MBP 15inch for home recording

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by panayotist, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. panayotist macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    Hey all!

    I'm interested in getting my first Mac, the MacBook Pro 15-inch. It will be used primarily for home recording, video editing and a little bit of gaming.

    I'm thinking of purchasing a MBP with the below configuration:

    # 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    # 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    # 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    # AMD 6750M
    # MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Glossy Widescreen Display

    Now my question is, should I go for the 2.3 i7 or not? What are the differences between those two? Do they both reach 3.4 GhZ on TurboBoost? Also, I've heard that the 7200RPM HDD is a bit noisy, so is it worth it?

    Finally, do you know if MacBook Pros are good for recording? I mean, will I have latency issues?

    Thank you in advance :)
  2. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    No latency issues. No more than any other computer. MBP is awesome for home recording. It's all I use now and have for the past year. Bye bye desktop, especially with the new quads.

    The 2.2ghz is more than enough. I do some pretty heavy projects in Pro Tools and I got the 2.0GHz quad. By all means, get all the processor you can afford though. I don't do heavy video and I don't play games soothe 1GB video card in the 2.2 was unnecessary for me. Your needs might vary on that.

    I'd definitely say the difference between the 2.2 and 2.3 is tangible, but still small. You'll probably only see a difference if your blasting all four processors at once.
  3. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Even the 2.0Ghz model probably has way more power than the average home producer could ever throw at it. Unless you are running an insane amount of VST tracks, and even then the new Quad Core processors are Turbos flamas:D.

    Just make sure you get the 7200 rpm drive for recording. I see you have that listed in the specs so your all good. That MBP you listed will down right facinorous. I'm sure you will be happy. I do a lot of audio work and just bought the 15" model myself.
  4. panayotist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    Thanks guys for all your answers :)

    My biggest dillema here is whether I should go for the 256GB SSD or stick with the noiser 500GB 7200 RPM...i really don't want to spend a fortune in this pc, but if the ssd is so worth it, then I'd get it.

    Finally, is the 15inch display enough or would I need the larger one? However, I would like to still be able to use this pc in an airplane, so i don't know if the 17' model fits in an airplane tray. So, if the display isn't enough, i can always get that 27' led display, right? Would it run ok with the MBP graphics card?
  5. panayotist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
  6. Locodice macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2011

    :confused: Say whaaaaaaaat? :eek:
  7. panayotist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    Hahahaha i don't want to spend a lot of money, but IF I need these things, then I MIGHT get them ;)

    Oh and something I forgot, what speakers can I use with the mbp? Alright I guess 5.1 isn't supported, but can I still get some good speakers for it?
  8. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    All of this depends on how deep into it you want to go. As for some nice studio monitors for your home studio setup I would suggest getting an audio interface of some sort first, and foremost to connect to. For instance, I have an RME Fireface UC that connects all of my outboard gear. (monitors, drum machines, midi controllers, synths, etc... Read up on tweakheadz guide for tons of really great information on home recording.
  9. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I think the 2.2 is fine.

    Go for the cheapest SSD upgrade and buy an external HD. You dont want to be bottlenecking that baby!
  10. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    ha! seriously.

    ... it sounds like you're new to recording. if so, you may want to do some more reading before you do more shopping.

    computer: Any 2011 Macbook Pro will be great for music (IMO). Put that extra money toward other stuff, including ...
    interface: ... like an Apogee
    monitors: ... like KRKs

    I'm not an expert on the subject, but I think Macs are actually supposed to be excellent for stuff like latency.

    The SSD will be great for the OS, but, in case you were thinking of recording to it, know that many advise against this. Read up on it. Otherwise, record onto an external drive; Personally, I think that's a pain; There are other options though, including going with the 7200.

    good luck.

    p.s. i'd love a 27 too, in case you're really hard pressed for where to stuff that cash!
  11. evaporateddwarf macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    I'm using my new mbp for much the same things. I went for the 2.2 because after upgrading to the ssd on the 2.0, it was only about $250 more for the processor and video card improvement. I got the 128GB ssd because I couldn't afford the bigger ones. It is incredible.

    From your usage, I'd say go with the 2.0 model and upgrade the RAM (after market) and a bigger ssd (though you could get a normal one and wait for the new drives coming out in the coming months that will use SATA III). Recording to a ssd isn't a great idea in the long run, as it will diminish the drive's life, so in getting one, you'll need to get a optibay set up, or record to an external drive. 256 isn't even enough to record to anyways, unless you're doing small projects.

    For interfaces, I'd recommend the motu stuff. I have the 896mk3 and love it. If you don't need that many channels, they have one for around $400 or so I think. You'll need to run Logic or something not pro tools (i've used protools and do not like it. If you're an amateur, don't get sucked into it because studios use it. They're using it mostly for its hardware and compatibility with other studios, not really for the interface itself). Logic is a better interface, and has usable stock plugins, as protools is only useful if you buy waves or other 3rd party plugins.
  12. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    Depending on what kind of job your doing... There's still a significant difference between the kind of power a mac pro puts out in relations to a quad laptop...
    Render times render times. I'd like to see you pit a quad against an 8core mac pro with 24 gb ram (wait... lets try that in summer when the pros get updated). If I had to choose between 4 minutes and 8 minutes, I would pay the price any time.

