Main Forums >> Mac Music
        Print Thread

Pages: 1
bdpianoman



Joined: 22/02/14
Posts: 4
Mac Minimum system Requirements
      #1090385 - 24/02/14 01:44 AM
Hi SOS friends, I am brand new to recording. In fact, I am in the infancy stages of setting up a home studio. I am in the market for either a Mac laptop or an iPad to use in the studio. My plans are to mainly lay down some keyboard tracks. I plan to use Cubase or ProTools for recording, editing, etc. I was wondering if anyone could provide some basic information regarding suggested minimum system specs (ie memory, processor style/speed, etc) that I should be shopping for in regards to the Mac laptop and/or iPad? Would the laptop be better than an iPad? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bdpianoman


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Scope



Joined: 03/07/06
Posts: 2234
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: bdpianoman]
      #1090427 - 24/02/14 12:00 PM
I'd recommend any unibody mac.
The core2duos are still quite capable, but obviously any i5/i7 is going to give you more synths and FX.
Using a mac over an ipad, opens up a huge range of interfaces with USB or firewire.
Just be aware that apple dropped FW in 2012. But there are thunderbolt to FW converters.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
G-Doubleyou



Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 1467
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: bdpianoman]
      #1090512 - 24/02/14 07:54 PM
Quote bdpianoman:

Hi SOS friends, I am brand new to recording. In fact, I am in the infancy stages of setting up a home studio. I am in the market for either a Mac laptop or an iPad to use in the studio. My plans are to mainly lay down some keyboard tracks. I plan to use Cubase or ProTools for recording, editing, etc. I was wondering if anyone could provide some basic information regarding suggested minimum system specs (ie memory, processor style/speed, etc) that I should be shopping for in regards to the Mac laptop and/or iPad? Would the laptop be better than an iPad? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bdpianoman




I own an iPad2, and a 2Ghz quad i7 Macbook Pro.
For me the iPad plays the role of controll surface, external midi sound source.

Or I use the iPad with some of music apps to create sketches that import to Logic to finish.

Do you have to be mobile? For a starter system that you can grow into I suggest a quad i7 Mac Mini.
The Mini is the same price as a Maxed out Wi-Fi iPad Air.

The Mini can easily be hot-rodded, you can add your own RAM, and a second hard drive.
It's the last Mac with Firewire 800, Ethernet, and Thunderbolt.

GarageBand is now what Logic Express used to be.
The interface is virtually identical to Logic Pro X, It contains a subset of the instruments found in Logic, more than enough to get started with.

http://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/

The new iPads are 64 bit, currently there are no 64 bit apps.

In my opinion the iPad screen is small, and not suited for prolonged detailed work.
Running most music apps uses more battery, best to have an interface that can charge the iPad.
Some apps stress the iPad and audio can breakup and distort as you add more effects.

I currently use an Alesis iO dock for an interface, but it's not compatible with the lightning connector.

As far as laptops go, quad i7 15-inch is the minimum for audio and video, the other laptops are underpowered for audio work.



--------------------
G-Dub
Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hairy Ears
member


Joined: 06/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: G-Doubleyou]
      #1090519 - 24/02/14 09:01 PM
Quote G-Doubleyou:

As far as laptops go, quad i7 15-inch is the minimum for audio and video, the other laptops are underpowered for audio work.




Depends what your requirements are. I've been using a 4GB dual core i5 for over a year (initially a Mac Mini, currently the base MacBook Pro), typically up to 15 synths at a time, plus various effects plug-ins. Plenty of power if your needs are relatively modest, especially in combination with using 'freeze' or 'render' options in your DAW.

Of course, a quad-core i7 would give you plenty of wiggle room.

--------------------
* Soundcloud *
* Bandcamp *


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 3193
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: bdpianoman]
      #1090556 - 25/02/14 06:50 AM
I definitely wouldn't recommend less than 8gb RAM... especially if you cannot upgrade later! OSX (Mavericks) does not play nicely when you exceed your RAM limit, my laptop has stopped responding and required hard-rebooting several times, when I used too much RAM.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hairy Ears
member


Joined: 06/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: bdpianoman]
      #1090558 - 25/02/14 07:27 AM
I've not encountered that, but I tend to use less memory hungry plug-ins. Plus, I have the non-retina MacBook which can have its RAM upgraded, if it turns out to be necessary.

