I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

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I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby midinut » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:58 am

Hey guys and gals:

I posted this over at KC the other day and got to thinking that a few of you peeps are using Macs so thought I would toss it up here for discussion if you don't mind.

If I were looking at buying a refurbished MacBook Pro 13" for using Mainstage live, what specs would I need to look for? I may consider loading all my VSTs on it as well and possibly Cubase for recording. Logic Pro may work its way onto it as may Ableton Live. I don't mind adding more RAM or maybe even a SSD, but what are some of your suggestions. I'll be using a MOXF6 as a controller/audio interface, plus a Keystation 88. Also already have an iPad Air with all sorts of music apps. I realize there have been discussions and threads about this sort of thing in the past, but I want current info that covers the latest concerns/issues. I seem to remember reading about latency problems if you don't have a TI chipset and don't want to make a mistake here.

Further questions / thoughts since I posted this:

considering an external drive to store samples on (NI K9U, Omnisphere, Trilian, SampleTank 3, Steinberg VSTs, Ravenscroft, V-Collection, etc). Could I and would it be good to use a Thunderbolt drive or should I look at external USB3 drives, or FW800 to store the sample libraries?

I want to use this primarily as 1/2 of my stage rig. As a secondary role, I may grab a Thunderbolt 27" Monitor down the road, add a keyboard and mouse and use those as a dock for the MBP. Am fairly certain I'll get AppleCare on the MBP and also get the 3TB Airport Time Capsule. Looks like a sure fire easy ass way to keep your shit backed up + I can prolly load all my CDs, MP3s and photos/videos on it and share it with my household full of iOS devices (we all have iPhones and iPads already)

And lastly (I know, right?), my wife and I are considering picking her up a MBP in spring (or maybe a MBA) and subscribing to Adobe's Cloud subscription service for the whole line. She does graphic design and web design work already and we can write it off at least.

Anyway, I thought that adding new thoughts and considerations might steer this in another direction or at least be able to get me some good info from you fine folks.

BTW - Skool update - middle of second summer session - only one class (online) Spanish 2200
My last foreign language class (yay). Busy summer outside of that. Playing out a bit with the duo. Band is looking at the Behringer X18R Digital Rack Mixer (controlled with iOS). If anybody knows anything about them I'd love to hear it. Thanks all! Holy shit that was long!
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby christianrock » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:04 pm

I don't know if I have the best advice as I haven't used my setup much since I got it... but the rule in general is to get as much memory as you can, and a fast drive. Processor speed isn't quite as important (even though it is the most expensive part of the equation).

And people I know have been using that Behringer and they seem to like it. Me, I just prefer analog mixers, but that might just be a prejudice on my part. I can see the appeal of the digital mixer's flexibility with saving your settings and all that.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby selfinflikted » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:25 pm

Yep. CR is right. All the memory you can get, plus an SSD. Aside from that, the rest is icing. That said, since I don't use large sample libraries or basically any VSTs, my DAW is still running well on Win XP, 4GB RAM, 2.somethingorother gHz dual core. heh.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby ClavAnother » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:37 am

I don't think memory is as big of a deal. I mean make sure you have a few gigs, but I don't think maxing out is necessary.

Personally I would NoT use anything past OSX 10.6.8, but I expect I'm alone in all that.

Oh and SSD home drive.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby gregwar » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:27 am

the new MacBook pros tend to have soldered non-upgradeable parts

8 gigs is the min and 16 would be ideal imho for sample libraries, omni, etc

it comes down to how much performance you think you'll want/need

I think a dual core cpu is under powered for 2015 a basic quad core would be ideal

I kinda maxed mine out lol but we likely have different needs
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby MetroSonus » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:43 pm

I'm on 10.6.8 on an older mac book pro. It runs a bit slow, but I have to say that running Live and VSTs and such is no issue. :thu: Runs fine with hardly any CPU. On a PC, OS bloat would give you those weird dropping out of the matrix sound effects from processor lag.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby christianrock » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:47 pm

ClavAnother wrote:I don't think memory is as big of a deal. I mean make sure you have a few gigs, but I don't think maxing out is necessary.

Personally I would NoT use anything past OSX 10.6.8, but I expect I'm alone in all that.

Oh and SSD home drive.


Not alone... I'm still using Lion and refuse to upgrade. That's what came with the computer. So it's 10.7, not 10.6, but I'm not upgrading :)
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby ClavAnother » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:45 pm

I actually need to partition my drive tonight and install lion on it just so I can do a firmware update on the Beatstep Pro. It's a little quirky.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby christianrock » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:00 pm

Lion's not bad. I don't think you'd lose a lot by upgrading to it. Maybe even Mountain Lion (I don't have it so I don't know). It's the newer OS versions with the whole cloud philosophy that you want to avoid, I think. There's a reason why OS like Lion used to cost money, and the newer ones are free. They get money off of you in a different manner now...
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby ClavAnother » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:32 pm

Mine came with it. I refuse to use it, but I need to update the BSP, because it's kind of useless otherwise.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby christianrock » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:37 pm

What's so bad about 10.7? I haven't used 10.6.8.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby ClavAnother » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:47 pm

Honestly, I'd still be using Tiger if it wasn't forced into oblivion.

