Fully Loaded MB vs. Bare Bones MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Pad18, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Pad18 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    #1
    Hello. My PC videocard just decided it was going to die last week. I've had a spark of interest in recording music for quit sometime and always wanted a mac to record on, or learn. But i shall be buying a mac sometime next week and was curious what would be best for recording. My budget is $1500 MAX. Should i go with a fully loaded Macbook or a bare bones Macbook Pro?
    Any more questions just ask.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    Wait until the rumored notebook event in two weeks, that could drastically change the situation. While I don't foresee the MacBook getting any updates and do imagine the 15"/17" will see the largest updates; it would make sense for Apple to bump the specs on the 13" MacBook Pro to better help distinguish the difference between the two models.
     
  3. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #3
    Depending on how serious you are about music recording an recording from external instruments or other inputs, the 15" MBP offers a dedicated analog/digital (optical) audio line in which could become handy.

    The 13" MB and MBP only offer analog audio in via the line-out/headphone jack.

    The MBPs (13", 15" and 17") also offer a Firewire (800) port which is the preferred interface for additional audio hardware.

    PS: Using additional audio hardware on the 13" could render the lack of an optical (digital) audio line-in mute though.
     
  4. Pad18 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    I'm very serious about it. I don't know much about it yet. But I know I wanna be able to plug my guitar in and get a clear sound.
     
  5. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #5
    Then a 13" MB will suffice unless your guitar has a digital out which could produce clearer signals.

    In the end you have to know to what extent you wanna pursue music and what you wanna accomplish with that.

    The problem with only one audio port though is that you can't monitor what is coming in except with the build in speakers and not headphones.

    But maybe there is a solution for this via USB audio devices.
     
  6. Pad18 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2006
    #6
    it will suffice?
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #7
    Why the question mark?

    Do you want to know the meaning of suffice? If so, right click on it and select Look up in Dictionary.

    You will get the following information:


    suffice |səˈfīs|
    verb [ intrans. ]
    be enough or adequate : a quick look should suffice | [with infinitive ] two examples should suffice to prove the contention.
    • [ trans. ] meet the needs of : simple mediocrity cannot suffice them.
    PHRASES
    suffice ( it) to say used to indicate that one is saying enough to make one's meaning clear while withholding something for reasons of discretion or brevity : suffice it to say that they were not considered suitable for this project.
    ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French suffis-, stem of suffire, from Latin sufficere ‘put under, meet the need of,’ from sub- ‘under’ + facere ‘make.’


    Or do you mean something else?
     
  8. Pad18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    #8
    I'm well aware what suffice means. But thank you for elaborating. The reason for the "?" is because in the other post it seemed biased to the MBP and then it said it will suffice, so I thought maybe he mistyped and meant to say will not suffice.
     
  9. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #9
    Ah, okay.

    If it's "just" a guitar, which has probably only an analogue output the audio in port (which is analog only on the 13"), then the 13" might suffice, but I explained later, what kind of hiccups you could encounter, which can be remedied by USB accessories.

    And if you buy 1 13" MB and it does not hold up, you could buy a 13" MBP or 15" MBP later, after you sold the 13" MB of course (or not).

    Have a look a round this forum via MRoogle, as you will probably not be the first person to have asked about that issue (I suppose).
     
  10. Pad18 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2006
    #10
    see the problem is I'm not aware what all the jargon means. I'm 20 and don't have a great job. I got this opportunity to get a mac and logic pro and I wanna be smart about it. I have a epiphobe Les Paul and a set of guitar playing skills begging to get recorded. I need to purchase wisely. So I need the cheapest/best possible way to get my guitar playing on a notebook (and some keyboard playing but I assume it's much easier to record keys then guitar).
    I'd appreciate it if you can be as elaborate as possible.
     
  11. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #11
    Ah, okay. That's where my ignorance of proper audio equipment comes into play, as I'm not doing anything in that field.

    That's why I mentioned MRoogle, to find some threads about your problem.

    As I see it from now, is that you're just beginning to get acquainted with digitally recording your guitar and maybe keyboard. That's why you might not need a full blown Mac yet.

    As you might know, Macs come with Garage Band, a very good music and song producing piece of software for the beginner. It will allow you to record your guitar and mix it with many samples or your keyboard.

    Keyboards sometimes have a so-called MIDI interface which allows you to digitally connect it to your computer, for which you might need an appropriate audio interface, which exist for USB and also for Firewire (which is better suited for this equipment, as Firewire needs less CPU cycles as USB does and doesn't tax your computer as much). To find the best hardware for your needs and budget have a look around the Digital Audio sub-forum, there might be threads about this already.

    My only concern with the 13" MB is (from my point of vie) that you may limit yourself for future expansion into the foray of music production, as the MB lacks a Firewire port.
    Also the 15" MBP has a digital/analog audio line-in which might come in handy in the future.

    But for your current stated needs (maybe there is more) a 13" MB is enough as it offers an analog line-in (for your guitar) which could be enough for you.

    To make matters more interesting: You can edit your thread title to get more hits by changing it to something more clear, like "looking for MacBook(Pro) to record guitar/keyboard and arrange it via Logic" or something like this.
    You can also ask a mod via the Report Post button ([​IMG]) to move this thread to the Digital Audio sub-forum.

    I think this is all the help I can give you without repeating myself until no end.
     
  12. Pad18 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2006
    #12
    Thank you very much. You've been quit helpful! =]
     
  13. otispondscum macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2009
    #13
    Honestly, I would go for the previous generation white Macbooks that can be found for less than $800 on the Apple website Refurbished page. The Apple refurbished computers have a great reputation and also come with the 1 year warranty.
    The previous generation white Macbook has firewire, which imo, is the best choice for an audio interface input. Firewire is much faster and smoother in terms how it relays information back and forth from the interface and the computer which in terms of music recording (especially recording live instruments as opposed to midi) is extremely important imo. The refurbished 2.13ghz white macbook certainly has enough power to run logic pro especially for your needs, unless you're planning on recording huge pieces with tons of tracks crammed with effects and plug-ins... and in that case I think you'd really want a Mac Pro instead of a laptop anyways.
    Getting a refurb white macbook for about $749+tax would leave you enough to possibly get a good interface such as:

    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet.php

    A very high quality 2-channel audio interface/preamp. Choosing a good audio interface to plug your guitar/mic into can make a dramatic difference on the level of quality that instrument/voice is recorded at.

    But in terms of computer, I think that refurb is an incredible deal. If you want the better screen and faster processor I'd go for the refurb 13" macbook pro at $999 over the new white macbook.

    That's just my two cents, good luck.
     
  14. iObama macrumors 6502

    iObama

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    SF
    #14
    I agree with the guy above me. The last-generation is the way to go. It's essentially the same exact computer specs-wise, but it includes FireWire. I would NOT buy a computer without FireWire for audio work since you'll seriously be limiting yourself. And whatever you do, max out the RAM.
     

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