Neil Young rails against 'Fisher-Price' MacBook Pro audio for music production

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 107
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
  • Reply 42 of 107
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,241member
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
    ...this is the part where YOU link the article...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 107
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,818administrator
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
    The article is linked in the story, has been since publication. The fact that he's talking about the DAC is addressed in the piece.

    Edit - I will make it a bit larger, so it's more apparent.
    edited January 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 107
    Criticising the DAC in a laptop is like wondering why a Fiat isn't a supercar.

    The difference however is that you can literally plug in high quality audio hardware onto said laptop, the Fiat isn't so lucky.

    (Laptops are of course, a series of compromises, one can take such extreme views on any part of the device.)
    edited January 2020 pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 107
    He doesn't know what he is talking about! He complains that MacBook Pro has a poor performing DAC that converts all those digital bits into an analog signal. No audio producer is going to directly plug in a recording system, mixing board, or mic input to the analog audio output of any computer. These under $2 DACs are 100-110 dB SNR. They are not bad, but they are not great, just good enough. First, computers have a lot of inherent noise with those chargers banging away, then processors running at hight speed with a lot of ground noise, added with LCD displays, etc. In summary, Laptops are inherently noisy. Second, an audio expert, would keep its music digital and connect to a pro-audio interface for final analog recording. But who converts their digital audio into an analog recording these days? This digital audio is transcoded into different sample rates and bit widths at the end product to maintain the most resolution of the audio signal. Third, at his age and exposure to loud noises from his many concerts, his hearing has the high probability of being damaged. Some people claim he wears a hearing aid. By the way, today's best hearing aids only operate for speech, (bandwidth of 4KHz), not the full audio spectrum. It is hard to amplify frequencies that are so damaged you can't hear them at any volume.
    shaminowatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 107
    I guess Neil would rather go back to Cassette's & Vinyl with their "superior" drop-outs, ticks, pops, scratches, Low fidelity, skipping, tape unwinding, etc.. and all those things superior to a MacBook Pro.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 107
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
    The article is linked in the story, has been since publication. The fact that he's talking about the DAC is addressed in the piece.

    Edit - I will make it a bit larger, so it's more apparent.
    But you are conveniently leaving out things like this, the first question he was asked:
     
    The Verge: "So many artists today write their songs on tour in a hotel room on a MacBook. They’re not starting with the big analog studio. They’re not starting with tape. They’re starting digitally. Does that carry through? Is it even worth it to talk about the output format when it’s teenagers in bedrooms writing hits right now?"

    Neil Young: "
    What’s the problem with teenagers in bedrooms writing hits?"

    How you square that with the title or the content of your article is beyond me. He clearly has no problem with using a MacBook in music production. 

    And then there is the quote you completely butcher to turn into him saying the MacBook is not good for production:

    "It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism."

    He is clearly talking a single part of music 
    production and that is sound out, so mixing and mastering of music. Are you contending the built-in audio is good enough to mix and master a professional recording? 

    Lastly you link to an article about Billie Eilish having her album produced in a bedroom in some attempt to prove Neil Young wrong. The irony being that the article lists the equipment used which include an external DAC and reference monitors..... So,  the article actually backs Young's point. The built in DAC and audio output are not good enough for music production. I mean that is literally what he was saying; "So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has"

    A person could make a reasonable argument that he is expecting way too much out of a MBP or that his language is needlessly hyperbolic. Totally legitimate points but you didn't.

    Sorry, this article is just sloppy at best. Based on the comments on the article it's pretty clear readers didn't get that he was talking about sound out. 
    edited January 2020
  • Reply 48 of 107
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,527member
    How utterly bizarre. 

    The MacBook is only the tape machine. OF COURSE its audio quality is only as good as the outboard equipment it's connected to. What the fuck is he talking about? 

    Or is this a convoluted way of disparaging virtual instruments used by those who produce "in the box"? THAT I can understand. Obviously, a virtual Hammond organ plug-in is not going to be the same as a sixty-year-old motherbeast screaming at you through a real Leslie. 

    But to complain that you need to use an external ADC/DAC for serious studio production a) completely ignores that OF COURSE that is EXACTLY how all serious studio work is done, and also illuminates complete ignorance of where these machines come from, how they've evolved, and how people have been using computers in the studio for the past thirty years since the invention of Pro Tools. 

