Multitrack recording

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jahorva, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. jahorva macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I consider to set up a system for multitrack recording. As an audio interface, my choise would be the focusrite saffire 10i/o. I would like to think to the future, so maybe I would get another one later using them in cascade. This way, I would have the possibility to record 16 track at a maximum of 24bit/96Khz. The question is that which MacBook can handle this? (Portability seems to be a must) Is it enough to buy the white/black MacBook (has the F400) or I would need the Pro? I read some reviews and many users suggest to use 7200rpm or + HDD and the max 4GB RAM. Any advice can help :) In general, what are the weak points I would have to pay attention?
     
  2. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Hmm - I wonder if you would be ok with a white macbook and a 7,200rpm drive? Its easy to upgrade I've done 8 tracks at 24/96khz on a stock config (non 7200rpm) white macbook, except with 2gb ram.

    Its just that it is very expensive to jump from the white macbook to the base mbp as you'd have to do because of lack of firewire:mad:

    All that I can say for certain is 2-4gb of ram is a must really, but you probably knew this!

    Sorry this isn't very helpful... maybe do some reasearch on a white macbook with 7,200rpm drive. It should be able to handle it, but I don't want to give you wrong advice!
     
  3. jahorva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #3
    Its easy to upgrade I've done 8 tracks at 24/96khz on a stock config (non 7200rpm) white macbook, except with 2gb ram.

    So, 8 track wasn't any problem at all? As I checked, the last white series has 2x1GB RAM as stock and can request a 200GB 7200 HDD as an option. Could it work? I'm not sure if I really will by an additional saffire, but wouldn't want to change the Mac too if I still...
     
  4. jahorva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #5
    Should be fine, although I would want to go with a MacBook Pro simply for the screen space and extra Firewire connections, allowing you to connect a Firewire 800 hard drive in the future (a must if you're serious about recording).

    On more than one occasion, I tracked 16 channels of 48 kHz/24 bit audio onto my old 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro's internal 5400 drive, and it didn't present any issues.
     
  6. jahorva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #6
    Sounds good. Screen space is true... For the hard drive, isn't the internal SATA connection faster than the FireWire800? I was thinking about ask the MacBook with 200GB 7200 internal drive...
     
  7. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    Yes, the internal SATA connection is faster, but there are a few other things to bear in mind:

    1. The internal hard drive is smaller, more dense and designed with portability and low power consumption mind and as a result, is slower.
    2. The internal hard drive is also your boot drive, as well as probably containing all your documents, apps and naughty videos etc... so will be full of loads of 'little' files (little in relation to the size of the files you'll be working with for recording), and as a result will cause fragmentation of the larger audio files.
    3. The Mac will need to access system and app files off the internal hard drive at the same time as writing audio from the recording. Hard drives are actually sequential read/writers and as a result, are very slow when it comes to working on two areas of the disk at once.

    In a nutshell. :)

    On top of that, waiting for 20-30 gb folders to transfer from the internal hard drive to your 'backup' hard drive where they'll sit is achingly slow.

    If you go for a new unibody MacBook Pro, the single FireWire 800 will provide more than enough bandwidth for maybe two or three audio interfaces and a hard drive at the same time. A 17" MacBook Pro with both it's FireWire 800 and 400 would be even better.
    Although the new MacBook Pros are sexy.
    Bear in mind, if you daisy chain a FW800 and FW400 device together, the speed of the 800 device will be hugely slowed down.
     

Share This Page