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Possible use for Netbooks?


humannoyed

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I think most, if not all of these are under-powered for hosting soft instruments, but if some of these new compact netbooks have excellent battery life and wireless networking, would they not make an excellent interface and display for a rackmount computer?

 

Think about it - no wires just a small netbook sitting on your keyboard where you control all your soft instruments residing on a heavy-hitter music pc in your rack.

 

Anyone else thought of this?

 

 

Day

 

 

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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Why wouldn't you just use a long VGA cable and wireless mouse+keyboard? Would seem to be a heck of a lot cheaper... if you've got that much going on the pc in the rack, you'd likely want to have more on-screen real estate to see what's going on that a little Netbook would offer.
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Why wouldn't you just use a long VGA cable and wireless mouse+keyboard? Would seem to be a heck of a lot cheaper... if you've got that much going on the pc in the rack, you'd likely want to have more on-screen real estate to see what's going on that a little Netbook would offer.

Yes, that would be cheaper. I actually thought of the netbook option after considering networking an old laptop mounted on one of the rack cases that have been specially made for laptops.

GRCStudio2GO

 

 

The old laptop is not worth much, but it could be used as a keyboard and display for a rack computer. Anyone done that?

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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I've been looking a Newbooks too, but for a different reason. I have a Digitech Vocalist Pro Harmonizer for my vocals. I backed up all my programs to my PC this week. This got me thinking, I had been considering getting a newer drum machine to add to the internal drum sounds on my Motif ES, but the Roland DR800 has a USB Type A connector, so it can only be connected to a PC, a USB memory stick won't work. If either of the above two units ever lost their internal memory on a gig, I could restore everything pronto. I've been seeing netbooks for under $300. I haven't looked in it in depth to determine if they could handle the above scenario OK, but a small notebook computer that's not to expensive would be good for devices that need to be connected to a PC in order to restore or load program files.

 

Just a thought.

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Actually, a netbook can be sufficient to run compact and well-programmed instruments, like the KeyPerformer. I've been toying with an idea of building a supersmall rig (netbook+controller) or adding a netbook just to host something like the V-Station or other compact VA synth and maybe run some occasional samples. This way I'd have a compact device handling my VA, backing tracks and/or some occasion SFX samples.

Stage: MOX6, V-machine, and Roland AX7

Rolls PM351 for IEMs.

Home/recording: Roland FP4, a few guitars

 

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Hmmmm ... a front end for receptor ... I like

how about a front end for a Plugiator?

how about a front end for my Motif (Motif Voice Editor & Multi Editor)?

 

I imagine as long as I didn't try to install Cubase 5, Komplete 5, and Omnisphere it may handle the first 3 application.

 

Thoughts?

 

Kronos 88 | MODX7 | Wavestate | Crave | KeyLab 61 | CPS SSv3 | MacBook Pro | MainStage | More VSTs than I'll ever figure out

 

www.thehenrysmusic.com

 

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Forget the rack mount computer... Bob Lentini is using a netbook to run both SAC and SAWStudio.

 

Besides, if you want to run a rack-mount computer, just use a wireless keypad/mouse. Or if you're doing audio or libraries with it, X-Keys makes a number of dedicated keypads (up to 99 keystrokes recorded per key...) that would allow you to do a one-button launch of a complicated task.

 

My own view would be to skip the rack mount option though, as they are really not designed to travel and unless you put the rack in a padded case, any shocks that the case takes is transmitted directly to your computer. Not a good thing. Meanwhile, the touring shows that I see year round most often carry computers loose in foam-lined utility cases.

 

Really, rack-mount for computers is all about trying to look cool, it is expensive, and adds no value to the rig.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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the video mate_stubb posted is showing it all.

 

If I get a gig demanding use of bread'n'butter sounds (AC/EP/Hammond/synth lines) only (no orchestral stuff and/or complicated progrmming), then netbook+GSI keyPerformer's gonna be my rig. It's so cool!

Stage: MOX6, V-machine, and Roland AX7

Rolls PM351 for IEMs.

Home/recording: Roland FP4, a few guitars

 

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Thanks Moe - that certainly opens my eyes. In the other video on his website (http://www.genuinesoundware.com/) he has a MIDI controller hooked up to a V-Machine with Key Performer installed as a VST. If I'm reading all this correctly, Key Perfomer is basically a SoundFont Player available either standalone or VST, right? Also gor me thinking how a netbook might do running Brainspawn Forte and some CPU efficient VSTi's (i.e. modeling instruments like AAS stuff).

