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Topic: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

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  1. #1
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Hello all. I'm new here and have been reading many threads with relish. Now it's time for my own; I remain unsure where to post such a question, and don't want to anger any moderators by asking the same question in multiple forums (for instance, this might have gone in hardware, but there are so few viewers by comparison). Forgive me; anyway, Garritan within the context of Finale is a top component to the question for me. The following may appear to be merely by way of introduction, but I think it's all germane to my question.

    I bought a refurbished MacBook Pro - early 2008 "Penryn" 2.4GHz C2D - online just the other day at the Apple Store. I am a composer/arranger, in the classical mode, but I also have a rock band for which I do all the mixing and such (not the recording/tracking BTW, so let's not get into that).

    Now, years back I had a G4 desktop running a Layla on pci slot (will have to replace obviously with FW audio interface). I ran Finale 2005 and Logic Platinum 5 (that's right, when Logic was owned by eMagic!). I used what sounds came with the programs, but mainly I used an outboard Kurzweil synth/sampler (another thing I'm going to stop using - will go happily all software now, because it's really the 21st century). This setup did me well for a time, especially with the rock stuff... then that computer, long story short, just kinda died. I (somehow) lived about two years without composing at the computer, having other needs take my attention. Any files I cared for were saved safely to an external FW drive anyway.

    My question is, when I get this spanking new computer (when else could I justify use of the 'birthday' icon?), in what order should I install the following (or does it matter)? Note that I'm going to list program discs for the two major programs I have, then the updates. If anyone is of the opinion that it would be best not to go the update route for either program but instead to buy new (I worry particularly about Logic) please let me know.

    • Finale 2005
    • Finale 2009 update
    • Logic Platinum 5
    • Logic Studio 8 update
    • (perhaps not right away) new GPO, Steinway Standard, other sample libs
    • a player (will I need Kontakt; will I need/want (and just what is) Sonar?)
    • anything else I'm forgetting (but please, I'm not the Money Store here)


    Bear in mind that people like me, out of the picture for some time, are confused by VST, AU, the Aria/Kontakt thing, where do I stop, ugh. I beg you to try to minimize the rapid techno-speak. I'm a smart enough guy to have handled the Logic and Finale curves, but it's been a while.

    Also, these days do I need a digital audio interface hooked up to the computer to run any of this, or is it a pure matter of RAM/CPU/HD?

    Thanks,
    David
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

  2. #2

    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Hi David and welcome!

    That order is fine except it would be better to install Kontakt before installing GPO or any other sample libraries that use the Kontakt Player 2 (Kontakt is the 'full version' of the Kontakt Player, giving you greater control, plus coming with its own library to add to your collection). Its not really that important, but it is the 'thing' that some of your sample libraries will you use to play through, so install it first.

    You won't need sonar. Sonar is another DAW, like Logic Studio is, so it will be unneccesary, unless it has specific functions that you want to use that Logic doesnt have (unlikely)

    Yest you will need an audio interface as the input on the macbook pros tend to be a bit dodgy (mine is and I know plenty of people who have the same issues). It depends on how many simultaneous inputs you need, and what type of outputs you require. I personally use the Tascam 1804 which has up to 16 inputs and it runs by FW400. Defintely get firewire, not USB2.

    Also you may want to consider fast external harddrives to load some sample libraries on. The macbook pros dont have massive harddrives, and you can get better performance streaming samples from multiple hard drives.

    Hope thats some decent starting advice. Im sure many on this forum will be willing to help you get it sorted.

  3. #3
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Thanks Ben!

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols View Post
    Hi David and welcome!

    That order is fine except ...
    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I had an order in mind, I was just listing them. Dumb luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols View Post

    Yest you will need an audio interface as the input on the macbook pros tend to be a bit dodgy (mine is and I know plenty of people who have the same issues). It depends on how many simultaneous inputs you need, and what type of outputs you require. I personally use the Tascam 1804 which has up to 16 inputs and it runs by FW400. Defintely get firewire, not USB2.
    I'm aware of that when it comes to input/output. My question is more about the need for an audio interface with Finale and/or Logic when composing/arranging and wanting the occasional playback (through headphone jack is OK sometimes); or when mixing my band's material (from audio files already brought into the HD, by having been recorded already to the HD at a remote pro studio, or copied from a DVD) but being desirous sometimes of adding a virtual instrument, aside from the obvious effects. This is my first laptop so I want to know just how portable I can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols View Post
    Also you may want to consider fast external harddrives to load some sample libraries on. The macbook pros dont have massive harddrives, and you can get better performance streaming samples from multiple hard drives.
    Will do.

