When I started producing music many years ago, the Atari STE was the pinnacle of music production (and I still have it tucked away in a corner of my studio) but when PC’s became powerful enough to run digital audio, I moved to Windows and Cubase. It didn't take long for me to want to move to an alternative platform.
I was used to the rock solid stability provided by the Atari and with Windows I found myself having to divide my time between producing music and chasing problems. Within months, I'd subconsciously turned into a software technician. I spent hours researching errors, fighting the O.S, blue screens, random crashes, driver conflicts and dreaded Kernel 32 errors. Inevitably my music started to suffer as the technical knowledge began to overshadow my creativity.
Now, I’m not suggesting that I don’t suffer from any problems on a Mac, I do, but it is a far more stable platform, particularly if you want to produce music. But recently I’ve been concerned about the future of Mac for creative music production...
I’m running a 12-core “cheesgrater” Mac from 2012 but recent news suggests that Apple may no longer supporting these models in the next OS. I can't deny that Apple attempts to force upgrades by adding new functions to Logic that require the latest OS but considering that they haven’t updated the “Trashcan” model for 4 years, its begs an important question; what does the future hold for creative music professionals on the Mac platform? Do we have no option but to return to Windows?
Although there are plenty of naysayers suggesting that the Mac Pro is dead and Apple are only interested in developing their consumer products (iPhone, iPads etc), it’s my hope that Apple are still working on a Mac Pro for 2017/2018. And there are nuggets of evidence.
Code in Mac OSX El Capitan references 10 USB ports under the codename AAPLJ95,1. Considering that the current generation of trashcans are codenamed AAPLJ90,1, it raises an eyebrow. Its highly doubtful that we’ll see a Macbook or iMac with 10 USB ports but it is likely we could see a new Mac Pro featuring 10 USB C Ports.
Sources close to Apple have also recently leaked information about a product they believe is well “overdue” is currently in development. Perhaps more importantly, CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, was quoted In February 2017 as saying “The pro area is very important to us and the creative area is very important in particular”. In addition, “Don’t think that something we’ve done, or something we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere”
So maybe I have no need to worry, Apple could well be developing a new Mac Pro. Or perhaps I’m just being overly optimistic?