    The computer is just the modular center of a complex arrangement of outboard devices, interfaces, mixers, patchbays. 

    Is he complaining that the onboard speakers aren't good enough for studio monitoring, as well? Might as well. 
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 107
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,527member

    spice-boy said:

    mjtomlin said:
    I like Neil Young and his music, but he does seem to sound like an old curmudgeon here. Like someone who tried it but couldn't grasp the concept, so now he just blindly dismisses it. And he obviously does not understand that you can create extremely high quality music on the Mac... it's how you encode and compress and distribute the final product that ultimately determines the quality of the sound.

    Also wanted to add... music does not have to be about sound quality or fidelity. More importantly - and Neil ought to know this - it's about artistry and being able to express yourself. Has anyone heard of Neil's band "Crazy Horse" - their sound can be loud and distorted. You don't need a high fidelity system to enjoy listening to it.
    Still in mono are you?
    Mono is underrated.
  • Reply 50 of 107
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,818administrator
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
    The article is linked in the story, has been since publication. The fact that he's talking about the DAC is addressed in the piece.

    Edit - I will make it a bit larger, so it's more apparent.
    But you are conveniently leaving out things like this, the first question he was asked:
     
    The Verge: "So many artists today write their songs on tour in a hotel room on a MacBook. They’re not starting with the big analog studio. They’re not starting with tape. They’re starting digitally. Does that carry through? Is it even worth it to talk about the output format when it’s teenagers in bedrooms writing hits right now?"

    Neil Young: "What’s the problem with teenagers in bedrooms writing hits?"

    How you square that with the title or the content of your article is beyond me. He clearly has no problem with using a MacBook in music production. 

    And then there is the quote you completely butcher to turn into him saying the MacBook is not good for production:

    "It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism."

    He is clearly talking a single part of music production and that is sound out, so mixing and mastering of music. Are you contending the built-in audio is good enough to mix and master a professional recording? 

    Lastly you link to an article about Billie Eilish having her album produced in a bedroom in some attempt to prove Neil Young wrong. The irony being that the article lists the equipment used which include an external DAC and reference monitors..... So,  the article actually backs Young's point. The built in DAC and audio output are not good enough for music production. I mean that is literally what he was saying; "So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has"

    A person could make a reasonable argument that he is expecting way too much out of a MBP or that his language is needlessly hyperbolic. Totally legitimate points but you didn't.

    Sorry, this article is just sloppy at best. Based on the comments on the article it's pretty clear readers didn't get that he was talking about sound out. 
    In regards to your response that I have italicized, it has been used as such, as-is, many times over the last 14 years of availability. Mileage may vary, of course. 

    You're welcome to believe what you want in regards to the article. This avenue of conversation has concluded.
    edited January 2020 Solitmaypscooter63SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 107
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,527member
    "It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism."

    He is clearly talking a single part of music production and that is sound out, so mixing and mastering of music. Are you contending the built-in audio is good enough to mix and master a professional recording? 

    Lastly you link to an article about Billie Eilish having her album produced in a bedroom in some attempt to prove Neil Young wrong. The irony being that the article lists the equipment used which include an external DAC and reference monitors..... So,  the article actually backs Young's point. The built in DAC and audio output are not good enough for music production. I mean that is literally what he was saying; "So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has"

    A person could make a reasonable argument that he is expecting way too much out of a MBP or that his language is needlessly hyperbolic. Totally legitimate points but you didn't.
    Why is this a legitimate complaint? Never in history have built-in generic soundcards been deemed appropriate for professional music production (though, of course, there are obviously exceptions where the built-in minijack HAS been used for final production). 

    To make a point of slagging off gear for not doing something it was never intended to do, nor expected by anybody to do, is just…weird.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 107
    Coming from one of the worst singing voices in music……… ever, he should applaud the degraded sound that he purports as a means of minimizing the trauma one experiences upon hearing his "music"!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 107
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,500member
    I never do pro audio tasks but my 2006 MBP was used a fair bit back in the day in recording tasks to mini-disc using its mini jack/optical connector. I was very impressed with the results.

