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Laptop spec suggestions and Audio interface ?

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  • Laptop spec suggestions and Audio interface ?

    Hey guys, I am thinking of going the Laptop route over my PC to play my VST's but I don't want to have any latency issues and was wondering what you would suggest spec wise on a windows laptop and also a audio interface with out breaking the bank here They have some good deals going on right now for the Holidays so now is the time to buy. I would like to hear from you guys that run this set up.

    My main concern would be "Latency", right now I can run my buffer size at 128 on my M- Audio Audiophile 192 PCI card with 3.2 of Latency and it plays very nice to me at that rate but, anything higher and I can really tell the difference and becomes unplayable to me.

    Thanks for any help ( I am running Midi from my TD-12 to my sound card currently )

    Rick
    Roland TD-12 Ludwig A2E 5pc kit, VH-11
    Studio Drummer, Abbey Road 60's 70's 80's, AD2, SSD4, SD3
    Komplete Audio 6, JBL Eon 515XT, Mackie FX12, DAW Studio One 3

  • #2
    I guess 'without breaking the bank' means I can scrap my regular suggstion of a used RME interface!

    My second-best suggestion would be the Focusrite 'Scarlett' range - depending on the number of channels that you need.


    A little side-stab I'll going to allow myself here:
    I've experienced the same thing as you with my RME Digi 96/8 PCI-card, when I switched to a laptop!
    I've said it numerous times: USB is currently the way to go with interfaces. PCI may have brought you one or two milliseconds less latency and a tad better MIDI-implentation, but USB (...good USB!) interfaces are more than up to the task. No matter how good a PCI interface is or was (m-audio, RME), it won't fit laptops!

    I'll promise this was my only rant regarding interfaces. If you read it and disagree: apologies!


    HTH


    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

    Comment


    • #3
      What are you using now ? Can you get very low Latency with your USB set up ? I would just need 2 channels I guess its just for playing my VST's
      Roland TD-12 Ludwig A2E 5pc kit, VH-11
      Studio Drummer, Abbey Road 60's 70's 80's, AD2, SSD4, SD3
      Komplete Audio 6, JBL Eon 515XT, Mackie FX12, DAW Studio One 3

      Comment


      • #4
        Cheap and lowest latency do not rime. It's a choice we all have to make.

        HTH mentioned RME. They consistently have the best support for drivers and very low latency.

        After that, Focusrite and M-Audio are probably close. There's the M-Track USB 2 channels with MIDI that sells for $80. Very cheap. I haven't read anything about latency though.
        Bets bet is to buy from a place that will let you return the product, should it not work the way you expect it to do.

        Oh, and stay away from Presonus USB range right now. They have some of the worst driver support I have ever seen. Lots of people have problems and I have been told by customer service that they have no time to fix the issues now because they are busy launching new products.
        DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
        Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

        My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by perceval View Post
          Oh, and stay away from Presonus USB range right now. They have some of the worst driver support I have ever seen. Lots of people have problems and I have been told by customer service that they have no time to fix the issues now because they are busy launching new products.
          I know you have had issues with your Presonus, but I have found the AudioBox USB to be flawless both with Windows and Mac, using ASIO drivers with Win and native Mac drivers with OSX. I was so impressed with the Presonus that I chose one of its siblings when I needed a Firewire interface, and it too has been virtually plug and play with the Mac which is generally fussy about Firewire devices.
          I should point out also that both of my interfaces were bought second-hand, sight unseen, and neither has disappointed me.
          Last edited by allanjohn; 12-10-13, 09:05 PM.
          . digitalDrummer
          Review index

          Comment


          • #6
            The Firewire versions were great and had a very good rep.

            But the net is littered with people who have problems with the USB line. You've had good luck, and I'm happy for you.
            I've tried 5 different computers (Macs and PCs), and none of them worked the way the unit is supposed too. Yes, it will work with Apple's own Core Audio (although, it shuts down output randomly at the moment, not usable in a live situation, barely usable in rehearsals), but all the hype the VSL range has been sold under doesn't work.

