New Laptop for starting production and recording mixes

LTJ

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#1
Ok, so im looking for a new laptop that i can start production on & also record decent mixes on

currently i record through the 3.5mm Jack on a wanky old laptop and it is - well, wank

id like to upgrade, im not keep on Apple's to be fair but if that's the way i have to go or its suggested i should go then ill have to reconsider

id like a laptop with a decent soundcard already installed, i do have an older M-Audio USB external soundcard however id like to link my mixer direct to the laptop via USB to a decent pre-installed soundcard

budget is £500 - £750

any idea's, what do you have? / purchased recently that's pretty new and up to date? appreciate hardware changes all the time but whats out there now that's decent?

sorry if this has been asked before BUT like i just said, hardware changes all the time, even on a weekly basis

cheers!
 

hyperd4eva

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#2
I brought a laptop for the same reasons. Went for a brand new macbook.. Didnt need it. Hardly use logic cause dont have the time. They are fucking pricey but decent.

If i was to do it all over, id get a decent windows laptop, i feel like there is no point spending what i spent unless u are 100 % u have the time to learn logic.

Plus u cant convert the headphone port into a line in on the new macbooks.


Plus u aint got enough dosh with 500 - 700 quid!
 

LTJ

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#3
Cool, man, well im open to suggestions, and id prefer a Windows laptop because im old fashioned! - thanks for the input though all the same, i guess i may have to embrace the whole Apple ting soon really aint i?
 

hyperd4eva

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#4
Not to sure mate. With macs u have to buy every thing as adapters to do basic things. Like hdmi for example. To me paying over a grand or a laptop you should have these things. But then again i didnt really look at it i just got it through a work scheme
 

Dugg Funnie

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#5
Cool, man, well im open to suggestions, and id prefer a Windows laptop because im old fashioned! - thanks for the input though all the same, i guess i may have to embrace the whole Apple ting soon really aint i?
No. If you're going for a portable device like a laptop or tablet, yes. But if you're going for a full desktop PC (eventually you'll hate laptops, tbh imo), you can build an AMAZING computer for the price of an iMac; just wait till holiday season on newegg and you can just go buckwild and build a massive machine on the cheap.
 

Nucleoid

Nucleoid Drum & Bass
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#6
I just bought a new one too with the same idea and same pricecategory.
In the end I spent slightly more (in euro's tho) on the following:

ASUS N56VJ-S4148H
15,6" Full HD screen
6GB Ram (But within this budget - it was 35eu - I had 2GB Ram extra built in) so really, 8GB Ram
Intel i7 Core (quad) QM3630
NVIDIA Video Card 635M 2GB

This cost me a total of 880Euro's and it's fast as hell! :D
I must say though that eventhough it has such insane specs, running Ableton with Reason as a slave with 40 tracks is simply too much.
So you might encounter a few problems at the end of your track, but in most cases it really does the job :)
(And.. you have an awesome HD screen and a vid card for if u wanna relax and game / watch a movie)

However... the built-in soundcard isn't much good. I'm still using it and everything works fine, but I'm sure an external one is better.
Currently saving for one.
 
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Dark Lizardro

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#7
I bought a Dell Inspiron 15R SE, for gaming purposes, but then I started producing my music with it. It runs pretty well (I use Fl Studio). The tech specs are quite the same as Nucleoid's laptop, but the graphics card is a AMD Radeon 7730M with 2gb.
 

LTJ

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#8
Cheers for all the input so far guys ( and girls if there is any ;) ) but the main focus here would be quality of sound, I guess to get the best you have to get a decent external sound card by the sound of things and run the mixer through that with correct cables, I had been using dual RCA into a 3.5mm converter into the jack on the laptop but now that is fucked and crackles I need something that isn't going to use the 3.5mm jack? Otherwise in a year that will be fucked again no doubt!? Hmmmmm!!
 

rysk

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#9
if you go into a shop and say you're looking for a laptop with good audio capabilities, they'll try and sell you one with 'beats audio'...DON'T! All that is is essentially a built in EQ, and if you turn it off, it makes the audio sound god-awful on purpose. So really you're gonna want an external soundcard.

