Best MacBook for music production

Which is the Best MacBook for music production? In any creative field, the tools and gear you choose to use can make or break your output by influencing your user experience. As much as this review is about the Best MAC for music production, we do not completely want to rule out PCs as a cool MAC alternative.

In the past, MAC has overall been considered a better option than a PC. Although it may be a little better, PCs have improved to effectively compete to a point that I actually prefer PCs for most professional tasks.

It is safe to say, therefore, that just like Graphic Designers and digital artists, whether you opt to use a MAC or PC for music production, it is entirely left to personal preference.

Whether to use a desktop or laptop is another question I get often, especially from beginners. For this reason, we have done a review for the Best laptops for music production so you have a variety to choose from. 

What is the Best MacBook for music production?

  1. MacBook Air M1 Best Portable MacBook for music production
  2. 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 (2022)
  3. Apple 14 inch MacBook Pro, M1 Pro (2021) Best For Live Performers
  4. MacBook Air M2 (2022)
  5. Apple MacBook Pro 16” M1 Best Mac Laptop for Audio

How to choose the Best MacBook for music production

When it comes to music production, the 14 in and 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro takes the day since they have the best processing power but we cannot also rule out the new 13-inch M2 processor.

Is the MacBook Pro better than the Air?

The scale is tipping towards the MacBook Pro since it has a better processing performance and better memory. It also has better speakers and better displays that the Air.

Is the Mac Pro good for music production?

Yes. It remains our best pick for music production with the M1 Pro and Max chips making the machine versatile and powerful. It can handle different apps running simultaneously and also handle complex projects without a glitch.

Best Music Production Setup For MACS

Apart from the music production desks and general gear, there are some technical requirements you need for professional production.

Software

Your Digital Audio Workstation is important as the laptop you choose there are plenty available on MAC operating system. The most common on macOS is Laris logic Pro X and GarageBand.

RAM

RAM is a very important aspect at the any-level of a project and work lack of RAM can cause a lot of problems. For creative you should have a minimum RAM of 16 GB. This is easy as most Mac laptops are already equipped with sufficient RAM for use.

The M1 and M2 come with 8 GB RAM. While the M2 can configure additional RAM of up to 24 Gb, the M1 can only be expanded up to 16 GB

Storage

All Macs use SSD for internal storage which is a plus considering a lack of internal storage can cause a lot of problems in storing your work. Most entry-level MacBooks have 256 SSDs but when you start using them especially to store your music files you will require to have a minimum of 512SSD on your Mac. It is recommended to buy an external drive for a large sample.

Portability

Before purchasing a Mac Book you need to decide whether you will need to move around with it while working with different musicians. A big Mac will probably not fit in your bag or may prove to be too heavy to carry while doing your day-to-day tasks.

Processor

Doing professional music production and some high-end work may be extremely power intensive. If your work demand is great, then you will require a MacBook that has powerful processing power. The entry Mac is equipped with M1 and M2 chips which are proving to be quite powerful when it comes to processing data. You can also turn the M1 to Pro or Max.

Graphics

When we talk about graphics cards, some audio recording and editing files are GPU accelerated. It should also be a factor if you require additional displays. Entry-level M1 and M2 offer 7 and 8-core GPU which has proven to be superior to integrated graphics. If your work requires more graphics power then you should consider the 14 or 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro or M1 Max.

Computing needs of someone working in music production

  • A 64-bit operating system.
  • 13inch and above screen
  • A minimum of 2.4ghz core processor
  • Minimum of 500 GB internal storage (SSD)
  • At least 4 GB RAM.

Best MacBook for Audio and music production

Apple MacBook Pro 16 has the best speakers and quality audio today followed closely by the 14-inch pro. Although they are not the only ones, they are worth a mention.

MacBook Air M1 Best Portable MacBook for music production

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MacBook Air M1 is a remarkable portable laptop that is fast with a silent fan design. The Macbook has an M1 chip and an integrated 8-core CPU  that is not only fast; but also balances high-performance cores with the efficiency that does everyday jobs while using less energy.

The M1 delivers exceptional performance and excellent power efficiency due to the 16 billion transistors found in the tiny chip. with this kind of power, the Macbook Air can perform intensive tasks like professional-level video editing and gaming.

 The 16-core neutral GPU engine found in M1 delivers amazingly fast integrated graphics. One can seamlessly play back multiple streams of full-quality 4k videos and create videos and also edit them.

The Macbook also has machine learning technologies that allow the apps to automatically retouch photos like a pro, make smart tools, and do audio filters more accurately, excellent for music production.

M1 chip comes with 16 gigabytes of superfast unified memory with a single pool of high bandwidth and low latency memory that allows the apps to share data between the CPU and GPU so that everything runs smoothly and fast. The laptop also has 512 GB ssdSSDich can also be expanded up to 2 terabytes.

Pros

  • Shocking performance with M 1 chip
  • Intel-based apps work well
  • Good battery life
  • Retina Display looks great
  • Can run iPhone and iPad apps

Cons

  • Awful 720p webcam.
  • IOS apps are a whiff.
  • Only two USB-C ports.
  • Still has thick bezels.

13-inch MacBook Pro M2 (2022)

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The latest MacBook Pro 13-inch comes with Apple’s M2 chip and offers excellent performance and battery life. However, there is no new design here therefore it can make this new Macbook Pro feel a little redundant in some aspects. One thing that certainly isn’t redundant is that M2 which the company promises offers a 40% increase over the M1.

