Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

What else to look for in a DAW Laptop?

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 27, 2005 9:18:37 PM

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

Hi all,
I'm making the jump to a PC laptop for at least some of my audio work,
so it's time to decide which one to buy.

My budget is around $1k, can be new or recent used or refurb.

I've been working with cakewalk/sonar and sound forge for years on my
desktop XP machine running 2 Pulsar 1 cards - I like my setup, but
since Pulsar is a PCI card, I don't think it'll be available for a
laptop.

I've heard too many horror stories about most 'name'brands - I'll stay
away from dell, compaq, sony. Toshiba or IBM have goos reputations for
me, and I'm up for a good no-name as well.

I want firewire and USB 2 ports for expandability for sure. I don't
need a huge display, but 15" would be nice. I'd prefer bulit-in
wireless LAN for mobile net surfing, built-in 56k dialup, probably at
least 512 megs RAM and minimum 2 ghz processor. DVDRW would be nice,
but I could settle for DVD /CDRW. I do want to be able to hook up a 2nd
HD if needed. But will I need it with todays better HD throughput
rates?

So what's out there for me, and what other options/specs should I be
looking at? What other questions should I be asking/answering?

Main use will be as a DAW - everything else is secondary.

I humbly beseech to bask, nay, bathe in the knowledge of the
oracle(s)...

TIA,

Mikey Wozniak
Nova Music Productions
This sig is haiku

More about : daw laptop

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 28, 2005 12:15:51 AM

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

In article <1111972717.374166.114310@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"novamusic" <novamusic@hotmail.com> wrote:

> and what other options/specs should I be
> looking at? What other questions should I be asking/answering?

dedicated video card, at least 64mb
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 28, 2005 10:02:30 AM

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

novamusic wrote:
>
> So what's out there for me, and what other options/specs should I be
> looking at?

Noise... CPU fan noise, mostly, hard drives are usually very quiet these
days.

I use an old 650-Mhz laptop for audio recording. After replacing the
original hard drive, this machine has become so quiet that I was even
able to have it right beneath a solo vocalists' spot mic in a classical
concert recording without any problem.

I don't know what kind of work you do, but beware of noisy CPU fans....


Daniel
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 28, 2005 1:06:35 PM

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

Thanks! I'll add that I don't usually work with very high audio track
counts (typically maybe 8-10, occasionally as high as 16-20), and I use
MIDI tracks quite a bit. I'm also considering using Mackie Tracktion or
similar cheaper s/w on the laptop, and exporting to the desktop for
bigger jobs. Thus the desire for DVDRW burner. I'm with you on having
a built-in sound card as well. I do have some AKG 240s (among others)
for hph monitoring.

Where's Brian Tankersley when you need him? :)  Probably too busy making
hits...

Mikey
March 28, 2005 8:01:31 PM

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

On 27 Mar 2005 17:18:37 -0800, "novamusic" <novamusic@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Hi all,
>I'm making the jump to a PC laptop for at least some of my audio work,
>so it's time to decide which one to buy.
>
>My budget is around $1k, can be new or recent used or refurb.

Went wandering around the local CompUSA this past weekend and was
pretty amazed at the prices they had for their display clearance
models.

>I've been working with cakewalk/sonar and sound forge for years on my
>desktop XP machine running 2 Pulsar 1 cards - I like my setup, but
>since Pulsar is a PCI card, I don't think it'll be available for a
>laptop.

I smell an impending GAS attack? :-)

Do consider how much current your a/d interface eats. For example
with what I've seen, the MBox seems to be well behaved but the
Traveller's specs says it needs 1 amp and can *really* get the laptop
hot when operating on bus power.

>I've heard too many horror stories about most 'name'brands - I'll stay
>away from dell, compaq, sony. Toshiba or IBM have goos reputations for
>me, and I'm up for a good no-name as well.

When I did my survey, Fujitsu fared well on the IRQ compatibility
quibble and came a hair close to getting it. That and they seemed to
have good reliability ratings. Sager had good recommendations from
lappie users but were vague with their IRQs.

