#1
Hi,

I've been wanting to build a recording studio for a while now, and was wondering if a 2006 black MacBook running os x 10.6 snow leopard would be a good choice. I'd have to buy a whole bunch of other stuff to make it a legit recording studio, but would it be a good choice for a basic mobile studio?

the specs:
Intel core duo 2.0 ghz
320 gb hard drive
1 gb of ram

I'm planning on buying the basic version of reaper for this for $60 bucks, and doing some basic video editing aswell, which would require a copy of iLife.

Just wanting to know if this is a powerful enough rig for basic recording. I realise I need to also buy studio monitors and other stuff, but just pointing this out there. I have the oppurtunity to get this mac for free basically in turn for my current laptop.

also was wondering how much studio monitors, audio interface, etc. I'm new to this, so I just want to record basic stuff, so I don't need ultra expensive stuff I'll never be able to use.
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Ibanez RGA32-TYF
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Last edited by chord masta' at Nov 21, 2011,
#2
I used logic on my old macbook which is basically the same I recorded 12 ch's at once for a live recording with no hiccups. You should be fine. But get an external hard drive! You don't want your songs disappearing due to no backup drive. Time machine is your friend!
#3
That's absolutely fine.

I strongly recommend something else since Apple stuff is extremely overpriced. You get get literally three times more power for the same money. What's your current laptop?

Personally, I'd suggest building or ordering a custom desktop PC, does it have to be a laptop?
#4
Thanks, compugeek, I think I will go for the macbook. Have you ever used reaper, by chance, and how much does logice cost?

Quote by kyle62
That's absolutely fine.

I strongly recommend something else since Apple stuff is extremely overpriced. You get get literally three times more power for the same money. What's your current laptop?

Personally, I'd suggest building or ordering a custom desktop PC, does it have to be a laptop?


Current laptop is pretty much the same, 2.0 ghz core 2 duo, only it has 3 gigs instead of 1gb of ram.

And yeah, it has to be a laptop, seeing as I want to move it from my studio (in a shed) to my house.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
Last edited by chord masta' at Nov 21, 2011,
#5
^You may want to upgrade the ram on your macbook since Snow leopard isn't exactly snappy. I've got a macbook 2009 with 4gb of ram and it does the job pretty well.

Check on apple's site for the specific model to know how much ram you can put on it.
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#6
Quote by Ostinattos
^You may want to upgrade the ram on your macbook since Snow leopard isn't exactly snappy. I've got a macbook 2009 with 4gb of ram and it does the job pretty well.

Check on apple's site for the specific model to know how much ram you can put on it.


I'd definitely upgrade the ram, but I think 2 gigs is the max.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
#7
Basically, the specs on an older macbook like that is going to be similar to a 2008 PC. If you can find more ram for it, you'd be set.
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#8
Quote by chord masta'
Current laptop is pretty much the same, 2.0 ghz core 2 duo, only it has 3 gigs instead of 1gb of ram.

Don't waste your time unless you really like Apple. If you like OSX then it might be worthwhile, certainly the build quality of Macbook is good.
Personally I think it's a dumb move...less customisation, less compatibility with hardware and software, and considerably less RAM.
#9
Quote by kyle62
Don't waste your time unless you really like Apple. If you like OSX then it might be worthwhile, certainly the build quality of Macbook is good.
Personally I think it's a dumb move...less customisation, less compatibility with hardware and software, and considerably less RAM.


Especially if your going to be using Reaper. I personally want a macbook 'cause I'm a logicwh0re. Reaper works fine on windows, and so getting a powerful windows laptop for a cheaper price would be great I'm sure.
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#10
Yeah, but my laptop is maxed at 3 gigs ATM, and I've never really thought of upgrading it.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
#11
As an Apple user for years I can assure you - it'll work great. Apples cost more in the same way a Lexus cost more than a KIA. You get what you pay for and every Apple owner I know would tell you the same thing. Most people who blast Apple don't own one. I have Macs and Windows PC's too and my Apple stuff I prize dearly.
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
Last edited by strangedogs at Nov 22, 2011,
#12
Alright, but the thing I'm concerned about is that it's core duo, not core 2 duo, sO in 2 years, it'll be petty much unusable :/.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
Last edited by chord masta' at Nov 22, 2011,
#13
Quote by chord masta'
Yeah, but my laptop is maxed at 3 gigs ATM, and I've never really thought of upgrading it.

