PC to Mac migration

I’m planning to move from a PC to a Macbook platform.
Can I just download the Mac versions of my licensed software, plug in the dongle and go?


How about preferences and Key Commands? Do they translate?

I’m in the process of making the jump to Macs, and it’s been outstanding so far. No major hoops to jump through – things tend to work very well so far, on both a Mac Pro and Macbook Pro. I definitely prefer the OSX workflow now. Windows 7 was fine (and still ideal for a VE Pro slave), but I hated Windows 8 and have been feeling a lot of pressure from clients to move to Mac for Pro Tools reasons… so I tried Cubase 7/7.5 on Mac as well, and it works beautifully so far. C7.5 in particular feels quite good on a Mac.

Can’t comment on moving preferences and key commands yet, as I am still adjusting. But I can’t see why you can’t set up things the same way you did before on PC. I’d suggest doing the initial set up manually, though… just to play it safe with moving preference files across platforms, etc…

The process should be relatively painless.

One thing worth mentioning as far as your key commands go: save them as preset from your Windows system, and bring them into the Mac by the same means. There’s an import command, but does not function for this purpose.

Hi, jumping to mac , am about to to the same . Still wonder though, if there is any issues using the mac fusion drive ?

I’ve read a lot of negative on the fusion drive for DAW use, and I don’t like playing guinea pig. Just for paranoia’s sake, I’d stay away from fusion drives for now. Running fine here on both SSD and old fashioned mechanical hard drives!

Ok, thanks for the info [SMILING FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH AND SMILING EYES] , so a big SSD disc is the best solution right now. Would it be ok to use an extarnal usb3 disc for my sound library ?

What type of Mac are you getting, and what kind of specifications do you need for your projects? Your needs may be different than mine. But yes, in theory, if you have to use an external USB3 or thunderbolt drive, it should be fine, depending on your project needs. However, I cannot vouch for USB3 drives at this point, but I have only read of some people having success with them. Personally, if I HAD to use an external drive (which I prefer not to), then I’d go with Thunderbolt.

For my laptop (rMBP 15), I don’t install hardly any sample libraries… it’s a very slimmed-down installation at this point, and the idea is that I would be using VE Pro to slave other machines to it as needed. But I haven’t had the time to test that yet. Soon, though! :slight_smile: On my Mac Pro, I have 2X SSD drives, and 3X hard drives (1TB + 1TB + 2TB). That’s the machine I put all the sample libraries on. Both configurations work great with Cubase… but your needs may be very different.

In any case, from what I’ve read, it is indeed best to avoid fusion drives for now… I’ve seen problems reported on many websites that deal with DAWs… some people have success, but the number of negative reports I’ve read is too great in my opinion to try them out for DAW work at this point.

Thanx again for your info, helps me alot. For me it will probably be an iMac 27", and hopefully it will be possible to put a few SSD drives in that on, and yes…Thunderbolt is probably the best way (forgot about that :wink:.
I´ve been on PC for years and that´s why i´m searching for answers :slight_smile:.
I use a lot of instrument in my projects, working with more singer/songwriter style. The PC is a few yers now and what I´ve been told about Mac and DAW´s its only good.
So I thought that it wont hurt to try another world :slight_smile: Need to get some info before the trip :slight_smile:
Thanx for clear things out,

Good luck! I, for one, definitely enjoy using Macs more than Windows (and this, coming from a long-time Windows DAW user), but you’ll have your share of bumps on the road! It’s not a perfect world in Mac-land either. There are definitely some benefits to sticking with the Windows world, such as cost savings and generally better low-latency performance. Essentially, you will get more “bang for the buck” in Windows land, no question about it. However, my view is that current computers are so powerful that those issues are no longer primary decision points for me, and other things are more important to me now, such as overall workflow and the fact that almost all of my clients are Mac users, so it just makes more sense for me now. Session compatibility was “okay” before between Windows and Macs, but I’ve had a number of situations where having a Mac handy was just plain necessary, or at the very least, convenient. So it wasn’t much of a leap to see if migrating all the way was possible.

