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  #1  
Old 02-02-2022, 10:19 AM
toddamo toddamo is offline
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Default Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

I've been telling myself that I'd wait for the new iMac Pros. The more I think about it, I realize that I don't need a 27" monitor. (plus the extra cost) The current 24" size is fine for me.

Main questions:

Will I regret not holding out for something with M1 Max or M1 Pro chips?

Or--are the current M1 iMacs plenty? (Home user, running mostly MIDI instruments, upgrading to the latest Pro Tools)

I'm currently on a mid-2012 MBP (heroically operating!), but it's time to move on.

Thanks for any insights!
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2022, 12:35 PM
Robruce Robruce is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddamo View Post
................
Will I regret not holding out for something with M1 Max or M1 Pro chips?

Probably not, especially if you're not running huge video projects or CPU demanding programs simultaneously

Or--are the current M1 iMacs plenty? (Home user, running mostly MIDI instruments, upgrading to the latest Pro Tools)

Just get as much RAM as you can afford for virtual instruments in particular, and also buy the biggest HD you can afford as these days there's no longer any real advantage to using external recording drives for most sessions running on computers with Solid State drives....

FYI, Monterey, the current shipping OS, is reportedly not working perfectly, or well, for some PT users/systems. For others it's ok.

I'm currently on a mid-2012 MBP (heroically operating!), but it's time to move on. .....

Just retired a 2012 MBP here too, replaced it with the M1 Mini. No complaints other than 5 second beach balls, blacked out rectangles and other temporary graphic artifacts, no crashing on PT 2021.7 and Big Sur 11.6.3 while using a UA front end.



......

Last edited by Robruce; 02-02-2022 at 12:50 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2022, 01:00 PM
toddamo toddamo is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

Thanks for the reply, Robruce!

Yep--I'm not processing any video. I currently don't use anything that's heavily sample based. I don't use a ton of tracks. etc. My 2012 MBP runs it all pretty well.

Re: RAM - the m1 iMacs max out at 16 GB -- I'll go with that.

I did not know that we're not doing separate system and session drives anymore with SSD. Is that so? Thanks!

Re: OS - Should I install Big Sur for stability?

Re: MBP 2012 - That computer's been a champ. I'm still running sessions on it today. Can I get 10 years from the M1 iMac?!
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2022, 02:28 PM
Robruce Robruce is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddamo View Post
Thanks for the reply, Robruce!

Yep--I'm not processing any video. I currently don't use anything that's heavily sample based. I don't use a ton of tracks. etc. My 2012 MBP runs it all pretty well.

Re: RAM - the m1 iMacs max out at 16 GB -- I'll go with that.z

16 has been ok, but VI demands are not huge here either. Supposedly RAM goes farther in the M1 world.

I did not know that we're not doing separate system and session drives anymore with SSD. Is that so? Thanks!

Yes apparently so. It makes sense really. Why squeeze audio down a computer buss and out to another device when the write/read speeds from internal non-spinning drives are so much faster? For most users, especially self-recording users, keeping the session you're presently working on, on the internal SSD, is more efficient.

Just keep a "Working" folder on the desktop and every time you're done working, drag the PT session folder out of it to an external drive - or three to be safe.
Still in use here from the ol' MBP system are numerous spinners and thumb drives for backup and archiving.



Re: OS - Should I install Big Sur for stability?

No, that's Not Recommended from what others here have indicated, and Apple may actually prevent installations of an earlier OS
There's a very good chance that Monterey will work with PT on your computer. Even though Monterey is not approved by AVID, there are systems working with it.


Re: MBP 2012 - That computer's been a champ. I'm still running sessions on it today. Can I get 10 years from the M1 iMac?!

Don't see why not, especially cuz the M1 runs so much cooler than our MBPs
And yes this 2.3 ghz. 2012 MBP parked at Mojave is the best computer I've ever owned. FW, T-Bolt, CD burner, USB3 - what's not to like?
........................

Last edited by Robruce; 02-02-2022 at 03:09 PM. Reason: ,
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2022, 04:03 PM
toddamo toddamo is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

My current system is MBP 2012, Digi 003 and PT 11. I am ready to come into the modern world. Thanks for your help!
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2022, 04:33 PM
Sardi Sardi is online now
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Default Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

If you do get one, you should definitely downgrade to Big Sur. Monterey is not supported and a bunch of AVID plugins won’t even install. M1iMacs can run Bug Sur, so I would definitely roll it back.

Why not look at a Mini instead though? Cheaper, same performance, more ports (depending on which iMac you go for) and you can buy a nice screen which you can keep if you plan on upgrading later.

Also, you do realise you’ll need a new interface as well, so factor that in to your budget.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2022, 04:39 PM
Robruce Robruce is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardi View Post
If you do get one, you should definitely downgrade to Big Sur. Monterey is not supported and a bunch of AVID plugins won’t even install. M1iMacs can run Bug Sur, so I would definitely roll it back........
Thanks for jumping in with better info...!
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2022, 05:24 PM
toddamo toddamo is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardi View Post
If you do get one, you should definitely downgrade to Big Sur. Monterey is not supported and a bunch of AVID plugins won’t even install. M1iMacs can run Bug Sur, so I would definitely roll it back.

Why not look at a Mini instead though? Cheaper, same performance, more ports (depending on which iMac you go for) and you can buy a nice screen which you can keep if you plan on upgrading later.

Also, you do realise you’ll need a new interface as well, so factor that in to your budget.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hey thanks for the tip on Big Sur. Regarding the Mini's, I've looked at them, but I want a self contained system. These new iMacs look fun. And yes--it's time to retire the Digi 003. I've been looking at the Apollo Twin X.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2022, 12:45 PM
Interactivesound Interactivesound is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

I'm running an M1 MacBook right now. My main studio computer just kicked the bucket and This computer has to take over full duty for awhile. I say the processing speed is every bit as fast as the 6 core i7 2019 iMac that I was running before. This computer was never supposed to take over these duties, but I'm trying to hold out until the next M1 Pro Mac mini or whatever is announced. I Think this is the way to go right now, knowing that support will get better over time and quirks will get worked

I am running Big Sur and have 16 GB ram installed (The max on an M1). I would definitely stay on Big Sur right now. The overall experiences gets a little finicky, and the memory does feel limiting at times. I am running video and doing larger 100 track count post-production projects on this system.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2022, 04:09 PM
Netmania Netmania is offline
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Default Re: Is an M1 iMac enough for ProTools?

As a home studio user and former educator i can say that i have no issues working with Pro Tools 2021.12 on my Macbook Air M1 with 8 GB Ram and a 10 year old Babyface usb interface on a 18 year old Cinema HD Display. I do composing mainly on Logic because its so complete and well optimized. Pro Tools for Mixing and Mastering.

For me its the best and complete solution, because i can work where ever i want. I am on Big Sur 11.6.3 and do not plan to upgrade to Monterey in the next half year.

Best
__________________
MacBook Air M1, 8 Gb, 512 GB Apple SSD, 512 Gb Samsung Evo 970 NvME TB3 SSD, 1000 GB Crucial P1 TB3 SSD, macOs 12.3., RME Babyface blue,

MacBook Pro 13, Mid 2012, 10 GB, 250 GB Crucial MX
macOs 11.6.5 / Windows 10
_____________________________________________
Pro Tools 2021.12
Logic Pro 10.7.3
Cubase 11 Elements
Wavelab Elements 11
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Music was my first love - shine on
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