Hi , I can.t doing decision about my new machine (platform) for learning and first steps in music-coding area. I have some experiences in mainstream DAW area, badroom composing… mainly on Windows machines… my budget around 1000 is so-so for Apple products - but it looks as “more guaranteed” solution … Is actual MacBookAir enough? , or what about iPads … or save money and buy some refubrished thinkpad and go Linux ?? I prefer light-portable solutions… Many thax and sorry for my english…
When working with live sound you want as much bang for your bucks as possible. I am using a Thinkpad with Linux for all my work, and am very happy with it. I was a mac user for many years before that, and the transition was not entirely smooth, but if you’re willing to put in the hours learning linux then the rewards are huge in the long run! Don’t even want to think about how much money I have already saved from not being trapped in the Ableton/Cycling74 upgrade trap the last 4 years…
Basically get as much cpu and ram as your wallet can handle! Refurbished Thinkpads should be extremely well supported on linux.
my take on this (can’t say much about windows because I haven’t used it in a while) is that.
- Supports all mainstream DAWs
- relatively reliable
- very easy to use (when used with “official” hardware)
- non-free software (possible lock in)
- expensive “official” hardware
- audio routing options pretty bad (JACK doesn’t work that well and there’s no replacement)
Regarding the hardware, it’s possible to use macOS on non-apple hardware (aka Hackintosh), many people do that, but it takes some effort.
- very powerful system for audio tasks, extensive routing options (JACK)
- free and open source software
- very frugal in terms of hardware needs
- needs some effort to learn the basics
- needs some experience to choose the right distro
- mainstream DAWs not well supported
So to some up, if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort and are not dependent on “mainstream” DAW support, Linux is a really good choice and in terms of flexibility (especially regarding audio processing) there’s no other system that’s even coming close.
Plus, there’s powerful DAWs available on Linux as well (Ardour, Reaper).
That being said, it definitely does take an effort to get into it, and if that’s not your thing, there’s nothing wrong about that. In that case, macOS is a very reasonable choice.