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Old 06-29-2022, 10:37 AM
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Default Which Mac Laptop to Buy?

To date I've only been using Windows laptops for my recording setups, but I'm at a point where I need to switch over to a Mac, which I have very little familiarity with.

My previous audio interfaces were Motu, but I recently bought a used Metric Halo ULN-8 3D. My plan was to use the ULN-8 as a dumb interface over USB into my Windows laptop; that hasn't worked reliably, and I'm done trying to go that route. Changing to a Mac computer will allow full functionality for the ULN-8 so that's the direction I'm going.

Since I will be using this for field recordings (choirs, small ensembles, etc) as well as for my home setup (recording solo guitar, mixing the field recordings, etc) I want a laptop. Also want to attach a larger monitor when at home. I'm thinking of getting the 16" Macbook Pro with 16GB ram and 1TB SSD. Thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2022, 02:00 PM
guitarmint guitarmint is offline
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Just get something with silicone M1 chip;
Battery life is superb on those
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Old 06-29-2022, 02:41 PM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
To date I've only been using Windows laptops for my recording setups, but I'm at a point where I need to switch over to a Mac, which I have very little familiarity with.

My previous audio interfaces were Motu, but I recently bought a used Metric Halo ULN-8 3D. My plan was to use the ULN-8 as a dumb interface over USB into my Windows laptop; that hasn't worked reliably, and I'm done trying to go that route. Changing to a Mac computer will allow full functionality for the ULN-8 so that's the direction I'm going.

Since I will be using this for field recordings (choirs, small ensembles, etc) as well as for my home setup (recording solo guitar, mixing the field recordings, etc) I want a laptop. Also want to attach a larger monitor when at home. I'm thinking of getting the 16" Macbook Pro with 16GB ram and 1TB SSD. Thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks!
The 16" MacBook Pro is a beast and I'm sure you'll love it. I think there is several choices for the chipset and I'd just double check if everything you run (hardware and software) is working with the M1 chip-set.

Memory has always been a performance issue but I find more and more applications and plug-ins these days have become increasingly hoggish. The standard disclaimer applies here in buy as much memory as you can budget, you'll never regret it.
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Old 06-29-2022, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
To date I've only been using Windows laptops for my recording setups, but I'm at a point where I need to switch over to a Mac, which I have very little familiarity with.

My previous audio interfaces were Motu, but I recently bought a used Metric Halo ULN-8 3D. My plan was to use the ULN-8 as a dumb interface over USB into my Windows laptop; that hasn't worked reliably, and I'm done trying to go that route. Changing to a Mac computer will allow full functionality for the ULN-8 so that's the direction I'm going.

Since I will be using this for field recordings (choirs, small ensembles, etc) as well as for my home setup (recording solo guitar, mixing the field recordings, etc) I want a laptop. Also want to attach a larger monitor when at home. I'm thinking of getting the 16" Macbook Pro with 16GB ram and 1TB SSD. Thoughts or recommendations?



Thanks!
I don't know what a "dumb interface" is ?
Also what DAW ? (doesn't really matter as long as it is Mac OS compatible )

To buy new There are three base configurations 16" MBP to choose from ---one with the M1Pro chip and two with the M1 Max chip.
Since you did not mention video I am guessing the M1 Pro chip ?

Not much to say it will be powerhouse well into the future They come with three TB 4 /USB-c ports to go to the ULN and an HDMI out for an additional display.

What you may find in general that Mac OS is a tiny bit different flow at first (different paths to access features, etc.) but fairly quickly you may also find Mac OS a bit easier, a bit more intuitive, and more of a just plug and play ,,or launch and play situation .

The only thing IMO that is a bit hokey on a machine in this price point .. (I have a 14 " M1 Pro chip MBP) is the camera is still only 1080 not 4k,, not a deal breaker but still a bit hokey.
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Last edited by KevWind; 06-29-2022 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
I don't know what a "dumb interface" is ?
Also what DAW ? (doesn't really matter as long as it is Mac OS compatible )
The control software for the ULN-8 interface only runs on Mac. If the interface is configured by a Mac (I used an old Mac Mini), the configuration can be saved and recalled on boot up. It can then run in stand-alone mode and send audio (as a dumb interface) over USB to a Windows computer with routing based on the recalled configuration. However, getting the audio into the Windows computer was not reliable. That's why I'd like to move to a Mac.

