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Portable Laptop for recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by nathan, May 1, 2006.


  1. nathan

    nathan

    Jul 16, 2004
    I'm looking for a good laptop to get that i can use to record music with. Preferably, one that could do stuff with live shows, plus me and my friends recording onto it and using it to mix our stuff.

    I was thinking some type of Apple ibook or powerbook or something like that. Does anybody have any suggestions?
     
  2. youre certainly on the right track with a powerbook... cant go wrong there, although any beefy PC laptop should provide the results youre looking foor.

    the main problem with buying a laptop at a store is all the extraneous software that comes preloaded on it. Strip a powerful laptop down to the bare essentials and you should have what you want. Find something with firewire for sure since most people use firewire interfaces with their laptops. stay away from usb, nothing but potential trouble there. A little research into what brands have the fastest harddrives and the best shock absoption wouldnt hurt as well.

    basically if you can afford it, go with a nice powerbook.
     
  3. DougP

    DougP

    Sep 4, 2001
    i'd suggest a Powerbook as well (but i am biased). setting up a PC laptop requires too much effort. The powerbooks come with fullsize 6-pin firewire ports.

    and definitely get the fastest hard drive (7200rpm) if you can.
     
  4. I've tried PC laptops and recently switched to Mac. I'd suggest one of the newer macbook pro and a bus powered firewire interface. I'm using mine with a Presonus firebox and the combo ROCKS!
     
  5. spindizzy

    spindizzy

    Apr 12, 2004
    Michigan
    I'm having good results from a dual processor Dell laptop with a EMU-1616M interface and 2 gig of RAM. The performance got even better when I added a firewire external hard disk with 300 gig capacity. I also use a Mac sometime with other software and hardware configuration and have also had good result. I think it is important that you stick to platforms you are familiar with so if you know Mac focus on Mac, if you know PC you can get them to work too. If you don't know either its a tougher decision but Mac for audio, particularly if you are eventually going the Pro Tools route is probably better supported for audio production.

    The previous suggestion about running as little in the background and having only the software you need for audio production loaded is a good one. I had more problems recording before I purge everything but the essentials off my laptop PC.
     
  6. Powerbooks are a good choice, but feel too delicate to me. I have an older iBook made of polycarbonate, and it's really sturdy. It's been dropped and still was working. Marks and scuffs on it are hardly noticeable compared with the titanium ones because it's white and plastic. Just a thought.

    The purchase of a laptop is constantly a balancing act. You have to weigh up what you need now, to what you might require in the future. My iBook is a 2001 dual usb, a little ageing now, but it can still deliver when it counts. Decide what you want to do live and purchase accordingly. A nice iBook with a Firewire interface will cost less than a new P'book and that is certainly worth considering.

    Unfortunately it's an uncertain time to by a laptop from Mac, what with the move over to Intel chips and all. It might be better to hold back a while. A release of a major upgrade like the intel chips will always generate massive product out flow from Apple.
     
  7. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I've been using laptops for recording and DAW work for years now, the first being a PIII/500 Dell Inspiron 3500 and the latest being a Powerbook G4/1.67.

    All of them have worked fine, the only differences being stability (which depended entirely on the software) and number of plugins available. Even with the first computer I had enough CPU power to run all of the plugins I needed.

    My conclusion is that it doesn't really matter what it is as long as it's got a firewire drive with decent specs attached to it. The CPU really has little to do with the recording side of things.
     
  8. i have an ibook G4 and it really works well :)
    you could also get one of the intel apple laptops, they are very cool too!

    plus they come with garageband :)
     
  9. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    the new mac book pro looks sick check that out for sure
     
  10. jnightmare

    jnightmare

    May 12, 2004
    Carson, CA
    not to jack this thread, but im planning on getting a laptop and some recording equipment before i go off and study in japan for a year. now im still debating what type of recording hardware, i was wondering if you guys think getting a mbox2 along with a laptop would be a good setup. im really just going to do mostly individual recording and its more of a way for me to learn the recording process since i'll have lots of free time on my own out there. i looked at some m-audio equipment that looks promising, but from a more practical and economic point of view i can get a lot of software and what not with the mbox2 bundled together.

    or should i just go with some m-audio with m-powered protools? because then in the future i can always add more recording hardware for a at home stuido with a desktop?
     

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