inexpensive laptop for stage rig

Author
thepianist65
Max Output Level: -78 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 619
  • Joined: 2004/07/30 15:09:51
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Status: offline
2018/04/12 13:31:02 (permalink)

inexpensive laptop for stage rig

Hi, I am currently using my iPad pro on stage with my multi-keyboard setup, and I enjoy it a lot, since it's easy to tote around, mount, etc. However, although I mostly use my keyboards internal sounds, I have in the past used some IOS apps for various instruments. None of them really compare, however to the samples I own and use in my music studio, and for that (Kontakt libraries, etc.) I would need a laptop to load and to use them via MIDI, etc. I don't need the laptop to produce music but to load and run sample libraries and play them live in performance. Therefore, I'm wondering if a cheap laptop would be a waste, given the small hard drive space and slowness of loading sample libraries, but what might be a compromise between a full-fledged audio production laptop, and a performance laptop that augments my stage setup? Any ideas out there? Thanks.

 www.davemaffris.com
 BLUES:
https://www.facebook.com/coastalblueband1/
 
https://www.facebook.com/Midiexpert/?ref=hl
Please feel free to check out my music, all made with Cakewalk, available on itunes, Amazon, Google, Rdio, etc., etc.
For mostly jazzy stuff on Soundcloud at these locations:
https://soundcloud.com/dave-maffris
or for some different styles of music(pop/rock/covers):
https://soundcloud.com/dmpianoman
Tidewater Jazz page:
https://soundcloud.com/user-84355115
 
 
 
#1

10 Replies Related Threads

    Starise
    Max Output Level: -8 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 6742
    • Joined: 2007/04/07 17:23:02
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/12 16:31:06 (permalink)
    A run of the mill laptop probably would not be advisable for running a large sample library. Late last year when I shopped for a laptop to use on stage the only thing I found that came close in specs to a daw- ( 16gb memory, two hard drives, Fast processor ) were gaming laptops. Even in that bracket you need to look for a deal, many of those are only 8gb memory and a 5400 rpm single drive. Most do have a decent graphics card though for obvious reasons.
    I bought an HP OMEN. So far I've been happy with it. When I bought it I thought the larger screen would be an advantage. It's actually quite large. The smaller screen would have been plenty. 
     
    Good luck Dave!
     
     
     
     

    Intel 5820K O.C. 4.4ghz, ASRock Extreme 4 LGA 2011-v3, 16 gig DDR4, ,
    3 x Samsung SATA III 500gb SSD, 2X 1 Samsung 1tb 7200rpm outboard, Win 10 64bit, Presonus Firetube Studio
     
    John Wayne- "Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid."
     
     
     www.soundcloud.com/starise
     
    www.recordinghound.com
     
     
    Twitter @Rodein
     
    #2
    fireberd
    Max Output Level: -40.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 3464
    • Joined: 2008/02/25 14:14:28
    • Location: Inverness, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/12 16:50:40 (permalink)
    I have a Dell Inspiron 15, 5577 Model that is sold as a Gaming Laptop.  It has an M.2 SSD (and space for a second hard drive or SSD) and came with a 7th gen i5 and 16GB of RAM.  "Visually" it boots up, loads programs and runs the same as my Desktop DAW.  I've used it for several on-site recordings.  Don't know how it would do for MIDI but it does "zing along".  
     
    The current model has an i7 7700 in it with an M.2 SSD and a hard drive. 

    Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
    ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
    Sonar Platinum/CbB. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, (backup unit Tascam US 4X4)Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
    Ozone 5,  Studio One 3

    ISRC Registered

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E. Assn.
    #3
    thepianist65
    Max Output Level: -78 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 619
    • Joined: 2004/07/30 15:09:51
    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/14 19:15:53 (permalink)
    Thanks for the suggestions, folks. Will look into it, for sure. 

     www.davemaffris.com
     BLUES:
    https://www.facebook.com/coastalblueband1/
     
    https://www.facebook.com/Midiexpert/?ref=hl
    Please feel free to check out my music, all made with Cakewalk, available on itunes, Amazon, Google, Rdio, etc., etc.
    For mostly jazzy stuff on Soundcloud at these locations:
    https://soundcloud.com/dave-maffris
    or for some different styles of music(pop/rock/covers):
    https://soundcloud.com/dmpianoman
    Tidewater Jazz page:
    https://soundcloud.com/user-84355115
     
     
     
    #4
    Jim Roseberry
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 9578
    • Joined: 2004/03/23 11:34:51
    • Location: Ohio
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/16 13:05:31 (permalink)
    If you're wanting to play advanced sample-libraries (with zero glitches ever) using an ASIO buffer size of 64-samples (or lower), be careful with your selection of laptop.  Most are not up to this task (even with M.2 Ultra SSD).
     
    To test, load up your favorite disk-streaming piano library, step on the sustain pedal... and gliss up/down the keyboard.  If you can do this completely glitch-free (several times to make sure), you'll never have glitches playing your libraries... even if you decide to really lean on that sustain pedal.
     
