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Laptop for live sound?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by chubfarm2001, Dec 18, 2012.


  1. chubfarm2001

    chubfarm2001 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Location:
    St. Marys, Ohio
    I am thinking of trying to put together a PA using my laptop as the mixer/effects module. I will be running all powered/active PA and monitor systems. I know I will need some sort of interface. Has anyone ever done this? Is it a good idea? Or should I just stick with using actual mixers and rack gear?
     
  2. rnarrington1

    rnarrington1

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Location:
    Fowlerville,Mi
    We just started using a 24 channel digital presonus board and we use and ipad to control the board.
     
  3. Big_Daws

    Big_Daws

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    stick with a mixer...that part you won't want on a laptop due to a number of factors ie:reliability, accessibility, and functionality.

    i would strongly suggest a digital console, or some kind of hybrid. for example...

    Behringer X32 retails at about 3000ish ~$200 these are a super good price. super good deal...
    Mackie DL1608 $1000 ~$100 ipad control only, and you have all FX and COMP that you need.

    and a lot of people here will recommend the Presonus products. personally in my experience, i have seen failures in the 2 of the 2 i have utilised. with the firewire and the control knobs. plus if you are picky with your sound you will find that it is a harsh sounding console. im not saying that it sounds bad, just harsh. now let all the presonus defending begin...lol
     
  4. F-Clef-Jef

    F-Clef-Jef

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Neenah, WI
    The MOTU CueMix looks to be a good option at this point. We were sorta throwing around the idea a few months back, thought it would be cool.
    We also, just this past weekend used Ableton Live just for our vocal effects, it works beautifully. Just a simple send/return from the mixer, and we used a little Akai Synthstation to control the effects parameters.
     
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  6. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
    My big rack runs around a motu hybird


    Unlike other options - it remembers settings from prior use

    Notes...

    1 I had to cable for trs
    2 I carry a spare analog mixer (never needed it)
    3
     
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
     
  8. rnarrington1

    rnarrington1

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Location:
    Fowlerville,Mi
    I wont defend our presonus board as its too new to us, but I will say that we have yet to have a problem controling it with an ipad......... (god i hope we dont have problems with the new board) :confused:
     
  9. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
    Every challenge I've had we're operators learning on the job
     
  10. rnarrington1

    rnarrington1

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Location:
    Fowlerville,Mi
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I would advise that if a mixing board does the trick, don't make life more complicated. Computers are great, but they crash and have problems at the worst possible times.

    Consider: they only fail when you're using them, and you're only using them when you're playing a gig, so the result is that the computer WILL crash during a gig.

    Just because something is technically possible does NOT always mean it's a good idea.
     
  12. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Sadowsky, Bag End, Visual Sound, Pedaltrain, George L
    Actually a lot of pros have started useing OS based consoles. These can be controls from a Laptop, iPad and in somecases even an iPhone. Sometimes they'll use a WIFI contected console because that's what the FOH engineer is used to and prefers.

    The band I work for now uses the Mackie DL1608 with 2 iPads contected one for Mon the other for house.
     
  13. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
    Some units do all the settnigs and recall directly from the unit.

    Many road and touring acts use this as their primary monitor mixing solution.
     

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