Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

OT: MacBook Pro for App Development (and Music)

I'm seriously considering getting into iOS app programming as a sideline / hobby. I'm looking for a cost-effective MacBook that will still have a useful service lifetime. I would only be using it lightly for any music production. I just need moderately decent performance, and hopefully to be able to get 3-5 years use out of it.

I've been a mainly a Windows grunt forever, with only light duties supporting MacOS in IT environments. So I know very little about what will work for me or not. This refurb model looked interesting. Any thoughts?

Apple MacBook Pro 15in Core i7 2.8GHz Retina (MGXG2LL/A), 16GB RAM, 512GB Solid State Drive

Thanks for your insights!

Comments

  • McDMcD
    edited March 20

    Excellent choice, IMHO. I have had one on my lap daily for 4 years. Gets a little warm and the cat wants to share the heat... only problem really.

    I do have the 256GB SSD and that's a headache. Probably easy to upgrade but I just buy stuff and throw it away for space.

  • Looks good to me. I have my old MacBook Air (Same hardware specs as you listed, but it is an 13“ i5 instead of that 15“ i7.

    I am still very happy and it is beyond the years-mileage you try to achieve.
    XCode itself is a bloated little beggar, but i personally don’t care if compilations take 3 or 6 minutes. I just head off for a coffee or a good song while that pup is busy :smile:
    So if you have the change - go for it.

  • The 15” has the terrible butterfly keyboard (IMO). I would strongly consider getting the 16”...

    I use a 15” daily and the keyboard is a constant pain.

  • @qryss said:
    The 15” has the terrible butterfly keyboard (IMO). I would strongly consider getting the 16”...

    I use a 15” daily and the keyboard is a constant pain.

    The model @wim listed is pre-butterfly keyboard. It doesn't have the gimmicky Touch Bar and it even has a complement of useful ports.

    I would agree to avoid the butterfly keyboard models. For me it's less about the keys (which are annoying on their own), but rather the lack of a physical Esc key and, most annoyingly, the change from an inverted T cluster of arrow keys to a solid block. I can no longer just physically find the keys, I have to look away from the screen or else my cursor will be going in the wrong direction....

  • @wim I use a slightly worse macbook pro (2.3ghz i7). It still manages xcode and ableton just fine, although I'm usually doing more audio arranging and less virtual instruments. Magsafe forever!

  • Wow! Thanks so much everyone who has weighed in so far! Good solid information from everyone.

    I checked in on the thread and then searched "butterfly keyboard" and pulled up an article to learn what that is ... and my PC did a Blue Screen of Death. :D Someone is trying to tell me something I think. B)

  • edited March 20

    @wim said:
    Wow! Thanks so much everyone who has weighed in so far! Good solid information from everyone.

    I checked in on the thread and then searched "butterfly keyboard" and pulled up an article to learn what that is ... and my PC did a Blue Screen of Death. :D Someone is trying to tell me something I think. B)

    Haha 😅
    If I had to buy a Macbook now, it'd be a second-hand late 2013 model with an i7, 2.9 GHz, 16GB RAM and 500 or 1000GB SSD.
    Still enough power, a quality keyboard, a built-in fan that works, proper connectivity (two USB 3 A-type ports, two thunderbolt ports, HDMI, and an SD/HC card slot).
    We've had a couple of them at work and the only component that had to be replaced on a few was the built-in LiIon battery that started to blow up after seven years of permanent use.
    None of the keyboards has failed in seven years and on the most (ab)used machine, the black coating on the most over-used keys starts to pull off but all keys still work perfectly.
    Naturally I've been working on the newer models too but I'm always happy to return to the older quality keyboard which is silent btw, unlike the loud and uncomfortable later versions.
    Another cool thing with this older model is that if you isolate one of the MagSafe power pins, the battery charge is kept at a constant level so you can choose to maintain the battery at its optimum 3.92V to maximize lifetime.
    Well done Apple engineers from better times!

  • Would a 2013 MacBook model still be able to run the upgraded operating systems?

  • @wim I will be sending you a PM

    To everyone else, the 2015 MacBook Pro is by far the best option for a used Mac laptop at the moment.

