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Ideal laptop soundcard


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Ok, in the near future I'll be getting myself a laptop. Im planning to use it for production and live performance. What sound card(s), in your opinion/experience, are ideal? Price be damned, external or internal, gimme an idea what I should be looking at.

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Ok, in the near future I'll be getting myself a laptop. Im planning to use it for production and live performance. What sound card(s), in your opinion/experience, are ideal? Price be damned, external or internal, gimme an idea what I should be looking at.

 

go with a high spec Vaio, Dell or MacBook Pro . Period.

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go with a high spec Vaio, Dell or MacBook Pro . Period.

He asked about soundcards, not laptops. :P To date I have used both an Echo Indigo and an Emu 1616 (both PCMCIA card) sound cards with both of my laptops and I've had no issues with them. I've never used them, but I have personally seen three different artists using M-Audio firewire cards live and have them freak out on them during their livesets so my personal impression has alway been to avoid them, although others seem to have had no problem with them. On the Mac side of things I have a couple artist friends who use Motu firewire cards with their Macs live and have had no problems with them, including one case where the artist was pounding on the table his computer was on so hard that it collapsed, but the audio never skipped a beat.

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Oh ya, my bad :rolleyes:

 

It depends if you wanna mix your tracks live or just wanna play your tracks through your laptop.

 

in the first case I would get a smaller interface with 2xIN and 2x Out @ 24 bit from a reputable company like RME, Tascam or Motu, which is cheaper. In the second case I would go with motu or RME depending on your budget. Don't get PCMCIA card, there is a risk of banging it somewhere and break the card and the socket. Get USB2.0 or firewire. They are both good.

 

:ph34r:

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Don't get PCMCIA card, there is a risk of banging it somewhere and break the card and the socket. Get USB2.0 or firewire. They are both good.

 

:ph34r:

Funny, most people I talk to recommend the opposite. The bang risk is just as serious as a any other type of extrenal soundcard for a laptop, but PCMCIA cards are generally more stable as far as the hardware connection to your computer goes. I've personally had USB audio cards crap out on me, not to mention usb connections to my midi controllers crap out on me during live sets, but I've NEVER had any such connection issues since I've gone to PCMCIA. Granted technology has improved and all, but I still have a hard time trusting USB and Firefire (note that RME, Echo, etc's "laptop" cards have generally always been PCMCIA as well, with firewire only just recently becoming more common with the upper end companies).

 

Of course all this can vary with your computer and how you use it, so use what works for you and get the best card you can afford.

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Once I get the laptop and soundcard squared away, Im going for Live 6. I plan to play my own stuff live, as live as Live will do at least! ;) (that damn old debate again... )

 

 

I have no problem with a PCMCIA, the Echo card was the only one I knew of, and I was planning on getting that one. I figured Id see what you experts have to say!

 

 

 

Also, the laptop will hopefully replace my home dinosaur.

 

I'll look into those recommendations, thanks a lot! :D

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I got here fireface800 on my home setup. it never let me down.

Same here, I got its little brother the fireface 400 some time ago and it works like a dream, the sound quality is top as well. I don't have too much experience with other laptop soundcards though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

PCMCIA cards have a bandwidth of 132MByte/sec whereas USB 2.0 and Firewire 400 around 60Mbyte/sec.

 

I have personally not had any problems with the FireWire 410 from M-Audio, except now that I am using it on the PC and the MAC. They dont use the same firmware for the both computers, so every time I need to upgrade or downgrade, which is a fucking piece of crap! :) I manage though, since M-Audio are working on a new PC Firmware that matches the MAC one :)

 

Other than that, I can recommend MOTU's firewire cards.

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I got my self a pretty good Laptop from Dell, an Insprion XPS 1210.

My only problem is that the soundcard sucks duck feathers, and I'm forced to buy an external soundcard (My Stationary PC is kaput).

I got two question for you tech people:

 

1. Why in Buddha's name is it not possible to buy a laptop with a good internal soundcard? Shouldn't the customer be able to choose from a good graphics card or a good soundcard (internal)? It looks to me that there is no companies today that builds laptops with good internal soundcards, and for me that seems utterly rubbishly strange. At least a company like Dell Computers should be able to offer this option to their customer. They do offer a customize service after all, so why not give us the customer an option to have a crappy graphics card and a good soundcard? Why is this option unavailable? I just don't get it. If I can get a graphics card jammed inside a notebook, I should also be able to squeeze in a soundcard which makes it possible to produce advanced music productions.

 

2. Since I already got a laptop, could you recommend me some external soundcards. Hopefully I will be able to buy one next month.

 

 

Thanks geeks, I appreciate the help to answer my questions B)

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I got my self a pretty good Laptop from Dell, an Insprion XPS 1210.

My only problem is that the soundcard sucks duck feathers, and I'm forced to buy an external soundcard (My Stationary PC is kaput).

I got two question for you tech people:

 

1. Why in Buddha's name is it not possible to buy a laptop with a good internal soundcard? Shouldn't the customer be able to choose from a good graphics card or a good soundcard (internal)? It looks to me that there is no companies today that builds laptops with good internal soundcards, and for me that seems utterly rubbishly strange. At least a company like Dell Computers should be able to offer this option to their customer. They do offer a customize service after all, so why not give us the customer an option to have a crappy graphics card and a good soundcard? Why is this option unavailable? I just don't get it. If I can get a graphics card jammed inside a notebook, I should also be able to squeeze in a soundcard which makes it possible to produce advanced music productions.

 

2. Since I already got a laptop, could you recommend me some external soundcards. Hopefully I will be able to buy one next month.

Thanks geeks, I appreciate the help to answer my questions B)

You can start with using the search function of the site hehehe

 

Merging your thread with the other one :)

 

Nemo

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Ok, in the near future I'll be getting myself a laptop. Im planning to use it for production and live performance. What sound card(s), in your opinion/experience, are ideal? Price be damned, external or internal, gimme an idea what I should be looking at.

Motu Traveller is certainly the best you can get. Even if it was only for production Traveller would be best (RME fireface800 would be damn close though) but now that you're planning to use it live too there's no doubt at all.
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