Choosing the best macOS version for music production on your Mac shouldn’t be arduous. That’s why I’ll help you do just that here. Macs have always been geared towards creators. If you make videos, edit photographs, or produce music, you can always count on your Mac.
However, many factors can make your music production experience seamless. Apart from the hardware, the software is the next most important factor that affects the music production experience.
Also, I’ll show you some recommended Macs to take your music production career to the next level.
Why Use A Mac For Music Production?
Macs are strategically built for video creators and music producers. They have the best-in-class parts that make the process of music production a joy.
The first thing that could attract music producers to Macs is the speakers. The speakers on a Macbook Pro, for example, are pretty loud, and given that you’re in a quiet enough office, you won’t need a pair of headphones.
iMacs also come with better-than-average speakers. When you have a Mac, you don’t need to worry about speaker quality.
Next is the abundance of macOS-exclusive digital audio workstations (DAW) like Logic Pro X and Garageband. These programs are owned by Apple; they work like magic on Macs.
Another reason you may want to try out Macs for music production is the sheer processing power of the M1 processor. Even critics agree that only a few premium products come close to M1’s glory.
Before choosing a Mac for your music production workflow, you must consider each one of these factors. They decide what kind of Mac will work best for you and why.
Best Macs For Music Production
Depending on what software you use for your music production, your best Mac for music production may vary.
However, I’ll showcase two here and why you should consider them next time you set up your workstation for music production.
- 16-inch Macbook Pro
For music production, the 16-inch 2019 Macbook Pro is objectively the best Mac; and probably the best notebook for the task.
It has superior speaker quality to anything M1-based Mac, and it has competitive processing power.
You can configure the Macbook Pro with up to 64GB of RAM, but every M1 Macbook can only max out at 16.
The Macbook Pro remains the only logical option if you use DAWs other than Garageband and Logic Pro X. Most third-party programs don’t run natively on M1 yet, so you should expect subpar performance.
The Macbook Pro also has all the screen estate that you need for music production. If you feel cramped, you can buy up to four 4K screens to extend your display capacity, a luxury that’s impossible with M1 Macs.
What’s more, battery life is decent on the Macbook Pro, powering you whenever you’re away from a power outlet.
- 24-inch M1 iMac
If you use Apple’s music production solutions, an M1-powered Macbook is a no-brainer.
However, you should stay away from the MacBook Air if you’re doing anything professionally. That explains why the only recommended Mac with an M1 processor is the iMac.
The iMac comes in many beautiful colors, more representative of fun than productivity. Well, music should be fun; we don’t work on music, do we?
An iMac is only a logical option if you use Logic Pro X and Garageband. This software has been optimized to run perfectly on M1 Macs, so you should have a spotless experience.
Best macOS Version For Music Production
When you get a capable Mac for your music production, you should also get the best version of macOS to supercharge your music production experience.
Many macOS versions are available right now, and the latest isn’t always the greatest for every task.
While every macOS version works for music production, you’ll always get superior performance and better features with the latest release.
If you specialize in music production, here are the best macOS versions you should install.
- macOS Big Sur
The latest version of Apple’s operating system for desktops has proved reliable for music producers over the past few months.
It has built-in support for iOS apps if you use an M1 Mac if that’s a deal-breaker for you. It runs all of the macOS-based software for music production, including Logic Pro X and Garageband.
In short, it is the best macOS version for music production overall, and that is even truer if you have a Mac with Apple Silicon.
It is the latest stable release of macOS, available to every supported Mac, anyone from five to eight years ago, depending on what Mac you have.
- macOS Catalina
MacOS Catalina preceded the macOS Big Sur in the macOS version lineup. It was introduced in 2019, but you can continue using it, as it will continue to receive security updates and support till 2022, at least.
While macOS Catalina isn’t better than Big Sur in most ways, you may have to keep up with it if your preferred digital audio workstation has some compatibility issues with macOS Big Sur.
It is worth noting that you can’t downgrade your M1 Mac to macOS Catalina. If you have a program that won’t be compatible with the latest version of macOS, you’re better off sticking with your old Mac.
Macs are perfect machines for music production. They have excellent speakers and the best-in-class software built and optimized by Apple.
While your hardware plays a more crucial role than the software for music production, a meh software will often lead to a subpar experience.
In this post, we’ve outlined two of the best macOS versions for music production. There are also some Mac recommendations for you if you’re planning to cross over.