Macbook Recommendation

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Macbook Recommendation

Post by Kilroy » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:44 am


I am jumping into the world of Apple after using Ableton a little on the PC. I would like to keep expenses fown, and so am considering the white Macbook with the 2.1Ghz processor and 120GB hard drive.

I am going to be using Ableton in a live situation running 6-8 backing tracks that are mostly pre-recorded with perhaps 1-2 percussive and synth loops running from Ableton's instruments with 1-2 effects.

I am planning on running my live sets from an external hard drive and to a Presonus Firebox.

I may also delve into Logic a little bit.

Is this an adequate laptop for my purposes? If so, do I need to upgrade the RAM, and how much?



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Post by sparklepuff » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:41 am

Laptop is fine.

Buy RAM here, get 4 gigs for $49: ... M2DDR4GBK/

Then get started making some music.

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Post by Crash » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:54 am

Get a refurbished 2.4 white/black plastic one. They are cheaper than new 2.1 white ones.
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Post by maxmin » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:12 am

The old MacBook-series (white/black) is definitely good enough for your purpose. I would suggest, you get a used black one (more HD and someone told me the white shell breaks faster than the black one). i guess there are a lot of people throwing them on eBay as they wanna buy some of the new-generation MacBooks.
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Post by Kilroy » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:26 pm

Hi again and thanks for the info. The older Macbook mentioned by several of you above does seem to be a better deal. It uses DDR2 memory versus DDR3 on the new ones. Is this any cause for concern regarding Ableton?

And that is a great deal on the memory. Is there any difference between this memory and "genuine Apple" memory?

Also, what are you all using for an audio interface? I have a friend who is a fairly successful musician using Ableton/Logic etc. on stage and he swears by the Presonus Firebox. Yet I see a lot of info on the web (mostly from early 2008) regarding the incompatibility between Presonus interfaces and Leopard.

Are any of you having success or otherwise with the Leopard/Firebox/Ableton combo?

Thanks again,


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Post by dazzer » Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:29 am

Apple don't make RAM so there's no such thing as "genuine Apple" memory.

I've got a 2.4 previous gen MacBook, runs great with Ableton.

FWIW I use a Mark 1 MOTU Ultralite which also runs trouble free.

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Post by Akshara » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:41 am

I know two individuals, one on these forums, who purchased Macbooks partly based on my own recommendation (I have a Macbook Pro, wife has a white Macbook), who both owned Presonus interfaces that ended up being incompatible. Consequently, I read much of the online information regarding the issue, including the Presonus forums, and the only fix was to simply get a different interface.

So if money is an issue, do the research first - call Presonus and ask them about compatibility with the Macbook you're considering. And make 100% sure that the model of Macbook you purchase actually has a firewire port.

Edit: The incompatibility wasn't with Leopard, it was with the Agere firewire chip in specific models of the Macbook. Just make sure that the problem has been fixed. Your friend likely has a model with a TI chip; if not, he's very lucky.

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Post by condra » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:22 am

Second-hand blackbook

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