Which MacBook to use for audio?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thegrapeguy, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. thegrapeguy macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2012
    First post here! I do music recording in Logic Pro 9 and use additional software for Grand Pianos, Plug Ins, etc. For instance my studio is based around an IMAC 27" 3.4Ghz, 256 SSD and 2TB Hard Drive and 16GB RAM. The 2 TB Drive is for the software samples and Logic Audio files. The SSD is for the OS and boot up of the apps...

    My questions are should I get say the newest 2.4Ghz 15" MacBook with a big SSD and do one of those "surgeries" where I get a 2nd Drive and put in the optical bay? I was thinking maybe the biggest Solid State Drive (500GB) for the main drive, a 1TB Drive for the 2nd Drive, 16 GB RAM (x2 8GB chips)...

    But that sort of voids the warranty a bit but does what I'd like it to do. Makes it portable too, don't always have to bring an external portable drive to "location" recording.

    I guess my biggest concern is the dreaded "fan noise" problem. I do a lot of recording right in close proximity to the computer and fan noise would be very bad. Is there any configuration where I could have moderate noise instead of fans going crazy. Someone said MacBook Airs don't have the same issues as the MacBook Pros do but there's less connectivity...

    Should I look for late '11 macBooks? The deals are on the early '11 MacBooks now. Do I go with the 17" bigger processor maybe less fan issue? Smaller 13"? Thanks...
  2. grrrz macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2012
    On the 13", I get most problem with fan noise from the GPU when I have an external monitor + the internal (temp goes up to 80-90, fan screams). no problem if you keep only either one of them. It happens mostly in ableton live (it's from drawing the special interface I suppose), haven't had any fan noise with protools 9, one or two monitors, on a medium session.
    Also of course if you open a heavy session using 70% or more of the proc, the noise will probably spin faster, there's no way around it on any laptop. But you need to use a lot of plugs ins to get there. I don't use Logic so I don't kno how it acts. So for standalone recording, you shouldn't have any noise issue.
    In term of power the 13" is plenty anyway. And putting your samples Library for heavy sampler that streams from disk on the SSD works far better than on a HD, for the grand piano it's really ultra responsive.

    my topic about the fan and snd monitor issue here:
    here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1330789

    the Air lacks ram upgrade possibility, firewire (for sound interface), and the ability to get SSD+HDD configuration. ANd of course is less powerful.
    Maybe for very light on the field recording it can be an interesting option
    (but a laptop is never ideal in this situation)
    HDD makes a very small noise (default Apple in optibay, it probably depends), but if you unmount it and leave only the ssd and your fan is at default speed, it's completely silent.

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