Deciding on an operating system often comes down to ease of use, the aesthetics of the user interface, customizability, and familiarity.
These factors are even more vital if you use the operating system to produce music. You want the sound of your music to be as professional as possible, and you want to be able to navigate your operating system efficiently.
Music producers use both Mac and Windows, but Mac is slightly preferred because it is tailored to creatives. The audio on Mac is optimized; you won’t have to spend time playing with settings. However, some prefer Windows because it is slightly more customizable.
Below, I’ll go into detail about the pros and cons of each operating system for producing music and why some producers prefer to have both operating systems instead of choosing just one.
Table of Contents
- The Pros and Cons of Using Mac for Music Production
- The Pros and Cons of Using Windows for Music Production
- Why Most Producers Prefer To Have Both Windows and Mac
- Final Thoughts on Windows PC vs. Apple Computer Mac
The Pros and Cons of Using Mac for Music Production
Mac computers (Macintosh) used to be the go-to computer for all types of musicians and music producers.
This was because, for most people, Mac computers were easier to use. In turn, the musician or producer could stay in a creative flow rather than constantly being interrupted to troubleshoot issues.
Do Music Producers use Mac or Windows?
While Windows has made great leaps in terms of ease of use and its ability to be used for creative projects like music production, Mac still seems to hold a slight edge over Windows with professionals and amateurs alike when deciding on Mac or PC.
Macbook Pro users
It may be the optimized audio, the minimalist yet sleek aesthetics of the operating system (OS), or the computer itself, not to mention just how simple the OS is to use.
But most creatives—including video editors, photographers, and graphic designers—prefer to use Mac over Windows.
Mac users swear by the following benefits of using Macintosh computers for music production and one important reason is that most major DAWs now are available on Mac for music production:
- Macs support most major music production software programs. At one time, FL Studio digital audio workstation (DAW) was only available on Windows, but the music software has since been updated and is now available for Mac.
- LogicPro and GarageBand are both Mac exclusives. This music software package is not available on Windows operating systems.
- It is easier to add hardware like MIDI controllers to Mac operating systems. Using a piece of hardware like a MIDI controller in Windows requires downloading drivers. This is not necessary for Mac operating systems.
There are a few downsides to using Mac, including the following:
- Though Macs have better sound quality, graphics, and hardware, they are much more expensive than most Windows computers. Still, you get what you pay for; Mac machines are high-quality machines.
- Macs lag behind Windows in terms of storage space. A powerful Mac with ample storage space is often unaffordable for most home studio producers.
- Upgrading storage on a Mac is expensive. Overall, it is much easier and more affordable to build a computer with a ton of storage and power for music production using Windows hardware.
The Pros and Cons of Using Windows for Music Production
Some producers prefer Windows OS because of its added customizability.
Unlike Mac users, Windows users can build a monster of a machine for their creative projects with tons of storage space and processing power.
Doing so would cost the same price as a much less powerful Mac with less room for their projects.
The affordability of Windows operating systems is often the deciding factor between Mac and Windows for most producers.
Macs are just too expensive for some, especially any amateur music producers that are building a modest home studio.
Working with Windows has certain advantages. Let’s look at some of them.
- Windows-based computers are much cheaper than Macs. If affordability is important to you, then the Windows OS is for you.
- Windows is a much more customizable operating system than Mac. The Mac OS is just what it is. It’s very straightforward. But the producer can tailor Windows to all their preferences. You can dive deep and make it your own.
- Windows-based computers generally have bigger storage than Macs. You can get more bang for your buck in terms of storage with a Windows-based computer as opposed to a Mac.
- Adding storage is easy with a Windows computer. It is significantly more affordable and accessible to add additional storage to a Windows OS than to a Mac.
Of course, Windows isn’t perfect either. Here are some of the downsides to working with Windows:
- Windows-based computers are often cheaper for a reason. They usually contain more inexpensive hardware components that can wear out or malfunction faster than Macs. Overall, Windows-based computers aren’t as reliable as Macs.
- Only certain Windows-based computer brands like Dell and Lenovo are appropriate for high-quality music production. Cheaper brands can lead to even more reliability issues. The last thing any creative wants is to have a session of creative flow interrupted by hardware issues.
- You have to play with your audio setting to optimize the audio yourself. This can be a challenging task. On the Mac operating system, this is already done for you.
Why Most Producers Prefer To Have Both Windows and Mac
As I’ve outlined in detail above, each operating system has significant advantages and disadvantages for music production. This is why many producers choose to have both.
Some of the biggest DJs and Producers in the world use a high-powered Windows computer in their professional recording studio for recording music, instruments, and vocals.
Simultaneously, they use a Mac for live performances and other things like mixing and mastering songs with the optimized audio feature of the Mac operating system.
One of the better solutions is to purchase a Mac computer and install Bootcamp on it. Bootcamp is a built-in feature in Apple computers that allows them to run the Windows operating system.
It is easy enough to do and will give producers access to both operating systems while using the high-quality hardware provided by Mac.
The Bootcamp option will be the best option for you if you want to go the route of having a Windows-based computer for your studio and a Mac for other parts of the process.
Having Windows OS on your Mac will allow a more seamless feel when going from your home studio computer to your portable computer for live performances and things of that nature.
Final Thoughts on Windows PC vs. Apple Computer Mac
Many producers prefer a Mac vs Windows machines because of the ease of use and the knowledge that the Windows PC OS can be installed and run on Mac hardware.
A Mac computer is the way to go if you have the money.
Macs feature higher quality and more reliable hardware. They provide optimized audio, which is a must-have for a music producer.
The only actual drawbacks to Mac computers are the high price point and limited storage space. Due to the increased reliability and streamlined operating system, Mac is the clear choice for most producers.
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