3GB of RAM is plenty!

Even using a full orchestra VST along with a huge 500MB sampled drum kit and several tracks of audio I'm rarely using more than 2gb or so of RAM with Sonar.


The weakest link in your current laptop is going to be either the processor, or the hard drive (it probably spins at 5400RPM, which is very slow for audio etc).
However on most laptops changing the hard drive is a very simple process. Changing the processor is simple enough too if you know what you're doing and make sure the motherboard is compatible first.


Incidentally, I think the older Macbooks shipped with 4200RPM hard drives, which is incredibly slow and something you really don't want on a recording PC.
Also, you said the Macbook has a Core Duo - these are 32-bit processors which means you could never use more than 3GB of RAM anyway.....so all in all, even after several expensive upgrades it'll be a worse machine than the one you currently have. The only reason I can see to get one is for the bling factor.
#14
Nah, they were 5400 rPm

And the hard drive was upgraded to 7200 rpm

And in 2 years, I will buy a newer Mac for the job.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
#15
Quote by chord masta'
Nah, they were 5400 rPm

And the hard drive was upgraded to 7200 rpm

And in 2 years, I will buy a newer Mac for the job.

Why not just save the money you'd spend on this second hand laptop, and buy a new one in 1 year instead of 2?
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#16
If your HD is 7200 then all I would worry about is a secondary HD for backing up to. As was said above Time Machine is your friend.
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#17
Quote by Valrys
Why not just save the money you'd spend on this second hand laptop, and buy a new one in 1 year instead of 2?


Well, I want to start recording stuff now, rather than in a year, and in a year my laptop will probably not have any value (or much value). I've already tried recording stuff with my laptop that I own right now, and it resulted in a BSOD
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Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
#18
Quote by chord masta'
Well, I want to start recording stuff now, rather than in a year, and in a year my laptop will probably not have any value (or much value). I've already tried recording stuff with my laptop that I own right now, and it resulted in a BSOD

Well, there's no inherent reason why Windows should BSOD when recording audio/using a DAW. Sounds like a reformat/reinstall and a driver update might do you some good, perhaps.

And there is really no point splashing out on a second hand Mac that has worse specs than your current laptop. Save up for a little longer and buy a slightly better one. Maybe try and get a 2008-onwards Macbook Pro. I've got one, bought second hand from ebay, (although it lacks firewire) and it worked great when hooked up with my Tascam US1641 for portable recording, while not breaking that bank
Quote by TheBurningFish
"OH GOD OH GOD MUM MUM I PISSED MILK OH MY GOD OH MY GOD "

Something like that. All the while, his pants are still about his ankles and his semi erect sausage drips on the carpet as he runs around like a headless chicken...
Last edited by Valrys at Nov 22, 2011,
#19
Quote by Valrys
Well, there's no inherent reason why Windows should BSOD when recording audio/using a DAW. Sounds like a reformat/reinstall and a driver update might do you some good, perhaps.

And there is really no point splashing out on a second hand Mac that has worse specs than your current laptop. Save up for a little longer and buy a slightly better one. Maybe try and get a 2008-onwards Macbook Pro. I've got one, bought second hand from ebay, (although it lacks firewire) and it worked great when hooked up with my Tascam US1641 for portable recording, while not breaking that bank

Alright, I might take your advice.

I don't know though, the macbooks are plenty powerful enough for me (sometimes more powerful then the macbook pros), so I think I'll spend it on a higher end used macbook.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
#20
Quote by chord masta'
Alright, I might take your advice.

