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What laptop is the best choice for modern digital DJ'ing.

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OK, that's it!

I'm kicking my old laptop through the window after to many crashes this month!

The old machine from hell is a i5 intelcore, 460MB processor, windows 7...

 

Now, i'm thinking to get me a mac again.

prolly a mac book pro.

i would use it only for music storing and digital DJ'ing with trakor.

i'm planning to get me a NI S5 controller in the future.

so the laptop has to be quick enough to handle big controllers (with multiple screens, stems etc).

 

But, i'm reading here:

http://djtechtools.com/2015/03/09/why-you-wont-be-djing-with-the-new-macbook.

that the new serie of mac book pro's only have 1 USB input, that's it!

and i'm reading here:

https://www.native-instruments.com/forum/threads/macbook-air-in-dj-booths.218729/

that a lot of DJ's have trouble playing there S2/S4 controller with a mac book pro.

 

So guys, what machine are U using and what would U think is a good machine for modern digital DJ'ing.

 

 

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i am using 2011 MBP macbook pro (15, i7, 8gb ram, ssd) and i can say that is incredible fast even 4 years later.

(i run photoshop, chrome with 20 tabs and no glitches in traktor 2.6.8)

- i added more ram and changed drive since my last purchase.

if i had to buy a new laptop for music i would consider:

- new MBP 15 Retina (downside very expensive , no future upgrades - so take at least 8gb ram and 256-512 drive)

 

- new MBP 13 Retina (downside very expensive, no future upgrades - so take at least 8gb ram and 256-512 drive )

 

- MB air 13 (very small and light, i am sure you can run traktor full power on it). I seen many artist playing ableton live with this small ones.

 

- a bit weird but i still consider that old 13' macbook pro (still available for cheaper then recent at apple) is a good solution for powerful and upgradable mac. You can buy the cheapest version from apple, and add 16gb ram and 512 SSD for much cheaper then via apple (is really simple). It also has a CD Drive that can be nice to mane a backup CD-R for performances, and it can be replaced by second HDD if you run our of space. Downside (screen is not as "advanced" as new models and is heavier then retina models.

 

notes:

- with new MBP you can not - upgrade later RAM, upgrade HDD (hard drive)

- i am sure 100% they have at least 2 usb. (is simple macbook and not pro that has 1 usb)

 

i won't go to PC word, i just don't want to spend time to optimise machine, and i like OSX interface, colors.  Discovering mac make me enjoy working internet, and i don't have it on PC.

 

p.s.

latest versions of traktor could have issues, many people complain. in worst case you can always go to older version, so no worries.

i am also using not the latest version of OSX, i just don't bother to upgrade, upgrades can break things and reparing is not fun.

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- i am sure 100% they have at least 2 usb. (is simple macbook and not pro that has 1 usb)

 

 

yes you are right 2 usb ports! must be mac book they are talking about!

 

the MBP retina 13 inch, 256 GB, 8 GB RAM looks ok to me, but indeed not upgradable...

the DELL XPS 13 looks also very good, you have a 512 GB, 16 GB RAM version for the price of the MBP retina 13 with only 256 GB & 8 GB RAM

so you have double speed and capacity on the XPS for the same money as a MBP!

that's amazing!

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the DELL XPS 13 looks also very good, you have a 512 GB, 16 GB RAM version for the price of the MBP retina 13 with only 256 GB & 8 GB RAM

so you have double speed and capacity on the XPS for the same money as a MBP!

that's amazing!

 

nobody said that you will have double speed with dell :)

- you will have more space yes

- you can open more tabs and more application in same time - maybe

but you will not notice it if you use traktor, screen quality and weight is something to consider also.

and OS (operating systems) work in different way, some of them work better with audio, some not. Most artist use MBP and it is not because it looks cool to have apple.

 

p.s.

Behringer is also cheaper then Pioneer and it can have two times more features for same price :)

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nobody said that you will have double speed with dell :)

- you will have more space yes

- you can open more tabs and more application in same time - maybe

but you will not notice it if you use traktor, screen quality and weight is something to consider also.

and OS (operating systems) work in different way, some of them work better with audio, some not. Most artist use MBP and it is not because it looks cool to have apple.

 

p.s.

Behringer is also cheaper then Pioneer and it can have two times more features for same price :)

about limited space on a MBP, i can work with an external HD (los of data after a while) or SD-card (here you have no los of data).

 

about screenquality: i'm not convinced that a dj needs a retina-screen, i mean it's just to look at a track right? it's not that dj's need christal clearity.

 

and weight, yes that can be important for when you are on the move, i experienced that past summer :)

 

so you are saying that OS works better for audio than windows?

that is why most artist use a MBP?

i can follow that because all traktor based products (prolly abelton to) is based on a OS platform no?

 

 

I've got an Asus notebook, 17 inch.  R501VN model.  i7   2.3Ghz

 

i'm gonna check out the specs on this on, thx :)

4 usb ports lookz handy!

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about limited space on a MBP, i can work with an external HD (los of data after a while) or SD-card (here you have no los of data).

 

about screenquality: i'm not convinced that a dj needs a retina-screen, i mean it's just to look at a track right? it's not that dj's need christal clearity.

 

and weight, yes that can be important for when you are on the move, i experienced that past summer :)

 

so you are saying that OS works better for audio than windows?

that is why most artist use a MBP?

i can follow that because all traktor based products (prolly abelton to) is based on a OS platform no?

 

 

i'm gonna check out the specs on this on, thx :)

4 usb ports lookz handy!

 

hdd space: you can buy SD card adaptor to add 128 gb + HDD or 128Gb usb key.

screen : i guess you will use it not only for music but for every day use ;)

osX : is better for audio (as far as i know) : most studio have OSX, so it is not only about laptops. but this something that constantly evolve

iOS (mobile) : i think there are 3 reasons:

-- ios is more popular

-- ios users are most likely to pay for soft (is more expensive market)

-- ios is made for audio since begining.