The performance of the current generation of computers is so vastly beyond what it was only a few years ago, that the price/performance advantage of Windows is not the headline issue it used to be… on both of my Macs, I can get superb low latency for the situations I need it – as good as I need it, and for the plugin and track load needed, just as good as my finely tuned 6-core Windows machine, so I’m fine with it. True, my Windows DAW could handle more plugins at that extreme low latency than my current Mac Pro, but I find I really don’t need to “impress myself with benchmarks” – at decent latencies I haven’t had an issue yet in my many rounds of testing so far, so the performance hit of using a Mac is almost certainly not going to be a problem for me, personally. Worst case scenario, I can set up a VE Pro slave if I have to. I already have used VE Pro quite a bit in the past, so going back to it will not be a problem if I have to regularly.

So nowadays it really boils down to your personal preferences for your platform, and I’m happy so far with my switch to OSX. We’ll see in a few months, though! :slight_smile: I could end up hating it, and come screaming back to Windows! I will of course keep a couple of Windows machines just in case, but so far, so good.

Good luck with your switch!

Voice of sanity here. Well put too. (referring to the whole post)

Thank you, sir. And BTW, I used to be one of the “performance” geeks who was frequently measuring DAW performance. I’m intimately aware of how DAWs and audio interfaces perform, and how the current crop of excellent DAW benchmarks originated. We owe a lot to folks like TAFKAT and the great work he’s done with DAWbench, etc…

The point where I stopped worrying about performance so much was with my 6-core Windows machine. I finely tuned the machine to beautifully stable, low-latency perfection, and it never let me down. Cubase just worked wonderfully on it, and I even overclocked it to get that extra mileage out of it. But I found the overclocking was unnecessary, and I reverted to stock speed.

Problem was, I could never max out the machine in a REAL WORLD session. That’s the key. It handled everything I threw at it for real, paying jobs, and did everything I asked of it. Now, I do know of folks who could definitely max that machine out due to their massive orchestral templates, but even when I was working on larger sessions, I would just use VE Pro and slave a couple of other computers when needed. Which is what most of the big orchestral template guys do anyway as well.

But for MY sessions, this 6-core had essentially caught up with and surpassed what I needed to ask of it. Another good friend of mine recently built an even newer 4-core Haswell machine, overclocked it, and it performed basically just as well as my 6-core at stock speed! I was so impressed and quite thrilled to see that extraordinary performance for him. It dawned on me that we’ve essentially caught up to where we dreamed we would be a few years ago. Sure, there are times when VE Pro slaves are still going to be needed (even for me and the types of projects I do). But nowadays, we’ve reached whole new levels of incredible performance with the current generation of computers, where the old Windows performance advantage no longer holds real weight for the vast majority of DAW users.

Granted, there are always going to be plugin developers that will push the edge, and I’ll be the first to line up for U-he’s next synth plugin, for example. But even multiple instances of U-he’s Diva, which can suck up a lot of CPU, can run just fine on today’s machines, on Mac and Windows, no problem. So now it’s really a catch up game… only this time, it’s not the hardware that needs to catch up, it’s the software developers that now have all sorts of new power awaiting their algorithmic genius. Yes, the pendulum will swing the other way again, and we’ll all need to upgrade hardware… but the landscape has materially changed in the past couple of years, where a typical computer has mind-boggling power that it can do quite a few impressive things with audio at low latency.

And when they start writing plugins that can really take advantage of all these cores, massive RAM and SSDs we now have, I’ll be ready to upgrade. Until then, Mac or Windows machines are really no longer competing for the low-latency crown anymore. As far as I’m concerned, Windows can keep the crown and run with it. What matters most now are other issues, that revolve around user experience, personal preference, workflow preference, hardware preference, studio/client preference and interoperability, etc… Win vs. Mac performance is now irrelevant to me. Both work fine for just about anything you can throw at them. Other things matter more.

And I should add, that realization ultimately lead me to experiment more and more with Macs – I’ve had them on and off for a long time for client purposes – but after running some tests on Macs with Pro Tools and Cubase, and picking up a retina Macbook Pro, I decided to take the plunge and switch for my main DAW… there were many reasons, not the least of which was a building pressure from clients, etc…, but overall, I’m really pleased with the switch, and so far I definitely prefer OSX to Windows… we’ll see how it goes in the months ahead! :slight_smile:

Finally, having said all that, what matters most is really what works best for individuals and their workflows. Whatever works best to help you do the work you want to do is what you should stick with.

Kool thread!