    • it has the old reliable keyboard, NOT the infamous butterfly keyboard
    • Significant upgrade in SSD speeds compared to 2013 and 2014
    • Battery is user-replaceable (but still a pain to do)
  • For those who are curious, here’s the official Apple solution to the butterfly keyboard problems.
    https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks

    The retina MacBook 12” model from 2015 has this problem, but not the 2015 MacBook Pro 15” or 13”.

  • @Hmtx said:
    For those who are curious, here’s the official Apple solution to the butterfly keyboard problems.
    https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks

    The retina MacBook 12” model from 2015 has this problem, but not the 2015 MacBook Pro 15” or 13”.

    For me it's not that the keyboard has been failing, it just has a worse design. It's very telling that with the new 16" they not only changed the key mechanism, but also restored a physical Esc key and went back to the inverted T cursor pattern.

  • @rs2000 said:
    Haha 😅
    If I had to buy a Macbook now, it'd be a second-hand late 2013 model with an i7, 2.9 GHz, 16GB RAM and 500 or 1000GB SSD.

    While I have to agree that the old models had everything (ports, keyboard) and excellent reliability (I'm still on my 13" Macbook Pro 2011 model!) they are no longer good for development. As of the end of this month I will no longer be able to submit new updates to apps until I buy a new laptop. This is because my Macbook is too old to install the latest operating system. Apple will stop accepting apps not built using the iOS 13 SDK as of April 1st, and to install the latest Xcode that has the iOS 13 SDK you need the latest operating system.

    One reason I have held off upgrading for so long is a) my laptop still runs great (although had to put a solid state to breathe new life into it a few years ago) and b) I was reluctant to buy a laptop with the butterfly keyboard as you dont know if its going to crap out after 3-4 years. Before my mac I would have been happy to get that long out of a laptop but since mine has lasted me 9 years so far and still runs great I'm less satisfied with 3-4 years now! You can still get 2015 pre-butterfly keyboard models that can run the latest OS, so I'd do that, orrr you could wait a few months and check out the rumoured 14" macbook pro which will be cheaper than the 16" (I'm hoping to wait to see what the 14" is like before I make my choice).

  • @aplourde said:
    For me it's not that the keyboard has been failing, it just has a worse design. It's very telling that with the new 16" they not only changed the key mechanism, but also restored a physical Esc key and went back to the inverted T cursor pattern.

    ?

    You might be missing my point. The 2015 is perfect.

    You are right though: We could talk all day about the 2016-2018 keyboards that have poor design, poor layout, weird feel, plus a butterfly mechanism that fails. But that’s a topic for another thread.

  • Haha, nice. I just saw the new Mac Mini and Macbook Air. I'm wondering if I should just save the extra cash and just buy that since I returned back the Mac Mini (wasnt the correct year, so it couldn't run XCode).

  • @JamMaestro said:

    @rs2000 said:
    Haha 😅
    If I had to buy a Macbook now, it'd be a second-hand late 2013 model with an i7, 2.9 GHz, 16GB RAM and 500 or 1000GB SSD.

    While I have to agree that the old models had everything (ports, keyboard) and excellent reliability (I'm still on my 13" Macbook Pro 2011 model!) they are no longer good for development. As of the end of this month I will no longer be able to submit new updates to apps until I buy a new laptop. This is because my Macbook is too old to install the latest operating system. Apple will stop accepting apps not built using the iOS 13 SDK as of April 1st, and to install the latest Xcode that has the iOS 13 SDK you need the latest operating system.

    One reason I have held off upgrading for so long is a) my laptop still runs great (although had to put a solid state to breathe new life into it a few years ago) and b) I was reluctant to buy a laptop with the butterfly keyboard as you dont know if its going to crap out after 3-4 years. Before my mac I would have been happy to get that long out of a laptop but since mine has lasted me 9 years so far and still runs great I'm less satisfied with 3-4 years now! You can still get 2015 pre-butterfly keyboard models that can run the latest OS, so I'd do that, orrr you could wait a few months and check out the rumoured 14" macbook pro which will be cheaper than the 16" (I'm hoping to wait to see what the 14" is like before I make my choice).

