Is the Macbook Air 13 capable of running logic pro x?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lynaris0, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. lynaris0 macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    Hello there :)
    This is the first time that I make a post on this forum, and I really hope you can help me out with my question.
    I am currently looking for an audio programm that I can use to start of my little r&b project. Since everyone is recommending me logic pro (and ofc I did research myself), and since this piece of software is not available for pc, I was thinking about getting a portable mac.
    I don't want to get a desktop mac, since my PC is already fulfilling all my needs and I could use a portable device.

    At the moment I could only afford a macbook air, and my question now is, can the air handle all the vst and plug ins with that hardware? Or should I stick to my pc and look for a windows program to work with?

    (English is not my native language so bare with me :) )
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Have not used Logic Pro X, I am still on Logic 9. It runs really well for my needs, which are modest though (recording 4 channels live with microphones and only a few plug-ins like EQ and space designer.

    With my 4 channel Akai EIE Pro USB 2.0 interface, I get about 9ms roundtrip latency in typical use. With my old 2 channel interface there was less latency. The SSD is great for recording, it is really fast on the MBA. I have the 512gb SSD however.

    You might want to post in the Digital Audio forum also. Don't hang out there much myself these days, but when researching this for myself awhile ago, some people were using a surprising number of tracks and effects in Logic on the MBA and claimed to get good results.
  3. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    thy for the reply :)
    i am just a bit concerned, because i went to my 2 local apple resellers, and they said it is absolutely impossible, and that i should get a rMBP, and i should even consider getting the version with he highest specs :(

    I have basically 3 options:

    1. Stick with windows and my PC and get a alternate programm:
    Since i just barely scratched Cubase on windows, i could get the full version and start working with that. But since i always hear people saying how much better logic pro is for my uses, I am kinda biased in that case :/

    2. Get MBA and "take some risks"
    I'm feeling a bit insecure with this option, since i have right now no idea in what scale i will work with plug ins / vsts. And since the MBA is really more of a portable machine, im a bit concerened.

    3. Wait 1-2 years and get a rMBP
    This is kinda of a last resort option. If i really couldnt get into any windows program, and the MBA is just not enough, i guess ill just have to wait :(

    thanks for all the help guys :)
  4. Woochoo macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2014
    Lol, absolutely impossible? :D:D:D don't trust those funny resellers as they want you to spend as much as possible.
    TOTALLY FALSE that you can't run Logic Pro X on an Air. I can run it quite smoothly in my MBP 2010 (with a Core 2 Duo, which is almost 3 times less powerful than the i5 of the actual Air). Obviously if you're going to work at 192KHz and 24 bits with multiple channels crowded of VST's and VSTi's it won't do. But almost nobody works at 192KHz (only professionals), even most producers or audio editors do it at 44,5KHz (or 96KHz) so it will be fine.

    If you are seriously concerned about how can it scale (giantic projects and high demandings) then wait and go for a 15" rMBP. But if you plan to produce music or sound design, edit audio and all that stuff, you can easily go with a MBA.

    But if you are still doubting, if you can try some friend's MBA (a 2013 or a 2014 would be fine) with Logic Pro X or any other DAW, just create a MIDI channel with a synth playing, put vst's (or the native effects of the DAW) in each channel (reverb, EQ's, compressors, delays, filters, saturators...) and duplicate the track until the MBA can't handle it and the sound starts popping and crackling. I bet you will be surprised of how many "heavy" channels can it handle.
  5. dyt1983, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

    May 6, 2014
    edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread.
  6. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    The problem is, i dont have anyone using a macbook air :(
    But i guess if more and more people are confirming that the macbook air is enough for working with logic pro, i will go for it after the 24. february.
    Maybe i can get my hands on a small performance boosts
    but anyway, thank you so much for the reply!
  7. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Logic Pro X runs just fine on my 13" late 2013 MacBook Air.
  8. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    Should i consider getting the RAM upgrade ?
    I am not really sure if the 4 gb are enough, but since i am low on budget, i would prefer not to do the upgrade :/
  9. vista980622 macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2012
    Unless riddled with crazily perfessional configurations, Logic Pro X runs absolutely fine on recent MacBook Air.
  10. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    So today i went into my local apple store again, and compared the 2 air sizes.
    Assuming that on tuesday apple wont upgrade the base modells to standart 8gb ram, what would you guys do?

    Get the 11 inch with 8gb ram or get the 13 inch with 4gb ram for working with logic pro?
    Ive heard that the resolution of the 13 inch is higher, but is it that much better? Sorry i am not and expert in that field :(
  11. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    Resolution on 11" is 1366x768
    Resolution on 13" is 1449x900

    Except, it's proportional. Just because 11" is on a lesser resolution doesn't mean the screen is terrible. It's just because it's a smaller screen.

    If you're really dependent on a higher resolution screen then I'd say you want retina. Many people expect the next Macbook Air to have retina. From the standpoint of someone who doesn't care about the resolution being super-high (as I like to play games on my Macbook and having to push that many pixels at once would make many of my games unplayable; despite how well the MBA handles them), you don't really notice it much. Taking a look at it, yes, I can see really small pixels.. if that bothers you, then you know you gotta go retina.