I don't know though, the macbooks are plenty powerful enough for me (sometimes more powerful then the macbook pros), so I think I'll spend it on a higher end used macbook.
I just don't see the point.

-If you need power, Apple is the worst choice since it's inherently expensive.
- If you need maximum stability or a virus-proof operating system, almost anything will run in Ubuntu (through Wine).
- If you need flexibility with hardware/software, Windows is the winner by a mile. A lot of VST plugins won't even work on Mac.

I must be clear that although I'm not a fan of Apple stuff, I'm not a 'hater' - I totally understand why a lot of people dig Apple. But why anyone would choose one for a recording studio is totally beyond my comprehension.


My advice: dual boot TinyXP on your current laptop alongside whatever OS you have now (I'm guessing Vista? Urgh). TinyXp is a stripped-down, high performance operating system which you can use only for recording, and avoid connecting it to the internet if possible. You'll have two PCs in one - an everyday laptop for browsing, games etc, and a stable, stripped-down recording suite.

Either way, I strongly recommend a fresh install of whatever operating system you go with - if your current laptop has been in use for a while it'll probably have all sorts of bugs and crap clogging it up, which would explain you getting BSODs.
Last edited by kyle62 at Nov 22, 2011,
#21
Quote by kyle62
I just don't see the point.

-If you need power, Apple is the worst choice since it's inherently expensive.
- If you need maximum stability or a virus-proof operating system, almost anything will run in Ubuntu (through Wine).
- If you need flexibility with hardware/software, Windows is the winner by a mile. A lot of VST plugins won't even work on Mac.

I must be clear that although I'm not a fan of Apple stuff, I'm not a 'hater' - I totally understand why a lot of people dig Apple. But why anyone would choose one for a recording studio is totally beyond my comprehension.


My advice: dual boot TinyXP on your current laptop alongside whatever OS you have now (I'm guessing Vista? Urgh). TinyXp is a stripped-down, high performance operating system which you can use only for recording, and avoid connecting it to the internet if possible. You'll have two PCs in one - an everyday laptop for browsing, games etc, and a stable, stripped-down recording suite.

Either way, I strongly recommend a fresh install of whatever operating system you go with - if your current laptop has been in use for a while it'll probably have all sorts of bugs and crap clogging it up, which would explain you getting BSODs.



The reason why I want to get a macbook for this is also for web development and graphic design. I do a lot of it, and apparently mac is the best choice for that department. I've used windows for my graphic design and stuff, and it's perfectly fine, but I just love how mac os x runs. It just works.

But I can't run multiple operating systems on my laptop because it only has an 80GB hard drive. I'm not really trying to get the most professional sound, either, but whatever lol.

I'm going to look into pcs a bit too. I like mac os x, but I can put up with windows 7 if I have to for my studio.

And my laptop currently has Windows 7, used to have Ubuntu on it as well, and it didn't really work that well. I could always upgrade the hard drive though...
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel
#22
Quote by chord masta'
The reason why I want to get a macbook for this is also for web development and graphic design. I do a lot of it, and apparently mac is the best choice for that department. But I can't run multiple operating systems on my laptop because it only has an 80GB hard drive. I'm not really trying to get the most professional sound, either, but whatever lol.

I don't know, make a 4GB partition for the extra operating system and that's far more than enough if you don't go mad with virtual instruments. You can still store all the project audio etc on your main partition).

I've done web development and graphic design freelance for about 5 years and not once have I thought 'wow, this would be so much easier/faster/better on shiny, overpriced hardware running a user-friendly Unix-based system'. If the workflow on OSX works for you then sure, but there's no killer feature that gives it a magic advantage for creativity.
#23
Yeah, true enough. Maybe I'll just get a larger 7200 rpm hard drive for my laptop.
Guitars:

Ibanez RGA32-TYF
Harmony Rocket H53

Amps:

Orange Crush PiX CR35DLX

My youtube cannel