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Old 07-14-2022, 07:07 PM
sean shannon's Avatar
sean shannon sean shannon is offline
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Default Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

I was looking at PCs for Ultimate, and then I started looking at macs. I need a portable system for my HDX rig. I was thinking of getting this laptop with a Thunderbolt Chassis for my HDX card. What do you think?

Late 2019 Apple MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz Intel Core i9 (16 inch, 64GB, 1TB SSD) Space Gray (Renewed)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...3141EPI7X&th=1
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Old 07-14-2022, 07:51 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

You mean transportable?

Your going to get other users here repeating the same advice you already got on new apple silicon etc. on you other thread.

This 16" MBP finally ditched the problematic butterfly keyboard so that's a plus.

These models also run fans fast/noisy but unchecking turbo boost seems to avoid that pretty effectively.

Given Apple is well into Apple Silicon transition I would not be buying any Intel Mac for longer term use. The Appel Silicon 14 and 16 inch models are very nice, better than this old technology laptop in performance in every way, and should be better again when Avid releases native Pro Tools. I thought before you were after a cheap quick stand alone laptop to use without the HD Native hardware e.g while travelling. Now you are asking for a transportable system and spending money that gets you into current Apple Silicon MacBook Pro Model range.

How many HDX cards do you have? The three slot Sonnet Expansion Chassis for a HDX card will cost you ~$1,000, if you can still find a Avid branded single slot chassis that will be less. You must get a known to work with HDX chassis made by Sonnet (including those badged by Avid), many of the cheaper Thunderbolt 3 chassis will not work, some Thunderbolt 2 ones from other vendors might.
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Old 07-14-2022, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

I have one HDX card. I could go with doing all the mixing on the laptop, but I'm concerned I may run out of power on large mixes with Superior Drummer and all the native plugins I use. If I go with an external chassis for my HDX card, at least it takes weight off the CPU and allows me to use plugins from my DSP library, which is a lot.

This is kindof new territory for me, I have always used desktops, so I'm looking at every option available that is powerful and portable. I'm not excited about the $3500 laptops though. I have PC and mac laptops saved in my google tabs, and I have not yet made a decision. Whatever I get I want to get 5 years out of.
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Old 07-14-2022, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

And I really appreciate the community's input! I'm not in a race, just looking for your experience, thanks
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Old 07-14-2022, 09:20 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean shannon View Post
I have one HDX card. I could go with doing all the mixing on the laptop, but I'm concerned I may run out of power on large mixes with Superior Drummer and all the native plugins I use. If I go with an external chassis for my HDX card, at least it takes weight off the CPU and allows me to use plugins from my DSP library, which is a lot.

This is kindof new territory for me, I have always used desktops, so I'm looking at every option available that is powerful and portable. I'm not excited about the $3500 laptops though. I have PC and mac laptops saved in my google tabs, and I have not yet made a decision. Whatever I get I want to get 5 years out of.
I doubt a Intel Mac will last 5 years for many users, depends how much you are willing to lock it down on an version of Pro Tools. I expect you'll be spending 2-3 of those years with no Pro Tools updates for Intel. As I said in the other thread, Apple has every incentive to move fast and drop older Intel support and once they do and macOS versions diverge that adds more pressure on ISVs to drop Intel as well. Who knows but I'm feeling like a 2 year horizon might be about right. Apple has been aggressive at incorporating iOS related technology into macOS and that's one of the reasons for so much Pro Tools compatibility issues with macOS, and Apple is probably not slowing down with iOS related changes and we'll likely have a whole lot changes rolling into macOS to support new directions like virtual/augmented reality. Expect a very different situation from the legacy compatibility Microsoft provides on Windows.

Superior drummer used very little of my Intel MBP, very similar i9 8-core model. And if you want to run that as small IO buffer sizes while tracking you freeze or commit the VI.

My other comment is a HDX card is not much processing power, they are incredibly not powerful compared to any modern PC, but they give the magic juice of near no latency while tracking. For mixing with a large IO buffer making it easy for the CPU.... your HDX card probably is not going to help at all.. and if you need to be portable/transportable and could otherwise get away with built in output/headphones/a smaller CoreAudio interface I'd jump at that. And you have all the hassle of dealing with what is unfortunately too often support problems with Digilink gear on newer Macs (search DUC for a taste of issues with HD Native and HDX cards on recent Macs). At least plan on trying to test that before going down the expansion chassis parth.
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Old 07-14-2022, 10:24 PM
audiolex1 audiolex1 is offline
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean shannon View Post
I was looking at PCs for Ultimate, and then I started looking at macs. I need a portable system for my HDX rig. I was thinking of getting this laptop with a Thunderbolt Chassis for my HDX card. What do you think?

Late 2019 Apple MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz Intel Core i9 (16 inch, 64GB, 1TB SSD) Space Gray (Renewed)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...3141EPI7X&th=1
I would avoid Intel MBPs. The M1 is much faster and when everything is Native the Intel is going to be left in the dust.

I would also avoid the newer MBP 13 inch M2 if internal SSD is important. The reason the 14/16 inch ones are so fast is because Apple is using 2 of them split on the same buss.
But in the newer ones it is only one so you aren't getting the speed.

Even the M1 chips are going to last a while.

If you are MAC, just start the migration to Silicon now. You won't regret it.
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2022, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

Great thoughts guys, i really appreciate it. The mac at the studio is locked at version 2018 or something. Thats it. I plan on staying current with Pro Tools, so i dont want to invest in something that may not be supported soon. I also thought the HDX card would help take off a load. I do like the low latency tracking. My current computer is a Windows system and works great.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2022, 12:25 AM
audiolex1 audiolex1 is offline
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean shannon View Post
Great thoughts guys, i really appreciate it. The mac at the studio is locked at version 2018 or something. Thats it. I plan on staying current with Pro Tools, so i dont want to invest in something that may not be supported soon. I also thought the HDX card would help take off a load. I do like the low latency tracking. My current computer is a Windows system and works great.
Well the great thing about the M1 is you can pretty much run low latency all the time Natively. But if you have the card, then bonus.
Everything will just be fast.
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Mac Pro 5,1. 3.46 12 core, 128 gigs ram, 580 GPU flashed Apple EMI
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OCTO 8 card, Apollo 8 Quad, UAD quad satellite FW.
Almost every plugin
PT Ultimate 2021.12
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2022, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

I’m thinking the ever-changing OS and processor support issues may be a problem at some point if I go with a Mac.
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2022, 03:29 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Macbook Pro for Pro Tools Ultimate

The suddenly nothing changing and sounds of birds chirping is more likely to be the issue if you go with an Intel Mac.

Mac takes more work than Windows and you need to be on your toes. Apple Silicon, especially in higher-end MacBook Pro or Studio seems very impressive.
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