Macbook air for reliable audio recording?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by imacination, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. imacination macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2012
    I'm looking at buying a macbook air, with the following use case:

    90% of the time, the computer will be used for simple text processing, itunes and safari.
    So far, so good.

    However, the other 10% of the time, the air would be used, like a field recorder, to run garageband, with a specific goal of recording 1 or 2 xlr microphones into 1 or 2 channels at 44.1 quality audio through a usb 2.0 interface. It needs to record reliably for at least 1 hour (no glitches, noises or stutters). Garageband does NOT have to (though it'd be nice) play other audio/synth/effects back (monitoring) while recording the audio input.

    In essence, I'd be using the air as a field recorder, using the high quality preamp usb 2.0 interface I already have.

    If an air CAN'T do reliable audio capture, I'll just stick with the 2011 refurb for my 90% use case and get a field recorder (though I really don't want to do that because I'm convinced my usb interface has quieter preamps for the stuff I do. I'd not only have to use a field recorder but also an additional quiet mixer).

    If an air CAN do reliable audio capture, then I'd probably go up to a 2012 i5 (for the faster external usb 3 storage) or even i5 with 256 - which are much more expensive airs - so, I'm hoping someone might have experience doing recording in a similar way and could advise me so I don't waste the extra money if it can't record reliably.

    I really do want a single unit though and not a field recorder. I'd even be tempted to go with a macbook pro retina if the air would even have the slightest hint of trouble doing the audio recording.

    Thanks in advance for your response.
  2. Matt Leaf macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    The Air would do this fine. Think: it's better than the old iBook. Better than the original Macbook. They all recorded audio fine.

    In fact it's perfect for what you want to do.

    I'm considering getting a Apogee Duet to go with my own Air.

    Good luck.
  3. imacination thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2012
    ok!, then would an i7 or 8g ram be advisable?

    Thanks for the reply!

    But now I'm wondering if I pushed it a bit further for audio projects in garageband, if there's any reason to go up to 8g ram? Or even adding an i7 processor?

    I wouldn't need the extra ram for anything like multitasking - I don't run other apps when running garageband or anything - just wondering whether effects or garageband software synths could benefit from 8g ram? (I've never run over 4g on an imac yet for the projects I do, so I don't have a feel for what might make 8g ram necessary).

    What about an i7 air for garageband?
    I'm pretty laid back about the occasional lag or slower importing/exporting of a project or audio files, so unless it really made a difference just when editing or something I probably wouldn't need it?

    (And I'd just expect in garageband - especially on a notebook - to have to do track locking and being mindful of the number of tracks, effects and instruments.)

    Just trying to think if an i7 would be noticeable in other ways perhaps?

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