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Going AWOL with Mac Book Audio Interfaces
Old 9th August 2006
Lives for gear
jahtao's Avatar

Thread Starter
Going AWOL with Mac Book

Greetings. I'm giving very serious thought to jacking in my job for a few months and going away with my Mbox 2, sm57 and josephson c42's. Money's for spending, life's for living and all that...

Possibly buy a Mac Book and a Korg Microkontrol. Questions:

Is the new Mac Book 1.8GHz Duo up to the job? I'm worried about that 5400rpm HDDD. What kind of track count can i expect? I like to use a lot of sampled instruments and drums (Kontakt), don't mind splashing out on RAM. Not bothered about using a lot of convolution reverbs, linear phase eqs etc. Just want to be a ble to write (not mix) simple ideas.

I own a dual 2.0Ghz G5, perhaps i should turn off one processor to give me an idea of life with a single 1.8. Then add the duo factor hmmm i'm confused. Help?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
Old 9th August 2006
Lives for gear
AdamJay's Avatar

5400rpm will be fine man.
the new HD Controllers in the Intel Macs are smoking.

a 7200rpm HD in a MacBook Pro gets up to 78 stereo tracks of playback @ 24bit/44.1khz. I've recorded up to 32 mono tracks simultaneously @ 24bit/96khz on a 7200rpm drive. with bandwidth to spare. These #'s were from internal system drives as well.

If you figure the 5400rpm being able to produce at least 75% of those results... well, do the math... that's roughly 58 stereo tracks @ 24/44.1 playback, and 50 mono tracks @ 24/44.1 recorded...

spend your $$ on maxing the RAM.

But you won't be able to use Kontakt, or any other NI plug-ins in OSX because NI hasn't ported them to Intel Macs yet. So make sure your plug-ins are compatible before you buy a new Mac that utilizes a new architecture. Do your research.

here's a couple links to KVR searches that are specific to Universal Binary and Intel Mac plug-ins, in other words these are the only plug-ins you'll be able to use on an Intel Mac running OSX....

KVR's list of Universal Binary FX

KVR's list of Universal Binary Instruments

KVR's list of Universal Binary Hosts
Old 10th August 2006
When I got my notebook a couple years ago, I made a point of getting a 7200 RPM drive (it took some doing back then... at the time there was only the Hitachi 60 GB available and many vendors simply didn't spec the HD speed).

While I don't regret the effort and always felt like it was a factor in the spunkiness of the machine, I ended up with an outboard USB2 drive, anyhow. I actually bought the outboard drive for storage, thinking USB2 wouldn't be adequate but I'm able to use the drive as both an audio drive and -- though it's not recommended to double up -- a stream-source drive for BFD.

That said, the machine works fine for recording audio standalone but I never got into the field recording I thought I would, anyhow... by the time I get my MOTU 828mkII bagged, some mics and stands, cabling, headphones, yadda yadda, it's a big packet of stuff, anyhow. (But I DID get a USB mic for ad hoc field work. Which I STILL haven't done much of. heh )
Old 10th August 2006
Lives for gear
jahtao's Avatar

Thread Starter
Many many thanks, good news about the hdd's, bad news about kontakt. I love kontakt, couldn't really live without it....
r.e. field recording: i just ordered an edirol r-09 for getting ideas down on the fly anywhere anyplace, beakboxing on the trans-siberian express etc

be well
Old 10th August 2006
Gear addict

Native instruments has scheduled Intel Mac compatible versions of all their major releases (Kontakt, Guitar Rig, Reaktor, Absynth, Battery) by the end of the third quarter of 2006 (according to their website).

That would be the end of September, so not long to wait if they're on schedule. That's what I'm waiting on before making the switch.

I would buy an SM7 and a great preamp as well if I were you... will just give you that extra step-up in quality of results.

Do it... you only live once!!!
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