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#2870567 - 08/03/17 05:57 AM Laptop set-up for live use?
omvibes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 46
Hi all,
I'm looking to get a windows laptop suitable for music production - mainly for live performances involving plenty of soft synths, running with Cantabile or similar. I already have an old Asus touchscreen laptop and Novation audiohub which are okay, but I want to get a dedicated laptop for music.
Could anyone recommend what kind of spec I should be looking at, and particular models I should be investigating? I would like it to have a touchscreen/ tablet form, and have already looked at a Lenovo yoga 13inch and Asus zenbook, both of which have touchscreens.
Budget is about 1000usd maximum, less would be better.
And any additional equipment to the Novation that I should also be investigating to ensure a smooth live experience?
Thanks for the input, and apologies if this has all been covered before, I did do a forum search and have been checking relevant threads here as well...
Oli


Edited by omvibes (08/03/17 06:02 AM)

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#2870609 - 08/03/17 08:22 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: omvibes]
Markay Offline
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Registered: 01/28/12
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If you are considering a tablet then take into account the number of USB ports. 2 minimum, one for controller and one for audio interface.
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#2870610 - 08/03/17 08:27 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: omvibes]
MoodyBluesKeys Online   content
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I tend to be partial to Hewlett Packard's business products (HP Business Outlet has less than 30 day old refurbished to help the $$$). Something like EliteBook or even Z-series workstation.
i7 processor (preferably quad, though they may be hard to find in the price range, at least 8GB RAM, Windows 10 Pro, good size SSD would also perk things up quite a bit - might have to buy that later and clone the hard drive. (this is not a touchscreen).

My own company (computer service) notebook is a used HP 2570p with i7, 8G RAM, and 500G SSD. Bought it used on EBay for about $200, the SSD was an additional $140. Machine is FAST. For music, I tend to use my 2011 Macbook Pro, i7 quad, 16G RAM, 1TB SSD - I have about $1K in it, also FAST. I have a Focusrite 18i8 USB audio/midi interface that works with both.

I'm not familiar with the Lenovo or Asus - good to make sure that one can add RAM and change hard drives, some of the stuff being made today is glued together and not user expandable at all.
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Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's
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"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
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#2870703 - 08/03/17 02:18 PM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
omvibes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 46
Thanks for the info. Anyone else able to offer advice, especially relevant touchscreen/ tablet options?

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#2870768 - 08/04/17 05:00 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: omvibes]
SteveQB Offline
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Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 204
Loc: Devon, UK
Is there a reason you want touchscreen? Not looking to criticise, just interested.

I use MainStage live with iPad for controlling various things (mixer mainly) and struggle for accuracy with touchscreen interface in that setting.
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#2870770 - 08/04/17 05:07 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: SteveQB]
Synthoid Offline
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Originally Posted By: SteveQB
Is there a reason you want touchscreen? Not looking to criticise, just interested.

I use MainStage live with iPad for controlling various things (mixer mainly) and struggle for accuracy with touchscreen interface in that setting.


I rarely use my laptop's touch screen at all. Everything else... sure, but it's a bit awkward with the laptop. YMMV.

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#2870771 - 08/04/17 06:11 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: SteveQB]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: SteveQB
Is there a reason you want touchscreen? Not looking to criticise, just interested.

I use MainStage live with iPad for controlling various things (mixer mainly) and struggle for accuracy with touchscreen interface in that setting.

In the Mac world, if you want a VST system with a convenient touchsceen live performance interface, you get a Mac plus an iPad. In the Windows world, if you get a "convertible" style model (touchscreen fully flippable, or detachable keyboard), you can do it all with one unit instead of two.
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#2870774 - 08/04/17 06:49 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: SteveQB]
J Graul Offline
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Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Louisville, KY
Originally Posted By: SteveQB


I use MainStage live with iPad for controlling various things (mixer mainly) and struggle for accuracy with touchscreen interface in that setting.


How are you controlling Mainstage with the iPad?

