New MBP arrived today

Excited to pick up my new MBP 16". So far so good. I really enjoy the process of a clean system/Mac and then putting stuff back on as needed. A great way to clean out all the cruft that has built up over the years.

This is replacing my 10 year old MacPro, which I love, but it is getting too long in the tooth and requires too many updates that it can’t handle.

Very much looking forward to trying to max this machine out in the studio tomorrow.


Exciting @kayle. I’m heading towards an M1 Pro 16 and still am uncertain if it’s to be 16 or 32 GB RAM. How did you decide?

I went with the 16GB for a couple reasons. First, from what I read and the amount of processing my work generally requires, I think 16GB will be plenty - given these new chips. I didn’t go with the M1 Max - seems like that is mostly for video work - so that was an easy choice. I am going to try and bring this machine to it’s knees today with my audio work and see if I have to return it for the 32GB. But, I don’t think I will.

Saving $400 on the RAM upgrade means I can replace my internal SSDs in the MP with an external drive for my MBP.

First think I noticed with this new MBP, the internal speakers have come a really long way. This sounds really good to listen to music while working. Surprisingly so.

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Thanks @kayle and I too have been reading about RAM performance. My current workflows would benefit from faster processing. The rest of my leaning towards 32GB and 1TB is more towards a longer life. I look forward to hearing what you notice of the next few days.

First Stress Test: I haven’t had a chance to move over my samples yet - waiting for an external enclosure to put the SSDs from my MP in rather than download a bunch of samples to this machine. My goal is to move some of the samples to the internal drive so I can work on the go.

Logic Pro. Set to 64 samples.

  • 50 Alchemy tracks, each track includes SpaceDesigner, ChormaVerb, Channel EQ, Multiplexer, and SpecGate - I was trying to pick heavy use FX and not good sounding one.

  • 2 E Piano tracks, Drummer, Bass (Sampler) with bass amp, comp, pedals and echo, Alto Sax (Sampler) with ChormaVerb

This all plays well, no issues with the engine stopping. I find this pretty amazing for a machine with 16GB Ram. I could barely run at 64 samples on my MP with 64GB RAM, let alone get 50 tracks of Alchemy & Plugs going.

This is going to be plenty enough power for my typical sessions. Looking forward to testing it out with Kontakt and Spectrasonics stuff I use on a regular basis. But I am so far, very happy with this MBP.


Ran my last test until I can load up my big libraries. This is a test I did back when I first got my 2012 MP: MacPro ran 92 tracks. This MBP ran 186. Same settings on bother machines.

Just wanted to circle back and thank you for your last report @kayle. If you have more to share, I am still open to receiving. I plan on ordering soon and likely follow your steps. Cheers

I love that (clean system + put back as needed) as well. Takes a bit longer but really helps you clean out cruft and make decisions about the tools you’re using. Sometimes I’ve even thought to myself - “I hate this app but rely on it, I should go look for something better.” And then I do.

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I did another stress test. This time using LASS (a high end, professional String Virtual Instrument) inside of Reaper. I purchased a Mini Dual SSD enclosure from Other World Computing. I put my 2 sample drives in that unit and connected via USB-C to the MBP. These are thier 3G SSD drives, so not the super high performance drives that they offer. But these came out of my MP, so it is a good comparison.

I didn’t run this particular test on my MP, but if I remember correctly, I was able to get about 30 or so tracks of heavy Virtual instrument use before it began to struggle. If I get some time, I may try it again and double check it.

With the MBP, I was able to do 96 tracks of LASS running multiple articulations on a 8 bar loop and Reaper was showing a CPU use of 36-41% I was going to continue adding tracks, but honestly, I got bored trying to max this thing out. 96 tracks at only 41% CPU usages is mind blowing to me.

Also, did I mention that I think this MBP shipped without a fan? As I have yet to hear it come on, where my MP would start the fan up almost instantly after hitting play on some heavy use.

My final test will be with Omnisphere (a very CPU heavy Synth) that I am going to do today. But I can say without a doubt this MBP far exceeds my expectations. I am constantly blown away with what this Mac can do. And all this with just 16GB Ram - as opposed to my MP which had 64GB! Crazy.


Last of my tests today. Again, using Reaper. I made a track with Omnisphere and picked the biggest patch I could (quickly) find Imperial March Movement. Omni reports this is a 1442MB Patch. I made a simple 8 bar pattern and set it to loop/repeat. I then duplicated the track until I was getting clicking.

I stopped at 175 tracks!! 175 tracks of Omnisphere, streaming from a USB-C SSD drive (running on bus power)! EDIT: My MP doing the same test was able to do 90 tracks before choking. So better than I remembered, but still about half what this MBP is doing.

The only downside is I lost my area heater that was my MacPro - that thing helped warm up the temp in my studio!

Happy to run other tests if you would like something else. But I am through testing this Mac. There is never a day I will need 175 tracks of Omni. My concerns that 16GB wouldn’t be enough (coming from 64) are finally put to rest.

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This is proving to be a great way to put stuff back on this machine. I made a rule that I had to go a week without installing it back. The only exception was software that I know I was going to use everyday.

Same with hardware. I am keeping my 27" monitor on the floor for a few more days. There have been a couple of times I would have liked the extra screen real-estate, but I am forcing myself to hold off. I like the idea of picking up and going - and not having that big monitor is part of the mobility.

Software wise, it has given me a chance to evaluate the software I was using and seeing it there are “better” options. So far, I have replaced Alfred with Raycast, and Timing with toggl. Also, continuing my transition away from 1Password to BitWarden, but I have also been trying Minimalist, which I like quite a bit. Not sure which will win out.

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When you can find the funds, I highly recommend biting the bullet and getting one of the Thunderbolt docks (I have the CalDigit). You keep your 27" monitor (which studies have proven make us more productive) and you keep the get up and go option. It’s really, really, nice.

I’ve got my eye on one of the Docks - maybe eventually, but it is low on the list. Thanks!