 

 

Still wondering how a netbook (or EEE PC I guess) might handle being the front-end for a Plugiator, Receptor, or my Motif ES6.

It would seem in all those cases the CPU burden would be on the hardware devices themselves and not on the itty bitty PC.

 

Anyone tried any of these on a netbook or know anyone who has? Maybe we ought to call out to Guido and see if he's tried it.

 

Kronos 88 | MODX7 | Wavestate | Crave | KeyLab 61 | CPS SSv3 | MacBook Pro | MainStage | More VSTs than I'll ever figure out

 

www.thehenrysmusic.com

 

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Forget the rack mount computer... Bob Lentini is using a netbook to run both SAC and SAWStudio.

 

Besides, if you want to run a rack-mount computer, just use a wireless keypad/mouse. Or if you're doing audio or libraries with it, X-Keys makes a number of dedicated keypads (up to 99 keystrokes recorded per key...) that would allow you to do a one-button launch of a complicated task.

 

My own view would be to skip the rack mount option though, as they are really not designed to travel and unless you put the rack in a padded case, any shocks that the case takes is transmitted directly to your computer. Not a good thing. Meanwhile, the touring shows that I see year round most often carry computers loose in foam-lined utility cases.

 

Really, rack-mount for computers is all about trying to look cool, it is expensive, and adds no value to the rig.

 

I am not sure if anyone would haul a racked computer "trying to look cool". The big advantage of rack, tower computers, besides processing power has been multiple large capacity HDs.

 

Where laptops have really caught up in the last few years is sufficient HD size. My first lappy had a 60G HD - the largest you could get in a 7200 drive at the time. Tower,rack computers could hold multiple larger capacity drives making them a must for larger sample libraries. Now... you can get drives in a laptop that are larger than those in yesterday's powerhouse rack/tower computers, so storage cap. is no longer an issue.

 

I wonder if anyone has taken to the road with any of the larger sample libraries with just a lappy? Did you load the library on the system drive or stream from an external drive? And what app, Kontakt?

 

 

 

Day

 

 

 

 

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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Back to netbooks....what about as a wireless studio daw controller like the Frontier Design Tranzport, but much better, that you can take to the drum booth or piano.

 

I hope these things are selling well enough that there will future generations of them powerful enough to run any vsti.

 

I'm curious what you consider the minimum usable display size? 9",10", 11"? They are all bigger than displays on current romplers.

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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Thanks Moe - that certainly opens my eyes. In the other video on his website (http://www.genuinesoundware.com/) he has a MIDI controller hooked up to a V-Machine with Key Performer installed as a VST. If I'm reading all this correctly, Key Perfomer is basically a SoundFont Player available either standalone or VST, right? Also gor me thinking how a netbook might do running Brainspawn Forte and some CPU efficient VSTi's (i.e. modeling instruments like AAS stuff).

 

 

Still wondering how a netbook (or EEE PC I guess) might handle being the front-end for a Plugiator, Receptor, or my Motif ES6.

It would seem in all those cases the CPU burden would be on the hardware devices themselves and not on the itty bitty PC.

 

Anyone tried any of these on a netbook or know anyone who has? Maybe we ought to call out to Guido and see if he's tried it.

 

 

 

GSI keyPerformer combines a VA synth, Hammond clonewheel model, modelled electric pianos (I think), and various sampled instruments. You can't load your smples into it.

 

The interface is very well thought of - nothing fancy, no 3D graphics or glossy tabs. Designed to be useful (=readable) on a 8" computer screen.

 

All the controls are on a single panel.

 

As far as I know, not multitimbral, but you can load multiple instances in your VST host.

Stage: MOX6, V-machine, and Roland AX7

Rolls PM351 for IEMs.

Home/recording: Roland FP4, a few guitars

 

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...The big advantage of rack, tower computers, besides processing power has been multiple large capacity HDs. ...

 

Well, you can put a 1TB hard drive into a portable USB/firewire enclosure about the size of a small book for a little over $100. A lot easier to carry than any tower. But there is a big difference between carrying a tower or desktop computer and carrying a rack mounted computer.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Back to netbooks....what about as a wireless studio daw controller ... that you can take to the drum booth or piano.

I'm curious what you consider the minimum usable display size? ...

 

What I was saying is that you could put the whole recording system onto a netbook if you wanted to do so. There has to be cable access to the booth for mic cables and headphone runs, so why not have a rig with a firewire or USB interface, and run the firewire or USB cable from the interface/console area to the booth or piano with you?

 

Were I to seriously explore that idea, I'd probably just take older existing machines or laptops and dedicate one to the booth and one to the keyboard location and network them up with the main machine, for both reliability and for the display size.