    The question is, how has the DAC quality evolved over the years on the laptop line?
  • Reply 54 of 107
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
    The article is linked in the story, has been since publication. The fact that he's talking about the DAC is addressed in the piece.

    Edit - I will make it a bit larger, so it's more apparent.
    But you are conveniently leaving out things like this, the first question he was asked:
     
    The Verge: "So many artists today write their songs on tour in a hotel room on a MacBook. They’re not starting with the big analog studio. They’re not starting with tape. They’re starting digitally. Does that carry through? Is it even worth it to talk about the output format when it’s teenagers in bedrooms writing hits right now?"

    Neil Young: "What’s the problem with teenagers in bedrooms writing hits?"

    How you square that with the title or the content of your article is beyond me. He clearly has no problem with using a MacBook in music production. 

    And then there is the quote you completely butcher to turn into him saying the MacBook is not good for production:

    "It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism."

    He is clearly talking a single part of music production and that is sound out, so mixing and mastering of music. Are you contending the built-in audio is good enough to mix and master a professional recording? 

    Lastly you link to an article about Billie Eilish having her album produced in a bedroom in some attempt to prove Neil Young wrong. The irony being that the article lists the equipment used which include an external DAC and reference monitors..... So,  the article actually backs Young's point. The built in DAC and audio output are not good enough for music production. I mean that is literally what he was saying; "So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has"

    A person could make a reasonable argument that he is expecting way too much out of a MBP or that his language is needlessly hyperbolic. Totally legitimate points but you didn't.

    Sorry, this article is just sloppy at best. Based on the comments on the article it's pretty clear readers didn't get that he was talking about sound out. 
    In regards to your response that I have italicized, it has been used as such, as-is, many times over the last 14 years of availability. Mileage may vary, of course. 

    You're welcome to believe what you want in regards to the article. This avenue of conversation has concluded.
    That you had to attach the “mileage may vary” pretty much makes the point. The stereo jack and speakers on portable are suitable for mixing music. 

    The last paragraph is akin to taking your toys and going home. Yeah, no one likes getting called out but the article just has way to many integrity problems not to. 


  • Reply 55 of 107
    Coming from one of the worst singing voices in music………ever, he should applaud the degraded sound that he purports as a means of minimizing the trauma one experiences upon hearing his "music"!
  • Reply 56 of 107
    spheric said:
    "It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism."

    He is clearly talking a single part of music production and that is sound out, so mixing and mastering of music. Are you contending the built-in audio is good enough to mix and master a professional recording? 

    Lastly you link to an article about Billie Eilish having her album produced in a bedroom in some attempt to prove Neil Young wrong. The irony being that the article lists the equipment used which include an external DAC and reference monitors..... So,  the article actually backs Young's point. The built in DAC and audio output are not good enough for music production. I mean that is literally what he was saying; "So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has"

    A person could make a reasonable argument that he is expecting way too much out of a MBP or that his language is needlessly hyperbolic. Totally legitimate points but you didn't.
    Why is this a legitimate complaint? Never in history have built-in generic soundcards been deemed appropriate for professional music production (though, of course, there are obviously exceptions where the built-in minijack HAS been used for final production). 

    To make a point of slagging off gear for not doing something it was never intended to do, nor expected by anybody to do, is just…weird.
    Your comments highlight the shortcomings of the article. Young was asked why the MBP wasn’t a complete solution in itself. You don’t know that because AI doesn’t offer the context. And while I personality agree with you, I can also see the argument that settling for status quo isn’t what Apple should be doing. My experience is people that do mixing are super particular and would end up using a 3rd party DAC anyway so why bother with the expense of adding a better. But, again, I can see his point as well. 
  • Reply 57 of 107
    spice-boy said:

    "Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
    An Apple man don't need him around anyhow..."
    So sensitive to any criticism especially when it might be true of your beloved Apple. Critique makes things better, if you ever created anything in your life you would understand this. When you stop listening to criticism (of your work not your person) what you create will be subpar. 
    There's a difference between critiquing from a place of knowledge and complaining due to a lack of knowledge. Neil Young is a legend as a musician and when he produced music, it wasn't with modern technology. From a technological standpoint, he sounds like he's behind the times.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 58 of 107
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,818administrator
    AI should, at a minimum, be embarrassed by this article and honestly should retract it. 

