Author Topic: Laptop: Requirements for home recording  (Read 602 times)

Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« on: May 15, 2019, 10:20:29 PM »
Its about buying a laptop...to record music on...so is it oscillations? Or is it technology? Who cares?

Sorry for starting such a self-serving thread but why change the habit of a lifetime...tomorrow I am to purchase a laptop, the max I can go is like £649...Ideally I want a touch screen one that I can play indie Steam games on and record music, but I don't know, maybe that's a bit of a tall order for £649.

The ability to be able to make/record music on it is high priority, with the aim to be to accumulate things such as Pro tools and interfaces and mics etc over a period of time. I just wondered if anyone could be so helpful as to give me some advice on what kind of specifications I need to look for to do this? So far all Ive been advised is the more RAM the better. Most for 600 odd quid seem to be 8gb ram; is that enough?

Any advice would be really appreciated, I'm buying tomorrow so if no one answers by then I'll just go on gut instinct you ignorant bastards x

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 09:05:30 AM »
Any idea what DAW you'll be using? I'm not sure ProTools would be an ideal choice as they tend to stick to the "cutting edge", i.e. it will probably require you to upgrade your computer to carry on using it after a short while. I'd take a look at REAPER in preference, as you can try it out for free indefinitely (until you feel guilty and hand over the extremely reasonable amount of dosh). There's another DAW out there now that's open source, too. It's called Ardour and I have yet to try it out, but it's free and looks promising.
Another thing that will be an important requirement will be an audio interface of some kind; you absolutely cannot rely on the native audio in a laptop for monitoring purposes and definitely not recording purposes. These start at £25 and rocket up into the £000's so it would probably be useful to know what you plan to do on the computer to see what fits budget/requirements.

Amount of RAM will probably depend on your DAW and whatever else you may be utilising (for example, some virtual instruments, like NI Kontakt, might max you out quite easily).

Flouncer

  • See ya on the other side, ya goddamn cracker ass!
Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 11:02:06 PM »
The PC I use has 8GB of RAM. I found it okay for recording guitar and bass tracks on Audacity but then I kicked it up a gear, bought a MIDI keyboard and tried running Reaper and playing around with VSTs - this proved to be too much for it. I'm currently in the process of building a new PC and I'm going for 32GB of RAM. I suspect I could get away with 16 but I'm not going to fuck about.

McFlymo

  • Pre-"Post Reply" Anxiety
Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 09:59:15 PM »
My approach (that has served me well for about 5 years now) was to get a 2nd hand MacBook Pro, (a 2009 one in my case) then splash out on a Solid State Drive.

Once the SSD was installed in mine, it was like having a brand new laptop. So nippy and never any issues. Admittedly the battery life isn't great, but it's never been an issue, as I can get about an hour out of it, before needing to plug it in.

PlanktonSideburns

  • be outta here in a jiffy
Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 11:20:06 PM »
I've a pc with an i5 and 8 gig of ram,

It can  handle most recording projects as long as I don't want a million hypersampled pianos and 0 latency. Got some 80 track tunes on the go, mix of sampler instruments and synths, all v stable

I'm running reaper

Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 01:49:55 PM »
reaper. doesn't matter what OS you end up with. reaper ftw.

Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 02:50:05 PM »
Add on 80 quid for something like a Focusrite Scarlett for actually getting sound in and out of the computer.

And yes definitely throw in an SSD if whatever you're buying doesn't have one. They're stupidly cheap these days.
https://www.mymemory.co.uk/integral-240gb-p-series-5-sata-iii-ssd-drive-560mb-s.html?wgu=711_116019_15588787383304_434b70c5ab&wgexpiry=1566654738&source=Webgains

Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2019, 10:02:57 AM »
As far as DAWs go, I've never used it so I don't know what it's like, but Sonar is now called Cakewalk and is completely free: https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk - this was one of the main paid DAWs for many years, so it must be worth a look (regardless that they seem to have gone the route of the gaming platforms and you have to download and install it via their special client).

Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 10:20:26 AM »
reaper. doesn't matter what OS you end up with. reaper ftw.

+1
(Also free)

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 10:56:54 AM »
As far as DAWs go, I've never used it so I don't know what it's like, but Sonar is now called Cakewalk and is completely free: https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk - this was one of the main paid DAWs for many years, so it must be worth a look (regardless that they seem to have gone the route of the gaming platforms and you have to download and install it via their special client).

Cakewalk is the name of an ancient DAW going back to the late 80's.

Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 11:57:17 AM »
Cakewalk is the name of an ancient DAW going back to the late 80's.

Yes, Cakewalk evolved into Sonar and has now been renamed back to Cakewalk and made free.

Flouncer

  • See ya on the other side, ya goddamn cracker ass!
Re: Laptop: Requirements for home recording
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 02:14:37 PM »
I had a PC Format demo disk in the mid nineties that had a version of Cakewalk on it. I can vaguely remember having a fuckabout with it.

I've been getting to grips with Reaper over the last couple of months. It seems to do everything I need and is quite simple and intuitve. Really impressed with it.