MacBook + Logic Studio = excellent performance?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Sceneshifter, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. Sceneshifter macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2007
    Hello all,

    I'm currently using a PC for my audio productions and have been doing so for 6 years now (woosh time goes by fast), and with the arrival of Logic Studio I'm set on making the 'switch'.

    I can afford the Macbook 2.16Ghz with 2 Gig of Ram + Logic Studio, with student discount that makes it a whopping 1700 Euro, exactly my budget.

    Now I'm a little afraid of the macbook, and I'd like to have some reassurance from other macbook users (not the pro, the normal one).

    I'm confident the processor is more then good enough and the RAM should do just fine, however in the PC world, it always seem that laptops are so so so slow compared to my much older PC (an early X2), so I'm afraid that the same goes for the macbook, and that it will be a slow machine overall. Testing it in the shop is pretty limited, basicaly testing ichat and garageband don't really tell me a lot about it's performance.

    The laptop would have to be able to run reason and logic studio pretty hardcore, and all this without glitches of course.

    That it has no firewire 800 is not a real concern to me, the 400 will do just fine with my current set-up anyway.

    So, do you use logic + extra on your macbook (upgraded) and experience any issues I should know about before making my purchase?

    Also : What external harddrive do you recommend? And as a sidebit, what 'bag' would you recommend?

    Note: I had posted this thread in the purchase help forum, but this forum suits it much better so please don't close it here, thank you!


    Ps: my myspace is in case you want to listen to my older tracks :)
  2. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada

    I'm running a macbook with lower specs (2.0) than the one you will get. I run Logic Express 7.2 and I record with a Firepod via Firewire. I can roll up to the studio space we rent, fire up Logic, plug in the Fpod and record 8-10 instrument channels Multitrack. Take it all home, edit the whole thing, using processor heavy plugs if I want. Bounce it all down, then play it in Logic, while running Reason as a rewire slave, or Live, jam over top with a MIDI keyboard controlling a big synth like Atmosphere ...and if I want, I'll go do whatever else I want from web browsing, iChats, you name hiccups...

    i love this macbook. And I can't wait to upgrade to Logic 8 and then Reason 4. :)

    External Hard Drive
  3. Butters macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2006
    Slightly lower specs of 1.83ghz and 1gb of ram here
    and logic express 7.2 tends to give me the computer not fast enough or whatever it says error quite a bit when running a few big plug ins (especially refx nexus :mad::mad: but i blame nexus for that) anyway it's not terrible.. i can put up with it and usually just pressing enter to say ok and space again to continue playing solves it and it doesnt usually happen again unless i leave the app and come back to it later.

    I'm kind of hoping when my studio get's here this will be a thing of the past but who knows?

    I have reason too but I barely ever use it, it seems to run fine :)
  4. Plumbstone macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
    Just my 0.02$ but right now the macbooks are definitely powerful enough for most audio tasks you would throw at it, the main limtation is as you say your external storage device which you want to be as fast as possible. Anyway my point is this, the iMacs have just had an upgrade which amongst other things included the addition of a FW800 port. FW800 is significantly faster and would allow you to run pretty much as many audio tracks as you would ever need. It wouldn't surprise me if they included FW800 in the next Macbook revision, although when that will be is in the lap of the Gods, well the lap of Steve Jobs anyway but alot of folk here can't seem to tell the diference anyway;)

    Whatever, imo you are definitely making the right decision to go mac....:apple:
  5. Sceneshifter thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2007
    Thanks for the replies guys, I'm still doubting a little, more user feedback is more then welcome! :)

    My main concern is that it will not be able to handle a lot of virtual instruments, though on my current computer (far weaeker then the current macbook) I have no problem running up to 30 of those at the same time, that includes the spectrasonic 'RAM wh*res'.

  6. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    I get the "too slow" error occasionally in Logic Pro 7 with my 2.16 C2D MBP, but that is almost without fail because the hard drive (external in my case) went to sleep since the last time I hit play. So long as my external HD is spinning, I don't get those errors.
  7. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Is there a specific reason why you want a laptop? Live shows? Work on the road? Because given your budget, you'll do infinitely better with an iMac for your needs. The speed of the processor is not the key variable here. The key variable is the amount of RAM and the speed/capacity of the hard drive. Both of these are vastly superior in the iMac for the same/less money compared to the MB. Plus you'll have a nice large 20" screen to work with - and that's useful in audio work. Of course, if you need the mobility of a laptop, it's all moot. Personally, I'd go for the lower end iMac and max out the RAM (buy it from somebody else though, not Apple!) - that seems the best machine for the money for what you want to do.
  8. Sceneshifter thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2007
    Yeah the new iMac is sweet, and I personaly LOVE how it looks, it's absolutely beautiful. I was indeed hesitating to take an iMac, but it's ridiculous in my situation, I basicaly live on the road. I'm not a superstar or anything, but I live at two different locations and at the weekends I move to a different part of the country aswell, this is why I need a laptop, this year has been killing my audio productions, simply because my desktop is always in the 'wrong place'. So it has to be a laptop, and I don't want a PC laptop anymore, I never had a good one, I hope the macbooks will be better. (though for the price of a macbook, I can get a hell of a lot more PC power!)
  9. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Software instruments synths/etc are all CPU. The macbook has plenty of CPU power to crunch away at that sort of stuff.
  10. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    I'm using the new Logic Pro 8 now on my Blackbook and it seems to be a OK.

    Doing a recording session tomorrow night, so if I don't post back here in a few days ranting about the performance, it's safe to say that it went great and Logic 8 rules...cuz it does....

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