#1
Hi guys I know this question is probably beaten to death, but I'm in the market for a new laptop whose main focus is going to be for recording. I'm currently thinking about switching to Macs because to be honest I'm tired of the unreliability issues I've had with laptops over the years.

Currently my recording setup consists of a firestudio mobile, krk monitor, 2 mics (one generic for micing speakers, can't remember the name of the other one), a rp500 that runs through a black heart half stack and I record using Studio One that came with the firestudio

One of the major problems I have with my current laptop setup is clipping ..... sometimes latency

My budget is around the price of a macbook pro and I need a laptop that has firewire ports or some sort of recommendation for a reliable usb 3.0 to firewire converter

Any and all help will be appreciated, also I will also be using this laptop for school so building a pc is out of the question and portability is a must
#2
Laptops are generally horrible for recordings.


You need a computer with a GOOD sound card
#3
Quote by Zeletros
Laptops are generally horrible for recordings.


You need a computer with a GOOD sound card

TS has an RP500 which has a USB interface. It's like an external sound card.
#4
Quote by hames jetfield
TS has an RP500 which has a USB interface. It's like an external sound card.



Then I don't see why he needs a new computer
#5
Quote by Zeletros
Then I don't see why he needs a new computer

probably isn't fast enough.

TS, important stuff for recording is Hard drive write speed, the amount of memory, and a reasonable amount of processor throughput.

Make sure you get a 7200RPM HDD or faster, or a Solid State drive if you have shit-tons of cash lying around (high capacity SSD's are absurdly expensive, a 600GB one is about $1000).

Which MBP? I'm guessing the 15.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220959 i7, 750GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB RAM (can be expanded, presumably, if need be, to 8GB). Fits your wants pretty decently, it's got a USB3.0 port.
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Last edited by oneblackened at Jul 9, 2011,
#6
I have a Macbook Pro and use it exclusively for recording purposes. Overall it works very efficiently. While having a desktop may be better in some respects, having a laptop is much more convenient if you need to move your studio set up or something. I have recorded in five different locations simply because I could move my computer and basic equipment around without hassle. I've never had a problem with lagging either when I am recording. On occasion I'll have some lag on a playback, but that is generally only when mixing a large mix (I'm talking 40 plus tracks).

I also like the Macbook Pro because it is more reliable than many Windows machines. In addition, through Bootcamp you can load up an extra Windows partition if you need any Windows-only programs (I use VSTs that are only on Windows).
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#7
I record with a laptop and it works fine. What you will need is an external soundcard. Therefore I use a simple Alesis USB multimix. If you don't want to record the next Bon Jovi single a aaptop and an external soundcard are enough. Sure, much money makes recording easier but if you start with recording, a good laptop is enough.
#8
Get the macbook pro and make sure to spring for the i5 or i7 processor. I have one and now I'm running two interfaces at a time into a CPU-heavy system with Waves plugins, and it doesn't even hiccup.

The problem is, the latency and clipping you're experiencing are 50% interface and 50% computer not having enough ram. Also, clipping sounds like it's just an issue you're having with running inputs too hot or something, unless you're not describing the problem accurately.

Good luck!

Edit: hey everyone telling him to get a soundcard, that's what the firestudio is! Presonus Firestudio is an 8 channel firewire interface, and it's a pretty great amateur box.
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Last edited by Sid McCall at Jul 9, 2011,
#9
Quote by Sid McCall

Edit: hey everyone telling him to get a soundcard, that's what the firestudio is! Presonus Firestudio is an 8 channel firewire interface, and it's a pretty great amateur box.


Yeah half the people that post in this area are kinda retarded these days lol

But really to be honest if you get a PC with the same specs as a Macbook Pro (obviously you can't get same exact hardware but CPU speed, RAM HDD speed) they are going to be pretty much the same and cheaper. I have never seen the big draw to Mac at all, besides maybe Logic. With that said have the VSTs and Synths I use don't work with mac and don't want to deal with dual booting.

I built a desktop last year (based on windows) and it never hiccups and I love it. Completely replaced my laptop. I even move my desktop place to place to record lol
Last edited by FireHawk at Jul 9, 2011,
#10
Quote by Zeletros
Laptops are generally horrible for recordings.


You need a computer with a GOOD sound card


I have an audio interface, that what the firestudio mobile is for, also the laptop I'm using now is not slow (it's a hp dv6xxx with 2gb of ram) but it's on its last legs, and tends to clip my recording 5 to 10 seconds in from time to time

Before I got the firestudio, I primarily used the rp500 as my interface with audacity and Fruity Loop w/o any of the problems I'm having now.

Either way I'm trying to get something with the least amount of problems and immediate purchases that I could use seamlessly with my current recording setup.

