Jump to content

Anyone Using Samplitude On A Intel Mac Pro Quad Core ?

Recommended Posts

hi everyone.

after discovering some amazing mixes done entirely in samplitude/sequioa...and having seen the amazing power of this software first hand from my buddy and awesome mastering engineer trevor sadler...i am INTRIGUED !!

i am a producer/engineer/mixer. my background is on analog tape and big consoles, but i made the (almost) total switch to digital a few years back. still track some stuff on analog tape..but it always ends up in digital land. for the past 6 years been a loyal pt user.

i have been blown away by samplitude, its sound quality and features. i have a brand new quad core mac intel that i purchased to use with my protools le system. (i also run an (ancient) mix4 tdm rig on an old g4 with apogee/crane song converters for tracking...recently mixing in protools le on the new computer.

i'm not satisfied yet. do NOT want to put the $$ into a pt hd rig. i believe native is the way to go.

i understand i would be able to run samplitude under windows xp under bootcamp. i plan on buying a lynx 2 or rme pci card to use for monitoring and for possibly accessing some of my outboard gear during mixing.

the idea of having a mix system that would run on my mac intel at the studio..and ALSO on my macbook laptop....is VERY cool.

for now...most of my tracking will still be in pt or radar. i would like to setup a rig for itb mixing only.

most of my productions are 24-64 tracks.

curious if anyone here is having good luck running samplitude on a mac intel quad core with any luck.

questions i have are:

1. how easy is it to do a system like this ?

2. how stable is it.

3. what type of track/plugin counts do you experience ?

4. any advice on memory, pci audio cards ? xp vs. vista ?

i really appreciate anyone willing to take the time to give me some advice.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi jchristopherhughes ,

There was a discussion about people using a Mac Pros with bootcamp on the user forum so I'm cutting and pasting some comments for you to read :

Stereotype wrote :

I've got Samplitude 10.0.2 running on my 8 core MacPro. I previously had a quad core AMD PC and a single core 3Ghz P4. Without a doubt, the MacPro is the most stable "PC" I've owned or worked on. The only limitation for me is that XP doesn't access as much RAM as the virtual synths I use would probably like. What hiccups I've had has always been related to that. The boot camp installation was painless. I had a harder time getting a copy of XP Pro, simply because I chose to not get an OEM version.

For anyone wondering why in the world I would buy a Mac to run as a PC, I didn't. It was time to upgrade, the PC was always flaking out and while I love Samplitude, I've always liked working on Macs better and the PacPro was the current top of the line. And simply because of the marketplace and time's sake I have to use Pro Tools a lot. However, OSX Leopard and PT have some issues to overcome. They do work for me, except for third party VIs. There's some oddities there yet. So in the meantime while those issues get ironed out and because I love using Samplitude anyway (especially as a cd writer and lite mastering app), I did the Boot Camp thing.

Even when the Mac side of my setup becomes updated and stable, I'll still boot into Samplitude and the PC when I can. Obviously, Samplitude isn't probably accessing all 8 cores; either at all or accurately, I think. However, I've mixed around a 30-32 track session in it and not seen a problem yet. Bear in mind though, I only mix here. I don't record tracking or overdubs at all; only mix and do keyboard work.

Also, I've got Plextools too, and I get seriously lower errors on this than either previous PC. And I'm using the same Plexwriter that has been in all of them along with the same brand discs.

bobkatz wrote :

We have a Quad MacPro running XP Pro and it is stable as a rock and fast as a Maserati!

I'm sold.

We use a special cloning utility called "Drive Image XML, within Bart PE" on a CDR, to clone the boot drive for protection and put an extra on the shelf periodically. Acronis will not work as there is a special boot partition for Apple's purposes. That's the only thing that distinguishes this from a standard PC once you have done the boot camp initialization

bobkatz also wrote when asked about the install of XP :

32 bit XP. The install went without a hitch. But we downgraded to Tiger before doing bootcamp. Read up carefully on installing bootcamp before you do it and things should go fine.

In response to another poster in this thread who asks why/how should a MacPro be any more stable running windows than a standard PC motherboard since it's all Microsoft. The answer lies in how well the hardware is constructed (rock solid) and that Apple has made a very stable integrated driver (equivalent to a BIOS) that turns it into a turnkey-rock-stable PC. There have been people who have examined the motherboard chips and all and found out what Intel PC motherboard this is most equivalent to, etc.

PC construction has always been a form of crapshoot. Since there are so many brands and iterations of motherboards and they keep on getting updated and BIOS's as well. We built a super super fast Asus (or was it Intel, I forget) Quad CPU motherboard to initially run Sequoia when I got started, and there were dropouts and errors, things were not happy. I was not a happy camper. Tom and Jeff started pointing to things like IRQ conflicts, you name it, but it was to no avail. In the end we had to decide that something unknown in this motherboard was not happy for Sequoia. I was really getting ready to give up.

