I did it.
I got a chance to get a music job using a new MacBookPro, so I am testing a completely different environment, I just want to give you some personal opinions.
A friend of mine offered me a job to build an orchestral intro of a famous musical, a new theatre production will be ready next winter, hoping pandemic will be beaten. And it will be with live rock band, not including myself and himself.
He is playing in a successful rock band, I am not a pro and I must work every day, so we will not be on that stage. But he is producing and asked me to help him on orchestra scoring.
It must be done with LogicPro and MainStage (his requirement because owning a studio with this setup), he paid a new MacBookPro with M1 and asked me to fill it with my licenses of Kontakt.
At the end we will produce 5 minutes for that intro, and stop.
Now I am working on that, so I got a wonderful chance to test everything without spending money.
I am so satisfied that I decided after few days: I sold my gaming Windows notebook (i7 10th generation, that gave me so many problems in recent past), and I will go with Mac, this one I am using or a new one, depending on the owner decision.
This means that I will not be able to use C3 if my rock cover band will start to have gigs.
I am terribly sorry, but audio performance on Mac is giving to me so much satisfaction that I decided to cross the river.
Simply said: there’s nothing on Mac world that can be considered equivalent to Cantabile.
MainStage is awful: it tries to load every VST of your setlist in RAM, there is no optimization, also using every trick to save memory (use “alias”), you are forced to be careful on your resources.
Everything that I could do easily with Cantabile is a frustration on MainStage.
So my hint for @brad is: try to schedule a Mac porting.
There is no competition to C3, also there.
Only possible substitute (with limitations) is GigPerformer.
At least you can build a huge set of racks on a setlist and you got immediate switch without issues.
You have no background rack, you have limited event management, but you can drive setlist, song parts, VST, chords display, a good midi routing and a fast graphic environment to build your setup.
On audio performance of Mac, I can say I am truly impressed.
Core audio system is intrinsic to operating system, most of audio boards work immediately without driver, because using this Apple audio library.
This thing is intrinsically multi client: so you can route every audio output to this system, with no issues on glitching, delays, setup.
I connected my NI Kontrol audio 6 and started to produce immediately.
Inside audio programs like LogicPro or GigPerformer you can choose usual I/O buffer size in samples: more samples, longer buffer, more “safety” but longer latency.
Everything is perfectly deterministic: you choose your latency and play.
Until today I never had an issue.
Trying to push LogicPro to the limits (playing 150 tracks of a single loop of Diva, for example) you get an overload error, but it happens at a certain level of complexity and never below that level.
So you can easily manage complexity.
I am able now to produce projects in Reaper and LogicPro that were impossible with my i7 windows notebook. Something like songs with 30 tracks full of plugins, eq and comp on every track and extensive modulation.
Compatibility: with a full system loaded with plugins I had two issues
- Air Xpand was not compatible with BigSur, but a new versions is out, I should check again.
- Same as above with MassiveX, I will test again soon with an update just downloaded.
Full list of plugins by NativeInstruments, Arturia, KV331, IK Multimedia, CherryAudio, U-he, run without issues.
Yes: using Rosetta2 translation (plugins are not ARM compiled so you use a layer of translation from intel code), but you don’t see any issue. It works!
Real issues, money: a MacBookPro with 16 giga Ram and 2 tera SSD is 2800 € (!!!)
Truly expensive. But a similar windows notebook, from system builders experts in audio have same price.
So, I want to thank you all. Because you helped me a lot and gave me a lot of experience and know-how. I will check here and discuss until my license expires (September).
But I would be happy to pay another year if there are hopes of a porting.
I hope this is not a farewell: I really hope Brad will be able to complete his porting, I would be available to beta test.