Which MacBook Pro for DJing & on the fly producing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vshreyas, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. vshreyas macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    Hello guys,
    I have taken up a music production course recently & also I soon plan to get into DJing.
    I plan to get a iMac for producing heavy duty stuff but need a MacBook for on the fly producing aswell, ill be using the MacBook pro for Djing mostly.

    Can someone help me choose a decent config of a MacBook pro that will be able to run Traktor & a few other DAW's like Ableton, Cubase, Reason, Logic etc without much lag. This is my first apple computer so i am a bit confused, i've been on windows the whole while.
    I dont want the retina display macbook pro by the way. I can afford the base model but since it comes with only 256gb of ssd, i am not interested.

    Also I am bit confused between the 13inch and the 15inch, remember, the main reason is for DJing only & occasional on the fly editing when i travel.:rolleyes:

    all the help appreciated! :)
  2. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    MBA13. Best for mobility.

    Seriously I am going to get flamed for this but you either buy the RMBP or if you don't have money the MBA13. All other Macs are just half assed at this moment.
  3. Zeov macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2011
    the non-retinas are still great laptops.

    get a base 15" and upgrade ram and ssd / HDD yourself.
  4. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
    I don’t think other Macs are “half assed” but I do believe that the retina displays are the future. It just depends on if you can wait for the next gen retina displays or not. The next wave is always better so you cannot have the best for more than a couple month it seems now adays.

    I see DJs in NYC that rock the MBP 13, but they only use it to spin.
  5. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    The problem with the non-retinas is if you do barely any upgrading to them, they're the same price as the higher-end retina. So unless you're anti-SSD or afraid of the non-repairabilty of the rMBP, there's no reason not to get it if you're buying a 15" Mac.
  6. marddin macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    If you're a real man you'd use CDs or flash drives for djing.

    But to answer your question. The retina would be pointless for djing. If I were you I'd get the 13" MBP. Just my 2 cents.
  7. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    there are SEVERAL reasons not to get the RMBP right now. and i highly doubt any dj software will get retina display update any time soon.
  8. dazmanuk macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    I have a HiRes (Non-Retina) MBP 2.3 i7, 16GB, 256GBSSD coming my way which I plan to do all of the things you have mentioned. It will definitely cope with the workload of live production / djing.

    Just beware of what controller you are using for Traktor (if any) as they're currently having USB3.0 problems (mid2012 model) at the moment and have no timescale for resolution.
  9. ivanpk, Jun 28, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012

    ivanpk macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2011
    Any mac on the market. I used a 5 year old Macbook and produced tracks with tons of plugins, 20-30 tracks going on at once, it wasn't always pretty and it would sometimes sputter but I did what needed to be done.. Any mac now I believe would handle Ableton/Logic/Reason/Cubase/any other DAW on the market just fine.

    Also, when it comes to gear, I recommend focusing on the production and mixing side first, before throwing money away at expensive gear, but that's just from personal experience. I couldn't afford any stuff like midi keyboards or drum pads or anything like that, and now that I can I only produce using my Macbook's trackpad - I just got used to using no other equipment and now it's much faster for me haha.
  10. Mac-Tech macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Hey I Dj as well and honestly a Mac Book Pro 15' is the best way to go you have more space on the screen to see everything. PLUS its alot more reliable then a Windows PC laptop. If you can lug around other dj equipment what is another 4lbs of Mac Book Pro late 2011. If you can afford the specs below I would go with it since you don't want a Retina Mac Book Pro.

    Mac Book Pro (Late 2011)
    *15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy (Hi-Res Glossy) 1440 by 900 pixels
    *2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
    *512GB Solid State Drive - YOU CAN UPGRADE THIS YOURSELF TO - 768GB
    *1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with GDDR5
    *SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    *Two USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt port, Audio line in, Audio line out, SDXC card slot, Kensington lock slot, FireWire 800 port, Gigabit Ethernet port
  11. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Not completely true. Third party SSDs are cheaper than Apple's upgrade costs for the non-retina. You can upgrade to 16GB of RAM in the non-retina (Apple doesn't even offer this). You can take out the optical drive and install a big hard drive INTERNALLY. So no carrying around an external drive (great for a video editor like me).

    Plus, add on the fact that the Retina MBP is a totally new design, susceptible to problems (already hearing things about image retention), the software isn't all up to date yet, etc. I'd rather use a perfect non-retina for two or three years while they work out the kinks in the Retina (and probably drop the price like they did with the Air).
  12. vshreyas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    humbled by all your responses.
    i selected my config but i still haven't bought it yet of the store.
    i chose the 15inch $2199 model running at 2.6ghz i7 quad core.

    the ram is at 8gb
    i changed the config of the hdd from 750gb at 5200rpm to 7200rpm
    and also the screen from the glossy widescreen display to hi-res antiglare widescreen display. the total cost came upto around $2349.

    now since i'll be giving a first hand in djing, does the difference of 0.3 ghz matter when it comes to producing & djing, i looked around the internet but everyone's uses seemed to be different, say for gaming, email etc..
    i could save some money and go for the 2.3ghz instead of the 2.6ghz.

    also does upgrading the ram void the warranty?
    apple doesn't support 16gb and apple's ram upgrades are terribly priced, so i'd rather do it myself instead.
    also a dumb question, should i change it to a ssd instead of the one at 750gb running at 7200rpm? but if I do, how am i supposed to install the drivers and the os, also wouldn't that void my warranty.

    hope this is answered soon, i'll be off to buy a MBP soon! :)
  13. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Either a 13" MBA or 15" MBP. While any Mac made in the past 5 years are fast enough for your needs, the screen resolution will make a difference. I owned both a 15" MBP and 13" MBP and trust me, the extra pixels make you more productive.

    I used Traktor, Ableton Live and Logic on both machines and the worst has been running Traktor in 4 deck mode with a 13" MBP. There's no space at all left to see your track list so you have to constantly toggle your view mode to see your tracks (thus losing sight of your decks) every time you want to find a song. If you have the money, I'd even suggest getting the high-res 15" MBP before investing on RAM/CPU/SSD upgrades that will do little to no difference in that kind of context. Screen real estate is what you need.
  14. yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    hi-res 15" MBP . DAWs can be incredibly frustrating if you don't have screen real estate. 13" is too small
  15. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    The RAM and HDD are user replaceable; they will not void your warranty. Instead of the 750GB 7200rpm, I'd get the stock one and replace it with an SSD, though I'd imagine you'll need a lot of space (for DJing), so keep in mind SSD prices for the higher capacities and weigh your options justifiably so. Installing your OS/drivers onto another drive will not void your warranty, there are many tools that will help you transfer your data, I would recommend Carbon Copy Cloner. The extra 0.3GHz will be an insignificant upgrade, so I'll vote against it.
  16. vshreyas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    i cant afford ssd. sadly. i'll stick to the normal hdd's instead.
    in my country either we dont have skilled technicians when though we run those back end customer service centers of many multinational companies (you know where im from now, don't u? ;))

    anyways, im just confused whether i should go for a 2.3ghz model with a 750gb hdd running at 7200rpm and upgrade the ram from the default 4gb to 16gb (corsair vengeance)
  17. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah, upgrade the RAM yourself, you'll need all you can get. As for the hard drive, I'm not sure how much Apple is charging these days for the upgrade, if it's anything like their RAM then you'd be better off doing it yourself.

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