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Old 09-02-2013, 11:16 PM   #1
JacobCaine
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Good laptop for home recording?

Hey guys what kind of laptop should I get for home recording? I want it to be high end with no input lag. Right now I record directly into a mobile pre and use guitar rig and superior drummer for tracks. I use effects for mostly every track (EQ, compression, etc.) Eventually I will be looking into getting an axe fx for better guitar tone if that helps any. Just throw me some ideas, guys. Thanks.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:14 AM   #2
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Does it have to be a laptop?

A budget is essential either way.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
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MacBook Pro if it has to be a laptop,
Mac Mini if it doesn't.

Even the cheapest ones will do good, but get the 2.9/2.6 i7 Quad if you really need to do a lot of work in the box, like 5 to 10 heavy plugins per track, for at leat 30 tracks.

Then update the ram to 8/16GB depending on how much ram-heavy stuff you'll use.
Big audio plugins are heavy, audio tracks are heavy, and audio samples players are heavy.
Kontakt in particular.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
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Answer these questions then we can help more -
Budget:
Preferred OS: (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.)
Non-Recording based requirements? (does it need to play games etc.)
Does it HAVE to be a laptop?
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:43 AM   #5
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Cuz like... I have a decent laptop. Good mobile i5, 700 price tag etc... and it buckles under the pressure of my studio one sessions.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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MacBook Pro if it has to be a laptop,
Mac Mini if it doesn't.

Yeah...no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Cuz like... I have a decent laptop. Good mobile i5, 700 price tag etc... and it buckles under the pressure of my studio one sessions.


Dude...how big are the sessions you're running exactly? You'd have to be running a metric ****ton of virtual instruments and CPU-heavy plugins to have problems with a modern 700 laptop. I'm guessing it's one of the dual-core hyperthreaded i5s?
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:41 AM   #7
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It's a mobile i5 so it's more like an i3. But I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with it anyway, the performance has always been way worse than I expected it to be.

For the record REAPER runs far far better than S1.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire : 09-03-2013 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Cuz like... I have a decent laptop. Good mobile i5, 700 price tag etc... and it buckles under the pressure of my studio one sessions.

Interesting.

My 5 year old HP with a Core 2 Duo and 4 GB of RAM could run ~30 tracks with several plugins on each one without issue. It finally died a few months ago and I've been in the market for a new laptop, but I have a problem buying a new PC, because none of the manufacturers put Thunderbolt on them (at least for a decent price), and I don't want to be forced into using a USB interface with it. Thunderbolt is the way of the future, I don't understand why PC manufacturers haven't embraced it the way that Apple has...
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:07 PM   #9
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A Haswell based Core i5 or i7 is more than enough for modern recording (The processor number is in the 4000 range). They're roughly a 10% performance boost from the previous generation laptops. I'd get one with as large of hard drive as you can get and as much ram as you can get. There are some solid deals going on right now with good laptops going for under $800 for an i7 that'll keep you going for years.

As far as performance, I picked up one of the MSI GT-70s (Gaming laptop) and the processor handles everything I've thrown at it from games to 3D modeling to audio recording.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Yeah...no.

Interesting.

Please, explain yourself so that TS knows all the pros and cons.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:34 PM   #11
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^ It's quite simply the same old "Mac vs PC" argument. People don't buy Macs because they need them. They buy them because they want them.

You can record perfectly well on a PC. People do it all the time. To recommend that a person needs a Mac anything to record with is nonsense.

I'm guessing the problem with ChemicalFire's laptop is the same as what anyone (almost) would experience when recording with a laptop. Most laptops have hard drives that spin at 5400 RPM. Not because they're crappy laptops, but because a drive that spins at 7200 RPM will kill off a battery in no time flat. 5400 represents a good compromise between battery life and drive access.

Except the speed of your drive will determine how many tracks you can record and play back at the same time.

