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Topic: Laptop for music on the road

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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    55

    Laptop for music on the road

    Hi,

    I posted this in sample libraries, thinking that the libraries I use would be most important in the questions, but got no responses. I edited a few things here.

    I am a new user (struggling to get authorized since last year but finally on). I have been using Finale for longer than I can remember (version 2 on a mac IIcx) now using 2006, and two years ago moved to an ADK desktop and cubase SX3, Kontakt2, GPO, Garritan strad and Vienna solo strings. I used to play the piano fairly well, muddling through some difficult pieces. My left hand does not allow me to play piano anymore (for 2 years now, Schimmel grand for sale), so I am concentrating on getting my composing going again (mostly classical chamber and symphonic). I use all of this for rendering pieces I have written in the past. I hope to post some samples soon.

    P&G let me go a year ago after 25 years with them, the last ones in their pharmaceuticals division doing bioinformatics. I have just joined a consulting firm and they are getting a Dell Vostro 1500 (win XP, Core2duo T7300, 120GB HD) for me to use while working (and traveling). I get to pay for upgrades. I would like to use Cubase SX3 and finale 2006 on it when not busy on the road and I assume that a second copy will work with the dongle plugged in. I have used my wife's inspiron dual core laptop with Finale (on vacation) and it was OK, but never tried cubase.

    I have really enjoyed all of the comments here (and hope to contribute now too), most everyone seems really helpful. Questions that I could use helpt to modify the computer they get for me:

    Is an external USB2 drive sufficient for samples (I actually used the internal sata drive on the inspiron with the strad and gpo orchestra and it did fine)? Someone suggested getting an esata express card and that would be better (but more expensive, worth it?).

    Ram is 1GB, but I can upgrade to 2 for $100, worth it? My wife had 1GB and did fine with the strad/GPO.

    Is the T7300 overkill (it adds $80 over a lesser core 2 duo)? It has 4MB cache, which probably affects performance significantly.

    I am assuming that the vostro with XP is better than a dimension with vista (my choices for operating system). The dimension would be smaller and lighter (helping my hand somewhat). I seem to remember a lot of vista problems with drivers.

    Thanks in advance for your advice and it is great to finally be on board,

    Paul

  2. #2

    Re: Laptop for music on the road

    For sure get the RAM and CPU upgrades. They're relatively cheap, and will definitely help your performance.

    I travel a lot on business, and use a Dell e1705 as my music platform. I have the samples I use most (Kirk Hunter, Gypsy, Bela D) on my C:\ drive so I can use them on an airplane without draining my battery with an external USB drive. The rest are on USB 2.0 external drives (100G and 120G), and they work fine.

    I'm on Sonar, not Cubase, so no comments there.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    55

    Re: Laptop for music on the road

    Quote Originally Posted by loydb
    For sure get the RAM and CPU upgrades. They're relatively cheap, and will definitely help your performance.

    I travel a lot on business, and use a Dell e1705 as my music platform. I have the samples I use most (Kirk Hunter, Gypsy, Bela D) on my C:\ drive so I can use them on an airplane without draining my battery with an external USB drive. The rest are on USB 2.0 external drives (100G and 120G), and they work fine.

    I'm on Sonar, not Cubase, so no comments there.
    Thanks loydb. Do you have a 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm dive as the C drive? 5400 is the only option internal here. I am assuming that I will use external drives when in hotels or the like so I will probably do the same and keep the fancier libs external and my favorites internal. I have not heard anyone say that cubase and sonar are much different on resources, so I should be OK.

    Paul

  4. #4

    Re: Laptop for music on the road

    Quote Originally Posted by loydb
    I have the samples I use most (Kirk Hunter, Gypsy, Bela D) on my C:\ drive so I can use them on an airplane without draining my battery with an external USB drive.
    How do you manage to keep Windows from causing clicks and other problems by periodically accessing the C: drive?

    I shut so much down I had to go back and I had to re-enable processes because programs didn't work. Never did get samples to work from the hard drive with the C: partition. No problem when I added a second drive, I presume because windows leaves it alone.



    It just hit me, you probably aren't playing a keyboard in real time on an airplane ... what latency are you running?

    TIA

    Ernie

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