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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:17 am
Posts: 3397
Location: Europe
twisted-space wrote:
ze2be wrote:
twisted-space wrote:
If you need to ask, get a mac.
:lol:


I wasn't joking, think about it.

A mac will pretty much work out of the box.
A pc can work, but you need to do some research to ensure you choose one suitable for low latency audio and possibly do some work to configure it correctly.

The OP's question suggests, to me at least, that they either can't or don't want to do the required research, so the best option for them, imho, is to get a mac.


I was thinking about it.

A Thinkpad will pretty much work out of the box.
A mac can work, but you need to do some research to ensure you choose a low latency audio card and possibly do some work to configure it correctly.

The OP's question was regarding experiences from experienced users, mac or pc. So the best option, imho, is to figure out what suits him best.

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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:50 pm
Posts: 1253
Location: UK Midlands
Kim, that's cool.

You recommend a thinkpad, I recommend a mac. Either will do the job.

Thing is, the thinkpad (or any pc for that matter) simply won't do low latency audio out of the box. You have to have an asio sound card (or asio4all).

A mac will, though an decent audio interface will of course improve it.

What's more, I've yet to see a windows laptop that's ready for audio without doing some work. I'm a windows sytems engineer/admin, I've seen a lot of new laptops over the years. Very few have good DPC latency as shipped (not talking about custom stuff like Rain, ADK/SCAN, etc).


And just to be completely clear, I use a Dell myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:17 am
Posts: 3397
Location: Europe
Personaly I really dont think its that much work at all. Downloading the latest drivers for the soundcard takes a few minutes. You have to download drivers for a mac too. Graphic cards, printers, and so on.

I wouldnt recomend anyone using the built in soundcard that comes with any mac or pc. But if one have to, yes for a pc: download and install asio 4 all. Takes 2 minutes, and your done for good.

If you learn to use a PC, you can use 95% of the computers in the world. A mac is slicker, but not that much slicker imo. Win8 will make the differences even smaller. The OP needs to figure out what works best for him, economically, estetically, and functionally.

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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:20 pm
Posts: 1075
Location: suburban nightmare
I don't get these "out of the box" comments, my focusrite usb interface worked great as as soon as I plugged it in and installed the drivers, I don't see how that's different on a Mac. Sure there are a few tweaks to make Windows 7 perform better, but I'm sure you can adjust some automatic things on OSX to make things smoother on a Mac too.

Thumbs down for PC though, I recently realized that the firewire chipset on my Dell is a lame Ricoh and that doesn't work properly with firewire audio interfaces. I bought my laptop to play live and DJ, so it didn't matter at the time, but now I'd like to record more than 2 channels at once and need the firewire interface. Fortunately, I can buy an expresscard with a T.I. chipset, but I mean... wtf Dell? Why bother putting a firewire port if it can't do anything.

Bottom line for me, a Mac will already have a good firewire chipset (and probably a few other small details like this), with PCs you better check that out, it's not obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:14 pm
Posts: 23
Lenovo Thinkpad W520, rock solid with a minimal amount of tweaking


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:16 pm
Posts: 1086
Location: London
A mate recently got a new MBP and has had nothing but headaches with it. Apple seem to be falling into the old saying "If it has pro in the name, it's not professional" with their current laptops.

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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:21 am
Posts: 3127
Location: Shreveport LA, sometimes Dallas/Ft Worth TX
I thought this was pretty funny, however I do use a Mac for Audio work.

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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:47 pm
Posts: 1546
Location: Belgium
well windows7 has turned my dualcore laptop into an audio war machine.
Bye bye latency :lol:

So now mac vs pc is just valuable in terms of expense/money drop.

I would prefer a pc laptop with a powerful i7 for less than a macpro ubber model.
The cons about pc laptop, Firewire is becoming rare...very rare, it's amazing how cruel it is.
Usb3 everywhere but no expresscard anymore and no firewire... what a shame
Just for this only reason, they really push musicians to mac.


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 13011
Location: The Wild West
another +1 for Lenovo T500 series here. i've never had a single crash in almost 3 years. i did have some bugginess when Live 8 was still around 8.0.5 but that was Live not Windows 7.

if your audio interface has poor latency and shady drivers and you have to install ASIO4All (which lets face it, is easier than installing a VST since the installer does all the work) then maybe its the audio interface you should blame. either way the solution is cheap and almost as easy as installing a google toolbar... in other words, you can do it while you're installing something else.


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:01 pm
Posts: 579
Lots of thinkPad love here! Is it just a better price/ feature sweet- spot, compared to other Pc laptops and macs?


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 13011
Location: The Wild West
it just works.

oh wait... :x

it just works anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:41 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 105
ME : I have a Vaio

OTHER IDIOT : Ha! You bought an Overpriced piece of bloatware junk! Ha, you dick!

ME : I did a fresh install of Windows 7

OTHER IDIOT : Ha! You could have bought a Macbook for the same money, they work out of the box you know

ME : Its half the price of the Macbook and twice as sexy. The install took 1 hour, I don't have any latency, my machine boots in 9 seconds, Live loads in 3 seconds, did I mention the SSD performance.

OTHER IDIOT : Once you go Mac you never go back!

ME : Sorry I don't drink in Starbucks mate


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:45 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 105
Hermanus wrote:
windows7


Hermanus wrote:
Bye bye latency :lol:


Man knows!


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:59 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:48 pm
Posts: 751
Location: Southampton, UK
JuanSOLO wrote:
Image

Not entirely true...Physicists love macs cuz they're unix based.
e.g. http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/briancox/
Basically use the best tool for the job within the confines of the budget.

I just got a new Lenovo for work. Good computer. Regularly crashes at the moment running Office though. So I could recommend it as it's a good machine, but can't always recommend MS's coding. Can be fine. Can be an inescapable nightmare. Your mileage may vary.

I'm happy with my 1.5 year old 17" macbook pro. It's my everything computer so i like how it does everything it's supposed to without lots of tinkering, or me having to disable stuff that I might want when I'm not doing music production. If it's a dedicated music machine then you can probably save a few quid with a PC. But I still couldn't use the trackpad to swipe back and forth between Live and other software, or do 2-finger scrolling around live in all directions. (Yes, you can enable some of that functionality on this Lenovo - not Expose or Spaces though, but I can't fathom how it's possible to make it SO inferior to Apple and so turned it off and use a mouse else it just annoys me).

Basically, if I'm gonna buy a £2k laptop I'll wait til the newest macbook is out and buy that when it's best value for money. If I had a cheaper dedicated machine, or wanted to spend less then I might well consider a PC but would do a lot of research on it first.


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 Post subject: Re: Best laptop for Ableton Live - on stage performance
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:09 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:55 pm
Posts: 134
Location: B.....
andrewbrewer wrote:
Lots of thinkPad love here! Is it just a better price/ feature sweet- spot, compared to other Pc laptops and macs?
H20nly wrote:
it just works.

oh wait... :x

it just works anyway.


They are just long living, high quality laptops. But i would avoid the Thinkpad Edge Series, unfortunately they are far behind thinkpad standards. Go with T-Series or W-Series.

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