Apple announce new 14" & 16" MBP with M1Pro and M1Max

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
jancivil
KVRAF
23615 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:17 am

is it performing poorly or are you just worried by some numbers

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pdxindy
KVRAF
20912 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:12 pm

Rickskii wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:25 am
Tronam wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:12 pm
Rickskii wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:41 pm
Received my new 16.2 MacBook Pro M1 Pro chip with 16 RAM. First impressions seem quite odd. I am coming from an i5 iMac 2012. Therefore, I expected massive performance boosts.
In Ableton an empty session is taking 6% CPU and a small session of 5 tracks with only stock Ableton effects with simpler on midi tracks is putting the CPU at 20%. This compares with 4% on my i5.
Now obviously this is only what the CPU meter is telling me in Ableton.

Either my new shiny MacBook is very poor or the CPU meter is not telling me the full story?
Which version of Live, the official v11.0.11 which runs under Rosetta or the M1 native 11.1b5 beta? Also, what sample buffer size? With M1 I actually get lower CPU usage with smaller buffer sizes.
I started with the official as you put it and that was way worse. Now using the beta 11.1b5. I am working at 48 and 512 samples.
That is also still a beta... it may not be optimized yet and mainly still looking to fix bugs.

Rickskii
KVRist
260 posts since 30 Jan, 2015

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:15 pm

jancivil wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:17 am
is it performing poorly or are you just worried by some numbers
Mainly the numbers. I have not really had chance to put it through its paces yet as too busy in my day job.

danbroad
KVRian
1165 posts since 2 Jan, 2004 from England

Post Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:29 pm

Waiting on the new iMac myself, but a question for those in the know about memory bandwidth. While the GPU horsepower in the M1 max isn't essential for audio production, does the doubled RAM bandwidth show real world gains over the M1 pro? Thinking about Kontakt libraries or, say, the C7 in Keyscape.

I'm looking at 32GB RAM anyway, so the upgrade from 10/16 Pro to 10/24 Max is an option.
11, 418th in line to the KVR throne

waxtrax
KVRer
22 posts since 6 Aug, 2021

Post Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:42 am

danbroad wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:29 pm
does the doubled RAM bandwidth show real world gains over the M1 pro?
You won't see a noticeable difference for audio production work.

Here's a really good article on the performance of the new chips. The second page, in particular, details the memory bandwidth performance.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/17024/ap ... nce-review

If you think you will never need more than 32GB of RAM, don't do heavy video/graphics production work, and will never need to natively connect more than two external displays, I would save some money and stick with the M1 Pro version.

.jon
KVRAF
5769 posts since 9 Jul, 2002 from Helsinki

Post Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:32 am

These machines look awesome, and I'm pretty much settled on the M1 pro, but one question- can the new machines still run Live without an audio interface at workable latencies? Im back to a traveling job after this wretched pandemic, and would like to compose stuff in hotels while carrying minimal luggage.

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takaperry
KVRist
62 posts since 6 Sep, 2021

Post Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:29 pm

I've been using the M1 Pro 14" MacBook Pro (16GB Ram, 1TB SSD) in the studio for the last week, it's an absolute beast of a machine. Coming from a 16" Intel i9 MacBook, here's my findings so far. Feel free to shoot any questions too.
  • The fans never kick in, which is a huge welcome coming from my previous jet engine. Dead silent in the studio, even on 10+ hour sessions. Only time I've heard it in the last week was my initial AU plugin scan after installing 200+ VSTs. The laptop stays cool (a bit warm to the touch on large DAW sessions), so I can actually comfortably mix large sessions on the couch with the computer on my lap.
  • The form factor of the 14" is great, as it's super portable to carry around, and in the studio I plug it into my 27" monitor. On previous MacBooks, the fans would kick in as soon as an external monitor was plugged in. This is no longer the case.
  • All my existing projects open fine; for reference, I use Logic Pro, Ableton Live, and Bitwig Studio, all 3 work great. Bitwig in particular shines due to it being M1 Native but also being able to run Intel plugins in parallel thanks to its sandboxing architecture.
  • All plugins from Celemony, Antares, AudioThing, Cableways, FXPansion, Native Instruments, Overloud, Plugin Alliance, Sonarworks, Soundtoys, Surreal Machines, Sychroarts, UAD, Valhalla, all working fine for me under macOS Monterey. Native Instruments have a few bugs here and there on their FX plugins like Raum and Replika XT.
  • Ableton Live projects with heavy Intel plugin use seem to take longer to load than on my Intel machine, presumably to load the Rosetta wrapper for each plugin, however once the project has loaded the workflow is extremely fluid, and I've found I can run projects at half the buffer size compared to the Intel MacBook. I was even running a large (80+ track) project at 128 buffer size and seeing around 70% on the Ableton meter.
  • The plugins I have that are already native on Apple Silicon are extremely fast (Valhalla, Overloud, SketchCassette are all M1 Native). Essentially zero load time on these plugins, and are much more efficient on system resources. Plugin Alliance is supposedly rolling out native M1 support for their plugins in the next couple of months, and as someone who primarily uses PA for mixing, once this happens I should see a massive leap in performance.
Without being hyperbolic, this laptop has so far been an absolute game changer for my workflow. Lots of talk online about which model / configuration is sufficient for music production, so as someone who just got the upper end base model 14" MacBook, I'm pretty confident to say any of the stock configurations are going to be just fine for music production, maybe a bump to 32GB if you're in the world of orchestral composing.
multi-platinum music producer / songwriter
https://www.takaperry.com

