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Author Topic: New qLab computer  (Read 1642 times)

Helge A Bentsen

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New qLab computer
« on: February 13, 2018, 05:10:34 pm »

My qLab computer (2011 macbook pro) died a couple of nights ago and Apple quoted me $440 in repairs.

The cheapest macbook air is currently $915 around here and allround I think it’s a better buy than fixing the old mbp.

But


I have never tried qLab on an air.
No video, qLab runs audio only and occationaly i do host Waves Multirack on it. I have a server one for processing and usually use my other laptop for Waves.

Is it «good enough» or is the full macbook pro still the machine I need?
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Ray Soly

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 05:47:35 pm »

Seems quite a few people use it for that purpose : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/qlab/2V9_vbt-D5E

from the Qlab system recommendations  :

RAM
Loading and playing cues uses RAM, so the more audio or video that needs to be loaded at any given moment, the higher the RAM requirement will be. 4 GB is a nice minimum amount of RAM to work with, and is conveniently the minimum amount of RAM offered with any new Mac. As with processing power, complex shows can benefit from (and may require) more RAM. QLab 3 is able to address as much RAM as your Mac provides.

For Macs with an integrated GPU, which is all Mac Minis, the MacBook, all MacBook Airs, some iMac models, and some MacBook Pro models, the GPU uses a portion of system RAM as VRAM. The size of this portion is based on the total amount of system RAM installed, so the more RAM you have, the more of it will be used for VRAM. While we don't recommend using a Mac with an integrated GPU for video-intensive shows, if you do use such a Mac we strongly encourage you to install the maximum possible amount of RAM.


which might bring up the price...

Ray



My qLab computer (2011 macbook pro) died a couple of nights ago and Apple quoted me $440 in repairs.

The cheapest macbook air is currently $915 around here and allround I think it’s a better buy than fixing the old mbp.

But


I have never tried qLab on an air.
No video, qLab runs audio only and occationaly i do host Waves Multirack on it. I have a server one for processing and usually use my other laptop for Waves.

Is it «good enough» or is the full macbook pro still the machine I need?
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Geert Friedhof

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 09:37:56 pm »

As always: don't care what it costs. Care about what it can gain you.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 02:22:27 am »

As always: don't care what it costs. Care about what it can gain you.


New machine comes with a warranty.

That’s a clear advantage.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 02:25:00 am »

Seems quite a few people use it for that purpose : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/qlab/2V9_vbt-D5E

from the Qlab system recommendations  :

RAM
Loading and playing cues uses RAM, so the more audio or video that needs to be loaded at any given moment, the higher the RAM requirement will be. 4 GB is a nice minimum amount of RAM to work with, and is conveniently the minimum amount of RAM offered with any new Mac. As with processing power, complex shows can benefit from (and may require) more RAM. QLab 3 is able to address as much RAM as your Mac provides.

For Macs with an integrated GPU, which is all Mac Minis, the MacBook, all MacBook Airs, some iMac models, and some MacBook Pro models, the GPU uses a portion of system RAM as VRAM. The size of this portion is based on the total amount of system RAM installed, so the more RAM you have, the more of it will be used for VRAM. While we don't recommend using a Mac with an integrated GPU for video-intensive shows, if you do use such a Mac we strongly encourage you to install the maximum possible amount of RAM.


which might bring up the price...

Ray

Thanks.

Looks like all air models starts at 8GB ram these days.
It «should» be enough. I think.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 01:18:30 pm »

As always: don't care what it costs. Care about what it can gain you.

"Ask not what you can do for your computer; ask what your computer can do for you."  /snark, satire
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brian maddox

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 04:38:05 pm »

I use a late 2011 13-inch MBP that's basically as good as it gets for it's age/generation.  Fastest processor you could get.  Swapped out HDD for SSD. Swapped out DVD for second SSD.  8G RAM.

I've also got a newer 13" Macbook Air with 8G ram and an SSD.

Performance of the two is VERY similar, with the newer machine having only about a 10-15 percent edge in performance, even though it's about 5 years newer.

