Old 01-16-2019, 06:50 PM   #1
evh1972
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Default Moving from windows to Mac ...maybe

Hi,
This has probably been mentioned a thousand times but looking for some advice. I've been a windows user my whole life but now spend most of my time inside of Reaper using various plugins with my guitar connected to my Focusrite 2i2. I have a fairly fast PC (i7-2600 3.4 Ghz Quad Core w/16gb ram) and it has suited me fine for over 7 years now.

However, lately I've been getting alot of stuttering audio and blue screens of death which I haven't had for years. I could perhaps do a fresh install of Windows and put everything back on to see if that fixes it. But I've also heard that Mac are built for music production, video production, editing photos, etc... Those are all the things I like to do.

If I was to get a Mac I'm considering either the new Mac Mini with 6 cores so I can still use my 32" monitor or get a Macbook Pro and I will use my monitor as well with that.

Thus my question is, am I going to see better results on a Mac with things "just working" or will I also run into other issues? Or should I go through the process of starting over to see if that works and if it doesn't, consider a Mac or maybe even a new PC?



Thanks
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:51 PM   #2
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But I've also heard that Mac are built for music production, video production, editing photos, etc...
That's a myth.

My works also involves audio and visual stuff. I could produce creative works on Windows just as good as on Mac. It's not the machine, it's the man behind the machine.

I was a Windows user for more than a decade. My first experience with REAPER is on Windows. After using REAPER for more less than two years, i had to switch to Mac. Because at the time Mac is the only stable machine for my UAD Apollo (silverface) with Thunderbolt connection. And that's the only reason i switch, because Apollo is the heart of my studio.

The transition is smooth. I could just use the exact REAPER prefs on Windows on Mac, with minor adjustmens (mostly keyboard shortcut, or path reference) but no trouble at all. Everything works. 3rd party plugins which had equivalent on both OSes works flawless (continuing project created on Windows to Mac).

Both world have their pros and cons. I was a happy Windows user, but now i am a happy Mac user. I can live with both.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:11 PM   #3
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I've used Reaper on Mac, Windows and Linux. Mac offers no significant advantage to Windows that I've noticed. Linux offers a performance advantage at least in my case (I noticed it, and it was a big difference). But a lot of plugins people love aren't available in Linux and lots of people don't want to fuss making Windows plugins work in Linux either.

If you want to run a Mac for other reasons, or like jrengmusic are switching due to a preferred hardware configuration only available on Mac, that makes sense. If you're having problems with your current machine you want to "walk away from", well consider that any machine can have problems with any OS and eventually you have to fix them one way or another. A Mac might work fine at first but who knows, sooner or later you might be back in the same boat. My vote is to decide what OS you prefer and then use that OS. If it's Windows, and you need help fixing your issue, people can probably help with that on these forums if you provide enough pertinent information. A total reformat/reinstall probably wouldn't hurt though if you have everything backed up.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:55 AM   #4
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I totally agree with the posts above, except that for class compliant USB interfaces like the 2i2, Mac OS does have the edge on plug n' playability. No drivers to install, it just works.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:18 AM   #5
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I totally agree with the posts above, except that for class compliant USB interfaces like the 2i2, Mac OS does have the edge on plug n' playability. No drivers to install, it just works.
The same is true in Linux but I would hardly consider that a selling point for someone who is used to Windows and actually has drivers they don't mind installing anyway. Plus you still have to set up the audio device with whatever buffer settings make sense for you; the only step that is saved is installing a driver.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:31 AM   #6
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The same is true in Linux but I would hardly consider that a selling point for someone who is used to Windows and actually has drivers they don't mind installing anyway. Plus you still have to set up the audio device with whatever buffer settings make sense for you; the only step that is saved is installing a driver.
It was a small caveat, but I do see a fair amount of newbies getting confused about Windows audio drivers.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
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If fortunate you may end up long term with a bit less OS and hardware reliability issue faffing with a mac, but of course that's not guaranteed.

I moved from PC after ~ 18 yrs mainly for that and a Mac mini was good spec and also by nature quiet.

Reaper runs v similar, some experience gui being touch slower.

Nothing wrong with either choice
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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Thanks for apply the replies.

To clarify it probably has nothing to do with Reaper or any of the plugins. The sound cutting in and out is probably an issue with my 2i2 interface which I've seen lots of issues with in other forums.

Thus I suppose my options are either
- re-install OS and hope it fixes it
- purchase a different usb interface (recommendations anyone?)
- try a mac since it seems there are less driver issues
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:06 AM   #9
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Hi and welcome to the forums.

There is a good set of documentation on the focusrite site outlining the best way to set Win10 up for multitrack audio MIDI recording, which may well help you.
In any case, if you are new to DAWs as well as the reaper forum, download & check out the free reaper user guide and the free tutorial videos at reaper.fm All excellent stuff.

FWIW the majority of reaper users seem to be on Windows and doing OK, so the added expense and learning curve of moving to a Mac is probably not worthwhile. (speaking as someone who has both but uses Windows 99% of the time for reaper)

One thing worth trying to set a baseline would be to download and run resplendence.com`s latency checker program. It will highlight any problems you may have within your system.

Stuttering could well be buffer settings for your interface, etc., but the blue screens sound more like something on the hardware side. Have you cleaned all the dust and crap out of your machine (desktop or laptop) lately? can have a huge effect on performance, especially if cpu and/or ram is overheating.
My wifes laptop died, making pathetic squealing sounds like a dying mouse & it turned out to be the exhaust from the cpu fan being completely clogged with carpet fluff and dog hair. Cleaned it out and it ran fine again
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:31 AM   #10
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Yeah this issue could be so many things, I wouldn't call it "driver issues" at this point. That's a stab in the dark. It could be something as simple as your HDD/SSD being too full (or developing bad sectors), a bad HDD/SSD cable, RAM failing, some currupt files due to an incomplete Windows update, or some malware...who knows. I've never had an audio device's driver cause a BSOD especially as of Windows 7, and I've done some wacky things with audio devices practically trying to break things.

