There has been a lot of buzz in the DJ Community about Apple’s latest presentation because of the unveiling of the new Macbook. Everyone loves the new color selection and slimmer look, but they seem to focus on one thing…the new USB C-port. Feast your eyes on this technological beauty…
Not only is it the next generation in USB technology, which is awesome for Apple to hop on this early, considering their iPhones are not as equipped as other phones on the market; but it is the only port on the laptop. Yes you read that right: whether you’re putting data on or off a flash drive, plugging in your DJ controller, or (most commonly) charging your laptop, you will be using a single port.
Now you can already imagine the type of problem this causes for DJ’s who use Apple laptops. How can we keep our laptops powered during sets? What if we’re running a controller and sample pad combination? Can this single port even handle my setup? Not to worry though, Apple already thought of a solution. A $79 solution in the form of a USB dongle, that will add more ports to your Macbook. So when you muster up that $1299 for your new Macbook, make sure you have that extra lump sum to cover the cost of the dongle.
In this day and age, the use of computers for music and live performance is not just an option, but a necessity. Whether you believe it or not, most big artists these days have fully produced backtracks playing along with their performances. Having these tracks can make the turn a single musician into a “one man band” so to say.
A perfect example is almost ANY artist on your favorite electronic music festival’s lineup. A single producer can create a song with the sound and ambience that would take more than a hundred live instruments playing live to replicate. Now, given that this producer brings their laptop out to gigs to plug into their live setup, can this MacBook (ideally) handle a DJ controller, sample pad, and standalone mixer all through a single port? I went to a local producer and good friend of mine JDefeats to get his opinion.
If you don’t have a computer you can’t do anything. Especially music. It’s a priority. It’s necessary … [b]ut in context 5 years from now you may only need one port. That’s why they did that. To start transitioning people and the industry. – JDefeats
As a PC user myself, I don’t see this computer as any reason to make the switch to Apple, especially since the Macbook Air is more powerful. I also don’t see why the Macbook Pro has suddenly left the picture, because it has always been a solid computer in my opinion, and it even received a nice upgrade in the new models! I would have much rather have gotten a 13-inch Pro than the new Macbook.
DJ’s and producers should not worry about the new Macbooks at all, simply because there are better computers out there for their craft. The USB C-port is still a brand new technology that will take some buffing to make it a well polished product. In the future, this could be the standard for the industry, but for now it is just a new factor to consider when looking at a new computer.
CONCLUSION: Apple’s new Macbook could very well integrate properly with DJ equipment in the future. But at the moment, it might prove to be troublesome. For the time being, I would look elsewhere for a producing/DJ’ing computer, solely based on these hardware changes. However, if you do decide to get the new Macbook, the adapter is your only hope.