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.
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.
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.