• Thinking of Buying a Mac...

    From Jeff Gaines@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 11 10:34:40 2021
    I am awaiting receipt of an instrument called a Re.corder which looks
    vaguely like a Descant recorder but is also a MIDI controller. It comes
    with an app for iOS and Android which will get me going.

    However, if I want to use it with a PC or Windows laptop there's a fair
    bit of work and expense involved with no real guarantee of success. It
    seems to be different with a MacBook of some sort since they appear to
    have built in MIDI along with Garage Band and a variety of DAWs and VST
    hosts at astonishingly reasonable prices.

    Any musicians here who can tell me what musical stuff comes with a used
    MacBook that runs Big Sur (is that the latest?) and/or who can make recommendation for a reasonably priced DAW or VST host?

    Any MacBook models to avoid, I am looking for used around 500?

    Thanks.

    --
    Jeff Gaines Wiltshire UK
    There are 10 types of people in the world, those who do binary and those
    who don't.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Theo@21:1/5 to Jeff Gaines on Sun Jul 11 12:08:50 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    Jeff Gaines <jgaines_newsid@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

    I am awaiting receipt of an instrument called a Re.corder which looks
    vaguely like a Descant recorder but is also a MIDI controller. It comes
    with an app for iOS and Android which will get me going.

    However, if I want to use it with a PC or Windows laptop there's a fair
    bit of work and expense involved with no real guarantee of success. It
    seems to be different with a MacBook of some sort since they appear to
    have built in MIDI along with Garage Band and a variety of DAWs and VST
    hosts at astonishingly reasonable prices.

    Any musicians here who can tell me what musical stuff comes with a used MacBook that runs Big Sur (is that the latest?) and/or who can make recommendation for a reasonably priced DAW or VST host?

    Any MacBook models to avoid, I am looking for used around £500?

    I'll crosspost this to uk.comp.sys.mac since they know more about audio
    there (hello Ian...).

    On the hardware side, I don't think there a lot of difference between the models audio-wise, apart from quality of speakers etc.

    Macbooks have changed a few times. The upcoming release Monterey is only supported on 2015 or later. You can actually install newer releases on
    older hardware 'unofficially' - look up dosdude1 - but there are usually
    some glitches like lack of graphics acceleration.

    Retina Macbook Pro: 2013-2015. I wouldn't buy older than a 2015 because Monterey doesn't support them.
    'Butterfly' Macbook Pro: 2016-2018. These have keyboards that break and some people don't like them
    2019 MBP: better keyboard, Intel CPU
    2020 MBP: Apple Silicon CPU

    Macbook Air: 2010-2017 is all the same design. The screens on these are somewhat cheap and nasty.
    2018-early 2020: much better screen, Intel CPUs. Much less difference
    between the MBA and MBP (the MBP got thinner)
    Late 2020: Apple Silicon CPU

    Macbook (2015-2017): light but weedy and underpowered. Only one port.
    Avoid.


    Apple's in transition to Apple Silicon at the moment, so a 2020 Apple
    Silicon Mac would be more future proof but probably out of budget.

    The 2013-2015 MBP and 2010-2017 MBA have upgradeable storage, on the others it's soldered in and non-upgradeable. There's a hack to fit NVMe M.2 sticks
    to the older MBP/MBA which means you don't have to pay the Apple tax for storage.

    You'll have to look at pricing, but I'd guess you could look at a 2015 MBP
    or a 2015-17 MBA. Or a ~2016-18 MBP if you get on with the keyboard and
    are happy to take the risk of it breaking (since you won't get AppleCare on
    a used machine).

    I don't know what kind of CPU/GPU grunt you would need for audio stuff?
    I'd guess a Macbook Pro is probably better?

    Also worth mentioning:
    https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/refurbished
    where an Apple Silicon Mac Mini can be had for about £600 - could be a
    better option if you don't need a laptop - get the RAM you need then add a bigger USB SSD.

    Theo

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Raj Kundra@21:1/5 to Jeff Gaines on Sun Jul 11 15:22:50 2021
    On 11/07/2021 11:34, Jeff Gaines wrote:

    I am awaiting receipt of an instrument called a Re.corder which looks
    vaguely like a Descant recorder but is also a MIDI controller. It
    comes with an app for iOS and Android which will get me going.

