Laptops what would get me started?

Posted by: Mistered4111

Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 08:33 AM

I'm thinking of purchasing a laptop to be used in conjunction with either my Tyros or Motif Classic or both. Of coarse I am on a limited budget (must cost less than a divorce) (actually $500-600)

What I would actually like to do is put vocal backgrounds with midi's for live application(s). (I do this now with the Motif, but the Ram limits it to about 7 mins.) In conjunction with this I would like to create a backup system in case my Tyros and or my Motif go down. And of coarse have MP3 to play for breaks.

I would appreciate any comments you may have in regards to this and if you have a better plan than a laptop I am very open to suggestions.

I'm sure many of you have already gone thru this process and I have no desire to reinvent the wheel.

Thanks in advance for your help

Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 08:52 AM

I think you might be a little pressed at that budget, but maybe you can find a good used laptop. Processor type and speed, and ram become important when you start doing anything with audio.

If you do use a lesser system, you'll want to stay away from CPU intensive apps, like some softsynths and soft samplers, and maybe just use a sequencer / audio combo to achieve your goal. An app like Sonar or Cubase becomes overkill here, but there are some very decent apps like N track studio or Power Tracks pro that should suit your needs. Even a few of the freeware apps you can find at KVR-Audio would do the trick.

For midi only applications, most systems will work just fine, even older ones with older operatung systems, and lesser CPU speed and ram.



[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 05-14-2005).]
Posted by: Fran Carango

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 08:58 AM

Ed, you should be able to pick up a used laptop[366 speed mininum, and Pentium prefered,128 ram min.] for around $350..

You should be able to pick up an older version of Acid Pro[3 or 4] for around $100[for recording multi tracks and rendering as MP3]..I would suggest you download Winamp 5.08[free] to playback media[MP3 and Wav], and VanBasco for SMF playback[free]...while you are at it ..get Powertracks[$29].
A midi/or USB interface will be needed..and I would suggest a soft synth[Roland VSC1]$60,for playback with in the laptop..

This set up will do all you require..
Posted by: Mistered4111

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 01:20 PM

Thanks AJ and Fran. I will take all of your suggestions into consideration. It will take awhile before I decide exactly what I'm going to do. I may beable to extend my budget if necessary.

Thank again for your help.

Posted by: travlin'easy

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 02:02 PM

You'll find that a brand-new Dell laptop can now be purchased directly from the for under $600 and it will do everything you need and then some. Lots of options, many of which the sales folks would love to collect commissions on, but most of which you don't really need. I purchased an Inspiron 1150 with an Intel P4- 2.6 GHz processor, 256 megs of SDRAM, 20 gig hard drive 24X CD-RW/DVD, lots of goodies, with a 14.1-inch XGA display for $699. A few months after I purchased it, I got an advertisement for the same computer from Dell for $539. Give them a call at 800-456-3355 and get them to cut a deal for you.

And, as Fran said, you can always shop for a good used laptop, and there are lots of them available. Nearly every major city in the United States has a computer show taking place on a monthly basis. Check them out--that's where I got my older laptop for $400 and it works like a charm. Just a 600 MHz prcessor, with 128 megs of ram and 10 gig hard drive, but it gets the job done and it does it well. It has been running for two years and never given me a single problem.

I'm sure you'll get lots of other responses from other forum members on this subject, just as I did two years ago. I'm glad I listened to Fran, Donny and Uncle Dave--folks who use them every day.

Good luck,

Posted by: Tony Rome

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 02:42 PM

If you go to e-bay and punch into this link
you will find a Sony Vaio with all the bells and whistles going right now for under $500.00.....

Tony Rome
Posted by: flatfoot

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/14/05 11:02 PM

I asked a similar question of a friend, and he gave me his old laptop. It is a WIN 98 machine , quite clunky, but it works great as a trigger for my DGX, connected by USB. It runs all my favorite MIDI sequencers, Band in a Box, OMB and so forth. I couldn't be happier.

I don't think this machine would do a good job with audio files or softsynths. If you need these capabilities it will get expensive fast.

If I needed to play MP3s and Background audio I would do it with a separate Walkman-type player.

Douglas Wolfe

Posted by: Mistered4111

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/15/05 08:29 AM

Thanks again to all that have offered their assistance.
If I can get the price from Dell that Gary has indicated then it looks like a winner.

Posted by: travlin'easy

Re: Laptops what would get me started? - 05/15/05 09:36 AM

Just had a scary moment. I was setting up my old regular laptop to transfer files into my backup laptop--just in case of a failure. When the regular laptop was turned on a message appeared on the screen saying "Cannot find operating system." This message usually appears when a hard disk crashes. Damned! Figgured this was gonna' be an easy day. I unbuttoned the laptop to get the hard drive out and guess what? It was already unplugged from the strip connector. Must have worked loose from transporting over those rough roads for the past two years. Plugged it back in and everything is working fine. Now I'm backing up the files again. Whew! That was close.