Jump to content

Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021


Prem Nath
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings. Seeking advice. Need to get a second machine as I am stuck outside of where I live. Will be running the latest Logic on it. Am not one of those ultra heavy users but I want to be able to add a few plugins here and there. And maybe 10-15 tracks. Won’t run anything else while using Logic. Can also disable any power sucking eye candy or anything else that helps. Budget-wise I am considering 2017 MacBook Air but I am nervous it will be too little. The other option is a MacBook Air 2018 but I am told I’d be paying too much for what is a minor / irrelevant upgrade on the 2017 model. Would rather avoid second hand. Any recommendations? Would love to hear from people using these or other older machines. Thanks! Edited by Prem Nath
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me I would buy a new M1 Chip Apple device. Either the Air, MacBook Pro or the Mac Mini.

 

If I were not able to afford it right now, I would keep saving my money until I could.

 

These are next generation devices that are 3x more efficient than anything the comes before. They also match the performance of devices that cost more than twice the price.

 

Regards

 

Rodney

Logic Pro X 10.6.2, Mac Mini M1 16GB RAM, RME UCX, RME ADI-2 DAC.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm waiting for the new (M1X) MBP's...

 

If I've been a good boy, the rumours wil be wrong and we'll get new ones around spring time.

Otherwise, they'll come late summer and my current machine might have melted by then...

mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[caveat emptor here — I'm a relative newbie to all of this, so... probably listen to David]

 

This is an interesting conversation — I had only just looked at David's setup and was shocked to realize that he's running the current LPX on a 2013 i5-based machine! :shock: I'm a professional designer, so I have the "luxury" of already requiring a much stronger Mac, but even with my "baby LPX projects" (I just started with it a few months ago) I occasionally hit playback snags. I think that just demonstrates how someone with David's expertise knows how to avoid *needing* more computing power.

 

Anyway, I'm mainly just chiming in to extoll the benefits of the Retina screen. I'm totally biased, being a visual designer who really relies on it, but even in LPX I can't imagine "not caring" if I have the option — the UI just looks so much more crisp at that resolution, and tiny details like the Mixer level numbers are a lot easier to read.

 

I'll also throw in that if you're going to put anything on an SSD, I would think it would be the project files instead of the Logic libraries. I actually run the latter on a traditional HD to save space on my SS memory — it takes several seconds to open the project, and flipping through software instruments can be a bit annoying, but I'd rather have the performance disk devoted to project playback. [Edit: but you can always copy the Logic files for just the project you're working on to your SSD as well]

 

Sorry, one last thing: I've been a professional designer for over two decades and have never bought a new Mac. Yes, used computers are a risk in theory, but I've had lots of them and have really never had a dud. I do recommend eBay over Craigslist since you can see the seller's rating and have some (maybe) recompense available if the seller has screwed you over.

 

Okay, now I'm done. :)

________________________

whit the sh*t · a.k.a. JGWR

guitarist · drummer · singer/songwriter · SoundCloud ›

 

LPX 10.6 • 2016 MBP/16GB/2.9Ghz • Novation Impulse 49 • Yamaha DTXpress + M-Audio MIDIsport 1x1 • ATR2100-USB mic

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@whitfield thanks for the reply.

- For me the library thing is also about less space on my hard disk. Is there any reason you are suggesting not adding them on an ssd. General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.

- Don’t know what the screen was like on the 2017 machine but will check it out. My current purchase is a bit of an experiment so I am really keen to save. Which machine do you have currently.

- I like the idea of buying second hand but I’m a bit wary that someone might sell me a machine that’s been through a lot of work. Also, the Indian second hand market is not as well organised as the one in the US I think.

- I’m as pleasantly shocked about David’s machine and would love to know if he has any tricks up his sleeve that makes older machines rock. Also wondering why he is preferring the 2017 over the 2018. Maybe it’s because of the USB ports?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cheapest alternative in a macbook is the new M1 Air. The CPU is the same, one less GPU core, but no fan. From what you describe, it would handle what you want to do with ease. I have one of the new Minis. Basic model, 8 gb RAM. It almost makes the computer in my signature seem sluggish, in fact scratch the 'almost.' The MB Air is under $1000 afaik.

2020 M1 Mini (16gb/1tb), macOS 11.6.8, Logic 10.6.3; RME FF802, Novation 61SL Mk II. Martins and Fenders and Guilds, oh my!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason I suggested the 2017 is for the arguments you yourself pointed out: it's a second machine, you have other financial worries, and the 2017 Mac will be WAY enough anyway to accomplish the tasks you need it for.

 

Not sure what is shocking about my 2013 MBA performing the way it does. No tricks involved. You don't need the latest and newest Mac to produce music with Logic!

My new Logic Pro Book is out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- For me the library thing is also about less space on my hard disk. Is there any reason you are suggesting not adding them on an ssd. General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.

I can see that, and if you can feasibly put both on the SSD then I think this question is moot. I'm just suggesting that having your project files on the SSD is probably advantageous for playback/processing.

 

- Don’t know what the screen was like on the 2017 machine but will check it out. My current purchase is a bit of an experiment so I am really keen to save. Which machine do you have currently.

Funny, I wasn't even thinking about the fact that both of the machines you're talking about are newer than mine — it's a 2016 MBP (see signature). As such, I would think both of them would necessarily have the Retina screen, but maybe I'm wrong?

 

- I like the idea of buying second hand but I’m a bit wary that someone might sell me a machine that’s been through a lot of work. Also, the Indian second hand market is not as well organised as the one in the US I think.

