What Operating Systems Do Most Recording Studios Use?

Which OS is most prevelant in recording studios?


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NewDayHappy

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Hi, guys. I'm building a really basic home recording studio just to have a little fun for $250-$300 and share my music with friends. I have a pretty good understanding on everything I need minus what kind of computer itself I need. So my question is, which operating system should I learn to do my mixes on? Apple or Microsoft? Which is more common in the industry? Thanks!
 

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John Ucol

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To me, OS is a bit of a moot point if you're starting out, esp. if you're just "doing it for fun," unless you're really adamant on choosing a DAW (recording software) that isn't cross-compatible in regards to OS systems. i.e.- I used Logic to record my album (separate thread), which is compatible with Macs only. Garageband is also a pretty decent stripped down DAW I used when starting out which is also Mac compatible only as of now, just like Logic.
Most recording software (including DAWs and software plugins) are cross-compatible, meaning they can work with either Apple or Microsoft- so that leaves with options for the most part and ultimately some flexibility to choose based on whatever you're more comfortable with. That being said, just to get more context here, is your $300 budget aimed towards getting a computer itself or pertinent recording software and/or interfaces?
 

northernguitarguy

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Personally, I think if you need the computer, a used Macbook is the way to go. It will be software ready with garageband. I can also highly recommend a Presonus Inspire interface, which can be had for less than $50 in used markets. Works like a charm, but you will need a firewire port.
 

mmd

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I am with John on this. It's the DAW platform - and the OS it needs.

Me? I run Protools, but use Windows. Personally, I'd pick a DAW you want to use and study its system requirements. From there, you can pick a platform that will offer you the specs your DAW needs to operate properly.

As far as industry standards? I find that a lot of clients I work with (I do sessions on the side) book into studio that are heavily Mac populated. They are often using either Logic or Protools. Some of these studios run multiple system platforms in different rooms.

However, based on your post I don't think that matters that much. Pick what will work for you and have fun!!
 

noobyXD

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You should check out Glenn Fricker @ SMG... You can find him on youtube. He does a lot of recording tips for young engineers. Even though I'm not into recording (not yet at least) you can learn a thing or two from him. But be warned because you'll either love him or hate him.

Rule #2 friends... Rule #2....
 

spitfire

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I'm not sure if you're asking what is used in pro or home studios. I have no idea about pro. But, since Windows is by far the most popular home computer OS, I think it's a safe bet it is also the most common home studio computer. Though, I would bet Macs to be a higher percentage in home studios than just homes in general.

The best platform is the computer you already have, since there are good tools for both platforms. If you don't already have a computer, then I would get whatever you friends and family have. The reason? Because you will have a bazzilion questions about the OS and you might as well get help for those closest to you. If you're already a computer wiz, work with the platform you like the most.

FYI, Reaper from Cockos is a very powerful DAW (right up there with the most expensive DAWs) for only $60 and works on Windows and Mac computers.
 

Freddy G

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Doesn't really matter. I use both in a pro studio...mac and PC. I prefer the PC though, my home studio DAW is a PC as well..... Win 7 ...been operating without a glitch ever sine win 7 came out.
 

Rds

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Not sure industry wide either. Myself, I use a Windows machine and reaper recording software. I know there is some good recording software out there. But I do recommend reaper. Especially if on a tight budget. You can try if full function with a opening nag screen. Very reasonable to register it. Easy learning curve too. Just my two Penny's.
 

John Scrip

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I use both. Sometimes simultaneously. But if I had to give one up...? I'd give up the Mac. 10,15 years ago I may have given a different answer. My main system is a Windows 7 machine. The Mac units have basically been relegated to some pretty basic ops - and the "Mac proprietary" stuff (like MFiT / iTunes Plus and what not).

