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Suggested laptop for listening / producing music?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have a recommendation for a nice new laptop that would be perfect for listening to and producing music?

Something to plug in a synthesizer, preamps, nice set of headphones, etc?


Hopefully something fairly new / recent. With haswell, long battery life, and LIGHT. In the 12-14" range.

post #2 of 6
I would ask over on gearslutz since that's where a lot of people into music production and pro audio hang out. They have a whole sub forum area devoted to music computers. Be sure to tell them your budget in addition to the information you have provided here.
post #3 of 6

You are going to need a laptop capable of running your DAW so having 8gb of RAM would be handy, also you will want a good few USB ports so you can handle your external audio interface, and external HD's for backups.  With regards to plugging in synths, headphones, mics that will all go through the audio interface.


Another great place to start on this journey of research would be HomeRecording.com where you will be able to get lots of advice from amature's and pro's alike on everything you could possibly want or need.


Judging by your post, I could be wrong, you need to do lots of reading before you even break down you budget and start spending.  You dont need the latest processor to run your DAW, having bucket loads of RAM will help far more, if you do that you are spending lots of money on something that wont affect your composition at all.  


Even for basic listening I would still get an external audio interface, and on this one piece of kit alone you can spend from $150-$15000.  Your computer is only one part of the chain, and when it comes to production its more like a web when you factor in headphones, speakers, mics, midi devices ect.


Read LOTS before you spend anything..  there are hundreds of great sites out there for you to look at regarding recording, production, home studio's, recording live.  Beware of peoples bias in advising what to buy, find a local dealer and maybe pay a bit more for local service.



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you. I have been doing quite a bit of research, and asking for opinions. I am sure I will find something.

Guess it will be beneficial for me to map out everything that I need/want to do with the laptop and go from there.

post #5 of 6

You don't really need a particularly powerful laptop for beginner music production. Any modern dual core @ 2.0 GHz or better is more than enough to record 24 tracks and apply as many effects as you would in a studio. No popular DAW asks for anything better.


I use a £400 ASUS Vivobook 200 to run Reaper, Ableton and Traktor when out and about. 1.8 Ghz dual core, 4Gb, 3 USB ports and HDMI (for video). Light and easy to carry around. Replaced the 500Gb HDD with SSD but it was fine before, just wanted to tinker. The biggest problem is the small screen size (12") which can be difficult to see in poor lighting conditions.


For interface I use either a MOTU Ultralite when recording or a much less expensive NI Audio 2 for playback only. In a pinch the on board sound is surprisingly good too. Even with headphones (75 Ohms Senn HD25) you get a clean, strong signal.


ed:spl :(

Edited by RonaldDumsfeld - 10/5/13 at 6:58am
post #6 of 6

Unless you really MUST be portable then I would always look into a tower system to allow for upgrades, laptops have a nasty habit of overheating and blowing expensive components.  My last laptop lasted 19 months my GPU went bang, the one before that the battery died after about 4months costing $40 for a new one, and the GPU also died 3 months later, so over $2k in laptops in under 3 years.


In terms of processing power I would look at an i5 with 8-16gb of ram and hopefully a 120gb SSD and 1TB HDD.  The issue is a laptop with those spec's will be 50% more in cost than a tower, and will likely not have much headroom for upgrades.  


Spending less can cost you more, thats all I am trying to say

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