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LAPTOP STORIES: Got a rig working well? Well I do. Sort of.

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Anonymous
March 11, 2005 2:52:26 AM

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

(Cross posted to alt.steinberg.cubase)

I'm looking to upgrade my current system, but it IS working, which is
more than you can say about most of the posts in the newsgroups. So
I'm hoping some folks with smooth running setups can let me know what
they are, and how they got that way.

And maybe this will help the next person down the line.....

My rig:

Dell Inspiron 8200
Hammerfall multi-face PCMCIA
Hitachi 48 gig 5400 rpm HD
Edirol PCR-A30 usb controller/interface
Cubase SX2
Logic Audio 5.5
Plogue Bidule .71 VST patchbay software
Wuschel's ASIO4All driver
60 GB 7200 rpm external usb drive
NI Komplete bundle
dual-boot winXP sp1--clean music OS

All very state-of-the-art as of about 2 years ago. I am using this
laptop both in the studio, and on gigs. So far I have hit the
following stumbling blocks:

1. The external drive cannot be recorded to with the hammerfall
interface. There is static attributed by Hammerfall to the lousy IRQ
handling on the Dell and apparently most other laptops. Anybody got
this working?? What laptop?? I do know that the firewire and PCMCIA
busses share an IRQ. For now, I record everything to the internal
drive, and move it to the external for playback, when required.

2. The Edirol can be used for audio or midi, but not both at once. It
freezes up, even at high latency settings, with any kind of midi data,
if it is the selected ASIO interface. Don't send it any midi, it's
happy running audio. I've tested this under SX, Logic, and Bidule as
well as running Kontakt, Reaktor and B4 standalone. They all sieze up
when I play more than a few notes of MIDI. Edirol says it's, you
guessed it, the lousy IRQ handling that is to blame. They say VAIOs
are better for this. I can't find any info to back this up.

Lucky Wuschell came along! I am using this driver live, under Plogue,
and it's working great. Too much latency to use as an FX processor but
fine for VSTIs (I find actual combined in/out to be over 20 ms, despite
the control panel insisting it's 5 ms each way.) But the mini jacks on
the side of the Dell won't last much longer, and it's about out of
warranty.

So, contrary to some of what I've read in forums here and elsewhere,
this rig actually works. I have recorded 16 tracks of live audio all
night long without problems (into Logic, but I imagine SX would do as
well. At least at 16 bit.) I have mixes running 20+ stereo tracks
with quite a lot of FX, although I often do have to commit effects as I
get closer to mix. And I control Kontakt, Reaktor, B4 and Pro53 live
on gigs in bars 5 nights a week.

That said, there are still some annoying hangups unresolved.... and I'm
going to have to buy a new machine before long.... anybody got a better
story??

Thanks!
e moon
temiqui music
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 3:11:39 AM

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

Well, if it was XP, NOBODY would have it working, right? Wouldn't we
know about that?

I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 4:34:16 AM

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

David,

try:
http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist....

I think you'll find info regarding most of the background services
running on your machine here!
I've disabled everything non-vital and it really makes a difference!

Best regards,

Evangelos






%
Evangelos Himonides
IoE, University of London
tel: +44 2076126599
fax: +44 2076126741
"Allas to those who never sing but die with all their music in them..."



Oliver Wendell Holmes


%
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Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:08:37 AM

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

<temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote in message ...

> All very state-of-the-art as of about 2 years ago. I am using this
> laptop both in the studio, and on gigs. So far I have hit the
> following stumbling blocks:
>
> 1. The external drive cannot be recorded to with the hammerfall
> interface. There is static attributed by Hammerfall to the lousy IRQ
> handling on the Dell and apparently most other laptops.

Are you sure it's the Dell... or is it XP ?


> 2. The Edirol can be used for audio or midi, but not both at once.
> Edirol says it's, you
> guessed it, the lousy IRQ handling that is to blame.

