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Apple Silicon M1 owners - what's your verdict?

I was sort of bored, tired of shoveling, and the rain started so as I was working on my new Mac I wanted to know about other users experience.
I have the absolute base model Silicon M1 - 8gb ram, 256 HDD, and no added features beyond that I am aware of Apple offering.

I was initially very disappointed with the lack of development and developer speed in updating certain applications and more than anything, the VST world, particularly, as you all probably have seen by now, getting either AD2 or SD3 working in Cubase 10.5 Pro.

After further reading, it became clear that ditching [the windows 10 based and focused steinberg] cubase 10.5 pro, thought it ran through Rosetta 2, I was told I was putting unnecessary toll on resources, memory allocation, and overall CPU function and performance, which is why cubase 11 doesn't run at all on M1.

That was a hard decision because I had just spent about $300 for the silly, outdated dongle 10.5 Pro, and I bought a $300 VST that was basically Windows only (totally optimized for win 10, like Cubase, but no support for Mac Catalina+) so I was almost in the hole $600, or more like $500 with depreciation.

Furthermore, Logic Pro was optimized for the M1, and I didn't understand what that meant until I finally was able to sell my VST and Cubase, and not at a loss I couldn't stomach, because it fully funded Logic Pro ($225 w/tax) and as you may remember I bought AD2 for $100 give or take....so I broke even on the DAW/VST front allowing me to have no qualms with the shift from an entirely Windows 10 based i7 laptop/DAW/Studio to a Mac based studio. I now understand why so many people opt for Mac, and why so many Fractal users are Mac users.
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Most salient impression - the speed of the machine is unparalleled. I believe, and please correct me, but only eight or sixteen threaded i9 or Xenon processors were able to match or outperform the M1, and with a lot more ram on board too. I was going to spring the extra $200 for 16gb ram, but literally everyone said there was no point at all in doing so for a Logic Pro studio, unless I was doing serious 4k+ video editing and graphical rendering on a massive scale, which I will never do. in tests, the 8 and 16gb performance was negligible, only difference was, as indicated, timing of high graphic memory resource needed rendering was half the time, but that was it.

Anyone who wanted to get an M1, please don't hesitate. The machine is amazing, and I have turned into an Ardent apple fan because of this, going so far as to waste money on a Magic Mouse 2 and keyboard, which I really don't see the big deal about for $150+, but it syncs perfectly, and without hitch, just like: Fractal - its amazing how seamlessly the axe fx 3 works with Logic Pro and the Mac system, so much better than Windows for me at least.

Anyway, Ill just conclude by saying the biggest and best accident for my Axe Fx 3 was a Mac Silicon M1 chip. It has made my (Fractal based) studio so much funner to work in, and the speed and no DAW crashing or memory buffering or anything like that has never occurred once.

So, other Fractal fans, how has your migration to M1 been, and did you ditch whatever DAW you were working on to move to the amazingly optimized Logic Pro? I don't think it gets much better than an M1 chip, Logic Pro, and the pies de resistance : The mighty Axe Fx 3

PS side topic/off topic question - does the Axe Fx 3 (all makes) and Fm3 have some kind of "neural" DSP or CPU or something on board, because I saw Kemper fans in a little uproar elsewhere, and I don't understand what the issue was about really? You can side message me if you don't want to derail the topic, but I wanted to know what this neural DSP means?
 

GlennO

Power User
I use both Logic and Cubase on my M1. Performance isn't that different between the two because, as always, DAW performance is largely a matter of plugins, not the DAW itself. There aren't that many 3rd party plugins that are M1 native yet, and consequently the performance isn't all that different between Cubase and Logic, although Logic does have better startup speed.

Cubase 10 works fine, but some dialogs don't pop up to the front when they should. The latest Cubase 11 update works better. But Logic is such a great bargain, that it should always be considered first when shopping for a DAW.

As far as memory, absolutely positively go for 16GB of RAM. Almost any sample-based plugins of consequence will work far better if you do.

Anyway, the M1 is the quantum leap in computer performance we've been waiting for. There are some important things that don't work on an M1 (yet?), like Parallels and Wine and various audio interface drivers, but I would caution anyone against buying an Intel-based computer at this point.

Neural DSP? Google Quad Cortex :).
 

Sleestak

Power User
I did quite a lot of reading reviews and benchmarks on the new M1 Macs, and decided to order a new Mac Mini last weekend. It'll be a great upgrade to the studio, and will give me some much-needed horsepower for my big multi-track projects.
 
I use both Logic and Cubase on my M1. Performance isn't that different between the two because, as always, DAW performance is largely a matter of plugins, not the DAW itself. There aren't that many 3rd party plugins that are M1 native yet, and consequently the performance isn't all that different between Cubase and Logic, although Logic does have better startup speed.

Cubase 10 works fine, but some dialogs don't pop up to the front when they should. The latest Cubase 11 update works better. But Logic is such a great bargain, that it should always be considered first when shopping for a DAW.

As far as memory, absolutely positively go for 16GB of RAM. Almost any sample-based plugins of consequence will work far better if you do.

Anyway, the M1 is the quantum leap in computer performance we've been waiting for. There are some important things that don't work on an M1 (yet?), like Parallels and Wine and various audio interface drivers, but I would caution anyone against buying an Intel-based computer at this point.

