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  #1  
Old 10-09-2017, 01:22 PM
OwenMorris OwenMorris is offline
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Default Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Hello Forum,
Hope you are all good out there....and thank you in advance for any and all advice offered.
I am a long time professional Pro Tools user. I bought my first system to record guitar bands with back in 2000.....and the system I've been using, purely to mix at home, I've had for almost 10 years now: I'm still running Pro Tools 8!
Anyway....it's time to put this system finally to bed. It's served me very well, but because of my Mac Pro's ancient age, I can't upgrade or maintain anything anymore....
So....I'm thinking I could maybe make my life easy and get latest Pro Tools 12....run native only.....for mixing only. Possibly in the future if I need inputs to record, I could get a thunderbolt interface etc....but recording anything at home is not something I want to ever do.....
So....here's my question: the latest iMac....2017....27"....4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz.......full of RAM and a big SSD drive.....
Would this iMac be adequate (ideally, MORE than adequate) to run easily, large mix sessions?
On my old (current) system, I'm always maxing out 160 tracks in mix with many many plug ins etc......
If this iMac option won't be adequate, what are my options? Wait for iMac Pro in December? Or?......
Again....thank you in advance for any help.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2017, 01:49 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

[one post per topic, please don't spam DUC with multiple identical posts]

This is missing the most important thing... what exact problem are you trying to solve with an upgrade? What DAE error? What limitation? Needing to be on Pro Tools 12 (for what reason?). etc.

Everybody's definition of large session, and what they are doing, with what VIs, plugins etc. varies so much that any answer you get here given the limited information provided will not be useful.

Detailed specs of your current Mac Pro would have have helped...

But really, the first moves should be to get your stuff running on Pro Tools 12 on your current system. You likely have to bite the bullet with High Sierra, so do a clean install of High Sierra on a separate drive or partition (again what exact Mac Pro do you have?), install Pro Tools 12 and plugins, finding current AAX-64 versions for all plugins you need, and test stuff works. Once you have done all that you'll know how well/bad that runs for your workloads on your current systems and can hopefully guesstimate what you need in a future Mac.

Personally if I was chasing higher-end Mac systems now I would be trying to wait and see what the new (supposedly open/expandable) Mac Pro that Apple is doing after they admitted the trash can was a bad mistake...

You are running TDM now? with TDM plugins for tracking? You need that low latency monitoring? What interfaces do you have/considering buying?
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2017, 04:16 PM
OwenMorris OwenMorris is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Hi,
Thanks for your reply.
My very old computer is a Mac Pro 2,1
I cannot update the operating system above Mac OS 10.6.8
Therefore I cannot update new, higher versions of Pro Tools or any plug ins.
Infact, the other day, my iLok, because Sound Toys would only now talk to a newer version of the iLok licence manager software....well, all my Soundtoys plug ins decided not to work.
I cannot upgrade my wav plug ins or my avid plug ins anymore.
My system is officially on its last legs.
I have a 192 audio interface with it.....I have maybe recorded one time only with it.
I ONLY want to have a new, up to date...ideally, future proof (ish....my last system worked for over 10 years....I wouldn't be expecting that!) system.
This is why I'm asking about/thinking about JUST a native system that only uses native (aax ?) plug ins......has no external audio hardware (I wont be recording audio.....I only need something to give me decent audio out for speakers and headphones).
I mix, usually quite large sessions (50 to 100 audio tracks??)....I use lots of plug ins on inserts and fx sends and returns etc.
I like the idea of just using an iMac: my wife would love it if I could get of my old 19" studio rack! But before I go any further, I'm asking this forum.....if this new iMac will do this job for me? If it wont, that's ok. I can either wait for the iMac Pro....or maybe get the best circa 2013 Mac Pro, and move over my hd interface cards etc.......but that option would mean keeping my unsightly old 19" studio rack (which my wife would prefer if I didn't!).
Hope I've clarified things. Apologies if I didn't make myself clear earlier.
Oh...and apologies for posting my original question in a few forum groups: I wasn't aware that was bad etiquette......
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2017, 06:19 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OwenMorris View Post
Hi,
Thanks for your reply.
My very old computer is a Mac Pro 2,1
I cannot update the operating system above Mac OS 10.6.8
Therefore I cannot update new, higher versions of Pro Tools or any plug ins.
Infact, the other day, my iLok, because Sound Toys would only now talk to a newer version of the iLok licence manager software....well, all my Soundtoys plug ins decided not to work.
I cannot upgrade my wav plug ins or my avid plug ins anymore.
My system is officially on its last legs.
I have a 192 audio interface with it.....I have maybe recorded one time only with it.
I ONLY want to have a new, up to date...ideally, future proof (ish....my last system worked for over 10 years....I wouldn't be expecting that!) system.
This is why I'm asking about/thinking about JUST a native system that only uses native (aax ?) plug ins......has no external audio hardware (I wont be recording audio.....I only need something to give me decent audio out for speakers and headphones).
I mix, usually quite large sessions (50 to 100 audio tracks??)....I use lots of plug ins on inserts and fx sends and returns etc.
I like the idea of just using an iMac: my wife would love it if I could get of my old 19" studio rack! But before I go any further, I'm asking this forum.....if this new iMac will do this job for me? If it wont, that's ok. I can either wait for the iMac Pro....or maybe get the best circa 2013 Mac Pro, and move over my hd interface cards etc.......but that option would mean keeping my unsightly old 19" studio rack (which my wife would prefer if I didn't!).
Hope I've clarified things. Apologies if I didn't make myself clear earlier.
Oh...and apologies for posting my original question in a few forum groups: I wasn't aware that was bad etiquette......
Keep in mind that the iTrashcan MacPro machines do NOT have card slots. You old TDM cards won't work with newer PT versions; if you do go with a newer machine you're going to have to go to PT12 which means if you want PT12HD it's new cards but also some kind of expansion chassis to plug those cards into. Couple that with all new version of your plugins as PT12 doesn't use RTAS plugins but aax64 format plugins.

