12" Macbook for Ableton/Reason? (NOT for tracking)

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jamesryanbell, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. jamesryanbell, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015

    jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    I need a laptop that will serve two purposes:

    1) An easy-to-carry personal laptop for administrative purposes (email, web-based planning, etc). I want something light, but with a great display.

    2) Running sequences built in Ableton/Reason. I don't need it for tracking, editing, etc. I need a laptop for *playback* of sequences. I'm not running sessions with 200 plug-ins. The $19 USB-C-to-USB dongle solves the issue of connecting it to the FocusRite Scarlet 6i6 I'm using.

    Right now, I'm running sequences via Logic 9 sessions with 44.1 wave files (sometimes running up to 10-20 tracks of strings, pads, drum loops, etc) with a late 2010 Core2Duo 11" 1.6ghz MBA for 4GB RAM. It's only locked up on me once (had something to do with 48 vs 44.1), but it's about time to do something else.

    I'm under the impression that the usage I'm describing concerning Ableton or Reason isn't terribly processor intensive, and doesn't imply a need for 16GB+ of RAM. ....but that's why I'm posting. Advice.

    Is it a bad idea to go that route rather than a 13" MBP *for these two purposes*? Again though, I will never use it for tracking sessions. We have a 2013 6-core Mac Pro for that. I'm just favoring portability right now, but I still want it to be able to do the job, and I don't want to make a bad investment. I just want to get away with as much portability as I can....and I REALLY like the new Macbook. ....but it has to be able to do the job.

    The model I would be purchasing if I went with the 12" MB is the top-of-the-line 1.3ghz 512GB model.

    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    433 views without a reply. Ok, well I'll figure it out. :)
  3. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'd probably still go for a 13" Air, personally. The rMB is kinda underpowered IMO, for Ableton.
  4. strukt macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2012
    Agreed, I wouldn't use the underpowered 12" for music production related activities. Get the 13" rMBP instead.
  5. bwhli macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    +1 for 13" rMBP. I have one, and it works great with playing a large number of tracks in Ableton Live. Currently programming a show with it!
  6. Fabian90 macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2013
    Bonn, Germany
    Do you only play audio tracks without any processing? It will probably work but still... The 13" rMBP is small too and you COULD change some stuff if you needed to or run some plugins, EQ whatever. I would not want to risk it.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Another recommendation for the retina MacBook Pro.
  8. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    Typing this from my new 13" rMBP (3.1ghz i7 / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSD). I think I made the right choice. Thanks for all the feedback as always. Great forum with great people! :)

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7 August 18, 2015