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Keitomine

Looking for a laptop for music production

8 posts in this topic

So I've been producing music on a laptop for a long time, but I'm looking to upgrade. I know desktops are better for production, but I need the portability until I'm in a situation where I can build a home studio.

I know a lot of people recommend Macbook Pros, but 1: they're really expensive, and 2: My DAW of choice isn't stable on that OS. I've considered the option of buying a Mac, and just bootcamping a windows OS, but why do that when I can just buy something that defaults with a Windows OS?

So anyway I'm looking for something quite powerful, but portable at the same time. With a decent onboard sound card and maybe the option of Fire Wire. The main use of the computer will be music production, but I do want it strong enough to play modern games as well (I'm all about multipurpose anyway).

What brands would you recommend, or what websites should I start looking?

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Here's a question, are you going to be using a lot of sample libraries?

If so, I would encourage getting a laptop with an SSD in it. Load times on small laptop hard drives are abysmal (my Lenovo Y500 has a 5400RPM, and it takes 5 minutes to load a violin section, and like 10 for our new piano at Impact Soundworks).

That being said, if you're not going to be using big, multi-GB libraries, then it's not nearly as important.

I recommend the Lenovo Y-series. I've been using mine for a year and a half now, works great. It's got an i7 and 8GB RAM to start, which is great for music production and it's got a GT750 for gaming (runs Skyrim full settings, which is pretty decent for a laptop below $1000). I used this laptop at the MAGFest "How to Make ReMixes" panel, where I actually produced music live in front of an audience. No snags whatsoever. Fast, stable, etc. The only issue is hard drive speed. Things take forever to load, like big orchestral sample libraries and whatnot. I've been running them from externals now via USB 3.0 to improve that, but if I were you I'd just buy the SSD outright.

I just looked, I think the Y40-80 http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/y-series/y40-80/ would be a solid choice. The one with an SSD is the third one, if that's your flow. That has an AMD Radeon, but according to benchmarks it's still a pretty beefy card. That whole package with i7, 8GB RAM, good gfx, and 512GB SSD for $880? That used to be an unthinkable price. You can get 16GB at the next choice over for $900.

Edited by Neblix

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i got a laptop for 600 euros a year ago for what it's worth, and i can run most of my music stuff just fine. but that's because most of my plugins are a little older and cpu efficient. and because i don't really use any monster patches with thousands of multisamples.

so i cannot run the high end shit, but really, that bugs me more when it comes to games :)

audio card seems trivial to me as i'm using an audio interface to record. i didn't for the first couple months, and the sound was alright. of course, with bad luck you might get a real buzzy output or something.

just sayin', $700 or less might work out fine if you aren't crazy about using all the new shiny plugins. sometimes the added cycles may be really worth it, sometimes i feel people forget about efficient coding because there's so much power available.

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Here's a question, are you going to be using a lot of sample libraries?

If so, I would encourage getting a laptop with an SSD in it. Load times on small laptop hard drives are abysmal (my Lenovo Y500 has a 5400RPM, and it takes 5 minutes to load a violin section, and like 10 for our new piano at Impact Soundworks).

That being said, if you're not going to be using big, multi-GB libraries, then it's not nearly as important.

I recommend the Lenovo Y-series. I've been using mine for a year and a half now, works great. It's got an i7 and 8GB RAM to start, which is great for music production and it's got a GT750 for gaming (runs Skyrim full settings, which is pretty decent for a laptop below $1000). I used this laptop at the MAGFest "How to Make ReMixes" panel, where I actually produced music live in front of an audience. No snags whatsoever. Fast, stable, etc. The only issue is hard drive speed. Things take forever to load, like big orchestral sample libraries and whatnot. I've been running them from externals now via USB 3.0 to improve that, but if I were you I'd just buy the SSD outright.

I just looked, I think the Y40-80 http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/y-series/y40-80/ would be a solid choice. The one with an SSD is the third one, if that's your flow. That has an AMD Radeon, but according to benchmarks it's still a pretty beefy card. That whole package with i7, 8GB RAM, good gfx, and 512GB SSD for $880? That used to be an unthinkable price. You can get 16GB at the next choice over for $900.

This is basically what I did when I bought a laptop for sound design/smaller music production while traveling. I got y470p (decent bit older than the 500) with i7/8gb ram for 200$ used on Ebay and it's worked fine so far for a year. Like Neblix said, I would try to get an SSD or at least a 7200rpm drive though.

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Im kind of looking for a laptop or Mini ATX tower i can travel around with.

i figured i could buy the BitFenix Tower solution.

but still wondering if its worth it. i can't move to Mac even though imageline has shown future might be bright for there support :)

im wondering if its worth going entirely SSD and it probably is 16 gb as minimum and then a I7 core processor as minimum. thats a quite hefty price in Laptop area... and the laptops doesn't really hold battery life to greatly when i look at the possibilities so i am going more towards a dedicated small Mini ATX tower and buying a portable USB monitor if need be... Still pondering though stuff can change :)

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I would recommend Lenovo Y500

 

But we are in a time when there are many available options. If you are a DIY enthusiast, assemble yours, identify all the features you'd like and modify it

 

its what i did, no complains

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