    Thank you very much for the update of my dusty memories 😉👍🏼

  • I know it’s not legal, but I like making PCs run OSX. This is an Acer Swift. I also have a tower that I built with an i7-4970k. It’s a learning curve to get stable, but it’s a lot cheaper. Just saying.

  • @animalelder said:

    I know it’s not legal, but I like making PCs run OSX. This is an Acer Swift. I also have a tower that I built with an i7-4970k. It’s a learning curve to get stable, but it’s a lot cheaper. Just saying.

    Okay, I'm interested. Any guides on how to do this?

  • Renewed is not refurbished. Renewed means they cleaned it, erased the hard drive, and reinstalled the OS. So, you likely will have no warranty, and who knows how many cycles the battery has been through at this point.

  • edited March 21

    @Samflash3 said:

    @animalelder said:

    I know it’s not legal, but I like making PCs run OSX. This is an Acer Swift. I also have a tower that I built with an i7-4970k. It’s a learning curve to get stable, but it’s a lot cheaper. Just saying.

    Okay, I'm interested. Any guides on how to do this?

    I've done this with three "Windows" laptops and I have to say it was a really exhausting experience, this usually includes swapping incompatible WiFi cards, maybe even flashing a different BIOS in order for the WiFi to be recognized at all, performing a number of geeky steps regarding driver hacks and adding third-party drivers and usually there's one or two MacOS features that don't work in the end (this can be no standby when closing the display lid, not waking up properly from standby, no Bluetooth, imperfect battery power management and whatnot.)
    If you really can't stand investing your precious time, make sure you start with one of the compatible laptops recommended for hackintoshing.
    My personal conclusion: I would have rather purchased a second-hand Macbook and focus on music. Really.
    It was an interesting experience though, met lots of insanely knowledgable and helpful folks on the respective forums (osxlatitude, tonymacx86 etc.).
    But beware, do your homework first before asking them.
    And there's a lot to learn.

  • edited March 21

    @StudioSisu said:
    Would a 2013 MacBook model still be able to run the upgraded operating systems?

    I‘m running Catalina and the latest Logic 10.4.8 on a late 2013 15“ macbook pro retina.
    Its just the basic 2.0 Ghz i7 with 256GB SSD and 8GB ram, no dedicated GPU.
    It mainly runs good.
    CPU is the bottleneck here for me mostly. RAM could be more too but it depends on the software. Normally i can run a lot on this machine like 50+ instances if DRC :)
    But also very demanding software can break it with one instance.
    And indeed my keyboard never failed yet.
    But the trackpad hangs sometimes and the right speaker is dead.
    I would go for a 2012-2015 or a 16“ (i see they doubled the space here for the basic as well).

  • @Samflash3 This is my second one, but finding compatible hardware is a good first step. Yes, I did have to replace wifi card @rs2000 to get AirDrop and HandOff, but it's not mandatory.

    Yeah, I might recommend the used route to others, because it can be frustrating. With that said, both my machines are very stable.

    @Samflash3 what type of hardware do you have? There are a lot of guides online for different models, or you can build from components. Reddit has a hackintosh sub and there's also insanelymac and (last resort) tonymac.

  • I currently have an HP 15 in "hexa core" with AMD Graphics from 2014 with an SSD. It's starting to slow down, and I just wanted to run XCode on the computer.

    Briefly tried Mac Garageband, and it's great and all, but isn't to my tastes.

  • HP laptops are pretty commonly used. Google your exact model + hackintosh. HP Pavillion Hackintosh or HP Pavillion Mojave/High Sierra.

    But I wouldnt mess around without a cloned image of the harddrive in case you completely mess up. But, hey, quarantine time is a good chance to try big things.

  • edited March 21

    @animalelder said:
    ... But, hey, quarantine time is a good chance to try big things.

    Now that's true 😁

    I can confirm that once set up, the machines work well (still got my cute little IBM X201 with Mavericks 10.9, rock-solid and small NI Kontakt library player that the iPad fits nicely on top (it also works with the display closed).
    And the little beast boots faster than a real Mac 😅

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