Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Cheap laptop for MIDI work?

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 25, 2004 10:35:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

Hi folks,

I'd like to pick up a cheap laptop to work on compositions during my
daily bus commute (manually typing in notes on the MIDI staff). I'd use
Cakewalk SONAR, which is what I use on my studio desktop. I would never
use the unit for recording so latency shouldn't be an issue. It would
be nice if I could use audio tracks recorded on the desktop when
listening on the laptop, but that's not essential. MIDI alone would be
great.

What is essential would be decent soft-synth sounds, sufficient multi-
timbre capacity for a fully orchestrated tune and the ability to listen
with headphones. Ability to exchange data with desktop computer either
thru USB transfer, CD writer or a network adapter is also critical
obviously.

Cost is a major consideration at this point. The cheaper the better,
assuming the unit meets the above needs. I've seen some pretty cheap
used laptops, but don't know enough about soft synths to know what would
suffice. I'm hoping an older (cheap) used laptop will work.

Your suggestions are most appreciated.

BTW, I have always worked with external synths on the desktop so I know
nothing about soft synths except that they exist. Any info on what I
need or should consider in that regard is most welcome. Also any
suggestions on where to buy such a laptop at the best possible price
would be great.

Thanks in advance.

--
Nick D.
http://ironia.net
http://www.cultv.com

More about : cheap laptop midi work

December 26, 2004 4:34:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

On 25 Dec 2004, Nick D. <njd@NOSPAMcultv.com> wrote in
news:MPG.1c37d13416d237269896c0@news.optonline.net:

> What is essential would be decent soft-synth sounds, sufficient
> multi- timbre capacity for a fully orchestrated tune and the
> ability to listen with headphones.

I don't know how true it is today, but it used to be that many
inexpensive sound cards (Creative, for one) had a built-in wavetable
synthesizer that sounded reasonable. I would hope that the recent
generation of consumer audio hardware would have at least the same, if
not better.

If not, there are General Midi sound fonts that accomplish much the
same thing. So, you would need a sound-font-capable audio system, or a
sound font player. Sonar 2 came with one called Live Synth Pro, and I
think Sonar 3 came with a different one. Sonar 2 also came with a GM
softsynth called Edirol that sounded pretty good.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 26, 2004 6:19:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

in <MPG.1c37d13416d237269896c0@news.optonline.net>,
Nick D <njd@NOSPAMcultv.com> said:
> Hi folks,
>
> I'd like to pick up a cheap laptop to work on compositions during my
> daily bus commute (manually typing in notes on the MIDI staff). I'd use
> Cakewalk SONAR, which is what I use on my studio desktop. I would never
> use the unit for recording so latency shouldn't be an issue. It would
> be nice if I could use audio tracks recorded on the desktop when
> listening on the laptop, but that's not essential. MIDI alone would be
> great.
>
> What is essential would be decent soft-synth sounds, sufficient multi-
> timbre capacity for a fully orchestrated tune and the ability to listen
> with headphones. Ability to exchange data with desktop computer either
> thru USB transfer, CD writer or a network adapter is also critical
> obviously.
>
> Cost is a major consideration at this point. The cheaper the better,
> assuming the unit meets the above needs. I've seen some pretty cheap
> used laptops, but don't know enough about soft synths to know what would
> suffice. I'm hoping an older (cheap) used laptop will work.

Windows has shipped with Roland sound samples since '98 (I think it installs
by default). If you can examine one before buying, look at the control panel
properties for sound/multimedia to see if "Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth"
is present. I don't know how much polyphony you'll get, and performance is
dependent on cpu and disk, but that may suffice for composing.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 28, 2004 12:12:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

Nick D. <njd@NOSPAMcultv.com> wrote in news:MPG.1c37d13416d237269896c0
@news.optonline.net:

I have a notebook with the SoundMax AdvMax chipset, over 2 years old now,
and I run Sonar V2 on it. The chipset is actually better for audio playback
for some reason, very low latency on DirectX. Its GM wavetable synth sounds
OK, but has a latency of ~1 second in repsponding to any MIDI source. It's
not just a problem when using audio in the same project, it also means you
can't use it live from a MIDI keyboard, or mix it with DXi soft synths at
all - the delay is outside Sonar's purview

Don't forget Sonar includes a decent Edirol GM soft synth DXi plugin, as
standard, or at least V2 did when I bought it back then. That actually
works rather well for "bread and butter" sounds.

--
stereoroid
dublin, ireland

"Politics are for the moment. An equation is for eternity."
-- Albert Einstein, 1955
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 31, 2004 1:34:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

On Sat, 25 Dec 2004 19:35:08 -0500, Nick D. <njd@NOSPAMcultv.com>
wrote:

>Cost is a major consideration at this point. The cheaper the better,
>assuming the unit meets the above needs. I've seen some pretty cheap
>used laptops, but don't know enough about soft synths to know what would
>suffice. I'm hoping an older (cheap) used laptop will work.
>
>Your suggestions are most appreciated.

Have you considered either a PDA with a MIDI application, or one of
the Yamaha QY10's, or whichever model they're on now?

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/Model...

