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Logic 9 taking the plunge - advice needed

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by ryguy76, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    I am going to be purchasing a 13" MBP (2.26ghz) with 4 Mb of RAM, Logic Studio, an Apogee Duet, and a 24"monitor.

    I am just trying to ensure I have a hiccup free start, so I am wondering if the MBP I listed will suffice for the job if I'm using an external FW800 drive.

    Approximately, how many audio tracks and software instrument tracks will I be able to use without taxing the CPU? Is it best to convert the software instruments to audio once the patch parameters are decided on?

    Any further suggestions about what to get so I can record more and troubleshoot less would be GREATLY appreciated.

  3. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    Ouch, I just had a look at that site. That's not what I wanted to hear.... It looks as if 16-18 tracks seems to be what I can expect. Would EZdrummer separated into 8 channels be considered 8 tracks, or 2?
  4. It would probably be something in between there. But I don't use EZdrummer so I can say for sure. A lot of 3rd part instruments aren't kind in Logic. Running them standalone can sometimes make a huge difference.
  5. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    Ok, so am I better off to go with my original MBP and upgrade to 8Mb's RAM, or with the quad core imac and 4Mb's RAM?

    I can't see how I will get by with only 16-18 tracks. I typically use all 24 of them in my Roland VS2400 recorder.
  6. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    I don't know what exactly that test is supposed to prove. I would never have 16 instances of EXS 24 with Space Designer and ring mod on every channel and all of them playing at the same time. That's just absurd and hardly a real world test. But also something I'd completely expect out of the gearslutz forums.

    Answering The initial question is not easy because there's no general terms to identify a context. What sample rate are you working at. What is the I/O buffer set to. Are you in the midst of tracking live instruments or are you ready to mix. ( the answer to that will effect the buffer size) What instrument tracks are you running? Samplers or synths. Lite synths like ES1, or hogs like Massive. There are so many varialbles that the question is hard to answer.

    I have a 15", 3 year old 2.16 Ghz Macbook Pro. And I most definitely consider it a work horse. I've mixed, mastered and written more music for television and film on this system than any I've used before. I do this for a living. In my opinion the computer you are getting is plenty qualified to do what you need. And just like a car doesn't drive itself, Logic isn't going to run itself. You'll gain experience by putting time in and you'll learn how to use it.

    I use EZDrummer and superior drummer. You'll have no troubles splitting the tracks out to multiple auxes. it doesn't add that much overhead.
  7. If you're running Logic Pro 9.1 in 32-bit mode, you only have access to 4MB of RAM anyway. So save your money for the next machine. 64-bit is brand new (last week) and many of the 3rd party plugins aren't ready for it but there's a 32-bit bridge so you can still use them.

    Maybe you can sync Logic with your Roland if you need more tracks.

    I can't give you great advice on this without knowing your financial situation. But sometimes taking steps in the right direction is better than waiting for the perfect setup.

    I wouldn't mind having a 13" MBP just for drafting projects on the road and a Mac Pro for the real deal.

    All I can say for sure is that I really need to upgrade. But I can still work around all my limitations. And that's what we all do anyway... even if we have a Mac Pro with 32 MB or RAM.

    Good luck!
  8. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    In terms of playing back raw audio tracks. You'll easily be able to play back 32 simultaneously. possibly more given other factors.

    More Ram doesn't = More tracks, what it does = is more available use for loaded samples IF you are running it in 64 bit. - depends on the sampler you are using. There are other variations here too lengthy to get into.

    Finally, if you really want a powerhouse. order the iMac with the i7 processor.
  9. I hope you're right, for his sake. But on my 17" MBP 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo running OSX 10.6.2 and Logic 9.1, it' ain't happening.

    This is all anecdotal. Each computer is unique, even if it has the same specs. And maybe I'm just in a bad mood because of the trouble I've had getting this particular computer to perform well.

