Previous 1 2 Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Jul 17, 2013 10:41 AM by MlchaelLAX
MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am in an insane industry where I cannot travel without still having to be available to record voiceovers 7 days a week,

vacation or not..but that's another topic. 

I have to replace a well-traveled MacBook - circa 2006-07 - 13-inch whose case is warping, DVD/CD slot is tricky to get in/out

of, and has a dead ethernet port - but above all loud, noisy and heats up to extremes. I just need to move into the new decade is

what i'm saying - (though I do miss Firewire but hey, I miss OS 9 some days).

 

My CPU demands are rather intensive - typically need to be multi-tasking with a multi-channel recording app, browser,

firewire connectivity and USB audio interface/mic preamp which is bus-powered only...

 

So the laptop options for me are an AIR or a current or late-model MacBook Pro from the looks of things- and i really

haven't followed the market too closely in the past few years so am sorta out of touch and could use some guidance.

 

A big factor is minimal self-noise of the laptop - i.e. no fans kicking in constantly -  as well as just overall stability to

support recording/editing soundware.  I am also assuming it would be wiser to look at flash OR solid state drive vs

conventional HD - or at least it seems logical that this would be more dependable in the long run. 

 

And this also raises a question of whether i could have a lower-noise situation by installing a Solid State vs traditional

spinning-disk HD

 

Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated- for what i realize is a rather broad question but maybe not given the

specific purpose and application this will mainly be used for...  And if i can accomplish something for under 1K including

max Ram and "enough" capacity HD that'd be helpful but not essential.  Also i'm not one who 'has to have the latest thing' -

so if there's something recent vs brand new that is reasonably well proven, that's where i could really use some advice.

 

Thanks for your time and opinions and apologies in advance if this should go in another discussion category.

 

 

Mike


MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (41,090 points)

    If your price point is $1,000 you are not going to find anything from Apple.  There are no portable computers in that price range.

     

    You might try the Apple on-line store, the Store button upper left side of the browser window and see if they have refurbished units available.  That is still a very low price point.

     

    If you can go higher, the MacBook Pro would be the better choice as it is a harder working unit.  But if you add solid state device storage the price will climb very quickly.

  • rikhy Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I am pro musician and DJ, bought i7 2013 Air and found it so good that I already sold my i7 quad 2011 MBP. Air is the most silent computer I ever (not) hear, experienced. Use it with various DAWs recording audio, VSTs etc it can perfectly cope with those tasks kicking the fans into audiobile zone. Only video rendering make fans move louder but unlike MBPs which can get very loud, it stays @ rather low frequency, absolutely undisturbing. Using it for voice over, piece of cake, even the cheaper 1.3 Air will be fine for that.

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Ralph, yes, there are some good refurbs right now in there and though normally an Ebayer, i have definitely gotten some close-to-new refurb deals through Apple Store. Considering the mileage I've gotten out of the MacBook 1,1 that i'm looking to replace - over 5-6 years i guess a few dollars more shouldn't be a big factor in the grand scheme.   I can see where some stuff might be more intensive than strictly single-channel mono recording for voiceover so i guess it comes down to how much i really need the harder-working MacBook Pro - and yeah i'd probably wanna go for the solid state storage ...  hmmm... 

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks rikhy, i appreciate your info.  My first instinct was that the Air would be worth the extra bucks for this type of use - despite my usual inclination to sorta setttle for models that might be a little older and cheaper -  my impression was that the MB Pro might be very quiet with a solid state HD but it sounds like - as you say - the Air would be fine -  i need to check the 1.3 that you mention -  like i say - haven't really followed the market in a few years - but if it's a 13-inch and can handle a lot of DAW editing without much stress, would maybe go for that generation...  thanks!

  • rikhy Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Air has ULV CPU, less voltage, Watts= heat> noise. If you want to save money, you could get 2010 second hand, it featured P series CPU that generated less heat. However my personal recommendation/value for money 1.3 2013. Actually for your voice overs Iphone or iPad would do, there are excellent mics from Tascam, Zoom, Rode  and other companies of non lightning models. I am waiting for lightning version of Zoom to use my iPhone as field recorder.

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (41,090 points)

    The Apple store refurb is essentially a new computer, though in many cases an older model...new battery, case, and so on.  Plus a full warranty.  With a limited budget they are a way to get a new computer at a reduced cost.  If there is one that meets your needs, give it serious consideration.

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the recommendation.  Yeah i am kinda old-school as far as doing the iphone/ipad thing vs the physical keyboard and mouse _ the larger display - esp. for really rapid-fire broadcast production editing on multittrack apps i prefer - but agreed, some great gear in the iOS realm for VO work - especially simple auditions - Hard to believe but i have yet to move from a BB to an IPhone - mainly because i'm stubborn about touch-pad vs qwerty keyboard but i almost have to do it if i want to take advantage of any of the great iOS record apps out there....

