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Old 01-15-2014, 02:14 PM   #1
Bransonf
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Macbook Pro for recording?

Hey Guys,
Im looking to buy a Macbook pro for recording. Do you guys have any suggestions on what one to get? Im looking to spend about $1k on it.
Do you any of you use a Macbook to record, if so, what Mac do you have and how is the quality? Do you recommend it?

Also, what programs do you use? Ive heard great things about Garage Band...

Thanks guys,

Branson
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
MatrixClaw
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What exactly do you want to do with it?

Do you already have a recording interface?

The Macbook Pro is a great recording computer, but you need something to record into... Garageband is okay, but far from the best. If you're looking to buy this computer purely for recording purposes and are just beginning/have no intention of doing any extensive graphics/video/etc. work, then I'd sway you in the way of a Windows computer, as you're going to get much more bang for your buck, and have a lot of money left over to buy a nice interface and microphones.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
What exactly do you want to do with it?

Do you already have a recording interface?

The Macbook Pro is a great recording computer, but you need something to record into... Garageband is okay, but far from the best. If you're looking to buy this computer purely for recording purposes and are just beginning/have no intention of doing any extensive graphics/video/etc. work, then I'd sway you in the way of a Windows computer, as you're going to get much more bang for your buck, and have a lot of money left over to buy a nice interface and microphones.


I have a recording device at my house. I cant believe I am blanking on the name. Umm. Damn. Its a red box, and you can record up to like 6 tracks at a time. I wanna say "MR" something ha.
Other than that, I have nothing. I take guitar lessons and my teacher (Dave Nassie of No Use for a Name, Cool brag haha) said he does most of his recording through his Mac. He said he uses garage band and other programs that have drums tracks already recorded and he just records over the top of them....
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:10 PM   #4
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Thing is, even the most basic Pro is more than 1k :P

If I were to buy a Mac I'd buy the 2.6gHz i7 Mini and use the remaining $100 to buy 2x8GB ram banks - it just uses normal laptop ram, 1888mHz IIRC.
That would be about $1k.
Then you need a monitor, but I think that's a far better deal than any MacBook Pro.

If I were you I'd save a bit more money and get a mac, but as Matrix said, unless you had more than 1k to get a computer setup (mini + monitor or book pro) or you particularly prefer Mac OS over windows, or you need a mac for some other stuff, I'd get some windows computer.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
Artemis Entreri
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I'd definitely push you towards the mini as well. I have a lot of issues with windows computers for audio. They work well enough but I swear to god I have to restart mine every 1-3 hours or so. It's really annoying to tell clients who are in the middle of a creative streak "hey, protools is having memory issues, give me 15 minutes to restart the system kthx." We're upgrading to a mac pro soon.

I have a macbook which cost me ~3 grand and it's perfect. 2.9 quad core, 16 GB ram, 500GB SSD, etc. The works. It laughs in the fact of 60+ tracks with full effects. That being said, it cost me ~3 grand. You can get equivalent power in an affordable package with the iMac and similar power in a compact package with a mac mini. Especially if you already have the peripherals like a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

As for your DAW....GB is solid, I used it for a long time before upgrading to Logic on my laptop. I still prefer pro tools as that's what I use in the studio but Logic is very solid for a $200 app store download. A lot of people like Reaper, as do I. I think that could be a good place to start on a budget but Garageband is definitely good enough.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
I'd definitely push you towards the mini as well. I have a lot of issues with windows computers for audio. They work well enough but I swear to god I have to restart mine every 1-3 hours or so. It's really annoying to tell clients who are in the middle of a creative streak "hey, protools is having memory issues, give me 15 minutes to restart the system kthx." We're upgrading to a mac pro soon.

Honestly, this has got to be some weird issue with whatever you're running (hardware and software), cause my studio computer runs Windows and kills every Mac I've used in raw power and is easily as stable. In fact, I actually built it for the purpose of being a Hackintosh, but after running it with Windows for about a month, I decided it wasn't worth the hassle.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #7
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I do just want to restate that the quality between recording on a mac and pc is pretty much identical. One isn't really BETTER than the other, it's just preference.

That being said if you want a mac I'm not going to tell you not to buy one, if you see what I mean. Just be sure that you really really want one before you sink the money into one. The markup on those things is huge!
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:35 PM   #8
Artemis Entreri
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Yeah, no body is going to ask "oh that sounds great! What computer did you record that on!?" That's why we've been rocking this same computer for years. It's a pain but it works ad isn't audibly different.

Also to matrix. It's a. Win Xp computer built by sweewater so it SHOULD be fine. We also run PTHD 8 so there shouldn't be any issues there either. That being said, it's also 7 years old so I might be expecting too much.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:51 PM   #9
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Is there any particular reason you want the Macbook over the iMac or Mac Mini? If you're not going to be recording on location very much, you'll get much more bang for your buck getting a desktop model with more processing power. Don't stress too much about RAM, 8GB is enough. If you have money to upgrade above that get a better processor!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
Also to matrix. It's a. Win Xp computer built by sweewater so it SHOULD be fine. We also run PTHD 8 so there shouldn't be any issues there either. That being said, it's also 7 years old so I might be expecting too much.

If you're running a Macbook Pro with the specs you listed, yes, I'm completely certain you're expecting too much. A 7 year old computer, running a deprecated version of Windows, can't even hold a candle to what you could buy for $250 today
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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Don't the Mac Minis only have 5400 rpm hard drives?

That would be an issue, I expect, that would significantly hamper track count.

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Old 01-16-2014, 12:33 AM   #12
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If you were to track, mix, and master the same session twice on a Mac and Windows PC you would end up with two identical tracks irrespective of the OS they were recorded on. Mac vs Windows is purely a personal preference (or a decision made by OS exclusive software like Logic). I used to use a macbook to record while I was in school, I now use my Samsung Series 5 ultrabook and I can't even tell the difference (right down to the limitations of track count and whatnont).

At $1000 I wouldn't be looking at a Mac though, because at that price range you're looking at a fairly low end Mac whereas if you go Windows then you're looking closer to the middle of the range.

Also I think you're right Chris, IIRC Mac Minis are basically laptops in a small desktop enclosure which would make 5400RPM quite likely.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
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^ stock minis come with 256GB SSDs or 1/2TB 5400rpm hard drives, but they well support 7200rpm ones IIRC.
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