Apple macbook question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by punkbassistfc, May 29, 2007.

  1. Hey guy's and gals,

    Im starting my Audio engineering degree in a couple of weeks and we will be learning on Pro tools. I was wondering if i got a mac book, would it have a big enough processor and memory to handle a recording program. I like the idea of mixing on the go etc. Cheers heaps guy's.
  2. rtjohn

    rtjohn Low Frequency Soundscape Generator

    Feb 19, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Yes. No problem.

    Especially since they just upgraded the processors. I have one with a 2Ghz Intel Core Duo and I run Logic Express on it with little problem.

    You won't be able to have more than 4-5 software (midi) instruments running at once with out locking some of the tracks but for recording actual audio instruments you should be fine. I routinely have 2 midi tracks and 8-10 instrument tracks on my songs.

    You have to learn some tricks if you want to eek out the best performance like turning off your wireless card, using a plane color desktop backgroud, turning off your widgets, etc.

    But the new Macbooks should be plenty. Of course... many audio engineering programs require that you buy a specfici laptop through them when you register for classes.
  3. Thanks mate. For recording, what would be the best souncard/input etc for it? I will be running pro-tools and pro logic.
  4. Hey

    I agree with the other poster, it'll be fine. I would STRONGLY recommend getting the max quantity of Ram (at least 2Gb) - you're better off with a slower CPU and 2Gb of ram than a marginaly faster chip with only 512Mb.

    If you're going to do an sound engineering degree, you'll be using Protools a lot, so I recommend an MBox.
  5. Thanks guys, I will definately get that much ram. As for the Mbox. I checked them out. I think for what i want (mostly mixing, and maybe tracking individual instruments) I would be looking at the mbox2 mini. Does the protools software come with it?

    Thanks heaps guys
  6. There's another thread on this that I remember fairly recently. The consensus there seemed to be that the macbook is just dandy for that.
  7. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    The one nice thing about the macbook pro over the macbook, and correct me if im wrong, is that apogee makes an internal card just for the macbook pro for running their symphony system. Right now i think thats the best choice for mac people. Its not pro tools but its the best converters you could get down the road for a laptop.
  8. Im definately getting the macbook, not the macbook pro as my budget does not allow any more.

    So my set-up will be

    * Apple Macbook with 2 gig of ram, 2.16 processor

    * Mbox 2 mini, with Pro tools Le

    * A condense, dynamic and cardoid mic.

    Will this be enough? Or am i missing something?
  9. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    Where are you going to recording School?
  10. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Laptops are really only practical with the LE software. It's possible to use a laptop with the HD stuff but you need a card slot (which the regular Macbooks don't have) and a PCI breakout chassis (like a Magma). Needless to say, an HD rig plus a chassis extension isn't very portable!

    Sounds like a nice little rig there, punkbassistfc!
    You can't go wrong with that setup.

    Cardioid just describes the type of polar (pickup) pattern a mic has so you can have a cardioid condenser mic or a cardioid dynamic mic but when you just say cardioid, you're just referring to the polar pattern that it has. Condenser and dynamic refers to the operating principle of the mic.

    The only thing I would maybe add to your list would be a nice pair of headphones and eventually some inexpensive omnidirectional mics (like binaurals) to compliment your directional mics. Omnis are great at capturing what's going on in a room and they have superior bass response to directional microphones. A common technique for me is to use my omnis as the foundation of the overall sound and then use my directionals as 'spot' mics to bring out certain instruments. In your case, you could use a pair of omnis as a spaced array, then put your cardioid condenser on guitar and the dynamic on a vocalist (for example). There's so much affordable gear on the market now it's hard to know where to start!

    Good luck at the school and have fun!
  11. Hey dude, Im going to Jmc Academy in Melbourne, Australia.

    Thanks heaps for the info guy's. Im pretty sure that this should be enough to get me going on the basics. My aim is not to be a producer as a lot of local bands have been asking me to come and sit in on sessions to help them with song structures and tone's etc. I can only help so much without knowing the basic's of protools etc.

    #One more question, from my understanding, you have to have the mbox plugged in to the mac when using Protools? Is there anyway you can not have it plugged in and still use it?

    Cheers heaps guys
  12. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    No, the software won't initialize without the hardware connected. That's been a deal-breaker for a lot of people.
    Still, there's plenty of other apps you can use to edit with if you really have to and don't happen to have your hardware.
  13. What do you mean other Applications? Do you mean somthing like garageband etc? Or do you mean apps within protools.
  14. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    No I mean standalone applications. If you need to actually mix something down, you can use multi-track apps like Logic, GB or Digital Performer etc. but be aware that most will require you to convert your PT-specific files into the appropriate Logic or DP files. Even your audio files (.WAV or .AIFF) may have to be converted as well. This is also required when bringing other formats into PT.

    If you already have your mixes bounced down to stereo, you can use something even simpler like BIAS Peak or another light wave editor. I like PT so much that I don't bother trying to mix or edit in another app so I just wait until I can do it with my rig.
  15. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    You do know that by using PT/M-Box combo , you'll be limited in track count for recording , and forget about MIDI with PT , really sucks......
  16. Hey dude, yeah I do know that. Thats all good mate.

Share This Page