    Anyone else?
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

  4. #4

    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmecionis View Post
    Thanks Ben!


    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I had an order in mind, I was just listing them. Dumb luck.
    Well the list in which you ordered them, or the order in which you listed them, seems well listed, or ordered, to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmecionis View Post
    I'm aware of that when it comes to input/output. My question is more about the need for an audio interface with Finale and/or Logic when composing/arranging and wanting the occasional playback (through headphone jack is OK sometimes); or when mixing my band's material (from audio files already brought into the HD, by having been recorded already to the HD at a remote pro studio, or copied from a DVD) but being desirous sometimes of adding a virtual instrument, aside from the obvious effects. This is my first laptop so I want to know just how portable I can be.
    You dont need an audio interface for finale as it only uses midi (as far as im aware - others will have to correct me on that). You will definitely need one for logic tho. Even if it only has one or two audio inputs, it is much better than using the inbuilt soundcard. Plugging headphones straight into the macbook pro isnt a great idea for 2 reasons.

    1 - unless they are 'apple' headphones (which wont be good enough for you want to do) they wont fit in properly. the jack sticks out a bit, and well, looks ugly...

    2 - Im not totally sure of the technical jargon involved, but the low impedance of the headphone socket means that you will hear a whining r2d2 noise through it. (unless you have very high impedance headphones). This is due to the screen. It somehow interacts with the audio circutry, im assuming through electromagnet field disturbances.

    There are plenty of small portable audio interfaces to choose from. And yes, you can be very portable. Laptop (with logic and libraries installed), pair of headphones, a small audio interface (if USB2 then perhaps not needing a power supply) and power cable for the laptop.

    Does that answer everything? keep asking!

    Ben

  5. #5
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Ben,

    Thanks again. And yes, I too look for others to augment.

    You know something, I read about that r2d2 noise the other day in a long, very angry thread on macrumors (a forum that I also recently joined, and is where I found out about this northernsounds forum). Anyway, are we saying that Logic won't playback or preview sounds at all unless there's a card? In other words, a body might accept in certain pinch situations a whiny output (checking pitch of a note, whatever).

    Perhaps I haven't made clear enough my ignorance. Do these programs need the audio interface because they use the DSPs in those units? Same question for GPO, or I guess more importantly Kontact Player/Kontact? If it should turn out that an audio interface is in fact necessary I'll be sure to look for a bus powered something-or-other.
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

  6. #6

    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Greetings and welcome!

    I'll second most of what Ben says, he is has done a fine job steering you in the right direction. A few additional thoughts:

    1) You should not have to install Logic 5 in order to install Logic 8, so unless you want 5 for some specific projects I would leave it off the install list. 5 is a PPC product and you'll be in the MacIntel world now. Also, Sonar is a Windows only product...

    2) A decent audio card is a must, even if you are just doing Finale. Both MIDI latency and audio quality will be significantly better with a card and is money well spent. Personally, I would not shy away from a USB2 based audio product. USB was not very good, but USB2 has been rock solid from what I've seen. I prefer firewire (that is what I have) but it seems that you can get USB2 products at a lower cost than firewire. I might be mistaken with that so just check with dealers and if you can save some $$ via USB2 do so. Though not as portible, you can also look at an audio card for your MacBook Pro card slot. I don't know if they are pricey or not and Express Card is Mac proprietary, so no sharing the interface with Windows (or iMac or Mac Pro for that matter) can be done.

    3) If you can avoid installing Finale 2005 I would. See #1 above.

    4) Regarding Firewire ports, I would put my audio interface on Firewire 400 and any external drives on Firewire 800. Make sure the drives are at least 7200 RPM and don't be afraid to daisy chain. I've got my samples drive chained off of my projects drive and it works like a charm. (I'm using Glyph drives.)

    Hope this helps,

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  7. #7
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    LFO,

    Thanks. And cool, I have a Glyph too as a matter of fact, and it will daisy-chain.

