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Notebook vs Macbook for Live performance in 2019 Audio Interfaces
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Notebook vs Macbook for Live performance in 2019

Hi!
I'm planning to buy a new laptop computer for live performance (launch backing tracks/sequences and NI Battery for controlling electronic sounds for my hybrid Drumset) and some drums recording in studio.
I need a reliable setup and I was looking for some Macbook Pro (8 Gb RAM version) but it seems a little bit overpriced.
Should I buy a High End Windows laptop or a Macbook Pro?
What would you recommend?


Thank you,
Alex.
Old 5 days ago
  #2
Due to the problem with audio glitches, I would not recommend a Macbook/pro/air nowdays for live performance.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
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I’ve heard something about Apple’s T2 chip problem...I was wondering about upgrading an used or refurbished Macbook pro 2012 or a 2016 version.
Is it worth it? Or should I choose a new High end Windows notebook?
Old 4 days ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristar View Post
I’ve heard something about Apple’s T2 chip problem...I was wondering about upgrading an used or refurbished Macbook pro 2012 or a 2016 version.
Is it worth it? Or should I choose a new High end Windows notebook?
A new windows laptop probably would be more powerful at the same price of the refurbished mbp, and Windows 10 is pretty solid nowadays. If still you want to go the Apple way just buy something without AMD graphics because they die soon or later.
Old 4 days ago
  #5
Gear Head
A thing to consider is there is a large community of Mac users who share experiences and press Apple for fixing bugs or issues with their products. I've already had some post-warranty fixes for free because Apple acknowledged design issues. You can buy a Lenovo Thinkpad or a Dell Precision, but I don't think your screaming will be heard as promptly as if it came from the Apple community. The T2 chip thing is the topic of the moment, and I think Apple will provide a solution soon.

This said, Thinkpads and Precisions have solid reputations, although I don't see audio hardware manufacturers concerned about how to provide the best Precision/ThinkPad/Elitebook experience with their products, but I can see them thinking about it in relation to Macbooks.
Old 4 days ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
A thing to consider is there is a large community of Mac users who share experiences and press Apple for fixing bugs or issues with their products.
That's interesting.
Another point I'm thinking about are the alternatives to "only Mac" software like Logic or Mainstage (which is the most used software by artists I've been playing with, so, sharing projects would be much more easier with them especially if I'd have to work on their backing tracks) and also we could have a backup if needed, connecting our macbooks.
If I'd have to choose for reliability, my preference would go for Macbook Pro for the simplified workflow, the only thing which makes me think, are the specs ( 8gb RAM + SSD for a 2016 or 2017 refurbished version).
If this is reliable enough for controlling in real time drum triggering sounds/Roland SPD and backing tracks during live concerts, I'll definitely go for it…
Old 4 days ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 
pcaudiolabs's Avatar
 

I DJ/perform live (with Ableton Live) on one of our laptops, and can tell you that what is most important is that your system be properly configured and that you just check it heavily before getting on a stage. If you need help or input with setting up a live rig, let me know, I've been performing from a laptop for over ten years now.
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristar View Post
If I'd have to choose for reliability, my preference would go for Macbook Pro for the simplified workflow, the only thing which makes me think, are the specs ( 8gb RAM + SSD for a 2016 or 2017 refurbished version).
If this is reliable enough for controlling in real time drum triggering sounds/Roland SPD and backing tracks during live concerts, I'll definitely go for it…
Don't know about live performance, but a friend have an i5 laptop with a Behringer 404HD interface and it becomes clicking after a couple of realtime plugins applied on two inputs. My Early 2013 quad Macbook Pro (8GB) with an Apogee Element 46 seems rock solid in Logic with ~8-12 tracks (2-4 synths, an auto-drummer track and some analog guitars/bass/vocals with compressors and EQs). Never tried audio triggering, which, depending on the software, it can add a small latency when loading the track. There are proprietary solutions for Mac, like this, but never tried:
Rogue Amoeba | Farrago: Robust, rapid-fire soundboards
Old 3 days ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I've been thinking about this myself and am contemplating a different solution: since your laptop would likely be plugged in instead of running on battery, why not consider a small desktop like the new Mac Mini (or even a high-spec 2014 model, refurbished)? You can control Logic (and probably mainstage, I've never used it) from an iPad, and of course you can use a wireless keyboard for typing and just set it down when you don't need it. I think there's a way to set up an iPad to be a monitor for the Mini, or just buy a really small monitor. You get quite a bit more power, more ports, etc., for not much more bulk and weight. A bit more time to set up, but honestly not that much more. The mini can sit on the floor.

I haven't thought through it all yet, but my 2014 Mini has been very reliable; it doesn't have enough RAM to be effective for this purpose so I'd have to get a new one, but it would still probably be cheaper and more flexible than a new MacBook Pro.

I am considering a Windows laptop as well, using Reaper, but have had so many headaches with Windows 7 and 10 that I'm gun-shy.
Old 3 days ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcaudiolabs View Post
I DJ/perform live (with Ableton Live) on one of our laptops, and can tell you that what is most important is that your system be properly configured and that you just check it heavily before getting on a stage. If you need help or input with setting up a live rig, let me know, I've been performing from a laptop for over ten years now.
I really appreciate, thank you very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
Never tried audio triggering, which, depending on the software, it can add a small latency when loading the track. There are proprietary solutions for Mac
Yes...and I'm doubtfoul about how much cpu/ram is needed for real time drum triggering (with software like NI Battery 4).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
why not consider a small desktop like the new Mac Mini (or even a high-spec 2014 model, refurbished)? You can control Logic (and probably mainstage, I've never used it) from an iPad, and of course you can use a wireless keyboard for typing
This solution would be interesting especially for the higher settings at the same macbook price, I considered it, but would be much more complex especially when I have limited time for set up (and more weight).
I used Reaper and Windows notebook a couple of times and never had problems, but Mainstage (Mac only) is my favourite, much more user friendly especially in ''Performing mode'' is very simple, the most important thing for playing live.
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