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Author Topic: Workstation vs Macbook  (Read 2017 times)

Offline Incognito21

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Workstation vs Macbook
« on: November 13, 2014, 02:57:19 PM »
My good old Yamaha s30 broke yesterday night;  I am know at a point between choosing from a old workstation similar to what I had  or go with a  usb synth with a macbook;
I already own a macbook pro 2012 500 gb

Any pro or cons?  My budget is kinda tight so Let's say that I don't want to spend more than 1k.

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2014, 04:24:38 PM »
I'm getting back into midi. I think my next keyboard might be a midi controller. I recently bought a 49 key controller and enjoy being able to use it on my tablet anywhere. I think my next laptop will be a 2 in 1 laptop. I just have more research to do. I find my current table is cool but is a little small for doing school work with the stock keyboard. Kevin Conley said he uses a Mac Mini and controller now.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.

Offline Incognito21

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 09:41:04 AM »
I'm getting back into midi. I think my next keyboard might be a midi controller. I recently bought a 49 key controller and enjoy being able to use it on my tablet anywhere. I think my next laptop will be a 2 in 1 laptop. I just have more research to do. I find my current table is cool but is a little small for doing school work with the stock keyboard. Kevin Conley said he uses a Mac Mini and controller now.


Interesting, what app do you use ?

Right now, I think I am going with the midi option. Either one of the axioms or Roland A37 but my only concern is that my laptop is also my school computer and the patch files are big.

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 10:40:06 AM »
I was going to get Mixcraft 6 previously but I have not bought it yet. I'm still kinda deciding. I have played with Acid and a few others. Mixctaft seems to be the easiest. I have not played with a lot of VSTs layered on it yet though. At some point I think getting a midi controller or cheap midi keyboard with basic sounds is a good idea in case the computer crashes during a gig.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.

Offline gozpeljunkie

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 10:20:04 PM »
My good old Yamaha s30 broke yesterday night;  I am know at a point between choosing from a old workstation similar to what I had  or go with a  usb synth with a macbook;
I already own a macbook pro 2012 500 gb

Any pro or cons?  My budget is kinda tight so Let's say that I don't want to spend more than 1k.

Pros:
workstation: Quick to set up and be running, no multiple pieces of the puzzle and wires connecting one to another, wonderful to set up presets and be up and running, don't forget arpeggios and nice keybed action.

usb synth with macbook: dazzling possibilities of sounds, standalone programs, vsts, and of course layering without breaking polyphony.

Cons:
workstation: so heavy sometimes that if you are gigging regularly you are going to be out of a back in no time!  Also, can't leave it in the car and go for some fast food after the gig, because remember, you have a $3000 highly visible piece of equipment in your vehicle.  This is actually a con: everybody and their little brother wants to go play your instrument when you are not looking.  It comes with the wow factor and makes everyone think they are musicians.  Expensive to replace.  Not easily upgradeable, most of the time.  If someone gets tangled in your power plug, you lose sound. (yes that has happened to me)

usb synth with macbook: you.have.two.or.three.different.devices .hooked.up.to.each.other. If you use USB connection, you can easily get unplugged and lose your whole sound right on stage. (yes it has happened to me)  If you use Firewire, you best be connected to a power source for various reasons.  (power usage, hot plugging no-no, etc.) You need a second tier to perform, which usually means that you must additionally carry a stand with you. Most places seem to not have a second tier stand.  And you must have an audio interface because if you plug directly into your 1/8" out to your amp/sound system, someone could inadvertently pull the wire and damage your mac's jack.  Last but not least, USB synth with MacBooks get boring easily.  I cannot use the combination for more than six months at a time without caving in and getting another workstation or digital piano.

Hope this helps.

Offline gozpeljunkie

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 10:37:15 PM »
I'm getting back into midi. I think my next keyboard might be a midi controller. I recently bought a 49 key controller and enjoy being able to use it on my tablet anywhere. I think my next laptop will be a 2 in 1 laptop. I just have more research to do. I find my current table is cool but is a little small for doing school work with the stock keyboard. Kevin Conley said he uses a Mac Mini and controller now.


I say to each one: "Whatever's clever."  If you are doing your research on getting a 2-in-1, then hopefully you will consider a Macbook.  The easiest way to own one of these babies is through QVC.  Yes, you heard correctly, I thought that site was for women addicted to shopping, but I picked up my school macbook pro this summer for 1,299 and I paid it in six payments of 216.00, interest-free.  I could never have dished it out all at once. Wow, I just sounded like an infomercial!  Anyways, I've been using Macs since 2008 because I took graphic design a few semesters, and I'm sure glad I did. No more broken .DLLs!  No more incompatibility! And no more Blue Screens of Death!

Kevin Conley uses Mac Minis, and I've watched his videos several times to glean whatever bits I could.  But if you are a knob jockey, and hopefully you will become one when you see what options are available to you, then you will want a Display at all times.  But to each his own, I'm not going to hate on the Mac Mini. You can buy it from the Apple Education Store if you go to school and pay $479: http://store.apple.com/us-hed/buy-mac/mac-mini Or, you can apply for a loan and pay it in installments, about $30 a month for 48 months: http://store.apple.com/us-hed/education_payment_plan

Stay Blessed!

