#1
If I were to buy this laptop....HERE....

And have:

-Sony Sound Forge
-IK Multimedia Sample Tank
-Audioease Altiverb

...on that laptop, would I have a good recording/musicmaking laptop?

Are the specs of the laptop good enough?

I know from reading this forum I would need a new soundcard (link to a suitable option please!), but would I be pretty much set or what else would I need?

Thanks!
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#2
your going to want to get a better sound card and get rid of vista and put xp on there because vista is very picky and it would only cause you trouble
#4
Quote by sexothemonkee
your going to want to get a better sound card and get rid of vista and put xp on there because vista is very picky and it would only cause you trouble



in what way is vista picky?? do you mean some hardware/software doesnt use vista yet?

or do you generally mean vista is a poor operating sytem? I have vista on my desktop computer and it WAS horrible until some of the newer updates about 5 months ago and until i tweaked it for better performance and not an overall "pleasant" thing to look at...

if you follow?
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#6
OK so the only complaint im getting from you guys is the operating system? Im not much of a tech-head, but from what you guys have said there doesnt seem to be any reason it NEEDS to be XP and not Vista?

Aside from it being XP, are the specs good enough for making music and recording etc.?

I have a Fostex 16track recorder already, so going the computer-recording route isnt necessary for me. I just think it will be a useful asset, as I will be doing all recording myself and I cannot play drums either. Thoughts?
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#7
Vista is a pain in the balls for older hardware and software. Half of it just simply doesn't work. If you want Vista, make sure you know what interface you're getting and that it works properly with Vista.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
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Digitech Bad Monkey
Electro Harmonix Big Muff
Ernie Ball VP Junior 250k
Dunlop Cry Baby Wah
#8
-Sony Sound Forge
-IK Multimedia Sample Tank
-Audioease Altiverb


thats what i can get, but the Audioease Altiverb doesnt work with vista, so I can give that a miss I guess...

So with the other 2 programs (vista compatible!), a good quality soundcard and the necessary wires/leads, Ill be good to go.....riiiiiiiight?

Again are the specs of the computer good enough for all this? Will I have latency issues (dont know what that is but have seen the term numerous times before here ) or any other issues??

Any other programs or hardware that are highly recommended? Assuming I WILL be getting Sound Forge and the IK Multimedia Sample Tank.
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#10
I know this post is massive, so if you read anything at all, then read the section below the red line!


Ok I looked at that thread and left it with the following info...
Quote by blue_strat
If you can, get a laptop with a 7200rpm hard drive - that's where the bottlenecking in recording happens. And you could get a laptop with 1GB of RAM, if you can then upgrade to 4GB (only costs £50 or so).

2GHz or more Intel Core 2 Duo is preferable too.

And if you can get it with XP instead of Vista, do.



and...

Quote by axemanchris
I can't imagine trying to record any more than a couple of tracks on a drive that spins less than 7200 rpm. However.... that extra drive speed is going to punch your batter *real* fast. Be prepared. Maybe consider a solid-state drive?

512 MB of RAM on an XP machine is totally adequate. That's what I have, and we did our album (songs upwards to 36 tracks of audio) on mine. Gigs of RAM are nice if you're working with a lot of samples and stuff, but for just plain ol' recording.... nah.

CT



So can I take it that these kinds of specs are needed, and if you dont get them dont bother?

The whole 7200rpm harddrive thing....surely wont be needed in my case, as I will be only recording myself, one track at a time, MAYBE two at a time every once in a while.

Sorry for this thread being such a process, but theres really no point in me blowing money on a laptop and it turns out to be garbage for my needs so I appreciate the patience of you guys!

Also my aunt works in Dell (just assembly line though, but she can still get discounts etc.), so if I say "Hey ill need a laptop from scratch with X features, how much will that cost?", she can tell me.

OR

Get the laptop here like I said before http://www.perlico.com/products/dellvostro.aspx and find out from her how much it would cost to bring it up to recording-worthy specs.

So a list of what I need would be greatly appreciated from you lot

Id like to stay in the 350-450 euro price range as much as possible though.


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ALSO (just thought of this) would any stock laptop (like the one I linked to) be fine? Because I have a MTR, could I record any of my tracks on that, export the WAV file to the laptop and use Sound Forge for any tinkering and tweaks etc. and use IK Multimedia package to create other sounds, and use Sound Forge to combine the whole lot into a finished package?

Will this method be as hassle free as I have n00bishly described it?

This way I bypass recording direct to the laptop AND save myself some money and headaches?
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#11
Well, as long as you have enough RAM to operate the program, then that is probably a good plan. I would just record on the Fostex and then mix on the laptop

That way you can probably even get yourself some outboard gear instead of a sound card (suggest some good pre-amps and possibly a compressor) to improve the quality of your recordings into the Fostex.
#12
Seeing as the Fostex doesn't have digital in, anything you run from an external pre is still going to face the wrath of the native preamp and A/D conversion. You can live with such, but it could very well make any sort of external preamp purchase not worth the cost if you're only looking to improve quality.
#13
Quote by MrPillow
Seeing as the Fostex doesn't have digital in, anything you run from an external pre is still going to face the wrath of the native preamp and A/D conversion. You can live with such, but it could very well make any sort of external preamp purchase not worth the cost if you're only looking to improve quality.