     

    Definitely will give a closer look at the 1.3 2013 Air though. THanks!

     

    Mike

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay so you're talking the absolute latest version when you say 1.3  (7/13) - that is just-released?  Anything in the refurb ballpark that would be 'close enough' - like - i guess i'm wondering how much i'm really sacrificing for my needs if i went to a 2011 model or '2010 second hand' that you mention -   and i am looking for a 13" screen in any event. Looks like the 1.3 right now is basically MSRP 1300.00 or thereabouts, anywhere i look, but -

     

    Right now these are ilooking interesting on Apple Store( refurbs).

    What all would i really be compromising - if you don't mind me dragging this out a little further ; )  Thanks!

    Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

     

     

    Originally released June 2012

    13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1440-by-900 resolution

    4GB memory

    256GB flash storage

    720p FaceTime HD camera

    Intel HD Graphics 4000   

     

    $1019.00

    Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

     

     

    Originally released June 2012

    13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1440-by-900 resolution

    4GB memory

    128GB flash storage

    720p FaceTime HD camera

    Intel HD Graphics 4000

     

    $849.00

  • rikhy Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    The 2013 release is so good (thanks to Haswell CPU, better graphics, stunning battery life) and cheaper compared to previous prices that it does not make much economic sense to get refurb in this case. If not anything else think about resale value in the future 2013 is a major step forward in Airs, even though on first look it might not looks so. And applying to your particular case the pre 2013 Airs do become noisy, which is the dealbreaker.

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Rikhy, great info, i appreciate it.  Well, that's pretty compelling - (tho i do wish i coulda' saved a few bucks on a refurb ; ) ..  Definitely if they have issues as far as some noise, i'd look at the newer 2013 --  and buying new is

    rare for me but with that much difference, you kinda have me sold... Thanks,

     

    Mike

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow - got the MB Air 1.3 and have come to find out that i guess i'll have to return it since - according to somebody on the Snow Leopard board anyway - it can't run Snow Leopard.  Bummers.  I have a few must-use

    apps that aren't stable or are just not compatible with Mountain Lion - which is what the Air comes delivered with and evidently - again as far as i understand - i am unable to run SL on it at all (?)  Seems rather remarkable but now i'm back in the 'looking for a laptop' mode - as close to quiet as i can get - for the on-road recording work.  Major disappointment especially when i was really psyched about migrating everything over to the Air today and looking forward to the big hardware/speed advantages.  No workarounds that i know of - or at least i gather it would render things unstable if it is even doable at all... 

     

    Any ideas from anybody here as far as a solid state / flash alternative that's capable of loading 10.6.8 and has nominal fan/processor noise - and is a step up from the older MB i'm looking to retire...  (maybe a MBP with SSD - i have no idea but very frustrating about the new Air -  wonder if any one else has run into a similar dillemma over the "only Lion and Above" requirement for this 2013 Air model ?  Suggestions/recommendations greatly appreciated... Kinda in a bind. Again.

     

    Thanks much,

     

    MikeE

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (41,090 points)

    Look into a refurbished MacBook Pro that runs SL if that is critical to your needs.  There is a way some claim will allow you to run SL on a new machine...you have to purchase Parallels and then purchase Snow Leopard Server  and run that in a virtual machine mode.

  • rikhy Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I think 2011 MBP were originally released with SL, otherwise 2010 and put SSD. Or 2011 Air

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0MG1LL/A/refurbished-macbook-air-18ghz-dual-c ore-intel-core-i7

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for these ideas, and the link.  Just curious, if you don't mind sharing a bit more detail.

     

    In your opinion how much am i sacrificing performance-wise with the 2011 Air, realistically... for mostly voiceover and light mixing - but usually needing to have, say running simultaneously:  a multitrack or 2-track edit/recording app, Airport/Internet connectivity (browser), a word processing app, and a phantom-power bus-driven USB (or FW if poss) audio interface for the Mic In.  Would you think the 2011 Air would be up for the multitasking without taxing processor or invoking fan noise much for a typical session .... vs.  the latest Air ... or otherwise might the MBP be more 'robust' for this specific purpose - and ideally i'd be installing an SSD on any model, FWIW.  Sorry to drag it out but i'm just trying to get it right the first time (this time; ) and come up with something fairly quickly-- and i know i initially didn't specify that i had to have SL, but i never anticipated such a recent OS would be obseleted by hardware that fast - though have been a Mac user long enough to experience the OS 9 / OSX transition with same consequences.

     

    Any further hints/thoughts much appreciated and thanks very much for your time!

     

    Mike

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