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#1906875 - 06/02/12 12:32 AM Piano Software for Mac
MoePiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 13
Given the limitations of my Mac laptop, what piano software would work comfortably without stretching the limits of my equipment? (Mac OS 10.6.8; 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 1 GB Ram) I play a Yamaha CP300.

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#1906877 - 06/02/12 12:50 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: MoePiano
Given the limitations of my Mac laptop, what piano software would work comfortably without stretching the limits of my equipment? (Mac OS 10.6.8; 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 1 GB Ram) I play a Yamaha CP300.


All macs come with Garage Band installed. I'd say use that until you find a reason to upgrade.

Garage Band has a few hundred software instruments. Thay ar not great but "ok". I think there are a couple grand pianos that are only about as good as the CP300 internal sound.

GB will allow you to record and edit both MIDI and audio and multitrack

Add some more RAM to the Mac. RAM is now so inexpensive that you should have at least 8GB installed. It might cost $40. After you do that The Macbook can run any software you want.

Question for you: What exactly do you want to do?

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#1906879 - 06/02/12 12:58 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3666
Loc: North Carolina
Your CPU is fast enough for running piano libraries under a VST host or under Kontakt.

I'm not familiar with the RAM requirements of Mac OS. The 1 GB RAM might be a little short ... or maybe not. It would be marginal under Windows XP, and completely inadequate under Windows 7. But Mac OS is Unix, so I suspect it has a small appetite, and I think it's worth a try. (If not, memory upgrades are VERY inexpensive these days.)

Ivory, Galaxy, and other produce a fine array of piano products. They'll change the way you think about digital pianos. And they're not expensive.

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#1906912 - 06/02/12 04:03 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 562
Originally Posted By: MoePiano
Given the limitations of my Mac laptop, what piano software would work comfortably without stretching the limits of my equipment? (Mac OS 10.6.8; 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 1 GB Ram) I play a Yamaha CP300.


You will almost certainly need more RAM.

Based on your 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor you must have a Macbook instead of a Macbook Pro. I don't believe the latter was ever sold with that processor. If your Macbook originally shipped with 1 GB RAM it should be a MacBook2,1 or MacBook3,1. Check the Model Identifier in the System Profiler to see which it is. The former is limited to 3 GB and the latter 6 GB of addressable RAM, although Apple officially only supported 2 GB and 4 GB respectively.

Your processor meets the minimum requirement for the virtual piano software I am familiar with, but just barely in some cases. That may cause limitations (such as having to use more latency) depending on set-up and what else you want to run simultaneously with the piano software.

Beyond RAM you will find that the 5400 RPM disc drive (unless it was upgraded to 7200 RPM) does not meet the recommended minimum requirements of most software pianos, and running the sample library on the same drive as OS X is not recommended. The latter means you would need a separate 7200 RPM hard drive for the samples.

Some people here will tell you to ignore these recommendations (some of them don't use Macs), but if you want to follow the manufacturers recommendations you would either need to use an external drive or replace the internal optical drive in your Mac with a 7200 RPM drive (or an SSD but they are quite expensive per GB of storage). Kits for adding a 2nd internal hard drive are available from a number of sources. If you wanted to use an external drive and your Macbook does not have a Firewire interface you would have to use a USB 2.0 external hard drive, which is the minimum recommended external interface for some piano software and not recommended for others.

So you can inexpensively maximize the RAM in your Mac and try some piano software using the single internal drive in your Mac. But since that doesn't meet the manufacturers minimum hard drive requirements, you may have to deal with that issue later depending on what piano you use and what else you run simultaneously.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Ravenscroft 275, True Keys American D, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1906915 - 06/02/12 04:13 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: Macy]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Macy
. If you wanted to use an external drive and your Macbook does not have a Firewire interface you would have to use a USB 2.0 external hard drive, which is the minimum recommended external interface for some piano software and not recommended for others.


All Macs have a Firewire port. Core Duo 2 era Macbooks have FW400. New ones are FW800. I have noticed fewer hangups using FW than USB2.0 when streaming audio.

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#1906933 - 06/02/12 06:46 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: ando]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 562
Originally Posted By: ando
All Macs have a Firewire port.


Not true. Macbook Airs do NOT have Firewire. MacBooks did NOT have Firewire after October 2008. I believe the OP's Macbook, from the description, is either a Macbook2,1 or Macbook3,1 which did have Firewire 400. But in Oct 2008 the Macbook 4,2 was introduced without Firewire and subsequent MacBooks never had Firewire again. Macbook Pros have always had Firewire as of June 2, 2012.


