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Hello! and my dilemna....?! Desktop Synthesizers
Old 9th September 2007
Here for the gear

Hello! and my dilemna....?!

hello there,
im brand new here!

and i have a dilemna that maybe u guys could help steer me in the right direction.

i am looking to purchase either:
a. new mackbook pro (17inch, dual 2,4G core duo etc etc)
b. mac pro 8 core

now i run pro tools 002 with apogee converters etc at my little production studio with a dual 2.5 G5, so im having a hard time deciding actually.

here are the pro's and cons.
a. mackbook pro is cool because i travel and tour a bit with my band so its handy to be able to take this with me and do some work on the road etc...
not too mention wireless net and just all round portability / ease of use...

b. 8 core mac - sheer nuts! basically giving my current studio space a ballsy upgrade, processor wise...

i currently have the G5 and an IBook which as of last night, just died! booo...hence me looking at these options now.
im not getting rid of the G5 so that will still be around..

i intend on using either for mixing / tracking / editing / mix prep etc..

what would u guys suggest? given that i have not had experience with either of the two new units yet...
ps. i know there's a diff in price but thats fine with me.
cheerS!!! and thanks for letting me make such a long rant / question! hehe
take it easy
Old 9th September 2007
Gear Addict
NotVeryLoud's Avatar

Even though I don't have the exact setup you're looking at, this info might help.

I purchased a MacBook (2Ghz core due, 2G RAM - same processing power as the MB Pro, just fewer hardware bells & whistles) for home use, and updated my work computer to a Quad Core 2GHz Mac Pro, w/4G RAM). I do music composition and sound design for a game developer, so mostly MIDI sequencing, direct-from-disc sample playback, and a fair amount of audio recording and mixing, but no large-scale multi-track live music tracking or mixing. That being said . . .
I'm amazed at what the MacBooks are capable of. The MacBook puts my old dual 1.4 MAC G4 desktop to shame (not that that's surprising really). I use the firewire I/O with a Metric Halo ULN2 and Digital Performer for both MIDI and audio without a hitch. Just love it.
But, when I transfer projects from my MacBook to my Mac Pro at work, it's like hopping off a Vespa and climbing into Mustang. You really can't compare the two. They're both very powerful computers, but again, one's a really powerful scooter, and the other's a really powerful car. A quick and convenient trip across town to run errands without the hassle of parking, versus a dependable, comfortable, and fast drive across the country. I couldn't see doing large-scale production work on the laptop. Overdubs, very high-quality sketchpad demo work, and even significant MIDI composition work yes, but if I had to record and mix a project with 12 or more audio tracks, all of which requiring multiple, processor-hungry plugins, (and consider your preferred sample rate . . 44.1? 48? 96?) I might be a little hesitant.

I think your pros and cons listing is right on the money.

Laptop = cool, convenient, portable, and yes, you can get *some* great work done on it.
Desktop = serious production tool to finish that great work you started on the laptop.

I don't think one can replace the other. Especially since you're looking at a 8 core desktop.
Old 10th September 2007
Here for the gear

yeah you hit the nail on the head there. thanks for that i was kinda thinking along the same lines as the setup you described, 8 core it is! heh
i was figuring that the mac laptops are quick, but at the end of the day, just not enough to handle a full work load.
cheers sir!
Old 10th September 2007
Lives for gear
Darm's Avatar

As far as I know G5 is powerful enuff for pretty much everything.
I don;t get the thing about powerful laptops.
Why dont you get a cheap Apple Laptop (since you don't really need a lot of proceccing power on it) and ugrade your G5 to the very top specs?
Old 10th September 2007
Lives for gear

wing commander.
just something to think about from bomber command. lol.
takeing computers out on the road is a nice idea .
but...think about "murphys law".
personal computers dont have advanced what we
in the computer industry call "fault tolerant technology".
which youll normally find in very high end computer architectures
used in such places as financial institutions that need to run 24/7.
(google for more info on fault tolerant.)
what happens , if you blow a wad of cash on one computer,
and it develops a fault on the road ??
or somehow its dropped or accidentally a roadie slams into it in
a drunken
or you forget n leave it somewhere, and someone purloins it. ?
OR mebe your not near where it can be serviced.
if "uptime" is critical for you.
instead of one "over the top insane machine"...
mebe it might be prudent to think of two. (not as insane power or even used machines.)
so you have a back up in case one goes on the fritz.
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