Is a Retina Macbook Pro needed for Music production or can I get by with a Non Retina

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by PreacherKane, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. PreacherKane macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    Hello everyone

    Just a quick question about Macbook Pros.

    I own an broken 2008 MBP and I need an upgrade. I think its the motherboard as it wont even start. My broken MBP can be fixed but it would cost to much to run and be too slow for my needs.

    I am an amatuer musician and songwriter and I would like to get back into making music as it has been a while since my laptop died and I havent had the money to get her fixed. I know have the money.

    So the question I am asking is do I really need an £1900 RMBP for Music Production if I can get a CMBP for £1100?

    How many of you guys make music on a CMBP? And how does it run?

    I know that I want at least a 500 GB internal harddrive, whether its SSD or not.

    I would really like the internal superdrive and the user replaceable RAM but I am concerned with getting a machine that is already a year old before I even open the box.

    Will this, in your experience, be a problem when it comes to making Music?

    I don't play games on a mac but would to do some simple movie editing along with the Music Production. When I say Music Production I mean full Logic - Pro, Soundtrack, the whole kit and kaboole. Mainly Music production and songwriting but maybe some scoring and film production as well.

    So guys, let me know what you think and what your experiences have been?

    Thanks

    Kane
     
  2. RITmusic2k macrumors member

    RITmusic2k

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    #2
    Depending on how mobile you want your operation to be, you could consider the following:

    I run Logic Pro in my home studio on a 2008 13" unibody 2.4GHz MacBook... a computer with more than enough horsepower to run the application without a hitch (once I upgraded to 8GB RAM), but one severely lacking in screen real estate.

    The best thing I ever did was buy an external monitor. For about $250 I picked up a cheapo 27" 1080P display from newegg.com, and now my workspace is fantastic. I have a beautifully-sized and sharp display for my arrange window, and I use the built-in display for the mixing board and all plugin manipulation.

    So, you could definitely go with the less expensive computer and pick up a second display for way less than the difference in price, and have a better workspace at the end of the day.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    If you don't have-to-have the portability of a Macbook, you might consider a Mac Mini instead, coupled with a good widescreen monitor.

    The i7 2.3ghz Mini (4gb RAM) would be the one to get either new or "Apple-refurbished". Add more RAM yourself if needed. You might also consider either of the following:
    - Fusion drive (128gb SSD + 1tb HDD)
    - Get the base model (1tb HDD) and add an SSD yourself (suggestion, if you don't want to open the case, get a bare SSD and an external USB3 enclosure or "docking station", and boot that way -- they are remarkably fast)

    Since you're going to be doing music production, you could benefit from a good-sized monitor, such as a 27", or perhaps even one of the new "ultra-wide" 29" displays. I've found that for DAW work, having more "horizontal space" (for the music timeline) is better...
     
  4. PreacherKane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Hi guys, thanks for the reply.

    I guess we can all get a bit focused on the new and shiny, without releasing that slightly older workhorse will do.

    I had the opportunity to get 13 rmbp but the hard drive was only 256 gb and I have alot of CDs I want to put on iTunes.

    I think I will get the cheaper cmbp and an external monitor, the best of both worlds!
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    I replaced my 2008 15" MBP with a 2011 13" i5/4gb/256gb MBA and it was about 2x faster in terms of CPU but way, way faster due to the SSD. It ran Logic just fine for me, also my old version of Final Cut Pro.

    Upgraded toa 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA this summer and it is definitely faster still. Roundtrip latency with my 4 channel USB interface was about 13ms on the 2011 MBA and is now about 8ms on the 2013 MBA. Rendering in FCP is noticeably faster too.

    So I think any of the current machines will be a huge upgrade from your old MBP. I found myself wanting the 11" MBA for the portability though, it's a real powerhouse inside that little package. :)

    I use it with a big screen and external keyboard at home most of the time though.
     
  6. PreacherKane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    I did look into the 13 rmbp but it felt very dainty and a little small for me. Somebody I knew was selling his for a crazy price but I really want the 15 inch. I haven't really seen the 11 MBA up close and personal.

    I want to buy the most I can for my money but even thinking of handing over the money hurts ;).

    So to bump my own thread, can anybody recommend a good monitor? What are the things I should be looking out for and what things should I be avoiding?

    My price frame is from £150 to £300.

    Cheers
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    Sorry, my point wasn't too clear. I wasn't suggesting that you get an 11" MBA. It was that I had been using a 2008 MBP like yours in the past and that any of the current i5 or i7 models are going to be much faster than what you are accustomed to. And if you get a model with SSD then the overall speed increase with be quite dramatic.

    BTW - what version of OSX were you running on the old machine? If it was older than 10.7, you may find that some of your existing software no longer works since Rosetta is no longer supported. I was not able to install my old version of Soundtrack or FCP for example. But it turns out that the programs themselves were compatible, yet the installers were not.

    As for monitors, I don't know because my old Cinema display just refuses to die. :)
     
  8. RITmusic2k macrumors member

    RITmusic2k

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    #8
    I'm not positive whether what's available online to me is available online to you, but there should be plenty of monitors that will fit the bill. Everything in the 27" range is going to be 1920x1080, and the most important thing to look for in visual quality is contrast ratio. Find something with a decent contrast ratio and the inputs you prefer (DVI, HDMI, etc), and you should be golden.

    A couple quick examples:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824276020

    or

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001871
     
  9. PreacherKane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    London, England
    #9

    It's ok, I know about what you meant about 11inch MBA. I was just saying that for me it's just too small a laptop.;)
    I was running Logic 8 on Leopard, so I am looking for a major upgrade with my new purchases. I was able to do everything possible on the older system but after a while, they are not supported. I sure I won't be able to install the old programmes. It's going to get quite expensive for me but I am ready to take my music production more seriously.:cool:
     
  10. RITmusic2k macrumors member

    RITmusic2k

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    #10
    FYI, Logic 8 still runs beautifully on Mavericks, so you can use the old software as a stopgap if you don't want to rush into all your purchases at once.
     
  11. PreacherKane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 13, 2006
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    London, England
    #11
    Cheers RITmusic2k, good to know.;)

    I am looking forward to getting the new computer, just hope I get a good deal!
     
  12. PreacherKane thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    So here is the latest question: should I get the 15 macbook pro(new) from ebay for £1130 or should I get the refurbished machine for £1189 from the Apple store?:)
     
  13. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    Jun 13, 2007
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    benkadams.com
    #13
    Refurb, there's no hassle if anything goes wrong.
     
  14. PreacherKane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    London, England
    #14
    Yeah ;) I have spoken to a few people and read quite a few forum posts, the refurb from the Apple store is as good as new and has a limited 1 year warranty. I can also buy Applecare for peace of mind.:cool:
     

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