Classical Musician Upgrading Laptop for Home Studio

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by joethemusician, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. joethemusician macrumors newbie

    joethemusician

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #1
    Hello! This is my first post on the forums but I'm hopeful someone will have some insight for me. I purchased an iBook G4 years ago when i was in music school so I could use garage band and a cheap microphone to record my practice sessions and help me improve. Now I am out of music school and getting gigs asking me to record tracks at home. I'm looking to upgrade my old iBook to either a MacBook 2.4 Ghz 13.3'' or a MacBook Pro of similar specs. I have a self-built gaming computer so I do not know if I really need the Pro over the Macbook but does anyone have advice?

    Also, how successful are the macs at handling high quality microphones? Is this something garage band can handle or something that I should invest in a more "hardcore" program. I'm just looking to make single track takes on oboe/clarinet/saxophone for some projects i am involved with.

    I've only ever used the iBook for personal recording sessions so now that I'm upgrading I'm very curious how macbooks perform on the professional level. Anyone's advice is very much appreciated, especially if you have experience in this!!!

    Oh and the sooner I make a decision the sooner I can justify putting the money down on the new laptop. The iBook still works fine for web surfing but its not really able to handle much more. I dont know if I can really justify waiting even for the release of 10.6 (whenever that happens)
     
  2. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #2
    You should be fine with garageband I would imagine. The limiting factor will only be your microphone. Each notebook should give you about the same performance for this matter.
     
  3. joethemusician thread starter macrumors newbie

    joethemusician

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #3
    Hey thanks for a fast response! I was thinking that the performance would be similar and since I already have a dedicated machine for graphically intense stuff I don't see why a macbook can't fulfill my desire. I have an HD camcorder that I usually hookup to my desktop but i'm sure if i ever got serious about making movies (which i dont think i will) that the macbook can handle what little I would be doing.

    I'm looking at one of the AMT woodwind microphones... I just have to decide which of the three i'm wanting will edge out as the best choice. I'll just need to make sure that I can get a USB friendly connection set up at some point.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #4
    I know very little about audio recording, so how do most microphones connect? The new unibody MacBook lacks a Firewire port, so that might restrict your selection of mics you can use with it.

    OTOH, the updated plastic MacBook has virtually the same performance, does have Firewire, and is a fair bit cheaper. If you need Firewire, go with that one. If not, the unibody is a very nice machine, too. :)
     
  5. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #5
    The macbook should be just fine for you. The new white macbooks are a great deal. 2.0G, 2G ram, Nvidia graphics, and a 1066mhz FSB, and best of all it still has firewire.

    Unless you need the heavy graphics of the pro I see no good reason to do so.

    Also garage band is more then good for what your doing. If you wanted to get more involved you might want to look into logic express.
     
  6. joethemusician thread starter macrumors newbie

    joethemusician

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #6
    i would most likely be getting a USB based audio interface by M Audio.

    even though i'm only going to be recording single track (sometimes double i suppose since i'm a multi woodwind specialist and times do call for me to lay down sax/clar/oboe/flute all at one setting) i'd like to utilize multiple microphones for sound control.

    i'm fairly sure the macbook can handle my processing and audio needs so i'd like to save the bucks on the Pro model since i'm throwing down on the audio interface now.

    firewire would be oh so nice but through an alumni discount i get an amazing deal on the aluminum
     
  7. joethemusician thread starter macrumors newbie

    joethemusician

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #7
    i'll definitely start with garageband but i'm open to logic express if need be :)
     
  8. mikeinternet macrumors 6502a

    mikeinternet

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    Oaklnad, CA
    #8
    you may find garageband to be limiting. for instance you can not have an automated tempo. all projects are one temp only.
     
  9. joethemusician thread starter macrumors newbie

    joethemusician

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #9
    thats fine... i dont use the tempo function in garage band. i'm just laying down tracks that get spliced together with other people or myself. i dont use anything but acoustic tracks so it should be more than adequate for me ;)

    i never had an issue when i was using my ibook, imic, and junky microphone for practice sessions. i'm sure as i hook up an audio interface and nice microphones i'll be able to get what I want out of a single track acoustic instrument sound file.

    of course if I ever start writing my own music i'm sure i'll want to use something more powerful.
     
  10. mikeinternet macrumors 6502a

    mikeinternet

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    Oaklnad, CA
    #10
    That's cool. Now-a-days it seems like everyone is strict to the click.
     

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