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If you were going to build a laptop for on location work using cubase 4...(PC vs MAC)
Old 25th January 2008
  #1
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Thread Starter
Talking If you were going to build a laptop for on location work using cubase 4...(PC vs MAC)

Hey gang, just curious.

I currently have a PC with Cubase 4, and the option to install my software two more times.

If I swap over to MAC with a laptop, obviously I'd have to rebuy my software. Now Currently I'm VERY happy with Cubase 4, I've had no problems, and a steady ammount of work. But my rig is mobile, and lugging my PC around everywhere is getting old fast.

I don't need every plug under the sun...I don't really want a lot of bells and whistles. But I'd like to hear the argument between PC and MAC for laptop usage on location...and I'd also like to hear what you gents would do in the event of having to design a custom PC laptop...where you'd buy from, and what compenents you'd prefer to include.

Thanks in advance.
Old 25th January 2008
  #2
Gear addict
 

Location recording is not the place to learn a new OS. If you are a long time PC user migrating to a MAC will be a slow and painful process. With all the things that can go wrong on location you want to know you OS inside and out.

You don't need to buy all of your software. I'm pretty sure your Cubase dongle will work on both platforms.

If I were to buy a powerful laptop today it would be a Macbook Pro running XP or Vista.

I would choose for these reasons:
1. very powerful CPU
2. Firewire 800
3. Firewire 400
4. USB 2
5. magnetic power cord may save the laptop's life someday
6. It's very small for it's size.
7. has an express card slot.

That setup will give you many options:
1. any firewire or USB soundcard
2. the firewire 800 port allows you to attach a very fast HDD array
3. the cadbus slot will allow you to use anyrhing from a nice RME setup all the way to a full blown PT HD3 system.

If you want to be cheap, A few years ago, I used a Mackie Onyx 1604 to record 16 channels at 48k into a $500 Compaq laptop. The audio was recorded onto a USB drive.

~Jay
Old 25th January 2008
  #3
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Thread Starter
Thanks Jay...this sounds appealing to me...

So I can install cubase 4 no problems this way on a Mac...keep the familiarity of a PC...and have Firewire 400 and 800 ports for my Fireface 800....

We might have a winner here.
Old 25th January 2008
  #4
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Your dongle will work just fine on both Mac and PC.

I run Nuendo on a MBP under both OSX and XP. Currently, it runs better on XP, even on the MBP.

The only issue I would be concerned about is the Firewire setup. Even though my 17" MBP, bought in August of '07, tells me it has the TI FW chipset in Device Manager, I still get worse FW audio performance than any "real" PC laptop. Don't know why, since other than that the MBP is a good laptop, but you might want to test out your scenario on a MBP before diving in. There have been a number of people with FW audio problems with MBPs.

IMHO, Cubase/Nuendo runs better on XP.
Old 25th January 2008
  #5
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Even if the FW isn't as smooth as my PC...I'm still thinking, overall this is the best bet.

Where would you guys buy a Macbook Pro with XP preinstalled? I've been googling and nothing's really coming up.
Old 25th January 2008
  #6
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Maybe it is the best bet for you.

But the fact that I get better low latency performance in Nuendo with my M-Audio 1814 on a 4 year old single core AMD powered HP laptop than on my brand new 17" 4GB ram dual core MBP is a little concerning. There is definitely something funky with Firewire on the MBPs.


If you're going that direction, I would strongly consider adding an ExpressCard based Firewire port or going to the RME Expresscard interface option.
Old 25th January 2008
  #7
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
Even if the FW isn't as smooth as my PC...I'm still thinking, overall this is the best bet.

Where would you guys buy a Macbook Pro with XP preinstalled? I've been googling and nothing's really coming up.
A friend of mine bought her's at Mac Mall with XP installed. There are little Mac boutiques in most cities that will do that for you as well.

If firewire ends up not working well you may be able to add a FW cardbus adapter that may work better for you.

