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OK don't laugh at a "vintage" Macbook Audio Interfaces
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

OK don't laugh at a "vintage" Macbook

OK, I got my hands on a vintage Macbook (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB 667 MHz DDR 2 RAM, 250 HDD, running 10.5.8) and REALLY REALLY want to make it into a working DAW. Any suggestions on where I can get my hands on hardware/software that will play nice with 10-year-old computer hardware? I can't even update the OS with these specs, but it would be a shame to recycle it. You know, people DID make music on computers in 2008, so I shouldn't have to time warp to have some fun. I need specifics!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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TS-12's Avatar
People can barely get newest MacBooks to work for audio production without glitches and here you’re trying a vintage Mac, hmm maybe older ones don’t have all these audio issues that new ones have
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Finding apps will be the issue, take a look on eBay.

Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
f33
Gear Addict
 

lotta ppl still use logic 9, shouldn't be hard to find. ableton 7 or 8 should be fine too - just get more ram and ssd
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daxanthoy View Post
OK, I got my hands on a vintage Macbook (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB 667 MHz DDR 2 RAM, 250 HDD, running 10.5.8) and REALLY REALLY want to make it into a working DAW. Any suggestions on where I can get my hands on hardware/software that will play nice with 10-year-old computer hardware? I can't even update the OS with these specs, but it would be a shame to recycle it. You know, people DID make music on computers in 2008, so I shouldn't have to time warp to have some fun. I need specifics!
I have a 2009 white-unibody Macbook (Core 2 Duo, 2.26GHz). Installed 8GB and a 250GB Samsung EVO SSD and it's running High Sierra (Mojave isn't officially supported). I don't know which Mac you have in hands, because there is no factory specificiation of a Mac like yours. Is it aluminium? Macbook Pro? Unibody Macbook White? Pre-unibody white macbook? With this information, you can research the most recent Mac version you can install.

A good thing is native firewire support, that is, you can get a great firewire interface for and affordable price. Some Macbooks from 2008-2009 support from up to 6-8GB, depending on the model. If you have a mid-2010 white Macbook or Macbook Pro, it can get up to 16GB. I have a Mac Mini 2010 with 16GB, but honestly, the CPU is the bottleneck and I never reach more than 8-10GB of RAM, and when I reach this mark, processing power is the issue.

Install an SSD (some SSDs don't set speed to SATA-II properly and operate in SATA-I mode even if your Mac supports SATA-II), so take a bit of research to make sure you'll get SATA-II speeds. My Samsung EVO and my Crucial M500 operates in SATA-II, but my OCZ XLR8 don't.

In regard to DAWs, you can use Reaper and perhaps Logic Pro 9 (but it can be hard to find a valid and affordable license around ebay).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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zvukofor's Avatar
I have a location recording laptop with the almost the same specs.
10.9.5, latest Reaper, Toneboosters plugins suite... it just works.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Guru
You can probably run all the Airwindows plug ins on it. Honestly probably most of what you need!
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daxanthoy View Post
OK, I got my hands on a vintage Macbook (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB 667 MHz DDR 2 RAM, 250 HDD, running 10.5.8) and REALLY REALLY want to make it into a working DAW. Any suggestions on where I can get my hands on hardware/software that will play nice with 10-year-old computer hardware? I can't even update the OS with these specs, but it would be a shame to recycle it. You know, people DID make music on computers in 2008, so I shouldn't have to time warp to have some fun. I need specifics!
If you go to Everymac website you should be able to identify it without too much trouble, using identifiers printed underneath or in the battery bay ? My guess is that a 10 year old M-Box would work on it.

No point in getting the latest OSX...that is what is breaking everyone's computers (or at least mismatching the hardware with the software, and causing audio glitching). Core Audio was rock solid back then, so you'll be inheriting a bomb-proof workflow, as long as the interfacing hardware you choose to use is of a similar vintage.