Actually, don't listen to what they try to sell you, do your own research, they'll just try and make you buy the most expensive they can get away with, or the one with the most commission, or whichever one is on a staff offer so if they sell a certain amount, they get one free etc etc.

anyway, I have an asus k53sd with an i5 chip, great laptop for the price, i've never seen my CPU usage in FL go over 20% even with a few instances of massive running.
 
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#10
based on my experience id personally go for the mac I've had all sorts of pc/laptops with more than enough power but they always fucked up which prevented me from progressing as they crashed etc..... since ive had apple ive not one problem and i love it!!
you know what they say, you pay for quality

also as said above you want an external soundcard especially with a laptop!!! you can pick sound cards up cheap like the m-box thats a good one. i went and purchased the fireface 400 beacause i love everything about it
 
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Nucleoid

Nucleoid Drum & Bass
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#11
you know what they say, you pay for quality
Lol this must be a troll..

In any case, I agree with the stuff above this post. An external soundcard is probably going to give you the best result ;)
As for jacks, I'm actually just using a 3.5mm and it works fine. The balanced / unbalanced inputs for monitors only apply as useful when your cable exceeds 6 meters.
I would suggest to get a fast laptop (for producing, multicore is a must imo) and get a soundcard for recording..

If you enjoy using mac, don't be afraid to buy it, but remember:
you pay for design :boobies:
no really, whatever you pay for I don't know, but laptops with the same specs as macs are usually 500euro's + cheaper
 

Howitzer

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#12
ok, so #1 thing to look for in a windows machine is midi latency.

It doesnt matter whether its an i7 32 gb beast machine or a dual core celeron doorstop, the midi latency will define how fast you can interact with your machine through midi. This is essential if you plan to use either an external soundcard or midi controllers.

Whenever you go and check out a machine take this on a flash drive and run it: http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml
All green is a go, yellow/red spikes and there'll be some shitty driver software slowing you down somewhere.

and this is the biggest issue with windows machines. Every other manufacturer makes their own drivers, this isnt a good thing, especially for audio as theyre mostly shit.
On the flip side apple only has one audio driver that everyone uses and one driver architecture for manufacturers to code to, which makes it infinitely easier to setup shit on a mac.

Things are getting better for windows though, more and more manufacturers are using aiso4All which is a generic midi driver for windows and its great. Proper plug and play :)

If youre a techy kinda guy, build a windows machine with a fresh install of win7 and aiso4All drivers and you'll get a winner of a machine for half the price of a pre-built windows machine, which in turn is half the price of a mac.

It all depends on how much time you want to invest setting up and maintaining your machine. If you neglect a windows machine, it'll fall over, macs are more stable generally because there's less malware out there trying to infect your machine, but you pay the premium and look like a hipster :p

oh, and stay away from windows 8 & definitely budget for an external sound card, dont bother with an internal one.
 
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#13
The audio hardware on all laptops is rubbish, you will need an external soundcard.

If you are new to producing, don't go wasting £1,000+ on a macbook. You don't need a mac to make tunes, a half decent Windows one for £400 will do you fine.

I bought one a while back for £300. 6GB RAM, Core i3 CPU, works perfectly, never crashes.

Of course, if you are going to go and fill it with pirated cracked software, it probably will crash a lot.
 
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#14
Lol this must be a troll..

haha

If you enjoy using mac, don't be afraid to buy it, but remember:
you pay for design :boobies:
no really, whatever you pay for I don't know, but laptops with the same specs as macs are usually 500euro's + cheaper
without getting into a big debate
i pay for stability, solid quality made computer no other has ever matched!
also logic is my favourite DAW best ive used.
everyone to there own
 

LTJ

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#15
Thanks for all the response and help on this, i think the Windows laptop + new external sound card will be the way to go for me, appreciate all the help!
 

Mania

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#16
without getting into a big debate
i pay for stability, solid quality made computer no other has ever matched!
Umm, I have a mac.
Used PC's and Macs throughout my life, and Macs are far from the epitome of quality and stability. I got my mac because i had access to a free version of logic, which was the only DAW i had learnt thoroughly. If i had it any other way, i would have gone for a value PC, or even better, the custom PC route. IMO too many people make bad decisions when buying computers in general, so its something you really need to look at.
Howitzer's right, Asio4all is great, and in LTJ's case a USB through'd interface would be his best bet. My Scarlett runs though USB and have had no latency or quality issues (other than the fact my monitor lines are garbage)
 
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