Mac Vs PC For Music Production: Which Computer Is The Best

Both Mac vs PC for music production are widely chosen and used. So what's the difference between these two options?

by Derrick Reeves | Updated: August 15, 2021

*Products recommended in the post contain affiliate links. If you buy something through our posts, we may receive a commission at no extra charge to you.

Choosing Mac vs PC for music production can be a tough decision. Macs and PCs are both computers, but which one is the best for production? 

The debate of which computer is better, Mac or PC, has been going on for years.  

While we’re not here to take sides in the argument (we love both!), it’s important to know what you want out of your purchase before committing to one platform over another. 

We have created this guide that will help you make the best decision when choosing a new computer based on how you use computers as a musician or producer. 

Mac Vs PC For Music Production 

The main difference between Macs and PCs is that a mac runs on an operating system developed by Apple called OSX. A PC, in comparison, runs Windows or Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu.  

Broadly speaking, most of the popular DAWs that work on both Mac and PC operating systems: Ableton, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Bitwig Studio, Reason, Reaper, Cubase, Nuendo, Audacity, and some others.  

Although there are so many different types of VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology) out there, most of them are available for both Mac and PC windows. They all offer something unique, but they share the same basic function: more personality in your music! 

What PCs Have to Offer for Music Production 

All of the popular DJ software like Traktor, Serato, and all others work on both Mac and PC.  

Each computer has its own pros and cons for music production:<span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335551550":1,"335551620":1,"335559739":160,"335559740":259}">

Macs are more user-friendly and have a more aesthetically pleasing design. 

Macs are also the preferred computer of choice for most professional musicians and producers because it is easier to use than PC’s when it comes to storing, editing, and transferring files.  

They are very quiet when working on music because they don’t generate as much heat. They are also very secure and have a very clean interface. 

PCs offer more variety in hardware specs (CPU type, memory size) which can make them better for music production if certain specs are important to you.  

They require more computer technical knowledge to use, but you will have more control over your computer/system than on a Mac. 

When recording in the same room with PCs, it's important to make sure they stay quiet. PCs generate some noise from fans and hard drives while working which can be distracting when trying to record audio tracks nearby.  

DJ work on both Mac and PC

You will need some kind of filter or modify your PCs to muffle sound coming out so you don't get any unwanted background noises on your recordings.  

If you are just getting started with producing on your computer (i.e., building a new computer), you should choose mac, as they are easier to use and have dedicated software.  

If you already have a mac or pc but want to buy another one for music production, we recommend that you get the other type of hardware (i.e., mac if your current mac is old or doesn't work well) in order to diversify your options. 

Regardless of which mac or pc you choose, it is important to know what you want out of your purchase before committing to one platform over another.  

What PCs Have to Offer for Music Production 

PCs have a number of free VST plugins

PCs generally have a huge number of great free VST plugins and software which are available. This gives you more options in what programs you can use when producing sound.  

Investing in a PC allows you to have more control over your system and customize it for your specific needs, whether this is for live performance, production studios, editing suites, etc - without having to worry about overbuying features that won't get used right away.  

You also have more flexibility when upgrading certain components later down the line depending on how much money was invested initially. 

It has a lot of variety in the marketplace to choose from, you can find all types of PCs - small form factor desktops, high-end gaming rigs with dual GPUs, laptops for portability, etc. 

PCs provide the flexibility to add new hard drives, upgrade RAM, and add more CPUs. You can find better sound cards for PCs than are available for Macs as well. 

It's a great choice for a home studio, you can upgrade your PC when you decided to invest more into your studio. 

PC is a great choice for home studios or prospective artists who have a tight budget because it can be upgraded when you're ready to invest even more into your studio. 

What Macs Have To Offer For Music Production 

MACS may cost more than PCs, but the price is often worth it when considering that they offer high-quality audio hardware and software which make them ideal for all types of performance situations (live or studio).  

Mac offers some dedicated DAWs such as Logic X and Garageband, which are only compatible with MacOS.  

These DAWs are known for their streamlined, user-friendly interface and are used worldwide by professionals. 

Macs are also compatible with most of the popular DAWs and VSTs, which is important for producers who want to use a variety of software in their workflow. 

What Macs Have To Offer For Music Production 

The most important feature of a Mac for music production is its user-friendliness. Making music on a Mac is much easier than navigating all the menus and buttons with your mouse. 

The amount of time it takes to develop proficiency with a PC will be cut by more than half when learning on a Mac. Plus, the visual design aesthetic of Macs makes working for hours every day something that can feel pleasant rather than tedious. 

A lot more professional musicians and producers use Apple computers because they are devoted to having only one brand in their studios- resulting in fewer compatibility issues or problems with drivers (especially if you're using Logic). 

If an artist owns both Apple phones and laptops, choosing a new computer isn't a difficult decision either.  

Another benefit to Macs is that they come with a lot of software for your music production needs: Logic X, Garage Band, Mainstage, and more. 

A downside to Apple computers is their lack of customization options so if you need something specific in terms of graphics cards or sound card requirements then this won't be an option.  

Macs are easier for beginners to use, they are more user-friendly and have great software. 

You might want to invest in a Mac if your budget is generous, or you are a non-tech savvy that already has spent some time learning on PC and decide that you would rather work on the easier operating system. 

Minimum Computer Specs to Look For 

Minimum Computer Specs to Look For 

When it comes to music production, there are many choices for what computer to use. Below are the minimum specs you should look for. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i3 4-core 2.4Ghz, 4-core AMD Ryzen 3 (or equivalent) 
  • RAM: At least 8GB RAM to be able to run most DAWs. 
  • Hard Drive: Minimum 256GB of internal storage. 
  • 64-bit operating system. 
  • Screen: 24 inches in size if you use a PC or 15.6-inches for a laptop. 

Depending on your needs and budget you may prefer a PC or a Mac but either way, doing research on computer specs for music production is key in order to make the best-informed decision possible. 

Summary 

Both Macs and PCs are great computers for music production but each has its pros and cons that may make it more suitable or not as much. 

If you want the most secure operating system on the market, Mac is the way to go. 

If you want a more customizable computer with access to all of your favorite music production software, a PC is for you! 

The most important thing is your own needs and personal preference. What's the best for one person may not work for another-so make sure that whichever machine you choose will meet all of your production demands before making a purchase! 

crossmenu