Audio production/recording (NEW 13" vs. NEW 15")

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shaneocybin, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. shaneocybin macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    I know this kind of question probably gets asked more than most on here, but out of the numerous searches and countless number of pages I've browsed, I still have yet to find a good answer for this specifically (or at all relevant).

    I've been waiting since November to get a new MBP, but like a lot of us, I've been waiting for the imminent update, only to find out today that I've been screwed on the 13" update. I do a bit of music/audio production and recording, using mostly Pro Tools, Ableton, Reason, etc., and my desktop (5 year old Dell Dimension E510) can't keep up with it much. 20 seconds into playback of anything with a decent amount of virtual instruments, everything starts cutting in and out/glitching. It's quite frustrating to not be able to hear what's going on. So, I've been in need for something new, and preferably portable. Now, even though the Core2Duo is 4 year old technology, is there going to be a noticeable difference between me getting the base models of the 13" (C2D) or 15" (i5)? I know this has been answered for people with video/gaming concerns, but I've yet to see something valid for audio production.
  2. itsjustmeee macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2008
    I am a professional producer and a long time Pro Tools user. Trust me on this, you do not want to run an A/D converter with USB. Go with the 15 inch model and use the firewire port instead. The latency with the USB is pretty annoying after a while. And besides, you will want an external hard drive to record on eventually as well. USB isn't fast enough when the tracks start to build up. You'll need that firewire 800.

    And when it comes to Pro Tools, you can not have big enough display. You need as much real estate on that screen as possible.

    And lastly, if you have a lot of virtual keyboards, a lot of them are RTAS and that is going to tax your processor. It's better to spend a little extra now and not be frustrated later.
  3. shaneocybin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    Thank you very much for the reply. I figured waiting for the iX would be better in the long run. If I'm not mistaken, isn't there a Firewire port on the 13" as well though?
  4. ippikiokami macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2010
    Totally agree with this. As more and more powerful VSTs are getting made you'll be happy you spent a little more for a faster computer.
  5. Niconic macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Well obviously, the better it is, the better it is..
    But I don't really understand itsjustmees post, because MBP all have Firewire
    Since june 09, after lots of complaints and petitions, Apple brought back firewire on every Macbook pro, they abandoned the Express card slot though (which stayed only on the 17"), wich was another bad move for audio users (UAD plugins card ??)
    That means that firewire is not a criteria for choosing between 13" and 15" hence they both have it
    Of course, more processing power and bigger screen is obviously a plus.
    Some people also like the portability of a 13" that makes very light recording setup, easy to bring to a rehearsal, or to edit your tracks on the go.
    The new 13" MBP with 2.4 C2D will still make a hell of a difference with your old Dell... and you still will be able to use quantities of plgins, unless you want a convolution reverb on each track...
  6. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    I've seen USB devices that claim extremely low latency. What do you think of the new RME Fireface UC? I've seen people claim latency of 1-2 ms, which as you know is fantastic.
  7. Niconic macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    "you'll be happy you spent a little more for a faster computer. "

    600 bucks is quite more than a little more, it's .... 50% more :)
  8. bluetick macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Music production is about CPU, RAM and audio card.

    Thus, 15" is preferable, but 13" will do providing you buy yourself a nice FireWire external interface.
  9. Niconic macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Or if you go for the 15", then you might as well add the $150 for high resolution matte screen, while you're at it, this way you really have nice real estate and no glare...
  10. sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world

    Professional audio programs need space.
  11. Macchino macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    I bought the 13" alu macbook, when it came out, so thar i could work on plains, trains etc. (logic/protools). I have hated it ever since due to the very small screen. It just isnt enough space (and no! You dont get used to it) Get the 15 inch.
  12. Niconic macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Its such a pity that Apple removed the express card slot on the 13 & 15 inches though, the UAD-2 SOLO/Laptop is so cool...
    All that to replace it with a stupid SD slot... when you can get a USB SDcard reader for 10 bucks.. :mad:

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