    Just so you understand, my reason for bringing up Logic 5 then Logic 8 is because I bought Platinum 5.0 way back, and I see that an upgrade from 5 to 8 is available. You see, the upgrade is $199 while the new Studio 8 is $499; that's 3 bills that could go to something else.

    But might that be penny-wise and pound-foolish (pound, as in pounding one's head against a wall)? I mean, could all sorts of issues arrive from an old program like that being installed on a MBPro, a computer and OS those developers couldn't have anticipated, then updating to a new version? Has anyone actually done this? (I'm going to ask this question in some Logic based forums too. Know any good ones?)

    Thanks all,
    David
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

  8. #8

    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Because Logic 5 is PPC and Logic 8 is UB i'd guess that in purchasing the upgrade you wouldn't receive an 'update' but rather the full logic 8 package, just as one would were he buying it without any previous version. In which case you wont need to install logic 5 at all.

    Id strongly recommend NOT getting a soundcard for your MBP slot. They are stupidly expensive, rare, and quite limited (cos they are so small). I believe there are some that are designed to connect to an external module, so they effectively work as a 'port' like a USB2 or FW port. (The plus side is that those type are very fast...) but they really arent worth it.

    I too use FW400 for my audio interface and FW800 for my harddrives with my MBP. I think its probably the best solution. Midi control (keyboard or other midi controller) I do by USB, but it can be done through an audio interface as well.

    Logic will play back sounds without an audio interface, it has an inbuilt soundcard with drivers. Same for previewing samples/sounds etc. as its all going through the same audio routing. It will just sound like R2D2 has infiltrated your system. If for some reason you cant use an external audio interface on an occassion you can get around the R2D2 by using high impedance headphones. I looked into this during my travels, but was never able to find what impedance value was required. Apple were/are quiet on this....

  9. #9

    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    David, welcome to Northern Sounds,
    this place is full of great advice.

    Dan

  10. #10
    New Member dmecionis's Avatar
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    Re: New MBP arriving; order of installs?

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols View Post
    Because Logic 5 is PPC and Logic 8 is UB i'd guess that in purchasing the upgrade you wouldn't receive an 'update' but rather the full logic 8 package, just as one would were he buying it without any previous version. In which case you wont need to install logic 5 at all.
    Now there's something I didn't know. Great! I'll double-check with Apple, and also ask how they determine that I'm the licensed owner of the Logic 5 ('cause I am).

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols View Post
    Id strongly recommend NOT getting a soundcard for your MBP slot. They are stupidly expensive, rare, and quite limited (cos they are so small). I believe there are some that are designed to connect to an external module, so they effectively work as a 'port' like a USB2 or FW port. (The plus side is that those type are very fast...) but they really arent worth it.

    I too use FW400 for my audio interface and FW800 for my harddrives with my MBP. I think its probably the best solution. Midi control (keyboard or other midi controller) I do by USB, but it can be done through an audio interface as well.
    Duly noted on the slot. I'll be perfectly happy anyway with the available ports. And I have a nice full-sized midi keyboard controller that runs USB, so no trouble there. In fact, since I'm getting rid of my external synth and old Layla card, I shouldn't need any midi cables at home or on the road. I get a thrill from the thought of less wires.

    BTW Ben, you may or may not know this about the FW on the new MBP's, but I've read in macrumors forum that both the 400 and 800 ports are on the same bus. This apparently means that if your running an 800 device alone on the 800 port you get high speed, but if you then run a 400 device on the other port at the same time, the "faster" device runs 400. Does your experience bear this out?

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols View Post
    Logic will play back sounds without an audio interface, it has an inbuilt soundcard with drivers. Same for previewing samples/sounds etc. as its all going through the same audio routing. It will just sound like R2D2 has infiltrated your system. If for some reason you cant use an external audio interface on an occassion you can get around the R2D2 by using high impedance headphones. I looked into this during my travels, but was never able to find what impedance value was required. Apple were/are quiet on this....
    Playback w/o interface if wanted, excellent. I guess you mean Logic has some kind of software engine that plays the part of DSP/Soundcard, excellent again. As for R2D2, I can ignore that little bastard when I need to - let C3PO deal with him.

    Regards,
    David
    'Sometimes I think our problem is not so much that we're supposed to have come to "the end of history" but that historians no longer have the voice or the incentive to decrypt and transcribe an understanding of the events and movements shaping our world.' --Breyten Breytenbach

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