The iMac laptops

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Slaphound, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I really don't know much about computers but I do plan on buying an Apple laptop around December or January. I want a laptop mainly for the freedom to practice my bass with out having to go down into my bassment to where my amp is. Also, to be able to listen to songs and pick the bass lines apart. I know that with Garage band, you can cut and loop parts of songs. I also know that a regular PC laptop can also use a program to do that. But the more I read the more I'm wondering if an iMac is restrictive. I see guys talking about buying this and that to add to the PC for recording and stuff. Can these things be added to the iMac? Its possible that iMac comes with these things. I'm not sure what things I'm talking about. Interfaces, mixers. That sort of stuff. I'm computer illiterate but as I learn more by using the laptop, I wonder if I will wish I had bought a Dell or a Gateway instead of an iMac.

    Thanks for listening and answering.
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I'm sure you'll figure out what you want by the time you buy one.

    Be aware that the next version of Micro$oft Windows (dubbed Vista) is set to replace XP in January. It is currently in beta-testing phase and I hear it's still pretty buggy. At this point XP is the most stable operating system (OS) that MS has ever made (though that's not saying a whole lot). There will probably be issues with Vista and certain hardware/software--this usually happens when a new OS is released into the world at large.

    What am I trying to say? If you get a PC right after Vista ships it might be a bumpy ride for a little while. If you happen to buy a PC before Vista is released see if you can work a free upgrade into the deal. I would personally get a Mac.

    Don't worry--pretty much all PC laptops and MacBooks have USB and FireWire ports so you can get audio and MIDI in and out.
  3. Most interfaces will work with the Macs. Firewire ones seem to be the best. I used Garageband for a while, but my interface recently broke (Presonus Inspire 1394, I was disappointed in it's performance anyway). The software instrument library is huge and can be manipulated using the computer keyboard, or a seperate usb midi keyboard. The amount of tones you can get is virtually limitless. There are tons of effects, amp simulators, etc. The loop library is fairly big and the program overall is very easy to record in with. I've always had trouble with getting looping right, but I've never really focued on it. Once I replace my interface I'm going to work on that.
  4. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    What is an interface?
  5. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    An interface is the middle step between your bass and your computer. Here is a pretty good FAQ-type write-up from on audio interfaces.
  6. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    *Ha! Beat me. :D

    Technically there are no iMac laptops per se. You're thinking of the iBook, right? The iBook is now the MacBook and the PowerBook is now the MacBook Pro. I've been using the same Mac laptop (17" PB) for the last four years and I haven't had one major hiccup.
    *knocks on wood*
    I think they're great machines and there's no longer a shortage of music software or compatible hardware.
  7. ogrossman


    May 20, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    FWIW most professional recording studios use Macintosh computers for recording.
  8. ogrossman


    May 20, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I never noticed there ever was one. But I have noticed there's always been a precieved shortage.
  9. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    You still can't get Acid or SoundForge for Mac, though AFAIK. Also, the high-end DAW "RADAR" is Windows-only. Acid and SF were the first two apps I started with when I had a Windows machine. Some of them are staying decidedly Windows-exclusive but that's okay because now Mac users have access to affordable, powerful programs like GarageBand.

    A quick trip to can get you recording for free. For instance, BoomRecorder is a free app that lets you multi-track. I use it a lot. It was designed for audio recordists in film so it has many cool features not found even in commercial releases costing many hundreds of dollars. How many tracks you can record is determined solely by how many inputs you've got.

    Good luck! There are tons of options now for the budding home recordist.
  10. I have been using macs for everything for the past 15 years, they are great computers.

    In my studio im using a Dual 2 ghx G5s with 4 g of ram the thing is a tank and can handle anything.

