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How powerful of a laptop do I need to play a MIDI sequencer?

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I can get a Compaq Armada 1750 Laptop, PII 366MHz, 128MB ram for cheap. All I need is to be able to run my Emagic AMT8, Roland XV-5080 and Logic 5 on windows. Is this laptop powerful enough?



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Probably not for Logic 5... but then again, it's the audio features of Logic that put the biggest strain on the host computer. When in doubt, I would strongly suggest checking with the www.emagic.de website for minimum system requirements and then call them and ask about that specific computer and if it will work for your needs or not.
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If it's just midi, you can run any machine even something as far back running Windows 3.1. If you're doing audio and DXI or VST's then you need a modern machine with a fast HD and lots of memory.
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You're right that simple MIDI sequencing should run on a really limited computer, that said, Windows 3.1 should be avoided (for so many reasons :D ) because of internal clocking issues. But updated Windows 95 on up should be fine -- assuming you have proper software to run in it.


I'm not familiar with the old Emagic/Logic titles or their requirements but I do have plenty of experience with Cakewalk going back to Cakewalk 6 (the first of their full-featured audio multi-trackers) and old versions of CW will run surprisingly well on fairly limited machines. On myh old Pentium 1 133mHz (no, that's not the FSB speed, that's the processor speed!) I know you don't seem to be interested in audio but I used to get playback of 14-18 tracks of audio (that was before plug-ins were in wide use, of course, plug-ins can really suck down processor power).


And that brings up a possible loophole...


It may be that the versions of the software you want to use say they recommend or require a faster processor -- but it's quite likely that if you're not using all the CPU-sucking features like audio that you'll be able to run the software fine.


In fact, someplace around Cakewalk 8 or 9 or so I realized I'd been using a version of CW that 'required' a considerably faster processor... happily, I'd built a P3-500 (seemed like a rocket ship compared to the 133, with its narrower slower-clocked bus paths, etc) before I moved on to Sonar (essentially CW 10).


Anyhow, you might see if it will work even if it "shouldn't."

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I used to run a multitrack sequencer called "Final Cut" on an 8088 machine on DOS 2.1 using a runtime GUI called the "Gem Desktop." Never managed to choke it with too much MIDI data. Even had an animated tape-recorder image on the screen to show you if you were recording or playing back, with little revolving reels.In some ways, it's amazing how little MIDI-related software has changed.


MIDI itself is not very demanding. Codebloat is what cripples us.


Efficient coding for apps has apparently become a lost art. Ever notice how, in spite of the fact that processing speed has increased by a factor of 1000 in the last 20 years, and base memory by a factor of about 2000, and storage by an average of 14,000, it still takes your damn computer just about as long, or longer, simply to boot up.


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