Audio Recording: Ibook or pbook?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by boxcar, May 16, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    #1
    I know there are alot of threads on the ibook v powerbook debate, but i'm wondering if either one is more suited for audio recording? Do programs like Reason, Logic, or digital performer benefit from Altivec?
    Thank you for any help.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    Re: Audio Recording: Ibook or pbook?

    Absolutely, whilst both machines will record and edit audio with the apps you list, the extra processiing power of the G4 allows much more in the way of plug-in and mix flexibility, as well as an increase in the overall number of tracks/units available for use.

    Recording stereo source won't be a problem for either machine, but large scale recording (either multiple-input or overdubbing against large productions), mixed media (MIDI, audio and video) and syncronised recording will be easier with the PowerBook.

    It really depends on what kind of audio recording you are planning to do.
     
  3. macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #3
    it would be good to go with the PowerBook if you can. even if you don't need the extra features right away, it's good to know that they are there if you ever need them.

    even if you don't use a particular process or feature, you will probably end up using it because you have it. for example when i got my TiBook i had never used a dual-monitor set-up before. now i do it whenever i can.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #4
    Just wondering, how does the iBook record audio if it has no audio in port? Is there some kind of USB adapter?
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #5
    audio recording: ibook or pbook?

    i would agree that a g4 would always be the better choice over a g3.

    but let us expand the question could we?

    is a 867 12" better than a 900 ibook? remember, we are talking about audio recording here
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    I will beg to differ. For multitrack audio recording, you will want to have an external FW HD anyways, and an mBox or something, so buy the iBook loaded with ram, and take the money you saved over buying a PB and buy an external 7200rpm FW HD. The speed diffrence between the 12 pB and the 900 iBook is pretty small, some things even go faster on the iBook from what I have heard.
    Remember, the G3 is at least as fast as a G4 clock for clock, except for altivec stuff.
    Just my opinion.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near Chicago, Illinois
    #7
    yes, but you wouldn't really want to do any serious recording using the audio-in on the PB anyways. There are many USB and FW multichannel input devices on the market. I am a fan of the Mbox.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Ok slightly related question

    What kind of hardware is the cheapest (while still reliable and of good quality) for imputing at least 6, preferably 8 tracks, simultaneously?

    And along with this topic, could an ibook handle it?

    Thanks for any wisdom out there.
    Jim.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #9
    Re: Ok slightly related question

    Check out the Emagic (Apple) emi 6|2. It's got 6 ins/2 outs, 24/96, digital, etc. I use the 2|6 on the road, which is the opposite and it's great. If you need more check out the MOTU 828, it's FireWire and totally friendly with all apps.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #10
    Re: Audio Recording: Ibook or pbook?

    All the apps you mentioned are programmed specifically to take advantage of Altivec and the G4. I run Logic, Reason and Ableton Live and was asking myself the exact same question; 900mhz 12" iBook, or 867mhz 12" PowerBook? Luckily, I have an abundance of Apple retailers around me so I wound up in a store and had Reason running side-by-side on the two 12" machines. I was just running the same exact rack on each and gauging the CPU (*this is NOT the CPU meter in the OS. it is within the app and measures DSP processing power, basically it tells you how much power you have left before you run out and crash*) meter. The G4 made a HUGE difference. I was able to max out with the iBook while the G4 was still going strong, just over the halfway point. Pretty impressive as I always questioned how deep the AltiVec coding really was in Reason. Reason is a good app to test with because there is no disk access because it doesn't use any external audio, so the numbers are pretty much based on processing power only. I also ran Logic on my sister's 800mhz iBook and again the lack of a G4 was very clear. I compared it to the performance of my 733mhz PowerMac and it got spanked. Again, no external audio, just virtual instruments all playing the same MIDI sequence. Ableton Live runs great on G3 or G4 and has no AltiVec optimization at all so it just likes to have raw power and a fast HD. However, as we all know Live is nothing without Reason and once ReWire kicks in on the iBook the meter is already running out of breathing room. The G4 helped ALOT in this matter. So I guess I'd say a G4 is definitely better. I can't comment on Digital Performer as I don't use it.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #11
    Re: Re: Audio Recording: Ibook or pbook?

    awesome info (whole post). thanks for posting.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    #12
    Altivec is starting to make a differnece in audo apps. Many plugin instruments and fx utilize the extra oomph the vector processing unit provides. I say go for the pb if you can afford it. The comment about an external 7200 rpm firewire drive is 100% correct -- run your apps off of your internal drive, keep your audio files and projects on the external drive. Misc. junk that doesn't require fast disk access can also go on theinternal drive, like your mp3 collection, papers, etc.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    #13
    thank you so much for the info. I guess that means i've gotta sit tight for a couple of months to see what apple decides to do with the pbook line.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #14
    Likewise, thanks much for the info!

    I have to say, I am a soon-to-be switcher and have been torn between the PowerBook or iBook simply because it seems like the iBook at 900mhz. is the sweet spot for non-altivec apps.

    I also use mostly audio applications: Cubase, Reason, and Logic Audio, and it's great to hear some real information on the differences in performance.

    I'm also torn between wanting the instant gratification of a Powerbook right now, or waiting a couple of months and hopefully getting an updated 15" or possibly even a 15" with 970...

    Sounds like from the information in this thread I am definitely holding off until WWDC in June at least. They should announce something about the availability of updated 15" Powerbooks by then at least... To not do so would be suicide, because then I might just be convinced to stay in the Windows world and just have to deal with Cubase and Reason performing twice as fast as they do on a G4... ;)
     

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