Do you need PTHD or can you work with the cpu doing all the processing? If the latter you're going to need a real fire breather.

Up until about a week ago I would have said to wait for the iMac coming out towards the end of the year. Reason why I gave the time frame is I was using a Mid 2011 27 inch iMac with 3.4 GHz quad core i7 which I could use on 60 or so tracks in a session which is not in your league. Then my video card fried and replacing that ain't a simple plug and play. Imacs don't have the greatest cooling systems; if you have adequate air conditioning where you're going to work that shouldn't be a problem. But with no cooling in the room don't be surprised if you have issues after a while. So take a look at the current MacPro cylinder. Up to you to do the research for an expansion card chassis and whether the current dsp cards will work in it.

Another option if you're on a budget (and who isn't) is a refurbed cheesegrater MacPro from OWC. No Thunderbolt ports although the machine does have 3 open card slots and 4 drive bays.

Almost forgot - iMacs have a glossy screen and if you have lights coming from over your shoulder you'll get reflections that could mess with seeing things.
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See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2017, 06:39 PM
nikhilmulay nikhilmulay is online now
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

An alternative is to get a hackintosh. From your posts, it looks like you have an HD system but can't say for sure. If you do, you definitely need pcix slots for your HD dsp cards.
I would suggest to sell the whole thing and get a protools HD 12 software only license. It will work fine on a new Macpro and you don't need any of the associated hardware except ofcourse a new sound interface.
That can be any brand with the software only license while getting you most of the HD features that you would need.
You would also have to upgrade your plugins to aax64. Waves is easy with wup and most companies do offer upgrades for a fee. All in all, it will be a massive upgrade for you with a boat load of new features.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2017, 07:26 PM
Tweakhead Tweakhead is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

. . . or buy an older Mac Pro, specifically the 2.26GHz 8-core 4,1 Mac Pro, and upgrade it to a 3.46GHz 12-core 5,1 Mac Pro. Screaming machine, as many will testify.

Watch this guy's video on how to do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAdgT-hJuXU

if you are seriously interested I will post or email you exact details.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2017, 07:42 PM
OwenMorris OwenMorris is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Gentlemen....thank you so very much for your advice.

And yes.....option one....is basically throwing everything I have away so far.....and either getting an iMac 27" i7 fully specced up.....and run everything internally etc....no more tdm or rtas for me.....
I like the possible neatness of this solution.....tho I am wondering if I need to wait for an iMac Pro (more core processors etc.....****....I'm really not a tech head....)......
If I did now get a current iMac 27" i7 etc would it be ok for me running massive mixes with **** loads of plug ins etc?

Then....having read lots on the forum just now.....is like you say, to get an old machine....I'd just slot it in my current rack....put my hard drives in....my digi accel cards etc.....linked to my 192 audio interface and away I go.....in theory yes?
I've just found what might be a suitable machine on eBay uk:
APPLE MAC PRO 2009 (5,1) 3.06GHz 12 CORE 48GB ATI5770 1TB HDD

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291534578003

Please....and thank you all again.....I'd really appreciate your input/advice.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:11 PM
OwenMorris OwenMorris is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Or......and I apologise if this is a really stupid question:

Would a new Mac Book Pro do the job for me?

Late 2016 15" MacBookPro13,3 Quad-Core i7 'Skylake' 2.9 GHz.....fully spec it up.....

Just wondering......
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:14 PM
Tweakhead Tweakhead is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Yeah, that certainly wouldn't be far off the machine I suggested. And as you say, your existing hardware would fit right in. That's what I would do if I were you. And get a nice Samsung SSD for a boot drive. Mine boots in 1 1/2 revolutions of the apple startup spinning wheel. My before and after upgrade benchmarks were measured using the free CineBench test software. My CPU-upgraded mac is more than 3x the speed of my old machine. I went from a score of 548 to 1621.

You can measure the performance of your existing machine:
https://www.maxon.net/en/products/cinebench/
Download:
http://http.maxon.net/pub/benchmarks/CINEBENCH_R15.zip

Edit (adding answer to MacBook question):
No, the number of cores would be prohibitive.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:33 PM
OwenMorris OwenMorris is offline
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Default Re: Will iMac 2017 with i7 core be good enough to run huge native mix sessions?

Thanks for the info and advice.

I was thinking there for a minute how cool I'd be if I could work on my mixes on a laptop....in bed....infront of the TV....down the pub etc......

Ha ha......

Having a rock solid system is what I need more than anything else.

So that Mac Pro I linked you to on eBay UK looks good to you, yeah? I think I'm going to buy it and get on with this system upgrade....so I can then get on with my album mixing.......

Thanks again....
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