    However, if I want to use it with a PC or Windows laptop there's a
    fair bit of work and expense involved with no real guarantee of
    success. It seems to be different with a MacBook of some sort since
    they appear to have built in MIDI along with Garage Band and a variety
    of DAWs and VST hosts at astonishingly reasonable prices.

    Any musicians here who can tell me what musical stuff comes with a
    used MacBook that runs Big Sur (is that the latest?) and/or who can
    make recommendation for a reasonably priced DAW or VST host?

    Any MacBook models to avoid, I am looking for used around £500?

    Thanks.

    mail me direct I might be able to help with software.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Theo@21:1/5 to Theo on Sun Jul 11 18:22:14 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    In uk.comp.homebuilt Theo <theom+news@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
    I don't know what kind of CPU/GPU grunt you would need for audio stuff?
    I'd guess a Macbook Pro is probably better?

    One other thing... if you did want a laptop, the 2012 non-Retina Macbook Pro
    is the last upgradeable Mac laptop - DIMM slot, SATA drive, DVD. They run Catalina officially, and later OSes unofficially. They can be had for about £200.

    The only downside is they're getting on a bit and some of them have dodgy soldering that causes the graphics to die - I'm not sure if that's all of
    them or just the ones with discrete GPUs. So it is slightly more of a
    lottery.

    Theo

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Jeff Gaines@21:1/5 to Theo on Sun Jul 11 18:34:15 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    On 11/07/2021 in message <wXB*XOSoy@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk> Theo wrote:

    One other thing... if you did want a laptop, the 2012 non-Retina Macbook
    Pro
    is the last upgradeable Mac laptop - DIMM slot, SATA drive, DVD. They run >Catalina officially, and later OSes unofficially. They can be had for
    about
    £200.

    Many thanks Theo and thanks for adding the Mac group, I'm so used to effectively only having one viable group for PCs I forgot to look for a
    Mac group!

    I am thinking of targeting an early 2015 MacBook Pro with an i5 CPU so
    will keep my eyes open and hope for responses on music/MIDI software.

    Thanks again :-)

    --
    Jeff Gaines Wiltshire UK
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Mark@21:1/5 to Jeff Gaines on Sun Jul 11 23:48:51 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    On 2021-07-11 18:34:15 +0000, "Jeff Gaines" <jgaines_newsid@yahoo.co.uk> said:

    On 11/07/2021 in message <wXB*XOSoy@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk> Theo wrote:

    One other thing... if you did want a laptop, the 2012 non-Retina Macbook Pro >> is the last upgradeable Mac laptop - DIMM slot, SATA drive, DVD. They run >> Catalina officially, and later OSes unofficially. They can be had for about >> 200.

    Many thanks Theo and thanks for adding the Mac group, I'm so used to effectively only having one viable group for PCs I forgot to look for a
    Mac group!

    I am thinking of targeting an early 2015 MacBook Pro with an i5 CPU so
    will keep my eyes open and hope for responses on music/MIDI software.

    Thanks again :-)

    Well, there's always Reaper (and a 'free daw program' Google search
    brings up a few suggestions.)
    --
    Cheers ... Mark

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Ian McCall@21:1/5 to Jeff Gaines on Mon Jul 12 01:05:16 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    On 11 Jul 2021, Jeff Gaines wrote
    (in article <xn0n09npi1r6v8a003@news.individual.net>):

    On 11/07/2021 in message<wXB*XOSoy@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk> Theo wrote:

    One other thing... if you did want a laptop, the 2012 non-Retina Macbook Pro
    is the last upgradeable Mac laptop - DIMM slot, SATA drive, DVD. They run Catalina officially, and later OSes unofficially. They can be had for
    about
    £200.

    Many thanks Theo and thanks for adding the Mac group, I'm so used to effectively only having one viable group for PCs I forgot to look for a
    Mac group!

    I am thinking of targeting an early 2015 MacBook Pro with an i5 CPU so
    will keep my eyes open and hope for responses on music/MIDI software.

    Thanks again :-)

    There’s me I suppose.

    I’ve run Logic on the Mac for quite some time. My music is software synths, and for manipulating MIDI etc. Logic is hard to beat - the plugins you get
    with it as standard are fantastic, let alone the DAW itself.

