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Topic: Dell Laptops - is music possible? Thanks!

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  1. #1

    Red face Dell Laptops - is music possible? Thanks!

    Hiya,

    I've got a crazy question. I recently had to change from a nice desktop/audio solution to a Dell Studio 15 laptop. (Yes, I told you it was crazy). My question is, is there any possibility of making this laptop a serious audio solution? Oh and yes, it's Vista 32 bit.

    For expansion, there is only an Express slot. Is there an express card or (even better) a USB audio thingy which will allow me to have real DAW input and output? Currently the audio breaks up even on a single simple WAV file, eeks. And 2 audio apps running simultaneously is impossible. I know there are input solutions, but what about internal audio mixing and digital output? Is there such thing as an /external/ audio card?

    Any help would be SOOOO appreciated. I really miss being able to run GPO without the sound of Rice Krispies coming out

    Thanks so much in advance...
    narrow aka Muffit
    ===========
    Affectionately,
    Muffit (narrow)

    http://www.muffitland.com

    "So long as we employ our hearts, the value of all we touch remains secure" - Muffit

  2. #2

    Smile Re: Dell Laptops - is music possible? Thanks!

    first, get Asio4all. It is free. Just google this term.

    that will give you better drivers for your laptop built in audio card.

    two, USB sound cards are decent these days. M-Audio carries a few that sound decent and are not too expensive. Edirol also has some nice ones but they are more expensive. Apogee has excellent cards but i think they are only for Mac.

    three, it is possible to do pretty good music productions on a Dell laptop.
    here are some good DAWS to look at:

    Sonar 8
    Cubase 4
    Pro Tools 8 (not out yet but has the best notation in a DAW for PC)

  3. #3

    Re: Dell Laptops - is music possible? Thanks!

    Thanks Davecos!

    That sounds very hopeful. I have now downloaded and installed ASIO4All, it works okay, sound still breaks up badly though. I guess the built in "HD audio" on the Dell is just poopy. I was gonna order the optional Dell lsoundcard, but it doesn't look any better. I used to have an M Audio Delta 1010LT which worked great. Boy do I miss that!

    I will try and find a decenrt USB audio then - question - how can I tell if an external USB audio box is just for input, or a full USB audio "card"? I see lots of input boxes, but really need the internal mixing ability too like a real sound card. I do have Sonar 6, it sees ASAIO4ALL just fine. My other audio apps don't, but maybe I can figure those out later.

    Thanks so much for your help!!
    Muffit
    ===========
    Affectionately,
    Muffit (narrow)

    http://www.muffitland.com

    "So long as we employ our hearts, the value of all we touch remains secure" - Muffit

  4. #4

    Re: Dell Laptops - is music possible? Thanks!

    What's your hard drive speed and seek times?

    You may want to consider using Win XP, it's a better OS for Music than Vista anyway.
    2 X Intel i7 920 sys. 12 gigs Ram. XP & Win 7 64
    Cubase 5. Kontakt 4. EWQL C.C.C. (Play)
    Vienna Instruments SE & Plus. Symphobia. GPO.
    RME HDSPe AIO KRK V8s Avalon Vt-747sp
    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88


    My two passions. Music and Cooking.
    Both require just the right ingredients....

  5. #5

    Re: Dell Laptops - is music possible? Thanks!

    Hi Chalfant,

    Thanks for the input I think the drive speed is okay, the system is fast, and the sound breaks up anyway simply running Windows MEdia Player on a 1.5MB mp3 file, which would be fully loaded into memory I should imagine. I havent gotten anywhere near multitrack testing, I can never tell if my mixes are crackling or its just the internal sound chips.

    I have heard much about XP being better, I wouldn't dispute that. But am stuck with Vista for better or worse. I'm pretty sure I just need some kind of external USB sound card solution. The built-in sound choices I have are all poopy and pretty much worthless:

    None
    Microsoft Sound Mapper
    Spkrs/Hdphones (IDT HiDef)
    Digital output device (HDMI)
    Independent RTC heaqdphones

    I used to just choose Delta 1010 Multi from everything and all worked hunky dorey. Now with no (real) sound card, am kinda lost what to do.

    Still looking!
    Muffit/narrow
    ===========
    Affectionately,
    Muffit (narrow)

    http://www.muffitland.com

    "So long as we employ our hearts, the value of all we touch remains secure" - Muffit

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