echosystm
KVRist
163 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:14 am

.jon wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:32 am
These machines look awesome, and I'm pretty much settled on the M1 pro, but one question- can the new machines still run Live without an audio interface at workable latencies? Im back to a traveling job after this wretched pandemic, and would like to compose stuff in hotels while carrying minimal luggage.
Yes. It's CoreAudio.

.jon
KVRAF
5769 posts since 9 Jul, 2002 from Helsinki

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:06 am

Thanks echosystm! I think this is a very significant argument in mac vs pc discussions, that often goes unmentioned.

Looks like the 14" and 16" 10-core M1Pros are the same price, if you trade internal storage size for screen size. Im tempted by the bigger screen, as the other use case is photo editing, and 1tb isnt really enough for that, so I would have two external drives connected anyway.

After reading most of the available reviews, I feel like for the first time in history, Apple marketing is not exaggerating. Especially for the moving image creatives, M1Max is not just an iterative upgrade to processing power, its a massive leap.

FapFilter
KVRian
929 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:22 am

Despite getting a Mac soon, i don't think it's too much of a hassle to download and install ASIO4All on PC either.
Of course the new Macs are awesome and truly game changers in regards to mobile power that rivals stationary systems, with pretty few of their former annoying “gimmicks“ left.
(Would have preferred a num pad on the 16“ version though. On PC this would have been a show stopper for me, but on Mac, i don't have a choice)

But of course you could build even more powerful PC systems, they would be stationary though and draw much more power.
There's no Logic to Windows

sQeetz
KVRian
702 posts since 8 Jan, 2005

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 4:17 am

.jon wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:06 am
Thanks echosystm! I think this is a very significant argument in mac vs pc discussions, that often goes unmentioned.
Specially since the new MacBooks feature low impedance headphone jacks
MacBook Pro M1 . 16GB . 1TB . . Logic Pro……Renoise……Reason

.jon
KVRAF
5769 posts since 9 Jul, 2002 from Helsinki

Post Sun Oct 31, 2021 12:28 am

FapFilter wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:22 am
Despite getting a Mac soon, i don't think it's too much of a hassle to download and install ASIO4All on PC either.
Certainly not, but my personal (and these were a long time a go) experiences with ASIO4all were less than satisfactory. I will get to test a current version of it on a Thinkpad tonight, hopefully it has improved over the years!

One more advantage of the 16" model is that it seems to handle heat much, much better than the smaller chassis, resulting in a quieter computer. I would recommend anyone who does not need to max portability to consider the 16" model for audio work for this reason alone- the practical difference is that under the same load, the 16" is quiet at fans off or at minimum throttle, when the 14" runs fans at 4.5K rpm. At least for me this seals the deal.

echosystm
KVRist
163 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Post Sun Oct 31, 2021 12:35 am

FapFilter wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:22 am
Despite getting a Mac soon, i don't think it's too much of a hassle to download and install ASIO4All on PC either.
ASIO4ALL is garbage compared to CoreAudio.

el davo
KVRist
272 posts since 20 Feb, 2005

Post Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:27 am

Ableton shows poor performance on Apple silicon as of yet. This benchmark (11.1 beta, native code) compared the track count for a grand piano instrument (apparently representative of other CPU demanding plugs including 3rd party):

M1 8 GB Ram: 12 tracks
M1 pro 16 GB: 32 tracks
i9 3.6GHz, 64 GB: 200+ tracks (at least>160, video ending was botched)

https://youtu.be/FHxBS0fo5WQ
Last edited by el davo on Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

FapFilter
KVRian
929 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:40 am

echosystm wrote:
Sun Oct 31, 2021 12:35 am
FapFilter wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:22 am
Despite getting a Mac soon, i don't think it's too much of a hassle to download and install ASIO4All on PC either.
ASIO4ALL is garbage compared to CoreAudio.
Might be, never tried it

Regarding 16 vs 14 inches: for me anything below 15“ is pretty much inacceptable anyways. Of course 20 or 30“ would still be better, but 16“ is already quite acceptable for prolonged use.
Only if portability is the main concern, i would opt for 13 or 14“

Of course all of this is purely aimed at audio work, as i'm typing this on my 9. something inch ipad and i'm fine with this size for most casual stuff like browsing the net or youtube
There's no Logic to Windows

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