>I want firewire and USB 2 ports for expandability for sure. I don't
>need a huge display, but 15" would be nice. I'd prefer bulit-in
>wireless LAN for mobile net surfing, built-in 56k dialup, probably at

I've really found it handy having an internal line-in that the
software recognizes -- Let's me work on projects without lugging along
the interface. This *should* be a top requirement, IMHO...

>least 512 megs RAM and minimum 2 ghz processor. DVDRW would be nice,
>but I could settle for DVD /CDRW. I do want to be able to hook up a 2nd
>HD if needed. But will I need it with todays better HD throughput
>rates?

External HD is one aspect I'm still soft on. I've a 3.5" external
with 1394 but my schlepping bag is *really* stuffed. I've only seen
one 2.5" external case with 1394A at the Fry's and been windowshopping
the gobs of new products coming out on the external storage
front--Well past turning blue holding my breath for a memory stick
that will hold an entire recording session. In the mean time, I'm
recording to the internal disk during the heat of battle and dumping
to the external later.

>So what's out there for me, and what other options/specs should I be
>looking at? What other questions should I be asking/answering?

Been through the 3rd week of honeymooning with my lappie...

The Nomad JB3 hasn't shown too much jealously because it still gets
packed along and used on the stereo out connections at the mixer (just
in case). Still need to figger how to get JB3 <==> Mac !#@#@!

One of the things that took me by surprise (like getting married) was
just how much clutter this little lappie (still thinking of a name for
her) seems to be accumulating--A little pit in front of the TV set,
having to make space for it at the DAW desk, etc .

Speaking of lugging, get a backpack -- It's easier to carry (what my
daughter in college told me) and thiefs will tend to not look twice at
backpack compared to a laptop bag (what the fellow who had his laptop
stolen from him mentioned).

You didn't ask but simpy for reference -- For the capturing sessions,
figuring out how to cleanly schlep it and all of the peripherals,
patch cables, mics, chairs, food, flashlights, shade umbrellas, etc.
has been an interesting puzzle. An ice chest on wheels may be
appropriate... :-)

It's not easy to lug monitors around and I'm now feeling the need for
some decent lightweight open headphones for extended periods. You may
have something laying around here...

Adding to the confusion is learning new software (getting there).

>Main use will be as a DAW - everything else is secondary.
>
>I humbly beseech to bask, nay, bathe in the knowledge of the
>oracle(s)...

Hah!

Overall, it's been fun *and* productive.

>TIA,
>
>Mikey Wozniak

To be continued...

Andy

>Nova Music Productions
>This sig is haiku
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 28, 2005 8:50:23 PM

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

In article <42481ed8.17331150@News.Individual.NET> weekendshooter@gmail.com writes:

> I've really found it handy having an internal line-in that the
> software recognizes -- Let's me work on projects without lugging along
> the interface. This *should* be a top requirement, IMHO...

Hmmm . . . did you get that backwards? I can see that a line/headphone
OUT might be handy so you could do things like editing and assembling
a CD without external hardware, but most internal audio hardware isn't
really all that good for recording music that you care about. OK for
scratch recordings (but we all know about those - they're the best
performances and we want to save everything) or recording off the
radio, but I'd think that you'd always want to use something better
for any serious recording.

> External HD is one aspect I'm still soft on. I've a 3.5" external
> with 1394 but my schlepping bag is *really* stuffed.

Well, unless you have dedicated hardware, you ALWAYS have to schlep
stuff and connect it on side when you build your recorder out of a
computer. Pay me now or pay me later. But if you're careful about your
file maintenance and backup, today's inernal drives work fine even for
recording 24 tracks.

> The Nomad JB3 hasn't shown too much jealously because it still gets
> packed along and used on the stereo out connections at the mixer (just
> in case).

Smart move.

> Still need to figger how to get JB3 <==> Mac !#@#@!

