MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
radicalcut
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:55 pm

MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by radicalcut » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:29 am

I'm going to get a new MacBook Air... no matter the crap connectivity (no firewire, 1 usb, no optical drive), to me it's good enough for live performance, this is what the air would be all about, and for general on the road work (no music)

but I have a question: the lower end model, with 4200rpm HDD, is too slow for live performance? I'm buying it beacuse of the size and weight, I travel with my laptop almost everytime on my shoulders so I need something small and light, but with enough performance (and a mac, obviously), and I'd prefer to get the 4200 for it's less expensive, but do you think I could have problems with live performance?

I don't think so because I do the synths in a post-rock band and my sets have only two or three instrument (sampled and not) running simultaneously, with some triggered samples, so nothing too heavy, and I don't have great home recording needs

so, what do you think? thanks

radicalcut
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by radicalcut » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:55 am

I just thought about something: considering that my sets are small, I could store them in a flash drive or a portable 7200rpm HDD (which I already own) if I get some lag with the internal drive... would this be a solution?

lapieuvre
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:29 pm

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by lapieuvre » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:58 am

With a USB port, I wouldn't use an ext. hard drive. I also find 4200RPM is slow, and I would be nervous to make shows with such small speed. Maybe you could bring Live demo and a live set to the store and try it out.

Just my 2 cents.
Mac OSX 10.13.6
Live 9.7.6 Suite
Live 10.1.2 Suite
Soundcards : FF800, Apollo Twin duo

hoffman2k
Posts: 14692
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:40 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by hoffman2k » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:11 am

radicalcut wrote:I'm going to get a new MacBook Air... no matter the crap connectivity (no firewire, 1 usb, no optical drive), to me it's good enough for live performance, this is what the air would be all about, and for general on the road work (no music)

but I have a question: the lower end model, with 4200rpm HDD, is too slow for live performance? I'm buying it beacuse of the size and weight, I travel with my laptop almost everytime on my shoulders so I need something small and light, but with enough performance (and a mac, obviously), and I'd prefer to get the 4200 for it's less expensive, but do you think I could have problems with live performance?

I don't think so because I do the synths in a post-rock band and my sets have only two or three instrument (sampled and not) running simultaneously, with some triggered samples, so nothing too heavy, and I don't have great home recording needs

so, what do you think? thanks
I'd consider the new 13" macbook pro. Its so light, I'm afraid I could crush it by holding it.
The macbook air will only really give you enough performance to browse and do light tasks.
I wouldn't want to render stuff on it, let alone rely on the CPU not to be compromised.
You'll even save money, get more ports and have a faster drive.
And if you really want a fast drive, look into the SSD option.

radicalcut
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by radicalcut » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:38 am

lapieuvre wrote:With a USB port, I wouldn't use an ext. hard drive. I also find 4200RPM is slow, and I would be nervous to make shows with such small speed. Maybe you could bring Live demo and a live set to the store and try it out.

Just my 2 cents.
It seems a good idea, I'll put everything on a flash drive and try to run the demo on a MacBook Air

Tarekith
Posts: 17348
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
Contact:

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by Tarekith » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:36 pm

4200 should be fast enough for light use, I used my 4200 in my first laptop for DJing and even live sets and it seemed to work ok. That said, for your uses I think the MBP 13" would be a FAR better option.

dysanfel
Posts: 428
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:06 am

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by dysanfel » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:34 pm

I gig'd and recorded an album with a 5400RPM and saw no real appreciable difference when I stepped up to a 7200RPM drive. I cant say I have used a 4200RPM drive, but OSX is so robust I imagine you can do alot with it.
Gig Rig - rMBP 2.3GHZ i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, OSX 10.11.x, Presonus FS, Live 9.x
Home Rig - i7-6700k Hackintosh 32GB DDR4, 2nd Generation Scarlet 18i20, ADA8000, JoeMeek SixQ, Live 9.x

radicalcut
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by radicalcut » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:24 pm

