• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Topic: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

  1. #1

    Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Hi all, I just wanted to share an interesting issue I just discovered running Garritan on my laptop. This issue is certainly not specific to Garritan and is not a problem or defect with their products. It just happens to be what I am running on this particular laptop when this issue arises.

    First off, I have a fairly powerful laptop - 3 Ghz dual core Pentum IV processor, 2 GB RAM and a 120GB hard drive. It can really generate some heat! (more about the heat in a second)

    I am running multiple instances of GPO, Jabb, Strad and my sequencer on my laptop and most of the time things work great! But occasionally everything starts to stutter and the CPU usage goes way up. I basically cannot continue.

    I have been doing some testing and I noticed that this usually happens after the cooling fans have entered "turbo" mode (they are running at the highest speed). So I finally realized that the machine is getting very hot and so the CPU is throttling itself to 50% speed to help reduce the heat. This explained the sudden jump from 50% utilization to near 100%!

    Most laptop CPUs have a feature (I think it is called speedstep) that allows them to slow themselves down to conserve power when they are not being fully utilized. I did not realize that they would also do this to avoid over heating.

    So I was wondering if anyone knows of an external/additional fan or cooling device for laptops that I could use to keep this from happening? I don't want this to happen when I am performing live.

    Kenny Long

  2. #2

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop


    There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

    Get a tower and deal with lugging it around or use fewer resourses on the lap top. A company named Krytotech was making cooled cpu cases that would actually thermally accellerate your processor speed by about 150% (not overclocking) by freezing the processor to -40 degrees celcius. It was... "cool".

    Maybe an external firewire drive could help a bit, but that won't make your processor work less. Or if you have a dedicated set list when you are gigging, have many of the tracks you are perfoming already bounced to a stereo mix. if you did that you could even play them from a CD or mp3 player and remove even more load from your laptop. That could do more for you.

    Or just use one of these.
    Experience what is necessary to build upon self character, for that is Life's most significant learning event.

  3. #3

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Haha, not asking for a free lunch - even if you can find one they usually aren't very good .

    I am doing music direction for a musical, so the music is full of cues, vamps, rubato sections - so I can't freeze anything. I think I am going to break down and get me a Muse Receptor for live performance. I would just like to have a more compact solution for rehearsals if at all possible.

    I just wanted to throw this out there in case anyone else may be having similar experinces and not know what is happening.

    Also, there are a lot of smart folks on this board and I thought I might get lucky and someone might know of some possible solutions.

    Kenny Long

  4. #4

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Several companies make devices on which you can set your laptop. There are usually multiple fans on said devices. They seem to be called "cooling pads."

    I am not sure how loud they are or if they even work, so I can't tell you that, but I can at least give you manufacturers:

    Many of the high-end PC cooling comapnies make them, such as thermaltake, vantec, and coolermaster.

    Here are some specific models with prices:


  5. #5

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Thanks! I knew there had to be something out there. For that price it is certainly worth taking a chance on one. I'll try it out and report back to everyone.

    Kenny Long

  6. #6

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Invest in some Arctic Silver thermal paste its like 8 bucks for a little tube and it will lower your cpu temps by 5 or 10 degrees

    oh and those cooling pads are iffy. start with the paste, and if that doesnt lower your temps enough, then think about getting a fan. whatever you do make sure it is Arctic Silver brand though!

  7. #7

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Long
    I'll try it out and report back to everyone.
    Please do! I'll be moving on a laptop in a year or so and sure wouldn't want it to be at 50% of its best

    Cheers Matt

  8. #8

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    Update: I bought a $30 Antec laptop cooler from Circuit City and it fixed my overheating problems. I ran it overnight and it stayed well under the temperature that triggers the CPU to throttle down.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Kenny Long

  9. #9

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    BTW I noticed that my notebook fan operates more frequently now than when I bought the notebook 2 years ago. It seems as if the paste/pad or whatever they used degenerates after some years. Will have to replace it.

    My girl friend buyed a used notebook and the fan was nearly constantly loud. I opened it, cleaned the fan and replaced the old pad by the paste and voila - it was silent.

    On the other hand opening an unknown notebook is not for the faint hearted if you have never done it and have no idea first how to. I was really relieved when it was closed and running again ;-)
    All your strings belong to me!

  10. #10

    Re: Interesting issue running Garritan on a laptop

    HI, Kenny---Interesting following this thread, and seeing the cooling solution. Cool! hehe.

    Sounds like you're set on the way you want to do the music for the show, but I still have to ask something--You said:

    "...I am doing music direction for a musical, so the music is full of cues, vamps, rubato sections - so I can't freeze anything..."

    Common sense makes it seem that because of the complex nature of a musical's score, that it "Has" to be played live, triggered live--SOmething has to be done to follow the singers.

    But--I've provided the "virtual orchestra" for five musicals and I didn't do any live triggering of synths. I did indeed "freeze" Everything--The tracks were recorded and played back by a sound operator. There was Never a problem during performance.

    Tempos were arrived at, ritards etc were tested. Then, songs that required a full stop for vocal cadenzas were cut into several cues, so that the singer was able to sing in free time, and the "conductor" (sound operator) pushed the Play button just as a conductor would lower his baton.

    The casts of these shows were incredibly confident about singing with their "orchestra" before the show opened, because they were able to rehearse with the exact same tempos during rehearsals. They were able to have rehearsal copies of the CD to use on their own time.

    I know a lot of people feel they have to trigger MIDI live in order for a live performance to work--I humbly beg to differ. The method I described involved Far fewer headaches, and made for extremely solid performances. Naturally, the sound was no different, being played back from a CD, as it would be from synths being piped over speakers.

    So, food for thought. Without hesitation I recommend you Do record your tracks.

    Randy B.

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts