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Hugh Mann

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  1. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    This test was with the internal Mac audio. As far UAD, most everything works fine under Rosetta. The only issue I ran into was Dream Verb crashes logic. But UAD is aware of this and states on their website that dream verb, plus I think 2 or three other plug ins, crash on an M1. Otherwise, its working great. The Arrow is awesome. but its been replaced by the Apollo solo. Its exactly the same as the Arrow, but costs $300 more than what I paid for the Arrow. I blame Clinton, lol. I love how portable it is, runs off of just the t3 power. So no need for a power supply. The only thing is...it can't run too many plug ins. it can run a lot of some plug ins, but only like two of others. You can always freeze tracks to free up resources, but that's not ideal. I will say, and I wasn't convinced till I tired it myself, that once you get into the UAD world, you are hooked. I love their plug ins. They have dramatically raised the quality of my mixes. More than most of the other plug ins I have (waves, plug in alliance, izatope, etc.). I ended up returning the Air and went for the cheapest M1 Mac mini. I realized I do most of my work at home on a desk anyway. So with all the money I saved, I bought a 1tb Samsung T7 ssd, and a UAD octo satellite to use with my Arrow. Combined with the Apple m1, I'm a happy camper over here.
  2. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    One last test. This is on an 8gb, 512 M1 machine. UAD Arrow set to 96khz, 32 buffer. Performance should really be the same for all the different M1 versions with the same specs. (mini, Air, Pro, iMac). For this test, I loaded 20 instances of Kontakt. Each with a unique library. I then loaded 10 VST instruments. I then copied the ten VST instruments 5 times. For a total of 70 tracks. 20 Kontakt. 50 VST instruments. I looped an 8 bar pattern with 8 notes played as a sustained chords and 8 notes played staccato. Everything played back perfectly. No glitches, no drop outs. The entire project loaded up in 33 seconds. This was all running off the battery. The Kontakt libraries used where: Session Strings Kontakt Factory Grand India Sitar India Ensemble India Bansuri Butch Vig Drums VLS Strings Noire Pure Noire Felt Strummed Acoustic 2 6string Strummed Acoustic 2 12 string Cloud Supply Analog Dreams 1 Analog Dreams 2 Ethereal Earth1 Ethereal Earth2 Hybrid Keys 1 Hybrid Keys 2 OTS Evolution OTW Strawberry The VST instruments used are: 5 instances of Diva (set to Devine mode and multicore) 5 of DS Thorn 5 of Hive 5 of Knif Audio Knifornium 5 of Spire 1.5 5 of SynthMaster 2.9 5 of SynthMaster One 5 of NI Super 8 5 of NI FM8 5 of BX Oberhousen I took screenshots of the RAM usage, as well as the CPU usage. The CPU had plenty to spare. I could have probably doubled everything I had going. And keep in mind this is all at 96khz and a 32 sample buffer. And off of the battery. As you can see, an 8gb M1 machine can do much more than just surf the web and run office programs, lol.
  3. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Not by (most) users. It’s one one of the sucky things about Apple. And actually not just Apple, as many companies are moving to the non user repair model. Right to repair is a movement. You’d have to take it to Apple or an Apple technician. If under warranty, it will be free. If not, it could be pricey to take it to the Apple store. An independent tech would be cheaper than Apple. This article has some general prices. Apple store prices would be much higher. https://www.thumbtack.com/p/apple-repair-costs Apple does offer AppleCare for $200. That gives you three years of warranty, so anything breaks (that isn’t your fault) it will be free to repair/replace.
  4. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Macs have a utility called S.M.A.R.T., bUt it’s not that detailed. There are other apps, though not from Apple.
  5. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Interesting theory. You may be right about that. There is 494gb available out of the advertised 512gb. Will there be a future ssd-gate? We’ll see in time I guess.
  6. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Potentially fail in 7 months?! Well, let hope you are wrong on that one. I'm hoping for at least 5 years. I know Apple has been accused of planned obsolescence, but I would have to have faith that Apple realizes that ssds failing after 7 or so months would be catastrophic for them. I guess only time will tell, but 7 or so months seems extremely unlikely. M1 Macs have been out around 7-8 months, so we would start seeing reports already. At least Macs make it ez to back up and restore with their Time Machine program. Reminds me of the old Henny Youngman joke. Doctor gave a man 6 months to live. The man couldn't pay his bill, so he gave another him another 6 months.
  7. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Yes, the writes is the concern. Based on your expertise, how long would you estimate an ssd on an Apple M1 could last? Do you consider the constant writing to be an issue to be worried about?
  8. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Are you concerned for the longevity of the ssd? How much more swaps does Rosetta 2 use? Enough to be a significant difference? Ive seen various articles and videos that conclude the constant writing to the ssd won't really be an issue. Of course, nobody has had an m1 for more than 7-8 months. So we really won't know for sure for some time. But based on longevity tests of similar ssds as what apple uses, some have concluded that it could be 10 years or more before the ssd fails. Im personally not worried about that. I'll probably be on on another laptop long before the ssd fais on my current one.
  9. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    The difference in loading times is so much, that I don't think its due to the speed difference of the ssds. Maybe to some extent. According to the article below, it seems the reason that some x86 programs run better under Rosetta is more due to the efficiency of the M1 chip vs Intel, than Rosetta itself. So my prior comment attributing the performance to Rosetta is incorrect . A more accurate statement would be that Ableton on an M1 runs better than on intel (and maybe AMD. I haven't tested that). In either case, it is quite remarkable that music production software written for x86 can be emulated on an M1 under rosetta and perform so well. Here is a quote from the article and link to it. "Some software can run faster on Rosetta 2 than on your old Intel-based Mac or PC. However, this is more because of how well Apple Silicon is built than any special trick Rosetta 2 uses". https://dev.to/thatguysam/common-questions-about-apple-silicon-does-it-arm-2lge
  10. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Rosetta is completely transparent and anything running under it feels the same as native. Equally snappy. And some software actually runs better under Rosetta than on windows or intel Mac. . Like Ableton. On my windows laptop (2016 dell Inspiron) and on my previous 2018 15inch MacBook Pro (with 16gb ram), Ableton would take a really long time to load. Under Rosetta with the m1, it opens up right away. I am looking forward to more software being m1 native, though. That should translate into even better performance. However, Rosetta works so well, it seems many developers are dragging their feet a bit on porting to M1. Some may never do it.
  11. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    In order to answer a few more questions about the M1 with just 8gb of ram, I ran some more tests. For this one, I loaded 20 instances of Kontakt and made sure to load a unique library for each instance. I created an 8 bar loop playing back 8 notes. Sustained and staccato. UAD Arrow set to 96khz and 32 samples. This time, I wasn't downloading or installing other programs while I ran the tests. I did have one safari tab open. And I ran the test off of the battery. I really love the battery life on this thing. Its really great to be able to work on real projects, with no cord. Truly a portable, powerhouse, workstation. The ram did the same as in the other tests. peaked at around 7.5gb. Interestingly, it didn't use as large of swap file. The laptop was not struggling at all. I ran out of libraries to load ( I only want the ones I installed and used for this test). It all played back fine. No glitches or drops outs. My conclusion, and what a lot of reviewers (that have actually tested the 8gb model ) are also concluding, is that 8gb on an M1 is not the same as 8gb on an x86 platform. Apple calls it "unified memory". Here is a link to an article that goes into more technical detail. https://www.howtogeek.com/701804/how-unified-memory-speeds-up-apples-m1-arm-macs/ Bottom line...paying apple the high price for the 16gb ram, may not be worth it, as it won't necessarily improve the performance. I've found that to be the case in my tests, so I'm glad I tried it for myself, instead of just assuming 8gb would never be enough. I could probably keep pushing the machine and get even more impressive results. But, I'm more interested in real world scenarios vs just pushing it to see its limits. This test gives a really good indication of what can be achieved with "just" 8gb of ram and an M1 chip. The libraries I used are: Session Strings Kontakt Factory Grand India Sitar India Ensemble Butch Vig Drums VLS Strings Cello Noire Pure Noire Felt Strummed Acoustic 2 6string Strum Acoustic 2 12 string Cloud Supply Analog Dreams 2 Ethereal Earth 2 Hybrid Keys 2 OTS Evolution OTS Infinity Grandure Scarbee Mark 1 Scarbee Clavinet Scarbee A 200.
  12. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    btw, this was with the buffer set at 32. I could have done way more by increasing the buffer to 64, which is still very low latency.