    Now, for live recording/playing I’ve heard more lean towards Ableton these days. Not really what I do so not really all to comment, but their Lite
    version is bundled for free all over the place so should be easy to get hold
    on to try. Cubase would be the closest cross-platform one to Logic I would guess.

    There’s also Garageband. Marketed as the more simple application, it’s actually pretty feature packed and syncs with the iOS versions if you have them. Worth a look depending what kind of recording you’re looking for - detailed mixes with automation of plugin params etc. (hi pass sweeps, weird reverb etc.)...Garageband isn’t really your thing. But got a guitar band
    and some mics? Yeah, go ahead - good value for that and you can always move
    up to Logic later - it will open Garageband projects.

    You’re looking at a 2015 i5. This will handle most things, just be aware
    that some later plugins use some fairly graphically intense coding, particularly reverbs. Get an SSD. Do not even consider trying to do this on
    an HDD, if you’re using Logic you will see the “System audio overload” dialog a -lot-, and it will annoy the hell out of you.

    Best of luck with it.

    Cheers,
    Ian

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From nospam@21:1/5 to Ian McCall on Sun Jul 11 20:32:01 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    In article <0001HW.269BBEBC0003E98B70000E32238F@news.individual.net>,
    Ian McCall <ian@eruvia.org> wrote:

    Youre looking at a 2015 i5. This will handle most things, just be aware
    that some later plugins use some fairly graphically intense coding, particularly reverbs. Get an SSD. Do not even consider trying to do this on an HDD, if youre using Logic you will see the System audio overload
    dialog a -lot-, and it will annoy the hell out of you.

    2015 mbp is only offered with an ssd

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Theo@21:1/5 to Ian McCall on Mon Jul 12 17:07:38 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    In uk.comp.homebuilt Ian McCall <ian@eruvia.org> wrote:
    You’re looking at a 2015 i5. This will handle most things, just be aware that some later plugins use some fairly graphically intense coding, particularly reverbs. Get an SSD. Do not even consider trying to do this on an HDD, if you’re using Logic you will see the “System audio overload” dialog a -lot-, and it will annoy the hell out of you.

    Just to add that the 15" 2015 MBP can have a discrete GPU, whereas the 13" doesn't. That means the 13" is lumbered with Intel's rather weedy Iris graphics (not even Iris Pro). Some of the 15" have an AMD Radeon discrete
    GPU /and/ Iris Pro graphics.

    Confusingly, it appears the 15" comes in 2.2, 2.5 and 2.8GHz i7 versions and the 2.2 doesn't have the dGPU (just regular Iris Pro) but the 2.5 and 2.8
    do. Not that it has the thermal envelope to run both CPU and GPU at full
    tilt together, but should be much quicker than Iris.

    So if GPU processing is likely to be important, might be worth looking at
    the 15" dGPU versions.

    You should look for screenshots of System Information to show the graphics
    it has, as some of them were build to order so you want to know exactly what you're getting: https://shashinki.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/20180222_185226.jpg

    THeo

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Jeff Gaines@21:1/5 to Theo on Tue Jul 13 10:02:47 2021
    XPost: uk.comp.sys.mac

    On 11/07/2021 in message <wXB*qrRoy@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk> Theo wrote:

    Any MacBook models to avoid, I am looking for used around £500?

    Just to say thank you to everybody for their input :-)

    My Artinoise Re.corder arrived yesterday and the iPad app playing into
    speakers via the jack was surprisingly good, they have bundled some good
    sounds with it. Trying to get some action on a Windows 8.1 machines was interesting but a bit frustrating, I just couldn't get any sound out but I
    was able to drive a Yamaha PSR-1500 keyboard with it using a driver dated
    2015 for the Yamaha.

    I have taken the plunge and bought an early 2015 MacBook Pro A1502 Core i5 2.70Ghz 8GB RAM 512GB NVMe. I think that gets me round the issues with butterfly keyboards and as far as I can see it will upgrade to Monterey in
    due course.

    I am bound to have some questions so "I'll be back" as they say!

    --
    Jeff Gaines Wiltshire UK
    This is as bad as it can get, but don't bet on it

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)