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Apple for the Elderly
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Apple for the Elderly

At 70, few things highlight the waning of one's time and cognition like producing music in Windows.

Can moving to Apple make me more productive? If so, I need you whippersnappers' advice. Here's what I want to do:

Amateur not pro
Audio recording and VSTi (Diva, Kontakt, Superior Drummer)
Conventional rock, pop and jazz
Ableton Live 10, but no DJ action
Use basic midi controllers
Four to ten tracks
Travel friendliness required

I know Apple tends to churn its lineup and there are a lot of options out there.
A recent used machine under a grand might be just the ticket.

Can you rattle off a few specific laptops to shop for? And any other remarks. Or as per Monty Python, feel free to "fart in my general direction."

Thanks so much.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Do you already know how to use an Apple for music? Is learning a new OS + how to make music on it better than using Windows 10 ("grass is greener" etc etc.)? What issues are you having on Windows 10 that take time away from making music?

There's no question that Apple hardware is generally great, except their later laptop keyboards can be pretty bad. Also, you'll get a lower spec'd machine with Apple for the same money as something running Windows - you have to pay for that R&D plus the "privilege" of using an Apple and it's raft of expensive accessories.

If you're absolutely positive you're going Apple, I'd look for a 2015 MBP and see if you can get one under $1k.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
Do you already know how to use an Apple for music? Is learning a new OS + how to make music on it better than using Windows 10 ("grass is greener" etc etc.)? What issues are you having on Windows 10 that take time away from making music?

There's no question that Apple hardware is generally great, except their later laptop keyboards can be pretty bad. Also, you'll get a lower spec'd machine with Apple for the same money as something running Windows - you have to pay for that R&D plus the "privilege" of using an Apple and it's raft of expensive accessories.

If you're absolutely positive you're going Apple, I'd look for a 2015 MBP and see if you can get one under $1k.
Well Vito, Ableton is unreliable in many ways under Windows, as are most controllers and many plugins. "Compatible with Windows" is a meaningless claim, attested by the millions of queries on this and other forums. The lost time cost of troubleshooting Windows in Music alone surely is in the billions now. I've been willing to lift the hood for years in the name of saving money, but now time is more precious than.

Thanks very much for your response. I see MBPs 2015 for 700 to 800 on ebay.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
First of all, @ barfwafl -- your username sparks joy in my heart.

Secondly -- I grew up on Mac, switched to PC (I was a PC game junkie for a spell), and then switched back to Mac about 11 years ago. I'm very glad I did. A lot of the things PC fans hate about Macs, specifically the lack of hardware tweakability by the user, is why they tend to work so well for a non-tweaker. My parents are in their 70s and love their Macs. (Well, my father does, anyway... my mother loves her iPad, that's as close to a computer as she'll come.) I also spent a while working for Apple in CPU/iCloud tech support and found it to be a very easy job helping older or less tech-savvy customers get comfortable with their machines, and many of them came from Windows. Most fun non-music job I've had, actually!

I think you will indeed find your software of choice, Ableton and Native Instruments, working easily on a Mac with fewer compatibility issues and crashes. I think you could buy a Macbook Pro that's two or three years old and still get many years out of it. I would highly recommend getting a solid state external hard drive to store your NI libraries on, though, because the SSD drives on these Macbooks will fill up alarmingly fast. If you can, get one through Apple's refurbished store: it'll be more expensive than Craigslist but it'll have a warranty and be subject to extremely rigorous QC. They test their refurbs even more thoroughly than new products, it's the best way to go in my opinion.

I should mention that the last Windows OS I used was XP, and I actually really loved that system. I had to spend a lot more time fussing with drivers to get things to work, and it was much more virus-prone than any Mac I've had, but I'm not a Windows hater and I've actually been very curious about Windows 10, about which I've heard some good things. So, while the above reflects my personal experience, I know there are many very happy Windows users out there who are getting great results and making great music.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barfwafl View Post
Well Vito, Ableton is unreliable in many ways under Windows, as are most controllers and many plugins. "Compatible with Windows" is a meaningless claim, attested by the millions of queries on this and other forums. The lost time cost of troubleshooting Windows in Music alone surely is in the billions now. I've been willing to lift the hood for years in the name of saving money, but now time is more precious than.

Thanks very much for your response. I see MBPs 2015 for 700 to 800 on ebay.
Fair enough Absolutely go with whatever solution is going to help you make the music you want to make with as little fuss as possible.

One reason I suggested the 2015 MBP is that I thought it'd be in your price range, of course, but also you can get pretty good specs as well for your needs. An added bonus, if it ever becomes useful, is that 2015 was the last year that the headphone jack doubled as a digital out (again, going with Apple means suffering through Apple hubris). And, yes, I have one of these. Oh, if you're travelling a lot and taking it in and out of a bag etc., I also recommend a "skin" for the case - I bought mine from dbrand.com and put it on when the thing was new, but there's lots more.

Finally, one reason that some people find Apple easier to use is because it's such a constrained ecosystem (the silver lining on that whole Apple hubris thing) and, as such, isn't really abused by PC resellers. Also, Microsoft supports tons more legacy stuff, which opens the door to more abuse. As someone that grew up using Windows, and use Windows 10 primarily, I generally have zero issues outside of some versions of a DAW (like you) or plugin, or a bad update etc. But Apple suffers from these as well - hopefully not for your hardware and software combo! Good luck, and hopefully you can get back to having fun making music soon.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Oh, just a slight more rant. What we call PC is a cobbling of chips and power supplies from dozens of sources routed in scores of possible ways. Despite the vast error potential, civilization now resides on this platform. Meanwhile, Apple builds discrete designs and controls them in autocratic fashion. So it's sort of like the public sector and the private one. Or maybe like the Morloch sector and the Eloi one.

We can choose how we spend our money, but no matter what, the money will be spent.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
d.dot's Avatar
 

Morlock, Eloi. I need to read more.
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