Live on Macbook Air

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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bgyomorei
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:43 pm

Live on Macbook Air

Post by bgyomorei » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:31 pm

Hola,

i'm tight on budget, but need a solid, reliable and light laptop. So tought a 1,4GHz CPU, 4GB RAM Macbook Air would be okay (model: md760mg/b).

Do you have any experience what this lil coffee grinder is capable of when running Live on it?
Is it good enough for sketching ideas (few instances of Alchemy or Reaktor plugins) or for a 1-2 track sound design project (means use of some utterly CPU hungry stuff like 2CAudio's Kaleidoscope)?

Thank you!

login
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by login » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:26 am

My GF got one and I have been testing it, using the Live performance test that has been used by users of this forums it scored almost half the performance of a macbook pro 13".

So for me it is really not worth the money, it could only handle very small projects and forget about using more than two instances of heavy CPU plug ins (I use DIVA and I could only get two instances on fast before pops and crackles).

I would save for the MBP or look for something non mac if your budget is tight.

mcdreamer
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Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by mcdreamer » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:15 am

I used a mid 2012 i5 MacBook Air with Live for a while and could easily finish entire tracks without experiencing a single glitch. This was however at the expense of limiting myself to instruments which were fairly light on resources such as Microtonic, Analog Lab, Korg M1. I could manage a Reaktor instance or two on top but had to be careful but heavier plugins such as Madrona Lab's Kaivo killed it.

I'm on a quad core i7 Pro now which gives me lots more CPU headroom but I suspect the 13" Pro models would still give you a big improvement over the Air.

Also, take a look at this article published in the last couple of days giving the low down on the Air vs the Pro (in light of the recent refreshes): http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/03/13 ... et-an-air/

Treshell
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Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by Treshell » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:50 pm

Why would you buy a Mac if you're on a tight budget?

bgyomorei
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by bgyomorei » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:11 pm

Treshell wrote:Why would you buy a Mac if you're on a tight budget?
As i wrote i need a light, reliable and solid laptop. I've checked other ultrabooks as well like these here:
http://blog.laptopmag.com/best-ultrabooks
I don't like floppy-sloppy keyboards and many of them looks and feel cheap. Also generally they have no i5 CPU, but some Core M whatever. And they cost only 200 euro less than the Air. Those which look promising and quality are more expensive than the MBA.

Macbook Air has suberb and sturdy chassis, great keyboard and it seems enough power to fulfill my needs. It's usability and quality is proved. And that's what i need.
I always had windows PCs, but reading all the reviews of windows based ultrabooks and looking at them, they are not convincing. Cheap keyboard here, slowest possible CPU there...

I'm quite satisfied with my reasons :) , but i'm still open for competitive options. ;)

bgyomorei
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by bgyomorei » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:33 pm

mcdreamer wrote:I used a mid 2012 i5 MacBook Air with Live for a while and could easily finish entire tracks without experiencing a single glitch. This was however at the expense of limiting myself to instruments which were fairly light on resources such as Microtonic, Analog Lab, Korg M1. I could manage a Reaktor instance or two on top but had to be careful but heavier plugins such as Madrona Lab's Kaivo killed it.

I'm on a quad core i7 Pro now which gives me lots more CPU headroom but I suspect the 13" Pro models would still give you a big improvement over the Air.

Also, take a look at this article published in the last couple of days giving the low down on the Air vs the Pro (in light of the recent refreshes): http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/03/13 ... et-an-air/
Thanks for the link i've checked it!

Well, if the MBA can handle 2 instances of CPU heavy plugins i'm satisfied. I'm willing to pay for this no more than 1000euros in this year and first priority is mobility. So for sure the MBP is winner, but i had to draw a line.. I always carry a lot of stuff so this 1kg + will be just okay. :)

A bit offtopic, a chapter in the recently issued book 'Making music' by Ableton is about to use simple sounds to sketch ideas. And if i think about it, when i started my "marvellous" bedroom producer journey i used simple sounds like those what Surge or Synplant can do and i loved them. As the mentioned book also suggests, more limitation will force more creativity. So these things i have in my mind now :)

login
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Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by login » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:17 pm

One option could be thew XPS13, newest i7 processor and thiner and lighter than the mba

bgyomorei
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by bgyomorei » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:05 pm

login wrote:One option could be thew XPS13, newest i7 processor and thiner and lighter than the mba
Looks great! In the office i have a premium series latitude and love it. Dell's top products are also reliable quality stuff.
Only problem is that the XPS13(i5) costs 500 euros more than i have. If i could, i would certainly choose an ultrabook with windows..

yentzee
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Re: Live on Macbook Air

Post by yentzee » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:34 am

I am using a mid 2013 model with 128 gig ssd and smalls processor and it works absolutely fine.
obviously it really depends on what plugins you are using and how many of them.
I mostly use abletons sampler, drumrack and some vsti's for bass and sounds.
mostly ableton eq and dynamics
so i think there obviously is room for more demanding algorithms but having used hardware ages ago I am absolutely fine using able tons compressor instead of a behringer composer. if you really need demanding plugins it might get tight but I can do a complete production on it without any problems.

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