Good laptop for home recording?

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Good laptop for home recording?

Post by 5barIMP » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:00 am

Hi - I'm looking for a bit of advice please.I want to buy a new laptop for recording and I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good one? I'm looking to spend around £1,000 ( roughly $1,300) and wanted a laptop in particular so that I could be a bit more mobile than with my old PC. I'd appreciate if anyone could help me out with this cos I'm a bit in the dark on this one.

Thanks,

Dave.

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by LOCK88 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:40 am

Hey Dave, here's a link to what I'm currently using with my ProTools rig. The only difference is that I upgraded my ram, which cost an additional $200. But this should get you going for a while, without any upgrades , for your price-point.
https://www.apple.com/shop/product/FK46 ... 5k-display

Sorry, I just realized that it is a laptop you prefer, So just use the specs on this iMac as a starting point for your search. HTH
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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by 5barIMP » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:24 pm

Hi Robb - thanks for that,it's given my a great idea of what kind of specs I should be looking for.

Thanks again,

Dave

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by andygabrys » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:01 pm

Hey Dave,

If it were me looking for a solid laptop with a good amount of power, that will be somewhat "future proof" I would look for a 2011-2012 Apple Macbook Pro.

These would be models 8,2 and 9,1 and 9,2 I believe. Look for ones with i7 processors, and the Superdrive. Don't get one with a retina display as they are glued together and much harder to upgrade (unless you want to spend that extra money, there are some things you can do to upgrade the flash drive and in most cases they come with 16 GB ram).

Here are some:

https://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Searc ... OWCUsedMac

https://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Searc ... OWCUsedMac

Here is why I would consider these:

1) IMO and experience, a PC is a jackpot waiting to happen. I used them at one time, and since thenI have had much better luck with Macs.
2) you can ran any DAW on it except for Sonar or Cakewalk.
3) the price vs. performance can't be beat - and in many cases you can pick up one of these on eBay for about $500. I did, and so have about 4 other composer friends of mine. Buying on eBay also allows you in a lot of cases to buy a SquareTrade Warranty if you are concerned about breakdowns etc.
4) the same website has upgrades to 16 GB ram for about $100
5) you can replace the existing mechanical hard drive with an SSD as needs and $$ allow - up to 2 TB size.
6) you can replace the Superdrive (DVD) with a chassis from the same website call a "data doubler" and put another SSD in it for audio sessions or samples - again up to 2 TB.
7) USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity for the most modern interfaces if you want a UAD Apollo or An Antelope Orion Studio or similar.
8) There are lots of them out there - so even though you won't have a service program, you can easily find replacement parts if some part of it stops working (like the monitor or the video card).

Spending $500 - $1000 now will give you 3+ years of computer, and then you can again buy an older model and that time and upgrade if you find you present machine is falling off with your demands.

Again - my opinion and my experience.

If you want a beast of a machine, buying a used Mac Pro 5,1 from 2012 or a Mac Pro 6,1 from 2013 or newer on the used market can't be beat either. Look for a used Mac Pro 6,1 off eBay or refurb off the Apple store if you want the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity. Another composer friend of mine just got a used Mac Pro 6,1 six core and an Apollo Twin with Quad processing and he's going to be set for a LONG time.

I have a Mac Pro 5,1 12 core x 2.66 ghz that is tricked out with SSDs for system and sample drives (on a PCI card so its like lighting) and lots of other internal storage for backups and sessions. Plus a UAD PCI card.

Lots of different ways to do it.

Good luck!

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by 5barIMP » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:13 am

Hi Andy - thanks for the advice,you've given me a lot more ideas to weigh up. I've never tried a Mac, but you're the second person who has recommended them and I'm starting to give it some serious thought!! I like your idea of being "future proof " - sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want to my set up be!!

Thanks again ,

Dave.

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by Paulie » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:51 pm

Andy is the man, he has helped me with more than one technology purchase. :)

It might be helpful to know what kind of music you write. If you do orchestral stuff you will need a lot of horsepower and memory to handle all of those libraries.

You specifically asked about a laptop, so I have to second Andy's recommendation for a MacBook. I use a MacBook Air (13 inch, mid 2013, 1.7GHz Intel Cor i7 with 8GB memory and a 500GB SSD internal disk, plus an external 10k thunderbolt drive for my libraries and projects). I don't do orchestral or trailers so I'm running just fine 99% of the time.

I've purchased three refurbished Macs directly from Apple. If you take a little time you can find some great deals in here. There might be a different link for folks in the UK, but this is a good starting point.

https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

Here's the laptop I have, the $979 price converts to about £725. (I upgraded the internal drive later on my own)
https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/ ... ook_air/13

But remember, the Mac interface is a big departure for PC users, so prepare for a learning curve. But once you get adjusted you will most likely never go back. :)

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by 5barIMP » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:50 pm

Hi Paulie,
Thanks for the advice. So far I've been mainly doing tension instrumentals, but I do want to start looking at more orchestral type listings - so I'll bare in mind what you said about having plenty of horsepower and memory. You're now the third person who has recommended making the transition to Macs - I must admit I'm very tempted, but as you say, I'd better getting ready for some seriously quick learning!!

Thanks again,

Dave

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by lesmac » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:59 pm

+1 for macs.

My world changed when I went over. Less time dealing with computer/hardware issues more time doing music.

The learning curve isn't that big. Google will get you through.

I used to run an antivirus on my macs but I don't see the point anymore.

One used to see it mentioned on forums about not letting your music computer near the internet. That might be a myth now and was probably more applicable to PCs.

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by 5barIMP » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:14 pm

Thanks Lester,

Looks like Macs are the way to go!!

Dave

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Re: Good laptop for home recording?

Post by LOCK88 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:44 pm

lesmac wrote:+1 for macs.

My world changed when I went over. Less time dealing with computer/hardware issues more time doing music.

The learning curve isn't that big. Google will get you through.

I used to run an antivirus on my macs but I don't see the point anymore.

One used to see it mentioned on forums about not letting your music computer near the internet. That might be a myth now and was probably more applicable to PCs.
I couldn't agree more Les. I don't think I could live without my Mac!
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