Are you sure it's the Dell, or is it XP ?
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:23:42 AM

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

<temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:1110528698.982698.276040@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

> Well, if it was XP, NOBODY would have it working, right? Wouldn't we
> know about that?
>
> I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.


I'm being about 30% fecitious because I hesitate to trust XP, one
of the primary reasons being no control over IRQ usage, and the
high numbers of always-running background processes.

I don't know why your MIDI needs to be ASIO... maybe someone
will clear that up during the day tomorrow.


--
David Morgan (MAMS)
http://www.m-a-m-s DOT com
Morgan Audio Media Service
Dallas, Texas (214) 662-9901
_______________________________________
http://www.artisan-recordingstudio.com
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:42:49 AM

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

On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 08:23:42 GMT, "David Morgan \(MAMS\)"
<mams@NOSPAm-a-m-s.com> wrote:

>
><temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:1110528698.982698.276040@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
>> Well, if it was XP, NOBODY would have it working, right? Wouldn't we
>> know about that?
>>
>> I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.
>
>
>I'm being about 30% fecitious because I hesitate to trust XP, one
>of the primary reasons being no control over IRQ usage, and the
>high numbers of always-running background processes.
>
>I don't know why your MIDI needs to be ASIO... maybe someone
>will clear that up during the day tomorrow.

If you're worried about all those background tasks, just run ENDITALL
after you start up, and they are all gone - or as many of them as you
want.

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 12:07:56 PM

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

"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote in message news:423459d6.176635312@news.plus.net...
> On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 08:23:42 GMT, "David Morgan \(MAMS\)"
> <mams@NOSPAm-a-m-s.com> wrote:
>
> >
> ><temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:1110528698.982698.276040@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> >
> >> Well, if it was XP, NOBODY would have it working, right? Wouldn't we
> >> know about that?
> >>
> >> I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.
> >
> >
> >I'm being about 30% fecitious because I hesitate to trust XP, one
> >of the primary reasons being no control over IRQ usage, and the
> >high numbers of always-running background processes.
> >
> >I don't know why your MIDI needs to be ASIO... maybe someone
> >will clear that up during the day tomorrow.
>
> If you're worried about all those background tasks, just run ENDITALL
> after you start up, and they are all gone - or as many of them as you
> want.
>
> d
>
> Pearce Consulting
> http://www.pearce.uk.com


Not to draw temiqui's discussion off course, but is "Enditall" a part
of the XP Pro OS ?

DM
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 12:32:32 PM

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

<temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1110527546.205516.298490@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> (Cross posted to alt.steinberg.cubase)
>
> I'm looking to upgrade my current system, but it IS working, which is
> more than you can say about most of the posts in the newsgroups. So
> I'm hoping some folks with smooth running setups can let me know what
> they are, and how they got that way.

I'm running a MOTU 896 with a Sony VAIO laptop in which I've just installed
an 80GB 5400rpm drive. I use Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0 to capture multitrack
sessions in the field. It works well.

I chose Vegas for recording because it writes directly to the output .wav
files, rather than a big temp file, so that when session is complete, saving
is virtually instant, not a 40-minute process of writing out 16GB of data to
new files, as is the case with Adobe Audition and others I've tried.
The MOTU sounds great. I bring a kit of eight large-diaphragm condenser mics
and stands with boom attachments.
Standard procedure is to open a template appropriate to the session, most
often, an 8-channel 24/96 recording setup. Tracks are labeled the same as
mics and cables, so I know in the production phase what each track is by
name.

Setup works amazingly well. I'm looking to experiment with getting the MOTU
running off battery power for more portability in special event situations.


--
Best Regards,

Mark A. Weiss, P.E.
www.mwcomms.com
-
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 4:41:58 PM

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

Off the topic David, but go to www.blackviper.com and read the Services page. You can successfully turn off
about 80% of what runs on XP. My System Performance ( under Task Manager in XP) without anything running uses
only 52MB's of ram. My system is efficient.