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#2870778 - 08/04/17 07:23 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: J Graul]
SteveQB Offline
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Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 204
Loc: Devon, UK
Using the logic remote when I do. It works well for advancing patches etc and also getting access to the mixer. However i find small movements tricky, especially on stage when timing is at a premium. I also use it for controlling my XAIR mixer and again fine adjustment is tricky on the ipad.
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#2871012 - 08/05/17 03:32 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: SteveQB]
omvibes Offline
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Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 46
@steve qb and others: I love using my ipad for music making, hence would like to keep the touchscreen set up with a laptop/ convertible, even though I realise that most pc softsynths are not touch-optimised.
Any particular convertibles I should be looking at? Not seen many/ any in use live.
Oli

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#2871026 - 08/05/17 05:47 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: omvibes]
Synthoid Offline
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Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 9752
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: omvibes
Any particular convertibles I should be looking at?


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To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.
-- Aaron Copland

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#2871041 - 08/05/17 06:29 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: Synthoid]
MoodyBluesKeys Online   content
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Just as a side note, I have a 21" HP touch screen monitor that works with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 (VGA or DVI input and USB touch output).

I have tried it on my DAW which uses Windows 7, and went back to the regular monitor (which is a 32" HDTV running at 1920x1080).

An application that is really designed for touch control might work better, but trying to set various parameters in typical Windows programs using the touch screen is an exercise in futility - the mouse or direct numeric input both work better in my opinion.

The touchscreen monitor is currently on a Windows 8.1 Media Center PC which is used for recording TV shows. The Media Center interface has large areas that can be scrolled easily using the touch screen, and doesn't have any itty bitty stuff where a mouse is almost required.

And I do use an iPad rather frequently with music apps like Korg Module - so I do like the touch screen when the app is designed from the beginning to use it. I also use a Macbook Pro and Mac Mini in some audio/musical applications.

YMMV.
_________________________
Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's
HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Jim

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#2871082 - 08/05/17 09:04 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Yes, Windows music apps may not be so optimized for touch, so you want keyboard/mouse for config, but still may like to have touch for live patch selection or specific parameter controls where it is sensible. I think Gig Performer is supposed to be good for this, I've been meaning to look into that more deeply myself.
_________________________
Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

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#2891958 - 11/22/17 01:46 PM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: AnotherScott]
omvibes Offline
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Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 46
Sorry to revive this thread, but one thing not mentioned above is cpu speed - anyne able to give me advice on minimum cpu requirements?

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#2891964 - 11/22/17 02:40 PM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: omvibes]
johnchop Offline
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Registered: 10/29/09
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Loc: Georgia, US
The fastest you can afford. Full stop.

So much depends on WHICH virtual instruments you are running.

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#2891998 - 11/22/17 09:16 PM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: omvibes]
Sven Golly Offline
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Originally Posted By: omvibes
Sorry to revive this thread, but one thing not mentioned above is cpu speed - anyne able to give me advice on minimum cpu requirements?


Yes. The system requirements of the plugins and VST host you're planning on running.
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#2892037 - 11/23/17 05:55 AM Re: Laptop set-up for live use? [Re: Sven Golly]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Sven Golly
Originally Posted By: omvibes
Sorry to revive this thread, but one thing not mentioned above is cpu speed - anyne able to give me advice on minimum cpu requirements?


Yes. The system requirements of the plugins and VST host you're planning on running.

Originally Posted By: johnchop
The fastest you can afford. Full stop.

So much depends on WHICH virtual instruments you are running.

Yes to all... I think the issue is that, despite Sven's technically correct answer, the "minimum" requirements can go out the window if you task the system beyond its "minimum" capabilities. The "minimum requirements" may be enough to run VSTs A, B, or C, but may not be enough to run A, B and C together. Each combination of virtual instruments, in effect, can have its own minimum requirements, and there are innumerable possible combinations. Or a minimum requirement may be enough to play at certain polyphony, but not enough to play more, or to get the lowest latency.
_________________________
Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

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