 

I really would not want to try to squint at a netbook in low studio lighting, and at the same time be a creative and feeling performer. Few people are good at splitting their focus between the right and left brains and doing either job well. Simplifying the rig by having dedicated stations that are always there and always right might help with performance quality?

 

But I don't see why you couldn't use a netbook as a front end. If you are using a software that supports networking (SAWStudio, Samplitude/Sequoia, etc...) or you are running XF Teleport, or have some other way of tying the systems together that the recording software will understand and accept, you could use a netbook or laptop or likely any other computer as a part of your recording system.

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I can understand how cool a netbook could work as a "remote" controller. As an example, let's say you had Cubase, ProTools, etc up and running in a control room and you wanted "remote control" of your transport controls while in another room. Seems like a great front-end via Wi-Fi in that regard.

 

What I was referring to as a "front-end" is using it as such:

 

Receptor owners can/do plug a monitor, keyboard and mouse into their Receptors when in the studio. When they take them out to play live, they sometimes take a laptop instead as laptops are a little more "gig-friendly" in this situation.

 

Someone with a Plugiator as another example, can pull up patches all day long with just the hardware unit and do 'minor' edits from the front panel, but to do any 'serious' editing they use the software graphic editors usually on their DAW PC. Seems like it would be a cool remote editing device in this situation.

 

And lastly - a little closer to home - would be someone (like me) with a Yamaha mLAN setup (Motif ES, 01x Mixer) that uses Studio Manager and Graphic Patchbay to change setups and edit the Motif Voices and Multis. Working with the Multi Editor to be even more specific would let me arrange/rearrange my set list before a gig and dump it into the Motif so I could 'step-through' my setlist.

 

My question is would a netbook handle these three scenarios or would I be better off looking for a bigger laptop to handle these duties. Basically the difference is $300 vs $750 (I am aware of the bigger screen). I am really leaning toward the 'regular' laptop anyway just in case later I wanted to load more onto it such as Ableton or Cubase. I am just curious. Thanks for any advice in advance.

 

Kronos 88 | MODX7 | Wavestate | Crave | KeyLab 61 | CPS SSv3 | MacBook Pro | MainStage | More VSTs than I'll ever figure out

 

www.thehenrysmusic.com

 

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I really like this classmate convertible PC :

 

http://www.classmatepc.com/where-to-buy/convertible/design-and-features/

 

I thought of pdf'ing all of my fakebooks, original lead sheets, etc.

 

I like how this one becomes more of a rugged tablet.

 

Using it as a sound module would be cool too but I wonder how stable it would be.

 

 

 

 

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

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I don't know that the price difference that you quote is accurate. I don't pay that much attention, but I'm pretty sure that the various electronic outlets (Staples, Office Max, Best Buy, etc...)show laptops for as little as $350 regularly, and just under $500 seems to be often; and netbooks as low as $200 in the Sunday papers. (Not saying anything about specs, just pricing... as your need would not seem to require much in terms of performance.)

 

" let's say you had Cubase, ProTools, etc up and running in a control room and you wanted "remote control" of your transport controls while in another room. Seems like a great front-end via Wi-Fi in that regard."

 

If the software supports that. (control from more than one computer.) But as I said before, the netbook is powerful enough to be the computer running the DAW. Why not?

 

Has any keyboard player explored MMC for these tasks?

 

"they use the software graphic editors usually on their DAW PC. "

 

Given my choice, I'd always pick a computer display over any keyboard LCD.

 

 

I haven't speced out a netbook, but my personal feeling is that the screens are too small for me to use on stage or anywhere than the machine is not sitting directly in front of me and pretty close. I use a smaller notebook for internet work, only has a 12 inch screen. But for recording/editing I use at least a 15 inch screen, just because there is so much information and so many windows to be used on my DAW. (My studio rig has three monitors...)

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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A netbook is useful for something else, too - hook it up to a bigger monitor and use it for internet duties. That way your studio's computer(s) don't have to deal with virus/spyware scanners, and you avoid posting on forums too much instead of making music ;).
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I don't know that the price difference that you quote is accurate. I don't pay that much attention, but I'm pretty sure that the various electronic outlets (Staples, Office Max, Best Buy, etc...)show laptops for as little as $350 regularly, and just under $500 seems to be often; and netbooks as low as $200 in the Sunday papers. (Not saying anything about specs, just pricing... as your need would not seem to require much in terms of performance.)

 

$299 laptop at Best Buy

 

Busch.

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