Then, Jeff told me that the most stable PC he ever had was the Mac Pro. I bought a new Mac Pro (I KNOW they are not cheap!) and boom... Sequoia is stable as a rock! A little bit of errors now and again before we optimized the buffers, but I hardly ever get a dropout now.

So, now I know one motherboard that's simply not compatible with Sequoia... what a crapshoot! I strongly suggest that whatever you build, that you build what you know works, or have a turnkey construct one that they know has worked with Samplitude/Sequoia time and again, and use the same video cards and audio interfaces. Don't take chances.

Personally, I recommend PCI-express audio cards like RME and Lynx over firewire-based outboard gear. You're only asking for trouble with the Firewire, it's going to be less intimate with the OS! I have seen Lynx people see less stability reported on this forum as Samplitude moved past 8. So that's a strike against Lynx now. Don't take chances---use what you know works!

BabaG wrote :

there's something people refer to as 'the 3gb switch' which allows one

to get up to 3gb ram under xp. don't know if this is affected by the

bootcamp scenario.

i have the macpro now, btw, and it's up and running seemingly

smoothely. will be some time before i get to really put it through its

paces, though. lots of data to move around and reconfigure.

some difficulties partitioning. the guy at the apple store, their

resident expert, told me using bootcamp, which, until i bought the box,

i had no idea what it was, he told me using bootcamp would mean the

two os's would be completely independent of each other. that's maybe

sort of true, but i found i couldn't set up my multi-partition windows

scheme during the xp install. that's because the xp install is actually

folded into an extended mac partition. to my way of looking at things,

that's not 'completely independent.' took several tries installing xp

before i figured out what was going on. i may do another before i

really get going to see if i can come up with a way around the issue.

right now the entire xp install is in a single partition. i normally set up

xp on c:\, programs on x:\, swap on y:\, and small data (not projects

or media) on z:\. i have a raid as w:\ where i keep media. can anyone

describe the process of setting up a multi-partition windows setup

using bootcamp? how would that work? what would the layout be?

anyway, got a twelve drive raid box from norcotek. very useful and

affordable. taking some effort to figure out how to fold my two

workstations into the single box. seems it will likely require some

redundancy, not necessarily a bad thing. i'm thinking of my sound

library, which i keep in raid. unfortunately the osx side can't see the

ntfs stripe and the xp side doesn't recognize a mac stripe. that seems

to mean i'll be keeping two copies, one for use in the mac/final cut

side of the machine, and one to keep in the xp/samp side.

thanks to all who've replied here. it was very helpful,


jandrews wrote :

My local music store is also an Apple dealer. He'd already worked out the kinks on several setups. He doesn't hang out on the forum but to share his info: He has an 8 core MacPro running Leopard/WinXP Pro. Logic 8.01 & Samplitude 9.1.2 (no NFR's for Sampy 10 are out yet) are the DAWs. Tascam DM-4800 (firewire option) and RME Fireface 800 are the interfaces. Everything runs beautifully. DM-4800 is a pretty sweet controller.

I did the setup for our MacPro. I'm pretty computer savvy (I'm an IT tech in another life). The bootcamp partition setup was very painless. Our interface (MOTU PCIe 424, 24i/o, 2408) works flawlessly under both OS's. I've dialed down the ASIO buffers and sometimes forget I'm working at 32 samples. :o

The only issues are related to the software-based HFS RAID. Of course, it's inaccessable from the Windows partition. I've been using firewire & usb2 externals for Samplitude work. The funny thing is that ProTools will not recognize an Apple RAID :) So any PT sessions have to stay external too.

Overall, I find Samplitude much happier on the 8 core. Stuff that pushes my Core2Duo to the limit just breezes along.

Hope that helps



Link to comment
Share on other sites

4. any advice on memory, pci audio cards ? xp vs. vista ?


There are no Intel Macs with PCI. PCI-e only.



thanks sebastian.

i should have clarified. i am aware that my mac has a PCI-e slot.

the cards i have been investigating are the lynx two and aes cards, and the rme.

i have some apogee and crane song converters that i could interface with aes....so that may be my best route.

i am not sure if the lynx aes for pci-e has been released yet...will do some googling.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


thanks for the quotes. i had read through a few of those threads. however, a few things i had not seen before....thanks for that !!

really just trying to find real-world users with a similar setup to my own. i own the mac intel quad core...so i would like to make it work...at least to begin working in samplitude. eventually, i would like to end up with a complete samplitude/sequioa mix rig....with 16-24ch of outputs to use with my console.

for now...mainly interested in mixing totally itb with samplitude. will find a suitable 2 ch i/o to use for monitoring.

thanks again to those who responded so far....and in advance to anyone else who can offer some input.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...