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  1. #11
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    If you go for a laptop, get one that blows the air out from the backside, not the left, and definately not the right side. (if you're right handed)
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  2. #12
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I will be using Word a lot, although I heard that you can run a virtual Windows program. I'm not sure if it has some wrinkles along the way or if all the kinks have been worked out. That's one thing that does matter to me.

    Hey Fluffy, how do you know which way the laptop is going to blow the air? Probably I'd be ordering something from a website.

    Disregard - It's nice to have a change sometimes, isn't it. Glad your curls aren't all gone though!

    Everyone - so I've looked at the Apple website and I realized that I honestly don't know anymore what kind of memory, processing speed etc is needed/important. Also, any opinions about screen size?

  3. #13
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I've had macs and pcs for almost two decades now. I stopped buying macs a few years ago. I still like them, but as far as my needs go, I just need cheapo computers. I don't even care about usual PC considerations, like being able to customize your hardware better, etc.. That used to be important, but I don't play many games on the PC anymore. So I buy cheap sub $500 laptops. This is something Apple doesn't offer, except with the iPad. So that's why I use them. By the time they're outdated, there's already a lot of good stuff on the market in the same range.

  4. #14
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia
    Mac, or PC, Laptop or Desktop?
    Dear Sister Fidelia, I have spent over $20,000 on PCs/laptops/audio interfaces/nearfiled monitor speakers, and all esle needed to turn a PC into a Digital Aufio Workstation (DAW).
    I've run it on desktops, and I've runi on laptops.
    Here's my take on things, and why....

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I wondered if Macs were still more secure, or if that has changed since more people have made the switch.
    Considering I'm running the procurement for my company's Corporate Macintosh Anti-Virus Product, I'd say that argument is now out the window.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    For PC fans, what is the main draw for you? I know it used to be that software was more compatible between your computer and other people's, but I think that gap has been largely bridged.
    Not true.
    PC Music applications for all three BIG categories of tools: (audio/MIDI sequencers), VSTi (Virtua; Studio Instrumnets), VSTiFX (Virtual Studio Effects) - are:
    (a) Cheaper in cost
    (b) you have more to pick from (If you're a spftware developer, do you want to try to sell to 4 billion PC users or 1 billion Mac users? economies of sclae!)

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Also, any particular reasons why I would not want to go laptop? I've always had a desktop, and I know in the old days I just didn't find laptops that useful for portability as they were still pretty heavy and there was a short battery life. I think that part has improved now by quite a bit.
    Do not go laptop as your only soluution!).
    Laptops are great BACK-UPs, and neat "mobile" or field recording units.

    A desktop will always have:
    - more expandability (PCIe cards/PCI cards, RAM, Video Cards, Ports, etc.)
    - bigger power supply
    - Desktops last longer and are cheaper to replace if one component goes out at a later date.
    - ability to add huge internal hard drives.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I'm not really planning to do a lot of travelling with it, but I think it would be useful for presentations with a projector and also when there is family coming over, I'd rather the kids not feel free to use it all the time, so it's nice to have something you can just put away.
    A simple fix. Setup a guest account for them and they cannot mess up your musc account configuration.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I sort of like the substantial feel of a desktop keyboard.
    Yes, me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I also have found in the past that laptops tend to overheat sometimes. I like being able to burn CDs with a double tray, although I realize that technology is on its way out (I still like having something tangible and quick like that though).
    Create an ISO image of the CD you wish to burn on your dektop, then use it to burn your CDs to your single drive as the ISO will be the source file, and a separate CD.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I'm also wondering about the shelf life of both (assuming that I didn't do a bunch of upgrading a desktop). It seems to me like a lot of people with laptops feel like they need to buy something new every 3 years or so as opposed to the 5 you may get out of a desktop. That may not be accurate though.
    Buy the most you can afford. and it will last as long as the universe says it must.

    Now then, don't forget about your audiop interface, microphones, Fender PA system, and other gear... :evlgenius:

    Any more questions, please ask; I am alwasy at your service.

    -Alex of Halla74
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    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
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    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  5. #15
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I would agree that laptop users buy things every 3 years or so. But then, like I said, I buy cheap stuff. Replacing is not a problem. If you're recording music, I guarantee you don't need more than what budget Intel chips offer. Nor do you need more than the typical terabyte of harddrive space they offer (and if you do, external drives cost nothing too). Nor do you need more than the 4gigs of ram they have. There was a time when this stuff was at a premium, but it's cheap shit now. The only reason one needs the highest end computer for music recording is for a serious studio setup and you want to control 64 tracks of the London Philaharmonic in real time. A laptop with a typical usb interface (from protools, cubase suppliers, m-audio, whoever) does the job mighty fine. The computer is the least you should worry about with music. Save your money for good music software. That's what gets expensive. If you use cubase or protools, they already come with a lot, but they have a lot of plug-ins you might want to get. And some get pricey.

