The topic today is PC vs. Apple for a small studio. This was brought up as we are upgrading both the hardware and software here at our studio. We’re in the process of hiring a new audio engineer and so in the meantime, we’ve been looking into various studio options.

digital audio workstation softwareThere are pros and cons for each platform. Apple in considered by most to be a more intuitive OS. More studio engineers use Apple in the studio than PC, although that gap seems to be shrinking due to the ability to get an extremely powerful PC for around $2K. Protools, the industry standard here in Nashville can run on either PC or Apple. According to a Gearslutz thread on the subject Apple runs Pro Tools better while PC runs Qubase better. While that statement has not been officially quantified, it represents opinions expressed from experience.

From what I have read, PC guys promote PCs and Apple guys promote Apples. While this seems like an obvious statement, when reading a thread, understanding a person’s preferences will often determine the conclusions. Most statements are opinions and very few are based on fair A-to-B tests.

digital audio workstation softwareApples are considered less vulnerable to virus attacks, but on a standalone audio work station, this is not really an issue. If a person is strictly concerned with bang for the buck, PC is the way to go. But this issue is rarely only about bang for the buck. Being here in Nashville, most studios are Apple based and run Pro Tools. According to one engineer, if a studio is going to outsource work, it is better to be Apple and Protools based. Yet, every review of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software that I have seen, rate other software higher than Pro Tools.

Another engineer suggested that I hire the audio engineer, determine his software and hardware preferences, and go from there. Making the engineer comfortable in the process is the most important factor for us. So, while I would love to run out and buy the best state-of-the-art PC, that just may not be the best direction for our studio. So we’ll wait, hire a strong audio engineer, and roll with his preferences.

Resources: PC vs. Apple for a small recording studio