Well said Uarte! Its those individual needs and choices that need to be made, people are always trying to scout the forums for “Whats the best this for that” topics, but it comes down to personal preference and the real world needs - I have decently running 4core PC and Cubase runs fine on it, but lately bought MBP and generally I like the workflow in OSX a bit better maybe, thats why Im trying to run my DAW on MBP (4 cores, 16RAM) and use PC slave with VEP5 just to try and test it and see if it will fit me :-p

just a heads up for those of you jumping to mac …

i run a 2013 … i7… mac mini with 3 monitors, a 4tb thunderbolt drive ,UAD2 as well as a bunch of USB3 drives …

i thought id be clever and strip up the raid0 thunderbolt drive as a Second OS drive … the thunderbolt drive slowed down to almost half its normal speed which was 377mbs to 170 -180mbs …

it would seem the macs recovery partition had something to do with it as when i reformatted the drive raid0 all returned to normal by the way … you can really get great performance out of the USb3 drives in a raid0 config they but i wouldn’t be storing important stuff on them … raid0 is known to fail the main lesson to learn with a mac is make sure you have a solid plan for back up… i use 2 x 4tb sata3 drives on a USB3 dock to back up the entire computer …i use time machine … its a great system, it works … I’ve thought about adding a pair of SSD for a boot drive but the issue i have with them is theres just not enough space on SSD… My OS + software that i run total 500mb so its pretty pointless in my opinion … you couldn’t pay me to go back to a pc … 90% of the things i want to use are available for mac and the things that are not i don’t want anyway …i spend more time now making music instead of fighting my pc to boot up … i like the mac mini i can just add whatever monitor i want to it it has 4 USB3 ports and thunderbolt its small, silent and compact…

I’m not fond of a computer dumped in the back of a monitor like some of the mac range having said that wow those hi rez mac monitors are something else if i could afford 3 of the stand alone mac monitors they would be sitting at my place today but I’m making out ok with 3 x HDMI acers i run one on the thunderbolt one of the built in hdmi and one with the help of a USB to HDMI convertor its a sweet rig with 3 monitors. if you go thunderbolt make sure its got a thunderbolt IN and out … cause you will want to expand in the future … Good luck shopping for a mac hope you snag a deal

See, that’s what amazes me… People are running DAWs on Mac Minis. That’s incredible. A few years ago it would have been impossible to do something serious like that. Over in the Avid DUC forum, there are a number of people running their Pro Tools studios on Mac Minis, which again, blows my mind. I can’t remember where I saw this, but some guy rigged an awesome little Mac Mini/PT system in a rack unit that did it all. I was duly impressed.

But it just underscores how far this current generation has come. If you look at benchmarks, even a higher-end 2011 Mac Mini with an i7 quad core can hold its own against a 2009/2010/2012 Mac Pro quad core, which for certain types of projects, is definitely more than enough. Gotta give Intel credit for their Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and now Haswell low-power CPUs. We’ve come a long way, baby! :slight_smile:

@abyss – I’m not a fan of strapping a CPU to a monitor like the iMacs, but I totally agree those screens are just beautiful. I know a number of folks that are happily using high-end 27" iMacs for professional DAW and film work. Something I couldn’t wrap my mind around until fairly recently. Again, that’s not going to cover the edge cases where someone needs to load up exhaustive orchestral templates, but even those cases, a nice 27" i7 iMac makes for a beautiful and powerful VEP controller if needed.

Thanks for all the great comments.
I was more concerned about losing my licenses.
I’m on a budget and looking for a second hand (2012ish) i5 macbook with at least 4Gb to start and will upgrade later.
My HP i5/6Gb works fine but I want everything I do on one machine.

If possible, and if you can save up a little more money, see if you can get a quad-core i7 instead of a dual-core i5. The i5 is certainly okay, and I’ve seen people do some decently-sized projects on them, but you’ll get far more mileage out of a quad i7 if your budget can stretch. Cubase most certainly takes advantage of the additional cores. If you can’t stretch for the i7, then at least you’ll know that Macbook Pros have really good resale value, so you can switch later on as finances permit. Good luck!!!

Sorta off the direct subject matter, I use both platforms and found These programs help tremendously…
MacDrive allows Mac disks to appear like PC disks MacDrive 10 needs Windows 7 Security Update - MacDrive

Also Tuxera Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera – Read & write Windows drives - Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera–Read & write Windows drives which allow NTFS formated drives on MAC

This will make your migration easier and it won’t matter what format your clients use either