#1
I am going to uni soon, if I am admitted and all goes well, I am to begin my higher education at around September of this year. I will be going abroad (to the Netherlands, I live in Bulgaria currently) and I am going to be investing in a laptop soon. This laptop will basically be my go to computer for at least the next 4 years or something, which I will be using for my university work and for leisure. What I would like to be able to use it for is recording as well. I use Live and usually hook up my bass, my electric and my acoustic (it has a Fishman preamp) either through my Zoom b2.1u or my Fender Mustang 1 (1st edition) and tweak it with Live. Or I just use a cheap microphone for acoustic stuff. In the future I am probably going to invest in more gear, specifically a small mixer, so I can record with other people, a better microphone and possibly a looper. Ideally If I am looking for something which can be able to have several things plugged into it at once and not lag or crash.

What kind of specs should I be looking at with recording in mind? I imagine I am going to need quite a bit of RAM, but what else should I be looking out for? Anybody have experience with this? For now I can't set a price, since I haven't browsed through online catalogs or so on and have no specific model in mind.

Thanks.
#2
People seem to swear by MacBooks for good quality recording, if you can find a cheaper one then that'd be great.
That's all i know though, hopefully you'll get some more expert advice from someone else
#3
RAM isn't a significant factor in computer performace just make sure it has at least 4gb. Although not adept at using laptops for audio recording, i am a pc geek and am also currently in first year university. The first factor for your laptop is screen size (usually size is not a factor on price so it comes down to preference.) If you are using your pc in class (which i dont advice particularly) then go no bigger than 14". I myself got a 15.6 inch screen as its portable enough to take to the library and whatnot but also big enough to do projects and watch movies comfortably. Without a price range the specs are hard to do. Hardrives should be to your own liking as size depends on user, i myself never seem to use more than 250gb cause i like to keep my pc clean. A processor is your biggest performance factor, I recommend an intel i5 (try to find the haswell gen, they are the newest and are better on battery) it will be powerful enough to do any school related or casual computer use. If you give a price range I can help alot more! As to the previous post macs are great pcs and good for recording but their is a premium for the apple name.
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#4
The one thing to look for is a beats by Dre soundsystem. They are a bit newer, so hard to find, but straight cash if you get one going.
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#5
On the contrary to what 95thFallout said, the things you need is lots of RAM and a good processor, preferably an Intel i7 Quad or more. As for RAM, I believe you can do with 8GB, but once you get the mixer for recording more channels, you're probably gonna need 16GB. For the recording part you won't be needing a superb graphics card or sound card, because you'll be using the recording interface as sound card and well, obviously you don't need good graphics for sound.
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#9
Despite what was posted by the computer geek in a prior post you do need RAM. The more the better. For what you are doing you will also need a very good sound card. With a good sound card and more RAM you will not experience any lag (latency) while playing through your rig and while recording.

Anything that requires real-time operating, (Sound, video, voice) needs RAM to operate effectively.

You can get a Mac Book Pro and get most of what you need or you can spend half the price and get a windows based computer that will do every thing the Macbook will do except take more money out of your wallet. Apples are nice but they are no better or worse than PC's, except the outrageous prices for Apples...And that they are not very good for gaming.

Here is what you need for a laptop capable of doing what you want:

Intel i5 or higher processor. The faster the better. Speed is measured in gHz and anything less than 2.5 ghz is not worth your time, for what you want it for. Try to find a processor faster than 3 ghz.

Top-notch sound card. the more RAM on the card the better.

If you choose a PC try to get it with Windows 7 Pro. I would recommend Windows XP but Microsoft has announced they are no longer going to support it with updates. You can get Windows 8 because it is pretty but there are driver issues with it for sound and video. 7 is XP based 8 is based on...crap.

If you get a Windows system it should be 64 bit. Dunno if 7 comes in 32. With 64 you will be able to get, or add up to 16 GB or RAM. The more RAM (horsepower) the faster.

Hard drive: Music/sound/video takes a lot of memory. Most laptops can be had with 500+ Gigs of HD. Many can be had with 750G hard drive and a 150 or 250 gig solid state HD. If you can get a SSHD then get it for its near instantaneous file retrieval. This will help keep latency down to a minimum, along with the RAM and sound card.