I run XP Pro with 2 x Delta 1010's, Nuendo, Waves, UAD-1, NI Softs ( B4, Guitar Rig, Battery & Kontakt) and
Spectrasonics Trilogy. I don't have crashes, problems, lockups or the like. I don't have problems with the IRQ
assignment, because of the way XP manages them. And I often push the envelope on track and effect assignments,
bussing routes, and mixes.

I also run the Studio computers off line, with only audio software, and very little else. I have a multiple
hardware profiles setup so that I can choose a profile that activates the Network card to perform online
updates, and a second one that is DAW oriented only.

I don't think XP is a problem for audio. I do think that Hardware combinations being so fluid in the DAW world
is.


PapaNate

"David Morgan (MAMS)" wrote:

> <temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:1110528698.982698.276040@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
> > Well, if it was XP, NOBODY would have it working, right? Wouldn't we
> > know about that?
> >
> > I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.
>
> I'm being about 30% fecitious because I hesitate to trust XP, one
> of the primary reasons being no control over IRQ usage, and the
> high numbers of always-running background processes.
>
> I don't know why your MIDI needs to be ASIO... maybe someone
> will clear that up during the day tomorrow.
>
> --
> David Morgan (MAMS)
> http://www.m-a-m-s DOT com
> Morgan Audio Media Service
> Dallas, Texas (214) 662-9901
> _______________________________________
> http://www.artisan-recordingstudio.com
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 4:47:58 PM

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

temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com wrote:

> That said, there are still some annoying hangups unresolved.... and I'm
> going to have to buy a new machine before long.... anybody got a better
> story??

Do you want to stay with a laptop when you upgrade?

Papanate
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 5:05:14 PM

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

"PapaNate" <nospamagain@nc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:4231A02A.3F355488@nc.rr.com...
> Off the topic David, but go to www.blackviper.com and read the Services
> page. You can successfully turn off
> about 80% of what runs on XP. My System Performance ( under Task Manager
> in XP) without anything running uses
> only 52MB's of ram. My system is efficient.

I'll vouch for that page... I used that info, plus a couple of tips I got
from individuals to tweak my DAW (not a laptop, though, but still running
WXP), and it works very well.

Neil Henderson
March 11, 2005 8:00:33 PM

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

On 10 Mar 2005 23:52:26 -0800, temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com wrote:

>(Cross posted to alt.steinberg.cubase)
>
>I'm looking to upgrade my current system, but it IS working, which is
>more than you can say about most of the posts in the newsgroups. So
>I'm hoping some folks with smooth running setups can let me know what
>they are, and how they got that way.
>
>And maybe this will help the next person down the line.....
>
>My rig:
>
>Dell Inspiron 8200
>Hammerfall multi-face PCMCIA
>Hitachi 48 gig 5400 rpm HD
>Edirol PCR-A30 usb controller/interface
>Cubase SX2
>Logic Audio 5.5
>Plogue Bidule .71 VST patchbay software
>Wuschel's ASIO4All driver
>60 GB 7200 rpm external usb drive
>NI Komplete bundle
>dual-boot winXP sp1--clean music OS
>
>All very state-of-the-art as of about 2 years ago. I am using this
>laptop both in the studio, and on gigs. So far I have hit the
>following stumbling blocks:
>
>1. The external drive cannot be recorded to with the hammerfall
>interface. There is static attributed by Hammerfall to the lousy IRQ
>handling on the Dell and apparently most other laptops. Anybody got
>this working?? What laptop?? I do know that the firewire and PCMCIA
>busses share an IRQ. For now, I record everything to the internal
>drive, and move it to the external for playback, when required.

Just trading notes here...

