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Forums » GarageBand Tips and Tricks » Buying First Mac especially for GB!

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I am looking on ebay for a Mac Mini as an afordable way to get Garage Band and enter the Mac World.

From what I can tell, a G4, OS10.3 , 1 GB Ram, 40 GB HD (all "or better" of course) should do the trick.

Will 2 USB2 jacks be enough? If you teather a USB hub are they still all USB2?

ANY pitfalls you can help me avoid will be great.

I previously messed around with Ubuntu Studio. It was impossibly difficult for a novice and I did not want to have to become a Linix Guru just to run the damn thing. (Stable my but!)

I also ran Sony Acid Express, and some other scaled down apps on a PC and found the latency issues to be unacceptable. Rather than buy a "better" PC and software to imulate Garage Band, why not buy a cheap Mac and get GB!

Patrick
Latest Song: Squeeze Box (COVER)
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 11:48 am
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I suggest you go for the intel Macs (core duo) as this will be more flexible in terms of upgrades. the g4 still had the old power pc chip.
Latest Song: Nails
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 12:39 pm
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I do want to stipulate that I am looking for "Cheap Used." If I go Core Duo i might as well buy the $599 Mac Mini new! If I want to upgrade later I will make the leap to buying a new Mac all together.
Will a G4 do a fair enough job with GB for simple live mike recordings of guitars and vocals? Assuming G4 was all the rage just a few years ago, I figure the G4 had to work well when it was the new kid in town. (PLEASE correct me if I am wrong. I am prone to be!)
This is what I am looking at.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-Mac-Mini-G4-1-25GHz-1024MB-80GB-Combo-Kbd-Mouse_W0QQitemZ220490656294QQcmdZViewItemQQptZApple_Desktops
Latest Song: Squeeze Box (COVER)
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 1:11 pm
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Remember, with the G4, you will not be able to use the latest version of the software, beit the OS or GB...
Latest Song: What You Did on iComp
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 2:20 pm
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It always helps to have at least a 7200rpm drive, too.
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 2:44 pm
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Welcome to the Macites! Wink

Yes, for simple guitar/vocal recordings that will be fine, its a similar spec to my laptop, which allows me to do that and add drums, bass as loops and still work OK...

Good luck with your bidding!
Latest Song: This Ain't Home
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 3:00 pm
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Having used a G4 Mac Mini up until a couple months ago, I can say that it will definitely do fine work for Garageband. With Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) on it and GarageBand 3 or 4 (up to GB '08 ), you'll be making some fine music.

You may occasionally have to "lock" the tracks due to memory issues. Locking saves the track as an AIFF file which GB then uses for playback so it uses less memory than generating all the effects, midi, synth, etc the track may have on it. You can unlock the track to work on it again. I also sometimes saved the song to an AIFF file, then imported that to a new project to add more tracks.

If possible, try to get the fastest mac Mini made: the 1.5 GHz. Also, like Bec mentioned, a 7200 RPM drive will help the system keep up with the music. Most Mac Minis won't have an internal 7200 RPM drive, but I simply used an external Firewire 7200 RPM drive. You'll be able to find one for much much less than I paid for mine several years ago. Get Firewire -- not USB 2. USB 2 is fast, but not for sustained throughput like playing/saving large music and movie files. Firewire is better for that still.

Good luck! You'll have a blast learning and testing and, if it works out, you'll be able to move up when you're ready. This little Intel Mac Mini I have now is doing fine!
Latest Song: The Dice Guys Theme
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 3:21 pm
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Great info everyone Smile

I am thinking $250 or less is worth it for a good used G4 otherwise just get a new one. What would you consiter the crossover price versus biting the bullet and getting the new one i realy can't afford right now?
Latest Song: Squeeze Box (COVER)
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 6:16 pm
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Have you taken a look at the Mac Clones from Psystar?
Latest Song: What You Did on iComp
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 6:27 pm
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eeek! lummie
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 6:59 pm
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I dont see the savings for my needs with Psystar. If I am gonna go Mac, I an gonna go Mac. (Note my dificulty with Ubuntu) I am afraid any clone would have some inherent driver system update issues that would force me to flash bios and crap like that. Like my iPod Touch I just want it to work. I dont want to have to learn how it works.
Latest Song: Squeeze Box (COVER)
Artist Page Send Message Oct 07, 2009 | 10:53 pm
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you gotta go for intel mac mini


osx has 10.6 makes old ppc obselescent
Latest Song: While The Clouds Pass
Artist Page Send Message Oct 08, 2009 | 2:01 am
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I have and use a G5 PowerPC (Non Intel) Tower, you DON'T have to have the latest greatest to do what you want. I too am underpaid for the work I do and If i get a windfall i'll get an 8 core and 16gigs of ram and all the latest software.
I also have a 1ghz G4 running OS9 and Logic 6. I have $20,000 worth of outdated obsolete gear that still works beautifully. (you can check my catalog and listen for yourself) It's not about the "LATEST GREATEST", it's about musicianship and heart. You can eventually upgrade when you sell your first album. Production dosnt come in a can. You cant purchase good engineering, it must be learned.
I think your on the right track by the way your thinking.
Some people want to get the latest greatest because they think it will make them better, I feel so sorry for those folks. Sad thing is the woods are full of them. Folks that get $3,000 guitars and dont know how to play.....
I'm sure you know the type...My advice. Get the ebay mini!

Wishing you all the best....

An eBay mac mini will work fine. Dont worry about anything accept ram.
Latest Song: "Moonglow"
Artist Page Send Message Oct 08, 2009 | 2:14 pm
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I wholeheartedly agree with what is being said in this thread about using the gear you have. I'm just brainstorming and tossing about ideas. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Latest Song: What You Did on iComp
Artist Page Send Message Oct 08, 2009 | 2:25 pm
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Its all good Lummie. Ideas, opinions, suggestions and warnings is exactly what I was looking for as a newbie.

Thanks to all. Hopefully I will be able to lay down some of my brand of noise polution via GB real soon.Smile

Patrick
Latest Song: Squeeze Box (COVER)
Artist Page Send Message Oct 08, 2009 | 3:06 pm
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