They are always making small changes and taking away useful stuff, and I happen to be against that. I'm never going to be the guy that rushes out for new versions thinking they are always better. I'm the opposite, I want to use what works and I don't need it to be different every six months.

I don't remember what they fd up in lion but I clearly remember mountain lion being a disaster for me.

I used Yosemite for 10 minutes while I was deciding what to keep on a new machine, but I put 10.6 on it right away.

If you want examples, just look at how they ruined iTunes over and over. I never thought they could keep finding ways to make it worse.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby christianrock » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:54 pm

Yeah I also keep ignoring the iTunes upgrade pop-ups. Which are annoying. Especially since they come back after a while, even when you say you don't want to be reminded again.

So, I'm not an Apple fanboy just like I'm not a Windows fanboy. I could use either one. The Mac experience hasn't been quite as enlightening as I thought it would be. At the end of the day... I think they're not that different (I work with Windows 7 which is pretty good so maybe that's why I don't think Windows is worse).
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby ClavAnother » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:29 pm

They have gotten more and more similar over the last 7 years.

I used windows since the early 90s, and I can't stand it...it's...greasy.

I love using the mac, but I don't like being forced to work the way someone else thinks I should. I was doing fine before, I don't need them to do things like change the direction of mouse wheel scrolling so it's like my phone. Phones and computers are different tools.

I have seen a bit of the changes to the music section in the new ios for the phones, and I will not be going any further there either.

They are making it hard to listen to music, and that happens to piss me off :)
Last edited by ClavAnother on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby Veracohr » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:30 pm

midinut wrote:I seem to remember reading about latency problems if you don't have a TI chipset and don't want to make a mistake here.


The only thing I remember about TI chipsets related to Firewire I think. I don't know if it's an issue anymore, I haven't seen those comments in a while.

considering an external drive to store samples on (NI K9U, Omnisphere, Trilian, SampleTank 3, Steinberg VSTs, Ravenscroft, V-Collection, etc). Could I and would it be good to use a Thunderbolt drive or should I look at external USB3 drives, or FW800 to store the sample libraries?


Thunderbolt unless you want to also connect it to other computers that only have USB.

Regarding the OS discussion: I was on 10.6.8 until I got a new MBP in January, so I'm now on whatever the current version is. I don't have any problems with it. There's one relatively unimportant thing with my new audio interface that is mildly irritating, but I'm not sure whether to blame it on Apple or Universal Audio. When I turn the Apollo on or off, the computer won't automatically switch the system sound output. I have to open it up and select. On my old computer with 10.6.8 and a FW MOTU interface this would switch automatically, but I don't know quite where to put the blame. Still, not that important.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby midinut » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:30 am

Got this one...
2.5GHz Processor
512 GB Storage
2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
16GB 1600MHz memory
512GB PCIe-based flash storage1
Intel Iris Pro Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory

Also picked up a 1TB Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt external drive (already set up to have Time Machine do a backup every 24 hours) and I got AppleCare. Just got finished installing MainStage (it's frickin' awesome), Komplete 9 Ultimate, the V-Collection, and SampleTank 3. Next up Omnisphere, Trilian, and my Korg Legacy stuff, finish the Steinberg installs. Me thinks she will keep me happily smiling for quite some time!

I was a Mac guy when they came out in 1984. Had an original 128k Macintosh ($2500) with a ImageWriter dot matrix printer ($1000). I remember fondly lusting after a 20 Megabyte hard drive that was $700. But I'm sure some of you were there back then and have heard these stories. I got out of Macs for a long time. Glad to be back. I had forgotten how "elegant" they were. Wish I had done this a long time ago. If you reason it like buying a new keyboard it doesn't look so bad ... even with just MainStage alone it's a lot of power and control.

... and I'm totally cool with the current OS so far.

MainStage is blowing my mind. I shall follow up with a report, but I've never seen a slicker, or more powerful way to control your whole rig. It's making me rethink how I'm writing and working.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby christianrock » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:20 pm

Sounds good man :thu: sweet setup that should work well for years.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby selfinflikted » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:21 pm

I am jealous of all you Mac users.
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby gregwar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:37 pm

congrats midiwar !!1

is it a 13" or 15" (i'm assuming its a 15")

either way those are nice specs and shud be a powerful machine

apple care is the best !

:kraftwerk:
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Re: I'm thinking MacBook Pro ...

Postby gregwar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:05 pm

basically apple is a devices and not a services company

iCloud is a service that is supposed to 'just work' and when it does great but most of the time it f*cks up and teh sux lol

the main reason i got yosemite was to try 'handoff' and 'continuity'. texting worked for a little while but calling from my laptop never did

at work i have terrible reception and no wifi so any cloud services will inevitably suffer. i've been working on and off on a lengthy post about this but i don't have time to be a 'blogger'

if you try to opt out of all the iCloud stuff iTunes/music, photos, notes and whatnot don't work as well and its a shame.

i'm gonna start another thread about streaming and iTunes as its too complex to post here
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