Looking for advice regards MacBooks to use with VSTLive

Looking for a MacBook to run VST Live on.
This lower spec one is on the radar
8-core CPU
10-core GPU
8GB Unified Memory
1TB SSD Storage¹

Just wondered what other folks are using and whether any particular areas cause problems.

Thanks for any feedback,


All should be fine. Only look that the Mac supports at least macOS 10.14

Thanks for response


It depends what you’re using it for. If it’s mainly backing tracks / DMX it will be fine. For keyboard sounds and vst plugins I’d want 16Gb memory.



I have been using Macbook Pro mid 2012, with Opencore legacy patcher applied which enables me to install latest MacOS, even if it is not officially supported anymore. I have full audio dedicated OS installation.

Hard drive is 1 TB SSD and RAM 16GB. Audio interface Clarett+ 4Pre, using 2 audio inputs, one for talkback/vocals and other one for band monitoring input. Outputs are main out (stereo), click (mono) and IN-EAR monitoring (stereo).
44.1Khz with buffer size 128 works most of the time, but instruments with more complicated engine causes some random snaps . Buffer size 256 works perfectly, but maybe the latency is a bit too long (as I have also monitoring input into my soundcard, which of course has some latency).

So I’d say Macbook pro 2016 or later would do quite fine if you are looking for second-hand one. SSD and 16GB ram is a must.

I’ve used the M1 Pro (8 core) and M3 Max (14 core). I’m trying to process 10 drum mics and a full band with 64-128 MS latency at 48 sample rate. The audio card is an RME Dante card but I’ve had essentially identical results with an Antelope Orion card. The M1 Pro was able to do quite a bit of plugin processing at those low latencies but would occasionally pop and click, especially when I was moving the VST Live GUI - my best guess is the M1’s slower GPU may have contributed to that. The M3 Max is a complete beast and I’ve yet to run it into popping or clicking, including running multiple instances of convolution reverbs (including UAD capital chambers, seventh heaven, etc.) and probably 50 other plugins from channel strips to delays etc. I think it will be able to run a full set of plugins for processing an entire band, which is the goal. Hope this helps.

… let me dive in here. There shouldn’t be any pops and clicks while resizing the GUI. We are improving VL every week. Can you remember which version you have used that time? Which view (Mixer, Tracks, Layers …) was visible while you resized the UI. What are you running in your project? Only Audio Tracks? Many layers? Many MIDI Tracks? Many MIDI Events? Every info will help to improve VL.

Thank you all for your reports,

It would happen when I was scrolling up and down through the active stacks (I have about 20 in one project). It only happens at low latencies when plugins have the cpu operating at about 60+%. My project is only stacks, no layers, no midi events.

Thanks Turmis, useful info.


Thanks for info.