Neil Young has some harsh words to describe Apple’s MacBook Pro audio quality. The long-time proponent of hi-res audio assailed the laptop for having ‘Fisher-Price’ quality audio.
Neil Young veered into an anti-MacBook tirade on a recent podcast interview about his just-released book. The book is titled, To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio. In the interview, conducted by The Verge, Young also shares some of his adventures in creating the Pono Player — a now failed hi-res music player.
As the conversation diverged to how many young musicians get started digitally, Young was critical. When asked about artists starting their creative process with the new MacBook Pro, he scoffed.
“It’s a piece of crap, are you kidding?” Young exclaimed. “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 on the MacBook Pro.”
Young lamented the quality of the Digital-to-Analog converter in Apple’s newest laptops. DACs are responsible for turning digital data into an analog audio signal. All digital recordings use a DAC to create the audio signal you can hear.
Young argues that you need an external DAC “do a bunch of stuff to make up for the problems that the MacBook Pro has because they’re not aimed at quality.”
Young’s disconnect from the industry becomes apparent as the interview wears on. Host Nilay Patel makes several references to artists who assemble their samples on a MacBook Pro with high praise. But Young says those artists aren’t getting ‘the real sound.’
“It’s about museum quality. What happened when you opened your mouth and sang? What went into the air? That’s what we’re not getting with the new technology,” Young laments.