View Full Version : music laptop

jonny mugwump
29-08-2009, 02:51 PM
i want to custom build a laptop for music production- any ideas on where would be a good place to do this in the UK, London in particular?

Benny B
30-08-2009, 12:23 AM
I want to do this too. I don't like the idea of paying money for a load of features that I'll never use, when really all I want is to run two or three music programs really well.

Martin Dust
31-08-2009, 01:26 PM
Easy enough, fastest chipset you can afford, most ram (4gig) and a hard disk that spins at 7200rpm.

Just strip the OS back and you should be fine. You can build a nice system for under 800.

Benny B
31-08-2009, 03:17 PM
Yeah, but where can you get this done?

31-08-2009, 04:05 PM
In many cases a half-decent machine from one of the big manufacturers will do a fine job for standard music applications and you'll pay far less than if you go to a specialist music PC builder. Laptops more or less come as a whole anyway. What Martin says is correct - a good CPU / chipset (not some budget job with 0 cache memory), lots of RAM and a fast 7200rpm hard drive. The fast hard drive will often be an optional extra otherwise most of that will be standard. You won't generally be paying for stuff you don't need as long as you avoid unnecessary software bundles.

Choosing an audio interface comes down to what exactly you want it to do - how many ins and outs, mic pres or not, MIDI, what sort of fidelity you demand and how much you want to spend. The range and choice is huge. £60 - £3000+. The best ones connect via ExpressCard but Firewire and USB2.0 is fine for most applications. You do need to be careful about the chipset in laptops if you plan on running a lot of channels in and out simultaneousy, especially via Firewire. It needs to behave itself very well and not ever glitch out randomly. There's programs like this which can tell you if it's set up OK - http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

Obviously if you want Apple the choice of computer is a lot simpler - MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Specialist suppliers will certainly be able to flog you something very nice but you'll pay through the nose. If you're happy with that there may be a certain peace of mind attached to getting something well tested for audio but really there's lots of good machines out there off the shelf. Check out some of the mid-higher range Hewlett Packard ones, I think they are usually highly rated. Texas Instruments Firewire chipset is often recommended for intensive audio as well.

Specialist suppliers I know of - Millenium and Red Submarine.



Do as much research as you can into what's available - things move v.fast. Also be clear about what you need it to do.