You might be able to find an older model dirt cheap on ebay...

jtougas

listen- there's a hell of a good universe next door
let's go

e.e. cummings
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 31, 2004 9:05:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

In article <71i9t0d280c97fa45g9a3qiqpsrp0rt55r@4ax.com>,
jatougasNOSPAM@charter.net says...
> On Sat, 25 Dec 2004 19:35:08 -0500, Nick D. <njd@NOSPAMcultv.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Cost is a major consideration at this point. The cheaper the better,
> >assuming the unit meets the above needs. I've seen some pretty cheap
> >used laptops, but don't know enough about soft synths to know what would
> >suffice. I'm hoping an older (cheap) used laptop will work.
> >
> >Your suggestions are most appreciated.
>
> Have you considered either a PDA with a MIDI application, or one of
> the Yamaha QY10's, or whichever model they're on now?

No, but maybe I should.

There may be a security issue with my bringing a laptop into my current
day job. I'm not sure they'd allow it. I don't see how they could
object to something like this though.

--
Nick D.
http://ironia.net
http://www.cultv.com
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
January 1, 2005 4:49:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 18:05:39 -0500, Nick D. <njd@NOSPAMcultv.com>
wrote:

>No, but maybe I should.
>
>There may be a security issue with my bringing a laptop into my current
>day job. I'm not sure they'd allow it. I don't see how they could
>object to something like this though.

A good PDA can also double as an mp3 player, though you might want to
invest in some memory cards to hold a few different albums, depending
on how long the bus ride is...
jtougas

listen- there's a hell of a good universe next door
let's go

e.e. cummings
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
January 2, 2005 9:35:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers.guitar (More info?)

["Followup-To:" header set to rec.audio.pro.]
On 2004-12-28, stereoroid <stereoroid@gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a notebook with the SoundMax AdvMax chipset, over 2 years old now,
> and I run Sonar V2 on it. The chipset is actually better for audio playback
> for some reason, very low latency on DirectX. Its GM wavetable synth sounds
> OK, but has a latency of ~1 second in repsponding to any MIDI source. It's
> not just a problem when using audio in the same project, it also means you
> can't use it live from a MIDI keyboard, or mix it with DXi soft synths at
> all - the delay is outside Sonar's purview

Have you tried it with ASIO instead of DX? Perhaps using the ASIO4ALL
driver? You can get reasonably low latency from integrated chips with
that. I have a Soundmax chip on a laptop that give <20ms latency for
VSTi softsynths under FLStudio. Keeps me sane on business trips,
believe you me.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
January 3, 2005 3:25:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

james of tucson <fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> wrote in
news:slrnctgfoh.onu.fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com:

> ["Followup-To:" header set to rec.audio.pro.]
> On 2004-12-28, stereoroid <stereoroid@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I have a notebook with the SoundMax AdvMax chipset, over 2 years
>> old now, and I run Sonar V2 on it. The chipset is actually better
>> for audio playback for some reason, very low latency on DirectX.
>> Its GM wavetable synth sounds OK, but has a latency of ~1 second
>> in repsponding to any MIDI source. It's not just a problem when
>> using audio in the same project, it also means you can't use it
>> live from a MIDI keyboard, or mix it with DXi soft synths at all
>> - the delay is outside Sonar's purview
>
> Have you tried it with ASIO instead of DX? Perhaps using the
> ASIO4ALL driver? You can get reasonably low latency from
> integrated chips with that. I have a Soundmax chip on a laptop
> that give <20ms latency for VSTi softsynths under FLStudio. Keeps
> me sane on business trips, believe you me.
>

Oh, I have a Echo Indigo I/O for when there's work to be done.
This strange 1s latency is only on the "hard" wavetable synth, no
problems with virtual instruments or recorded audio. I'm also pleased
with the way it's handling Tracktion, which I picked up free last week,
thanks to the promo mentioned in a previous thread...


--
stereoroid
dublin, ireland

"Politics are for the moment. An equation is for eternity."
-- Albert Einstein, 1955
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
January 4, 2005 3:20:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 18:35:58 GMT, james of tucson
<fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> wrote:

>> I have a notebook with the SoundMax AdvMax chipset, over 2 years old now,
>> and I run Sonar V2 on it. The chipset is actually better for audio playback
>> for some reason, very low latency on DirectX. Its GM wavetable synth sounds
>> OK, but has a latency of ~1 second in repsponding to any MIDI source. It's
>> not just a problem when using audio in the same project, it also means you
>> can't use it live from a MIDI keyboard, or mix it with DXi soft synths at
>> all - the delay is outside Sonar's purview
>
>Have you tried it with ASIO instead of DX? Perhaps using the ASIO4ALL
>driver? You can get reasonably low latency from integrated chips with
>that. I have a Soundmax chip on a laptop that give <20ms latency for
>VSTi softsynths under FLStudio. Keeps me sane on business trips,
>believe you me.

Are you sure this IS a hardware wavetable synth? Such are rare on
notebook sound chips. I suspect you're playing the Microsoft Synth
- part of Windows. This has irredeemable latency, whatever driver
you use.

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
!