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Topic: Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

  1. #1

    Exclamation Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

    I've been looking around and it seems that laptops are not the preferred method for making music with gigastudio. However, I need to be mobile as I'm off to live in another country and will be travelling lots so I don't have a choice.

    Is there a laptop that is suitable for using gigastudio in fairly labour-intensive performances (18 giga instruments playing simultaneously for example). And if so, would the best way to access my gigs be through a SATA pcmcia card connected to hard drives in SATA-enclosures?

    This was the kind of spec I was thinking of:

    - P4 3gHz pentium
    - 2gig RAM
    - Saffire sound card
    - 500 gig (2 x Sata enclosed Maxtor 250gig drives)

    Might Carillion be my best bet for buying? I believe Centrino processors are a better way to go than P4 processors...however, I heard that on the grapevine, so the advice might be a bit fruity and unreliable.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

    I use two Dell 5160's. After a bit of tweaking they are pretty stablish but I still regularly get BSOD on quitting the application etc. They are p4's with 2gbs of ram but I think all Dells laptops are now Pentium Mobile so I can't speak for that. I use echo indigo cards plus external Firewire 400 drives whicha re OK but a bit slow.

  3. #3

    Re: Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

    Thanks for letting me know your setup Flashman. Do you daisy chain your firewire HDs? I suppose the hardest thing with getting gigastudio working on a laptop is going to be good HD access which is why I was asking about the SATA-pcmcia option.

    Do you know why you're getting the blue screen of death every time you close the app? I'm hoping to keep a relatively clean system (only core music apps if possible like a sequencer and gigastudio with a few vsti's) to avoid the BSOD.

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited by Mr_nabo; 03-17-2006 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Forgot to finish my sentence!

  4. #4

    Re: Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

    For gigs I use an Acer Aspire 1681 which has a Pentium M 1.5 ghz processor, 2 gigs of ram, and 80 gig internal hd that's partitioned to C: and D: drives. Use it mostly with gs3 piano libraries like Sampletekk, PMI, and Bardtown using a Tascam US122 usb audio and the partitioned D: drive for samples without a problem. But I occasionally use it to dump 24-bit/48K 8-track audio from a da78 dtrs in which case I switch to a portable usb2 hd and a Tascam fw1884 audio unit... though I have done 8-track dumps to the internal hd.

    For your 18-instrument giga sequence application, I think using a faster pcmia/sata drive would be a wise move. But I suggest you consider switching to an audio card that provides gsif driver support. The Tascam fw1884 is great but a bit too bulky for me take to gigs. Though the us122 is handy I keep thinking of getting a smaller rackmount Tascam fw1804. Or an RME FF800. And the Motu Traveler looks pretty cool but I haven't heard from anyone using it with gs3 yet... I think the entire Motu line supports gsif1 but I'm not sure.

    As for the laptop, if your plan is really to use it as a workstation substitute, you might want to look at Alienware which draws a bit more power but performs more like a workstation.


  5. #5

    Re: Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

    Thanks for your suggestions. Apologies for not responding sooner, I've been away.

    I'm actually interested in a slightly different set-up now that I heard about in another thread and from a friend. It involves running a Mac Mini as a separate Gigastudio sampler connected to a PC laptop running a sequencer. Unsure about the logistics, but it would be a nice portable system if so.

    Anyone have any experience with such a set-up and whether one could daisy-chain external firewire drives to the Mac Mini to keep .gigs on? My concern, just looking at the specs, is that the hd is 5400rpm on the Mac Mini, but from what I've heard so far, that doesn't seem to be a problem...

    Any ideas?

  6. #6

    Re: Good, stable laptop for full-blown gigastudio action

    I'm curious about the Mac Mini as well.

    I've been running GS3 Orch. on a Compaq Presario R3200 (Athlon XP 2800+ with 1.25 GB RAM) with little problem, although I use it mostly for live performance on a single instrument at a time.

    I have a separate user account set up to handle GS3 and a usb hdd (60GB 7200rpm) and audio interface.

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