It's time for me to get a new desktop and I could use a hand choosing the right one! I recently got a beautiful blue 5th generation iPad Air and I love it. Apple has been calling my name ever since, so that's the direction I'm currently headed.
My plan for whatever Mac I purchase is to primarily use it for music production. My DAW of choice is Ableton Live and I'm hoping to upgrade to version 12 soon. I also have a Behringer XR18 mixer and aim to use it as an audio interface with my new computer. I'm not really sure how much of a VST guy I am... I've yet to use many, but I hear that these can be somewhat heavy on your resources. In any case, I'd like to have the option to use some VSTs when the time comes. I'd also like to be able to smoothly send MIDI signals from my computer so that I can send sequences to my synths, trigger loops or samples, and sync all the clocks across my different devices.
The iMac is alluring to me because it's an all-in-one machine with a really cool design aesthetic. While the M3 is super tempting (my FOMO alarm 🚨 is sounding off), I'm actually leaning toward the M1 because I think it should be powerful enough to do all I need, it'll save me a good bit of money, and the design is essentially identical.
Meanwhile, I could get more bang for my buck from a Mac Mini — it has more reasonable ports and better specs than the the iMac — but I'd need to get a good display; I already have an extra keyboard and mouse, though I'm not in love with them. And, while the Mac Mini is nice and compact, the design just isn't as exciting to me. I'm also not so sure that I need the extra horsepower. I'm not doing video editing... yet.
Any suggestions or things to keep in mind as I make this decision? Thoughts on RAM? I'm curious if 8GB will do me or if I should go for 16GB... Anybody own one of these machines and wanna share their experience? Have y'all seen any good Black Friday deals that I should be aware of? Thoughts on buying a computer second-hand? Any PC fans wanna try to knock some sense into me? 🤜😅
Appreciate y'all's help!