iBook for music??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Bangpow, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Bangpow macrumors member

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    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    #1
    First off, let me apologize for adding to the recent "iBook for..." topics this evening. I guess i didn't really think to sign up and ask about it until i started reading some of the posts.


    Anyway, I have been a PC user for about 10 years and i will be buying my first Apple in the 14" Book, probably this week. I am well aware of the fact that the PowerBooks are better and that the 14" iBook screen isn't as clear as the 12" iBook screen, but i can't handle a 12" screen so the 12" PowerBook isn't an option for me. So, that's how i decided on getting a 14" iBook. The 15" PB is out of my price range.

    I will be ordering mine with 768 megs of RAM and the 60 gig hard drive.


    So, I guess i want to know is how the 1.33 Ghz iBook can handle music apps like Ableton Live and Reason??

    I also run a website, ConsoleFootball.com, and am going to be going to school for web design and i am still a virtual rookie Photoshop and what not. So, I'm not doing anything crazy with graphics at this point. Plus, my website is a PHPNuke site, so it's not too graphics intense right now. At least, nothing that i can't handle at this point.


    Any help would be appreciated.


    Thanks.
     
  2. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #2
    I can't answer your music app-specific questions in this case, but as for how a 14" iBook can handle them the answer is probably simply that it can if it meets the publishers' minium requirements, just worse than a faster computer and better than a slower computer. For the web-design stuff I'm sure it's fine. As with all things in OS X, pile on the RAM, you won't regret it.

    And if you need the larger screen, you need the larger screen. True, it's the same resolution, but in many apps (like MSWord), you can reduce the size of the document itself and thus effectively increase your screen space even at 1024x768. Still not the best of all worlds, but I imagine it can be nice.
     
  3. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Well, I don't mean to be apps specific, i should've been a bit clearer. I guess I'm wondering how it handles music production software in general.
     
  4. eleveneastgate macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #4
    Not sure about the programs you're going to use, but I've been using my 12" iBook G3 for making mixtapes (CD's).

    Here's the set-up:

    Turntables/Mixer---> Griffin Powerwave interface---> GarageBand---> iTunes---> Burn to CD.

    No problems thus far... Hope this helps :D

    BTW, are the programs you mentioned basically multi-track recorders? If so, GarageBand in iLife '05 muti-tracks, so if you've havn't bought those programs yet, GarageBand is an option.
     
  5. cleo macrumors 65816

    cleo

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    #5
    My brother is a choreographer and uses his iBook for doing custom mixes all the time. I'm not sure what the name of the software he uses is. I'd be happy to drop him an email and ask, but I'm sure it's whatever the industry uses. As with all things, the more RAM, the better -- you'd be remiss not to absolutely max the machine out. But in general, yes, you'll be fine doing everything you mentioned with an iBook.
     
  6. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Chances are, it will be able to do the job. Possibly not the greatest choice to do the job, but it will most likely do the job.
     
  7. ellisongs macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2005
    #7
    I use Pro Tools LE with an Mbox on a 12" 900Mhz iBook and have had no problems at all. The important thing to keep in mind is more memory is best and use a firewire external drive to record on.

    FYI: Pro Tools LE came with Ableton Live.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #8
    Order the minimum RAM from Apple and use the money you save towards a 1 GB third party RAM upgrade.

    Get a firewire hard drive for backups and to put your audio files on.

    The programs will run fine on the iBook -- every audio program that does native processing (well, I guess that means every audio program except Protools running on TDM cards...) will have limits based on how many/what type of software you are running, and the CPU/Drive limits of the machine. But practically, this may mean you are limited to, say, 20 tracks on the iBook vs. 48 tracks on a Dual G5... unless you push it to those limits it will work fine.

    Also consider what audio I/O interface you are going to use. Firewire-connected units would be preferable. One thing you give up with the iBook compared to the 15" powerbook is the PCCard slot (and the audio cards from RME and Echo that you would use in it) and the FireWire 800 port (which allows you to have your audio I/O and disk I/O on separate channels).

