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  • FIRST POST
    • chaucer
    • By chaucer 16th Apr 10, 10:20 AM
    • 258Posts
    • 13Thanks
    chaucer
    laptop wanted: good for use with audio interface to record multi-track guitar
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 10, 10:20 AM
    laptop wanted: good for use with audio interface to record multi-track guitar 16th Apr 10 at 10:20 AM
    Like the title says really ...

    I'm very out of touch with the latest specs and what is a good price.

    I want a laptop that is good to run as a 2nd computer in the house for general use.

    I want to be able to connect some sort of usb device (either an audio interface such as E-MU 0202 or maybe a usb mic) to record guitar (either from a line-out of my amp if using an audio interface or through the mic in front of my amp).

    My recording software will be either audacity or reaper.

    I also want to sync the audio with video so it might be good if the laptop has a decent video editing software (Ihave moviemaker on my PC).

    Any finished vids will be transferred to external HDD for storage so the size of the laptop HDD does not need to be enormous for storage long term.

    Budget is the key ... I am not fussed about having the best graphics and won't be gaming ... so I'm hoping that the price can be kept pretty low ... basically as low as is reasonable to get what I want.

    Many thanks in advance.

Page 1
    • bingo bango
    • By bingo bango 16th Apr 10, 11:22 AM
    • 2,513 Posts
    • 1,696 Thanks
    bingo bango
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:22 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:22 AM
    I'd have thought that pretty much any laptop would fit the bill for what you want, but you say in the thread title that you want multi - track recording, and in the post you say you use Audacity which is stereo tracks only.

    Which is it? If you use something more powerful like Reason then I would suggest a multi core processor as there lots of associated concurrent threads running with something like it. Audacity will run on just about everything.
    • $&*"($&(
    • By $&*"($&( 16th Apr 10, 11:36 AM
    • 4,161 Posts
    • 7,532 Thanks
    $&*"($&(
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:36 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:36 AM
    in the thread title that you want multi - track recording, and in the post you say you use Audacity which is stereo tracks only.

    Which is it?
    Originally posted by bingo bango
    Audacity will do multitrack recording.

    Reaper though it a more sensible option.

    A decent processor, 3gb of RAM and preferably a speedy hard disk (7200 rpm) will be best but most importantly you should tweak it for recording. You need to make sure priority is given to background processes and turn off various things. Best advice can be found in the stickies in the Sound on Sound PC forum and some of their articles.
    • chaucer
    • By chaucer 16th Apr 10, 11:39 AM
    • 258 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    chaucer
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:39 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:39 AM
    Thank you

    ... you say in the thread title that you want multi - track recording....
    Originally posted by bingo bango
    by that I mean to record one track, then record over it again and build up mutli-tracks ... if audacity can't cope then I'll use reaper or similar


    ...pretty much any laptop would fit the bill ....
    Originally posted by bingo bango
    so no special spec to look for?

    in that case ... I really do want the price to be as low as is reasonable so would love some suggestions ...

    new or refurb would be ok
    • chaucer
    • By chaucer 16th Apr 10, 11:41 AM
    • 258 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    chaucer
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:41 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:41 AM
    Thanks

    ... but most importantly you should tweak it for recording. You need to make sure priority is given to background processes and turn off various things.
    Originally posted by grahawk
    can you be a little more specific as to what things please?

    Best advice can be found in the stickies in the Sound on Sound PC forum and some of their articles.
    Originally posted by grahawk
    thanks - I've not visited there so will have a look
    • bingo bango
    • By bingo bango 16th Apr 10, 11:50 AM
    • 2,513 Posts
    • 1,696 Thanks
    bingo bango
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:50 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:50 AM
    Audacity will do multitrack recording.

    Reaper though it a more sensible option.