    I have a powerbook and it is fast as hell, and i am sure the macbook pros are faster, i prefer to not use Intel chips but soon or a latter i will have to.
  11. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    Endorsing artist: Bergantino Audio Systems and GHS Strings
    I switched to Mac about 8 months ago. I'll never go back. It actually makes it hard to go to my PC at work.
  12. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    FWIW, garageband is very easy to learn about audio recording on. you can always move up to more sophisticated software as your abilities increase.
  13. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    If you're planning to buy a Mac in the December/January timeframe, then wait until January. The biggest Mac event of the year, MacWorld San Francisco (MWSF) happens around January 6th and new hardware is almost always announced/released at this time. Also, every update to iLife (of which GarageBand is a part) has been announced/released at MWSF.
  14. bishopthomas


    Nov 20, 2004
    Find out what software/hardware combination works best for you, then choose your platform. A computer is just a tool to get a job done; pick the right tool for you. I, personally, use a PC, but only because I use Adobe Audition, which is not available for the Mac. I bought MOTU Digital Performer and a G4 and found quickly that DP wasn't the right software for me. So I sold it and the Mac. Not to say that either tool was not good at what it does, just not the right ones for me.
    One thing you have to consider with Mac systems is the price. Is it really worth paying twice as much for a Mac when a PC could very well do the same thing? That's up to you to decide.
  15. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    You haven't kept up on price structures, have you? I don't want to start the usual Mac/PC flamewar but suffice it to say "twice as much" is nowhere near reality anymore. It certainly can't be now that both Macs and PCs use the same brains and components, only the engineering and the fact Macs can run OS X, Linux and Windows while PCs can only run Linux & Windows are what's different now.
  16. I don't want to get into a flame war either, but i can build a compatible if not better spec'ed PC for 1/2 the price of a Mac.
  17. Practically all audio interfaces work on Mac, and with Garageband which comes free with all Macs is a really good software. Easy to use and record, plenty of software instruments. Honestly I didn't really see a need to buy Logic Express/Pro. Garageband should prove very easy to use and plenty of onboard features. I'm working on an Intel iMac and its working great! And even if, if you decide to get an Intel-based mac computer, you can always install boot camp which will let you be able to dual boot Windows XP as well! :hyper: Once you go Mac, you never go back!
  18. chaotick


    Aug 15, 2006
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    It's true, but mac-users know they are buying the mac experience.

    It's all about being up and running out of the box and playing with all the cool new features that are constantly added.

    I can never go back.

    On another note, the new macs are very upgradable.
  19. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
    It wouldn't take long at price watch to tally up the cost for a PC equivalent.

    FWIW, I have been building PCs for ten years and just this week bought a 20" iMac and the iMac is great. A monitor alone, of this quality, is going to set you back somewhere between $400-$500 dollars. That is if you can find one this nice. Another $500 for the cpu and and a decent quality motherboard.Start adding prices up; I did and I bought an iMac.

    There are also intangibles such as almost no fan noise with the iMac. Sleep that really works therefore no boot time. I have never had a virus and I don't use virus checking software but for some the lack of Mac viruses is a very big issue. Especially with family computers and children or unsavy adults surfing the net. Another factor, discount if you like, the damn things are beautiful.
  20. The base model Intel MacBook comes with 24-bit 96kHz audio inputs/outputs, both analog and digital, directly integrated with the OS and with very low latency (processing time). It has Firewire 400 on the motherboard, see above, which is the most popular way to add an external audio interface. It has an excellent high resolution screen and directly supports a second monitor up to, say, 23" for dual screen operation. It comes free with a quality Audio/MIDI editing application (Garageband) stuffed with better than average virtual instruments and a fully functional Video editing app (iMovie), both directly compatible with FinalCut and Logic Pro, leaders in their respective fields. You can buy it for $949 (plus another $70 or so for an extra 1GB RAM. easy to install and not optional IMO) from any Apple store where it can be returned to an intelligent human if a problem should arise and often be fixed on the spot.

    It's also the coolest looking hardware on the block. And runs WinXP if you feel the need.

    Ummm...get me a laptop like that for $500 from Dell? I think not.

    N.B. I don't work for Apple! I just need to work with quality hardware.

    Nother N.B. - not an advert, but I run my MacBook with a Samsung 215TW 21" 16x10 monitor when editing. Beautiful 1680x1050 widescreen display. rotates to portrait mode, Analog & Digital computer inputs, Component, S-Video & composite analog video inputs, small tinny speaker (but OK for video monitoring) Does analog video picture-in-picture while displaying the DVI-D computer input - amazing when editing video or writing to picture. Looks _almost_ as nice as my Apple 30" at work, costs $450. ***?

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