Not enough wallop: Processing power for making music

What's Hot
Hi folks

I've got a MacBook Air and it can't cope with something as simple as Garageband, saying it's not got enough memory or it's overloaded or something.

This is the spec:

Processor: 

1.7 GHz Intel Core i5

memory:

4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

Graphics:

Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB


Is that really not powerful enough, or am I doing something wrong? I've just downloaded Reaper, but concerned that my Mac isn't up to it.

If it's no good, what is the most cost-effective solution? I use the MacBook for work, so do I upgrade that, or do I buy a separate machine purely for music?

Cheers,

Jon





________________________________________________

Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • mistercharliemistercharlie Frets: 295
    ijonty said:
    saying it's not got enough memory or it's overloaded or something.


    What does it actually say? My guess is that your disk/ssd is too full. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17426
    edited May 21
    An MBA of that spec is pretty low powered but you should be able to do a few tracks.

    What OS version, what version of Garageband?
    When was the last time you rebuilt your OS?

    Do you have any other plugins installed?
    Ar you trying to work in GB whilst you have other apps open?
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • markvmarkv Frets: 165
    I would have thought you'd be fine with Reaper on that machine - and Garageband, probably. Definitely check the disk. Processor is unlikely to be an issue. RAM is on the low side but should be fine for Reaper.

    For comparison: I had few problems running Reaper on an old Dell laptop with an i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a spinning rust disk - other than occasional glitches which I think were likely to be the audio interface drivers.

    I recently upgraded the same machine to 8GB RAM and an SSD, and now it's very quick (although reinstalling Windows always helps in that respect anyway)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    I have an imac running Reaper with 4Gb ram and an old core 2 processor .... at the very moment it's running 24 tracks of audio all with EQ, Compression plugins plus 4 master aux effects. No probs at all so I doubt it's your machines spec

    Assuming your disk isn't full it's gonna be software related 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2798
    Does your MBA get as far as booting up Garageband or does it make a bunch of HDD chuntering noises for a few minutes before politely declining?
    octatonic said:
    What OS version, what version of Garageband? When was the last time you rebuilt your OS?
    All good points.

    A few OSX revisions ago, everything went 64-bit. Even after doubling the RAM capacity, your 1.7GHz i5 processor chip would be close to its limit.

    ijonty said:
    something as simple as Garageband
    GB is now far more complex than you may imagine. Firstly, it runs in 64-bit. Older OSX revisions cannot support it. Secondly, Apple re-engineered GB to become something akin to Logic Lite as a way of luring in new customers. Thirdly, as soon as you ask GB to support a bunch of instrument and/or amp simulation plug-ins, it makes huge demands on the CPU.





    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17426
    The other thing to be looking out for is putting reverbs on individual tracks.
    It is far smarter to use auxes and bus individual tracks to a single reverb plugin than put a different reverb on each track.

    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    ijonty said:
    saying it's not got enough memory or it's overloaded or something.


    What does it actually say? My guess is that your disk/ssd is too full. 
    It uses the word 'overloaded' but can't remember exactly.

    octatonic said:
    An MBA of that spec is pretty low powered but you should be able to do a few tracks.

    What OS version, what version of Garageband?
    When was the last time you rebuilt your OS?

    Do you have any other plugins installed?
    Ar you trying to work in GB whilst you have other apps open?
    Nothing else running at the time. What does 'rebuilding' mean? 

    Danny1969 said:


    Assuming your disk isn't full it's gonna be software related 
    I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but there's 120gb on there, and currently 25gb spare.

    Does your MBA get as far as booting up Garageband or does it make a bunch of HDD chuntering noises for a few minutes before politely declining?


    It opens it fine and I have a few tracks in a project laid out before I get the warning messages.


    ________________________________________________

    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17426
    ijonty said:
    octatonic said:
    An MBA of that spec is pretty low powered but you should be able to do a few tracks.

    What OS version, what version of Garageband?
    When was the last time you rebuilt your OS?

    Do you have any other plugins installed?
    Ar you trying to work in GB whilst you have other apps open?
    Nothing else running at the time. What does 'rebuilding' mean? 

    When was the last time you backed up your data, formatted the hard disk, reinstalled all applications and restored your data?

    I do this yearly, at a minimum.

