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Laptop for live sound?

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

  1. chubfarm2001

    chubfarm2001 Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2010
    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. We just started using a 24 channel digital presonus board and we use and ipad to control the board.
  3. 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


    Nov 13, 2006
    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.
  5. My big rack runs around a motu hybird

    Unlike other options - it remembers settings from prior use


    1 I had to cable for trs
    2 I carry a spare analog mixer (never needed it)
  7. 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:
  8. Every challenge I've had we're operators learning on the job
  9. WORD!!
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.