What MacBook pro to buy for a midi keyboard?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Pablo78, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Pablo78 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hi all!

    Decided to take the plung and start using a MacBook pro with a USB midi keyboard. Could anyone give me advise on which MacBook pro to get?

    I am going to be using the mac to perform around 30 songs live each week as part of a band. Will need to split the keyboard up (normal piano,organ, sound effects, strings etc...)
    I've been advised to go for a 13" but worried if I buy the 2.4 Ghz(with duel core) that it will run out of memory and will end up regretting not buying the 2.8Ghz.

    Only intend to use the mac for this so don't need stacks of space anyway?

    Just need someone to put me right and give me some advise....


  2. blairsuth macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2012
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I would go with the 15" MacBook and 2.8Ghz processor. The little bit of extra screen really does make a difference and if you can afford the higher processing power I would recommend it. Make sure you max out the RAM if you can also.
  3. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    I'm not sure it honestly matters. I use a 88-key MIDI keyboard with my 2007 2.4/15" and it works amazingly well with garageband. MIDI keyboards aren't really too demanding, any modern Core iX MBP should be capable.
  4. ChrisA, Apr 4, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you are not editing or mixing music then yu don't need a lot of screen space. As for "running out of memory" that is different from processor speed. It depends on how much memory is installed

    Any current mac book will be good enough. But depending on what software you have loaded you may want to add more RAM.

    One idea is to use a Mac Mini. These also you to place the monitor some place reasonable other then leave it connected to the computer keyboard. With a Mini you can use wireless trackpad to control stuff. Better ergonomics I think The Mini's main box can anyplace, stuck to the piano with velco maybe
  5. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Canada! \m/
    In and of itself, the midi keyboard is not going to tax your system. What will tax the system is the software you are using, and the specific software instruments in that program. These will usually tax the CPU more than the ram. That being said, I would bump up your ram from 4 to 8 (especially since you are doing live work, so you don't want any "hiccups").

    As for the CPU, I would test out the programs and sounds you will be using while monitoring the CPU use. If you are pushing the CPU hard, then get a better CPU. Also, if your software can properly take advantage of multicore processors, a quad core may be better (and the 15" has a quad). But, if you're not pushing the CPU very hard, the processor won't really matter.

    Screen real estate is important too though. That's a matter of your preference, of course, but I would still keep that in mind. What software will you be using?


    Oh, and you might want to get the fast rpm hard drive too... or an SSD of you have the cash :)

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