Laptops for Live performance

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ghostsoul
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Laptops for Live performance

Post by ghostsoul » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:47 pm

Hi Melbournebeats peeps I'm startin this thread as I'm looking to invest in a new a laptop for live shows. I've been using a pretty decked out PC laptop Win 7 64bit with 8 gig of ram but I've had a couple of issues that I've now fixed but really want something very stable!, stable power distrubution and powerful OS.

I'm looking to get a Mac book Pro, I'm seeing if anyone had any thoughts on the best laptop to get to play live. I'm using ableton with a range of controllers.

PEACE!

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JAMESSSS
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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by JAMESSSS » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:58 pm

This might not be a popular comment, but I think at least in the music domain having a Mac sitting in the middle of your setup controlling things automatically conveys professionalism to the crowd.

Not saying I agree with it, but I really think it does.
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flippo
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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by flippo » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:35 pm

mind if I ask what PC are you having trouble with?

I'm in the market for a laptop for the same purpose. I've been looking at some of the pro audio brands, ADK, stealth etc.

I'm looking for 8 gig ram, i7 740Q, texas instruments firewire chipset, and possibly a small solid state drive (even an 80 gig would be fine).

Can't get a quadcore in the macbooks atm :( . Their fastest model runs a bit slower on ableton live benchmark tests than my current desktop, which is only just hangs in there with my live setup at points.


I know Gravious does a pretty comprehensive live show (ableton re-wired to reason with lots of midi/synths going on) on a toshiba and has not had troubles. I've had bad experiences with Dell in the past but I've been told if you do a clean install on their new studio XPS they can be quite good? clocked this morning that you can get a i7 quad with solid state drive and 8 gig for around 2.5k.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by mrj » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:26 pm

I've never had a single problem with my mac book pro

I only use it for porn, but still
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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Direkt » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:09 am

Mac Book Pro for porn is the business.

I've also got the 27" iMac at home with quad-core i7 for the same reason.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by ghostsoul » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:21 pm

flippo wrote:mind if I ask what PC are you having trouble with?

I'm in the market for a laptop for the same purpose. I've been looking at some of the pro audio brands, ADK, stealth etc.

I'm looking for 8 gig ram, i7 740Q, texas instruments firewire chipset, and possibly a small solid state drive (even an 80 gig would be fine).

Can't get a quadcore in the macbooks atm :( . Their fastest model runs a bit slower on ableton live benchmark tests than my current desktop, which is only just hangs in there with my live setup at points.


I'm running an HP DV5 with 8gb ram and intel core duo at 2Ghz standard 320g hard drive. It's been really good but has the occasional hick up and runs a little hot.

I'm thinking that getting a dedicated system for live play is the way to go. I'm looking at the ADK laptops and the specs on even the lower end laptops they're offering are really good thats definately a thought, well worth putting down 2.5K for something to invest in.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by flippo » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:27 pm

I'm thinking that getting a dedicated system for live play is the way to go.


yeah I agree. That's why I was looking at the small solid state drives. Just have OS, Ableton and your project file on there and nothing else - work from desktop in studio (which can be upgraded pretty easily).



there is http://store.aavimt.com.au/, which are the australian mob that do similar laptops to ADK - infact ADK will tell you to check them out first if you ask about shipping to AUS.

from them you can get the M2S i7000 for $2400

i7 620M Dualcore
512 GPU
4 gig 1333
320GB 7200rpm


they offer an i7820 Quad for an extra $300

I asked about going to 8 gig, and that was going to be an extra $675 with current prices, (couple of months ago) :( They may come down in future.


as for ADK, you can get the following shipped to AUS for $2400-2500 AUD

i7 720 Quad
512 GPU
8gig 1333
120GB Solid State Drive


you can drop that down to about $2000 if you go for a 7200rpm drive and an i5 dualcore.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Livewire » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:02 am

I've been getting systems for myself and specifying them for studios I work at from aavimt for a few years now. I can't speak highly enough of Vin, he is definitely the maestro when it comes to music and post production systems. His support is also excellent.
I recently bought a laptop from him to use for ableton....pretty much what you guys are talking about. It's a very powerful machine and has been very stable. Only problem I have had is when using some very heavy 3rd party plugs (3 instances of trillian and some convolution processing) in ableton running at 32 samples latency. When jumping randomly between different songs ableton would crash. I put this down to an ableton/plugin issue, because when I have removed the 3rd party plugins it's rock solid.

One thing I would think about is the soundcard you are going to get. I got an RME Express card so I could run one of my Multifaces. Vin did a bench test and the laptop was running at even lower latencies than a desktop system (under 32 samples) which is really impressive.

What I didn't realise is that Expresscards are quite large and stick out the side of the laptop (unlike the old pcmcia cards which are flush to the laptop). Add a firewire cable and you have at least an extra 8cm sticking out the side of it. For my live use this really has become a worry as it takes up a heap more room and could be easily pulled out which could be a total disaster (and probably kill my $700 expresscard). This also goes for the firewire Expresscards. It just doesn't seem sturdy enough for the kind of DJ booth/pub situations I need to be able to play in. On the other hand if you were using the system for mobile recording it would probably be fine.