    Alex gives good advice, but he's Se dominant, and gonna tell you to get the best of the best.

  6. #16
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I would agree that laptop users buy things every 3 years or so. But then, like I said, I buy cheap stuff. Replacing is not a problem.
    It is if the 4-pin FireWire port in your Dell Inspiron motherboard shorts out in the middle of recording a bad ass arpeggiated synthesizer riff, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    If you're recording music, I guarantee you don't need more than what budget Intel chips offer.
    The Intel Celeron series sucked ass at recording/procssing/remixing tracks.
    That's why I only bought chips for my DAWs.
    No limited front side bus like budget Intel chips, and at a reasonable price.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Nor do you need more than the typical terabyte of harddrive space they offer (and if you do, external drives cost nothing too).
    The storage capacity of the hard drive is but only one factor of a hard drive's ability to serve as a repository for sample material and storage space for a DAW.

    Unfortunately, STORAGE SIZE has NOTHING to do with the hard drive's ABILITY to RECORD AUDIO IN REAL TIME WITHOUT SKIPPING/ADDING UNDESIRABLE AUDIO ARTIFACTS.

    The drive specification most important for someone building a DAW on a budget is to get a an internal hard drive that has a drive speed of at least 7,200 RPM - because that is the drive speed that is the fold standard for home recording.

    Hard drives with a drive speed of 5,400 RPM will not be able to keep up with recording multiple tracks + playback from an audio/MIDI sequencer without glitching out.

    So, let's not confuse STORAGE with DRIVE SPEED.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Nor do you need more than the 4gigs of ram they have.
    That depends on the operating system you are using. a 32-bit OS like Windows XP-SP3, or Vista 32-bit, can only handle up to 3.25 GB of RAM because that is the upper limit of distinct memory locations that the OS can assign data to and have available in real time.

    Now, if you have a 64-bit operating system, and you have 16 gigabytes of RAM, will you not feel more comfortable knowing that your DAW can handle in real time 16 gigabytes of information that are instantly available WITYHOUT having to resort to disk-streaming to the hard disk to keep sample memory from overflowing?

    Do you need it? Maybe not.

    But, in this day and age, if you buy a 32-bit OS and limit yourself to 32-bit applications, then you are wasting your money, and boxing yourself in as more and more newer products will require the support of a 64-bit OS and minimum amount of RAM (8 to 16 GB) in order to function.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    There was a time when this stuff was at a premium, but it's cheap shit now. The only reason one needs the highest end computer for music recording is for a serious studio setup and you want to control 64 tracks of the London Philaharmonic in real time.
    In many cases, yes, I agree with you, but for the hobbyist who simply wantsto push the envelope, or have room to grow, or even just have a "buffer" of safety between his system's maximum capacity and that of the track he/she is trying to record, I feel those reasons are valid also.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    A laptop with a typical usb interface (from protools, cubase suppliers, m-audio, whoever) does the job mighty fine. The computer is the least you should worry about with music. Save your money for good music software. That's what gets expensive. If you use cubase or protools, they already come with a lot, but they have a lot of plug-ins you might want to get. And some get pricey.
    Here's where I'll throw a curve ball. I use Mackie's Trackton 3.
    It is one of the least expensive audio/MIDI sequncers available, and it is easy to use and fully funtioning.
    I also use a lot of FREE VSTs (See the KVR site).
    Plus, IK use my college student discount to buy one or two good VSTs per year.
    By recording my own "real" instruments" and using "real vocals" from friends I am able to create a diverse soundscape with very little investment.
    Creativity goes farther than raw capital, in my world.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Alex gives good advice, but he's Se dominant, and gonna tell you to get the best of the best.
    LOL! You give good advice too, KDude. Please don't think I was bashing your commentary; I was merely playing devil's advocate.
    Don't EVER be too quick to dscount me just because I am a Se dom.
    I have over a 1,000 posts at www.teakheadz.com, and have been playing guitar, playing my Access Virus KC virtual analog synthesizer, setting up live sound rigs, and working as an engineer and DJ at local night clubs for many years.
    I've read countless resources, spend days of my life at Guitar Center, and spent more money on gear than I care to admit, but I don't regret any of it, because I learned what I set out to do, and even more, and in the end, I can make a professional sounding recording environment with bare minimum equipment and proper room setup and mic technique than what many wanna' be "Producers" shovel out of their shit hole studios that cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    I'm not the top dog in this realm of expertise, but I know my shit, and I can back it up.



    -Alex
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  7. #17
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    I haven't run the latest Virtual Windows and I've never run a full-install of it, but my friend got the full-install when she bought her iMac years ago and her husband loves it. However, the full-package back then was a significant amount of extra money (around $200--not sure if it's less now) and might not be worth it to you. And unless you really need or love the Mac part, you might as well get a PC.