    If you don't mind playing samples at a 128 or 256 sample ASIO buffer size, many laptops will suffice.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #5
    tecknot
    Max Output Level: -76 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 730
    • Joined: 2004/10/31 17:09:29
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/18 03:19:09 (permalink)
    Jim, can you share some basic specs as a guide line?
     
    Much appreciated,
     
    tecknot
    #6
    Jim Roseberry
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 9578
    • Joined: 2004/03/23 11:34:51
    • Location: Ohio
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/18 13:30:28 (permalink)
    For working with ultra low latency audio, I'm not a fan of "Mobile" CPUs.
    That means using a laptop to running a Desktop CPU.
    Right now, the fastest laptop you can get is running a 8700k.
    That's the closest you'll get to a fast desktop... but it's expensive.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #7
    tlw
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2444
    • Joined: 2008/10/11 22:06:32
    • Location: West Midlands, UK
    • Status: online
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/18 17:34:48 (permalink)
    MacBook Pro + MainStage?
     
    With an SSD (internal or thunderbolt) and the right interface low latency should be straightforward even with the i5 version. So long as it's not too overloaded of course.
     
    Not cheap new but there are good condition used ones around.

    Sonar Platinum 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit, I7 3770K Ivybridge, 16GB Ram, Gigabyte Z77-D3H m/board,
    ATI 7750 graphics+ 1GB RAM, 2xIntel 520 series 220GB SSDs, 1 TB Samsung F3 + 1 TB WD HDDs, Seasonic fanless 460W psu, RME Fireface UFX, Focusrite Octopre.
    Assorted real synths, guitars, mandolins, diatonic accordions, percussion, fx and other stuff.
    #8
    batsbrew
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 9657
    • Joined: 2007/06/07 16:02:32
    • Location: SL,UT
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/18 17:49:25 (permalink)
    i would think for what it is you want to do,
    going the opposite way, would be what is required........

    Bats Brew music Streaming
    Bats Brew albums:
    "Trouble"
    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
    --
    Sonar 6 PE>Presonus Studio One 3.5>RME Babyface Pro>i7-7700 3.6GHz>MSI B250M>G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB>Samsung 960 EVO m.2ssd>Windows 10 Pro
     
    #9
    mesayre
    Max Output Level: -87 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 195
    • Joined: 2012/07/07 09:29:57
    • Location: New York, NY
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/18 22:11:10 (permalink)
    Another compromise you could consider is going with a lesser laptop with an SSD and downsizing your library using some kind of auto-resampler like Nuance or Bliss. I haven't personally done this, but have considered it.
     
    It would be a drop in fidelity, but I'm not sure you'd miss it in a live setting. My personal feeling is that I'd rather sacrifice a bit of quality to avoid pushing my machine to its limits all the time. But 
     
    Jim Roseberry
    If you're wanting to play advanced sample-libraries (with zero glitches ever) using an ASIO buffer size of 64-samples (or lower), be careful with your selection of laptop.  Most are not up to this task (even with M.2 Ultra SSD).
     If you don't mind playing samples at a 128 or 256 sample ASIO buffer size, many laptops will suffice.


     
    Just one more wrinkle I'd add to this, which perhaps you've already considered; your choice of audio interface can also be critical here, as driver quality/configurability can have a large impact at lower buffers. When I switched from an (admittedly outdated) focusrite to one of the newest-gen MOTU boxes, I had a massive latency improvement even at identical buffer settings, and can set it as high as 512 without being bugged by the latency. YMMV, of course.
     
    Great, more things to research, right? :)

    Mike Sayre
    Composer, Horn Player
     
    Sonar Platinum, Win10x64
     
    My new album, Music for Icebergs, is now on iTunes
    #10
    thepianist65
    Max Output Level: -78 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 619
    • Joined: 2004/07/30 15:09:51
    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Status: offline
    Re: inexpensive laptop for stage rig 2018/04/20 13:21:55 (permalink)
    Always a lot to research, but I'm already looking into a new audio interface for the home studio, to replace my MOTU ultralite mk 3 firewire. Unfortunately that would probably not work with newer laptops that don't have firewire, unless I have it custom made. I'm going to shelve the plans for the laptop for a while because I have other, more pressing upgrades, and my current live work is going fine the way it is, with my keyboards built-in sounds and my iPad for backing tracks, etc. 

     www.davemaffris.com
     BLUES:
    https://www.facebook.com/coastalblueband1/
     
    https://www.facebook.com/Midiexpert/?ref=hl
    Please feel free to check out my music, all made with Cakewalk, available on itunes, Amazon, Google, Rdio, etc., etc.
    For mostly jazzy stuff on Soundcloud at these locations:
    https://soundcloud.com/dave-maffris
    or for some different styles of music(pop/rock/covers):
    https://soundcloud.com/dmpianoman
    Tidewater Jazz page:
    https://soundcloud.com/user-84355115
     
     
     
    #11
    Jump to:
    © 2018 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1