  13. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    Here is a different test. This time in Studio One 5. I made about a 9 bar midi loop. 8 notes. sustained and staccato. I loaded 8 instances of Kontakt, each with a different library. They are listed on the track names in the screenshot. I also loaded a BFD preset and let it play back a midi drum beat. I also loaded ezdrummer. I then loaded 11 different VST instruments. Also listed on the track names. That brought me to 21 tracks. All of this played back fine. So I copied the 11 instruments again. This is more of a cpu test with ram also being pushed. This brought me to 32 tracks. Played back fine. So I copied the 11 instruments a couple more times. This brought me to 57 tracks. This played back fine. So I copied the entire 57 tracks. this brought me to 114 tracks. Now all of this is already an unrealistic stress test. But, we want to see the limits of what an 8gb M1 can do. This time, it took a bit longer to load. I could see the swap file increasing in size, so that would account for the time it took to copy all of this. Interestingly, as you can see from the screenshot, the ram stayed at around 7.5 gb. But the swap file kept increasing to 9gb. This shows what I was saying before of the ssd being used as a sort of ram. Not faster than actual ram, of course, but it works. The entire project played back fine. no drop outs. I could probably keep going, but at this point its just academic. Clearly 8gb is enough for even serious, full on productions. Now, predictably, some will poo poo this and say this is only for "lightweight" or "amateur productions". But that is , of course, silly. Many hit albums and songs have been produced and are being produced now with way less going on than what is on the little test I just concocted. The question I had was if an 8gbM1 Air (with no fan!) could be used for serious productions. The answer, as these tests demonstrate, is yes (and then some). I think this machine can be used in several scenarios. professionally. Here are some of the ways I will be using it: As a host for BFD/Ez drummer. I play e-drums in live settings and I want to trigger BFD /ezdrummer with as low a latency as possible. The M1 Air gives me a super powerhouse of a brain for my drum libraries. Its a small, lightweight package that is just perfect for bringing live. With my UAD arrow and this M1, I can play BFD from e drums at under 2ms latency. This is no problem at all for the Air. Another scenario is as a low latency guitar fx. It doesn't have to be just guitar. Any instrument or vocal. But, due to the power and efficiency of the m1 air, I can bring just the laptop and a UAD arrow and have all the fx I would want to use live. At under 2ms latency. and at 96khz. While also sequencing program changes. Another scenario is as an Ableton/keys station. Again, in this scenario I could go real far without the M1 Air even acting like it cares, lol. And another way I will use this is as a mobile recording station. I can record the audio from the guitar and vocals (arrow only has 2 inputs), while recording the midi from my e drums and the keyboards. Another scenario is as a mixing, production work station. And again, this machine will be able to handle it all. From creation to completion. All this is no problem at all for this machine. nowhere near pushing it to do these things. I had to create some wild and unrealistic stress tests to make it break a sweat. Stuff that is unrealistic in actual, real world use. This M1 (any version) is a very useful tool. No fanboys crap. Its just a great tool. And if one wants to save a bit of change, the 8gb will do very well. Im sticking with the 8gb cause its doing everything I want to do or can even forsee myself wanting to do. I admit, it feels weird to have "just" 8gb of ram. But its handling everything I am throwing at it. Its juts not X86 architecture. So the old thinking about ram doesn't apply.
  14. Hugh Mann

    MacBookAir M1 $849

    I see you r point, but you aren't exactly right on that. One instance of the grandeure, noire, and Session Strings 2 takes up way less ram on this machine than 9 of each (27 total). In fact, 27 was the limit before I got drop outs. So adding more of the same does indeed stress the ram, after enough are loaded. Not like you said "RAM wise, you may as well only be running a single instance of The Grandeur.". I that was the case, I could load 50 grandures with no problem. Keep in mind I'm playing back the 27 separate tracks with midi data. not just loading it. I didn't try just loading it, cause what's the point in that. Also, keep in mind its pulling 8 notes from 27 different instances. So 27 x 8 = 216 simultaneous notes (if my math is wrong). Hardly an invalid test. I think it shows that even with "just" 8gb ram, one can do full productions. This was at 32 buffer setting and on the internal Mac audio. With 4 safari tabs open (one YouTube video) and also simultaneously installing BFD. Thats impressive. But more tests to come. What Kontakt and sample libraries do you consider sufficient for this type of test? I only have (as far as large libraries) Kontakt , the stuff in Logic, ez drummer, and I'm installing BFD drums. If anyone want s to donate software for me to test, my DM is always open.
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