MacBook good for DJing?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by p0intblank, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    I have someone asking me if the MacBook 1.83 GHz is a good computer for live DJing and I don't know an accurate answer, so I'll ask everyone here. I know nothing about music production, so hopefully you can help.

    So this guy wants to DJ with a Mac, but wants to know if the MacBook 1.83 GHz will be okay for it. He plans to use applications like Ableton Live, Cubase, Reason, and Logic. He wants stability so he obviously doesn't want any hiccups during his performances.

    I see no reason why it wouldn't be okay, so should this be fine? Or should I suggest upgrade to a MacBook Pro?

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it!
  2. Mac Rules macrumors 6502

    Mac Rules

    Jul 15, 2006
    Hmm, I would guess with programs like Logic Pro, etc he should take a Mac Pro! :rolleyes:

    No, but seriously, a Macbook could be dodgy....a nice MacBook Pro wuld probabvly suit him fine...

  3. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    I agree when you are DJing you don't want to take any chances.

    Tell him to get the Macbook Pro
  4. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I would think that a MacBook would be okay, although for Logic, a MacBook Pro would be best. :)
  6. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    I'm not sure why all of the MacBook Pro Recommendations. Sounds like just guessing to me. Besides a slightly faster processor, the MacBook Pro really gives you no tangible benefits over the Regular MacBook for DJing.

    Your friend should keep these things in mind, though:

    Reason is not available in a Universal Binary for Intel Macs yet. [Edit: Yes it is... I somehow missed that announcement, and their FAQ still points to a page that says it hasn't been announced yet.].

    Live 5.2 is a Universal Binary and runs very well on a MacBook, but it doesn't support dual processors yet. Live 6 is currently in beta testing and will take advantage of dual processors.

    There are still many audio plugins that aren't Universal Binaries.

    I'm not sure why anyone would use Logic in a live performance setting.

    Your friend should really figure out what software he's planning to use and go from there (trust me, he won't be using Live+Reason+Cubase+Logic on stage). There are still tons of working DJs using G4 Powerbooks, and in terms of compatibilty that's probably the best solution. It really doesn't take a lot of processing power to mix audio files and loops and add a few effects.
  7. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2006
    Unless you plan on adding visual effects for djing for no apparant reason there is 0 benefit of owning a MBP go for size go for MB
  8. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    I know this is off topic, but i see djs working with Powerbooks and turntables all the time. I'm just curious how a laptop and turntable work together??
  9. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    you mean like this? --->

    i use a hardware/software combination with my powerbook called serato scratch live. it allows me to use mp3/wav/aiff with my turntables. i love the feel of vinyl over cdj's. serato rules.
  10. p0intblank thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    Thanks for all the replies! :) I am linking my friend to this thread so he can review your thoughts. Oh and a note, he plans to use Logic for producing at home. Everything else, though, I believe he plans to do on stage.
  11. Mammoth macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    Some people use Stanton Final Scratch. Gah I want it. :D
  12. Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    For someone who wants to DJ using both a Macbook and AAC files and turntable, what programs would you recommend?

  13. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    stanton final scratch or serato scratch live. i've used both and i still say serato wins hands down.

    there are also other alternatives but i don't know much about them. numark just came out with their own that you may want to look into...
  14. majorp macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2005
    UK !!!
    Yes i agree. Serato is by far the best most stable out of the two. Has the best UI, best support, cheaper, free updates. I strongly recommend and its universal binary.

    By the way reason is universal two.

    The macbook will be perfect for what you want. I don't think the pro is necessary.
  15. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    For the computer, I think a Macbook with a 1GB of memory would work fine. I would go for the dual 2ghz just for the option of archiving creations to DVD and to have the extra CPU just in case.
  16. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I DJ using Ableton Live (5) all the time using my 1.33GHz 12" powerbook. (It even works well enough on my 867 12" powerbook).

    The Macbook is fine and perfectly up to the task, especially now that Live 6 (to be released soon) supports multiple cores.

    Things I would recommend he gets:

    - 2GB of memory (my powerbook has 768 which is a little low)
    - 5400rpm disk (7200 is slightly better though not essential, i have a 80G 5400 drive....I use full fat wav/aiff as I don't like any compression/mp3/aac unless lossless and I could do with a lot more space for a bigger selection of tunes)
    - external audio interface with two stereo outs (one for main mix and one for pre-listening, I use an audiotrak maya 44 usb which is reliable but I'm not sure o the sound quality. It is super cheap though and good enough for starters. I'm waiting on the release of Echo Audiofire2)
    - a mid controller box like a faderfox lv2 or an evolution uc33 or uc17. you'll need this so you don't get that feeling of not being hands on with the music. once you get used to your chosen controller then you'll not want to go back to vinyl :)

    So in short the Macbook will be perfectly capable of doing what you want.

