Mac Book specs for 20 channel 96khz recording

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of boota boota 1 week, 3 days ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #86069
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    I’m looking to get an older mac book (pro?) just to use for music production.

    My Windows 10 desktop PC is recording 20+ channels @ 96khz even better than I expected, but it seems hard to compare laptop specs to get a good idea what am older model mac book will handle.

    I am hoping those of you that are using older model mac books can tell me what it can handle, recording from your SQ mixer.

    Specs, year of model etc would be extremely handy.

    I will be doing very little live processing on the laptop, just recording the audio, so don’t worry about other overheads (although some breathing space is always nice),

    tl; dr: What spec older macbooks are you using to record 20 channels @ 96khz without hitches?

    Thanks 🙂

    #86070
    Profile photo of PBo67
    PBo67
    Participant

    I will answer that it is enough that it has USB2 (since anyway the SQ is in USB2), and an internal SSD. So any MACBOOK pro from 2011 by putting an internal SSD in SATA, will do the trick.

    #86071
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    With all respect, that seems a bit too good to be true, but I will take your word for it! 😛

    Is there anyone reading with a mac book that struggles with 20 channels?

    #86075
    Profile photo of peterlanders
    peterlanders
    Participant

    I’ve done 24 channels (via Firewire, admittedly) on a 2011 MacBook Air many times. No problem.

    USB 2 has plenty of bandwidth for the full 32 channels the SQ provides (if it didn’t, it wouldn’t matter how new or fast your computer was, the bottleneck would be the interface itself, not the computer) but since USB does make more CPU demands than FireWire or Thunderbolt (which have dedicated controllers) my advice would be to do your recording into the most barebones software you can: I’ve seen a lot of people swear by Reaper, I’ve used Boom Recorder Pro, etc. If you’re going to use a more mainstream DAW, I’d advise testing carefully before doing any important recording, and stay far away from software plugins while recording. Do your fancy stuff later.

    Also, I’d say to keep the machine offline while recording and only running the recording software itself. You don’t want something else (updates or some utility) stealing CPU capacity from the recording process.

    #86078
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    My sentiments exactly, to keep the machine offline with as much disabled as possible, which is why I like the idea of a using a mac .. there’s not much else I would use it for apart from music.

    I also highly recommend Reaper to people, for how lean it is.

    When you say have used firewire, I take it you mean without the SQ desk and at 96khz, unless I am missing something and there is a way to use the SQ with firewire? Thanks for your reply

    #86081
    Profile photo of Søren Steinmetz
    Søren Steinmetz
    Participant

    An alternative to Reaper is Waves Tracks Live.
    Free simple tracking program, been using it for several years to track 24 channels in FireWire, 16+ on USB from the SQ5 and 64 via Dante and DVS (Dante Virtual Soundcard)
    On an older Mac book pro 2011 onto an external SSD via USB.

    #86082
    Profile photo of peterlanders
    peterlanders
    Participant

    Sorry, I should’ve been clear that my experience on that MacBook wasn’t with an SQ, but with multiple FireWire audio interfaces arranged in an aggregate device. If anything a more draining setup than a single class-compliant device like the SQ.

    Bottom line: set it up lean and clean, eliminate unnecessary overhead, and you should be fine.

    I’d be more worried about spending money on a machine that no longer gets OS updates myself, but as long as your software of choice works and it’s not going to be an Internet machine you should be just fine. I think the 2011 models were only dropped in the current MacOS version but I may be a year off.

    #86090
    Profile photo of boota
    boota
    Participant

    i’m using a 2012 macbook pro retina without any issues so far. don’t forget to set up the project in 96khz though, i use logic and it complained that the hard drive was too slow whenever i ran the project in 48k. (probably due to the computer having to convert everything to the project sample rate in real-time…)

    #86099
    Profile photo of PBo67
    PBo67
    Participant

    You ask us for an opinion, I give you my feeling. For now I use a Macmini 2014 i5 2.6Ghz, 8GB of RAM and 500GB SSD with the SQ. And I record 40 channels 96Khz with Reaper in addition to playing 4 tracks with QLAB. It is not a problem.
    So 20 tracks …..

    #86103
    Profile photo of pfr
    pfr
    Participant

    MacBook Pro mid 2011 i7 2.2Ghz with 256GB SSD. 48Tracks @96khz with Dante dvs and Tracks live on SQ6

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    #86239
    Profile photo of whatsoup
    whatsoup
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Sorry it took a while to get back to the thread, but most, if not all of you have reassured me I should be fine with an 2011 up.

    A few people I have spoked to have given me the concern of OS updates (or lackof) with 2011 models, but this shouldn’t really restrict me with DAW and driver updates should it, if the machine will pretty much be offline and just for music?

    #86242
    Profile photo of peterlanders
    peterlanders
    Participant

    As long as the DAW and interface drivers continue to support whatever OS version you have. Mac developers tend to stay pretty current, often ending support of OS versions when Apple does, or maybe just supporting the current and one or two previous versions. Big developers like Ableton tend to have the resources to support more ‘legacy’ systems. At least the SQ is class compliant so doesn’t need any drivers on Macs, so that’ll be fine. Just watch what OS versions your DAW supports before installing any updates.

    #86350
    Profile photo of jrogers
    jrogers
    Participant

    boota, what other settings are you using in logic (buffer, file type, etc.)? Are you saving the tracks locally or to an external drive? I tried a number of different settings but keep getting ‘disk to slow’ or ‘disk full’ errors in middle of a recording.

    #86351
    Profile photo of boota
    boota
    Participant

    Only thing I’ve done is set project sample rate to 96 kHz. Everything has been fine after that

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