For you (the OP)? Whatever you have and get Reaper. Might be the only thing you ever need. But if not, you won't be throwing giant bags of $$$ down the drain while you find out.
 

mcphaul

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At one time Mac had an advantage over PC so most pro studios I've been in run Mac and ProTools. I don't know that it matters much today. I only know the ProTools shortcuts for Mac so when I replaced my computer at home I went Mac and put a Native ProTools rig at home.
 

yeti

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Hi, guys. I'm building a really basic home recording studio ......So my question is, which operating system should I learn to do my mixes on? Apple or Microsoft? Which is more common in the industry? Thanks!
Since we're all painting with broad strokes regarding our own experiences I'll say that it took the good folks at IZ Technologies and their RADAR Studio to bring me back to Windows, a totally stripped down version of 8.1 to be specific. I have spend the worst couple of years of my professional career on windows running protools 5.3 and vowed to never leave Mac again after that miserable experience but the cheese grater macPro 5.1 was getting long in the tooth and Apple isn't building anything useful these days so there, windows it is..... for now.
The thing that irks me the most is that Apple used to be so far ahead of Microsoft as far as the pro media segment of users was concerned and then they just abandoned us completely. Imagine if they had kept up the pace. I know firsthand that even at MS HQ they were using Macs for their audio and video applications at some time not too long ago.

At home I still use a 2007 aluminum IMAC running Leopard and Logic 8, works perfectly good and does everything I need. never upgrade unless you have to!
 
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mmd

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Can I get an Amen
AMEN!!!!!!!! For real.

I still have it, and plan on keeping it, but the headaches I experienced when upgrading from my XP Protools system to my new system were agonizing. Now that the new system is built and stable, it will live a life of "status quo" just to keep things smooth.....
 

filtersweep

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I took the raw studio tracks done up in Apple’s OS and imported them directly into my MS Cubase system. The tough part was moving that much data around.
 

Jymbopalyse

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Personally, I think your question should be "what DAW do I get".
Find the DAW that works for you THEN build your system around that.


As for which OS. Go with the operating system that you are familiar with.

One other recommendation.
Get as much RAM as you can afford and the PC system will allow you.
 

MooCheng

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another Linux user here using Ardour. cannot fault it, does everything I need

also, for quick simple stuff, Audacity is good so long as you can deal with the old fashioned clunky interface. Drill down deep enough, Audacity has some pretty useful tools
 

jeff_farkas

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Personally, I think your question should be "what DAW do I get".
Find the DAW that works for you THEN build your system around that.


As for which OS. Go with the operating system that you are familiar with.

One other recommendation.
Get as much RAM as you can afford and the PC system will allow you.
Correct. If it's for a hobby there's a decent deal on PreSonus Audiobox that comes with Studio One Ver 3/4. I have it and it's really good. I use Windows 10 running on a rather basic PC with an AMD processor, quad-core. Right now you can get the Ryzan 3 2200G quad for around 100.
 

vintageguitarz

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Hi, guys. I'm building a really basic home recording studio .....Thanks!
The Answer is simple, and you may have already declared your needs in your question - the level of your "build".

It used to be (10 - 20 years ago) that a Mac was the choice of professionals, but that was when you had a Mac that was a "Tower" with slots for expansion cards and it was upgrade-able. When CrApple in it's infinitely un-wise wisdom made the Mac Pro (Cheese-grater) tower into the "garbage can" Pro with NO slots or upgrade-ability, and the iMac always being without card slots, CrApple has killed themselves in the semi- to Pro recording studio. They've also done so in the Video Editing field as well.

Unless you're happy with a very old Mac Pro, which by now is severely limited on which version of Mac OS you can upgrade to, a Mac is NOT a viable choice. Most pro studio's I go to to do work at as a studio musician, it's either Windows or Linux OS computer systems.

In your case as a very basic system, where no add-on cards are necessary, a recent Mac or a Windows based Notebook with as fast a processor as you can afford (Intel i5 or better yet i7) and audio chip-set is all you need.

But here is what to also consider - since Apple is no longer the standard with Pro's, all the best software is being developed for Windows 7 or 10, and Linux; so the best features, plug-ins etc are there and not on Mac OS versions in the future.
 




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