    A decent processor, 3gb of RAM and preferably a speedy hard disk (7200 rpm) will be best but most importantly you should tweak it for recording. You need to make sure priority is given to background processes and turn off various things. Best advice can be found in the stickies in the Sound on Sound PC forum and some of their articles.
    Originally posted by grahawk
    News to me! Mind you, I haven't actually used it for anything other than stereo tracks (and that was a while ago) so that may explain why.
    • $&*"($&(
    • By $&*"($&( 16th Apr 10, 11:56 AM
    • 4,161 Posts
    • 7,532 Thanks
    $&*"($&(
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:56 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 10, 11:56 AM

    can you be a little more specific as to what things please?
    Originally posted by chaucer
    It's things like anti vius, the internet connection, indexing, screen savers hardware polling (?) where things in Windows keep checking for drives and other things. All this sort of thing can interfere. I have forgotten the exact things but you'll find info on Sound on Sound.

    Tweakheadz is also a good source of info.

    http://tweakheadz.com/index.html

    The background processes thing made the biggest difference for me.
    • chaucer
    • By chaucer 18th Apr 10, 9:07 AM
    • 258 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    chaucer
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 10, 9:07 AM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 10, 9:07 AM
    bumping with a supplementary question

    would a netbook be any good for my needs?

    and if so should I look for xp or win7?

    I really want to spend on a budget as I still need to buy an audio interface etc and netbooks seem to cost less than laptops
  • Donnie
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 10, 9:17 AM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 10, 9:17 AM
    So what is your budget?
  • BLT
    bumping with a supplementary question

    would a netbook be any good for my needs?

    and if so should I look for xp or win7?

    I really want to spend on a budget as I still need to buy an audio interface etc and netbooks seem to cost less than laptops
    Originally posted by chaucer
    Netbooks are cheaper for a reason, their capabilities are far lower than the larger version. If I were to require a laptop for video editing I would avoid a netbook.
  • Leopard

    I love my little netbook. But, for what you want to achieve, using a netbook would be like trying to lap the Isle of Man TT course on a child's tricycle.
    • googler
    • By googler 18th Apr 10, 9:48 AM
    • 15,340 Posts
    • 10,094 Thanks
    googler
    It's things like anti vius, the internet connection, ...
    Originally posted by grahawk
    I would have thought the easy answer for a 2nd home-use PC like this is 'don't let it anywhere near the internet'
    • chaucer
    • By chaucer 18th Apr 10, 9:59 AM
    • 258 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    chaucer
    budget?

    well I'm hoping to get

    usb audio interface (emu 0202 or tascam us100 or similar)

    laptop

    [ optional mic (samson q1u co10 or similar) ]

    for about 400 or less if possible

    like I said earlier, refurb is ok ....
  • Donnie
    That leaves around 270 for the laptop. This MSI X410 is a possibility at 264. But keep an eye on the website for other possibilities.
    • chaucer
    • By chaucer 18th Apr 10, 2:04 PM
    • 258 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    chaucer
    thanks - it looks like it'll serve my needs ... is it okay-ish for the price ?

    ... I am not fussed about cutting edge ... just good enough

    I had a quick look at dell refurb ... they had some vostro laptops for about 280-300 inc vat/delivery ... and I assume they would be good enough for my needs too
  • Donnie
    Don't see why not. Dell Outlet.

    Look out for what is missing that you may need later. Likely missing; HDMI output, camera, card reader, Bluetooth....
  • popejimbo
    If you're getting an older laptop, have you considered using a Linux operating system? Older hardware runs faster and smoother on Linux distros simply because they are less resource hungry than Windows operating systems. Just as an example, right now I'm using a 12 year old computer with a version called Puppy Linux on it, and it runs almost as fast as my big computer, which has 6GB of RAM and is a quad core. I have both Windows 7 and a well known Linux distro called Ubuntu(10.04-Lucid Lynx) on my big computer, and although it has no problems running Win 7 fast and efficiently, Ubuntu is much faster. Another benefit of Ubuntu is ALL the software is completely free and there's no need for anti-virus software, so if you're on a budget that's a huge plus. There is even a version of Ubuntu written especially for multimedia stuff called Ubuntu Studio so google it and you'll get all the info you'll need.

    Anyway, hope this suggestion is helpful. You may as well look into it because it won't cost you anything, and if its no good for you, you lost nothing If you have any questions feel free to email me: 96keelingj666@gmail.com. I'm not a computer expert or anything, but I have been using Linux long enough to answer basic stuff. If you need any advanced info, there is a huge Ubuntu online community who are helpful and will answer any question really. Well good luck
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