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dyrodium
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 6476
Location: Sydney


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LOL seeing that I thought 'what a wank' with the features, but I learnt on a piano so that's just my opinion. Laughing Personally I use a Roland from the 1980s with weighted keys (pretty important to me but again from a piano background) and all it needs to do is midi out into the software. I'm not sure I trust USB over true midi out... prolly fine just no experience there.

61 keys seems like a decent size, I wouldn't go any smaller. All up seems like a good starting point. Smile

Just be prepared - unless things have changed the built in voices are soo lame XD Razz
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Post Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:29 pm 
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dyrodium
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 6476
Location: Sydney


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OK My turn to ask some producing questions. Laughing

I've been able to run my old setup for a good 10+ years now (my cubase version is 6+ versions old now) and has serious issues running on windows 7, so my entire production station is tied to an ancient XP pc and an even older midi roland keyboard. Great, but I need something more portable these days and the system is on its last legs. I need to catch up with the times.

I guess what I'm asking (and probably only Brett would know!) is what I can do to make a portable production solution, with midi keyboard and external soundcard (if needed?) The main concern is needing low latency between keyboard input and sound output, as I play melodies in directly (none of that piano roll bullshit). Is this even possible with this laptop?

My laptop's specs (gutless I know) - http://www.asus.com.au/Notebooks/Versatile_Performance/A54C/#specifications

A few years ago we bought an m-audio external midi and audio preamp solution with firewire and well, it pretty much never worked and cost $500. I'd like to avoid that... Laughing
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Post Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Spockie-Tech
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Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 3160
Location: Melbourne, Australia


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Ive never done live performance stuff, only tinkered in the "studio" (workshop, whatever).

Apparently all the KoolKids who perform live run Ableton these days. Its supposed to be better for live playing than Cubase

Input wise, If you dont mind cheap and tacky feeling for lightweight cheap and portable, the Korg Nano series are pretty good.. Thats what I use. NanoKey, NanoPad, NanoKontrol. Small Keyboard, but is portable light and USB powered, so just one cable.

Latency is mainly do to do with having good Asio Drivers for you sound card, as long as you're not trying to run too many daisy chained live channel effects plugins, then you need serious horsepower to keep up with the crunching.

You could have a look over on the www.virtualdj.com forums, they have a section for low latency usb sound cards that usually tend to be cheaper than most of the semi-pro/am gear that muso's like to use comapred to cheapass bedroom DJ's Smile if you only need 1 or 2 stereo output channels.

Lastly, if youre not going to hammer the CPU too hard with lots of plugins, and are on a budget, a 2nd hand T500 or X-series Thinkpad are great value for money ($200-$300) from somewhere like this http://www.reboot-it.com.au - chances are there will be a Thinkpad seller locally if you want.

Thats about it in the advice from me column. Smile Ask someone who plays live if you want more words of wisdom
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Post Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:47 pm 
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dyrodium
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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Location: Sydney


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Ey Brett thanks for the input! We've decided to go with an m-audio external soundcard that lets you jack in midi instruments as well as audio with the built in preamp.

Yeah I really don't like ableton haha, and it's taken so long to learn one program that even though cubase 7 is a good 6 versions newer than sx3 it shouldn't be too painful. Laughing

I try to keep my effects within decent vst's rather than daisy chain extra ones... certainly helps keep the CPU usage down and having an ancient pc has helped me learn to be lean with effects.

Already got me a 'fairly' ok laptop... 4gb ram and i3 processor so should be reasonably capable. Smile
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Post Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:53 pm 
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