Ah, that makes sense, I didn't consider that aspect of the situation. Do you have eBay there? If so, maybe you could buy from outside of India. But I understand why you might want to avoid taking a chance with that.

 

- I’m as pleasantly shocked about David’s machine and would love to know if he has any tricks up his sleeve that makes older machines rock. Also wondering why he is preferring the 2017 over the 2018. Maybe it’s because of the USB ports?

I can confirm that having an all-USB-C computer is annoying. :)

________________________

whit the sh*t · a.k.a. JGWR

guitarist · drummer · singer/songwriter · SoundCloud ›

 

LPX 10.6 • 2016 MBP/16GB/2.9Ghz • Novation Impulse 49 • Yamaha DTXpress + M-Audio MIDIsport 1x1 • ATR2100-USB mic

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- For me the library thing is also about less space on my hard disk. Is there any reason you are suggesting not adding them on an ssd. General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.

I can see that, and if you can feasibly put both on the SSD then I think this question is moot. I'm just suggesting that having your project files on the SSD is probably advantageous for playback/processing.

 

Never considered that. Will try it sometime.

 

- Don’t know what the screen was like on the 2017 machine but will check it out. My current purchase is a bit of an experiment so I am really keen to save. Which machine do you have currently.

Funny, I wasn't even thinking about the fact that both of the machines you're talking about are newer than mine — it's a 2016 MBP (see signature). As such, I would think both of them would necessarily have the Retina screen, but maybe I'm wrong?

 

I’m pretty sure the big update in the 2018 Air was the retina screen.

 

- I like the idea of buying second hand but I’m a bit wary that someone might sell me a machine that’s been through a lot of work. Also, the Indian second hand market is not as well organised as the one in the US I think.

Ah, that makes sense, I didn't consider that aspect of the situation. Do you have eBay there? If so, maybe you could buy from outside of India. But I understand why you might want to avoid taking a chance with that.

 

Might be worth a shot. The second market for these kind of gadgets is bound to evolve sometime here.

 

- I’m as pleasantly shocked about David’s machine and would love to know if he has any tricks up his sleeve that makes older machines rock. Also wondering why he is preferring the 2017 over the 2018. Maybe it’s because of the USB ports?

I can confirm that having an all-USB-C computer is annoying. :)

I can imagine. It’s okay on a desktop but on a laptop it might be a little,painful. Edited by Prem Nath
Link to comment
Share on other sites

General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.

I suppose by "General wisdom" you mean "people on the internet"? Whoever you mean, I disagree with them. The more you tinker with things as they are meant to be, the more trouble you're in for. Take that from someone who's spent the better part of the last 25 years tinkering with things for a living. ;)

My new Logic Pro Book is out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool. My general idea is, either you're not going full on and then there's no point spending a bit more to get a bit more, or you're going full on and you get the latest and bestest. Although even then I normally recommend one gets the least expensive of the newest model, unless there's a reasonable business decision behind getting the faster model. Such as, for example, if you're a commercial studio, making for example $2,500 a day, and a machine that is 10% faster will mean $100 more a day, then it's worth spending $2,000 more for that machine because it will pay for itself in the next 20 to 30 days (assuming a few down days).

 

But for a home studio, that's not the reasonable way to think.

My new Logic Pro Book is out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.

I suppose by "General wisdom" you mean "people on the internet"? Whoever you mean, I disagree with them. The more you tinker with things as they are meant to be, the more trouble you're in for. Take that from someone who's spent the better part of the last 25 years tinkering with things for a living. ;)

 

No debate there :) although I have no choice but to move my Logic libraries to an external SSD as the machine I am considering only has 128 Gb. Is that a bad idea in your well weathered view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool. My general idea is, either you're not going full on and then there's no point spending a bit more to get a bit more, or you're going full on and you get the latest and bestest. Although even then I normally recommend one gets the least expensive of the newest model, unless there's a reasonable business decision behind getting the faster model. Such as, for example, if you're a commercial studio, making for example $2,500 a day, and a machine that is 10% faster will mean $100 more a day, then it's worth spending $2,000 more for that machine because it will pay for itself in the next 20 to 30 days (assuming a few down days).

 

But for a home studio, that's not the reasonable way to think.

 

Yes that makes a lot of sense as a way of looking at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, if you have no choice (like in that case of an internal 128 GB drive), then there's nothing wrong with doing it. That's what I'm doing here. But you'll have to suffer the consequences (constantly having to make sure the drive is connected when you boot up Logic, etc.....).

 

Yes quite so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a "price/how many months" kind of person. I decide how many months I am willing to use my machine, then divide the price of the machine by the number of months. My tricked out M1 MBA (16/1TB) is 1700/48 = $36 per month, or approximately $1.20 per day (1 quarter of a coffee). A 1200/48 machine is $.83 per day - but my point is - the cost of the machine spread out over 48 months is something less than $2 per day.

 

Decide what your budget can absorb over the next 3-4 years, and plan accordingly. Expect to replace your machine every 3-4 years as well.

 

Saving $500 on a system works out to about 35 cents a day. Hmmm.

Logic Pro X 10.6.3, Logic Pro 10.7.0 - OS X 10.15.7, macOS 12.0.1 - iMac19,1 27" - 3.6 GHz Intel 8 Core i9 - 40GB memory - - MacBook Pro M1Pro 14" - 16GB memory - 10 core - 16 GPU - 1TB SSD) - Behringer XR18 - iPad Air (4th gen) - LaunchKey 37 mk3 - LaunchPad X - ioStation 24c - Logic Pro Command of the Day

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...