            They "updated" their drivers more than a year ago, mentioned that there could be problems with it, and never updated since.

            Like I said, I will not endorse a company that tells me they know my problem is real, but they are too busy with other things right now, like launching new products.
            When I asked when, they said: "not in the near future"....

            I just can't suggest products from a company that does not want to offer support.
            DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
            Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

            My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

            Comment


            • #7
              There seems to be quite contrary experiences with the Presonus-interfaces between both of you, Perceval and Allan.
              Due to this, I'm quite hesitant to actually recommend them at this moment, or at least I recommend to consider them *very carefully*.


              At first I thought that Perc maybe had bad luck with his computer, a bad unit, or just a bad day. But after he mentioned he tried 5 different systems, I think I can rule that out.




              Then I thought: Could the difference maybe stem from the fact that there were two different 'versions' of two-channel USB-interfaces....?

              Version 1: AudioBox USB (older, since 2005)




              Version 2: AudioBox VSL 22 (newer, 2011 - current)






              Going by the sentece "(...)but all the hype the VSL range has been sold under doesn't work", it seems as if Perc has the (newer) '22VSL'.

              Allan, do you have the older 'AudioBox USB' model then?
              Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-11-13, 08:50 AM.


              "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

              http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

              Comment


              • perceval
                perceval commented
                Editing a comment
                I actually have the top of the line (brick) with the 1818vsl

              • allanjohn
                allanjohn commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, mine is the non-VSL version.

              • hairmetal-81
                hairmetal-81 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks guys!

                It appears we're at the heart of the confusion. This also coincides with what I've found looking up on the Presonus-forums: The VSL sofware seems to be the 'bad guy'!

            • #8
              Hairmetal-81 What is your set up and what do you have for Latency ? Also I see all Laptops come with a 5400 rpm Hard drive, I thought you had to have a 7200 rpm hard drive for these VST's to run smooth and stream faster. What do you guys think of the Komplete Audio 6 http://www.native-instruments.com/en...plete-audio-6/
              Roland TD-12 Ludwig A2E 5pc kit, VH-11
              Studio Drummer, Abbey Road 60's 70's 80's, AD2, SSD4, SD3
              Komplete Audio 6, JBL Eon 515XT, Mackie FX12, DAW Studio One 3

              Comment


              • #9
                I did some research on the RME baby face and it really is the best out there for lowest latency and best drivers............ Big price tag though

                Do I really need to go with a i7 or could I get by with an i5 processor ? I need to save somewhere on the Laptop if I have to go with the RME and that seems to be the only place to save some coin is the processor.
                Roland TD-12 Ludwig A2E 5pc kit, VH-11
                Studio Drummer, Abbey Road 60's 70's 80's, AD2, SSD4, SD3
                Komplete Audio 6, JBL Eon 515XT, Mackie FX12, DAW Studio One 3

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by yzf125 View Post
                  Hairmetal-81 What is your set up and what do you have for Latency ? Also I see all Laptops come with a 5400 rpm Hard drive, I thought you had to have a 7200 rpm hard drive for these VST's to run smooth and stream faster. What do you guys think of the Komplete Audio 6 http://www.native-instruments.com/en...plete-audio-6/
                  yfz125,
                  when I switched from a desktop to laptop (...I had to do so, because the desktop once and for all c**pped out) I basically kicked my previous PCI-interface (a Digi 96/8) with all it's premium features.

                  I never did look much into interfaces since that point, never had too, my current 'interface' came to me more or less by accident, as an 'added' bonus.

                  I was in need for a field-recorder about five or six years ago. I wanted to buy something good - and buy something *once*, then call it a day!
                  So I was looking into the most quality, most feature-packed product I could get my hands on. That little gem was a Zoom H4n - a 'secon-generation' product (replacing the initial 'H4', now superceded by the 'H6'. Very brief, without going into to much detail:

                  Originally posted by hairmetal-81 View Post
                  Couple of features:
                  - Built-in metronome, tuner, and effects,
                  - Recording modes for stereo, 4-channel surround (using external mics) and 4-channel multitrack,
                  - Playback with variable speed and A-B repeat, pre-record function & limiter,
                  - Backlit display,

                  it comes with a mic-grip handle and its' own cute protection case. - ...heck, there's even a small speaker built-in!