~Jay
Old 25th January 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 

It's not cardbus. It's ExpressCard 3/4.
Old 25th January 2008
  #9
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianT View Post
It's not cardbus. It's ExpressCard 3/4.
thanks for the correction. Do you know if that would solve the FW problem?

~Jay
Old 25th January 2008
  #10
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KBOY's Avatar
 

The dismissal of the firewire problem is just silly. If your doing location work you have no room for mistakes. Glitches and problems in capturing audio is NOT acceptable no matter how cool the software or hardware is.

Point blank. Stick with what you know software wise, and buy the best hardware to do the job that works best with your given software. What ever computer that might be.
Old 25th January 2008
  #11
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Oh and in your case using Cubase, windows is the best. And given the current fire wire mess up with mac I'd go full pc. And since you're asking these questions I'd probably give ADK a call and have them build you something proven. You will end up paying the same as the mac but it will be stable.
Old 25th January 2008
  #12
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Although I love Mac and probably will never ever buy a PC, I'd recommend that you buy a Windows laptop. It would be quite frustrating to work with a new OS on location I guess. And Mac + Cubase isn't the best combination.
Old 25th January 2008
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay M View Post
Location recording is not the place to learn a new OS. If you are a long time PC user migrating to a MAC will be a slow and painful process. With all the things that can go wrong on location you want to know you OS inside and out.

You don't need to buy all of your software. I'm pretty sure your Cubase dongle will work on both platforms.

If I were to buy a powerful laptop today it would be a Macbook Pro running XP or Vista.

I would choose for these reasons:
1. very powerful CPU
2. Firewire 800
3. Firewire 400
4. USB 2
5. magnetic power cord may save the laptop's life someday
6. It's very small for it's size.
7. has an express card slot.

That setup will give you many options:
1. any firewire or USB soundcard
2. the firewire 800 port allows you to attach a very fast HDD array
3. the cadbus slot will allow you to use anyrhing from a nice RME setup all the way to a full blown PT HD3 system.

If you want to be cheap, A few years ago, I used a Mackie Onyx 1604 to record 16 channels at 48k into a $500 Compaq laptop. The audio was recorded onto a USB drive.

~Jay
Make sure that MBP does not have the Agere FW chipset (Apple has apparently had the OEM manufacturer in question go back to TI chipsets; according to scuttlebut, the substitution was done by the OEM shaving costs.) But there are a lot of recent MB's out there with the Agere chipset and it, by most accounts, should be strongly avoided.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music...er-2007-a.html
Old 25th January 2008
  #14
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Thread Starter
Hey KBOY...thanks for the ADK reccomendation. thumbsup

I just ordered through them since they were nice enough to preload any software I needed, saving me another Cubase 4 install with my Steinberg account. Plus all the drivers and patches will be up to date out of the box.

I'm just...not a MAC guy...and this way I will be sure to have full use of all my I/O just the way it interacts with my PC at home.

As for everyone else. Thanks for taking the time to talk this one out with me guys, I really appreciate it.

Heres the specs on what I bought if people are interested:

SOFTWARE: Cubase 4 & RME Fireface 800 Drivers preinstalled and up to date with all patches.

CASE: ADK 1Q SR: 15.4" (1280 X 800) Glossy LCD. TI Firewire, Nvidia 8400 256M

PROCESSOR: Intel - Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4G 4meg cache 800 FSB

RAM: SuperTalent - 2Gig DDR2 667 Sodimm Lifetime Warranty (X2! So I have 4 Gigs)

OS DRIVE: (Internal) SEAGATE - 200GB, 7200RPM SATA2 16MB NCQ

AUDIO DRIVE: (External) ADK 500G 32M ESATA/USB 2 Ext Bay w/ Cables

FW / RAID CONTROLLER: Sonnet - Tempo ESATA II Express Card 34 (2 Ports)

OS: Windows XP Professional OEM (Full Version w/ Manual & Keycode)

3 Year warrantee parts and labor...lifetime support...and a car adaptor...and port replicator later...

We're still at just under $2,300 for the whole package.

Everythings under budget and will seemlessly integrate, I'm very excited about it!

Thanks again guys!
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