    You need to match your criteria with what the computer offers and what you're already comfortable working with, IMO. Both platforms are trying to meet in the middle somewhere and offer similar capabilities. My, not-as-well-informed-as-I-used-to-be opinion on the differences in desktops only is:
    • Mac is still more secure in that the bad guys are more inclined to write malware for PCs. Yes, the anti-virus programs will even that out, but sometimes that little edge makes a difference.
    • Mac interface is still more beautiful, intuitive, and, as far as I know, stable.
    • Macs started out as graphics/layout machines and that is still their strength.
    • PCs started out as word processing machines and that is still their strength.
    • PCs offer more software options, which are sometimes better and cheaper depending on the application.
    • PCs offer more hardware options. It can sometimes be difficult to find add-on devices and cables compatible with Mac.
    • Since more people own PCs, transferring files to other people is sometimes easier with a PC because of format issues. There are work-arounds, but this was one of the biggest differences between platforms in my line of work (printing). Fonts and layouts wouldn't always transfer properly, even using the same software. PDFs helped this issue, but won't work for everything. Consider how much and who you have to transfer files to when picking a platform.
    • PCs are cheaper.
    • Not sure if it's still an issue, but Adobe may no longer be making Flash Players that are compatible with Mac.


    As for capacity, I agree with KDude. 4gigs ram, terabyte harddrive. External harddrives are really cheap these days, so adding more space, if you need it, is easy. I would get the biggest screen you can afford.

    Pay attention to the type of connections and how many there are on the computer and which ones work best for what you're using the computer for. I wanted to do some personal (as opposed to professional) video work on my iMac and I couldn't use Firewire as my connection, but all my USB ports were filled. I have to switch out USB devices depending on what I want to do and that can be a pain sometimes.

    Again, this is all only for desktop. Since I've never owned a laptop, I can't recommend between laptop and desktop.

    ETA: I defer to the greater knowledge of Halla and KDude where working with music on the computer is concerned.
    Johari / Nohari

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    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  8. #18
    Senior Member Joehobo's Avatar
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    Was going to post some advice, saw halla74's post. Steps away.
    His pretty much got this shit pat down.

    So all I'm going to say is..
    Definitely stick with 64 bit architecture if you can for the simple fact that even if its not a requirement for you now, it will be in a few years more than likely. Everything gets outdated so quickly, so your best keeping to that so you can expand upon it in future. Don't limit yourself in that respect. This is the joy of having a PC, it's not as limiting as a mac so to speak. Also, if you decide PC It might be wise to wait a little for the new Ivybridge chipsets to come down in price (if money is an issue.) if the price difference between those and the older gen aren't too great you may as well get your hands on one of those.

    EDIT: Running dual monitors is also ridiculously great, and you'll find it quite productive having the multiple windows spread out over two screens

  9. #19
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Today I saw a portable harddrive designed for a mac that was 1tb for $100. The PC ones were $119. It was the first time I have ever seen a Mac product on a shelf cheaper than a PC equivalent.

    Macs have a good customer service section, and I never really hear bad things about them--but many people still use PCs. Interfacing issues are going to arise, so i'd just be prepared for that if you're going the mac route. Also, expenses are higher and so is maintenance. If you lose a charger you're paying a pretty penny for another one. Apple has a lot of control on its own products, so you'll be paying full price for it outside of craigslist or something. If you're careful with products and don't have bad luck with things short circuiting or dying, this may be perfectly OK for you. Also, if you have an Ipod, or Ipad, or anything else, all of those devices can sync with each other, so you'd be pretty set.

    I've always used PC products and I like them. They're cheaper, and more customizable. I can get the exact video cards I want, and the exact specs like louder speakers, 10-key pads, and everything by just doing a ton of research. Replacing them is easier, no interfacing issues, and software is generally cheaper. The downside is they aren't as sleek, stylish, or as graphics-oriented as apple. And independent all around means crappy customer service. Nothing is really streamlined with it. I had a lot of trouble getting my computer fixed with Toshiba, and I'm still nervous about the outcome.

    Either way, I'd say get a laptop. Desktops are absolutely going to be obsolete--almost anything you do now-a-days is powerful enough to be ran from a laptop (Unless you're doing some insanity gaming shit while developing new music and creating a CGI movie), and they take up less space and can go with you everywhere. A small portable harddrive can back up your entire computer and all your files no problem in case you do have to send it in for repairs for whatever reason. Laptops are working on being obsolete but it will be years before everything that you can do on a laptop can be done on a tablet, so you won't waste your money on a laptop either way.
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  10. #20
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    PC = easy to work on and replace parts. Easier to cool down due to components not being crammed together, which means more powerful processor, more powerful graphics card. Case has more room for onboard devices like burners and drives and card readers.

    Lappy = portable and compact. They are pretty good now and if you plan to carry it around, or don't want something that takes a lot of space and you aren't interested in parts, go ahead. If you want a bigger screen, keyboard, or mouse you can just USB them.

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