Looking to start home studio: iMac vs MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macguitarguy, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Macguitarguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    #1
    I use to play in a couple bands, took time off, been playing/writing/performing music for 18 years. And now I really have the itch to get into the recording side. I'm without a computer at the moment so this is my first purchase.

    Was going to mess around with GarageBand and potentially upgrade to logic. iMac seems like the standard, but is a MBP just as good? I will be recording primarily, guitar,bass and eventually drum tracks.

    I live in a small apartment which is why I ask about the iMac vs MBP.
     
  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #2
    If the Mac is going to stay in the apartment, I'd go with the iMac - larger display (I have old eyes, what can I say). GarageBand and, even more so, Logic Pro, can eat up a whole lot of screen space - squinting at teeny-weenie text and waveform displays on the 15" MBP display may be sub-optimal.

    However, musicians do have a way of going out on gigs, going on the road, etc., so bringing your studio along with you is very tempting and very useful. You may just want to get yourself an external display for the apartment - not only could you use it for greater size, but also in a dual-display setup.

    I spent many years taking recording gear out on location, and I'm quite jealous of today's engineers and musicians. A single MBP substitutes for 50-100 lbs. of the kind of gear I used to shlep around.
     
  3. Macguitarguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    #3
    So if I bought a MacBook, will the dual core 13" be enough, or do I have to get the 15".
     
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    Find the applications you want to use and possibly similar - look at what they recommend for minimum and optimal for hardware. You might also check out any forums dedicated to those software. That should give you a good reference point. Let the hardware (laptop) fit the function (application).
     
  5. Macguitarguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    #5
    Looks like Logic Pro X only requires 4gb ram. Dual vs quad core processor, is this more of an issue for video editing?
     
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    I'll just suggest you look both* minimum requirements and optimal set up. There is at times, a huge difference. This is akin (in my case) between what is the minimum to run Photoshop and what is optimal given certain parameters. As example Photoshop will run with less than 16 gigs RAM but there is a marked difference in handling with 16 gigs over 8 gigs. Similar can be said for SSD vs standard drive. The latter will work but the SSD will perform better/faster. I do recall long ago reading up on LPX with respect to the 12 core Mac Pro (cMP) and how it touted that LPX takes advantage of the 12 cores and RAM. Perhaps that should be an indication that the app can benefit from multi-core and RAM.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    I think the 15" MBP gives you the best bang for your buck and I'd go for that over the 13" model.
     
  8. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #8
    It will work with the minimum specs but will soon run out of steam if you start using a lot of plug-ins. I'd also recommend an SSD if you go for an iMac because you will struggle with the slow HD that comes as standard in the 21.5" models.

    I've recorded guitar, bass and vocals without any problems on my i5 dual core 13" rMBP but I've also been close to bringing my i7 quad core Mac mini to it's knees while mixing songs with 30+ tracks and a lot of plug-ins.
     

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