    You didn't answer my other questions.
    What version of Mac OS?
    What version of Garageband?
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27
    edited May 21
    octatonic said:
    ijonty said:
    octatonic said:
    An MBA of that spec is pretty low powered but you should be able to do a few tracks.

    What OS version, what version of Garageband?
    When was the last time you rebuilt your OS?

    Do you have any other plugins installed?
    Ar you trying to work in GB whilst you have other apps open?
    Nothing else running at the time. What does 'rebuilding' mean? 

    When was the last time you backed up your data, formatted the hard disk, reinstalled all applications and restored your data?

    I do this yearly, at a minimum.

    You didn't answer my other questions.
    What version of Mac OS?
    What version of Garageband?
    So data is backed up continually on Time Machine, if that's what you mean? Never formatted or reinstalled anything though.  OS is definitely old - El Capitan - so I could update that tonight. Do I just do that through the App Store thing, or do I need to do reformatting stuff first? Sorry, not very clued up in this. GB is 10.2


    ________________________________________________

    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17426
    edited May 21
    ijonty said:
    octatonic said:
    ijonty said:
    octatonic said:
    An MBA of that spec is pretty low powered but you should be able to do a few tracks.

    What OS version, what version of Garageband?
    When was the last time you rebuilt your OS?

    Do you have any other plugins installed?
    Ar you trying to work in GB whilst you have other apps open?
    Nothing else running at the time. What does 'rebuilding' mean? 

    When was the last time you backed up your data, formatted the hard disk, reinstalled all applications and restored your data?

    I do this yearly, at a minimum.

    You didn't answer my other questions.
    What version of Mac OS?
    What version of Garageband?
    So data is backed up continually on Time Machine, if that's what you mean? Never formatted or reinstalled anything though.  OS is definitely old - El Capitan - so I could update that tonight. Do I just do that through the App Store thing, or do I need to do reformatting stuff first? Sorry, not very clued up in this. GB is 10.2
    I don't think I can talk you through the process and, with respect, I don't think you should attempt this yourself if the things I've said thus far are confusing.

    That said, over time an Operating System gets slower and less efficient, because you have a lot of legacy files, or old drivers that are being called and using processing power.
    The way to work out if this is an issue with the OS is to do a clean install.
    Do you have someone who can do this for you?
    If not then you might need to take it to someone who can (for money).

    Updating the OS over one that is possibly already inefficient is not the way forward.
    No, I am not talking about Time Machine backups, although having a backup is always good.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1649
    25Gb of free space is your  problem, get an external drive and store all your samples plug ins etc there and have a disk clean up
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17426
    I don't think so.
    25GB should be enough- if there is 4GB of RAM then the swap file might be 4GB and the session might be a maximum of 4GB unless he is doing something huge (which he has said he isn't).
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ijontyijonty Frets: 27

    octatonic said:

    Updating the OS over one that is possibly already inefficient is not the way forward.
    No, I am not talking about Time Machine backups, although having a backup is always good.
    I won't turn this into a Mac repair forum by asking loads about this, but could you just give me an idea of what you mean by back-ups? Then I'll investigate sorting it out.

    And no, I'm definitely not doing anything huge. Just recording layers of guitar.


    ________________________________________________

    Telecaster American Deluxe, Cornell Romany amp, without the talent to use them properly
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17426
    ijonty said:

    octatonic said:

    Updating the OS over one that is possibly already inefficient is not the way forward.
    No, I am not talking about Time Machine backups, although having a backup is always good.
    I won't turn this into a Mac repair forum by asking loads about this, but could you just give me an idea of what you mean by back-ups? Then I'll investigate sorting it out.

    And no, I'm definitely not doing anything huge. Just recording layers of guitar.
    This is what I do.

    Ignoring that you have Time Machine backups (which are good to have) I would back up all the data to another volume that can be removed from the computer, ie an external hard drive.
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner  (CCC) to do this.

    BTW CCC is better than Time Machine for backing up your Mac.

    Then, once you are certain you have two backups of your data (Time Machine and CCC) you then format your disk and reinstall Mac OSX.
    Then manually reinstall all applications and put your data back where it should be (using CCC or a manual drag to folders).

    If you encounter a problem then you can actually boot into the CCC volume and work out what is going wrong.
    You cannot do that with Time Machine.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.