DJing Discussion

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Apple Macbook Pro Specs. What is best for a DJ?

NATE UK 6:18 PM - 4 June, 2015
I currently have a Macbook Pro Retina model but got sucked in without checking the specs and only have a 128GB SSD. Want to upgrade so I can store my music on my laptop as carrying an external drive isn't ideal, just wondering, is it best to now get a newer model with a built in SSD of minimum 512GB, or to get an older model with a standard hard drive & CD drive removed to fit a SSD?


Also, what setups do you guys have on your Macbook Pro models to DJ with?
JoshuaY 10:01 PM - 4 June, 2015
From what I understand of solid state drives they are kind of hit and miss. Some work really well and others fail pretty quickly. Of course with moving components like a standard hard drive you introduce wear and tare and lag. I always liked the idea of an operating system on a solid state drive but all my music on a separate drive.

As far as expanding and working with your current setup you can always get a low profile high speed thumb drive and just use that for now to hold you over until you can do some research and make a more educated decision. Also, I have a 17inch MBP that I use and it works great for me. I picked it up the last year they made them and couldn't be happier. It runs Ableton Live 9 and mostly anything else as smooth as hot butter. I really got it less for the large display and more for the extra usb port.

Have you looked into external thunderbolt HD? I know they are a bit expensive but speeds are awesome. Also I think Lacey just came out with a really dope new shock resistant/water resistant drive that is worth looking into.

<Serato Scratch Live + Video and Ableton Live 9 for DJ based software.
The Return of Dj Sparky 10:15 PM - 4 June, 2015
I think you should reconsider the external option
NATE UK 10:16 PM - 4 June, 2015
Yes I currently have a Lacie 1TB Thunderbolt drive that I use for all of my music, previously had one & it failed on me but luckily I had everything backed up, hence the want to change. Also been experiencing small problems like songs in crates going missing, and files going missing and having to search for them manually, which never used to happen when I stored all of my music internally.

Have been advised to steer clear of the Retina versions, downgrade to a normal model MBP & combine the drives so just wanted confirmation on whether this was the way to go.
JoshuaY 10:40 PM - 4 June, 2015
Quote:
Crappy ssds from crappy manufacturers are hit or miss. Samsung pro series and any intel ssd will be a hit



Good advice :)
The Return of Dj Sparky 10:40 PM - 4 June, 2015
hdd's fail thats part of it and you should always have a backup,

i don't think ssd's are there just yet give it a few years and the pices will be pretty reasonable for mass storage 1-2tb's
NATE UK 1:48 PM - 5 June, 2015
Quote:
hdd's fail thats part of it and you should always have a backup,

i don't think ssd's are there just yet give it a few years and the pices will be pretty reasonable for mass storage 1-2tb's


Thanks will most probably keep to that then with a few backups
NATE UK 1:49 PM - 5 June, 2015
Quote:
pcpartpicker.com

or

pcpartpicker.com

Either of those will work fantastic, will easily beat the average external HDD (even thunderbolt), and will have a super long lifespan. Samsung went all out on the 850 Pros. They are fantastic and have rock solid components that are meant to take on heavy loads 24/7. Holding music and video is a walk in the park for these.


So assuming these would be to put into a current Macbook Pro, what sort of setup do you run with?
latindj 4:03 PM - 5 June, 2015
Files disappearing and having to search manually is not a HD problem. It's a bug in serato.
pdidy 7:29 PM - 5 June, 2015
Quote:
Have been advised to steer clear of the Retina versions, downgrade to a normal model MBP & combine the drives so just wanted confirmation on whether this was the way to go.

they were referring to the 2012 mbp which was the last model that was very popular because it was easily user customizable.
Matterhorn 12:14 AM - 7 June, 2015
You can actually upgrade the SSD's on retina MBP's

13' 2013 Model
www.ifixit.com


13'/15' 2013/2014 Models

www.ifixit.com


I had a mid 2010 15 inch MBP with 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 processor with a 256 GB SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD in the main HD slot and a 1TB Scorpio Blue Internal Hard Drive in the super drive slot with 8GB RAM that I just sold. Ran Serato, SDJ 1.7.5, Maschine 2.2, Ableton 9 with minimal issues. Just depends on you and what you want out of your machine.
Matterhorn 5:03 AM - 7 June, 2015
Quote:
@Matterhorn, thats cool that its possible, thanks for the info. Also, hows the Sandisk SSD treating you?