If you have a fair amount you are willing to spend I would recommend a gaming laptop. Most will come with windows 7 pro, have a ton of storage ( up to 1 terabyte), a SSHD for gaming, a top of the line sound card and between 8-16 GB or RAM. They will also have a real hot i5 processor (2.75ghz or higher) or a hot i7 (over 3 ghz speed). If you like to game they will also have a 1-2 GB RAM vid card which is good too. The vid card will also help with video viewing.

MSI makes real good gaming laptops: http://us.msi.com/

Alienware/Dells are good gaming laptops too but MSI's are cheaper.

Good luck
#10
Since people are still posting here...I'm going to answer here...

Quote by Basti95
People seem to swear by MacBooks for good quality recording, if you can find a cheaper one then that'd be great.

Most people who use MacBooks for recording aren't recording guitar, bass, using a ton of VSTs, etc. So, yes...it is doable. BUT you probably will end up paying a ton for a one that is good enough quality to handle recording well.

Quote by 95thFallout
RAM isn't a significant factor in computer performace just make sure it has at least 4gb.

This is NOT true. More RAM means that things go faster. (As a "computer geek", you really need to research why. I'm not going to explain here what has been taught to me in 2 computer science courses on operating systems and memory.) But, beyond 16GB, it doesn't tend to matter. (You'll never use more than that.) For a laptop, I would recommend between 4 and 8GB of RAM. 4GB is standard. Also, since you'd have 4GB, make sure you get a 64-bit operating system.

A processor is your biggest performance factor, I recommend an intel i5 (try to find the haswell gen, they are the newest and are better on battery)
AMD also makes very good 6 core processors. Intel processors tend to be over-priced. However, if TS buys a stock laptop (rather than getting one custom-made via a website), he may be stuck with an Intel processor.


Quote by henrihell
On the contrary to what 95thFallout said, the things you need is lots of RAM and a good processor, preferably an Intel i7 Quad or more.

I would just recommend a 6 core processor. You could get an 8core, if you want. But a good quality 6core processor should do recording quite well.

As for RAM, I believe you can do with 8GB, but once you get the mixer for recording more channels, you're probably gonna need 16GB.

Laptops with more than 8GB of RAM tend to be very expensive. Think Alienware gaming PC expensive. If one is going to have more 8GB of RAM, one might as well build a desktop.

Personally, for recording, I would recommend a desktop anyway...but that's not what TS asked for.

Quote by gp2112
Despite what was posted by the computer geek in a prior post you do need RAM. The more the better. For what you are doing you will also need a very good sound card. \

As has been mentioned before, soundcard isn't a consideration. If TS wants to get the best recording sound possible, he will buy a good quality recording interface.

The way recording interfaces work is that they have the correct impedence to match guitars/basses/mics. (Standard line-in ports don't, which results in a bad guitar/bass tone.) And they actually take over from the stock sound card, while you are recording. Plugging your guitar/bass into a line-in port can damage the line-in port. See this thread for stuff about recording interfaces:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1541771
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Mar 13, 2014,
#11
Quote by 95thFallout
RAM isn't a significant factor in computer performace just make sure it has at least 4gb. Although not adept at using laptops for audio recording, i am a pc geek and am also currently in first year university.


Utter tripe. Not only is RAM a crucial component in system performance, it's also the most inexpensive upgrade you can make when considering bang for your buck.

Given the prices, there's little reason to have less than 8gb, and for many systems 16gb is only another $60-70.
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#12
As has been mentioned before, soundcard isn't a consideration. If TS wants to get the best recording sound possible, he will buy a good quality recording interface.

The way recording interfaces work is that they have the correct impedence to match guitars/basses/mics. (Standard line-in ports don't, which results in a bad guitar/bass tone.) And they actually take over from the stock sound card, while you are recording. Plugging your guitar/bass into a line-in port can damage the line-in port. See this thread for stuff about recording interfaces:


I stand corrected. My experience is in gaming so sound cards are where my experience lies. Thanks for the clarification.
#13
That sounds like a fun experience. You should form a band there when you have time and give it a fun name, like The Shrieking Backlash, The Onslaught, or the Local Torment.
Goooood luck!
#14
Quote by gp2112
I stand corrected. My experience is in gaming so sound cards are where my experience lies. Thanks for the clarification.

No worries.