 

if you wanted to buy a mobile device and do audio with it, then iOs for sure, you have much more choice there.

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hdd space: you can buy SD card adaptor to add 128 gb + HDD or 128Gb usb key.

screen : i guess you will use it not only for music but for every day use ;)

osX : is better for audio (as far as i know) : most studio have OSX, so it is not only about laptops. but this something that constantly evolve

iOS (mobile) : i think there are 3 reasons:

-- ios is more popular

-- ios users are most likely to pay for soft (is more expensive market)

-- ios is made for audio since begining.

 

well yes i'm planning on using it only for mixing (and maybe later for producing).

and maybe i get me some KRK monitors to :)

 

well it lookz like osx has something more to offer than a pc!

and it's worth the money.

 

i think i'm comming to a conclussion, it's gonna be a mac :)

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i was looking at the specs of a MBP again and i saw that those baby's have an SSD hard drive (no moving parts, faster, steady and no loss of data)!

didn't know that :)

so i think that's it, mac it is, for sure!

 

you can also got a PC with SSD :)

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i mean, i've always heared that speakers don't go next to computers because speakers have magnets and that causes problems for a hard drive.

is that true?

 

How close?  I really don't think it should be an issue.  Your monitors should be a couple feet apart for acoustic reasons anyways, if you can.  

 

Never been a problem on my end with SSDs, but the speakers were always a couple feet away.  

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How close?  I really don't think it should be an issue.  Your monitors should be a couple feet apart for acoustic reasons anyways, if you can.  

well, i would put my laptop on a table that is 75 cm long (28 inches).

and put the laptop between the 2 monitors, but that would be to close i guess :)

 

i read that you best put your monitors not to far and on ear-level.

that is way i ask how close you can put them togheter.

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Yeah, under 28" is pretty close.  For small nearfields like Rokit 5s or 6s, "not too far" usually means not more than say 4 to 6 feet.  

 

Do you have a way of raising the speakers to ear level, rather than sitting on a desk?  Whatever you use to raise them could also further separate your speakers from your computer.  Getting them at ear level should definitely improve your sound.

 

FWIW I know lots of people who use small monitors up close on the desk (5" Yamahas, Rokit 5s, etc) and put their MacBooks in between, and I've never heard of someone having an issue.  

 

Worst case, just keep your backup drive in a "safer" location, in case anything does go wrong.  

.  

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FWIW I know lots of people who use small monitors up close on the desk (5" Yamahas, Rokit 5s, etc) and put their MacBooks in between, and I've never heard of someone having an issue.  

 

yes, i've seen that many times on youtube etc.

that's where i got the idea from.

but i'll get me some stands so i can put them next to the table, that way i have a good distance and on ear level.

 

thx for the tips matt! :)

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- a bit weird but i still consider that old 13' macbook pro (still available for cheaper then recent at apple) is a good solution for powerful and upgradable mac. You can buy the cheapest version from apple, and add 16gb ram and 512 SSD for much cheaper then via apple (is really simple). It also has a CD Drive that can be nice to mane a backup CD-R for performances, and it can be replaced by second HDD if you run our of space. Downside (screen is not as "advanced" as new models and is heavier then retina models.

 

 

 

 

 

that's exactly what i did. last model macbook pro before retina mac and with 8gb ram and 512gb SSD.  

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I've seen people playing DJ -gigs with iPads only. Seems quite an easy option if you're not into more technical DJ'ing I think..

 

I have Macbook Air 11" in use at the moment but I've been thinking to move back to Windows -laptop.

That's because too many music software plugins are only for windows. And Windows is what I've used to use in music production anyhow...

 

For DJ'ing Macbook Air is very good though, never had any problems with it (Traktor Pro software).

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i have tried ipad mixing, i do it home when my friends come, and i want to sit with them and relax.

interfaces are very nice.

 

it can definetely do the work for a gig in a chillout cafe by the beach, specially if you add external sound card (latest native instruments audio 2 and Z1 are ipad compatible, as well as apogee).

i will try to test this setup on big soundsystem when i have chance and equipment.

 

however i can't imagine a serious gig with this only, maybe if you connect 2 channel output to external mixer, but not standalone, i need precission of analog / physical knobs.

But as a backup or travelling setup is has future.

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One of the biggest drawbacks for iPad DJing for me is the inability to use FLAC files, since Apple don't support it on any of their devices. My whole collection of files are in FLAC.

 

you can use XLD for a fast conversion to AIFF or Apple Lossless  :) and it saves comments and all tags. 

But you will loose your CUE POINTS and loops in Traktor.

 

in my opinion the most "compatible" format is AIFF, but i use ALAC (m4a / apple lossless) for all my digital data, my only problem is that "Pioneer" don't support it (only now in 2016 latest Nexus2 will start to support this), but i export playlist and then convert them to use with Pioneers when i need.

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I'm using a Lenovo Y50-70 both for producing and for playing live. Really solid build, fast processor but comes with one serious flaw: HDD is really shitty. Replace it with a Samsung Evo SSD (they come cheap nowadays) and the machine makes a huge leap in performance. This is an excellent low budget solution and covers all my needs really.

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Yeah I have a thinkpad and that was really excellent for audio, particularly after sticking an ssd in it. I ran reaper and Ableton on it.

 

But,and I don't know what happened, it just started to run really slow. I've done as much as my windows knowledge permits me to do. So I've given up on it on the end,installed Linux on a partitioned drive, and just use it for the Web.:-(

 

A second hand Thinkpad / lenovo appear to be the computer of choice if you're looking for a cheap road into production though.

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