With either machine i very regularly run a DAW [Reaper] with 30+ inputs on record along with QLab, Slack [our communication software], TeamViewer [to remote into our Clearcom Eclipse frame], Safari [for internet things], Chrome [for web browser control of things like FSII and LQ], ITunes, and at least a few more little things [Calendar, Dante controller, Unity Intercom, etc.]  All at the SAME TIME.  I've never had either machine choke or cough or even act like it was working hard.

[For those who are wondering, i do sometimes split all of this up between the machines and/or run QLab on two machines for crossfades and the like.  But often i don't just because it works fine to cram it all on one]

In short, the machines these days are Really Powerful.  It's possible to choke one up, but you really have to work at it.  Any reasonably current MB with at least 8G of RAM is gonna have no issues with QLab.

The REAL issue you're going to have with a newer machine is ALL THE STUPID DONGLES!!!!  But i digress....
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Chris Eddison

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 03:36:01 am »

Just to throw an alternative out there (which may or may not be suitable to you depending on how you wish to transport the thing);

For not much more money than you've got in your budget I recently built a small rack containing a pair of mac mini's and a pair of audio interfaces.

It was a bit of a DIY project. I built my own 8 way audio changeover box (using parts from the 25 way D type clunky data switches available for pc's). I also 3d printed my own mac mini brackets to mount them to a tray.
3d print files can be found here;
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2242164
The mac mini's were bought refurbished. I bought the audio interfaces second hand on ebay but in very good condition (Roland octa-capture units if you're interested).

It's not a macbook, but it's a nice professional looking rack now it's finished. It gives me redundancy and presents all of my outputs on panel mounted xlr's, rather than having an audio interface kicking around on the desk to get caught or unplugged.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 05:14:57 am »

Just to throw an alternative out there (which may or may not be suitable to you depending on how you wish to transport the thing);

For not much more money than you've got in your budget I recently built a small rack containing a pair of mac mini's and a pair of audio interfaces.

It was a bit of a DIY project. I built my own 8 way audio changeover box (using parts from the 25 way D type clunky data switches available for pc's). I also 3d printed my own mac mini brackets to mount them to a tray.
3d print files can be found here;
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2242164
The mac mini's were bought refurbished. I bought the audio interfaces second hand on ebay but in very good condition (Roland octa-capture units if you're interested).

It's not a macbook, but it's a nice professional looking rack now it's finished. It gives me redundancy and presents all of my outputs on panel mounted xlr's, rather than having an audio interface kicking around on the desk to get caught or unplugged.

I've been thinking about an idea like that, but a Macbook pro/air is more portable, so it wins for this application :)

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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: New qLab computer
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 05:16:30 am »

I use a late 2011 13-inch MBP that's basically as good as it gets for it's age/generation.  Fastest processor you could get.  Swapped out HDD for SSD. Swapped out DVD for second SSD.  8G RAM.

I've also got a newer 13" Macbook Air with 8G ram and an SSD.

Performance of the two is VERY similar, with the newer machine having only about a 10-15 percent edge in performance, even though it's about 5 years newer.

With either machine i very regularly run a DAW [Reaper] with 30+ inputs on record along with QLab, Slack [our communication software], TeamViewer [to remote into our Clearcom Eclipse frame], Safari [for internet things], Chrome [for web browser control of things like FSII and LQ], ITunes, and at least a few more little things [Calendar, Dante controller, Unity Intercom, etc.]  All at the SAME TIME.  I've never had either machine choke or cough or even act like it was working hard.

[For those who are wondering, i do sometimes split all of this up between the machines and/or run QLab on two machines for crossfades and the like.  But often i don't just because it works fine to cram it all on one]

In short, the machines these days are Really Powerful.  It's possible to choke one up, but you really have to work at it.  Any reasonably current MB with at least 8G of RAM is gonna have no issues with QLab.

The REAL issue you're going to have with a newer machine is ALL THE STUPID DONGLES!!!!  But i digress....

Thanks for the input.

Macbook Air is available with USB3, I already have a USB-ethernet thing and my soundcards are all USB.
I'm leaning towards the Air as a solution :)

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