You may have trouble find a source of older OSX device drivers for the hardware...but someone, somewhere in the world will have what you need in terms of software downloads and drivers. Like a vintage car, keep everything "of the era" and don't feel driven to modernize it with the latest OSX...nothing to be gained from that for an audio computer.

Just be wary of overheating....find out how to open up the machine and clear away dust and lint from inside and around fans. If it's a chronic overheater you may be forced to DIY a new thermal grease reapplication for the CPU, but this isn't hard. Run it conservatively (Reaper is great for very low resources use) and you'll have an economical workhorse !
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
You can probably run all the Airwindows plug ins on it. Honestly probably most of what you need!
Ah, this thread makes me happy

Hell yeah you can. You can run all the Airwindows plugins on a G4 or G5 PPC laptop. You might want to hunt down the collection (I'll link you: the pre-dither versions are BeforeFPDither.zip) before I added dithering to floating point, not sure you need to do bleeding edge current sound on a vintage laptop or maybe it'll work out fine so long as you give it enough buffers.

I have a vintage PPC laptop, and have a version of Logic that runs on it, plus I found a build of Renoise that'll also work on that old a machine. And, it has optical ins and outs. Can't ask for much more than that

Yes absolutely my stuff will run on your machine. That's very much on purpose and I'm always delighted to discover when somebody IS able to make productive use of such a machine thanks to me not breaking faith with it. Music is a great purpose for older computers.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

I'm working just fine with Ableton 10 and Logic Pro X on my early 2011 Macbook Pro 2.3GHz iCore5. I put in 16gb ram and a 1tb hardrive and it's a great setup for audio and synths. But no, I can't run a lot of big cpu hungry synths, but I find I don't need to.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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mbvoxx's Avatar
Upgade the OS to High Sierra, IF the MB is compatible. Once your on HS all current DAW software should work on it. Your processor and ram will define how much you can do simultaneously. But if you end up with even Mountain Lion, you'll be able to run Pro Tools 10.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

My iMac is from mid 2010, still running all the latest. Works great
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvoxx View Post
Upgade the OS to High Sierra, IF the MB is compatible. Once your on HS all current DAW software should work on it. Your processor and ram will define how much you can do simultaneously. But if you end up with even Mountain Lion, you'll be able to run Pro Tools 10.
See, this is what I wouldn't do....and in the first post the OP says he's stuck on 10.5.8 anyway, and not updateable further. My reasoning being that a lot of the interface hardware he might seek out to use with the MB, of similar vintage to it, also very likely has a similar OSX cutoff, beyond which it won't co-operate or even run. MBox II/Pro is an example of such..I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work with Mavericks or beyond, for example.

A more modern interface might not work with an OSX below 10.10 for example. The DAW software of 2008 was perfectly capable of recording to his required standards, as he said in post#1...no need to open a can of worms of mismatches, by leapfrogging ahead to "the latest OSX" (or even High Sierra) when it may close more doors (DAWs) than it opens for him.

You can usually track back and find heritage drivers and DAW versions (eg Reaper) without much trouble...so for all these reasons I'd advocate keeping hardware, computer, OSX version and driver versions as close to a 'historically unified package' as possible .
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Head
 
beadbrain99's Avatar
 

From memory, I was running a MOTU 828 MkII (which has FW400 plus ADAT and SPDIF connectivity amongst other things) on a G5 tower, using both OS 9 and a pre-Snow Leopard early version of OSX, perhaps Tiger. MOTU are good about maintaing compatibility with regard to drivers etc. I think I even hooked it up to my white MacBook at one point, which only runs OSX 10.5
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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mutetourettes's Avatar
 

+1 for old motu firewire hardware - cheap as chips, excellent quality (especially the mkIII onwards) good old drivers and they seem to care about it.

I have an old G4 ppc laptop mac, the 828Mk1 worked fine with it, and the last harrison mixbus that had ppc support (can't remember the version) and reaper. haven't tried it with the 828mkIII that I have now, though.