Edited by Macy (06/02/12 06:50 AM)
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Ravenscroft 275, True Keys American D, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1906953 - 06/02/12 07:44 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
MoePiano,
Pianoteq and Truepianos should both run well on your system as it is now. (I don't use a Mac, and thus have not actually tried either on a Mac. I have tried Pianoteq on a low spec Windows netbook, and obtained entirely usable performance just playing Pianoteq live & solo - FWIW).
I do not think Pianoteq sounds as good as the good sampled pianos though. I haven't had much experience with Truepianos.

Greg.

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#1906965 - 06/02/12 08:12 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: Macy]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: ando
All Macs have a Firewire port.


Not true. Macbook Airs do NOT have Firewire. MacBooks did NOT have Firewire after October 2008. I believe the OP's Macbook, from the description, is either a Macbook2,1 or Macbook3,1 which did have Firewire 400. But in Oct 2008 the Macbook 4,2 was introduced without Firewire and subsequent MacBooks never had Firewire again. Macbook Pros have always had Firewire as of June 2, 2012.


Well, the Macbook air is really an iPad with a keyboard. I wouldn't even consider it as a laptop powerful enough for this discussion. I don't really consider it a Macbook/laptop. Not having a DVD drive is a big pain. Also not enough ports of all kinds.

Yes, you are right that the first small Macbook with the unibody didn't have firewire, but every other Macbook has/does. They have discontinued that line and now all Macbooks are Macbook Pros, and all have FW. I'm sure the OP is well aware whether FW is an option and I would advise him to use it because it really does do better with streaming audio than USB in my experience - provided the drive is fast enough of course.

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#1907005 - 06/02/12 10:37 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
You can pick up some more RAM for pocket change, and then your computer will be fine. I would get 2 more GB if I were you. That would cost about $25-$30 and be well worth it.

From what I can tell, almost all piano libraries have pretty similar hardware requirements and yours are a bit thin on the memory side.


Edited by gvfarns (06/02/12 10:39 AM)

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#1907021 - 06/02/12 11:12 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: ando]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3075
Originally Posted By: ando
the Macbook air is really an iPad with a keyboard.

In size, yes. In functionality, not at all. It is certainly far, far closer to a Macbook than an iPad (touchscreen, one port, no expandable storage or RAM, and you know, a different OS...)

Originally Posted By: ando
I wouldn't even consider it as a laptop powerful enough for this discussion

It's currently more powerful than some Macbooks of pretty recent vintage which people do run pianos from.

Originally Posted By: ando
Not having a DVD drive is a big pain.

Depends on your usage. I have an external DVD drive on it, which I think I've used about 3 times in the past year, and never needed while mobile. (Wouldn't need it at a gig!)

Originally Posted By: ando
Also not enough ports of all kinds.
...
I'm sure the OP is well aware whether FW is an option and I would advise him to use it because it really does do better with streaming audio than USB in my experience - provided the drive is fast enough of course.

I do miss the firewire port. Eventually, the thunderbolt port will hopefully be a practical replacement. Though the internal SSD drive is very fast, if it has enough capacity for your needs. Other than Firewire, there is no port I've missed having.

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#1907176 - 06/02/12 02:30 PM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
Vic Z Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 4
I can use TruePianos on my 2Gb macbook C2D without any problems. Why not download the demo from here and try it? http://www.truepianos.com/downloads.php

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#1907198 - 06/02/12 03:16 PM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: anotherscott]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: ando
the Macbook air is really an iPad with a keyboard.

In size, yes. In functionality, not at all. It is certainly far, far closer to a Macbook than an iPad (touchscreen, one port, no expandable storage or RAM, and you know, a different OS...)
It's currently more powerful than some Macbooks of pretty recent vintage which people do run pianos from.


Yes, it was probably a bit unkind to describe it as an iPad with a keyboard. It has decent specs but to get it to where it would need to be to compete with a normal Macbook it's very expensive. The flash storage is horrendously expensive compared to a hard drive. To get enough memory to run a bunch of different piano libraries, you can spend almost as much on storage as you do on the computer. And it's still maxed out at 256GB. At present I've only seen Thunderbolt in conjunction with the large screen monitor. Presumably they will come out with a little "break-out" box with FW800 and more USB ports etc. That will add more expense. External DVD drive - maybe you hardly ever use it, but you still kind of need one for certain things. So it's a very nice little machine but the costs really spiral if you want to spec it up for the kind of things I use my Macbook for.