Tarekith wrote:4200 should be fast enough for light use, I used my 4200 in my first laptop for DJing and even live sets and it seemed to work ok. That said, for your uses I think the MBP 13" would be a FAR better option.
The Air is a good deal because to me the portability is everything, my back would really appreciate the switch from 15" MacBook Pro (which I'm selling), 2.5Kg, to something that weights almost the half

darcy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:25 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by darcy » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:13 pm

radicalcut wrote:
lapieuvre wrote:With a USB port, I wouldn't use an ext. hard drive. I also find 4200RPM is slow, and I would be nervous to make shows with such small speed. Maybe you could bring Live demo and a live set to the store and try it out.

Just my 2 cents.
It seems a good idea, I'll put everything on a flash drive and try to run the demo on a MacBook Air
Did you ever try this? Did you end up getting the MBA? I am also interested in this computer. Most the Ableton stuff I do is pretty light, being as portable and rugged with the SSD is quite appealing.

Tone Deft
Posts: 23565
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:24 pm

crap gear = crap results.

no idea what will really happen but don't be surprised if it becomes a problem. it sounds like you know this and have it in your head that you need to keep your sets light, mostly with VSTs. I'd guess you're saying around $100 with the slower drive? save up the money and do it right, or keep it in your head that your box will be limited.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

jeffplaysmoog
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:18 am
Location: Gilbertsville, NY

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by jeffplaysmoog » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:25 pm

Is the MBP really that heavy? I would never use a 4200 RPM HDD for anything besides general web browsing, email and such... using Live with a 5200 RPM gets sketchy real quick...
Mac Book Pro 2.33ghz, 2gig Ram, OS 10.5, Ableton Live 8 Suite, APC40

aqua_tek
Posts: 2569
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:48 pm
Contact:

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by aqua_tek » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:37 pm

I vote for the 13" Macbook pro as well. It's light and small enough, and for the money it outperforms the Air by far.

Tone Deft
Posts: 23565
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:39 pm

the guy's limited by money but needs a mac? get off the iHeroine and get a PC.


/had to be said.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

darcy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:25 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by darcy » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:49 pm

Well, I deserve that - I replied to this topic because of my interest in the Macbook Air, but I am not interested in the 4200 RPM drive, rather the SSD - which is not what the topic subject reads at all...

If I got an MBP, I would opt for the SSD there too. SSD is the the big upgrade here in my opinion, especially in the context of portability. I have had laptops for years, and the drive is always the culprit when problems come up.

I have a 15" 3 year old MBP right now that has a cracked screen and damaged keyboard (damaged from a failed burglary attempt - diff story :-) - this is what I want to replace.

The Air looks like spec for spec would beat that computer hands down - it wasn't even a Core2 Duo. And I would take offense if you called that "crap gear". It was a tank and runs Ableton just fine.

The loss here for me is the USB/Firewire ports - I am beginning to think I can't get over that loss. I just got the Audio2DJ, but even with a Multi TT USB hub, audio there could be an issue. It doesn't really make sense putting the soundcard on a hub. I try to make sense of it, but I can't...

The gain is that the Air is more of a tank when it comes to portability, especially with the SSD - plus its much more prone to be thrown in my bag here and there when I wouldn't have grabbed the 15".

I think the Air would be powerful enough - its the port thats the killer.

beats me
Posts: 23319
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:39 pm

Re: MacBook Air: is the 4200rpm HDD good for Live?

Post by beats me » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:21 pm

Tone Deft wrote:the guy's limited by money but needs a mac? get off the iHeroine and get a PC.


/had to be said.
I'm the biggest Mac fanboy you know and I even think the Macbook Air is a stupid choice here for music of any capacity. Beyond that it's also the stupidest priced computer they make. They misinterpreted "less is more" as meaning "less options for more money". The Macbook Air user transcends all other blind fanboys.

Post Reply