I should ask this: you say "Windows" but you don't say what version. Please don't say it's XP. At this point you should probably migrate to Windows 10 if you haven't already. And if you've never done a complete wipe of the HDD/SSD and OS reinstall in 7 years, I'd say that's not a bad run you've had.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:20 PM   #11
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I'm using Windows 10. The two main issues that I'm dealing with are:

- BSOD which happens randomly, although I have noticed it sometimes happen if I change USB inputs on my PC
- Focusrite 2i2 is going silent for a second and then continues playing. This happens streaming audio and in reaper.

However, after chatting with some support folks they asked if I had another USB cable to try and I did. I've made the change and so far I haven't noticed any of the dropped audio but I will continue to listen for it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:57 PM   #12
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I have an older ASUS with quad i7. It is set up as dual-boot for Linux Mint 19 and Windoze 7. I also have an old Focusrite 2i2 as well as a newer 18i8. Both work flawlessly without any drivers on both OS's (as well as on older versions of Linux Mint).



Some interfaces do not seem to perform well on a USB3 port, even when the specs say that the device is USB3 compliant (I do not know why). If your computer has both USB2 and USB3 ports, and if you have not done so already, you might want to try plugging the 2i2 box into a USB2 port.


Hope this helps....
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #13
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Thanks, I'll have to give it a try without the drivers installed.

Curious how everything works using Linux Mint? Do VSTs work? Any other issues?
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:08 PM   #14
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First off, I have used the Focusrite boxes without any drivers in both Reaper and Audacity, and on both OS's. In all scenarios, the results were excellent.

Truth be told, I am new to Reaper (about 2 months in), and have been using the Linux version almost exclusively (Linux Mint 19). Thus far, I have completed two projects (acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals), and have also been doing a lot of experimentation. Reaper's performance with Linux has been flawless.

As you know, Reaper comes delivered with many VST and JS components. I have utilized and/or experimented with many of them, and have yet to discover any plugin issues.

There are a few VST's that I have not tried yet, so I cannot unequivocally state that the VST's work well with Linux in all cases. My intention here is not to be evasive, but rather to give you an honest evaluation of what I have experienced up to this point.

Last edited by Bravo6; 01-21-2019 at 12:09 PM. Reason: paragraph spacing?
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:38 PM   #15
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I'm using a Debian-based distro (MX Linux). It works great, noticeably better performance than Windows in my case. I only use native plugins though (JS plugins which work in any OS, the "ReaSuite" that Reaper comes with, and Linux VSTs). Linux VST plugins are a lot less common but enough of them exist for me.

If you've never used Linux before, there are some things to be aware of. Primarily, when you have an issue of some kind you might need to resort to doing some command-line things to diagnose and/or resolve the issue. A lot of it's easy but sometimes it's not. If that idea frightens you, maybe stick with Windows.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:36 PM   #16
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Just wanted to add a couple of thoughts to what JamesPeters wrote:

1. I also have experienced far better performance, reliability, and security with Linux. There is a HUGE and enthusiastic Linux community out there, and technical assistance can be readily found on the web. I was an experienced Windows user 7-8 years ago when I switched to Linux Mint. The transition was easy for me

2. With the major Linux distros (Mint, Ubuntu, etc.), there are several, highly customizable interfaces from which to choose. It is easy to make Linux look so Windows-like or Mac-like that you will feel right at home.

3. Linux is free, and so are most of the applications that run on it.

4. The only reason I keep Windows 7 on my computer is so that I can run two applications that will not run (or have no equivalencies) in Linux -- Turbotax, and my Garmin GPS update app.

5. If you are a gamer, you might want to stick with Windows. Linux does have Windows emulation tools (Wine, etc.), but they can sometimes be a bit aggravating and unreliable.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:47 PM   #17
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It would be great, if somebody (Cockos ??? ) would provide a Linux distribution that is ready to run Reaper including any Windows plugins that might be installable with Reaper, and including (links to) any important hardware drivers. (Similar to what Muse Receptor once offered.)

This would be worth some money to pay for,

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Old 01-21-2019, 11:00 PM   #18
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It would be great, if somebody (Cockos ??? ) would provide a Linux distribution that is ready to run Reaper including any Windows plugins ...
I have done a bit of reading about this, and I highly doubt it'll happen.

About links to drivers, same thing.

Overall this seems like far too much work for Cockos to be responsible for.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:21 PM   #19
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First off, I have used the Focusrite boxes without any drivers in both Reaper and Audacity, and on both OS's. In all scenarios, the results were excellent.

How are you using it without drivers? If I don't install drivers I don't see in in my list of devices in Reaper. Or are you using ASIO4ALL?
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:40 PM   #20
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I did not install any additional software (drivers or otherwise) in order to make the OS or DAW recognize my audio device. On Linux Mint 19, here is what my REAPER Preferences window shows:


Audio system: ALSA
Input channels: 2
Input device: hw:USB; USB-Audio - Scarlett 2i2 USB
Output channels: 2
Output device: hw:USB; USB-Audio - Scarlett 2i2 USB


Hope this helps....
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:18 PM   #21
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Sorry, should have mentioned I'm still using Windows 10 so I assume I have to use drivers otherwise it won't work.
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