                  All this (and more) with just 2 AA batteries. You will be able to record up to 16 hours with a 16-GB sd-card.
                  http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/products/h4n/


                  It took a while for me to figure this out and actually put it into practice, but *this* is the single feature that you should be interested in:
                  The H4n's dual combo XLR/jack inputs and the mini-jack output can be actually used as a simple 2 in/2 out USB-interface!

                  Latency-wise, I'm in a good ball-park, depending on the CPU-hunger of the software, of course, occasionally I have to bypass the Zoom-own drivers and have to employ the good ol' 'Asio4all'. Then again, I must mention that I'm on an 5-year old Eee-Laptop (still running Win-XP) that isn't the fastest machine in itself, so whether added latencies stems from the drivers *or* from the somewhat underpowered machine, I couldn't fully determine to this very day...

                  So as you can see, I 'down-sized' considerably, but it works for me, at present!

                  You can't really go wrong with one of these If it doesn't cut it as an 'added bonus' audio-interface, you still have a fantastic field-recorder / amp-simulator / a decent tuner & metronome and so on.... And since its' successor is out, used ones are available at decent prices!
                  I'd suggest you put one into consideration!



                  Hope This Helps (...before Perceval calls me 'HTH' again... )


                  "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                  http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    R.E. Hard drives - you can always go for a laptop with an SSD - massive speed at the tradeoff of smaller space.
                    --
                    West London, UK.
                    TD-11 module | DTXplorer rack | 3 x tp65 | 12" millenuim mesh head snare | cy-5, pcy65s and pcy150 cymbals | fd8 hh | krigg kick trigger w/ mapex raptor pedal.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Cheddies View Post
                      R.E. Hard drives - you can always go for a laptop with an SSD - massive speed at the tradeoff of smaller space.
                      ...which in turn can be remedied by an external usb-2 ** harddrive that can relieve the internal SSD a bit. Excellent suggestion, BTW!


                      ** (or usb-3, if you fancy...)
                      Last edited by hairmetal-81; 12-12-13, 07:50 AM.


                      "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                      http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        So guys... Do I really need to go with an i7 processor or can I just go with the i5, Will it make that big of a difference ? That is the question at the moment
                        Roland TD-12 Ludwig A2E 5pc kit, VH-11
                        Studio Drummer, Abbey Road 60's 70's 80's, AD2, SSD4, SD3
                        Komplete Audio 6, JBL Eon 515XT, Mackie FX12, DAW Studio One 3

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by yzf125 View Post
                          So guys... Do I really need to go with an i7 processor or can I just go with the i5, Will it make that big of a difference ? That is the question at the moment
                          Hmmm - that's a fair question!

                          Well, the simplest answer for me to give would be: "It depends on the software you are using." Seeing that you already have Addictive, let me ask you back: What is the recommended system requirements to run AD?


                          "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                          http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Studio Drummer is my MAIN VST I play I don't play AD that much but it uses the least cpu on my system and Studio Drummer uses the most. It says the specs for Kontakt player that you need to use Studio Drummer with : ~~Windows 7 or Windows 8 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended) But that seems like the minimum to me because I have I bit better system and run into issues now and then depending on the amount of effects loaded with each kit. Kontakt is a big CPU Hog and Studio Drummer is Loaded with mega effects especially the stadium kit with its deep sound and big reverb I end up changing my buffer setting to 256 to ovoid issues like drop outs and other crazy things but the other 2 kits run fine at 128.
                            Last edited by yzf125; 12-11-13, 08:09 PM.
                            Roland TD-12 Ludwig A2E 5pc kit, VH-11
                            Studio Drummer, Abbey Road 60's 70's 80's, AD2, SSD4, SD3
                            Komplete Audio 6, JBL Eon 515XT, Mackie FX12, DAW Studio One 3

                            Comment

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