John Baccigaluppi of Tape Op on Leaving the Mac Environment

Recorded on September 28th, 2016

John Baccigaluppi of Tape Op magazine has had it with the new Apple strategy of constant updates and the effect it has on his studio sessions. His contention is that the Mac is fast becoming a non-pro platform that doesn’t serve a professional recording scenario. The operating systems and the machines they run on are all so entwined with each other, but also ephemeral, that it seems like you’re only renting anything you buy anymore. Combine that with Apple’s tendency to incrementally remove input/output ports with each successive generation of the Mac, and you have a studio-hostile environment. I’m sad because I’m still firmly in the Apple fan-boy camp.

Earlier this year, OS X was rebranded macOS (to better align with Apple’s iWorld-centric vision). I’m currently running four macOS versions — 10.5, 10.8, 10.9, as well as the newest “El Capitan” 10.11 — spread across six different Macs. I need the older versions to open archived sessions, as well as to ensure that I have a stable recording platform for my clients. During the recent upgrade process mentioned earlier, our main DAW was repeatedly getting error messages in the middle of recording, and we lost performances as a result.

I don’t have much experience here, but it’s illuminating to hear him (and Andy Hong, also of Tape Op) now endorse PC-based DAWs like RADAR, which has always seemed like a cool rig. I sure wouldn’t want to be in the business of recording bands and also trying to keep a stable software/hardware setup going these days.

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