The Best Apple Computer For Music Production In 2019

It’s not easy to buy a new mac for music production. Many models are just too expensive and many of them are too slow because Apple is still using dual-core CPUs on some of their models.

If you want to produce music without any compromise I would really recommend you at least a mac with a 6 core CPU in 2019. We had 4 core CPUs for the last 6 or 7 years and I think it’s time to step it up.  If you analyze Apple’s recent lineup there is a clear winner in terms of price/performance ratio but let’s save that one for later

Let’s start with Apple’s Laptops:
The first model we’re going to look at is the Macbook 12 inch.

If you analyze the specs it offers either a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 or a 1.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with only 8GB Ram and a 256GB or 512GB SSD.  While this laptop could be a great portable office machine it just won’t be able to keep up with modern DAWs and Plugins. The biggest bottleneck is the dual-core CPU followed by only 8 GB of RAM.

Now let’s look at the MacBook Air

You pretty much have the same problem with the “Air” models because they only have a dual-core CPU and only 8 GB of RAM. I wouldn’t recommend those for music production.

Let’s move on to the MacBook Pro

Here you need to differentiate between the three different 13-inch models and the two 15 inch models:

The MacBook Pro 13 inch starts with a 2.3 GHz Dual Core model and offers a 2.3 GHz Quad-Core at the top configuration that even can be upgraded to 2.7 GHz which will increase the price to up to $2099. But if you can afford to spend 2k on a laptop I would strongly advise you to get the 15-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. For only $300 more you get a strong 6 Core CPU, 16GB Of Ram and a 256GB SSD.

Conclusion:

If you want to get yourself an Apple laptop and you want to make music you either can get the MacBook Pro 13 inch with a Quadcore for $1799 or the MacBook Pro 15 Inch with a 6-Core for $2399. I really wouldn’t recommend you to get the MacBook Air or the Macbook 12 Inch. While they’re great and portable machines, they can’t give you the power that you need for music production.

What about the iMacs?

If you want a desktop solution Apple offers their iMac line that combines the processing unit and the display in one single device. My decision is pretty easy here:

The first 21.5 inch model with the dual core is slow. Forget about it. The next model with a 3.6 GHz Quadcore is decent but it costs $1299 while the 6 core iMac starts at $1499. Trust me, invest $200 more for the 6-Core CPU and thank me later. If you decide to get a 27 model, choose any model because they’re all great with 6-Cores. The only upgrade I would recommend is increasing RAM from 8GB to 16GB, especially if you use large Kontakt libraries or plugins like Spectrasonics Omnisphere

iMac Pro:

There is not really much to say about the iMac Pro. Great machine that has its price starting at $4999. You can even configure it with 18 cores. If you have that money you probably don’t need to read my guide here and don’t need my help

Mac Pro:

The Mac Pro is pretty much outdated in 2019 and will be soon replaced with a new model in 2020 (If I believe the rumors) so no need to spend so much money on an outdated model.

Edit: June 22rd, 2019, Apple announced the new Mac Pro starting at $6000. Just like with the iMac Pro if you can afford that machine go for it! 

Mac Mini:

This is the most interesting Apple computer for music producers? Why? Because of its great price-performance ratio which makes it the Best Apple Computer For Music Production. For only $799 you already get a Quad-Core 3.6 GHz processor. Add another $300 and you have a 6-Core. You can even upgrade the RAM yourself if you’re careful as Apple uses SO-DIMM sockets in their recent Mac Minis. Another advantage compared to the iMac is that you pretty much get the same computing unit but can pair it up with any monitor you want. Want to connect a 34 inch widescreen Monitor? No Problem! Want to take your Mac Mini with you when traveling to make music in a hotel room? No Problem. Now imagine having an iMac and not being able to take it with you on a trip or to your friend’s music studio. There are even small portable screens available for people who want to be as mobile as possible.

Music producer @theonlydanja is using such a setup that consists of two portable Asus Zenscreens, one Mac Mini, and a UAD Arrow audio interface

And that’s why I think the Mac Mini is the Best Apple Computer For Music Production in terms of performance, price, and mobility.

Drey Andersson

Drey Andersson

Music Producer & Founder Of TheMusicProducersBlog

Hi, I’m Drey Andersson, producer, engineer, guitarist and sound designer. Starting out at the age of 18 I always developed new skills and techniques in the audio field. From early youtube remixes back in 2007 that got millions of views, freelance work for indie artists up to 2018 where I won the SAMA Album Of The Year for Shekhina’s “Different” that I produced with my production partner Mae, I am always striving to deliver the best results. This also includes educating fellow producers and engineers about audio with my blog @themusicproducersblog
If you want more there is a free monthly “Bag Of Goodies” that I send out to all of my subscribers. Every month I try to come up with new interesting content for the audio community. For example, the January 2019 edition had an eBook on networking in the music scene written by me just as some new Serum sounds, royalty free melody samples, coupons and more

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