Will the new M1 Mac mini be good for Music Producers?



I’ve been using a 2018 Mac mini for the last 6 months, and I love it. It does everything I need it to do, and more. For context, I do a lot of mixing and high-end music production, I create bespoke sample libraries, write orchestral music with lots of high-intensity samples and create these YouTube videos.

I uploaded a review a few months ago, and mentioned that Apple would be moving to a new line of their own in-house chips. Now, that M1 is here, I wanted to share my initial thoughts with you.

Upgrading to a Mac mini for Music Production in 2020: https://youtu.be/SMEcUB-187s

If you’d like to support my musical development, thank you so much. You can donate to my PayPalMe link here: http://www.paypal.me/dankeenmusic. All proceeds go back into the creation of my musical content. I really appreciate your support in advance!

I am a composer, producer and musician, based in London.
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  1. This new M1 mini is replacing the old Intel quad core i3. Notice that Apple still sells the top of the line six core i5 and i7 variants. This probably means that they will eventually upgrade the rest of the line when the M2 (or whatever they call it) hits the streets powering also the 16 inch MBP, iMacs etc. It will probably support 64GB of RAM and feature more power cores. Leakers suggest 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.

    I'd suggest waiting until the pro models arrive, even because there's very little software available natively as of now. It would be a waste of performance running everything under Rosetta. But if one is not a power user, this machine should be capable of doing pretty much anything with ease, so it all depends on each specific user case scenario.

    Oh, and I'm willing to bet the mac mini pro will be available in Space Grey, which changes nothing performance wise but looks cooler 😉

  2. Of course it will work to make music with, all modern computers can and have been able to do it for around 20 years now.

  3. If I needed to upgrade my machine at the moment (2012 Mac Mini) I would go for the latest Intel machine exactly for the two reasons you stated, maximum memory I could put on it and e-GPU compatibility.
    However, on the GPU front, iOS devices have had amazing results with apples GPU and Metal so I'm thinking that might not be an issue much longer

  4. Bench marks are up for the mac mini. Its single core performance is more powerful than the i9 imacs from last year. That is ridiculous

  5. The Mac mini was traditionally always released with an assortment of different CPU’s and all we’ve seen so far is the base level.
    Just wait until they release M2 or M3 version.

  6. I love YouTubers like you. Clear voice, good speed, good English, no music, and you do long takes (not a jumpcut after every sentence).
    And to the point; no nonsense or repetition.

  7. The increase in power and efficiency will come at the cost of no third party ram, a loss of ports,, the inability to install your own internal upgrades. Apple has an eye on forcing Mac users to only buy directly from apple and we all know how they continue to ask for way more more than third party vendors. I'm a longtime Mac user and as time has gone on I grow evermore suspicious of Apple products and their marketing ambitions. Oh, and also the rip offs from the apple store. Apple also refuses to ship small parts for apple computers that are in need of repair by third party repair shops by making users will only be able to use overpriced and unneeded repairs from the Apples stores. I also think that Apple may be abandoning support for music and graphic design in the near future. Keep a close eye on Apple before looking for another computer to fit your music or graphic design needs.

  8. Third party software is not going to be ready for a long time I think. I wouldn’t go spending your pennies just yet.

  9. By experience it is recommended to avoid first iteration of apple products. This first iteration is not aimed for professionnal but for Classic users. 16 G ram for sample libraries like spitfire or ew is the minimum … when apple will release arm imac and macbook pro 16" I hope to see better specifications .. in the meantime it will give some times to the software & sample editor to develop their software for arm mac without using rosetta.

  10. Great video Dan..keep us posted on the progress of the mac mini…waiting on the purchase due to compatability with software…once that's not an issue I will be purchasing the new mac mini…

  11. thanks for the video
    I watched the previous video u made about the Mini, back when u uploaded it..because i was also contemplating getting one myself.
    my two cents on this is that.. this is the entry level macMini, with 2 thunderbolt/usb 4 ports and no 10gbE. JUST like the entry level macbook pro 13” and the macbook air, they launched.
    imo..they will release a M1X (or whatever Pro name they give it) chip that is going to be in the Macbook Pro 16” model, as well as the top of the line iMacs, next year.
    By then ..we’ll see the release of the machines with the 4 port configuration, very much like their Intel line.
    So…although the new ones look somewhat tempting… i will wait for the 2021 models.
    Having said all this.. the M1 looks very impressive. let’s wait til ppl start testing them in real usage scenarios..but i am guessing the will perform quite well..
    Almost as well as the core i9 models, in most (not all) the tasks. Any openGL graphics operation is gonna be hindered, for sure, for eg.

    ps: i use VSL libraries, as well NI, and although i have 32Gb of RAM, as i also felt it would be vital….my experience is that the PC rarely goes above 24Gb of TAM usage.
    so…although 16gb would probably be low, on a 2020 machine.., even with the M1 RAM enhanced optimization…..i reckon..getting a cheap M1 MAC with 16Gb of RAM..might be a good short/mid term solution.
    cheers from Portugal

  12. Exactly. Even seasoned professionals who didn’t have experience with Spitfire or EWQL or VSL for that matter doesn’t get why you new 32+GB ram. Duh…

  13. Great points. I was personally concerned about the lack of RAM volume. I didn’t even think about the high efficiency cores. They’re essentially useless!

    I think you’re right to wait for the iMac and even Mac Mini Pro that has been speculated. They will probably have a pro oriented chipset with more I/O and memory expansion.

    I think this M1 chip is pretty much a demo of the potential of this new platform. No one should see it as a machine worth investing into for work. It’s at best an opportunity to glimpse into the future of computing for a relatively affordable price of admission.