My current setup is
M-Audio Oxygen 25 v3 25-Key USB Keyboard MIDI Controller
PreSonus FireStudio Mobile FireWire Audio Interface
Studio Projects B1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
1 generic mic for micing cab
Digitech RP500
KRK monitor

Edit
The thing is at this point I've had enough with dealing with laptops, especially since I can't go out, buy the parts and build one for myself. That's why I would prefer if someone had another recommendation to contrast with mac pros, that is known for recording. If I knew for sure this would be my music making base for an extended period of time, I would build a pc instead but it's not.
Last edited by renk at Jul 9, 2011,
#11
if your getting random spikes you current cpu might not be fast enough ( have no idea your spec). Also are you using many VSTs cause this has an effect on how much RAM and CPU speed you need?
#12
I usually use two or three vsti
The main one is ezdrummer

I can't remember the exact processor right now but it's a dual core at ~2ghz

The reason I'm getting a new computer is because I've had two motherboard issues with it, and currently the lcd is all but given up ... While it would be cheaper to get a new lcd, I've simply resigned it to being a HTPC, which is what I primarily use it for now and get something else.

Also anyone have any other laptop recommendations, I'm hoping for one or two others that I can compare before I make my decision.
Last edited by renk at Jul 9, 2011,
#14
As far as PC's, Gateways are the best out-of-box units available. Can you build a better one? Absolutely, but you have to build it.

Acer sucks. Believe it or not Dell sucks (used to be good, but they have grown into a money-grubbing multinational and they are only good at pulling money out of your wallet - not so much at making computers.) E-Machines are absolute piles of dog crap!!

Either get the Mac, and deal with compatibility issues and an operating system that's written for stupid Americans, or buy a PC and deal with Windows (and more software that's written for idiots)

The hardware is solid, though.

I have lost my trackpad because I literally sweat on it, lol. I was doing some high death metal vocals and spitting and sweating all over my Mac (I know, I'm a stupid American, ha!), and the track pad went kablooey.

Have heard the trackpads are problematic and people have lost them who don't spit and drip sweat on their computers. I am suspicious that in my case my slightly-less-than-gentle use of the machine might have had something to do with my problem.

You might keep that in mind with your purchase. With PCs, if something breaks you can yank it and replace it. With Macs NOTHING is user serviceable because, remember, you are stupid and incapable of using a soldering iron.



Since we, the end users, are not intelligent enough to be at the "Genius Bar" we cannot yank a busted piece of hardware and insert a new, 100% identical one in its place. Jerks! I frakkin' hate the Genius Bar!
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Last edited by Bubonic Chronic at Jul 9, 2011,
#15
Quote by oneblackened
probably isn't fast enough.

TS, important stuff for recording is Hard drive write speed, the amount of memory, and a reasonable amount of processor throughput.

Make sure you get a 7200RPM HDD or faster, or a Solid State drive if you have shit-tons of cash lying around (high capacity SSD's are absurdly expensive, a 600GB one is about $1000).

Which MBP? I'm guessing the 15.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220959 i7, 750GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB RAM (can be expanded, presumably, if need be, to 8GB). Fits your wants pretty decently, it's got a USB3.0 port.


I completely missed the Asus link ...... I've heard nothing but good things about the company as well as Tosihiba and somewhat Lenovo ......
#16
Quote by Bubonic Chronic

Either get the Mac, and deal with compatibility issues and an operating system that's written for a median IQ of 82 (or if you're not offended by my saying it: STUPID, MORONIC AMERICANS!!!)


I guess all those pro level studios out there are full of stupid, moronic, American engineers then...

TS. I'm a mac guy, but I still have to admit that you can get a computer with just as good or better specs for a lot less if you go PC. That being said, I can't stand windows and would choose a mac any day over a PC, especially for recording. It's really up to you and your preference. If you go mac, I would suggest getting the absolute best macbook pro you can. I've got a regular ol' macbook and can very easily bog it down.
#17
Quote by sandyman323
I guess all those pro level studios out there are full of stupid, moronic, American engineers then...

Pretty much...
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#18
Quote by renk
Before I got the firestudio, I primarily used the rp500 as my interface with audacity and Fruity Loop w/o any of the problems I'm having now.

in that case, I don't see why you need a new laptop. Your computer config shouldn't make too much of a difference if you're using an external sound card. Try reinstalling the drivers.
#19
Every computer platform has its drawbacks.

Best would be Linux. Problem? Time. Do you really have hundreds of hours to invest in basically hack-programming your own OS to do exactly the job you want to optimize it to do?

Well, if you do particle physics research then maybe you do...

Macs are end-usery. That means the OS and software is geared towards your Mom. "Oh, neat, I can share photos of my cat on Facebook!" and that's essentially what they are designed for. They are, however, Linux-based and the professional studios (unless something has changed) in fact tweak SnowLeopard (or whatever OS) to suit their needs.