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Old 09-19-2013, 09:27 PM   #12
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What about touch screen laptops, that are becoming more popular, will you be able to use that feature with DAW? I think it would be pretty cool.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #13
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What about touch screen laptops, that are becoming more popular, will you be able to use that feature with DAW? I think it would be pretty cool.

You mean actual laptops with touchpads? Or iPads? Either way, using the touchscreen to move the sliders is neat, but gimmicks like that should take a backseat to processing power. Bells and whistles are useless if they sound crackly from all the buffer underruns. And popularity ain't got sh!t to do with it. If popularity was everything, we'd all have traded our guitars in for MIDI controllers and MPCs.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:07 AM   #14
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What about touch screen laptops, that are becoming more popular, will you be able to use that feature with DAW? I think it would be pretty cool.


Pretty much everything Cav said and most DAWs don't support touchscreen really well except Cakewalk's Sonar. Besides, why spend extra money for a touchscreen laptop when you can pick up a control surface or MIDI Keyboard that'll let you do everything a touchscreen would and more.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:15 PM   #15
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^ It's quite simply the same old "Mac vs PC" argument. People don't buy Macs because they need them. They buy them because they want them.

You can record perfectly well on a PC. People do it all the time. To recommend that a person needs a Mac anything to record with is nonsense.

It's not really about Mac VS PC as much as Mac OS VS Windows.
I suggested a mac because macs have Mac OS on them and they are designed to work with it and they have (some had) stock firewire ports.

A PC with a decently working Mac OS on it would be about as much as good in my opinion.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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Get outta here with that proprietary OS shit, son. It's all about Linux.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:03 PM   #17
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Work well with what?

Don't throw that "iOS is better for creative stuff" crap out on us, have more self respect than that.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Don't throw that "iOS is better for creative stuff" crap out on us, have more self respect than that.


This.

The only difference between a Mac and a Windows PC is the operating system. In every other respect they use the same components. If Dell started selling computers with their own exclusive custom distro of Unix called 'Dell OS', it'd be no different to what Apple sell these days.

So please please don't buy a computer on the strength that 'Apple = better'. They tend to have pretty nice build quality and good parts, but on the downside they're considerably more expensive than a typical Windows/Linux system using identical parts. So if you really like OSX, it's all gravy. If you're happy using Windows there's basically no reason to change to an OS with less software and hardware support.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:59 PM   #19
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The reason Macs are considered "better" in some circles isn't because of anything great inside of them, or even the build quality, either. It's because Apple only uses specific parts in their computers and thus only develops their OS to officially support these parts. What that means is, many software suites have much less bugs on OSX, because there aren't a billion hardware configurations out there that can run it.

Personally, I like both OSs and use both daily, just like I like iOS and Android. I haven't played around with Linux much at all, but that's really only because most of the software I use isn't supported on it, so it doesn't make sense for me to use it.

That being said, I find myself missing more and more features that are built into OSX when I go home and log into my PC. Most are just convenience factors that really don't make a huge difference in how I use either one... but that still doesn't keep me from missing the features.

TBH - If I were to go with a new LAPTOP right now, it'd be a Macbook Air or nothing else. Until a developer comes out with a Windows 8 convertible with decent specs and a practical battery life of more than 4 hours, that doesn't cost a fortune, Windows isn't even an option for me as a portable device. For a desktop, I don't think that I'd ever buy a Mac.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:15 PM   #20
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I was half kidding about the Linux thing. If we're talking about the quality of the OS itself, then, havin worked extensively with all three, I'd take Linux, which might just be my hobbyist talking. It's reliable and customizable, and updates are insanely fast. But software compatibility is the deal breaker, at least unless I can get FL running in Wine.
Mac OS has a reputation as a "creative" OS partly because of what it comes with out of the box; iMovie/GarageBand/etc. But let's not kid ourselves, that's mostly geared at home users who feel the need to put together a jam session or AMV or whatever. The next level of creative software is mostly Windows-ready too.
That, and it's kind of a self perpetuating stereotype that "arty" people use Apple.
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