    The quotes in question are taken with an interview with the verge. AI, inexperience, didn’t link to the source which is just sketchy. Further, the quotes are taken out of context and do not accurately portray Neil Young’s comments. The complaint he has with the MBP is the built in audio out. He doesn’t think it is good enough for music production and he is 100% correct. 

    If you read the article he actually defends music writing and production in the MBP from a jackass interviewer that keeps trying to get him to trash it as a solution. 
    The article is linked in the story, has been since publication. The fact that he's talking about the DAC is addressed in the piece.

    Edit - I will make it a bit larger, so it's more apparent.
    But you are conveniently leaving out things like this, the first question he was asked:
     
    The Verge: "So many artists today write their songs on tour in a hotel room on a MacBook. They’re not starting with the big analog studio. They’re not starting with tape. They’re starting digitally. Does that carry through? Is it even worth it to talk about the output format when it’s teenagers in bedrooms writing hits right now?"

    Neil Young: "What’s the problem with teenagers in bedrooms writing hits?"

    How you square that with the title or the content of your article is beyond me. He clearly has no problem with using a MacBook in music production. 

    And then there is the quote you completely butcher to turn into him saying the MacBook is not good for production:

    "It’s a piece of crap. Are you kidding? That’s Fisher-Price quality. That’s like Captain Kangaroo, your new engineer. A MacBook Pro? What are you talking about? You can’t get anything out of that thing. The only way you can get it out is if you put it in. And if you put it in, you can’t get it out because the DAC is no good in the MacBook Pro. So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality. They’re aimed at consumerism."

    He is clearly talking a single part of music production and that is sound out, so mixing and mastering of music. Are you contending the built-in audio is good enough to mix and master a professional recording? 

    Lastly you link to an article about Billie Eilish having her album produced in a bedroom in some attempt to prove Neil Young wrong. The irony being that the article lists the equipment used which include an external DAC and reference monitors..... So,  the article actually backs Young's point. The built in DAC and audio output are not good enough for music production. I mean that is literally what he was saying; "So you have to use an external DAC and do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has"

    A person could make a reasonable argument that he is expecting way too much out of a MBP or that his language is needlessly hyperbolic. Totally legitimate points but you didn't.

    Sorry, this article is just sloppy at best. Based on the comments on the article it's pretty clear readers didn't get that he was talking about sound out. 
    In regards to your response that I have italicized, it has been used as such, as-is, many times over the last 14 years of availability. Mileage may vary, of course. 

    You're welcome to believe what you want in regards to the article. This avenue of conversation has concluded.
    That you had to attach the “mileage may vary” pretty much makes the point. The stereo jack and speakers on portable are suitable for mixing music. 

    The last paragraph is akin to taking your toys and going home. Yeah, no one likes getting called out but the article just has way to many integrity problems not to. 


    It does nothing of the sort, as evidenced by your second sentence right after it. If it has been used, as-is, then by definition, it is suitable for those that did it. It may not be suitable for what everybody wants, which is what the "mileage may vary" was about, and nothing more.

    There are no integrity problems with the article, but like I said, you're welcome to believe what you want. You generally seem reasonable, and you've said what you wanted to say. But, do not persist with this.
    edited January 2020 tmaySpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 59 of 107
    shaminoshamino Posts: 527member
    cornchip said:
    well, off to buy a PC which reportedly is far superior for music production...
    As with Macs, a PC's built-in audio isn't going to be very good.  That's why people who care about good sound on their PCs buy third-party sound cards, either installed in a PCIe slot or attached via USB.

    Neil Young seems to have a knack for making a point while simultaneously missing it.  Of course, the built-in DAC of a Mac isn't studio quality.  Neither is the built-in DAC of any other computer.  Yes, you need an external DAC for studio quality work.  Which is why just about every professional musician uses external DACs - on their PCs as well as their Macs.

    Talking about amateurs who are using built-in audio for their pet projects is a non-sequitor.  These people are not releasing studio quality work.  Most of them know it, and those that do decide to take their game up to the next level will either invest in a good DAC or will go lease time in a studio to make good quality recordings.
    sphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 60 of 107
    Two Words: Billie Eilish 
    watto_cobra
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