Thats double-dutch to me

So you say a hardware pre-amp and/or compressor would most likely not be worth it due to the lack of digital in on the fostex?

But Sound Forge would be able to tidy up any tracks nicely anyway, so its not really important? Am I right or wrong?

also with the Sample Tank, what hardware do I need to hook up my Alesis Micron to the laptop so I can use the keys to trigger sounds on the Sampletank?
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

Last edited by buzz at Jun 24, 2008,
#14
I'm saying it would most likely not be worth the money, because the signal will still run through the lower quality components of the Fostex your mic normally would. You might notice a slight improvement in sound, but not enough to warrant any large ammount of money.
#15
Quote by buzz
But Sound Forge would be able to tidy up any tracks nicely anyway, so its not really important? Am I right or wrong?


Never rely solely on your sequencer to fix up tracks.
#16
Quote by MrPillow
I'm saying it would most likely not be worth the money, because the signal will still run through the lower quality components of the Fostex your mic normally would. You might notice a slight improvement in sound, but not enough to warrant any large ammount of money.


Ok cheers for that!


Quote by take_it_t
Never rely solely on your sequencer to fix up tracks.


yeah I know that, but I havent used compression or pre-amp with previous recording efforts anyway so.... im not gonna just throw garbage on sound forge and expect it to throw a diamond back at me

For the time being I still have one question, what do I need to hook up my Alesis Micron Synth to the laptop so that I can the keys of the Micron to trigger sounds with the SampleTank software?
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

Last edited by buzz at Jun 24, 2008,
#17
I was going to say a MIDI interface, such as the MIDISport, but it appears that there are no MIDI outs on the synth.

There isn't really a way to do this with the synth you have, I guess.

You could consider getting a cheapish M-Audio (or any other brand) MIDI controller (essentially a keyboard for using with MIDI on sampling/software synths), I guess. I think quite a few newer MIDI controllers have a direct USB out that eliminates the need for an interface between the keyboard and computer. Then you'd just need the correct USB cable.

Something like the Keystation 49e or the Oxygen 8

Also, if the ins on your Fostex aren't that good (I don't even know that because I don't know what model it is), then a compressor will still help your sound if you know what you're doing. Maybe not so much the preamp, but a compressor is a very handy tool for those that know how to use one. Saves a lot of messing around with crappy software compressors (unless you have good software compressors, but they pretty much cost the same as good hardware compressors).

As for needing an Analog to Digital converter/vice versa, he said he could export WAV files from the machine, so that's not really a problem if the plan is to record on the machine and mix on the laptop.

Besides, who says digital ins are any better than analog ins? You never know, the A/D in the Fostex could be alright. I just had a quick look, I'm guessing for the moment that the machine in question is the MR16HD, which has to have at least reasonable converters. The website also says that there are optical (didital) ins (although I don't see them on the machine, as I can only find top views).

Anyway, I could be wrong about the machine.
#18
Quote by fleaflicker182
I was going to say a MIDI interface, such as the MIDISport, but it appears that there are no MIDI outs on the synth.

There isn't really a way to do this with the synth you have, I guess.

You could consider getting a cheapish M-Audio (or any other brand) MIDI controller (essentially a keyboard for using with MIDI on sampling/software synths), I guess. I think quite a few newer MIDI controllers have a direct USB out that eliminates the need for an interface between the keyboard and computer. Then you'd just need the correct USB cable.

Something like the Keystation 49e or the Oxygen 8

As for needing an Analog to Digital converter/vice versa, he said he could export WAV files from the machine, so that's not really a problem if the plan is to record on the machine and mix on the laptop.

Besides, who says digital ins are any better than analog ins? You never know, the A/D in the Fostex could be alright. I just had a quick look, I'm guessing for the moment that the machine in question is the MR16HD, which has to have at least reasonable converters. The website also says that there are optical (didital) ins (although I don't see them on the machine, as I can only find top views).

Anyway, I could be wrong about the machine.


Off the top of my head there are 2,if not 3 midi inserts on the Micron. Ill check what exactly they are when I go home.


If the Micron isnt suitable ill prob get the Keystation 49e or maybe one with less keys for portability purposes. Velocity sensitivity keys are a pretty important feature to have regardless of what I go for though yeah?

Thinking about it, if Ill need some hardware to get MIDI from the Micron I may just go with MIDI controller, if it can in fact be connected via USB. Seems the easier route...

EDIT: ok the Micron has MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, AND MIDI THRU. But I guess getting a MIDI controller with USB connectivity would still be the way to go. Is there any disadvantage to using MIDI controllers via USB?

Yes its the Fostex MR16 that I have, and I have pretty much settles on recording tracks (vocals,guitar etc.) on that, importing the WAV file to the laptop then. And using the Sample Tank for synth stuff, then mix the lot on Sound Forge.