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  9. zimtheinvader macrumors regular

    zimtheinvader

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    #9
    No, well... at least my PMG4800 can't seem to simultaneously run Live+Reason+(anything else, ie. logic/reaktor/vsts), though w/ 1028mb ram it runs Reason itself fine and Ableton generally fine. Personally, I keep hitting a wall not being able to add plugins or softsynths in Live, though esp if you're starting or whatever its probably fine. The ibook's hdd might be a tad small once all's said and installed, given most loop sets appear 500mb, plus adding rendered audio can really burn space, maybe something to consider. Plus w/ the screen issue, I still run out of space on a 20" Lcd now, so if possible I might try to save for a PB, which is generally better suited for music and graphic apps in the long run, even resizing the windows, there's quite a bit going on in Live.

    Also I think the PT:Live is a special somewhat restricted version, though there is an academic (complete) version of Ableton4 and also of Reason2.5-(3?) for students/teachers (wish I had known before!...)

    30-40gb/1024x768 is a bit small imho for what you sound like you'd like, not to dissuade you though, the ibook/pbook is a great Reason platform, just intrinsically limited (hdd/screen/ext monitor). (The ibook is actually what they show in the ad for it...)

    [edit] nm about the hdd, didn't see your plans for 60gb.
     
  10. Jdm_rsx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    #10
    dont all laptops come with 512 now?

    just buy the third party ram from ebay

    search powerbook g4 pc2700 ddr333 ram

    it will cost anywhere from 200-250

    maya, awhile back had a website for 170 shipped
    1gb ram pc2700 and 100% legit

    however, i bought mines from ebay and its great! for 182 shipped to hawaii

    IMO: 12 inch and 14 inch isn't a big difference, for the price of 14 ibook...why not get the 12inch pb? its slim, light and just great...

    with the rev D, its even better with a faster harddrive and such, and of course iLife 05 = )

    hehe

    thats just my .02cents..

    let me know what you think..
     
  11. deebster macrumors 6502

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    Oct 21, 2004
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    Olde Englande
    #11
    Powerbooks come with 512 MB of RAM, but iBooks are still 256 MB.
     
  12. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    #12
    Thanks for the input, guys.


    I'm already an experienced Live user, I've owned since Live 1.0, but i've been using it on my Pentim 1.6 Ghz desktop and i've also Re-wired Reason on it with no problems.


    I know the 12" PB might be a bit better given the applications, but the screen is too small and i don't have the extra couple hundred dollars to get the 15" PB, that is my dilemma.

    Well, it's not a dilemma really, I believe the 1.33 G4 should run the audio apps pretty well. Considering a friend of mine has a 400 Mhz PB that he still runs apps like Reaktor on, even though it's starting to show it's age a bit.


    I just wanted to get some views on people that have iBooks and do work on music production and what not. Like I said, I know PB's are the way to go, but they're a little to steep for me at this point.
     
  13. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

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    #13
    my 2c

    i work in a music tech lab at a college, and have been a pc user for years. i'm waiting for tiger to be released then i shall buy a 12" ibook. i have been looking at my collegues ibooks and going green with envy!

    i plan on running reason 3 (as it should be out by then!), cubase SL/SE, hopefully reaktor if i can afford it. and i'm sure they will all run fine.

    i've watched cubase running well on an 800mhz 640 ram ibook, as well pro tools. like all the other people said, you want lots of ram and a nice firewire harddrive. Although if you're gonna just use vsts, then a fast harddrive isnt crucial.. but if you are gonna be streaming waves (or aifs in this case :D) then yeah you will want one, to go alongside your 1gb of ram.

    i initially thought the 12" would be stupid for my uses (especially reason) but since looking at it i really like it.. its just so crisp and tidy. of course when i'm not on the move, or when i'm editing photos in photoshop i'm gonna plug in my 15" LCD monitor.
     
  14. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Well, here's an interesting turn of events.

    Apparenltly, my boss is offering to chip in the difference between the 14" iBook and the 15" PowerBook, because i will be using the laptop to work on the website for our shop.

    Now, I am a little uncomfortable with taking the money to get the PB, but considering the fact that the same amount of money comes out of my pocket and i get the PB. Although, I don't like having strings atached, I'm not sure if i can pass that up.

    However, I have been at my job for 7 years and it's an independant DJ shop, and i don't think i'll be going anywhere soon.

    So, I should probably go ahead and get the PB??
     
