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Author Topic: I may get a new (used) laptop!  (Read 3392 times)

superboyac

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I may get a new (used) laptop!
« on: February 16, 2006, 01:19:42 PM »
I've been begging a friend to sell me his laptop for months now, and he finally may do it.  You see, I've wanted a laptop for a long time, but could never really afford it, especially considering I want some quality components, not just the regular budget Dell.  The laptop will serve two purposes...a multimedia player to connect to the TV and watch DVD's, videos, etc.  And also my musician software so I can play VST instruments with my keyboard at gigs.

Anyway, I'm excited.  Look what I get for $650:

Acer Aspire (I forgot the model)  it's maybe 1.5-2 years old
Pentium M 1.4 or 1.6 (I can't remember)
ATI 256 mb card
100 gb hard drive
2 gb RAM
wide screen (15" some wierd resolution like 1,680 x 1,050)
DVDR drive
all the wifi stuff built in
+bonus 80 gb portable usb drive

I know it's a great deal, I can't wait!  I've never had a laptop besides an 5-year-old, broken Compaq that will crash after 1 hour continuous use (my brother in law gave it to me).

nudone

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 01:33:40 PM »
let us know how you get on with the vst instuments - you may still need a decent soundcard to avoid latency - i found that it depends on the instrument.

other than that, it looks like a great deal - 2 gig of ram adn a 256 meg graphics card can't be bad (plus the rest).

superboyac

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 01:39:37 PM »
Oh, the vst instruments should be fine.  I use another sound card for my musician software...the Echo Indigo IO.  I know there are other things out there, but I like the Echo because it fits in the pcmcia slot.

I didn't know there were other people here who used vst software...I have a whole lot of discussion in me about those!  I love em.  VST completely blows away any of the soundbanks on the pro keyboards.  The only problem is that you need to lug a computer or laptop with you to use it and it's not as easy as just turning the on switch.  But if you could streamline the process as an actively gigging musician, the results are well worth it.

nudone

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 02:56:19 PM »
unfortunately, i can't really say anything interesting about vst instruments as i never seem to have much time to use the ones i've got. for me, making music is always on the 'to do' list and has been that way for about the past 20 years. even though the rise of cubase means it's even more convenient to have a go at knocking something together i still haven't completed anything.

i rushed out and bought steinberg the grand when it came out a few years ago - i ended up selling it a few months back because i never used it - i haven't rushed out to buy the grand 2 - yet.

what's the sort of music that you are doing, superboyac? my intention is still to do something heavily electronic based - sort of boards of canada at their most retro and rythmic - i grew up on vangelis and tangerine dream and tubeway army (numan) so vst instruments are made for what i'm aiming at.

jgpaiva

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 03:03:30 PM »
That looks like a good buy (depending on the price, of course ;) ).
I am a acer user myself, and have also had a compaq laptop. Both top of the line (at least, in my country :( ).
Compaq (HP), has the best support i've ever seen, my computer broke down, and they came to my house to get it, and returned it to me 3 days later, as good as new, and i didn't pay anything at all, no problems. So, it's hard for me to not prefer HP.
My acer is noticeably not as good as an HP, it has less than a year and the outer case has cracks, and seems to break at any time. Plus, it has issues with temperature, it keeps turning the cooler on for no reason at all. But the acer support has been very kind to me, i forgot to activate the warranty extension within the limit time, and they let me activate it now (about 7 months after the end of the period for activation).

My computer is not as good as the one you refer, and i thinks that's a great machine. (Isn't it the aspire 1692wlmi? i think it's the version above mine).
One thing i advise you is to try out that definition of possible. A friend of mine uses it, and has to increase windows font size, and has to be always increasing the zoom on the web pages. Personally, i like the fact that it ads much more workspace to the desktop, but i can't use it because it's bad for the eyes.

I hope i've been able to help ;)

superboyac

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2006, 04:04:26 PM »
Quote
That looks like a good buy (depending on the price, of course Wink ).
I am a acer user myself, and have also had a compaq laptop. Both top of the line (at least, in my country Sad ).
Compaq (HP), has the best support i've ever seen, my computer broke down, and they came to my house to get it, and returned it to me 3 days later, as good as new, and i didn't pay anything at all, no problems. So, it's hard for me to not prefer HP.
My acer is noticeably not as good as an HP, it has less than a year and the outer case has cracks, and seems to break at any time. Plus, it has issues with temperature, it keeps turning the cooler on for no reason at all. But the acer support has been very kind to me, i forgot to activate the warranty extension within the limit time, and they let me activate it now (about 7 months after the end of the period for activation).

My computer is not as good as the one you refer, and i thinks that's a great machine. (Isn't it the aspire 1692wlmi? i think it's the version above mine).
One thing i advise you is to try out that definition of possible. A friend of mine uses it, and has to increase windows font size, and has to be always increasing the zoom on the web pages. Personally, i like the fact that it ads much more workspace to the desktop, but i can't use it because it's bad for the eyes.

