Macmini server for audio?

Audio, MIDI and computer hardware, not including effects or instruments

Macmini server for audio?

Postby McNicks » Thu, 05 Nov 2009 3:28 pm

Hi all,

My Powermac is old and noisy. That did not matter in my previous flat because I had drilled a hole in my bedroom wall and moved the Powermac into the hall cupboard. But I have now moved now and I don't have anywhere obvious that I can hide away the noisy beast. At the moment it is under my computer desk, driving me to distraction. However, I always intended to upgrade around now. The Mac Pros look lovely but they are a bit on the expensive side. It has been nice having the Powermac but, since I am only really noodling with music, I cannot really justify forking out for another beast.

I was wondering what peoples' thoughts were about using the new Macmini Server as a small music workstation? According to the tech specs, it has a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 4Gb of DDR3 memory and two 500Gb 5400RPM SATA hard drives. And it still has FireWire 800! I guess the only thing that concerns me from that list is the speed of the hard drives. But then having a second internal hard drive exclusively for recording might make the raw speed of the disk less significant.

What do you think?
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby ottoman42a » Thu, 05 Nov 2009 11:16 pm

I’ve been using 5400RPMs to record on for years now. Never had a problem. I know professional audio people using minis all time for film, TV work and music with no issues starting with the G4s. So go nuts!
Last edited by ottoman42a on Fri, 18 Jun 2010 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby Garzita » Fri, 06 Nov 2009 12:12 pm

Same here, I loved my Mini since the day I got it, it's silent, reliable, no problems whatsoever.

Use it mainly with Ableton Live, I dont record a lot of audio into it, just some sketches with my guitar or bass, then loop them in Live. Great as a MIDI sequencer unit sending out to my hardware synths.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby AdamJay » Fri, 06 Nov 2009 3:09 pm

it would get the job done. i've done alot of multi-track recording to 5400rpm drives without issue.

but for another $200, you could get a 3ghz iMac complete with HD display. The iMacs are incredibly quiet, great studio machines.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby McNicks » Sat, 07 Nov 2009 4:11 am

I went ahead and ordered the Mini yesterday. I had thought about getting an iMac but I like the flexibility of having a separate monitor. Aside from anything else, I already have a nice cinema display that I will be able to reuse with the Mini. Plus, if I ever do decide to get a Mac Pro, the Mini can go in a cupboard and be used for media storage / node / server ..etc.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby CazWax » Wed, 25 Nov 2009 9:58 am

So how has the Mini been working for you?
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby McNicks » Fri, 27 Nov 2009 11:57 am

So far, so good. I have not done much with it because I am still installing stuff (in my copious free time). It is not silent, but it is a helluva lot quieter than my G5 hoover, and from mucking about with patches in Absynth / FM8 it seems to have plenty of oomph. :)
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby Shane Blyth » Thu, 17 Jun 2010 9:12 pm

a question re the snow leopard server version of the macmini
I assume you have to format the drive and put the standard osx on it to run Logic and other standard programs?
I know nothing about server but assume it wont run logic or other standard osx software on it or am i wrong?

I see they just released a new model macmini and the server version looks interesting. I dont need a DVD drive and assume i can just plug it in to a network and install from other computer drives.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby velocipede » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 3:58 am

Shane, did you ever find out about installing Logic, etc. on SL Server?
I'm also somewhat interested in the Server Mini based on its specs and a few server features I might want to try, but only if it can also be used as a normal Mac too.
I guess reformatting/partitioning would be fine if Server were not desired at all.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby Shane Blyth » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 6:16 pm

velocipede wrote:Shane, did you ever find out about installing Logic, etc. on SL Server?
I'm also somewhat interested in the Server Mini based on its specs and a few server features I might want to try, but only if it can also be used as a normal Mac too.
I guess reformatting/partitioning would be fine if Server were not desired at all.


No asked on this and logicprohelp forum's and got not a single reply. MAybe you can dual boot if server is no good for mainstage/logic etc. I dont know. I suppose a call to an apple store might be the answer but there isnt one in New Zealand to my knowledge. Let me know if you find out anything. Cheers
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby velocipede » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 6:37 pm

I went to an Apple Store here, but the most knowledgable staff member (in terms of server) was not able to give me a clear convincing answer. I will try calling Apple sometime this week.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby Shane Blyth » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 7:14 pm

velocipede wrote:I went to an Apple Store here, but the most knowledgable staff member (in terms of server) was not able to give me a clear convincing answer. I will try calling Apple sometime this week.

doesnt exactly make you confident does it ! I am sure the more I think about it the less i think server would run such things as logic
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby ottoman42a » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 10:11 pm

I have never used Server, but my understanding is that its pretty much OS X through and through with some more options and settings for quick deployment of software.

From the wikipedia article:
Mac OS X Server is a Unix server operating system from Apple Inc. The server edition of Mac OS X is architecturally identical to its desktop counterpart, except that it includes work group management and administration software tools.


Here are the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_Server

So it should run Logic just fine.
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby G » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 10:57 pm

The hardware specs don't make it look like they crippled the graphics or anything like that, in case you'd need to display 1080p video, do audio for video, etc.

http://www.apple.com/macmini/server/specs.html

It's $999, with no display, keyboard or mouse. I think I'd price out a refurb iMac as an option, even though that brings up the issue of only one hard drive and one FireWire port (and that darn new keyboard with no numeric keypad).
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Re: Macmini server for audio?

Postby Shane Blyth » Sun, 04 Jul 2010 11:18 pm

G wrote:The hardware specs don't make it look like they crippled the graphics or anything like that, in case you'd need to display 1080p video, do audio for video, etc.

http://www.apple.com/macmini/server/specs.html

It's $999, with no display, keyboard or mouse. I think I'd price out a refurb iMac as an option, even though that brings up the issue of only one hard drive and one FireWire port (and that darn new keyboard with no numeric keypad).


u can request a numeric keypad at no extra cost on any imac. check your options when ordering an iMac from Apples store.

2 hard drives is a BIG option for me.
I would actually use as a headless mainstage rig

Basically i could buy a v small screen. even 9" would do it. Setup for a concert before hand and set OSX to boot and load the last concert. go to a gig , fire it up and just use the controllers on your keyboard and i never look at screen anyway.
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