After reading on this group about IRQs, ISA IRQs, PCI IRQs, etc, I
took a couple lunch breaks and went to do some work on my Laptop IRQ
Merit Badge to see how the various laptop manufacturers handle IRQ
assignments. Did this on every laptop I could lay my hands on. <vbg>


IIRC, Fujitsu models had pretty darn near the cleanest IRQ sharing
(1394 and SD memory card at most). Toshiba had IRQ sharing with a
couple functions that I wasn't motivated enough to disable but may
have been okay. Compaq & HP seemed to have the most IRQs on a single
IRQ number. The Sony, had moderate amounts of IRQ sharing which
appeared to be on functions I wouldn't have been thrilled with
disabling. Dell doesn't sell retail so I couldn't look at those
although I've just recently replaced the hard drive on my daughters
Inspirion 5300 (different story) . All of this of course was being
considered along side testimonies of folks reporting no problems.

Soooo.... when it came time for my neural network to do its thing, I
went the 15" Powerbook (big drive, ram, etc) route mostly for future
capabilities. It's got a 1394B in it and not yet on the Digidesign
Certified Platform list yet. Go figger... <grin> So far, it seems
to operate with either the Motu Traveller or MBox well while connected
to a LAN on a Cat 5 cable, to the wireless LAN, and Bluetooth mouse
all running at the same time.

>2. The Edirol can be used for audio or midi, but not both at once. It
>freezes up, even at high latency settings, with any kind of midi data,
>if it is the selected ASIO interface. Don't send it any midi, it's
>happy running audio. I've tested this under SX, Logic, and Bidule as
>well as running Kontakt, Reaktor and B4 standalone. They all sieze up
>when I play more than a few notes of MIDI. Edirol says it's, you
>guessed it, the lousy IRQ handling that is to blame. They say VAIOs
>are better for this. I can't find any info to back this up.

In the past, I've been comfortable with Edirol/Roland packaging to
carry into the battle field. They seem to have an association with
BOSS packaging designers ;-)

Ended up with a a Motu Traveller for XLR capacity and features I can
grow into and an MBox as an entry point to having a ProTools
capability.

One thing I've noticed was just how warm the Traveller is getting with
a laptop on top of it and started pondering about analog drift either
effecting the sound or locking up the digital. Thoughts? To be
continued...

>Lucky Wuschell came along! I am using this driver live, under Plogue,
>and it's working great. Too much latency to use as an FX processor but
>fine for VSTIs (I find actual combined in/out to be over 20 ms, despite
>the control panel insisting it's 5 ms each way.) But the mini jacks on
>the side of the Dell won't last much longer, and it's about out of
>warranty.
>
>So, contrary to some of what I've read in forums here and elsewhere,
>this rig actually works. I have recorded 16 tracks of live audio all
>night long without problems (into Logic, but I imagine SX would do as
>well. At least at 16 bit.) I have mixes running 20+ stereo tracks
>with quite a lot of FX, although I often do have to commit effects as I
>get closer to mix. And I control Kontakt, Reaktor, B4 and Pro53 live
>on gigs in bars 5 nights a week.

Wow... I won't be working as frequently as you but this is all good
to know.

>That said, there are still some annoying hangups unresolved.... and I'm
>going to have to buy a new machine before long.... anybody got a better
>story??
>
>Thanks!
>e moon
>temiqui music


e moon, thanks for sharing -- Wish this was posted a couple months ago
when I was researching.

Still figuring out an efficient way to schelp all of this stuff
around.

I guess the only "better" story I have at this time is that the
horsepower being assembled in the laptop rig is more powerful and more
capable than in my (albeit starter) DAW. <vbg>

Best,
Andy
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 12:30:42 PM

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

<temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> [...] I'm going to have to buy a new machine before long....
> anybody got a better story??



Better? I dunno, maybe.

I'm not trying to do nearly as much with my laptop rig as you are. I
use an Mbox for analog I/O and mostly outboard MIDI devices off a USB
MIDI interface. I run a few Sampletank instruments within Pro Tools,
but not nearly the load you're carrying.

Laptop is a Sony Vaio P4 with only 512MB RAM. I upgraded the internal
hard drive to a 5400RPM 80G, but that's just OS, apps and file storage.
I track to an external firewire drive.