...SnowLeopard has been much maligned by the computer savvy as being more difficult to customize/optimize than previous OS's. For example if you are a trackball kind of guy and you don't want the stupid trackpad to interfere with your trackball you won't find the "turn off the damned trackpad" thing ANYWHERE in the trackpad preferences.

It's under "Universal Access"!!

Huh?

Last the PC: I would call the PC the "best of both worlds" because believe it or not Win7 >>> Vista, and even to some extent > XP (though XP is the most stable OS ever for PC.)

The weird thing is the PC got Mac-ified, and the Mac got PC-ified. Ten years ago Macs were better.

Now that SnowLeopard came out, and it might be compared to Mac's Vista (thought it's not quite THAT bad...), Win 7 is a vast improvement, where SL was kind of a step backwards.

Since the dawning of the age of iShit (Pads, Pods, Phones...) Macs have turned into "docking stations" for your iShit!!!

I don't have any iShit.
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#20
Quote by Bubonic Chronic

...SnowLeopard has been much maligned by the computer savvy as being more difficult to customize/optimize than previous OS's. For example if you are a trackball kind of guy and you don't want the stupid trackpad to interfere with your trackball you won't find the "turn off the damned trackpad" thing ANYWHERE in the trackpad preferences.


Have you tried simply plugging in a mouse? When I do that the trackpad automatically turns off...
#21
I got a Macbook Pro 15 inch for school and recording and I love it so far. Not only does it do a great job of recording, its just a great all around computer. I did get and upgraded hard drive when I bought mine and got 500GB and 7200 RPM's of ram. Like I said never had any problems with recording. It really does a great job and haven't had any latency issues.

Also just all around for school its great. Its fast and reliable which is what I wanted. No problems with mine so far just a great computer that I would defiantly recommend to you and you will not regret getting it.
#22
Alright, let me put the Mac Vs Pc laptop debate to rest with one simple observation of the gear.

FIREWIRE!

We all know the Macbook Pros have a firewire port on them. As for PC Laptops, its getting harder and harder to find a new laptop with decent specs on it with Firewire. Hell, Newegg doesn't have anything with Firewire.

So, as much as I hate saying this, if you wanna keep using your Firestudio, you're gonna have to get a mac laptop
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#23
Quote by lockwolf
So, as much as I hate saying this, if you wanna keep using your Firestudio, you're gonna have to get a mac laptop

or buy a converter
#24
Mac's are designed with nothing but recording and art stuff in mind, they make great recording computers, but alot of the free software you can find for PC's is lacking for Mac.

Asus is one of the best laptop brands in my opinion, they had motherboard issues in their early days with their laptops, but I think they got that problem solved.

All you really need is a laptop with a dual or quad processor, a good sound card, a fast hard drive with over 500 GB, 4GB or over of ram, and a decent interface to go with the laptop.

Doesn't matter what brand, that'll be up to what you like for OS systems.
#25
Quote by hames jetfield
or buy a converter


Ehh, the converters are meh at best
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#26
Quote by hames jetfield
or buy a converter

Focusrite beg to differ, and I trust them over you...

Link.

For the record, what on Earth makes you think you would get anything decent running a FW interface through a USB port? Apart from the computer not being designed to read it and not having correct drivers, the bandwidth of USB is roughly half that of FW (I believe I remember correctly) so anything above 4 tracks would be a nightmare for latency.
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#28
i would go with a macpro, they have good specs and it runs like a charm. perfect for audio.
#29
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Focusrite beg to differ, and I trust them over you...

Link.

For the record, what on Earth makes you think you would get anything decent running a FW interface through a USB port? Apart from the computer not being designed to read it and not having correct drivers, the bandwidth of USB is roughly half that of FW (I believe I remember correctly) so anything above 4 tracks would be a nightmare for latency.

USB 3.0
"Apart from the computer
not being designed to read it and not
having correct drivers"
That's what the converter is for.

Also, firewire PCI-E card counts as a converter too.
Btw, firestudio is fully compatible with windows. Check the official site.
Last edited by hames jetfield at Jul 9, 2011,
#30
Thanks for all the info so far. Does anyone know of any PCMIA cards that would be most/best compatible with firestudio? ....... I've been looking into this myself since I believe the issues I'm having with it now is due to compatibility issues with my laptop built in firewire
#31
Quote by hames jetfield
Also, firewire PCI-E card counts as a converter too.


No, not in the slightest. Besides, were talking Laptop, not Desktop. You cant shove a PCI-E card into a laptop.

My personal experience with FW to USB converters is meh at best. I've noticed latency issues. I'm a huge fan of reducing it as much as possible. You've got an extra box inbetween your interface and your PC. That device then has to convert the firewire signal to USB. There is going to be some extra latency added in because of the box. It may be minimal, it may be a lot.
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