Thoughts on Laptop for Portable Recording?

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

Pretty much what the topic says.

I'm considering a laptop for portable recording. I will most likely be
using my M-Audio Firewire Audiophile to do 2-track direct recording.

PC-based would be a plus, but not a deal killer, so long as I could get
it to record two channels at 96k, 24-bit. 8 channels would be a bonus,
but I don't have an 8-ch ADC yet, and I s'pose when I can afford that I
can afford a faster laptop too.

I don't record at 96k all that often, but I'm thinking ahead.

Thanks.
13 answers Last reply
More about thoughts laptop portable recording
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    My Macintosh Powerbook works great for this. Plug a couple of mics
    into my MOTU 828 and record into Digital Performer (for multitrack>2
    channels) or Peak if its just stereo. Or Protools, using an MBox.
    There are many options in the PC world too.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    think about an M-box. that comes with protools le, so you can
    interface your tracks with bigger studios when you need to.

    i think it only goes up to 48k, however.

    another thing to look at is the new EMU system that plugs into the
    laptop's card buss. that gives you many ins and outs, and headphone
    stuff and preamps. that one goes up to 192khz, i believe.

    the EMU 1820m sounds *amazing*. i'm guessing this one will be a winner
    too.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Charles Krug" <cdkrug@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    news:0hbAe.407209$cg1.400140@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > Pretty much what the topic says.
    >
    > I'm considering a laptop for portable recording. I will most likely be
    > using my M-Audio Firewire Audiophile to do 2-track direct recording.
    >
    > PC-based would be a plus, but not a deal killer, so long as I could get
    > it to record two channels at 96k, 24-bit. 8 channels would be a bonus,
    > but I don't have an 8-ch ADC yet, and I s'pose when I can afford that I
    > can afford a faster laptop too.
    >
    > I don't record at 96k all that often, but I'm thinking ahead.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >

    I record a church sermon weekly into a Dell laptop through a M-Audio
    Transit, using an older version of Sound Forge Studio for software. I
    obviously don't need 96K, but even at CD quality mono I get a nice clean
    recording that sounds great for speaking. Your Audiophile should give you
    great recordings. Glancing at M-audio's website, I see the Audiophile has a
    single, assignable level control. One thing you'll find when recording to
    laptop is that getting the recording levels set right is the only real trick
    to it. I would guess that after doing it a while, when you look for a box
    with more inputs you'll be specifically looking for something that has
    individual level control knobs for each input. My Transit has no level
    controls at all, which means I either have to run it through a small mixer,
    or use the software controls. Both are kind of bothersome when you're
    trying to be really portable (meaning you probably haven't even plugged in a
    mouse).

    Cheers,
    Walt
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <1121011945.541367.83540@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    "jonothon" <jonothon77@gmail.com> wrote:

    > My Macintosh Powerbook works great for this. Plug a couple of mics
    > into my MOTU 828 and record into Digital Performer (for multitrack>2
    > channels) or Peak if its just stereo. Or Protools, using an MBox.
    > There are many options in the PC world too.

    You don't even need a Powerbook; an iBook will do this very well too.
    Get a G4 and spend some xtra on more ram. There are also lots of apps
    besides Peak (some even freeware) to record 2-track.

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

    Roger wrote:
    > In article <1121011945.541367.83540@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    > "jonothon" <jonothon77@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>My Macintosh Powerbook works great for this. Plug a couple of mics
    >>into my MOTU 828 and record into Digital Performer (for multitrack>2
    >>channels) or Peak if its just stereo. Or Protools, using an MBox.
    >>There are many options in the PC world too.
    >
    >
    > You don't even need a Powerbook; an iBook will do this very well too.
    > Get a G4 and spend some xtra on more ram. There are also lots of apps
    > besides Peak (some even freeware) to record 2-track.