I'm using Reaper as my DAW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
To buy new There are three base configurations 16" MBP to choose from ---one with the M1Pro chip and two with the M1 Max chip.
Since you did not mention video I am guessing the M1 Pro chip ?
I was assuming the M1 Pro chip. For audio I'll be capturing up to 12 channels, 24 bit, at 96K. Not doing video, but not sure about the future. If I went that route I assumed I'd combine audio and video in post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Not much to say it will be powerhouse well into the future They come with three TB 4 /USB-c ports to go to the ULN and an HDMI out for an additional display.

What you may find in general that Mac OS is a tiny bit different flow at first (different paths to access features, etc.) but fairly quickly you may also find Mac OS a bit easier, a bit more intuitive, and more of a just plug and play ,,or launch and play situation .

The only thing IMO that is a bit hokey on a machine in this price point .. (I have a 14 " M1 Pro chip MBP) is the camera is still only 1080 not 4k,, not a deal breaker but still a bit hokey.
Thanks!
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Last edited by ChuckS; 06-29-2022 at 03:35 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2022, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna View Post
The 16" MacBook Pro is a beast and I'm sure you'll love it. I think there is several choices for the chipset and I'd just double check if everything you run (hardware and software) is working with the M1 chip-set.

Memory has always been a performance issue but I find more and more applications and plug-ins these days have become increasingly hoggish. The standard disclaimer applies here in buy as much memory as you can budget, you'll never regret it.
I was wondering about how much ram to get. My Dell laptop has 16GB and all seems fine now using my old interface. I don't really use much for plug-ins, also the Metric Halo has DSP for what I would typically use.

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:53 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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Quote:
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I was wondering about how much ram to get. My Dell laptop has 16GB and all seems fine now using my old interface. I don't really use much for plug-ins, also the Metric Halo has DSP for what I would typically use.
If 16 is enough on your current computer, it should be enough one of the new Mac laptops. These new machines seem to use ram a lot more efficiently and people have been reporting they're able to do just as much as before with less ram.
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
If 16 is enough on your current computer, it should be enough one of the new Mac laptops. These new machines seem to use ram a lot more efficiently and people have been reporting they're able to do just as much as before with less ram.
Good to have that as a guideline. Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
I was assuming the M1 Pro chip. For audio I'll be capturing up to 12 channels, 24 bit, at 96K. Not doing video, but not sure about the future. If I went that route I assumed I'd combine audio and video in post.
Yes the M1 Pro will handle that easily and will even process video very well if not quite as fast a Max chip but for occasional video will provide great performance

I did a quick quasi replication of a test I saw on youtube and recorded 200 tracks of audio at once albeit in 48k 24 bit but it was no problem at all. My machine is a 2021 14" M1Pro MBP with 16 GB memory and 1 TB storage

Here is the video test am talking about, he gets into it at about 2:00 minutes

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Last edited by KevWind; 06-30-2022 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:43 AM
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Also as far as video performance (if and when)
Note that my M1Pro machine does indeed process video noticeably faster than the i7 machine listed below
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Old 06-30-2022, 09:56 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Should do the job. Computer power requirements for live acoustic recording are minimal.* Mixing and the like with plug ins can require a bit more, but nothing like what a computer doing real-time recording with virtual instruments and their performance effects to produce full orchestras and/or a studio full of gear "in the box" (all done with software) can absorb.

I forget what ports are on the current Mac laptop models, but you should be able to drive a larger, high resolution external monitor through USB-C or HDMI.

*My live studio space has run a dozen tracks live into an ancient Intel Mac Mini with a Core2Duo recording to an external firewire mechanical hard drive.
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Old 06-30-2022, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
Should do the job. Computer power requirements for live acoustic recording are minimal.* Mixing and the like with plug ins can require a bit more, but nothing like what a computer doing real-time recording with virtual instruments and their performance effects to produce full orchestras and/or a studio full of gear "in the box" (all done with software) can absorb.

I forget what ports are on the current Mac laptop models, but you should be able to drive a larger, high resolution external monitor through USB-C or HDMI.

*My live studio space has run a dozen tracks live into an ancient Intel Mac Mini with a Core2Duo recording to an external firewire mechanical hard drive.
Thanks for the info!
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