    The laptops will always be amagad when they just come out, but in 6 months they'll be back at just being laptops.

    Imagine the next pro... base conf probably 6core, the middle an upgraded 8core and the best an upgraded 12core. None of these will be matched by any laptop...
  13. GazeboHeartAtck macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    I'll use mine for recording too. Should I get the 7200 rpm drive as well? And why is that one better for recording?
  14. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    The Mac Pro will not be updated until late Q4 this year or early Q1 next year – the processors simply won't be available.

    I think for the average user the new quad MBP would be quite good. :)
  15. ganzeinfach macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    what about fan noise ?

    Hi everybody, do you have any ideas or experience considering the amount of fan noise while using logic in the following setup?
    - 15" 2.0 quad macbook pro
    - external display connected
    - firewire audio interface connected
    - maybe around 10-15 tracks with not many plugins
  16. pep.pep macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2010
  17. electronique macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2008
    While I cannot answer that question.

    When recording audio, one shouldnt be recording audio to the OS drive full stop - No matter what sort of drive.

    Get a FW external drive for all your audio needs.
  18. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    The 7200rpm drive is faster quite simply. However, most home recording artists
    would be able to get away with using a 5400rpm drive no problem. Unless you are tracking a ridiculous amount of tracks at once don't worry about it too much. 7200 drives are not that much more, just get one.
  19. evaporateddwarf macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    writing to the same hdd that the os is running off of can result in latency and other issues. The hdd is having to run two types of operations, so it is having to run the program and then going to write the files. Even with a platter drive this is the case. Recording to a second drive (internal or not) is always a good decision. Additionally, while this issue isn't large when dealing with only a few tracks, SSD's have a limited number of writes, though that number is increasing, and if you are recording sessions regularly, you are writing huge chunks of data to the ssd that will reduce it's lifespan and its efficiency. When all the cells in the drive have been used, when it re-writes them it has to delete the data on the old cell, and then re-write it, so the read/write times will diminish overtime.

    Also, ssd's are great for the os, and for small files they are faster, but when dealing in large chunks of data, a dense platter drive can actually give you greater performance.
  20. Mix macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011

    Protools is brilliant and you dont have to buy digidesign/avids hardware to run protools anymore with protools 9. Of course Protools is used more for recording and mixing though it does use midi and it does have a few synths and also allows you to run reason through rewire protools is not very good for music production. Logic is very good for music production but im still not a fan as the finished pieces come out to synthy/electronic without the use of real instruments but of course it all depends on what genre of music you will be creating. I would recommend getting Logic first but if you have the money I would get protools aswell as it is used in most proffesional studios and its sometHing thatS good to know how to use as the more envolved you get the more you will come across it.

    As for monitors and interfaces there are loads to choose from and you will have to do a lot of research and auditioning.
  21. panayotist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    A) So, first of all, you say that I should get an ssd (probably the 256gb) and record on an external drive, like this one?

    B) Guys, I'm pretty new to recording and I'm reeeally confused! Why would I need an 'interface'? I already have the Line6 POD X3 Live, which I use to connect my guitar to my pc. Why would I need something else? And if yes, which ones are considered to be the best? I've found M-Audio's FastTrack Pro.

    C) Which monitors do you recommend?

    I really appreciate your answers, thanks a lot :)
  22. eaf7s macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2009
    Amazing for home recording. I have the high-end 13" now but you shouldn't have ANY problems with that--before this I was running logic on a core 2 duo with 2 gigs of RAM and a 5400rpm hdd and only very rarely pushed it way too hard. Although I did avoid too much multitracking on that machine.
  23. Mix macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    1 Its better to record to an external drive when in protools but in not sure about logic. Its for two reasons one because protools asks you to do that for better performance and two its to extend the life of your ssd. I personally dont think you will need an ssd as it will be fast enough without it so you can save yourself some cash there just make sure the macs harddrive is the 7200rpm and make sure the external hard drive is using firewire 800 and you wont need to spend more than 80-£100 on an external drive at around 1tb storage..

    2 I dont know a lot about the interface you have but if it connects to your computer and allows you to play music from it to your amp or monitors it should be fine. The m audio that you looked at would be definately fine for what you need, the only thing is that you can only run protools m powered with that device and not protools le 8 and I would say pro tools le 8 is better than pro tools m powered. You might be able to run protools 9 with it as pro tools 9 is now not hardware dependent and can be run naively but you would have to check on avids site to see if it works. It would be perfectly fine for logic though.

    3 Monitors are very hard to say which ones are better for you without knowing what you will be needing it for like genre of music and they are very price dependent on what the quality is like. If you give me a price of what you want to pay I can give you my opinions on whats good at that price.

    Also give me a price on the amount you want to spend alltogether including the mac and I can put something together.

    Does it have to be the new 2011 macbook pros?
  24. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    The difference in performance is minor, ~5% at max (with heavy tasks).
    For that price (CPU is nearly twice expensive), I don't recommend it.
  25. insignificance macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2011
    I wanted to comment on this since no one had addressed the MBP's digital audio out. Using an audio interface into which to hook the monitor speakers is much preferred, but the MBPs have for a long time had dual-purpose headphone jacks. You can use it like a standard headphone output, or plug in a toslink mini-plug digital audio cable to hook up to 5.1 speakers or a receiver.

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