Line out to Line In, Play, Record. But whenever this subject comes up,
it seems that there's always someone who pops up (maybe the same
person) with a link, presumably to something showing (or offering
software for the purpose) that you can transfer files from a Jukebox 3
to a Mac. Keep your eyes open. It'll probably follow this message.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 28, 2005 8:50:24 PM

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

Mike Rivers wrote:
> In article <42481ed8.17331150@News.Individual.NET>
weekendshooter@gmail.com writes:
>
> > I've really found it handy having an internal line-in that the
> > software recognizes -- Let's me work on projects without lugging
along
> > the interface. This *should* be a top requirement, IMHO...
>
> Hmmm . . . did you get that backwards? I can see that a
line/headphone
> OUT might be handy so you could do things like editing and assembling
> a CD without external hardware, but most internal audio hardware
isn't
> really all that good for recording music that you care about. OK for
> scratch recordings (but we all know about those - they're the best
> performances and we want to save everything) or recording off the
> radio, but I'd think that you'd always want to use something better
> for any serious recording.
>
> > External HD is one aspect I'm still soft on. I've a 3.5" external
> > with 1394 but my schlepping bag is *really* stuffed.
>
> Well, unless you have dedicated hardware, you ALWAYS have to schlep
> stuff and connect it on side when you build your recorder out of a
> computer. Pay me now or pay me later. But if you're careful about
your
> file maintenance and backup, today's inernal drives work fine even
for
> recording 24 tracks.
>
> > The Nomad JB3 hasn't shown too much jealously because it still gets
> > packed along and used on the stereo out connections at the mixer
(just
> > in case).
>
> Smart move.
>
> > Still need to figger how to get JB3 <==> Mac !#@#@!
>
> Line out to Line In, Play, Record. But whenever this subject comes
up,
> it seems that there's always someone who pops up (maybe the same
> person) with a link, presumably to something showing (or offering
> software for the purpose) that you can transfer files from a Jukebox
3
> to a Mac. Keep your eyes open. It'll probably follow this message.
>
>
> --
> I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
> However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
> lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
> you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
> and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 29, 2005 10:42:40 PM

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

"novamusic" <novamusic@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> My budget is around $1k, can be new or recent used or refurb.

The wish list you spelled out seems pretty reasonable. I don't know
what to add, except that you obviously have to pick an audio (and maybe
MIDI) I/O device. I just wonder if you can get what you want in that
price range?

If you weren't using Cakewalk I'd suggest that the best *value* in
laptops at the moment seems to be Apple iBooks (most bang for the buck),
but that doesn't help you.

I agree that Toshiba and IBM are good choices. I'll add FWIW that my
Sony has been fine in that role (DAW) too.

--
"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)
March 30, 2005 5:27:04 PM

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

(Mike Rivers) wrote:

>
> weekendshooter@gmail.com writes:
>
>> I've really found it handy having an internal line-in that the
>> software recognizes -- Let's me work on projects without lugging along
>> the interface. This *should* be a top requirement, IMHO...
>
>Hmmm . . . did you get that backwards? I can see that a line/headphone
>OUT might be handy so you could do things like editing and assembling
>a CD without external hardware <snip>

Yup... Good thing I wasn't getting my phantom power backwards!

General gist - PT LE & Audio Desk didn't recognize the built-in audio
h/w but DP does and because so, gets used more. :-)

<snip>

>> The Nomad JB3 hasn't shown too much jealously because it still gets
>> packed along and used on the stereo out connections at the mixer (just
>> in case).
>
>Smart move.

<vbg> So here I am at their mixer desk and they've all got cute
iPods with goofy looking skins to play their backdrop music when I
pull out the JB3 and plug it into the RCA outs. They stopped, stared,
and went, "That records?!?! Cool!!!" I told them "Yeah, you
better mix it good!" One of those you had to have been there
moments... :-)

>> Still need to figger how to get JB3 <==> Mac !#@#@!
>
>Line out to Line In, Play, Record. But whenever this subject comes up,
>it seems that there's always someone who pops up (maybe the same
>person) with a link, presumably to something showing (or offering
>software for the purpose) that you can transfer files from a Jukebox 3
>to a Mac. Keep your eyes open. It'll probably follow this message.

Hmmm... Not me but while that works, it's another a/d conversion. Oh
well, I suppose nobody will notice... :-P

Best,
Andy
!