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Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 16, 2022 09:44AM
Nephew wants to run Logic "with potentially several plugins" and is looking at an M1

[www.bhphotovideo.com]

??

He bought one with 8GB from Costco but might return it.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: clay
Date: June 16, 2022 10:12AM
Probably fine with a base M1 for that purpose. Does your nephew do this professionally? If the answer is yes, I might push him to a 16gb model instead.

I have been doing audio and video work professionally on my base (8gb/256gb) M1 Mini for the past year and a half, and while it has been totally acceptable, I find myself getting into situations where I'm trying to work in both FCPX and in my DAW simultaneously, and memory pages out a good bit, introducing lagginess. When I'm in one of the apps at a time, it's totally fine, and things are smooth as butter. But I kind of have to manage my usage so it is workable.

The other consideration is that since Logic is an Apple app, it may well be better-suited for the base M1 with 8gb RAM than some 3rd party apps. If money is a concern, just grab one of the $500-$600 base M1 Air's that seem to be all over the place on Craigslist/FB Marketplace/ebay and use that for a bit. If it ends up that he'd be better served with a 16gb model, sell it for a minimal loss and get a 16gb model.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: Acer
Date: June 16, 2022 10:23AM
Probably want a scratch drive, too, while you are shopping.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: kj
Date: June 16, 2022 06:58PM
I wouldn't be able to plug anything I need into a Macbook Air. I ended up buying a early 2015 Macbook Pro since it has all the ports I could use. I don't know how a hub would work on the Macbook air, but I'm nuts about latency, so I know it wouldn't work for me. His mmv. I can see for more "modern" music, there may be no need to input or output anything really. Bluetooth midi controller and headphone out might do the job.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: kj
Date: June 16, 2022 06:59PM
Quote
Acer
Probably want a scratch drive, too, while you are shopping.

If he sticks to midi, he probably wouldn't need it, but if he's going to do much audio he will.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: June 16, 2022 07:19PM
Processor speed and hardware driver are in play for latency, so a new computer is better.
Pros hang onto their hardware way too much…
If he’s fine with modern software, the new machine is better.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 16, 2022 09:12PM
I'd forgotten about the Air, and that's my Mac, the first M1 Air. With a good dongle or whatever its 2 USB mega whatever ports should be OK.

These things are now only $500/$600 used?? Yikes. Next thing you'll tell me is that my Late 2013 MBP isn't worth anything (don't answer that.)
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: August West
Date: June 16, 2022 09:40PM
Quote

Pros hang onto their hardware way too much…

If it ain't broke...

Only mess with a money making system if the change will make you more money.



“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in."
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: ArtP
Date: June 17, 2022 01:16AM
Quote
August West
Quote

Pros hang onto their hardware way too much…

If it ain't broke...

Only mess with a money making system if the change will make you more money.

Surprisingly accurate.

Many music pros will wait 2 or 3 OS versions or more before upgrading. If the older machine is working, why open the door to problems
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: kj
Date: June 17, 2022 12:14PM
Quote
ArtP
Quote
August West
Quote

Pros hang onto their hardware way too much…

If it ain't broke...

Only mess with a money making system if the change will make you more money.

Surprisingly accurate.

Many music pros will wait 2 or 3 OS versions or more before upgrading. If the older machine is working, why open the door to problems

No doubt. Tell me which new interface has better latency and reliability than my 10 yr. old RME interface? Newer isn't necessarily better. I had a Motu for years that I thought "did the job", but now I realize what a monumental pain it was--and it was pretty good. When you find something that works you don't just throw it out after 2 yrs. Obviously, everyone's mileage varies, but processor speed isn't top priority.

Hubs introduce a fair amount of latency just by being there, from what I understand, so if it matters to you, you want to avoid them. And I still don't really trust them to be reliable.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: June 17, 2022 05:04PM
RME is a solid, standard-compliant interface. I assume they keep nice updated drivers, so there’s that.
Interface latency is not an issue since they have that fader that sweeps between direct input and computer return.
But the moment you want to monitor through plugins, latency becomes software dependent, and hence better and more stable with a modern computer.
Using instrument plugins require real-time processing to handle latency
Even using EQ needs good, cpu-dependent latency since sweeping frequencies require properly timed feedback.
And good quality hubs introduce no latency if they are standard compliant. And thunderbolt. Or I mean, not usb 2.
Whoever uses usb for audio is already outdated, but agree that they would still be usable.
Metric Halo by the way, are current quality interfaces that pros could take a look at if they want to take the next step.
But not the OP’s nephew, he’s fine with an M1 and logic.
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Re: Recommend a MacBook for music production?
Posted by: kj
Date: June 22, 2022 05:19PM
>Whoever uses usb for audio is already outdated, but agree that they would still be usable.

All this depends what you do. I would have to get something like the Presonus Quantum to get better latency than my RME, which is not even logical for me and my needs. My setup performs really well using soft instruments live (addictive drums, arturia V collection, etc.)
Direct monitoring is great, but a hobbyist might want to play in a guitar part with delay, cab sim, etc. so that's where latency matters.

I've read a Thunderbolt hub adds about 3ms latency, which may or may not matter. 3ms plus 2-3ms for my interface adds up to 5-6ms, which is too much. So it can matter.

Plus, lots of new musical stuff connects via usb 3, and dongles suck.
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