I don't have that machine anymore. Upgraded to one of the newer retina machines. I have nothing but positive things to say about the Sandisk SSD. I had that machine with the SSD for over a year and that's one of the best upgrades I've ever made to a computer.
DJCarlos. 1:23 PM - 16 October, 2015
Hello all, i have a friend selling a macbook pro 2010. 800€

MacBook Pro (15 pouces, mi-2010) 2,4 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 Go 1067 Mhz DDR3,
Intel HD Graphics 288 Mo , 320 Go Hard drive

Will it be enough to run SDJ + VSL + ME ?
it would be a backup computer.

thanks for the advice.
Code:E 10:47 PM - 16 October, 2015
Quote:
You can actually upgrade the SSD's on retina MBP's

13' 2013 Model
www.ifixit.com


13'/15' 2013/2014 Models

www.ifixit.com

Really.... Has anyone used these. I have 2013 15 inch retina with the stock 521 (the smallest it could come with) and I have always wanted the 1TB, but OWC still doesnt have one, and they seem to be the goto people for mac parts. Has anyone used one of these? how do they preform? the 1TB should be 800mb/s.

Holy fuck I just looked at the price. A fucking thousand dollars!!!! No fucking way in hell. I would just get a 2TB thunderbolt drive for less.
Dj Wunder 2:15 AM - 17 October, 2015
I think the days of carrying around an external drive or putting a 2nd hard drive in the opti-bay are over. After installing a 512 SSD in my 17" macbook (Last model year they made) I've never looked back. The speed is insane and the OS/programs/music/videos/Abelton projects all fire off the drive super super fast
Dj Wunder 2:18 AM - 17 October, 2015
Oh, and I just removed the 2nd HD out of the opti-bay of my backup macbook and re-installed the CD burner, and the battery life is noticeably better

P.S. ALWAYS BACK UP!
Code:E 5:40 AM - 17 October, 2015
Quote:
I think the days of carrying around an external drive or putting a 2nd hard drive in the opti-bay are over. After installing a 512 SSD in my 17" macbook (Last model year they made) I've never looked back. The speed is insane and the OS/programs/music/videos/Abelton projects all fire off the drive super super fast

what are you talking about. 512gb is enough for you? Cause its not even in the ballpark for me. I'm looking at replacing my 2TB external with a 4TB. I have a 512 SSD and it does my programs but music and visuals files need space for days.
Dj Wunder 1:26 PM - 17 October, 2015
Quote:
Quote:
I think the days of carrying around an external drive or putting a 2nd hard drive in the opti-bay are over. After installing a 512 SSD in my 17" macbook (Last model year they made) I've never looked back. The speed is insane and the OS/programs/music/videos/Abelton projects all fire off the drive super super fast

what are you talking about. 512gb is enough for you? Cause its not even in the ballpark for me. I'm looking at replacing my 2TB external with a 4TB. I have a 512 SSD and it does my programs but music and visuals files need space for days.


I'm talking about actually thinking about what goes in my library and curating it as a regular part of my process. The 512gb holds ableton projects and the 20,000 songs and videos I need to satisfy the wide demographic of a mobile DJ. Spotify + djay on the iPad used to fill in the gaps, but soon it will be pulselocker.
Dj Wunder 1:28 PM - 17 October, 2015
I use mp3s though. You must have wavs and 4K video
DJ_X_Trodinaire 4:40 PM - 17 October, 2015
Wish apple still made 17" pros! I still love my 2009! still works lol
1TB replaced the optical bay and 240gb SSD
But i do use a 4TB ext for my files. the 1TB internal is my "back up" with my song picks.
I know... backwards.
Code:E 8:41 PM - 17 October, 2015
Quote:
I use mp3s though. You must have wavs and 4K video

Xtendamix video 720p only I never get the 1080p's. and MP3's

DXV mov's for visuals.
Dj Wunder 9:06 PM - 17 October, 2015
Quote:
Quote:
I use mp3s though. You must have wavs and 4K video

Xtendamix video 720p only I never get the 1080p's. and MP3's

DXV mov's for visuals.


Hmm. Well then you need to do some spring cleaning. Actually, no, you don't. Do your thing man! Storage is cheap anyway.
BOWLER 12:30 PM - 23 June, 2016
hi all , ive been using windows and want to upgrade to a mac , i have a ddj sx and i do visuals too with serato video , i need a one time thing which can handle all , smoothly ....

which mac should i buy which can run serato dj + serato video without any lag ??

