Best computers for musicians? Opinions please

Alright, I have had enough. I've had my MacBook for 7 years and it has served me well, but it's getting on my nerves. I use it to record myself when I practice and play along with tracks, but now every couple minutes the fan comes on so loud you'd think a plane was taking off, so my recordings sound terrible...if my computer can make it through a whole recording without failing. Argh!

I'm giving in and getting a new computer, so I was wondering what you guys suggest. Stick with a MacBook? How is the ipad? Do I dare cross into the PC realm, or is Mac still the way to go for musicians? I see a lot of people using ipads for lead sheets in jams now; has anyone done that? I primarily use my computer for surfing the web and recording music, so something with good music software options is important. I'm willing to shell out money for BIAB too. I am still recovering from being a broke college kid, so this will be a hefty investment for my wallet and I want to make sure it's a good one.

Thanks!

Macbook Pro?

iPads are very useful, but whether they can replace computers depends on what you want to do. I've used my iPad for a few years now to replace fakebooks and it's much better than carrying around a bunch of heavy books. Useful apps here are unrealBook, if you have PDFs of fakebooks, and iRealBook for just changes. iRealBook also has a pretty decent accompaniment generator -- not as capable as BIAB, but pretty useful. These apps cost something like $5 apiece. By the way, the BIAB app for the iPad absolutely sucks (caveat: I tried it a few years ago).

iPads record audio and video pretty well. I don't know about audio editing tools, but there are decent video editing tools. iMovie is good, but I like Pinnacle Studio better. Both of these apps are about $10 apiece. They aren't nearly as capable as the computer versions, but they'll let you do some pretty good stuff.

I haven't found anything I like for notation, so I still use a computer for that.

Tom P.

Mac !

there's no close second. it's mac by a thousand miles. it's that simple. get a new good mac notebook. buy logic and sibelious and learn them!!!

it's really that simple.

I agree. Last year, I had an Ibook G4 that lasted me 7 years. It was great and served me well, but it was time to replace. I got a Macbook Pro last year, and I love it. I got a new iPhone at the same time, and it's made my life 10X easier from an organizational standpoint, not to mention I use Sibelius, recording software all the time, so it's great for that. If you can find a way to swing it, do it!!!

in my life as a software/technology geek/nerd in the non-music world, I always recommend to my customers to ignore a certain platform/package and look at the requirements first. Figure out what you want to do and then it makes it easier to figure out what to spend your hard earned $$.

Remember when your Mom said "don't jump off of a cliff even if everybody else does"? Dealing with technology is one of those rare cases this doesn't apply. In other words, do what everybody else is doing. The more people for support and the more popular the software and hardware the better. Below is an example from the top of my head.

What do you want to do?
-- Recording
-- Play along
-- Lead sheet display for gigs/practice
-- Music Scoring

Any known software packages that you want to use?
-- Band in a Box
-- Garage Band
-- iRealB

What do your friends have?
What other stuff do you want to hook in. Mics, Midi boxes etc.

Finally, how much you want to spend.

Cool thanks guys. This was all basically what I thought, but it's better to hear it from other musicians than just assume. 'preciate it! :)

Hey again,

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm going to check out what kinds of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals come out to see what I can afford.

One more question...I've decided this is my year to get (a little) serious about sound quality, so I want to get a mic (I've use the internal mic on my Mac). I've been reading reviews and it looks like the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Mic might be a good starter that I can afford. Anyone have any experience with that, or is there something else you'd recommend that is fairly cheap? (trying to stay under $100, maybe a little higher if something is really worth it) I figure the laptop and mic are long-term investments so I'm alright breaking the bank just a bit on this...

Do you own a Zoom audio recorder? I have an H2, and you can use it as an audio interface with your laptop. That's how I record everything at home, and it sounds great.

If you don't have one, get it. Then you have a good recorder also. The Zoom H2 or H4. I recommend the H2 though, cheaper and not a big difference from the more expensive H4.

You're the second person to recommend that to me this weekend, so I'll check it out!

what if you want to combine audio and video? I know there is zoom Q3HD (for some reason I cannot find it in he internet) and zoom Q2HD??????