15" Laptop For a DJ

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EstrlM3, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. EstrlM3 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    My room mate recently started to DJ, and is replacing a 17" HP Pavilion from ~2005-2006

    Two Options are:

    15" hi res AG from Apple ~$1900 (w/student discount)
    2.4GHz Intel Core i5
    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm (He wants 7200 but its 150 extra)
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
    Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide


    Dell Studio 15 for $1,264
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
    NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i5-520M 2.40GHz (2.93Ghz Turbo Mode, 3M cache)
    6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
    500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    56 Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)
    ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5470, 1GB
    Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N 6200
    15.6” Full High Definition (1080p) High Brightness LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera
    Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Internal (2.1)
    8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    High Definition Audio 2.2
    Back-lit Keyboard

    He wants to get serious about DJ-ing, does MR have any insights/advice to give him? I basically told him he will be paying the ~600 dollars for OSX and the firewire 800. he said battery life is moot as he will use it plugged in most of the time.

    He wants the MBP but his girlfriend is trying to sway him to the dell, because she says the apple laptop is way over priced, she even brought out a consumer reports magazine that had Apple at #1 but no check mark next to it. the dell is at #2 spot*
  2. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Well, I'm not saying he should just go for the majority just for the sake of, but in this case of music, he should. I frequent a lot of clubs and parties and not once have I seen a PC in the wild. The majority of DJ's use a Mac notebook using Serrato Scratch. There's just way too much good DJ'ing software for a Mac and depending on how much of a power user he is in terms of equipment he has he can do a lot of good scratching from the Macbook trackpad alone.

    For the business world, PC are best suited but in the music world, Mac owns it.
  3. BobbyCarbn macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2009
    I DJ as a hobby, do parties, and clubs a few times each summer. When I got into the world of digital decks I had nothing but trouble with PC's running Windows. Right now I use a Torq Exponent with a MBP 2010 i7 and it runs flawlessly. He might want to go with the standard res screen because I had issues seeing the details for filters and playlists with the 13 inch screen. But, thats just me. He may want to take a trip to the Apple Store and ask them to install a demo version of the DJ software he plans on using.

    Also, get a good laptop shell because gear gets banged up and or knocked over at parties!
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    if your friend is seriously considering the macbook pro, which it does not really seem like, your friend could get the free ipod touch and printer and sell them.
    This would save your friend a couple hundred from selling these items. Then at least the difference is closer to $400.

    The $400 difference is basically
    Machined powder coated aluminum body vs. plastic body
    Mac OS/X vs Windows 7
    5 lbs vs 6-7 lbs minimum
    8-9 hr battery life vs 6 hr battery life
    Apple Service vs Dell Service

    Then the Dell has 2 GB more Ram and 180GB extra HDD space.
    If your friend wants a larger harddrive, your friend should buy it third party and replace it their self because it would be cheaper and then the OEM drive can be used as a backup.
    The RAM will not make any difference in usage unless your friend uses virtual machines.
  5. EstrlM3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    Yeah we talked about that and he was leaning towards it was a fad, But i told him theres a reason why the music industry uses macs and its not just for looks.

    So 15" standard glossy would suit his needs better? I know he uses torque, would they install that at the apple store for him to test out?

    Ah, i did not know that, he was planning on selling the ipod touch, ill let him know to check into the printer. I also mentioned about the RAM not being a big deal.
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Tell him to stop pussyfooting around and get his girl in check(;) if she isn't a DJ then her opinion on the appropriate platform is 100% moot.), then talk to a few real life DJs and ask them how they are doing it, maybe even tag along. Many would love to talk (brag) about their setups. If that's too inconvenient, the support forums of popular software packages would offer good insights.

    Anything less is like going to a car forum for advice on professional camera gear and photo processing.
  7. Sanderr macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007
    If your roommate will get a new laptop just for DJing get the 13" MBP. It is more than fast enough for every DJ software package available. The other benefits are the smaller footprint and portability. I know the 15" is just a tiny bit larger, but most club DJ booths have almost no space at all. I'm always struggling to find enough space for my macbook and the controllers, with a 15" I wouldn't be able to put it down somewhere at most clubs.