  15. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

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    Oct 19, 2004
    #15
    I can't comment on any strings that might be attached, but I'd be inclined to go for it; by the specs, it's the best computer of the bunch, and has the largest screen of the ones you are considering. The PB is faster and has more features. The only-- and very real-- benefit of the 14" iBook would be the price, but sounds like you're getting some good help on that.
     
  16. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    #16

    Yeah, and i guess if i really wanted to not have any strings attached i can always have my boss take $50 out of my commisions each month. That way, by the end of the year it would be all mine.
     
  17. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

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    squarefrog.co.uk
    #17
    from a few reviews here at MR, there seems to be the general consensus that the 15" pb screen is nicer quality than the 14" ibook. havent seen them both myself, but you might wanna check that out.

    if i were in your situation i'd go for the pb.. then like you say if you pay your boss off its all yours. besides.. the 15" is widescreen :cool: and you get the added bonus of its just come out, so no buying then feeling gutted the next month as a new one comes out.

    and the pb's may span screens, which is handy in reason alone.. sequencer in 1 window, rack in the other :D or live in 1 monitor, reason in the other.. either way, 2 monitors is the way to go for more serious stuff!
     
  18. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    Dearborn, MI
    #18
    I've pretty much narrowed my choices down to the 12" and 15" Power Book.

    I really wasn't even considering the 12" PB at first but i went to the Mac store today, followed by a trip to the CompUSA by my house. The salesman at CompUSA was really talking some sense about the 12" PB being a very solid machine and he brought up something i totally overlooked. I am going to be using the laptop at my work to update our website and i didn't think the 12" was going to be that good for that, but he reminded me that i can hook up a regular monitor to it and use that at work.

    It made way too much sense, we have a few spare monitors laying around the shop from old computers. The 12" PB is very portable and will be totally capable of handling whatever i throw at it, so the 12" is in the mix.

    Here's another twist, though.


    They are blowing out their last 12" 1.33 Ghz PB's with 256 MB of Ram at Compusa for $1499.99, but that includes the 3 year AppleCare service.

    So, I guess is the performance of the 1.33 process that bad compared to the 1.5??
     
  19. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #19
    Is that the Rev.C ComboDrive version you're talking about for $1499? If so, you'd be trading a sightly faster processor, faster HD, BT2, HD drop protection, the new trackpad, and an extra 256MB RAM chip, all for AppleCare. Those are some nice upgrades, but how important they are is up to you. I guess whether or not that's a good deal depends on how much you want AppleCare. If you're on the fence, but willing to look at the Rev. C anyway, maybe check around ... there may be even better deals on them.

    And remember (I couldn't tell from your original post if you meant this or not), 1 year of AppleCare is included with every new Mac, you get the extra 2, plus phone support from day 91 on (only the first 90 days are complimentary), by buying the extra.
     
  20. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    Yeah, it was the one with the combo drive, but after doing some research, I think i would just go with a brand new 1.5 12" PB. I get a better deal with my student discount ordering it from the online Apple store.

    For $1399, I get the better processor and more RAM. I don't get the 3 year Applecare, but i do have until the first year is up to buy the extended AppleCare.
     
  21. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

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    #21
    I'm inclined to agree, with edu pricing on the 1.5, that looks like a better deal. Also, my local campus bookstore does even better than the online edu prices in some cases. Others on this board have reported similar pricing discrepancies in the edu market. I don't know if this applies in your case.
     
  22. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Yep, after seeing what the price was with the edu discount, that's exactly what i was thinking.
     
  23. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    Well, i decided to take my boss' offer and i ordered a 15" PowerBook.

    We both agreed that him giving me the extra loot to get the 15" was nice compenstion for the money i lose when i'm in the front office working on our website rather than being out on the floor selling things, making commission.


    It's my first ever Mac, I am excited!
     
  24. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #24
    Nice. Be sure it travels in comfort and style. There are many case/sleeve options, of course, as this forum's sticky can attest. Personally I use the Tucano second skin (others make similar products) for basic protection and transportability.
     
  25. Bangpow thread starter macrumors member

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    Dearborn, MI
    #25
    I saw you posted a link to that in another thread. do you get commissions or something?? :p

    just kidding.


    Thanks for the help McGarry, you have been very informative through this whole process.
     

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