Don't get me wrong - if I was made of money I'd buy a max spec Airbook and all the add-ons in a flash (pardon the pun). The lightweight and compactness is great. Not to mention the speed of flash memory and the long battery life. But boy, you will end up spending big for the privilege. It's way too pricey to get what I need out of it. Doesn't pass the value for money test. I'd rather buy more instruments. Anyway, depends on your needs and your means, I suppose.

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#1907230 - 06/02/12 04:05 PM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: ando]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 562
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: ando
All Macs have a Firewire port.


Not true. Macbook Airs do NOT have Firewire. MacBooks did NOT have Firewire after October 2008. I believe the OP's Macbook, from the description, is either a Macbook2,1 or Macbook3,1 which did have Firewire 400. But in Oct 2008 the Macbook 4,2 was introduced without Firewire and subsequent MacBooks never had Firewire again. Macbook Pros have always had Firewire as of June 2, 2012.


Well, the Macbook air is really an iPad with a keyboard. I wouldn't even consider it as a laptop powerful enough for this discussion. I don't really consider it a Macbook/laptop. Not having a DVD drive is a big pain. Also not enough ports of all kinds.

Yes, you are right that the first small Macbook with the unibody didn't have firewire, but every other Macbook has/does. They have discontinued that line and now all Macbooks are Macbook Pros, and all have FW. I'm sure the OP is well aware whether FW is an option and I would advise him to use it because it really does do better with streaming audio than USB in my experience - provided the drive is fast enough of course.


The Macbook Air isn't an iPad by any stretch of the imagination. That is simply a ridiculous statement. It runs OS X Lion just like any Mac. An iPad runs a mobile operating system that also runs on the iPhone. An iPad doesn't have a folder-based file system, and uses a touch screen rather than a trackpad or mouse with cursor. A 13-inch Macbook Air with 1.8 GHz Core i7 and 256 GB of flash memory, 4 GB of RAM, and a Thunderbolt port (two 10 Gbits/s channels in the MBA) is a MUCH faster computer in every possible way than the old 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo Macbook and its 400 Mbit/s Firewire port that the OP has. In fact a 1.8 GHz Core i7 MB Air has MUCH better performance than even a 2009 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro in CPU and application tests.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4554/apples-11inch-macbook-air-core-i7-18ghz-review-update/2

You still have the Macbook history wrong. Once Firewire was put into Macs (around 1999) all MacBooks had Firewire 400 UNTIL October of 2008. That is when Apple removed Firewire from the Macbook from then on. My wife has the last version of the Macbook which was made in 2010, and obviously it does NOT have Firewire. The Macbook Pros, not the MacBooks, continued to have Firewire after Oct 2008 model introductions.

Why can't people here just admit it when they are wrong about something and confine themselves to giving advice about things they know about?
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Ravenscroft 275, True Keys American D, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1907422 - 06/03/12 12:23 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: MoePiano
Given the limitations of my Mac laptop, what piano software would work comfortably... I play a CP300


This is all we know about the OP's needs. He wants "Pino Software" and plays a pretty decent but older stage piano.

Is he even asking for virtual software piano? I thought he might be looking for recording and editing

I always say "use what you have" until you can enumerate specific defects with the current system. So try out the pianos inside Garage band. But really Apple's "free" pianos are not better then the Yamaha internal pianos

There are any number of pretty good software pianos that can run well on computers half as powerful as his (If he adds some RAM). For example Native Instruments has several for $79 that are a BIG step up from the internal sounds in the CP300. Not "best" but a big step up.
NI New York

This is a 2+ GB sample library with 10 layers and it will run well as a plug-in inside garage band. This is very good for under $100 and does not require high-end hardware.

You don't need a huge or fast hard drive. With a bit of RAM the entire this will cache in RAM.



Edited by ChrisA (06/03/12 12:31 AM)

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#1907443 - 06/03/12 01:05 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: MoePiano]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
I like the Native Instruments Kontakt pianos, especially NY Grand.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1908082 - 06/04/12 09:17 AM Re: Piano Software for Mac [Re: ChrisA]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
With a bit of RAM the entire this will cache in RAM.


Yes, and it seems that the most practical way to achieve that would be to create a RAM disk and copy the instrument files to it.(as suggested recently in another thread) I tried Kontakt Player 5 with one of the Factory Selection presets, and as expected there is no way to edit an instrument to disable disk streaming. Loading a preset that was created with the full version of Kontakt, the edit spanner then appears and it is possible to disable disk streaming (per this thread ), although it will be in demo mode.

I know that Kontakt will slowly fill the cache during playing.

Greg.

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