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How small can you DAW? (not handhelds or lappys) Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 17th August 2007
Lives for gear
Kyle S's Avatar

How small can you DAW? (not handhelds or lappys)

To those of you that have went with a PC DAW where mobilty is a major factor, could you please expose yourselves! I'm really leaning against a laptop now for reliablity reasons. In the computer breakdown thread i see so many massive towers and fancy clear cases, etc. Ive searched and still cant find exactly this.

I would like to see a DAW that you can get out of the backseat of your camaro and sit it on the floor with an LCD on the kitchen table along with my trackball, keyboard, and control surface. Interface is an HD24 through ethernet.

Most of the rack cases ive see are SUPER deep, and would have to be mounted in the amp depth roadcases. This is a limitation of the motherboard form factor i would suppose. Better yet id like to see the roadcase sitting on its side so it is in effect like a pc tower, just tough as hell and seals up.

After all's said and done, i pack up all my wires and cram them under the lid of the case, Put the LCD in its case and the other things in a bag and go home.

In the last issue of tapeop i saw a G5 crammed sideways and rackmouted. Awesome but still so friggin big!! Theres DAW on Palmtop organizers. Thats way too small. I need it to be just over the size of a 'mini-tower' PC. Like the size of a 4sp roadready but effect depth.

Is this possible? Surely one of you slutz out there has something simliar to this. Id use it primarily for mixing with reaper.
Old 17th August 2007
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headwerkn's Avatar
Have a look at these: PC Made Modern - Shuttle Computers | USA. At one stage in life I was looking to get one of these but in the end decided to stay all Mac.

There are several different small-form-factor standards kicking around, but unlike micro- or mini-ITX these are full, regular PCs with normal Intel or AMD CPUs, can take 3.5" HDs and typically have 1 or 2 AGP and PCI slots available - just in a small package about the size of a shoebox. They have increasingly trick cooling systems so hopefully they're pretty quiet too. They're very popular with nerds/geeks for LANparties, very luggable... in fact I think another company makes 'em with a handle on top ;-)

These sorts of computers are mostly geared towards the home entertainment market and thus tend to have TV inputs and stuff you might not be so interested in, so try to find one of the more basic systems that just has the connectivity (firewire?) and CPU support you need.

On the Mac side of things there is a Mac mini, which is smaller but really is only suitable for home/hobbyist recording. Main issue with them is they use notebook system HDs, but if you're keen you can upgrade them to the newer faster 7,200rpm 2.5" drives available now. Of course you'll need to have an external audio drive.

Hope this helps.
Old 17th August 2007
Lives for gear
Kyle S's Avatar

headwerkn - this is the closest thing ive seen. these shuttle ones dont look particularly tough but this is really close. im checking out the site now. id like to see what the inside looks like. they dont seem to be that expensive either. creepy cheap, rather.

<table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td class="desc"><dt>SHUTTLE SG33G5B INTEL G33 CHIPSET CORE 2 DUO BARE SYSTEM (Retail) </dt></td> <td width="5"></td> <td class="newprice" align="center" width="70">$315.00</td></tr></tbody></table>
Awesome headwerkn, i never knew these things truley existed until now.
Old 17th August 2007
Lives for gear

I dunno about effect depth, but there are ****loads of 1-6u cases that fit in a standard SKB rack. Just go to newegg and browse through them to see what you like. you can also check out all the media center cases(Siverstone, Zalman). Some of them even come with built in touchscreens or LCD's (those model run into 600+ though). The hardest thing with the media center sized ones would be finding a trusted mobo that is known not to blow chunks with a daw driving it.
Old 17th August 2007
Lives for gear
Kyle S's Avatar

What would happen if i kept the SKB case with the pc on its side at all times? The guy in tapeop had the G5 on it's side but he also said there was some modification and it was generally a pita to get it in there. But the G5 is not my focus. Would i need to buy perpendicular hard drives? Is that what those are for? Id have to find a cd drive that the cd locked onto as well.
Old 18th August 2007
Lives for gear

It depends on the case. Some of the drive cages mount either way. You can also get hot-swap converters that take say three bays, turns it sideways, and lets you put 5 drives in there in removable trays.
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