My solution is that I'm now going to get an RME Babyface and sell the RME expresscard. It's usb 2.0 so will easily plug into the laptop (uses a new RME protocol), smaller, bus powered, has less ins and outs but has a couple of mic pres. I'm guessing it'll be about $800 - $900. They haven't landed in the country yet, but as soon as a prototype arrives, Vin will bench test it and as long as it performs well I'll switch.

Anyway some food for thought!

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by comolatti » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:28 am

I am from a biz background and when I was overseas and ran out of money, so I used my Toshiba Tecra A5 with mixvibes for 2 to 4 hour sets on club systems. No problem.

Now I am using a dedicated to music laptop - top of the line Toshiba Tecra P11. 3k it cost.

I am loyal to Toshiba as their world wide service has been good to me. In Germany I made a phone call, 24 hours later they were on my door step with parts to fix.

I am not tech head at all, I just filled it with memory, installed the software and off I went.

Turn the key and I go.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Livewire » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:01 am

Hey fellas,

Just an update/heads up on my soundcard situation. The RME Bayface still hasn't landed and I needed a more portable card for a gig, so I ended up getting a Reloop Play card for $160 at DJ Warehouse. Not the most amazing card, but it has 2 x stereo out, or 1 x Stereo out and a headphones out (you can switch the mode on the box). It's tiny, USB Bus powered, has high gain output, and although the drivers that came with it were a complete joke, asio4all seems to get it running OK.

At 256 samples buffer it actually performs as well as my RME Mutiface/Expresscard combo which surprised me. Anything under 256 kills it completely....

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in a cheap and portable option for live performance without any inputs. If you get one just make sure you install the latest asio4all and use them drivers instead.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by flippo » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:30 am

nice one. What prog are you running on your lappy for your gigs?

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Livewire » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:21 pm

I'm using ableton+apc40 for the live stuff and the only 3rd party vsts I have installed are Omnisphere and Trillian.
I did the latency test in Cubase 5, using the Aavimt DAW bench test. I have also been using Reason/Record with headphones on the laptop without any issues.
So far so good with the card, and I'll be giving it a good go soon so will let you know how it holds up.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Kaiproject » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:17 am

tbh, i my old macbook for everything, way too much installed on it but still runs fine, never any issues, very stable.

but i've really been going off macs lately...

so slow to update their hardware and when they do its way too expensive.

loving win7 64 with i7 + good amount of ram on my desktop its lightning fast and also very stable.

if i was in the market for a new music lappy (probably wont be for a while) i'd def consider a good audio-centric PC lappy with win7
like the ADK ones flippo was talking about earlier
i7 quad + SSD would be lightning fast, and probably half the price of a mac with the same (if/when you can actually get one)...

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by kiss & tell » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:03 pm

just get a pimped out macbook pro

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by flippo » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:33 pm

but they are honestly not that pimped out. I mean yeah they are lovely machines, but still the top-of-the range Macbook Pro benchmarks in Ableton lower than my machine that I built 3 years ago for half the price.

How do Macbooks go with price? do they come down a while after a new range comes out, or are they static until the next release? If they came down a bit I'd def be considering one.

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by fooishbar » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:31 am

JAMESSSS wrote:This might not be a popular comment, but I think at least in the music domain having a Mac sitting in the middle of your setup controlling things automatically conveys professionalism to the crowd.

Not saying I agree with it, but I really think it does.

:retzielikes:

Sent from my MacBook Pro

(a real pro too, not those pleb rebranded iBooks)
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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by JAMESSSS » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:58 pm

Professional
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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by enigneyratorelknaw » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:45 am

Searching for porn during a live sets is win :retzielikes:

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Mysty » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:21 am

Wat are thoughts on refurbished macs?

I'm seriously considering upgrading wat I'm doin to more of a live set with a Mac; Abelton & APC40 (which I've been researching & i love it it's so fukn cool)

But bit unsure whether a refurbished Mac would be any good.. Does anyone have one/ kno someone who has one?
I also see DJ Warehouse has cheaper ones that hav only been used a few times in their training, so I'm thinking of this option maybe as well

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by spiral » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:28 pm

I grabbed a refurb macbook pro last year - saved about a grand over a new one - runs live fine

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by spinfx » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:03 pm

mbp i7 hasnt stuttered.

tune i just wrote, 6 vst's tonnes of fx, cpu reached 5%

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Mysty » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:47 pm

Ok sweet could b the way I think. Just seems so much cheaper

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by huge » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:50 pm

yeah nothing wrong with the refurbed machines from apple.
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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by spiral » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:52 pm

just remember to buy apple care within a year of your mac purchase

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by Mysty » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:50 pm

^^ is that the warrenty? And does it still apply with refurbs?

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by spiral » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:25 pm

refurbs come with 1 year warranty - applecare adds an extra 2 years to this warranty

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by deviant » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:30 am

buying a macbook pro from the USA will save you around $400 with the current exchange rate

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Re: Laptops for Live performance

Post by fooishbar » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:04 pm

i think the difference is that applecare, as well as an extra two years of warranty, also gives you a worldwide and much more no-questions-asked service. the hinge on my two-year-old macbook air blew up quite spectacularly a few months ago while i was in the uk, they took it in and i picked up my now-flawless laptop (they replaced the entire top, including screen etc) 20 hours later.
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