    That iMac does look pretty sick and I've thought about buying it too. But I'm saving my money for a new Mac Pro... and whatever they announce Wednesday.
  10. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    Graham... I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you've been having. I've certainly had times where I wanted to chuck the darn thing through the window, but usually its a specific plug-in causing my temper to rise. Omnisphere for example. I get jittery just mentioning it. I also keep an eye on the Ram usage. I can often trace sluggish performance in Logic to hitting the ceiling with respects to RAM. but I'm dealing with a 3GB maximum here, so I have to pay attention to it at all times... Blah blah blah.

    Yeah, looking forward to the i7s. I'm hoping they show up in the next round of MBPs.
  11. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    I guess I should be waiting for the next line of MBP's anyway, i read that they're due for a new release fairly soon. I'll see if anything changes for the 13" model.
  12. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    I hope hope hope they go back to putting Express 32 slots back into the 15" and 13" models. How that they call it a "pro" without that!
  13. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    what would that allow for? additional fw ports?
  14. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    Well it could, there are a few options to use the Express 32 slot for. Some guys like to use it for external SATA drives, which are slightly higher performance than the 800 drives. SATA is what is being used internally. For that matter you don't actually have to run the sessions off of an external drive for the best performance. again, it sort of depends on a few things... Sometimes I run sessions off of the internal drive, which on my system is a 500 GB 7200 RPM seagate. Very peppy. FW 800 is good, the performance is tried and true and it's mostly reliable. SATA is faster but if you're not running a bunch of Sampler Orchestral sessions, it may not be worth the extra $$ to start with.

    I use my express slot for the UAD expander card. This way I can use a bunch of the great UAD plug-ins for things like EQ and Compression. Mostly I do this for sound, but its also a great way to reduce the load on the CPU in big sessions. I'm a huge fan of the UAD LA2A emulation. I also use the LA3A and occasionally some of the Neve EQs and compressors. There's a great Plate reverb in there too...
  15. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    So currently there is no way to use the UAD on the 13" MBP i am looking at?

    If I understand correctly, you're saying that the UAD stuff is independent from the internal processing power. For example, you can push your internal cpu to the limit with let's say several EXS24 samplers and still apply compression/EQ without further taxing the internal system?
  16. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    The only current model that has the Express 32 slot is the 17" MBP
  17. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member

    I'm feeling better about the MBP for my needs right now. I read about and watched a tutorial on the freeze function, which makes me think that it should be quite do-able.

    I do, however, have some more questions. Is it usual practice to have a space design verb on most tracks as an insert, or is it like I am used to and have them set up as aux busses, where each channel is sending varying signal. Is there a difference on CPU strain, when sending, let's say, 10 channels to 1 space designer vs 10 channels each with their own space designer?

    And, does the freeze function still render sends, not just inserts?
  18. bobdemaa

    bobdemaa Senior member

    If you've got 10 instances of space designer, you'll be processing a lot more math than one instance on an aux. Space deisgner is cool, but it isn't always the best for every situation. L9 has 5 other reverbs that you could use on a channel that are much less cpu intensive.

    Freeze doesn't render the bus sends nor the Fader level. So you can still mix after freezing a track. Just think of freezing as a temporary rendering of the track to audio.
  19. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Personally, I just about always send to Reverbs, I don't use one Reverb per Signal, not even on an 8 core Mac ;)

    Yes, that will make quite a difference. Space Designer, like any convolution reverb, can require quite substantial resources, in particular using longer reverbs. Use as few as possible, as many as necessary.

    kind regards

  20. ryguy76

    ryguy76 Member


    Mark, what I meant by my example, was if having 1 reverb with 10 sends to it was the same as having 10 specific reverbs on each 10 channels. Is the math the same?

    Back to the freeze stuff, if I've set up a guitar with a an amp simulator and reverb, I can freeze it and it will be rendered with the amp sound AND the reverb? No more processing of the 2 fx, correct?

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