    Edit: I should add that this forum is a good resource:
  17. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    All a bit "last millenium" my friend :)

    Vinyl will disappear within the next few years.

    Kinda sad really as I still buy all my music on the stuff and it fills my house.
  18. purelithium macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2006
    Kingston, Canada
    Thank you.

    For some reason everyone assumes just because an apple product has "Power" or "Pro" in the name, it's automatically the be-all-end-all of everything. In fact, the only real differences in the Laptop line is the display, dedicated GPU, and slightly faster CPU (that you won't notice anyway). Also, most users won't notice ANY of these offering a change, Most just buy the PB/MBP's for the look and status of them.

    If anyone needs a laptop more powerful than a base MacBook. They obviously should NOT be doing that work on a laptop anyway, they should make the huge jump to the Mac Pro, which is the only Apple product that is worthy(power-wise) of bearing any "Pro" name.
  19. XP Defector macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    Reason 3.0.5 has been released.

    Vinyl is here to stay, at least for the next decade.
  20. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I'm afraid that's not true. The last lacquer (used in the manufactur of vinyl) manufacturers are not too long for this world (they're not making money).

    In any case it's becoming increasing difficult to even break even with vinyl releases (I know several people who run labels).

    Of course this is is all what I've been told by people who work at large UK distributers and who run their own labels.

    I'm really hoping this isn't true. As I say I love the format but the younger generations don't feel this way and are happy with downloads.
  21. XP Defector macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    I bought a MacBook 2.00ghz and I'm planning on using it to play in venues with. They are excellent computers, probably the best one I've owned. The thing is this is a bad time to switch to Mac for sound production, because nearly all of the software available, especially third-party VSTs and AU's is still to upgrade to Universial Binary. Logic, Reason and Ableton are all Universial now, but as for VSTs you might be waiting past Christmas.

    Powerwise MacBooks benchmark around the same as MacBook Pros, accept in the graphics department and I don't see how a MacBook Pro would be anymore stable. However, if the guys rich then why not get a MacBook Pro? It's still a better computer, but personally if money is an issue I don't think its worth the extra cash unless you want to use it for graphic intensive apps.
  22. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    This is exactly what has been said every year since around 1980. No serious reason to believe it will actually come true in the next 5 years. Always a possibility, of course.
  23. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    Indeed. The thing is it used to make money until, say 3 years ago. Shifting 700 12s these days is extremely hard indeed.

    At the end of the day music is music and if it goes digital (for distribution) then there are a few benefits (environmentally for one, and also it's more flexible djing of a laptop with Live or it's ilk).

    Sorry to hijack your thread OP. :)
  24. ryanx27 macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2006
    For live electronic music (non-DJ, original work), I would go with the MBP, because the extra inch and a half or so of screen size and the higher resolution will free up that much more precious screen real estate. Working with Logic + multiple VSTs + whatever else you have going (like visualizations) often means swimming through a sea of windows, and is one of the reasons I'm dying to upgrade from my iBook G4 (besides the obvious issue of processor speed! :p ) Having a backlit keyboard would also come in handy in the live setting, unless you have lights for your workspace already. You have to know how to work those hotkeys and faders to rock out live, not just the push that mouse!

    God, I hear that. Native Instruments has been draggin their m-f'n feet for so long now... we demand Reaktor in U.B.!!!
  25. e-clipse macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2006
    max the ram for sure

    Wouldn't you hate having recorded a smokin' and flawless mix recorded only to find a skip in the audio within the recording because you tried to mix from the decks to Ableton Live created loops.

    Sadly enough, I do believe DJ's will buy into the Technics digital cd decks with platter that feels just like spinning vinyl. I am an electronica artist. Unfortunately, mass production of your track on vinyl can cost way too much. You have to sell a track like mad just to make good money. However, if there are more digital DJ's, the artists can sell there tracks on online record stores or iTunes and may recover 60% of the profit per track sold. The only ones who lose are the record guys.:( Also, digital tracks do not get scratched, worn out, or broken. Digital tracks don't require cases upon cases of records. And DJ's don't have to drag their countless travel cases to the gig. So....Technics digital decks are the evolutionary next standard in my eyes. Even the Denon Cd decks are an awesome mixing experience!

    Dj'ing can be a great job considering you can make 100 bucks for maybe a couple hours of work,...I mean enjoyment!

    This DJ will likely be spinning in a darkly lit club or maybe even outdoors. Ryan is definately on cue there. I have a friend who I used to perform with in the electronica scene. He always performed live pa shows with just his midi keyboard and a PowerBook. Me.....I had to drag my ridiculous pc tower from gig to gig. (lol)

    The screen size is vital. Reason is already hard to see as it is. Reason's interface is not OS X friendly unless you have a large display. You could always change display size I guess.

    The ram shall set him free. If he goes with MacBook instead of the MBP, he will still made the right choice.

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