    In terms of power, being an ultrabook, this thing is ridiculously speedy. Is it ultra-powerful? No. But it'll run VMs and (slightly less new) games on medium to low settings. And for me, it works perfectly.

    What I suggest you do is buy the MBA, and if it doesn't work for you, return it within 2 weeks. Well, make sure your seller has the no-penalty return window like Best buy does. Then again, I guess you don't have a copy of that software yet? Hmm...
    See if you can download the trial if you do buy to test?
  12. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    Since I don't have the money for the rMBP my choice is the MBA.
    My question was should I go for the 11' with 8gb ram or the 13' with 4gb ram. Is the difference between the 2 resolutions really that huge?
    As stated in the title I will mostly use it for logic pro and maybe later on for video editing.
  13. Woochoo macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2014
    Don't worry about the screen, you'll end up working on an external display if you work for hours on any DAW and even more if you do video editing. Apart from that, 11" is not a horrible thing to do some fast stuff outside home.
  14. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    Are you in the USA?

    Best Buy price matches with Amazon (the rMBP is much cheaper on amazon).

    I would think if you can afford an upgraded air, you can afford a stock rMBP. Mine was $1,190 after price matching with Amazon at Best Buy.
  15. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I had a 13" 2011 MBA and upgraded to a 11" 2013 MBA. I really like the 11" machine better, you can't beat it for portability. I never had any problems running Logic in 4gb on the 2011 machine but I got 8gb on the 2013 (4gb was the max available in 2011).

    I agree, you are going to want an external monitor with either MBA for Logic. Have you looked at Apple refurbs? They are just like new and have the same warranty.
  16. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    i have already 2 external monitors i am using for my desktop so that shouldnt be the issue.
    I would really want to go with the 13'inch 4gb ram version, but im just too scared that 4gb wont be enough if i am using too many vsts.
    And on the other hand i am scared that the 11' might be a bit TOO small, if i shouldnt be at home.

    Nope sadly i am from germany :/
    The thing is that even with the student discount the rMBP is around 1200 euros, and the 2 airs (11' 8gb or 13'4gb) are around 950 euros. So as a student it makes a really huge difference in terms of money and sadly i cant afford the additional 250euros :/
  17. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The 13" base model is between 800 and 850 euros at Mediamarkt or Saturn.
    In Germany the base model is almost a no brainer, because the upgrades are too costy.
    They also give you 33 months interest free financing!! That's an incredible deal.
  18. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    I totally forgot about those options!
    850€ for the 13' is really really tempting, and since some of you have confirmed that 4gb of ram are enough for video editing / logic pro, i probably will go for it :)
    (except someone can confirm that i really really need 8 gb of ram)
  19. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    I would say that you might wanna get the storage upgrade.
    And yeah, you should get an external monitor to work with. You might end up liking the 11" better. I use the 13" as my main machine :p
  20. Woochoo macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2014
    I wouldn't worry about storage if the MBA is only used for audio & video, since Logic Pro X doesn't occupy more than 5GB (with all the original libraries) and same story with other pro apps. . If space is needed for sound libraries & large files (supposing he finally takes the 13") he can use an SD card and fly away.
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    oh of those uses can really use a larger screen. I really like my 27" iMac. Logic and FCPX can put up a LOT of information. If using a 13" notebook get a bigger monitor.
  22. lynaris0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    thanks for the replies :)
    I have an external drive and monitors so I am not worried about that.

    What I am worried about are the 4gb ram :/
  23. Viscerol macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    I run logic 7 on a 2012 Air with 4gb of ram. I don't run too many tracks and I am a novice, but it doesn't hiccup for me. The biggest bottleneck is the 13" screen.
  24. dsmedic10 macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2015
    I use a 2012 MBA with Logic Pro 10.x and have no problems at all. I can record using my tascam us-1800 and a few effects without a single glitch or studder. I use my desktop most of the time but have occasionally used the MBA as a direct replacement and it works fine. The MBA is a 1.8/4/256 model and it works fine. My desktop is a 3.2/16/256 and it works just as nicely. I would have got more RAM in the MBA but it wasn't actually bought for the purpose of running Logic Pro.
    In the future I would have no problem using a MBA for my Logic Pro needs. I don't run hundreds of tracks or effects however. But for my 20-25 track projects it works, loads and runs flawless.
  25. Woochoo macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2014
    Could you try something? Put some 3rd party plugin instrument (not a native Logic one) like some synth. In that midi channel, put 8-10 effects or so in it (EQ, compressors, filters, bitcrushers, limiters, gates, reverbs...) and duplicate it as many times as you can until it starts glitching while playing. Use 512 samples buffer and 44,5KHz of frecuency rate. How many tracks did you have until glitching? It would be interesting to see how many can it handle, since I'm also planning getting an Air to move heavy projects.

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