Neural DSP? Google Quad Cortex :).
Thanks , great honest feedback

PS thanks for the search term
 
Yes , super fast, super quiet , super efficient, and I actually turned out to love Logic .... I was admitted, kind of, a fanboy of Steinberg but seeing the lack of support (personally, to me) and logics speed and amazing workflow and memory , it’s like I could use 4gb ram and it would be enough , but I’m glad I have at least 8gb....I got 16gb on my i7 win 10 laptop but I’ll never go back to windows, it’s just there for backup and also because I have some (ahem gratis ala Russ) VST

But now, only non logic VST I am running is addictive drums 2, and that is big sur compatible, and hopefully m1 optimized if what I read online is right

Anyway best computer I ever bought and I finally love my studio
 
AD isn't M1 native yet, but in the meantime, like you say, it works fine under Rosetta.
I appreciate the clarification. I’m little confused because I didn’t enable Rosetta to run or alter it. I just installed it and it ran. I can’t find the other link, it was either a blog, independent site I think, that said it was native but not yet optimized but I’ll take your word fo it. Maybe th person was confusing optimization and compatibility, or it actually was updated. It runs better than any other drum audio unit was able to test, and I only use XLN besides Logic pros internal VST AU.

https://www.xlnaudio.com/support/macos-11-big-sur-compatibility

What then is the difference between the compatibility and optimization ?
 

GlennO

Power User
I appreciate the clarification. I’m little confused because I didn’t enable Rosetta to run or alter it. I just installed it and it ran. I can’t find the other link, it was either a blog, independent site I think, that said it was native but not yet optimized but I’ll take your word fo it. Maybe th person was confusing optimization and compatibility, or it actually was updated. It runs better than any other drum audio unit was able to test, and I only use XLN besides Logic pros internal VST AU.

https://www.xlnaudio.com/support/macos-11-big-sur-compatibility

What then is the difference between the compatibility and optimization ?
It's a confusing situation, but Big Sur is the operating system. It runs on both Intel and M1 macs. Big Sur compatibility doesn't mean M1 native. Plugins that are not M1 native run under Rosetta, but it's a pretty seamless operation with Logic, so you generally wouldn't even notice whether a plugin is M1 native or not, although they will perform better when they are M1 native. At the moment, very few 3rd party plugins are M1 native.
 

jon

Fractal Fanatic
The M1 macs are what computers are SUPPOSED to be like in 2021!

Snappy, instant, efficient, quiet, and TONS of headroom with whatever you throw at in

Amazing value for money, I'm angry I didn't get mine sooner!

Even the base models are chewing up much MUCH more expensive and spec'd out machines, I get frustrated now using the PCs of yesteryear....
 

skunc

Experienced
I'm watching Avid closely. As soon as everything is M1 compatible I'll be upgrading. My poor laptop just can't keep up with everything I need it to do.
 
The M1 macs are what computers are SUPPOSED to be like in 2021!

Snappy, instant, efficient, quiet, and TONS of headroom with whatever you throw at in

Amazing value for money, I'm angry I didn't get mine sooner!

Even the base models are chewing up much MUCH more expensive and spec'd out machines, I get frustrated now using the PCs of yesteryear....
I think this is a perfect summation
 

Dunconia

Inspired
Sweet! I got an incoming MacBook that I ordered and this tells me that I made a good decision. I opted to pay a little extra for the 16 gb of ram. At $200, it’s more piece of mind that it will hold up to anything. Plus, if something new does come out that I just have to have. It might have a little more resale value. I don’t know. I figured it was a $200 gambit that might pay off one day. After reading the article posted by @C Holdz , it probably won’t matter.
 
Sweet! I got an incoming MacBook that I ordered and this tells me that I made a good decision. I opted to pay a little extra for the 16 gb of ram. At $200, it’s more piece of mind that it will hold up to anything. Plus, if something new does come out that I just have to have. It might have a little more resale value. I don’t know. I figured it was a $200 gambit that might pay off one day. After reading the article posted by @C Holdz , it probably won’t matter.
You’ll love it.
Hey man, it can’t hurt to have extra ram, who knows, in 5 years there might be some use for it; if not, when you trade it in or resell it after a few years (if you do decide to upgrade or what have you) the ram won’t depreciate much - in other words extra ram retains its value in macs, and who knows , maybe the m1 chip will last a decade ?? Then 16gb ram will definitely been worth it

to the guys expecting their delivery I hope you enjoy it, and please get yourselves Logic Pro if you don’t have it - it’s the best DAW for Mac - to me that was worth $200

I’m a teacher so I got the Logic Pro educator bundle which I probably won’t use but hey, can’t hurt to have the best Mac has to offer for the same price as just Logic alone - along with the XLN edu discount , I LOVE my “downgrade” lol (I joke, but I was using. $1600 i7 laptop and my mini Mac. BEats it up all day)
 

chris

Legend!
it's great. i ordered mine the day it was announced and was fortunately able to update my company's 3 work computers. the battery life for day to day use on the laptops is really the biggest thing for me. i can actually go a full day of work without charging if i start at 100%. the processors handle many things so efficiently. i haven't had any issues with any programs i use.
 

GlennO

Power User
It's a real problem, but it's almost certainly a Big Sur problem, not an Apple Silicon problem, which means it can likely be fixed with an OS update.
 
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