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 08:21:51 AM »
My guess is he uses a mini because he can get mmore memory in the mini. More memory may mean more vst running at one time.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.

Offline Incognito21

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 11:51:04 AM »
I say to each one: "Whatever's clever."  If you are doing your research on getting a 2-in-1, then hopefully you will consider a Macbook.  The easiest way to own one of these babies is through QVC.  Yes, you heard correctly, I thought that site was for women addicted to shopping, but I picked up my school macbook pro this summer for 1,299 and I paid it in six payments of 216.00, interest-free.  I could never have dished it out all at once. Wow, I just sounded like an infomercial!  Anyways, I've been using Macs since 2008 because I took graphic design a few semesters, and I'm sure glad I did. No more broken .DLLs!  No more incompatibility! And no more Blue Screens of Death!

Kevin Conley uses Mac Minis, and I've watched his videos several times to glean whatever bits I could.  But if you are a knob jockey, and hopefully you will become one when you see what options are available to you, then you will want a Display at all times.  But to each his own, I'm not going to hate on the Mac Mini. You can buy it from the Apple Education Store if you go to school and pay $479: http://store.apple.com/us-hed/buy-mac/mac-mini Or, you can apply for a loan and pay it in installments, about $30 a month for 48 months: http://store.apple.com/us-hed/education_payment_plan

Stay Blessed!


What are the specs of your macbook that you use for music? Do you use it only for music?

Offline gozpeljunkie

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 01:57:00 AM »
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB
OS X Yosemite Version 10.10.1

And I use this, not because Iím in love with the specs, but simply because itís all the MBP that I was able to afford this past summer.  University is killer!  On that note, I also use it for school assignments and for teaching/Running KeyNote at Bible Institute.

Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2014, 11:59:05 AM »
You may also want to consider any latency issues. I've never used macs, but in my experience computers always introduce at least some latency: that microscopic length of time from when you hit a key and the generator creates sounds.

One of the pleasant things about workstations is that, being purpose built, they have virtually zero latency.

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 04:49:23 PM »
They say that's why you should get an audio interface. At some point I will buy one. But from the few programs I have tried it appears to be also about how much processing power you have with ram and drivers. Some of the programs appear to have almost zero latency when using VSTs.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.

Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 08:56:21 PM »
This is why you want a GOOD audio interface.

Ive been using a presonus usb for six years now. I keep wanting it to die already, but it won't. I can't get less than 30 milliseconds of latency on it, which essentially makes using a midi interface to trigger nice vsts, like lounge lizard, a no-go.

At one point, during the time before time,I had a layla audio interface. It had me down to 5 ms. Lovely. It died way too soon.

Avoid usb at all costs.

If macs get you virtually zero latency without an interface, I'm extremely impressed.

As to the original post: I am starting to gig little by little. No way am I taking a computer with me on the road. Not reliable enough, not sturdy enough. If I were concerned about weight, I'd by a lite midi controller and master it to a half rack piano module like a yamaha p50m. They sell for about$200 used, sound great, and are rock solid.

I plan on buying one soon to slave to my chromatone.

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 01:04:27 PM »
I want to say I have seen less than 20 on one program using my tablet. I can't remember which though. I have a line 6 49key and Asus transformer tablet. I downloaded the mixcraft 7 demo and it definitely uses more power in processing on a 2GB tablet. I kinda wish I had waited and got a 11in laptop. I do love how small it is though for traveling. I can keep it in the glove box to lock it up. It also leaves more room in my bag for other stuff. It would be nice if there was a fully loaded laptop around this size. I do miss more ram and having more ports. You could end up having to many accessories. I'm  going to do more research before getting my laptop next year. 11-14in thin laptop seems to be the best size and features.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.

Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 03:10:39 PM »
Quote
I have a line 6 49key and Asus transformer tablet.

See, now you got me thinking if I can use my amazon kindle as a sound module.  I'd need a midi to mini-usb connection, though. And of course, some kind of sound module for the kindle, preferrably a nice rhodes sound :)

Quote
I want to say I have seen less than 20 on one program using my tablet.

That's about the upper limit of tolerable latency.  feels a bit pasty.  10 ms and below is butter.

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2014, 06:48:44 PM »
You can just buy a USB OTG. I have one. They are online for a few dollars. It goes into the micro USB slot and converts to normal USB.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.

Offline Mysteryman

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Re: Workstation vs Macbook
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2017, 10:47:47 PM »
I've been a little busy with gear. I have the Casio CTK as my cheap home workstation now. I also bought the Samson Carbon midi controller a few years back. I bought the Lord micro keys air 49 as a take everywhere keyboard to practice. I have really been on the mobile lightweight trip lately. I have a 10in tablet that I use at times to play with vst instruments. I have my casio for my more semi pro gigs and my controllers for a few simple things and practice on the go. Its cool to be able to go out of town with the midi controller and my phone or tablet and not have to worry about the security of my gear so much. I'm really digging this micro keys. I can sit in bed and practice quietly while everybody is asleep. I probably would be better of with an iphone as far as music apps but its cool to be able to play on the phone with a headset. I'm waiting for nougat to come to my phone which may give me the possibility of practicing and watching videos at the same time.
Vision without action is just day dreaming. I miss practicing.
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