Updated MBA for Garageband

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Garageband, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Garageband macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2011
    Hi everyone -

    I am sure you are all annoyed by people who are only here to ask questions of smart people using the forums, but I'm going to be one more.

    I will be getting a new mac notebook this summer. For work, I only need the internet office, and basic ilife applications. For instance, if I was going to do any photo editing or video editing, it would be in iphoto or imovie, not aperture or final cut, but even this is minimal. It's basically email and office.

    But I am also a sophisticated garageband user. At times, I have up to 20 - 25 tracks with effects going at the same time, some with effects as well. They are mostly software instruments through a piano, but there are times I record real guitar tracks and vocal tracks as well.

    I am on a 2007 MBP right now with 3GB of RAM. Garageband maxes this thing out to the point where it can't play all the tracks and stops itself.

    So with the updated MBA, would I be ok? I would either get a maxed out 13 MBA or I would get a 15 MBP. But I really like the portability since I travel a lot and walk into work every day and if it will work, would really prefer the MBA.
  2. alexandero macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2004
    The current MBA13" has more or less the speed of the 2007 MBP and is only faster in tasks that mainly profit from the speed a SSD provides.

    While not being a Garageband user myself, I'm quite sure it mainly profits from CPU speed and RAM, and not so much the speed of the hard disk drive. The new Sandy Bridge based CPUs we're all expecting to find in the next MBA revision will be much faster than the CPUs that are currently used in the MBA - probably around the speed of the 2009 MBP.

    So in case you can wait a few more weeks or months (the new MBA will likely be availably by anything between late June and late September), I'd suggest you wait with purchase. Otherwise, just go for the 15"MBP.
  3. Garageband thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2011
    Well I am for sure going to wait to see what the MBA refresh brings, I guess what I am asking, is are there certain things that I need to see in the refresh to be confident that the MBA can meet all of my needs?
  4. alexandero macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2004
    Other than a Sandy Bridge based CPU, I doubt there is. You might want to go for the 4GB option (doubt it'll be standard), and unless Apple downgrades anything next revision (e.g. reducing the display resolution in the 13"), you should be fine.
  5. Garageband thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2011
  6. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    I'd chime in just to say that Garageband shouldn't be maxing your 2007 MBP out. Something is wrong. I just tracked a record in Logic on my 2007 MB without a hiccup.
  7. Garageband thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2011
    It tells me that I have too many tracks and that I'm not optimized.
  8. sunrisemusic, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011

    sunrisemusic macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2010
    It's the heavy duty plugins that might slow things down, though no-one yet knows the CPU power/speed of the next model/s. But current models are able to playback lots of tracks. I'm only a lightweight user when it comes to plugins, so I can't give any comparisons even with my 11", but for what I use it for it runs fine.

    You can probably get info on current models by searching the web for Logic and Pro Tools etc on an Air. I've seen posts and even vids from people successfully using them, just not sure of how many plugs (probably the type of plug is an important factor in determing how much of a CPU hog it will be.)

    What you could do is take a USB thumb drive with one of your GB sessions on it to an apple store and test it out once the new model is out (make sure it's a model with maxed out RAM). Get them to let you copy the session to the drive.

    Edit to add: if you're using lots of software instruments that will also contribute to CPU hog, not just plugs.

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