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  #1  
Old 05-14-2003, 09:29 AM
joels joels is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 7
Laptop music production

Hi all,

I'm going to get some gear to make computers music and other stuff. I'm starting to have an idea of what I want. I need a laptop computer for some of my other needs (software development for example)

I'll get something like an AMD Athlon 1200 or P4 2000 with 256 KB of RAM, 40GB disc, DVD/CD/CD-RW combo, 15.1" screen with Windows XP. (Nitteo Mastervision 280 or 173)

Reazon, Cubase, Ableton Live, AudioMush and a bunch of virtual synths.

A USB, PCMCIA or FireWire audio interface.

I don't know if I should prefer Pentium over AMD Athlon.
I don't know wich audio interface I should prefer. Their price range go from $200 to $1200 (see http://www.audiomidi.com/hardware/audio.cfm)
I don't know if I should get a rotary mixer.

Any idea?

Thanks for any answers.
Plur,
Joël S.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2003, 08:43 AM
akiera akiera is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 17
Memory

Did you mean 256Mb or RAM?

I'm not sure about CPUs as I haven’t been doing much in the computer realm for some time, but I would get more RAM, 512Mb or more, this will make a much bigger difference than a faster processor as your computer wont have to keep read/writing to the hard drive.

Get as much memory as you can afford, at least 512Mb maybe 768Mbs if you can.

And what sound card was you going to get, don’t know much about Lap Tops and sound cards but in my experience on-board sound devices are as much use as a, umm, not very useful thing.

I hope some of that was helpful, and be careful who you buy it off. Don’t go for the cheapest thing as you will only regret it.

Sol Barnes.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2003, 06:54 PM
teddyedwards teddyedwards is offline
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Posts: 29
laptop production

with regards to processors, from my understanding i suggest you look into their floating point processing capabilities, as this is a major factor in running many audio programs especially with effects and soft synths. its been a while since i compared PC processor brands so i couldn't tell you this or that, y'know?
Like Sol says get as much RAM as you can, and an external soundcard - check out MOTUs line in firewire soundcards, you can stick a lot of audio data down firewire - even at high sample rates and/or higher bit rates.
only install programs if you are sure you'll make good use of it, especially if youre getting hold of cracked software. if you can i'd look at a macintosh, since apple bought emagic out you can be sure that the audio sequencer will integrate well with the operating system.
A serious soundcard will require a mains power supply - like the MOTU, this enables the use of phantom power for mics which is very useful - but it depends what you want to be able to do...in terms of actual recording.

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  #4  
Old 05-21-2003, 10:26 AM
jensx jensx is offline
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Posts: 116
processors

general notes: if you making music on a notebook, it shouldnīt be noisy cause you want to hear your music:
just make sure to get a silent modell - thatīs why you should avoid intel p4, get p4 mobile, athlon xp or - thatīs the best mobile processor to date - intel pentium m (banias or centrino); a lot of notebooks put some strange sounds on their audio out; these noises come from the irda ot the hd, this should be checked;
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2003, 11:54 AM
joels joels is offline
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Posts: 7
Thanks

Thanks for your answers, yall.

>Posted By: Sol Barnes Posted On: May 15th, 2003 8:43am
>Did you mean 256Mb or RAM?

I meant 256 Mb.

>Get as much memory as you can afford, at least 512Mb
>maybe 768Mbs if you can.

I'll do that...

>And what sound card was you going to get, don’t know much
>about Lap Tops and sound cards but in my experience on-
>board sound devices are as much use as a, umm, not very
>useful thing.

An external audio card, either something very simple like the UASC-1 from waveidea (http://www.waveidea.com) cheap, reliable with good drivers, it's one of my colleagues who did it or more complex like the Esi Quata-Fire (http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=16&page=1)

>Posted By: Tom Smith Posted On: May 20th, 2003 6:54pm
>with regards to processors, from my understanding i
>suggest you look into their floating point processing
>capabilities, as this is a major factor in running many
>audio programs especially with effects and soft synths.
>its been a while since i compared PC processor brands so
>i couldn't tell you this or that, y'know?

I think all Pentium IV and Athlon have floating point capabilities

>... if you can i'd look at a macintosh, since apple
> bought emagic out you can be sure that the audio
> sequencer will integrate well with the operating system.

I hate Mac and I'll need the computer to do code developping (I don't know Mac). (I have the crasy idea to have several partitions with 2 XP OS and 1 Linux, one XP OS being dedicated only to music.)

>A serious soundcard will require a mains power supply -
>like the MOTU, this enables the use of phantom power for
>mics which is very useful - but it depends what you want
>to be able to do...in terms of actual recording.

Bummer, the UASC-1 doesn't have its own power supply.

I'll get a Minidisc recorder (portable DAT is too expensive for now) and record nature sounds (the sea, little birds, wind, water, frogs etc...), process them in the computer and mix it with the music.
I'll try to do lots of sampling.
I want the most minimal setup I can have (and still be able to make good music)
(Reazon, Cubase, Ableton Live, Acid Loop, a softsampler, that's all)

>processors
>Posted By: Jensx Posted On: May 21st, 2003 10:26am
>general notes: if you making music on a notebook, it
>shouldnīt be noisy cause you want to hear your music:
>just make sure to get a silent modell - thatīs why you
>should avoid intel p4, get p4 mobile, athlon xp or -
>thatīs the best mobile processor to date - intel pentium
>m (banias or centrino); a lot of notebooks put some
>strange sounds on their audio out; these noises come from
>the irda ot the hd, this should be checked;

I didn't think about that, it looks like I'll get an Athlon then since mobile pentium was too expensive for me...

Plur,
Joël S.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2003, 02:04 PM
teddyedwards teddyedwards is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 29
more

if you don't want to take the computer out to do fairly ambitious live recordings, where you might need a few mics, then there is no real reason for a really expensive soundcard with many inputs. additionally if the sound card is not dealing with many audio streams then USB becomes an option.

Also you can also get some capacitor mics such as the rodeNT3 that you can put batteries in - so phantom power is not essential, and you still have the quality of a reasonable condeser mic and full portability with no need for a mains supply.

do you plan to mix everything down in the PC? if so then you will only need a stereo output. if you wish to use some outboard gear then you may need some more
The partitioning is definately a good idea.

I wasn't meaning that only one of the AMD or pentium has floating point capabilities, rather the issue is how many floating point operations per second that they can perform, check this site;
http://www.idius.net/fpucomparison
another thing to consider is what sample rate & bit depth you want to be able to acheive with your sound card, i.e. how much quality are you looking for.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2003, 09:24 AM
thermionic thermionic is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 637
Laptops

FM2C I have used the MOTU range of converters, and I would say they offer a very good sound for the money, quite smooth without the glassy, edgy-mid you get with many cards.

Also; I would recommend a firewire interface, that way you will minimise latency-problems when overdubbing. As I'm sure you're aware, firewire has a larger-bandwidth than USB.

In my experience PCMCIA-based converter-cards can be noisy, that is because of their proximity to RF-frequency-emitting components in the pc.

The M-AUDIO range are supposed to be good, I have seen many good engineers use them, but I haven't..Good luck!
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