RME firewire interfaces also probably a good bet, also apogee ensemble maybe?
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Guru
FWIW I was recording on an old Korg D12 going in digital thru a converter. Sounded great. I recently upgraded to a MixPre 6 since I like standalone recording and the conversion and pres are matched going in.... I mix on an old Mac laptop (2010)? Works great and had an even older one that was fine. Obviously there are plug ins that max me out but I work around that. So, for recording I really can't offer advice, but for mixing, you may be surprised what you can get away with......
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutetourettes View Post
+1 for old motu firewire hardware - cheap as chips, excellent quality (especially the mkIII onwards) good old drivers and they seem to care about it.

I have an old G4 ppc laptop mac, the 828Mk1 worked fine with it, and the last harrison mixbus that had ppc support (can't remember the version) and reaper. haven't tried it with the 828mkIII that I have now, though.

RME firewire interfaces also probably a good bet, also apogee ensemble maybe?
This topic made me think about turning my Mini 2010 into an audio workstation. It has FW800 support... an old Ensemble perhaps could be a good match, but I wonder if it's fully compatible with High Sierra. Apogee's site says it doesn't officially support newer OS versions (for this interface), but provide installers. Luckily these installers would do the trick.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by beadbrain99 View Post
From memory, I was running a MOTU 828 MkII (which has FW400 plus ADAT and SPDIF connectivity amongst other things) on a G5 tower, using both OS 9 and a pre-Snow Leopard early version of OSX, perhaps Tiger. MOTU are good about maintaing compatibility with regard to drivers etc. I think I even hooked it up to my white MacBook at one point, which only runs OSX 10.5
My 2010 Mojave upgraded Mac Pro is STILL running the Motu 828MKII. I bought my original one when it came out in 2004 for my old G4 800, and bought this replacement for under $200 a couple years ago when it finally died on me. If you want a rock solid interface from that era that actually still gets support, you cant go wrong with a MOTU.. If you've got a firewire Mac, the 828MK2 (stay away from the MK1)/896HD/Traveler/etc are all still awesome interfaces. Its too bad Apple wants Firewire to go away.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 

i remember one time my pc died, so i had to rebuild one and it was going to take a few days. so i moved my hard drives into a old erickson server pc and when i say this thing worked flawlessly and better then my newer computer that had died. I was able to run more plugins and more instances of nebula. i was floored. However, it died and i junked it. sometimes the oldies are goldies, especially when it comes to cars
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Head
 

My advice would be to upgrade that puppy to snow leopard the leanest, meanest version of osx imo, can still buy a boxed copy on the uk apple store for £19, if you're not in the uk, check the store in your country. It will open up your choices to be on snowy, a lot of the software I recommend underneath is 10.6 and later.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple (UK)

For a daw you could try ardour, is on version 5 at the mo, not sure if it will work but worth a go, minimum spec, snow leopard, intel processor, 2gb min ram, 600 mb install space, if that doesn't work hunt down an older version.

Get Ardour | ardour

Plugins, free stuff, good news was there were some classics that don't work on newer macs, search for massey tapehead au, I looked but most sites didn't look trust worthy, so I won't link them.

Grab some tasty fish fillets, for the basics, comp, de-esser, gate and expander.

digitalfishphones.com - audio freeware plugins by Sascha Eversmeier


For experimental stuff dtblkfx is worth a look, vst only afaik.

KVR: DtBlkFx by Darrell Tam - Multi FX VST Plugin


Michael norris has a nice spectral suite

Soundmagic Spectral - Michael Norris


Smartelectronix did some great stuff back in the day, some of the ports to osx follow, along with a lot of other stuff.

http://www.apulsoft.ch/freeports/index.php


Few experimental plugins on this site too, should work on older macs.

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~adam/++/...s&effect=smear


Standalone app paul stretch is good for experimenting here is the older version, might be worth seeing if the newer fork works with your specs too.

http://music.cornwarning.com/2011/12...ch-os-x-build/

Can't think of anything else off the top of my head, I'll have a look on my old powerbook, if I can find the fecker, refresh my memory.
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