    I see them more as better iPad alternatives than Intel Mac alternatives. But time will tell!

  14. 3x and 6x faster than what? Important detail Apple left out. Current intel iMac can go up to 128GB ram.

  15. Thanks for discussing the 16gb question. Please could you now consider iOS apps running on a Mac mini , even auv3s. Some iOS music apps are actually quite good and not having to mess around with an iconnectivity interface to get an iPad to talk with a Mac is quite appealing.

  16. Don't worry, in a year the Mac mini will be running circles around everything a Mac mini ever did previously.

  17. Hey Dan, great video! I have a 2012 Mac mini and I'm looking to upgrade. I do a lot of heavy plug in samples in my music. Do you think it's better to go with the 2018 Mac Mini and spec it out? Or wait and get the new Mac Mini with the M1 chip? Just curious if you think it's still a good purchase, getting the Mac mini from 2018

  18. I recently bought a Mini with standard 8gb because OWC sells 64gb at just over $300 and I was gonna spend far more from Apple to do that. Look, this thing has FOUR USB-C ports!!!! Why did they remove the extra USB-C ports and only allow for 16gb or RAM? I'll stick with my 2018-model! (Good video tho' Dan!!!)

  19. I went straight to the Apple Store started configuring and… 16GB max RAM? I currently have that on an old i7 and I am approaching13-14GB useage on bigger projects really disappointed wanted minimum 32GB.

  20. hey mate (and others), wondering if you can help me out here : do you think the mac mini m1 chip will be a good upgrade from my 2015 quad-core i5 processor?
    I use Ableton and I'm starting to have a lot of cpu bottleneck and latency issues.

  21. Hey Dan, I have an Apple based channel (slightly smaller than yours), and I have a lot of our audience asking about M1 for audio work, would you be interested in collaborating on a video for both of our channels potentially? Let me know! Great video!

  22. Honestly, you really just need to test it and see what performance gains or losses you have. It's quite difficult to communicate and understand "5x faster than best Windows in its class" for music producers. Phrasing like that don't really help much.

  23. The Mac mini is a disappointment
    I wanted one, but no eGPU support, and it can only run 2 displays, one via HDMI.

    I run 3 34 inch 4K displays on my late 2012 maxed out quad core i7 Mac mini. I was hoping the new Mac mini would be able to do the same.

    I use an eGPU to do this.

    If they had at least had eGPU support, I would have been happily buying right now.

    I did notice there’s no space grey version, so it’s possible they may release a Mac Mini Pro, that can run more displays with more ports, in space grey.

    We’ll see, but for now I’m still waiting.

    Might get the MacBook Air, though, in M1.

  24. One of the headaches I have to say I'm facing along with others who are customers of AIR Music Technology, owned by InMusic Brands, is the fact that virtually all of their plugins aren't even Catalina compatible as they're not 64 bit ready, only 4 plugins are and only just. Nothing's been done, so if you're like me, an owner of Air expension pack 3 which has virtually everything needed, you can't use it in 1015, so don't even think of it in Big Sur. It's annoying that they released a statement about MacOS bg sur, yet nothing was fixed for 10.15. Developers like Spectrasonics are really making great progress, so there's hope.

  25. I think it will have a new Mac mini pro next year with 64 gigs and a new M1X chip that will be more expensive but way better.

  26. GOOD LUCK TO YOU BRO HAHA BUT I PRODUCE WITH MY ACER 2 GB RAM WITH A LONG TIME AND I LOVE IT HAHA APPLE IS TOO MUTCH MONY SIR

  27. It’s telling that Apple are offering THREE Mac Minis in their stores: the two new M1 minis AND the high-end version on the Intel 2020 version. I think they are clearly saying “not yet, folks”, so I was glad to hear that you are so pleased with your 2020 Intel Mini. I’ve been hanging off buying until this announcement, but that’s what I’ll get! The 2020. Still top of its game.

  28. I use Logic professionally and never had RAM issues with 8gb, l always run out of cpu though so this new fancy chip is all good news, l'll probably wait for all the third party plugins I use to work properly on thrm and get the M1 mac mini.

  29. You raise important points and you are an EXCELLENT speaker. I find you precise, concise, and able to get right to the point. 
    My Audio Interface is UA Apollo Twin MKii (I LOVE IT!!!). But I just got notified by UA that Apollo Twin (HW/SW/Plugs) will be NOT be compatible with "Big Sur" OS for months and with M1 hardware for even longer. So for me, the Mac Mini M1 (and upgrading to Big Sur) would be a studio killer for quite a while. Will stick with my current rig (2013 Mac Pro 4 Core) until the smoke clears regarding 3rd party compatibility. 
    Luckily for my wife, she has a late 2012 Mac Mini. For her, the Mac Mini M1 is a no-brainer (pending real world tests of M1 Mac Mini vs 2018 Mac Mini).

  30. One thing that a lot of people are saying might come next would be a future Mac Mini Pro (or perhaps Mac Pro Mini), which would be fantastic.

  31. Mac Mini is low-key the king of music production while on a reasonable budget. I bought an i7 Mac Mini and upgraded my Ram to 32gb and it’s blazing fast. The only big drawback is the lack of a quality GPU on these intel MM’s. Looking forward to the reviews for the M1 Mac mini’s.

  32. i just use PC screw apple and they're constant closing of the eco system… i bought my pc with a rtx 2060 and 16gb of ram and upgraded to 32gb and addition storage

Crashing my phone with car //phone Vs car(phone ko dabaya car se )

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