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Ask Max: Running MacBook Pro with lid closed?

Asked on 09/05/2006:

Hey Jacob.I've got a G5 at home that runs Logic Express and ProTools. I want to purchase a new Mac Book Pro to use on the road to record live audio from a firewire device. My road case is fairly complex, with no room to set my (not yet purchased) Mac Book Pro. Can I run Logic Express in record mode (or any application really) with the lid on my machine closed? Plug in the Mac, hit the record button, close the lid, slide the Mac into a padded drawer, and let it roll. Is this do-able?


Both the PowerBook and MacBook Pro have the ability to operate with the lid closed. In most cases this feature is used for docking a laptop to a full-sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If you connect an external keyboard to the laptop with its lid closed and press a key it will wake from sleep. The problem you will encounter is that when you shut the lid to put it away the MacBook Pro will go to the sleep power saving mode. You would have to keep a small USB keyboard connected to it so that you could wake it up and continue to record.Another option to consider is using a small LCD display connected as the primary monitor when inside the case. You can get 7" VGA displays that would work as a simple Logic Express status indicator. These 7" LCDs are made for in-car entertainment systems but will work mounted to the top of your recording rig. That, combined with a mini USB keyboard and travel mouse, would let you keep an eye on your recordings. As you know there is nothing worse than finding out that you missed a live recording because your equipment needed you to click another button.Let me know what you end up using and send pictures when you get it set up. I would like to put them up online.Jacob Loeb

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