Advice on laptop for "play only" gigasampler setup.
I would like to know what would be reasonable specs for a laptop to be used only for playing piano samples. I will be using the original Gigasampler (or Gigasampler LE) + Gigapiano. (Today. I am planning to buy East-West Steinway B library later on.)
I do not need to create my own samples, make complex layered sounds or edit the samples (except velocity profiles, etc.) 40 voices polyphony should be enough.
I am looking for something inexpensive and physically small, to put on top of a Roland RD-500 keyboard.
I would like the system to use whatever sound hardware the laptop has, but it is acceptable to use an external hard disk due to the high latency of many 2.5" laptop hard drives.
Re: Advice on laptop for "play only" gigasampler setup.
Most any laptop would work today. The main, odd requirement would be RAM. I'd go with Win98SE, 800MHz, 512MB, an external Firewire drive (I don't think W98 supported USB 2) and an Echo Indigo (if it supports W98). You will also need a MIDI input. A Midisport 1x1 should cover it.
So, in addition to W98SE, 800MHz and 512MB RAM you will want it to include Firewire and a PCMCIA slot. Should be pretty cheap, used.
Unfortunately, a laptop like that would have been high-end in its day, so it may be on the big side. Its battery will probably be shot too, but will have long enough life to act as a UPS.
Note that lots of high-end laptops come stuffed with junk-ware. You will probably need to spend a few hours doing uninstalls and minor tweaks to get it streamlined for audio.