New computer as host or server?

Hey gang,

I’m looking at purchasing a significantly more powerful machine (Mac Mini or something else?? Recommendations??) than I have (2017 Macb Pro).

Does anyone have any recommendation on whether I’d be better off using this as my slave (and using my Macb Pro for Dorico), or using it to both host Dorico and run samples off?

Build a powerful PC with whatever characteristics you think you need (see ‘From Mac to PC’ at the bottom of Inside Track: Machine Gun Kelly ‘Concert For Aliens’ (

When Dorico 4 comes out, you’ll be able to use both machines and you can always control the PC remotely if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your Macbook Pro.

You should then have everything covered.

Thanks for the info mate.

Are you saying that D 4 will act similar to VEPro? As in, I won’t need it?

I wasn’t thinking of anything that complicated. Just use the Windows machine when you need the horsepower and use the MacBook Pro if macOS is your preferred operating system for anything else. You could use Dorico on either (obviously you probably wouldn’t have all the samples available on the MacBook).

I’m sure you’ll get a variety of recommendations.

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I wonder if all key commands could be accessed through something like TeamViewer.

Firstly, I’m surprised that a 2017 Mac Pro doesn’t have enough horse power to run audio samples. What libraries are you using?

Have you seen this video about the M1 Mini running Logic?

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I have my samples on an external 2TB SSD and use it on my PC and Macbook. Works just fine (formatted as exFat). To use the same score on both machines I save it to iCloud (which is also handy for opening up in Dorico for iPad). Only sleight pain is having to move the dongle from one machine to the other, but that should end with Dorico 4. Unfortunately EastWest can only be activated on one device at a time, so its a bit of a rigamarole reactivating on the other computer when needed, and remembering to do it before setting off with the laptop!


Thanks for that video. Very impressive!

I’m using EWQL and Cinesamples (and Halion).

I’m not being a smarty pants at all but I was wondering about a couple of things (in your opinion):

  1. Is 50 Space Designer channels a fair comparison to 50 orchestral VST channels?

  2. in the video the screen isn’t moving much. Do you think that with 50 VST that navigating/editing in Dorico would be flawless and not glitchy?

Well, I’m not an expert, but I would have thought that processing an audio signal is more costly than just rendering it.

I would also assume that rendering audio doesn’t actually consume the entire CPU of many modern CPUs – even my 2018 Mini with a 6-core i5 doesn’t sweat at rendering a full orchestra – it’s the RAM that’s the issue. However, the new M1s seem to handle tasks that require much more RAM than they have with surprising ease.

And if we’re not there yet, then it won’t be long, certainly.


Why can’t you tell me how long??!! haha Patience is hard.

All I can say is I have a m1 Mac mini with 16gb ram and it cruises right along. It’s a zippy machine and I have no issues whatsoever. It renders some of my videos in under 1 minute. I’d gotten so used to it, that it actually surprised me how slow my iMac at home was when I had to polish off two projects from home today. It took 10ish minutes for each render. I’ve become so accustomed to essentially blinking and having my exports done at work (and mind you it’s not even one of the newer fancier machines with higher specs and more ram!) that the contrast really jumped out to me.

You mention your M1 Mac mini’s comfort with handling videos. I’m wondering if you are also able to comment on its comfort level working with a full orchestra with instruments coming from one of the large sample libraries that often require more than 16gb ram, at least with most CPUs.

[I know you are very involved with choral and organ music (pictures of your organ at home makes me drool - my only consolation being that I don’t have the skill to play it anyway!) but I’m unaware of whether you also work with orchestral music.]

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I can’t speak to any particularly large libraries, as I don’t run those. It does tackle hauptwerk just fine though, so the computer still cruises with 12gb worth of samples being actively maintained in the ram, and that’s with dorico, spark (email), excel, affinity publisher, and 3 safari windows (each with 5-15 tabs) also open. Sometimes I throw studio one into the mix too.

Another user will have to speak to something like bbcso though.

Come to think of it, I’ve done video renders from camtasia while Hw was still open and it’s still very fast. There really does seem to be some magic going on.

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Thanks, Romanos401.

I should probably open a new thread on the topic but if anybody using BBSO or VSL or the like with one of the new 16gb M1 Macs sees this and could comment on how the computer handles the work, that would be great.


FWIW I found Dorico on a Mac Pro cylinder laggy and annoying, It could run just fine, but the delay switching tracks- jumping around getting the notes into a full size orchestra, had just enough jag to kill the flow. Switching to a new (much cheaper) PC eliminated the problem. This was with BBCSO and mostly showed up with larger ensembles.

Thanks, DanMcL. I appreciate what you have said but based on significant personal experience with both Windows and Mac will, rightly or wrongly, stay with Mac for my next computer.

In particular, I have read many positive reports on the performance of the M1 Macs and am interested in users’ experiences with these computers in their 16gb version in the context of full orchestral scores using sample libraries like BBCSO or VSL or the like.