Best Mac for Music Production

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by darion8, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. darion8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Im switching to a mac but am not sure which is the best value
    between the 13 inch macbook air or 13 inch pro, and then whether a refurb i7 would be better or the new i5. I will be running bootcamp and tons of music software (massive, nexus, komplete 8, reason, etc). I was told in future shop that the performance of the pro was not that significant when compared to the air and as well that the new ivy bridge i5 was still significantly better then the i7. in summary for music production and simple browsing/school work
    refurb i7 pro
    new i5 pro
    refurb i7 air
    new i5 air

  2. golu14 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2012
    Delhi, India
    You should consider the retina macbook pro too, larger screen=more fun. And flash storage=speed.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I would suggest the MacBook Pro (over the Air) for the following reasons:
    - More storage space. Even though it has a "conventional" hard drive, which does not have the overall speed of an SSD, for audio production drive speed becomes less of an issue than does -capacity-, particularly if you are working on high-resolution audio.
    - processing power. The reburb i7 may be the better way to go, because if you will be using lots of plugins, it has more raw power to "keep everything moving".

    Actually, for music production, I think a BETTER computer would be an iMac 27". You are going to find that -screen real estate- becomes a big issue when running audio production software with many open windows and your horizontally-moving "timeline" in front of you. It's hard to keep it all in view on a tiny laptop screen.
  4. TurnTronics macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    I recommend going with the MacBook Pro over Air. Depending on the number of tracks/plugins you have running, a MacBook Air is going to lag. If you decide to go with a Retina Display MBP, max out the RAM. The RAM on the rMBP is soldered to the board, so once you choose your configuration, that is what you are stuck with.
  5. goldenglory18 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    It all depends on what kind of production work you will be doing. Live band recording with 15 - 30 tracks? Synth/key/piano composition? Dj/remix/post production work?

    Expandability is key in music production no matter what. Your machine has to have the ability to keep up with your needs on the fly. I like the suggestion for the iMac. Plenty of power for smaller projects and big screens, or more importantly, more screens. That's another key necessity for complex production work. The more work space you have, the easier it will be to use all the required plug-ins. Same thing goes for CPU cores and RAM. The more, the better.

    In almost all the music studios I've recorded in, the majority have been powered by Mac Pros. There simply isn't a better machine out there for heavy music production work. NO contest.
  6. estrides macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2012
    New York

    Spot on. The MacPro is the absolute best. But if you are trying to figure out a laptop solution. Avoid the Air...I have my own studio and I run multiple setups. The Air will get obnoxiously hot when working on a heavy load at a high bit rate. Go for the MBP.

    Also, I wouldnt get the Retina, it seems as if they are acting sluggish thanks to the video card not being optimized yet. The goal of music production is to focus every ounce of power into the DAW...not the HD screen.

    Also, as stated, max out the RAM and drop a Solid State in that thing. It will make a huge difference when you are writing tracks with multiple effects.

    Also, get the newest and the best processor. Newer applications will be optimized better and older ones will work just long as your not using anything TOO old.

    Hope that helps.
  7. lympero macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2008
    Arta, Greece
    I got a late 2011 15" pro. Same price as the 2012 pro 13" high end. It's a beast!
  8. goldenglory18 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    For whatever it's worth, I just got a new entry level 13" pro. It's expandable, parts are replaceable, and the CPU is plenty fast enough to handle what I'll eventually be throwing at it.

    If I was going to get back into pre-production recording, or demo tracking, or live music recording, I'd look into a loaded 15" Non-retina Pro. If I was going all out and building even a marginally capable studio, I'd look into a late model Mac Pro on craigslist and upgrade the hell out of it.....
  9. rock15478 macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2007
    I used a Power Mac for years... followed by a Mac Pro...

    Now running a Mac Mini Server with Dual LED Monitors...

    It runs Logic Pro and Pro Tools just fine...

    Can handle 120+ tracks with 5-6 plugins on every channel.
  10. sanjeettravel macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2012
    All the current model MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models are good for making music.

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