I have to throw my two cents in on this one.  Macs used to be the only
computer platform to do serious audio work.  This had to do with
available software and the way the operating systems for PCs and Macs.
Mac handled audio more efficiently.  With PCs you have to do some
configuration to make them work for audio well.  Basically, you turn off
a lot of automatic background processes on the PC and the Mac platform
doesn't have so much stuff running in the background.

But now with a PC that has a fast processor, sufficient ram, and that
has been set up properly, they are as good or better than Macs.  I
believe the Mac 'prejudice' for audio work is a holdover from when they
were better but that has not been the case in recent years.  Now your
choice should be based on the software you want to run.  The Protools
folks think Mac is the best and there was a time when Protools only ran
on a Mac.  We use Protools on Macs at the Audio Archive and they work
great.  For commercial projects I do on my home studio, I run Sonar 4
(used to be Cakewalk Pro Audio) and I never get crashes and it runs
great.  I've had Protools crash and lock up the Mac.

I think Angie makes a good point about the cost - a pro audio PC can
cost less.  So my point is that they are just computers and all have
evolved enough, meaning better operating systems, cheap ram so you can
have enough to do the work, better software that is more stable, etc.
that the choice is what software you want to use.  Sonar is a multitrack
recorder with lots of plug in support and good included eq and
compressors and that works great.  Saw is great but aren't they out of
business now?  Soundforge is very good and so is Protools.  

I believe the opinion that Macs are better is a holdover from when they
were better but is not true any longer and it seems that the people who
really prefer them probably don't like Microsoft or Bill Gates and think
Steve Jobs is cooler.  Or maybe it's like if you've always had a Toyota
you think they are the best and will always have a Toyota, but some
folks have always had Subarus and they think they are the best.

Joe Conway
Technical Director
Naropa University Audio Archive

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Angie Dickinson
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 11:44 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] AV to DV - PC or Mac?

I'm on your supervisor's side on this one.  Strictly on a cost basis the
PC wins out.

You'll find most of those that use Mac in the audio world claim Protools
as the standard also. Though system crashes can happen on either
platform, every Protools session I've ever been involved with has
included at least one crash during the session and lots of lost time
trying to restart it.  Then there are the costly updates.

On the other hand, it is very difficult to get my PC based SAWStudio
system to crash. This DAW was built for a fraction of what Protools on a
Mac will run you.  It performs and is more efficient at getting the job
done. With SAW in Live Mode, I can set EQ, compression, NR and any other
processing parameters I need *while* I'm digitizing.  This has cut down
on the time it take to do most restoration jobs substantially.

There are factors other than platform to consider.  Your choice of
soundcard (and decent AD/DA), video card, etc and the drivers written
for them is also important.  Your choice of recording software and any
plug-ins you may choose to use are important also.

I know several people who do the audio for video post on PC with great
FWIW, I've recently been told that Avid/Digidesign has been working on
migrating everything to PC.  Whether that is now their recommended
platform these days, I haven't been able to confirm.

Angie Dickinson
Arvada, CO

Klara Foeller wrote:
> Dear Colleagues -
> I'm at war with my supervisor on the subject of Macs vs. PCs when it
> comes to digitizing analog audio & video.  He has a bias against Mac,
> while all my periodical & on-line research, plus many consultations
> colleagues in media archiving, broadcasting and production, clearly
> indicates that Mac is the strongly preferred system.
> Please send ammunition.  Especially if you can quantify in $$$ and/or
> lost productivity.  All apocryphal stories welcome.
> Klara Foeller,
> Curator, Moving Image & Sound Collections
> Missouri Historical Society
> 314 746-4513