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New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:31 pm

I've just found a rather nifty freeby called Hosting AU. It's a sort of micro DAW whose primary purpose is hosting audio units though it does a few other things such as set up the environment (which sound output, which MIDI source, that sort of stuff). So for instance I've just bought Softube's Modular which doesn't come with a standalone app but has to be used from within a DAW. Bit of a pain starting up Logic in all its glory when all you want to do is play with Modular, but instantiating it from Hosting AU is nigh on perfect.

I love simple software that does a small number of things but does them well - my UNIX background, I suppose - and this is a classic of the kind. It's here if you want to try it, and this is a short demo.

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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby desmond » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:39 pm

Yep. I use Hosting AU all the time when I don't want to load a full DAW, it's a really nice bit of software...
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby redlester » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:26 pm

Well it's taken just over six months, but I've now started to find myself - when using my Windows 7 PC at work - going up to the top left with the mouse momentarily when trying to close or minimise a window. ;)
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby job » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:07 pm

^^
You may prefer to get used to CTRL/CMD+W to close a window. CMD+H hides the current app. No comparable key combination on Windows.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:56 pm

job wrote:^^
You may prefer to get used to CTRL/CMD+W to close a window. CMD+H hides the current app. No comparable key combination on Windows.

ALT+SPACE>n minimises the current window on PCs.
Which is nearly as quick :)
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby job » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:41 pm

blinddrew wrote:ALT+SPACE>n minimises the current window on PCs.
Which is nearly as quick :)

Holy tomatoes Drew! I never knew. That is just fab! :thumbup:
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:15 pm

alt+F4 to close a window, windows+D to hide all windows and show the desktop.

Oops, I appear to be in the wrong forum. ;)
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby JFairweather » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:24 pm

Lots of good advice here. One thing I disagree with. There is never a need to totally shut down your Mac. Use sleep instead. Those with PC backgrounds tend to shut their machines all the way down. It is not necessary on a Mac. The Mac Pro in my studio puts in around 12-18 hours a day, six days a week. I haven't totally shut it down in over a year and that was during a remodeling. Runs great, no corruption, no problems.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby redlester » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:26 am

JFairweather wrote:Lots of good advice here. One thing I disagree with. There is never a need to totally shut down your Mac. Use sleep instead. Those with PC backgrounds tend to shut their machines all the way down. It is not necessary on a Mac. The Mac Pro in my studio puts in around 12-18 hours a day, six days a week. I haven't totally shut it down in over a year and that was during a remodeling. Runs great, no corruption, no problems.

I’ve tried both shutting down and using sleep, and noticed no difference at all regarding performance. Obviously shutting down totally is a more environmentally friendly choice, but what are the benefits of using sleep instead?
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:42 am

You have to consider what else is left on while the machine sleeps. For instance I've got the audio interface, a pair of powered monitors and a second screen sharing the same power socket as the Mac. If I want to shut those off too (which is what I normally do at the end of the day) I have to shut down the Mac. Also USB powered devices continue to be powered while the Mac is sleeping so that is wasteful. Sleeping is great for laptops but on environmental grounds much less so for non-mobile installations.

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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:35 pm

I turn off the UPS at the end of day. My computer monitor is instant on so it’s always drawing minimal current when "off". But the UPS when off still charges it’s battery when needed.
As an aside, I have a sneaking suspicion that the new iPad is never really off. To save battery life I usually shut off WiFi and then the iPad (not the hard off). I get a message that WiFi will be shut off for the day or something like that. So this iPad which I think I have shut off now turns itself back on and downloads updates etc. One morning the battery was dead even though I’m sure I shut the bugger off. So perhaps iPad does a form of sleep mode but it’s still doing things while I sleep.
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Re: New Mac user, any tips gratefully received

Postby kingmoot » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:44 am

Just a quick one regarding specifically new iMac machines....

The current iMac model (unlike the Mac Mini) has no audio line-in option. If you want to record audio, you'll need to buy an external soundcard.

You can use a 2nd monitor with an iMac - you need a thunderbolt lead to do this.

If you're just using MIDI in, you can get away with just using USB - but if you want MIDI out, you'll also need a MIDI interface.

Hope that helps, these are all things I didn't realise until I had the machine.
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