Portable Recording concern

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Getchoo, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Getchoo macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2007
    Hello all, I'm stuck on which Mac laptop to choose for my needs. I'm looking at the Macbook Black and the Macbook Pro 2.4 ghz. I want something that can handle recording software well and whatever updates may come around. I don't play computer games or do anything graphic intensive. I am in college and that is why I was considering the Macbook due to it's better portability. I have no problem maxing out the RAM on the Macbook or Macbook Pro. It's just the performance issue I'm worried about most. The software I'd most likely be using is Garageband, Logic express, and possibly Logic Pro and even pro tools (not likely though).

    Bottom line is I don't want to pay an addition $1,000 if I really don't have to.

    Thank you for your time and any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. MAW macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2007
    Los Angeles
    there is absolutely NO reason to get the mbp. your needs will be met w/ the blacbook. just add the ram and you're set.

    to confirm, look at the sys. requirements on apple's site and digidesgn for the software you mentioned.
  3. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    MAW is right; the Macbook should meet all of the needs that you listed. I made a similar decision myself when the MB first came out and it has served me quite well despite the recent HD failure. Mainly doing recording via Cubase, editing via Peak and lots of CPU intensive, interactive stuff in Max/MSP. Considering the newer MBs are more powerful than mine and can handle more RAM, I think it should do well for you.
  4. Getchoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2007
    So Macbook Black appears to be the way to go then, does anyone know if I would be able to use my 22" Apple Cinema Display with it?

    Also, my Apple Cinema Display is ADC.
  5. angrynrdrckr macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2008

    i am also getting a computer right now, to do the same things. i'm going to be using pro tools and ableton live, and i've found that actually, the black macbook ISN'T enough. you really want to have at least a 2.4 ghz processor. and though the MINIMUM system requirements are clearly met, and even most of the RECOMMENDED requirements as well, it still isn't enough. garageband will run fine on a macbook, as well as logic express, most likely. however, logic pro and pro tools are absolute cpu and ram monsters and will push your computer to the limit constantly.

    another thing you want to think about is that the macbook pro really isn't any less portable than a macbook. people freak out over tenths of inches and a pound or two, but let's be honest-- they're both laptops.

    lastly, the real reason you need a MBP is that macbooks don't have a graphics card. why does that matter? no one considers the fact that pro tools and logic are huge graphics programs because they are obviously made to create audio. but the plugins and the interface itself are actually very graphics-heavy, and for that you certainly want the graphics card that the MBP ships with.

    my solution to all this? a few parts to it:

    first, keep in mind that pro tools does not yet run on leopard, nor do any of the m-audio plugins (i'm also using an axiom 61 midi controller). so, be ready to partition your internal hard drive and install a copy of tiger so that you can run pro tools, if that's what you choose to use. logic will obviously run through leopard.

    secondly, i actually decided on an imac. i'm debating between the 2.4 ghz core 2 duo and the 2.8 ghz core 2 extreme, but i'm certain that i will be buying 4gb of ram from crucial and upgrading to a 500 gb hard drive, as well as purchasing time capsule. remember that you should always run your programs themselves directly from your internal drive, and save and recall all audio files to an external via firewire. that's why i'm getting time capsule. that, and the fact that i also need a wireless server.

    i hope that helps. keep it in mind-- 2.2 vs 2.4 isn't a "big difference" as most people say when you're just running email, but if you're using logic or pro tools, that's when you actually need that extra bit of processing power. good luck.
  6. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    i was in a similar situation. i'm at college at the moment studying music technology, and will be off to university in september to study music technology Bsc. i decided on the 2.2Ghz macbook, because i couldn't justify paying £50 extra just to have black casing, and couldn't afford a macbook pro.

    i had no need to run logic pro, as the university i'm going to has logic pros on mac pros. so i went with logic express as all i needed was a good DAW to record and master with, but also be compatible to exchange files with logic pro for when i'm at university. a macbook seemed to fit my requirements, but granted a macbook pro would be alot better.

    also, remember if you need mainstage from the logic studio suite you will need a macbook pro because it needs a graphics card.

    if you definitely need pro tools then don't get a SR macbook. i believe they can only run leopard on them, so you won't be able to run tiger on them to get pro tools working. but to be honest, i'd much rather use logic than pro tools. granted pro tools is very good, but its a software AND HARDWARE interface. it seems to be a very common misconception that pro tools is simply software, apart from cut down versions such as LE, but even then you need certain hardware. to get the best out pro tools you need a HD system.
  7. Bigewilson macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2007
    Firewire I/O

    Get a firewire I/O and forget the new computer completely. Sound artists got sick of being state of the art and nothing working. If it isn't broke don't fix it. If you really need a book get an old G4 and you should be good for another 5 years or whenever you get around to graduating. Instead invest in a van and go on tour like every other successful musician.

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