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Old 18th December 2002, 05:33 PM   #1
bob4 is offline bob4  Germany
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Question choosing a notebook for audio use

Hey guys,

I'm soon going to buy a notebook and wanted to ask if anyone can give some hints.

1. It's gonna be a PC

2. Later on, I want to buy a decent PCMCIA recording card (the "Hammerfall DSP" by RME) in order to do some multitrack recording on that machine.

Now what should I pay attention to when choosing the notebook? What specs should the machine have? How fast should it be, how much RAM, etc....

I've heard that RAM sharing for the graphics is if you want to record audio. Are there any other dirty tricks the manufacturers use to save some money on my expense, that will lower the performance or even make more demanding tasks like what I intend to do impossible.

Suggestions please....
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Old 18th December 2002, 06:15 PM   #2
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Never considered an USB or Firewire AD/DA box? With a Mac (which has FW as standard) it's an easy thing to record, but I gather that you will use a Wintel box?

I guess that a PIII is a minimum, a P4 doesn't hurt. Multi-channel recording is quite heavy task especially if you want to process the sound in realtime during recording.

My tired old Mac (500 MHz G3) can use 3 plug-ins in realtime with a stereo signal and the program Spark from TC Works. www.tcworks.de
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Old 18th December 2002, 06:41 PM   #3
alvaius is offline alvaius  Canada
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I think any P4 will be more than sufficient in terms of processing power. I am actually quite amazed by the sound quality of the Audigy USB that I use for testing. I am looking forward to USB2.0 external devices for sound recording.
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Old 18th December 2002, 07:07 PM   #4
bob4 is offline bob4  Germany
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Thanx for the replies so far,

per-anders, I probably won't do any processing when recording.
About the USB/ FW AD/DA box: how much do they cost, how well do they perform? The PCMCIA card I'm going to buy later on is state-of-the-art, but of course big$, costs about 1000 EUR (including a breakout box), but until I have saved up some money I might be interested in cheaper alternatives to get started.....

However, if somebody knows of any pitfalls concerning notebook buying, let me know.....
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Old 18th December 2002, 07:26 PM   #5
alvaius is offline alvaius  Canada
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Dell, IBM, Toshiba do seem the most reliable. Sony has 1394 built in. The Soundblaster Audigy USB is less than $200 USD. 100db SNR on playback, can't remember the record. I am suprised by the quality of playback.
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Old 18th December 2002, 07:35 PM   #6
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General tip on notebooks,
Most PC notebooks have only 2 slots for memory and are often default spec'd with both slots filled (ie 256Mb= 2X128Mb), its cheaper for them this way. ALWAYS get you memory in one slot, it cost a little extra, but if you ever need more you're not forced to basically toss half your current memory. Dell, gateway,IBM, etc all often do this (fill the slots) with their laptops unless you spec otherwise.

FWIW,

Pete Kunz
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Old 18th December 2002, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by bob4
per-anders, I probably won't do any processing when recording.
When I have recorded vinyl I have had rumble filter on. First I had also deNoiser but when I got more experienced I noticed that it was wiser to adjust the noise reduction with a little bit more "Fingerspitzgefühle". Easy on the settings....

BTW: You audio nerds: have you tested DeNoiser from Steinberg? It's Dolby H, I, J or even K. Think of what my life would had been with this wonder with my cassette deck!!! DeNoiser and DeClicker are marvelous!
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Old 19th December 2002, 02:56 AM   #8
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Default Hi alvaius (sorry this has nothing to do with this thread)

What's up with your Zetag cross-over. You told me that if I gave you my e-mail address you would send me a schematic of your cross-over. But it's been 3 weeks I think since I posted my e-mail address in the loudspeaker forum. Did you change your mind about giving me your cross-over design? I'd be happy if you didn't change your mind of course, but I would like to know if you are not going to give me your cross-over design also. So I can start designing my own soon-to-be horrible flawed cross-over.

-Jimmy
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Old 19th December 2002, 06:56 AM   #9
bob4 is offline bob4  Germany
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Default Re: Hi alvaius (sorry this has nothing to do with this thread)

Jimmy,

there's a nice small button on every post that reads "email". By clicking on it you can send a email to the person who made the post.
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Old 19th December 2002, 02:11 PM   #10
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Hi Bob,

Provided the notebook has a USB port I would certainly consider Per-Anders' advice.

It is a much more universal standard than PCMCIA and it would allow you to use the soundsystem on any other PC having a USB port making for a better investment IMHO.

Beware however that there are two USB standards that are not necessarily backwards compatible with everything: USB1.X and USB2.0.

Will you buy a new or used notebook?

And you really mean "notebook" not "laptop"?

Ciao,
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