--------------------
* Soundcloud *
* Bandcamp *


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 3193
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: Hairy Ears]
      #1090597 - 25/02/14 12:08 PM
Quote Hairy Ears:

I've not encountered that, but I tend to use less memory hungry plug-ins. Plus, I have the non-retina MacBook which can have its RAM upgraded, if it turns out to be necessary.




its true my plug-ins tend to be sample-heavy, and I was also running a Windows VM with 4 GB ram when it crashed. So under normal circumstances it wouldn't have happened. Still, it would be nice if OSX ran out of memory a bit more gracefully!

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hairy Ears
member


Joined: 06/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: bdpianoman]
      #1090602 - 25/02/14 12:39 PM
I might have to pile on the pressure tonight to see if I can get it to fall over. (It's either that or try to put up a blind... )

If it is a bug then hopefully they'll squash it next update.

--------------------
* Soundcloud *
* Bandcamp *


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Phil O
active member


Joined: 03/09/03
Posts: 1552
Loc: Scotland
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: Hairy Ears]
      #1090639 - 25/02/14 03:01 PM
Re the OP, I would definitively push for at least an i7 processor as these have Hyperthreading.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hairy Ears
member


Joined: 06/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: Phil O]
      #1090735 - 26/02/14 08:04 AM
Quote Phil O:

Re the OP, I would definitively push for at least an i7 processor as these have Hyperthreading.




So do the i5s, at least the ones in the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini do.

--------------------
* Soundcloud *
* Bandcamp *


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Phil O
active member


Joined: 03/09/03
Posts: 1552
Loc: Scotland
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: Hairy Ears]
      #1090774 - 26/02/14 12:43 PM
Quote Hairy Ears:

Quote Phil O:

Re the OP, I would definitively push for at least an i7 processor as these have Hyperthreading.




So do the i5s, at least the ones in the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini do.




That's not my understanding. Take this extract from the Apple site "OS X also supports Hyper-Threading in the Core i7, allowing two threads to run simultaneously on each core — giving you eight virtual cores of processing power."

Or this http://www.tdcurran.com/blog/2013/08/27/next-gen-processors-...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hairy Ears
member


Joined: 06/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: Phil O]
      #1090835 - 26/02/14 04:44 PM
Alternatively, look up i5-310M which is the chip used in the MacBook Pro 2012 model:

http://ark.intel.com/products/67355/intel-core-i5-3210m-processor-3m-cache -up-to-3_10-ghz-rpga

Number of cores: 2
Number of threads: 4

There are i5s that don't have hyper threading, but it doesn't apply to all of them.

--------------------
* Soundcloud *
* Bandcamp *


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
G-Doubleyou



Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 1467
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: Hairy Ears]
      #1090838 - 26/02/14 04:54 PM
Quote Hairy Ears:

Quote Phil O:

Re the OP, I would definitively push for at least an i7 processor as these have Hyperthreading.




So do the i5s, at least the ones in the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini do.




Yes they do, but an i7 will always beat an i5, no current i5 approaches the i7 CPU power.

For $100 it's a no-brainer



--------------------
G-Dub
Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hairy Ears
member


Joined: 06/09/03
Posts: 619
Loc: UK
Re: Mac Minimum system Requirements new [Re: G-Doubleyou]
      #1090846 - 26/02/14 05:58 PM
Indeed, but that $100 depends on what you're starting from, whether you have that $100 and whether you actually need that additional power. As I stated earlier, the non-retina MacBook Pro i5 is more than adequate for my requirements. For someone that makes heavier use of plug-ins than I do, then it may well be inadequate.

Essentially, one needs to consider what you are actually going to be doing. There's a lot of BS around that you *have* to have X processor and Y GB of RAM which is fine if you are using sample-heavy instruments that require a lot of CPU but way overkill if you are going to be recording 16 tracks of audio with a few compressors, EQs and a couple of reverbs, for example.

IMO, HTH, YMMV, HAND

--------------------
* Soundcloud *
* Bandcamp *


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Pages: 1

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
1 registered and 29 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Forum Admin, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, SOS News Editor,  
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Rating:
Thread views: 1634

December 2014
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the
SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for December 2014
DAW Tips from SOS

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media