Is the MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) strong enough for Audio/Video production?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Elmzeh, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Elmzeh macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    Hi All!

    Hoping some of you may be able to help me! I've got a few threads running across the forums at the moment due to some issues that I've been having with my new MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)...

    I've recently migrated from Windows to Mac for a number of reasons, the main ones being that I'd like to invest more time and effort into Music and Video Production via home studio recordings / covers...

    The situation for me at the moment is that my MBP has been in for repair twice due to hardware faults and after much debate Apple have offered me a full refund... now, I'm keen to keep the MacBook Pro however looking over the Apple website for the same price I could get a 27" iMac which would be considerably stronger..

    I'd love to keep the MacBook Pro for its portability etc but am keen to hear from other musicians on if it truly is a suitable/powerful enough machine to handle music and video production?

    Something I've noticed so far is that when performing heavy duty tasks the fans tend to kick in.. does this have an impact on recording quality? The aim is that I'd like to record audio straight into the MacBook Pro and record the video separately via another device/camera to be synced later...

    Can the MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) meet these needs or would it be a greater bet going with an iMac? As mentioned, I am keen to keep the MBP if its more than capable in comparison to the iMac but so far I only know one person who uses a MacBook Pro for audio / video production but unfortunately haven't had the chance to speak about it in much detail :)
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I use a 27" iMac max spec for my main machine...This runs Logic, and various video applications as well...It's the top end 3.4GHZ 2GB GPU model with 32GB of RAM.

    That's overkill for what you want to do...I also use a 13" rMBP 3GHZ HD4000 and that should be a good starting platform
  3. cheekypaul macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    many many many many people use the macbook pro, and lesser apple devices, for music and video production every day all over the world (you can swap apple for any computer brand you like), have done for years. macbook pros are far more powerful now they use intel chips than just a few years back. so yes, the power is there.

    the question you're asking is very broad. music and video production, can you be more specific?

    recording a voice into the macbook will not put the slightest amount of stress on the cpu. with a/v work, the thing to remember, roughly, is...
    faster spinning hard drives are good for recording/playback.
    fx/mixing works better on faster cpus.

    this is not set in stone but a rule of thumb.

    when it comes to video, i wouldn't want to be doing anything too complex on the macbook pro. that's where you get fans kicking in (of course, they kick in when you rip a cd too, hardly an effort one would think...)(and no fans won't affect the recording, assuming you are recording in a booth away from the fans). so your plan to record video elsewhere then add the sound on the macbook pro is good.

    the high end iMac is more powerful than the high end macbook pro.

    SSDs offer unbeatable playback, but there's been issues recording. but the issues are becoming scarce. iMacs use the hybrid drives but running at the slower 5400rpm, not sure about experiences with these. always best to record to an external drive (i.e. off the system drive) for a smoother studio experience.
  4. neodrew macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I've been recording church services using my own MBP and the church's iMac with Logic as the DAW for a couple years now - usually 14 to 16 core audio tracks in 24 bit quality, and have experienced only a couple bonks in all that time. My MBP is early 2011, and I experienced a noticeable increase in performance and reduction in editing time when I upgraded the original 5400 RPM drive to an SSD as my boot drive and hybrid (flash storage caching) 7200 RPM drive as my archive. I'm running a quad-core 2.0 GhZ i7 CPU and 16 GB RAM and I consistently record two hour services with no problem, except one. And that one problem is why I'd recommend the iMac -

    We're using a 27" iMac with a 3.2 GhZ quad core i7, 16 GB RAM AND it has a 2 GB video card as well. It also cost a few hundred dollars less than the total I've spent on my upgrade laptop. The kicker is that the iMac has never and will never have the problem the laptop has experienced- every once in a while, there is a weird electronic clicking / snapping noise; it sounds like a discharge of static electricity on the affected channels. I looked up the problem, and it appears to be caused by the combination I'm using to record - two profire 2626 digital converters and the battery in my laptop. So, this is an isolated problem and it doesn't happen all the time, but the fact is, this weird bug is possible with a laptop and some converters, but does not apparently occur with the iMac since there's no battery involved

    Plus, saving a few hundred bucks to get a BETTER machine is always a good thing in my book. Save up and pair an iPad with the iMac if you need something portable :)
  5. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'm still using a 2010 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, and doing fine with it. 8GB of RAM, OWC SSD. So yeah, a 2012 MBP would be fine.
  6. ChrisA, Jul 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The Macbook pro will do fine for a small audio recording setup but you quickly run out s screen space. The 27" iMac has much more screen space.

    For video edits the question is how many tracks of HD video? The bottleneck is going to the the disks. You ail need some kind of fast external storage.

    You will also need some kind of possibly slower external storage for backups

    So don't budget all the money on the computer. Disk array for main storage and some. Likely a Thunderbolt array and then some slower USB arrays for backups and you off-site backups. If you get the Macbook keep some of the budget for a 27" monitor too.

    It is pretty easy to have as much money invested in "stuff" that plugs into the computer and software as in the computer
  7. Smurfpoop macrumors newbie


    Jun 29, 2013
    Southern California
    I was wondering if my rMBP 15 was ok for recording single tracks of rhythm guitar, bass, lead guitar, and a pair of vocals? So around 10-12 tracks monitored as I'm recording another track...

    rMBP 15 Early 2013
    i7 2.7ghz
    512GB SSD
    16GB RAM

    Presonus Firepod 10
    Should I invest in a new Audio Interface? Budget = $200-250

    Any tips would be appreciated!
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    "Freeze" (aka "bounce") the monitor tracks and you'll do fine with very low CPU usage
  9. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    That MacBookPro is fine for 95% of the audio work your be doing at home.

    i've hooked mine up into full studios and never had a problem doing 25+ tracks into Cubase at one time. No SSD either, it slows SLIGHTLY with lots of plugins but its not a massive issue.

    I use a Uni 1.6 G5 with a M-Audio Delta 100 and Logic and no problems with that either, only got 1gb of Ram too..

    Audio doesn't really need massively powerful hardware, just a lot of space and expensive hardware lol
  10. djippy macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Montreal, Ca.
    Thread revival.

    I just want to give people info for multitrack recording with a macbook air.

    I do multitrack recording (up to 8 track a at time, small project no more than 16-20 tracks - using MOTU 8 pre interface)

    I just bought a macbook air early 2014, 1,4 gHz 4G ram. I already had logic 9 so this is the software used for the tests.

    I confirm that without too many fx, the system handle up to 16 track at 96kHz 24 bits. - I wouldn't go further than that however.

    When recorded at 24 bits 44,1kHz, it really does the job. No performance issues at all for my ''small'' project. I cannot tell how it handles virtual instruments since I only record acoustic stuff.

    see attached video (sorry, software in french, but you can figure it out...)
  11. bwhli macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Definitely! I've recorded and mixed much larger sessions on the same computer.
  12. ajforbes20 macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2011

Share This Page