I have had almost no trouble, except: the Vaio occasionally seems to
lose touch with the Firewire drive. Not very often, but it happens.
The drive still shows up in Explorer, but the machine can't read from or
write to it. A reboot solves the problem. I haven't been able to
identify a pattern so I don't yet know why it happens. It's happened
with two different drives in different enclosures, which tends to
suggest it's the computer and not the drive that's at fault.

Lately I've started using a PCMCIA Firewire card instead of the built-in
Firewire port on the Vaio and so far it hasn't failed. Maybe it's just
that stupid @#$%&!!! little 4-pin mini-Firewire connector on the Sony
(who came up with those tiny, fragile, moronic connectors anyway?
They're the data-interface equivalent of the 1/8" stereo mini jack).

Overall it has mostly worked really well, aside from the odd occasion
when the Firewire goes away.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 4:38:26 AM

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

Evangelos Himonides wrote:
> David,
>
> try:
> http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist....
>
> I think you'll find info regarding most of the background services
> running on your machine here!
>>
Off the topic David, but go to www.blackviper.com and read the Services
page. You can successfully turn off
about 80% of what runs on XP. My System Performance ( under Task
Manager in XP) without anything running uses
only 52MB's of ram. My system is efficient.
<<

Thanks for these tips, I'll look into it. I have disabled at least a
dozen services, without incident. I also keep the LAN disabled, and
even the firewire, when I'm not using it. Hasn't helped with the
Edirol so far. Problem with it is not dropouts, but straight up
freezing, usually with stuck midi-notes.

Cheers!
e
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 4:40:07 AM

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

PapaNate wrote:
> temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> > That said, there are still some annoying hangups unresolved.... and
I'm
> > going to have to buy a new machine before long.... anybody got a
better
> > story??
>
> Do you want to stay with a laptop when you upgrade?
>
> Papanate

Yes, I do. I am not going to haul a monitor, keyboard, mouse and tower
around to gigs every night. I have enough items to forget to bring
already... ;) 
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 2:56:38 AM

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

Lorin David Schultz wrote:
> <temiquidog-forums@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > [...] I'm going to have to buy a new machine before long....
> > anybody got a better story??

>
> Better? I dunno, maybe.
>
> I'm not trying to do nearly as much with my laptop rig as you are. I

> use an Mbox for analog I/O and mostly outboard MIDI devices off a USB

> MIDI interface. I run a few Sampletank instruments within Pro Tools,

> but not nearly the load you're carrying.
>
> Laptop is a Sony Vaio P4 with only 512MB RAM. I upgraded the
internal
> hard drive to a 5400RPM 80G, but that's just OS, apps and file
storage.
> I track to an external firewire drive.
>
> I have had almost no trouble, except: the Vaio occasionally seems to
> lose touch with the Firewire drive. Not very often, but it happens.
> The drive still shows up in Explorer, but the machine can't read from
or
> write to it. A reboot solves the problem. I haven't been able to
> identify a pattern so I don't yet know why it happens. It's happened

> with two different drives in different enclosures, which tends to
> suggest it's the computer and not the drive that's at fault.
>
> Lately I've started using a PCMCIA Firewire card instead of the
built-in
> Firewire port on the Vaio and so far it hasn't failed. Maybe it's
just
> that stupid @#$%&!!! little 4-pin mini-Firewire connector on the Sony

> (who came up with those tiny, fragile, moronic connectors anyway?
> They're the data-interface equivalent of the 1/8" stereo mini jack).
>
> Overall it has mostly worked really well, aside from the odd occasion

> when the Firewire goes away.

Mac powerbooks work pretty well and are easier to administer I
think. I have a old Powerbook G3 Firewire 500 for mobile recording,
pretty slow by current standards, and have recorded 8-10 tracks for an
hour at a time using the Metric Halo Mobile I/O to external firewire
drives (Nuendo 1.6.1.), with few problems.

PC Notebooks are cheaper though.

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Staff Audio / Fox News / M-AES
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
!