please advice thanks :)
SeriousCyrus 11:38 PM - 23 June, 2016
If you're doing visuals you want the macbook pro with gpu, but now is not the time to buy a new one, they've not been refreshed in over year, likely a new model will be out soon. if you buy now you'll likely see a better model for the same price in a few months, and a drop in price on the one you just bought. A second hand one might be an option.
BOWLER 1:27 AM - 24 June, 2016
Thanks , i will wait for a better version then :)
sonsofshaka 6:22 AM - 24 June, 2016
they were referring to the 2012 mbp which was the last model that was very popular because it was easily user customizable.
Just got the mid 2012 15 with the 2.7Ghz, 250 ssd and 1TB and also upgraded the memory to 16gb
Robejz 8:30 AM - 24 June, 2016
Quote:
they were referring to the 2012 mbp which was the last model that was very popular because it was easily user customizable.
Just got the mid 2012 15 with the 2.7Ghz, 250 ssd and 1TB and also upgraded the memory to 16gb


Same. Last year I got a mid 2012 15" MBP, 16gb RAM, 2.6ghz. it works like a dream. It's funny cos before that I had my Windows laptop and thought my video files were low quality. Doing video on the Mac, the output quality is so much better.
Tommy Deem 8:23 AM - 25 June, 2016
Transcend jetdrive lite, thumbs up! Got 256gb more space via memorycard slot :)
www.transcend-info.com
BOWLER 9:54 AM - 25 June, 2016
What about the GPU is , will iris 6100 work which is in a 13inch MBP , its an integrated thing ..
Tommy Deem 11:07 AM - 25 June, 2016
With serato?? Check minimum specs of serato from serato.com
Dj_Nix 5:30 PM - 25 June, 2016
Quote:
What about the GPU is , will iris 6100 work which is in a 13inch MBP , its an integrated thing ..


It'll work. But no where near as well as having a dedicated and it will lag/stutter/run hot
BOWLER 8:01 PM - 26 June, 2016
cool thanks :) will this one work well ?

Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2HN/A 15-inch Laptop (Core i7/16GB/512GB/AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB)
Jared Miller 8:30 PM - 24 August, 2016
Quote:
Quote:
they were referring to the 2012 mbp which was the last model that was very popular because it was easily user customizable.
Just got the mid 2012 15 with the 2.7Ghz, 250 ssd and 1TB and also upgraded the memory to 16gb


Same. Last year I got a mid 2012 15" MBP, 16gb RAM, 2.6ghz. it works like a dream. It's funny cos before that I had my Windows laptop and thought my video files were low quality. Doing video on the Mac, the output quality is so much better.


Me too. 2012 15" MBP w/ 16GB RAM, 2.6Ghz, and 500GB SSD. Crucial has always been my go-to SSD brand and they've never let me down. Works amazing for everything, not just DJing!
RIDDIMNBLUES 3:20 AM - 25 August, 2016
There is alot of mid 2012 13 inch refurbished MacBook pros on the apple site most under $1000 bucks 2.9hz i7 dual core...is these specs good enough for sdj running pnt and 1 buffer settings? no video
Dj_Nix 5:56 AM - 25 August, 2016
Audio only should be good.
Jared Miller 11:06 AM - 25 August, 2016
Quote:
There is alot of mid 2012 13 inch refurbished MacBook pros on the apple site most under $1000 bucks 2.9hz i7 dual core...is these specs good enough for sdj running pnt and 1 buffer settings? no video


Yes, but if it only comes with 4GB RAM, plan on upgrading it to 8GB or 16GB. Also, swapping the HDD for an SSD will be a night and day difference in everything you do. For example, with an SSD, you can usually boot in <10 seconds vs 45+ with a regular HDD. And everything else you do will be 3-5 times faster too.
Satisfaction Sound 11:08 PM - 31 October, 2016
I have an acer 8gb never connect to the internet and work perfectly with serato. ..any ways to the point....is it true that if I buy a mac book pro I'm going to have to connect the internet so it always upgrade and works perfectly. .I'm clueless with apple products.
I'm not a fan of using my dj laptop on the Internet thru out
my life
Jared Miller 2:39 AM - 1 November, 2016
Quote:
I have an acer 8gb never connect to the internet and work perfectly with serato. ..any ways to the point....is it true that if I buy a mac book pro I'm going to have to connect the internet so it always upgrade and works perfectly. .I'm clueless with apple products.
I'm not a fan of using my dj laptop on the Internet thru out
my life


Because of the large ratio of PCs to Macs, ridiculously more viruses/malware target PCs rather than Macs. Whereas you're crazy not to run antivirus software on a PC, antivirus for Mac is almost unheard of, and virtually pointless. To that end, you are MUCH safer roaming the internet on a Mac than on a PC.

While updating to the latest Mac operating system isn't recommended until your software and drivers are fully supported, incremental updates are important (even more so for Windows, really). I recommend keeping any computer as up-to-date as possible. Sometimes security patches, other times bug fixes, no matter what, it should be done. But overall, Macs are more stable and more reliable than PCs, which is why many people choose to use them, especially when live performing is involved and crashes cannot be afforded.
Code:E 10:02 AM - 1 November, 2016
Quote:
But overall, Macs are more stable and more reliable than PCs,

And the one point nobody talks about..... last longer. I see mac DJ's on the same laptop for 5+ years. I know some at 7 and 8 years. Fucking YEARS!!!!!!!! Do we even need to talk about PC's at this point.