    To carry that one step further, you don't even need a G4.
    My old G3 iBook with OSX 10.2.8 and D.P. can capture 8
    channels over firewire with no problem via a Metric Halo
    Mobile I0 2882 I had on loan for a while.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

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

    On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 14:40:04 -0400, Roger wrote
    (in article <roger-A0F031.14400410072005@news.east.cox.net>):

    > In article <1121011945.541367.83540@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    > "jonothon" <jonothon77@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >> My Macintosh Powerbook works great for this. Plug a couple of mics
    >> into my MOTU 828 and record into Digital Performer (for multitrack>2
    >> channels) or Peak if its just stereo. Or Protools, using an MBox.
    >> There are many options in the PC world too.
    >
    > You don't even need a Powerbook; an iBook will do this very well too.
    > Get a G4 and spend some xtra on more ram. There are also lots of apps
    > besides Peak (some even freeware) to record 2-track.
    >
    > Rog

    You don't even need a motu. Get a mixer and feed its stereo or mono to a G4
    with an audio input.

    Ty Ford


    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at www.tyford.com
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    One important thing to consider is what are you going to be recording,
    and what level of professional sound are you trying to accomplish?
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "jonothon" <jonothon77@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1121178767.904612.50930@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > One important thing to consider is what are you going to be recording,
    > and what level of professional sound are you trying to accomplish?
    >

    I take it from this you mean "how many tracks" and "how much post-processing
    and mixing"?. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Charles Krug wrote:
    > Pretty much what the topic says.
    >
    > I'm considering a laptop for portable recording. I will most likely be
    > using my M-Audio Firewire Audiophile to do 2-track direct recording.
    >
    > PC-based would be a plus, but not a deal killer, so long as I could get
    > it to record two channels at 96k, 24-bit. 8 channels would be a bonus,
    > but I don't have an 8-ch ADC yet, and I s'pose when I can afford that I
    > can afford a faster laptop too.
    >
    > I don't record at 96k all that often, but I'm thinking ahead.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    iBook does it for me. The powerbook is cooler, but the iBook performs
    fine (I haven't noticed any big difference between the 2)
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Well, I'm using the cheapest IBM thinkpad money can buy, and it copes
    with about twenty channels 24-bit/44.1KHz. The processing power won't
    be a problem whichever laptop you choose, what you should be concerned
    with is stability.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I'll try to be clearer. My point is that bottom line, plugging a
    stereo mic into the mic input of a Powerbook or iBook might be good
    enough for some people and some purposes, but others will require good
    condensers and good mic pre's coupled with a quality A/D coverter.

    What's the target sonic quality? A basic decent archive of a live
    performance or a quality multitrack recording which can be later mixed
    in a studio.

    Or something in between.
  12. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Charles Krug wrote:
    > Pretty much what the topic says.
    >
    > I'm considering a laptop for portable recording. I will most likely be
    > using my M-Audio Firewire Audiophile to do 2-track direct recording.
    >
    > PC-based would be a plus, but not a deal killer, so long as I could get
    > it to record two channels at 96k, 24-bit. 8 channels would be a bonus,
    > but I don't have an 8-ch ADC yet, and I s'pose when I can afford that I
    > can afford a faster laptop too.
    >
    > I don't record at 96k all that often, but I'm thinking ahead.
    >
    > Thanks.
    I have a Toshiba Pentium M that is working quite well on XP Home
    edition. I had a horrible series of experiences with a hot rod Dell and
    their almost non-existent tech support. I recommend staying away from
    Dell.

    My M-Audio FW 410 works well but only does 2 at a time. Lots of better
    technology since I bought it also. The MOTU 24/96 has some nice options
    also.
    peakester
  13. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    jonothon wrote:
    > I'll try to be clearer. My point is that bottom line, plugging a
    > stereo mic into the mic input of a Powerbook or iBook might be good
    > enough for some people and some purposes, but others will require good
    > condensers and good mic pre's coupled with a quality A/D coverter.
    >
    > What's the target sonic quality? A basic decent archive of a live
    > performance or a quality multitrack recording which can be later mixed
    > in a studio.
    >
    > Or something in between.
    >
    Well that would be enough if the iBook had a mic input!
    I would still suggest going the second route and getting a seperate
    audio interface. The cheapest ones are 24 bit these days and the preamps
    are fine. No point saving $100 to use the built in ones IMHO (even if
    it's just to avoid those shitty 3.5 connectors)

    I have been using an iBook with a motu interface for live recording and
    it's excellent. Never a hiccup from the iBook and it's small, light,
    solid and crash free (so far). Good battery life too (if that's important)
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