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MacBook Pro for Live Performance and Studio


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hi everyone!

 

i've been searching the forum for a while, call me dumb if i missed what i was looking for... i think about purchasing a macbook pro with logic 8 for recording and live performance. i have done 9 albums with my old logic 5.5 on a pc and decided to call it time for a change. for the live performance i would like to be able to run a couple of fairly demanding synthesizers like the N/I Electronic Instruments 2 XT, while for recording, it should at least be possible to edit a drum computer plus 4-5 synth tracks along with 2-3 guitar/bass tracks and at least 2 vocal tracks. the recording part is not absolutely necessary, as i have access to a studio where i can use a big mac, it would jsut be very convenient if i didn't have to drive 100 km everytime an idea comes to mind :). now, for my questions:

 

- how big is the difference performancewise between the 2.4 ghz and 2.5 ghz macbook pro variant? they have different processor caches as far as i understand, right? is the performance increase of the 2,5 ghz version over the smaller one big? or can one work with the smaller version as well?

 

- i would certainly go for the faster hard disk drive (7200rpm), i guess that helps a lot, right?

 

- 2 gb or 4 gb? i know, the more, the better, but what is necessary for medium synth performance while editing 5-6 audio tracks as well?

 

in short, it'd be awesome to hear some people speak about their experiences with the macooks, that do not only midi, but also some audio editing and recording. a general discussion of the influence of processor cache, memory, hard disk speed and all that on logic would be interesting for many people, not just me, i guess... so, please, musicians out there, share your experiences! thanks in advance!

 

jaspeR

 

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ok, i feel some more information might be helpful :)...

 

my employer will pay for the macbook, as long as it doesn't exceed 1800 euros, which is 2800 usd at the moment, also, i reside in the us at the moment, so for a european it is a convenient time to buy a new macbook. 7200 rpm go without saying, for the audio interface i think about m-audio (have worked with their products a lot so far). the central question is: how far can i drive the capabilities of my system with 2800 usd to spend (excluding audio interface and all that?) if you guys tell me that the 2.4 ghz with small processor cache are sufficient for all my plans, i'll go with that and stick in the money for 4 gb of memory. if the processor cache makes a huge difference, i even think about letting my employer buy the 2.5 ghz with 2 gb ram and upgrade to 4 gb by myself. i hope that clarifys my cause. thanks in advance for advice,

 

jaspeR

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You won't notice the difference between the 2.4 and the 2.5.

 

It's always cheapest to buy the MacBook Pro in stock form, then do the upgrades yourself. You can get good RAM from Newegg.com or Crucial.com for a lot less, then you can sell the 2 GB that came with it.

 

A lot of M-Audio stuff works poorly with OS X Leopard. I would look elsewhere. My Firewire Solo always stops playing sound for no reason, and I have to go into System Prefs and fiddle with it about once an hour. This is a "known issue" that M-Audio hasn't fixed in many months- the fiddling with the sample rate to get it to work is actually their official solution.

 

I don't think the speed of the hard drive matters much for music. You're loading samples into RAM and hopefully not using the drive. (like DFD with NI instruments if you're low on RAM) All laptop drives are slow compared to desktop drives too. Check out reviews at sites like anandtech.com or barefeats.com when choosing a drive.

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thanks you guys! very valuable information indeed!

 

i checked the refurb site, and - tataa - 2.6 ghz with fast hard drive for little money. i will upgrade to 4 gb ram myself, as you adviced, after reading around in the forum i guess i will give motu a shot instead of m-audio. thanks again.

 

jaspeR

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short update: apple.com does not bill to europe, which makes it useless for me. i found an amazon.com offer that is fine, namely the 2.5 ghz macbook pro, with 2 gb ram and 250 gb 5400 rpm drive. i will now go to owc (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/DDR2/#hds) to purchase necessary hardware updates there. my question now (found multiple statements in the forum):

 

- 4 gb ram go without saying, but is the upgrade to a 7200 rpm hard drive worth its money?

 

- i want to record and mix massive audio projects if possible (> 20 audio tracks), but for that i will use an external firewire disk. it'd be convenient, though, to do live synths without an external hard drive. does the hard disk speed severely influence the performance of pure midi?

 

- some people say, that the overall logic performance increases seriously with a faster disk. what are your experiences?

 

- do the 7200 rpm hard drives (seagate is best, i suppose) have overheating issues?

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