    As for the mac vs windows debate, get mac for DJing. Sure, there are people that are running windows laptops without any problems, but macs can achieve lower latencies because of the way audio runs in OS X and you don't have to optimize the whole operating system.
  8. EstrlM3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    I think he has looked at a few DJ forums but dunno if he has been "in touch" with anyone. Ill suggest it :)

    His software (torque) suggested the i5 processor with 7200 RPM drive so thats why he's leaning towards the 15" Whats your perspective on glossy/antiglare? hi res/standard?
  9. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Everytime I see a DJ using a mac at a club/party, its always been the white macbook.
  10. aeboi macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2009
    Bay Area
    High res/anti-glare is all about personal preference

    There shouldn't be much glare from sunlight in a club.
    But high res may be helpful to have if you have to have multiple programs up on the screen at the same time.
  11. hypermog macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2009
  12. BobbyCarbn macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2009
    Most club DeeJays don't even use laptops. They might mix or run some loops on the MacBook but when its time for gig they use CDs. In that case, they use the club's decks or bring their own Pioneer CDJs. CDRs and Pioneer Decks dont lock up or just stop working because a recent software patch downloaded and installed itself right before the gig :) I have had Torq lock up for no apparent reason out of nowhere. Its a pain in the ass to have to switch to an iPod for a few songs so you can reboot your laptop a queue everything up again.

    Anyway the 13 or 15 will work just fine. Its going to be awhile before he is ready for a club gig anyway. People that play some tunes in Internet chat rooms or at frat/pool parties usually have to hone their skills for many months/years before they can play for a room with 200-400 people in it and keep the room going for 90 minutes!
  13. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Having fixed 6 or 7 of my classmates studio's so far, I'd say don't get the studio.
  14. DJohm macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2010
    No Fad!!!

    Mac is for real. I DJ myself and for the last 4 years - not once did my late '06 MBP crashed on me, just plain stable. I recently got my 2nd MBP 2.4 i5 stock options. No need for hi-res screen, especially in the dark. I find my self dimming my screen almost to the last 3 bars when I do my gigs. As far as internal HDD, I have my music library on an external WD HD due to extensive library and all music ripped no less than 192Kbps for sound quality, so it does take a lot more space. As mentioned, there are plenty of Mac-based DJ software, from Megaseg for simplicity to Serato (PC & Mac) for the highly skilled DJs who yearns for old-school style. I'm no expert with the specs here, but for DJ application I really do not see a reason to upgrade to a higher rpm HD. If you guys are in college and going to use the MBP for school as well, depending on how serious he'll be with DJing or just a side "thing", he may want to get a 13" MBP for school and use a 15" MBP for DJ. 2-3 gigs and it'll pay for itself. I consider my DJ biz serious so for me I used my older MBP exclusively for my gigs and music management, no porn-surfing or anything!!LOL. Anyways, definitely recommending MBP for stability, not 'coz of fad, over any PC. Good Luck.
  15. EstrlM3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    ^ ill let him know about the stock 2.4 option.
  16. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    15" 2,4 STD, that is my choice, 13" is too small screen to see in dark conditions
  17. DanMacApple macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2010
    The 13" is great if you want something more portable.
  18. EstrlM3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    ^ i think he wants the screen real estate of the 15". Great to know that the base 15 is more than sufficient though! :D
  19. DJohm macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Definitely plenty of power for DJ app coming from the base 15". He won't regret it.
  20. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    Most DJ's use Ableton and it's also on Windows. So there is no reason to go for a Mac. A Mac is trendy when you're on stage I suppose :p

    If he uses a firewire based soundcard, a Mac is usually safer.
  21. EstrlM3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    ^ any more insight? are you a DJ? are there disadvantages or advantages to using windows?

    what are disadvantages of using a mac besides price?
  22. demic macrumors newbie


    Apr 21, 2010
    I have been a DJ for 10+ years, I am about to switch to Mac (from PC/windows) to laptop DJ as it is more portable.
    By all means a windows machine is good, it will work and it cheaper however look at all the pro DJs you will see the glowing apple in their booths either running Trakor, Serato Scratch Live etc
    The advice I got (from pro. DJs and lighting guys) is go Antiglare screen (on any machine) as it cut down on reflections as in a dark club you will see your face in a glossy one due to light coming from the screen.

    I every situation spend as much as you can afford as if you don't and try saving money you may regret it, invest in your hobby...

    (this is my opinion, not a call to arms yours may differ ;))
  23. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Not only this, lots of DJ's I know have Firewire 800 external hard drives to store all their music they use with Serrato Scratch Live. You can't get FW800 on a PC.
  24. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    My co worker is a dj, and he uses a 17"mbp with anti glare screen. He had a windows unit before, which he says worked, but that the mbp and osx is like the difference between numark mid grade tables and his 1k a piece technic's, both get the job done, but one is clearly better... I actually don't know why he still had a day job since he makes more dj' ing
  25. EstrlM3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    Yeah i mentioned the external FW800 HD to him for his music instead up upgrading to 500GB.

    Yeah i think he is pretty much decided on the base i5 after reading this thread.

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