The M2 Pro features the same design as the previous model and the one before that and if you love the look of the old version then this will not be an issue. The M2 puts in good work providing excellent performance especially when it comes to video editing and day-to-day use. It packs an 8core CPU and a 10-core Graphics integrated GPU. It also has a 16 GB unified Ram and storage that can be configured up to 1 terabyte.

The Mac also features a 13- inch screen with a 2560 by 1600 retina display that is good for videos, with a camera of 720 pixels of Facetime HD Webcam to use with family and friends. With its M2 chip that promotes good performance, the  MacBook can run multiple apps simultaneously without having an issue at all.

My favorite part of the MacBook Pro is its battery life. It can run for over 15 hours and a half and that is incredibly impressive for workstation laptops used for the intensive workload.

Pros

  • Great screen quality
  • Superb performance
  • Excellent portability

Cons

  • Ports aren’t enough
  • The little benefit of M2 Air
  • 13″ screen size is not ideal

Apple 14 inch MacBook Pro, M1 Pro (2021) Best For Live Performers

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The MacBook Pro M1 is the perfect balance between portability as well as performance. The MacBook comes in at $2000 and has the M1 Pro chip which has an 8-core CPU and 14 GPU as well as 16 gigabytes of rum and a 512 gigabytes SSD which can also be configured to 1 terabyte. If you plan to use the computer for many years to come, I recommend you do this upgrade.

The M1 pro takes a new approach to the design. It feels solid and well built in hand and compared to the previous generations the design is more squared off and boxy. The slightly thicker design allows for more room for better cooling and this means you can push the computer more without worrying about it throttling and compromising on performance the larger fans also whisper quiet and the computer never gets uncomfortably warm.

 The design of these new m1 pro MacBook pros also creates room for more ports apple brought back the HDMI port and this allows you to quickly hook up to a project and then also next to that is an sd card slot now as a creative professional this really is a dream come true and all of this while still keeping three USB-c ports to get those superfast transfer.

It is the best I’ve ever used the battery 2 is bigger and combined with the more efficient m1 pro chip the battery life on these 1 pro MacBook Pro is truly fantastic.

Pros

  • Improved M1 Pro and M1 Max Chips
  • Larger Unified Memory Capacity
  • 1080p High-Definition Camera
  • Better Audio Input and Output Systems

Cons

  • Bulkier and Heavier Physical Specs
  • Excessively Expensive Base and Configured Models

MacBook Air M2 (2022)

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The new MacBook Air M2 model looks dramatically better than the previous model and looks a lot more like the pros with some new colors that are very vibrant.  It also sports an industrial design with a notch at the display with 500 nic peak brightness and a 60 hertz motions display.

The M2 base model gives you an 8-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores which is slightly lower than for pro which comes with six efficiency cores. When it comes to the GPU the M2 comes with a base level of 8 cores but you can expand it up to 10 cores if you wish. 

With a 16-core null engine, the memory bandwidth of the M2 ranges at 100 gigabytes per second which allows for faster data transfer and overall performance of the machine.

Unlike the M1 which is capped out at 16 GB memory, the M2 comes with 8 GB unified memory that is configurable up to 24 GB and storage of 256 gigabytes configurable up to 2 terabytes. when we talk about the ports M2 has 3 thunderbolt ports meaning you can connect one display to it, however, It does not come with an sd card slot.

Pros

  • Thinner and lighter
  • Gorgeous 13.6-inch screen
  • 1080p webcam
  • M2 chip delivers excellent performance

Cons

  • Only supports one external screen
  • Notch display design won’t be to everyone’s liking
  • More expensive than M1 model
  • Few ports
  • Shorter battery life than the 2020 M1 MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Pro 16” M1 Best Mac Laptop for Audio

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My configuration has apple’s m1 pro-10-core CPU with 16 core GPU cores and 16 gigs of unified memory. There’s also a 16 ‘’ screen and 500 gig SSD but most of the components can be changed when ordering through the apple store.

The MacBook Pro 16 is available with either a space grey or silver finish. It’s fairly small for a 156’’ machine, smaller than several 15-inch gaming laptops I typically test while also being on the thinner side. This is in part due to the thin 6.5mm screen bezels on the side’s side and top.

The 16.2’’ liquid retina XDR display is just apple’s marketing for an HDR mini LED screen with 10,000 local dimming zones. It’s a 14.9 panel with a random resolution.  

The screen has a 120HZ refresh rate with promotion enabled however I measured it with a relatively slow 23 ms average grey-to-grey response time. The average result isn’t a whole lot different from other laptops though not quite as fast as gaming laptops available for similar money, alternative like dell’s XPS 17 down the bottom of this graph was a fair bit slower than the MacBook.

The screen has a glossy finish.  There’s no backlight bleed when displaying pure black it’s just off, however you can see some bloom or halo effect around the mouse cursor.

Pros

  • Magic Keyboard feels great
  • Larger 16″ display with slimmer bezels
  • Up to 8-core Core i9 CPU and 64GB RAM
  • Decent audio upgrade

Cons

  • Display not 4K
  • Heavier than 15″ MacBook Pro
  • Lacks full-size USB port or SD card
  • Starts expensive and goes up from ther

What is the Best MacBook for music production?

  1. MacBook Air M1 Best Portable MacBook for music production
  2. 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 (2022)
  3. Apple 14 inch MacBook Pro, M1 Pro (2021) Best For Live Performers
  4. MacBook Air M2 (2022)
  5. Apple MacBook Pro 16” M1 Best Mac Laptop for Audio

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