefully can guesstimate that from your current system. if you have the budget there is no real downside in going for the 6 core. And also making out SSD... but that adds up.

You need to pay attention to what versions of MacOS your iMac can run... and be prepared to upgrade Pro Tools. This is often much more an issue than hardware stuff.

JoeLouis 09-22-2019 01:47 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm (Post 2538704)
Why are you upgrading? What exact problem or issue are you trying to solve?

What is your budget?

Are you ready to move to Pro Tools 2019.x?

I need to improve my stuff. Increase the speed, # of tracks etc in PT
I can manage my budget. It could be from $3,000 to $5,000. It depends what I can get.
I can go to PT '19 if my skills (Not so good) and my budget let me do that
Thanks

Darryl Ramm 09-22-2019 01:59 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeLouis (Post 2538841)
I need to improve my stuff. Increase the speed, # of tracks etc in PT
I can manage my budget. It could be from $3,000 to $5,000. It depends what I can get.
I can go to PT '19 if my skills (Not so good) and my budget let me do that
Thanks

Sorry to keep pestering you with questions - but what do you mean exactly by speed?

Speed that Pro tools starts up? Loads say VI samples? Or does offline bounce? Or... or are you using that to mean run more tracks, more plugins? (do you have specific AAE errors today?) You having graphics problems/glitches where the graphics appears slow? Or is that the speed to say boot the Mac? All these things have significantly different causes and possible cures.

JoeLouis 09-22-2019 02:11 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm (Post 2538711)
The genetic answer is these iMacs can run Pro Tools well.

Do not buy one with a fusion drive (combined HDD and small SSD). You really want the SSD version, and if possible max out the size of that SSD. Those NVMe SSDs are so fast you can combine system, sessions and VI samples on the same drive. Being able to avoid any external drives is also nice. Timeline/Disk Cache in recent versions of Pro Tools also helps there, and a reason to get lots or RAM... but you can easily upgrade that yourself on these Macs.

The PCIe/NVMe SSD is also upgradeable but with a lot of hassle to open up the iMac, but at least it’s not soldered to the motherboard.

Some folks have had issues with 5K models with graphics performance with Pro Tools, but I think that is mitigated/tunable for most of those folks.

Your old HDD will be boat anchors compared to modern SSD... but great for backups. You can hang Thunderbolt 3 SSD like the Samsung X5 off the iMac and get ~performance of the internal SSD if needed. A bit cheaper than the internal Apple tax drive, but I would still get that internal drive as large as possible.

You can connect your HDMI monitor via an adapter dongle to Thunderbolt 3.

You may want to get a Thundetbolt 3 dock like OWC sells, that gives you a HDMI graphics port as well and multiple USB 3 ports, and S/PDIF output, etc. I find my one super handy.

How many CPU cores do you need? ... you hopefully can guesstimate that from your current system. if you have the budget there is no real downside in going for the 6 core. And also making out SSD... but that adds up.

You need to pay attention to what versions of MacOS your iMac can run... and be prepared to upgrade Pro Tools. This is often much more an issue than hardware stuff.

This is so much technical information for me, but it's so valuable. I'll go step by step. Thanks so much

Darryl Ramm 09-22-2019 02:23 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
You likely have no option about upgrading Pro Tools, unless you want to purchase a used Mac.

There is basic planning you can be doing around what differetn mac optiosn give you for running different Pro Tools versions.

Start at https://everymac.com/systems/by_capa...supported.html

e.g. 2019 iMac 5K minumum version supports macOS 10.14.5 Mojave as the earliest (meaning you cannot install an older version).

So to work out if you can get a supported system....

Then look at http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/e...tibility-Chart

So Pro Tools 2019.6 and 2019.5 are the only officially supported versions on that mac, and in practice I'd go for that. Given the huge improvements in plugin processing (reduction in AAE CPU errors and improvements in scaling) in 2019.5 and later you probably want to be on those anyhow. BTW I think that combo of 2019.x and Mojave is one of the *best* combos in many years.

You'll be facing a ~$299 re-up/license update plan for Pro Tools, or switching to annual subscription.

What you may *not* want to do is wait out a future hardware update on these iMacs that will likely be locked to macOS Catalina and a possibly painful wait for support for that in Pro Tools.

You also need to work out if you have or can can get compatible plugins (compatible with 2019.x and macOS Mojave), etc. need to update/update/pay for stuff there.

JoeLouis 10-31-2019 03:31 PM

Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades
 
Hi Darryl. I’m sorry for the long delay. I really appreciate your help. I was with a health problem. I'm OK now.
Based on your advice, this is what I’m thinking to buy:

27” iMac with Retina 5K display
3.7 GHHz 6 core 9th generation Intel Core i5
32 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 memory
Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
1TB SSD storage

Pro Tools update to:
2019.6 OS 10.14.6 Mojave or
2019.10 OS 10.15 Catalina (maybe too recent)

Any comments? Thanks again.


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