I hope i've been able to help Wink

Thanks jgpaiva!  I'll be very gentle with the laptop, trust me.  I don't think there's any phsyical problems with it, my friend's taken good care of it.  And I like the high resolution with everything small...I'm not going to do a lot of reading on the laptop, just mostly multimedia stuff.  I don't know the model at all...I used to know, but I completely forgot!

Quote
unfortunately, i can't really say anything interesting about vst instruments as i never seem to have much time to use the ones i've got. for me, making music is always on the 'to do' list and has been that way for about the past 20 years. even though the rise of cubase means it's even more convenient to have a go at knocking something together i still haven't completed anything.

i rushed out and bought steinberg the grand when it came out a few years ago - i ended up selling it a few months back because i never used it - i haven't rushed out to buy the grand 2 - yet.

what's the sort of music that you are doing, superboyac? my intention is still to do something heavily electronic based - sort of boards of canada at their most retro and rythmic - i grew up on vangelis and tangerine dream and tubeway army (numan) so vst instruments are made for what i'm aiming at.

Well, nudone, my style of music is very old school.  I play mostly jazz on piano and organ.  Sometimes I'll play blues (which I just call jazz also), classic rock, and country music, but mostly jazz.  If you look at my avatar, you'll see my Leslie speaker, which is the rotating speaker for my Hammond organ...that's the ultimate keyboard instrument, and having one makes me a real player in the jazz circuit, but unfortunately, I don't make my living on it.

I used the Grand once, it was pretty good.  I haven't tried the Grand 2 yet, but it's probably nice.  I used Kontakt with a 3 GB Bosendorfer piano sample once, and that was awesome.  Now, they have Synthogy Ivory and Ni Akoustik Piano, which are huge multi-DVD samples, which are supposed to sound really good, but I haven't tried it.  As far as other sounds, I primarily just use NI B4 for organ and that's it.  Having a portable organ is my main goal.  I don't have much desire for all that electronic and synthesized music that you were mentioning.  Like I said, I'm totally old school and straight ahead...let's put it this way, I'm a big hit with the over-50 crowd!

nudone

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2006, 05:08:47 PM »
it's all above my head, superboyac, but what you're doing sounds cool to me. given the choice of jazz or classical i'd go for jazz - so i'm expecting to discover it at some point in the future.

maybe i'll have to look into the other piano vst devices.

superboyac

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2006, 05:24:14 PM »
Well, if there were other musicians on board, I'd do a review of VST host software, but I don't think there are many musicians here (I may be wrong).  Maybe I can invite some people from my musician forums to help write a review, and in the process they can be introduced to DC...there's something to think about for the future.

Edvard

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2006, 11:30:16 AM »
A Leslie!  ;D ;D Dude, you rock!!
I new that thing looked familiar! I am a musician myself, but I stay away from the computer stuff. Building fuzz boxes and repairing tube guitar amps is my forte'. I tried computer music a while ago, didn't do much for me. I tried some VST effects for my guitar, I thought it was pretty nifty idea to just jack into my computer and have a thousand noises at my beck and call. I was less than impressed. But then again, all I had was a Soundblaster, running Win 98 on a 200MHz PII with 64 MB, the monitor put a hellacious buzz in my guitar, the latency made recording impossible and ReBirth wasn't free then. (see http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=911.0) Although I tried all kinds of stuff for sequencing, mixing, processing, etc. and had a lot of fun doing it. Good luck with your new lappy!

superboyac

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Re: I may get a new (used) laptop!
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2006, 11:56:05 AM »
Yeah, the Leslie does rock!
You definitely need a little more than soundblaster to really enjoy the VST software, unless you were able to get decent latency from just that.  But depending on what you're trying to do, some things will be better with the computer (for now at least) and some things will be worse.  In my case, I'm just trying to play regular sounds (piano, organ, rhodes) live with a better sound, without carrying multiple keyboards around.  But it's really for the sounds.  I'm not recording with the laptop nor do I need lots of effects like guitar players.  So, all I really need to run is a VST host with a couple of plugins.

Guitar players, on the other hand, need a whole slew of effects and stuff, and not only that, they need to be able to control in with foot switches and what not.  So it takes a lot more tweaking and setting up, and a whole bunch of other stuff just to get a decent setup.  And there's the possibility that it doesn't even sound as good through the computer as the real thing (like you mentioned).  Besides, all the guitar stuff is already portable, so you don't have as much incentive as keyboard players to use computer software to achieve a certain sound.

That being said, let me also say I got a Peavey 1600x midi controller, which is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  They don't make it anymore for some reason, but this thing is awesome.  It's a programmable midi controller with 16 knobs and 16 buttons, and it's built very well.  I use it to adjust anything in my VST software, so it almost feels like I'm not even using the computer.  I have to say, before I had the 1600x, using VST software just wasn't that practical.