Which also proves a few points. Mac OS is superior Windows. PC/Windows laptop can be and are most of the time more cost effective and for the same Dollar value you get a more powerful PC. But it's not going to last, it's generally not built to the same standards, and even though apple has ditched USB ports and changed the charger again (but only the 3rd time in what 15 years?) compatibility between macs (in regards to ports) and ability to easily use any one's hardware anytime just fucking kills every single PC out there. And we haven't even talked about cool software tool and apps software that are mac only and have no current PC equivalent (though spout and NDI could be a game changer).

Anyway. This is all coming from a guy who's thinking of switching back to PC's and dealing with all there flaws just so he can get a more powerful computer for his money.... The only thing holding me back is Mix Emergency.
Dj_Nix 4:35 PM - 1 November, 2016
Quote:
Quote:
But overall, Macs are more stable and more reliable than PCs,

And the one point nobody talks about..... last longer. I see mac DJ's on the same laptop for 5+ years. I know some at 7 and 8 years. Fucking YEARS!!!!!!!! Do we even need to talk about PC's at this point.

Which also proves a few points. Mac OS is superior Windows.


its mostly the OS though. look into hackintoshing your win-laptop. thats prob the most cost effective.
Jared Miller 7:58 PM - 9 November, 2016
Quote:
its mostly the OS though. look into hackintoshing your win-laptop. thats prob the most cost effective.

Cost effective maybe, but there are things that can go wrong, so for anyone who can't afford the possibility of something drastically going wrong, I'd recommend against it.
boggy 1:22 PM - 23 September, 2017
Hi ,

Kindly please advise, what is the best specs of MAC for Djing and what are the components to be considered.Thanks all

Cheers
Mm3 1:15 AM - 25 September, 2017
I use a late 2011 macbook pro with 2.4 i5 with 16g ram (I actually have 2 of them)... No problems or drop outs using vinyl with s9, ddi sx, vci 380 (No video Djing)..... If you're just starting out, consider finding a use one as they will still run just fine. I actually hear more problems with newer MacBooks running serato; reason why I haven't nor feel the need to upgrade.
boggy 4:18 AM - 16 September, 2018
Hey Bro Mm3 ,

Thanks a lot for great opinion really appreciated.
Agent Meow 9:39 AM - 21 October, 2018
Just adding my two cents as a Serato user since Scratch Live and a Mac user since '84.

I currently use 2012-2014 era Retina MacBook Pros which I upgraded from 2011 MacBook Pros in 2017. My old 15" 2011 MacBook Pros were both 2.0ghz i7's and still run Serato DJ great, but I'll warn my fellow DJs NOT TO BUY A 2011 MACBOOK PRO WITH AMD GPU, as they pretty much all suffered from a motherboard failure that was not actually fixed, even if the laptop had been repaired under warranty. Serato will toast the AMD GPU on a used 2011, I blew my GPU twice on both laptops, luckily under warranty.

Right now, I use a Late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 15" for my main rig, which I LOVE. It is lightning fast with the nVidia GPU, and can be had used for really cheap compared to any new premium PC, definitely compared to a new Mac. I also have an Early 2013 13" Retina MacBook Pro with lowly Intel HD 4000 as my backup. It works well for audio-only, but the waveforms are not nearly as smooth and I'm not sure how well it would mix video. But even the crappy integrated Intel graphics work fine with Serato DJ Pro and MacOS 10.14, no problems or crashes.

My recommendations are: If you need the cheapest Mac that can run Serato, get a 2012 non-retina 13" MacBook Pro i5, max the ram, and get a 480-500gb Sandisk, Samsung, or Intel SSD. Consider the costs of those upgrades and you might find its the same price to just get a 2012 or newer 13" Retina MBP instead. Of course, if you have the money, just leapfrog over all 13" MacBook Pros and get a Late 2013-2015 Retina MacBook Pro 15" with a good size SSD and you won't regret it. DO NOT buy a 2011 MacBook Pro 15" or a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15" due to problems with the GPU.

And do yourself a favor, download the app SMC Fan Controller and make a setting for Serato that run the fans at a minimum of 4,000 RPM. Doing this, I'm able to keep my temps down under 60c even on a hot day, and can monitor them on the toolbar while I'm playing.
TurtleFaceBrownNoser 5:30 PM - 22 October, 2018
In my book is 32 GB of Ram or kick rocks. That is the only config I use.