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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

MacBook vs. MacBook Pro for Pro Tools

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Member Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posts: 4
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I'm looking into buying a new mac laptop, and having done a lot of multitrack recording on PC in the past, I'd like to eventually get back into some serious recording. I'm thinking about either Pro Tools or something similar (Logic, Cubase) with a USB or Firewire interface. I'd like to have the capability of recording at least four separate tracks at once.
I'm debating between the Macbook Pro and the black Macbook. For my purposes, is the Pro really needed, or will I do just fine with the Macbook? Both have 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo processors, 200 GB hard drives, and 2 GB memory. I live in Japan, and the cost difference between the two is even bigger here than in the States. Is the Pro really worth the extra money? Some advice would be highly appreciated!
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Member Since: Feb 24, 2008
Posts: 310
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro 2.7 GHz Quad i7, 16GB | 27" iMac 3.1 GHz Quad i5 12GB| OS X.x | iPhone 4 iOS 7.1.2

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if you are a musician i suggest you get logic...i have used pro tools (in college) & i use logic on my dont need what pro tools has to offer unless you are doing a lot of audio tracking & editing...and its not the best for sequencing incase you want to do that...logic works great (& you can record more than 4 tracks comfortably..) should do fine with the macbook...the pro will add the following befefits:
1) possibility to upgrade to 2.6 ghz (not required in your case)
2) extra ports (this may effect you...but not greatly...check the specs of both laptops on the apple site...)
3) larger screen + higher resolution (this mainly effects you if you do work with video/graphics/games...but reduces portability)

on the makes more sense to spend extra money getting a laptop with better specs...than getting a black one with lower specs

<< i can explain it to you...but i can't understand it for you... >>
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Member Since: Apr 09, 2008
Location: Moshington, USA
Posts: 6
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Mac Specs: Blackbook, 2.0GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 320GB HD @ 7200RPM | 20" iMac, 2.1GHz G5, 2.5GB RAM, 250GB HD

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I use Logic Pro 8 on a MacBook 2GHz 2GB RAM, and it works perfectly fine.

However... if I were you I would get the MacBook Pro because if you get the MacBook you'll someday want to upgrade... well at least I do.
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Member Since: Apr 14, 2008
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 44
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Mac Specs: MacPro Quad 2.66, 1 Gig Ram, 2 x 250GB HDD, 1 500GB HDD---Black MB 2.0 Duo, 2 Gig Ram, 320GB HDD

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i have a macbook and i run protools 7.1.1(i know.... i have to upgrade). anyways, it runs beautifully. ALTHOUGH, i just use it pretty much just for tracking and some minor mixing. i finalize everything on a protools HD system. So i don't use too many plugins. Just the ones that come with protools.
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Member Since: Nov 28, 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 304
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Mac Specs: iMac (Aluminum), MacBook (Core Duo), iPod (Classic), 16GB iPhone 3G

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I use Logic Studio on my MB CD (Yonah) 2GHz with 2GB RAM, works fine for me. Usually use my 2.4 Aluminum iMac, but sometimes I will use the MacBook. I used to use my MacBook all the time with Logic Express 7 cause I didn't have anything else to use. Not had any problems at all. Only thing about Logic Studio is that it's 50GB if you install all the extras and such.

MacBook: 2GHz, 2GB RAM, Core Duo; iMac: 2.4GHz, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD. Both running Leopard; 160GB iPod Classic; and 16GB iPhone 3G, 1st 8GB Gen iPod Touch
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Member Since: Apr 30, 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 1
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I am Pro Tools user ONLY, so my advise may not help you too much.
If you want to use Pro Tools (and I mean, lots of tracks, plug-ins, fades, automatizations) then you should go with the MB Pro.
The main reason is that Pro tools requires an external HD (USB and eSata not suported). The best option is to use a FW800 external HD (I use a WD MY Book Studio) which is waaaaaay faster than using the FW400 port.
Since the MB doesn't have a FW800 port the choice is more than obvious.
As far as other audio programs: Audio usually doesn't need powerful graphics, only a fast processor and lots of RAM. Since both laptops have almost the same processor speed and the same max. RAM I would say you could save some money and go with the MB.
BTW, for Photoshop the MB (with max. RAM) is more than enough.
The dedicated Graphic card in the BM Pro only gives you an advantage with 3D animations or games.
A friend of mine is a professional photographer and designer and he has no problems whatsoever with the performance of the MB (which he has connected to an external 23" cinema display) - since the 13" screen is too small.
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Member Since: Dec 25, 2007
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 154
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Mac Specs: Macbook Pro 2.2ghz 2G 15.5" 10.5.2; Iphone 3G

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Macbook Pro and Pro Tools... I wouldn't settle for anything else... I'm a musician/engineer, by the way.
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Member Since: May 03, 2010
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I'm also in the market for a MacBook and have decided to go with the Pro version with the 2.66 GHz processor. I will be using ProTools also.

My question is this: Will the 13" MacBook Pro with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor be enough to be able to run a ProTools rig with multi-track recording or should i consider upgrading to the 15" with the newer Intel Core i5 processors?

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