Old 12-06-2017, 05:36 AM   #1
needtopractice
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Default New Mac Scarlett 18i20 setup help

It's been a long time since I put together a recording rig. In reference to how long? It was a Windows based 5.3.1 version of be pro tools with a Digi 001 interface.
Now I have a MacBook, non pro, that I'm looking to run with a focusrite Scarlett 18i20 in to the Mac. I'm not able to get the info I need to confirm this will all work together smoothly. Bring new to Macs I'm not even certain how to hookup the Scarlett with the Mac. Is it a simple USBc to USB 2.0 adapter that is needed? Or is there a compatibility issue there?
Also I'm not sure if there is a special soundcard needed. My be digi001 had it's own card .
ANY an all info regarding a setup like this would be appreciated. Even if there is a bette, similar, interface out there.
Thanks guys. I look be forward to delving into to Reaper.

Jim.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:18 AM   #2
Vasily
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Is it a simple USBc to USB 2.0 adapter that is needed?
if your non-pro macbook has only one USB-C port (for devices and charging), the way to go is some kind of device that will give you at least one USB port and USB-C for charging at once. Apple makes one, but there is only one port there. you may need a USB MIDI keyboard or something else, like a flash drive or external disk. there are third-party USB-C docks that have more than one port, but running a recording device in a USB hub with other devices seems not like a good idea to me.

frankly I won't advice to make a recording studio around a weak computer (1.2GHz and one USB port).

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Also I'm not sure if there is a special soundcard needed.
other than the recording interface? nah, it's old days. you just plug in a thunderbolt/usb device and that's it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:55 AM   #3
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Some of the Macbooks have decent specs (unless you mean the newest generation of low end "Macbook" that has circa 2001 specs). Which Macbook? All but the oddly anemic and overpriced new gen Macbook have USB2 (pre 2012) or USB3 (2012 and later). Even a 2006 first gen 2GHz Macbook will let you do a lot. Maybe not live sound for a large stage or one of the gigantic modern orchestral sampler/synth plugin suites, but small projects all day long.

Pre Retina Macbook? Upgrade the stock HDD to a SSD.
Retina Macbook? Careful with the screen! ($350 to repair. They removed the protective glass shield for cost reduction.)
The new USB-C only Macbook with iphone-like specs (or circa 2001 specs) and all ports and everything else gutted on it? Um... still have the receipt?

I still think the 15" "Pro" models are more bang for the buck but I wouldn't just write off all 13" Macbooks as weak in general.
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Last edited by serr; 12-06-2017 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:54 AM   #4
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I have several MBPs and the 13" mid 2009 is a total workhorse for what it goes for. Downside is USB2 only, along with FW800 and early gen Tbolt, but I use it all the time for its portability, and FW800 makes up for lack of USB3 when transferring large amounts of files. And while it's not a heavy hitter processing-wise I take it on multitrack remotes and use it for editing and it doesn't hiccup when working within its scope. They go for $350 on craigslist. Fill it with RAM and a good SSD and it's a good deal for a Reaper laptop.
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:05 AM   #5
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Got the specs. How do they look?

2017 12 inch retina
1.2 GHz Intel core m3
8Gb 1867 MHz LPDDR3
Mac HD
Intel HD Graphics be 615 1536 MB
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:15 PM   #6
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Got the specs. How do they look?

2017 12 inch retina
1.2 GHz Intel core m3
8Gb 1867 MHz LPDDR3
Mac HD
Intel HD Graphics be 615 1536 MB
It would be cutting edge in 2001. Very low powered today. Elegant hardware and all and more or less modern graphics but not purposed for heavy CPU lifting. It would be a poor choice IMHO for a dedicated recording rig. You could get a used machine for a tenth of the price with modern specs and the ability to swap drives around in and so forth. The 2017 Macbook has the hard drive permanently soldered in, they removed the glass screen shield, they removed the magsafe power connection (charge it through a USB-C port), and the battery is glued in with strong double sided tape.

However, Reaper can make efficient use of old or low powered hardware. If you already have it for other reasons, try it out. If it handles what you're trying to do then all the above diatribe is meaningless.
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:37 PM   #7
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It is the home laptop. Maybe I'll try it out with a Scarlett 2 be channel interface. See how she goes.
Out of curiosity, what are the modern specs for a home recording computer?
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:54 PM   #8
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How about this.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F253300684768
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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A1286 should have core2duo, but not i7, it's a different generation of CPUs.

I actually don't expect improvement of 2.2GHz c2d over your existing system. (c2d is really slow compared to modern cpus, check out the internet.)

but something like i5/i7 2.5+ would be.

p.s. actually i5/i7 also have different generations and you may expect that each newer generation will give you like +15% performance on same frequency models. not that you need so much CPU, but if you will have 8 inputs and will want to use monitoring and FX, a fast CPU won't hurt you for sure. fast != with many GHz, as 2005 3.2Ghz will be outperformed by a 2015 2GHz.

Last edited by Vasily; 12-11-2017 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:50 AM   #10
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It is the home laptop. Maybe I'll try it out with a Scarlett 2 be channel interface. See how she goes.
Out of curiosity, what are the modern specs for a home recording computer?
What kind of recording?

Just a few tracks at a time for overdub style recording?
Recording a band with 18 or so tracks?

- You're fine so far.

Performing live through MIDI plugins?
Or even using some of the modern big MIDI synth plugins for pre-recorded MIDI?

- You'll be limited depending on the plugin.

Running live sound for a live stage?
Running 200 - 300 track studio mixes?
Running full MIDI constructed mixes with multiple synth/sampler plugins?

- Probably not.

A 2GHz Macbook from 2007 with a SSD installed would run circles around that new lighter weight Macbook. (Under $200 used.) Late 2008 and 2009 machines are a lot of bang for the buck. ($300 - $400 range.) The mid 2012 15" Macbook Pro is still their flagship 'pro' model. (Goes for around $1000 used.) These are also all easy to mod or repair. I recommend avoiding the early and late 2011 15" machines. (The extended warranty Apple offered after they sued the GPU maker is now over. And now we have bootleg chips from suspect repairs and everything on the used market. Stick a fork in this one unfortunately.)


If you already have the small Macbook, try it! If it does everything you want, just ignore my ramblings. It's still nice hardware. It just seems like a kind of weird in-between generation that awkwardly combines disposable with too expensive and ends up with a pretty low bang for the buck.
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Last edited by serr; 12-11-2017 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:42 PM   #11
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My type of recording is overdub style. Drum kit recorded live too. Then using plugins to mix, possibly a program like superior drummer for midi drums and maybe a guitar sim plugin like bias. Too much???
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