So with all that ill be pretty much good to go? Am I forgetting anything?

Since ill not be directly recording onto the Laptop would you suggest getting a Laptop with a RAM of 1024mb or 2048mb? If the higher RAM is only really important for for direct recording then ill be more than happy to save a bit of money and go for 1024mb RAM


WOW Ive actually learnt SO much from you guys in this thread, THANK YOU!
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

Last edited by buzz at Jun 25, 2008,
#19
please....? its very urgent!
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

#20
This thread is going over so many things....probably more than it should.
So here are some short answers to what I feel is imrportant.

1) If vista is on a machine like that you'll be running very slow. Switch to XP and upgrade to 2GB of ram since it only has 1GB now.
The problem with vista is that you dont have many hardware choices since the drivers are picky...

2) Get yourself an audio interface. Whats your budget and what instruments are you giong to record?


3) Look though Tweaks guide in my sig.


4) If you have a frostex recorder, thats a nice little piece for ideas (I have the small 8 track CF unit myself and like it) but I also enjoy the way PC editing works. you can move tracks around and work on a nice large screen. Also theres more features with a PC setup. More inputs if you get a nice interface, better quality preamps, and MIDI support.

5) I run a stock Acer Aspire T180 laptop with vista and 1GB ram and it does lag a little when you get more than 10 tracks down but it does work well even though it's stock.

6) If you want to use MIDI, either get an interface with on board MIDI or get a USB/MIDI cord like the E-MU 1x1.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jun 25, 2008,
#21
Quote by moody07747
This thread is going over so many things....probably more than it should.
So here are some short answers to what I feel is imrportant.

1) If vista is on a machine like that you'll be running very slow. Switch to XP and upgrade to 2GB of ram since it only has 1GB now.
The problem with vista is that you dont have many hardware choices since the drivers are picky...

2) Get yourself an audio interface. Whats your budget and what instruments are you giong to record?


3) Look though Tweaks guide in my sig.


4) If you have a frostex recorder, thats a nice little piece for ideas (I have the small 8 track CF unit myself and like it) but I also enjoy the way PC editing works. you can move tracks around and work on a nice large screen. Also theres more features with a PC setup. More inputs if you get a nice interface, better quality preamps, and MIDI support.

5) I run a stock Acer Aspire T180 laptop with vista and 1GB ram and it does lag a little when you get more than 10 tracks down but it does work well even though it's stock.

6) If you want to use MIDI, either get an interface with on board MIDI or get a USB/MIDI cord like the E-MU 1x1.



OK firstly thanks for the help, but your first and fifth points COMPLETELY conflict with each other from what I can make of it....? You say to get a 2GB RAM yet you only have 1GB RAM. My next paragraph explains that my methods of recording wont be very computer resource intensive, but I can see why a 2GB RAM would be much better, but my point is this: is it really needed for what I will be doing? (read below)

I wont be direct recording vocals or guitar or anything like that onto the laptop. They will be done on the Fostex, and ill transfer the WAV files to the laptop then. That way I can edit/cut and paste tracks/whatever on Sound Forge. Pretty much for the reasons you state in point 4, ease of use etc..

As far as I can make out a craptastic laptop could handle that.

BUT I WILL...
be recording stuff on IK Multimedia Sample Tank on the laptop using Sound Forge. So will I be fine with 1GB RAM for this entire scenario?

EDIT: Just to clarify, its going to be Sony Sound Forge 9 I will be using which has multitrack editing etc. whereas previous versions didnt. As far as I know.

So with the E-MU 1x1 and a MIDI controller such as the Keystation ill be able to play/run Sample Tank? I wont need anything else right.

Tweaks Guide is good, Ive been looking through it for the last few days, hard to get through though.


Thanks for your help, I hope I didnt come across as being rude there. I just want to be 100% clear before committing to a purchase.
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

Last edited by buzz at Jun 26, 2008,
#22
If there are MIDI outs on your keyboard, then you can use the E-MU as an interface to run into your laptop through USB.

Then you don't need to worry about getting a new MIDI controller and can spend that money on more RAM, although if you run XP the 1GB RAM should suffice for just mixing and MIDI synth stuff.
#23
Quote by fleaflicker182
If there are MIDI outs on your keyboard, then you can use the E-MU as an interface to run into your laptop through USB.

Then you don't need to worry about getting a new MIDI controller and can spend that money on more RAM, although if you run XP the 1GB RAM should suffice for just mixing and MIDI synth stuff.


cool! good point actually.

Im almost finished wrecking your guys mental state! so is the processor very important for my use of the laptop? for example...

Intel® Celeron® Processor 540 (1.86 GHz, 1 MB L2 Cache, 533 MHz FSB)

with a 2GB RAM

with VISTA (gonna stick with Vista guys!)

would that be fine?

the laptop will be solely for internet usage and the music related stuff i have already said, so i can tweak its settings so it emphasis is less about "lookin pretty" and more about working better.

also a 13.3" screen is fine too?


THANKS AGAIN
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders