iMac or MacBook?

Hi all, this is my first post so I hope it’s in the right spot
I want to purchase a computer that I will be able to record with but am a complete computer retard so can anyone advise me on whether a Mac book will do the job or am I better going with the IMac?
Portability is not really an issue
Am looking at IMac 24 M1 8g 256 or a comparable Mac book?
Any advise would be greatly appreciated, so confused :exploding_head:

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I use a bottom basement Macbook air. No issues or limitations to speak of, and none of the latency issues while recording that I saw on a high-end Dell laptop. Comes with an excellent DAW (Garageband) for free as well.

Thanks! What sort of interface do you plug into it?

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The new m1/2 macbooks are great, I say this as an absolute NOT fan, I dont like OSX or apple in general.

The entry level iMacs are not really upgradable either , you can always add another screen to the macbook

I have a bargain basement Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD audio interface. I didn’t break the bank on anything.

So you can upgrade a Mac book but not an iMac? That doesn’t sound right, have I misunderstood?

No you can’t upgrade either of them.

Its pretty much taken as read for a mac book but not quite so for an IMac

I will say the counterpart. I’m an apple fan (have almost the whole ecosystem at home) and I develop for iOS at job. But the fist question I have is if you want a Mac for something in particular (maybe you already have iPhone or iPad). For the money, you probably can have a Windows with “better” specs and upgradable RAM memory.

Having said that, with the needs you have said, any Mac will work for you. You are considering an iMac so mobility is not a must. If you already have a monitor, have you thought about a Mac mini?

This is how I would do it considering you’re not interested in windows:

  • Need mobility and probably I’ll record and edit videos with it: MBP (with 16GB ram)

  • Need mobility but I’ll use it just for recording audio and consuming multimedia: Mac book air

  • Don’t need mobility at all and don’t have a good monitor already: iMac

  • Don’t need mobility and already have monitor, keyboard and mouse: Mac Mini

(The money saved if you go for iMac or Mac mini can go to do a memory or ram upgrade)

These are some suggestions or thinks to have into account, but buy whichever you like most.

O and finally to get you more confused :joy:, if it is only for recording sound (no video nor streaming in an open mic). I plug my guitar and record the sound for my AVOYP in an iPad :blush: (but only the sound) . Just in case you didn’t know you can do that with an iPad.

Thanks! I’ve always had windows computers but I have an IPhone & want to go mac this time. Never thought about the mini :thinking:
So I can use the monitor, keyboard & mouse from my windows machine with that?
I just want everything to work with no hassles really, technology is not my thing I’m afraid

Can you plug an interface into an iPad?

I want to record sound & video, not sure I need 4 ports for that?

Yes I’m confused :grin:

Yes, you can connect the mouse, keyboard, and monitor to the mini. And it has hdmi + usb a + usb c ports (iMac and Macbook air only have usb-c ports). This means you don’t need any extra adapter for the monitor or for the Audio Interface (if it doesn’t come with usb-c cable). The bad thing about the mini is that, if you want to record yourself too, you’ll need your phone camera or buy a webcam too.

It has its flaws, of course, but we are talking about a considerable amount of money in difference. Basic mini in Spain starts at 799€, iMac 1449€ and MacBookAir 1519€

Yep, there are audio interfaces for iPhone and iPad too, that’s how I practice every day :blush:.

Don’t worry, ask as much as you need :slight_smile:

For recording yourself (video & audio) you need a webcam, and a usb port to connect your Audio Interface. And in the audio interface you’ll plug your guitar and mic.

Do you have an amp that can be plugged directly into the computer?

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The apple just works thing is an entire myth, as is apple being secure.

Have you used OSX?

Good question with a straightforward answer. Your use case seems to be a fairly light load for most computers available in mid range these days for domestic consumers. I have used both Mac and Windows machines of many flavours over the years 1984 to 2022 so far. Audio recording has never presented me with a problem on either platform. So in short you do have multiple options.

These days I mostly use a MacBook Pro with M1 processor. It has good built-in audio processing, great audio routing potential too. It is good at handling multiple video channels.

I also run Windows on the Mac using Parallels on those odd occasions when I need a run a Windows only application (rarely but essential at times in my own specialist field).

I do have a separate Windows machine but far prefer to use the MacBook because it handles the audio with much more headroom and produces such clean output.

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I have a katana 100 for electric & a NUX 80 Stageman for acoustic
No idea how to connect to a computer, I’m new to this :woman_shrugging:

No idea what that is?

Sorry for the delay, I’ve been away for a while

I don’t know about the NUX 80, but if I’m correct, you can plug your Katana 100 directly to the computer with this USB B port
Screenshot 2022-06-30 at 19.35.39

You just connect the cable to the computer, open a DAW program (If you’re in mac you have GarageBand, and for Windows a popular option is Reaper), and you are ready to record.

In the case that your amp can’t be directly plugged into a computer, you have to buy an audio interface. Nowadays you have audio interfaces for a wide range of prices. I think the Scarlet 2i2 is one of the most popular ones. However, I bought one cheaper called the M-Track Solo that works too.

Awesome thanks! Both amps have a USB so does that mean I don’t need an interface?
Just download an app?

Many thanks for the advice here, I bought the MacBook & if I ever figure out how to use it, I’m sure it will be awesome. Can someone point me to the link on the garage band tutorial please? Guitars are so much simpler …so were tape decks

There’s a fella on YouTube whose whole channel is about using GarageBand: TheGaragebandGuide

He has lots of videos on getting started and advanced features. Have fun!

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Oh awesome! Thank you! :smiley: