what laptop requirements/additional equipment would i need (i’m buying a laptop soon) would i need in order to use renoise at a satisfactory level?

Most laptops i have come across have ac’97 compliant standards (some are sound blaster compliant …)

The laptop i’ve just bought is terrible (sound problems, so i’m taking it back, it had a realtek ac’97 sound chip) and it was diabolical…

So, what kind of laptops should i be looking at?.. i have around £550, that’s $950.

Thanks a lot.

SoundBlaster compliant means nothing nowadays. All sound interfaces work through some (Windows for example) API. I’m sure the laptop you already bought would have been fine for making music if you’d equip it with a real sound interface. If by portability you mean actually working with the comp on your lap while travelling or sth, a PCMCIA sound card would work but a USB sound interface should be even nicer. With an external sound interface the d/a & a/d conversions are being done away from the electric noise inside the laptop which means better sound quality.

get an usb-soundcard which does not need external powersupply. I am using a creative live usb, the card is nice, works okayish with the asio4all drivers (12 ms latency) and has a headphone-plug.

I do all my composing in Renoise on a Centrino 1.5ghz Laptop (512mb ram) with standard Realtek AC’97 built in audio. Currently Latency is set to 5ms and I never have latency issues. As you get more elaborate you will start needing more cpu power etc. Overall Renoise usability is very impressive. Even my roommate on an old Celeron laptop (probably less than 1ghz) was able to use Renoise for simple composing.


Youll get 5ms playback (ASIO) with renoise and a amazing laptop card with this. Ive written any songs with this card. Its insane and a must buy.

I’m looking at getting either this:


or thins:


as I feel I really need a keyboard/midi controller and they have a built in soundcard (USB and Firewire respectively) for when I migrate to a laptop.

Still unsure. Was leaning towards the X-Station then I think I noticed it only had one pair of stereo outs and I’m really going to want two so it can be used as a soundcard for laptop mixing (or just monitoring parts before playing) and it’s a fair bit more expensive.

Don’t want to steal your thread but I would like to know if anybody has any views on either…

I’d go with the novation. I think novation is an older company than m-audio, so I would guess it to have better converters. But then again they only recently started making stuff like this where as m-audio has been doing sound cards for awhile now. I just don’t like how flimsy m-audio’s controllers are. Novation stuff tends to feel a little bit more tuff and sturdy, plus you get a nice synthesizer built into the x stations (really good filter IMO). My friend has an x-station and I really liked playing with it- I might get rid of a couple pieces and pick up one of those for my laptop too.

But isn’t it only one stereo out? That is very limiting!

I guess it’s limiting say if you were going to do a show and the house engineer wanted to have seperate outputs for tracks or something IMO… you can also get a Y cable and go from the headphone outs if they are assignable. I guess I haven’t ever had the need for more than two outputs except for at some shows. I mix on my laptop as well (using an emu 1616m) but the only thing I really use the extra outputs for are my sub. Are you going to use the seperate outputs into a mixer and record from a different source or outboard effects or something? Just wondering…

I am using the laptop for mixing too, btw, getting two stereo outs into a dj-mixer, the dj software on my laptop is only used to provide the two audiostreams. the problem is that I couldnt get multi-out working with the asio4all driver, I have to use the directx. but I didnt really dig into that problem since the directx-multi-out is okay for mixing.

Louis: Do you mix visually then? How else can you do it without one track playing while you listen to the other…

But then again if it’s got seperate, assignable headphone out you could get around it like that. But it did say it was only a 2 in 2 out interface, suggesting it only accepts two channels from the computer so there is nothing to chose your assignment from.

I mix in cubase sx, sometimes I mix visually (manualy drawing stuff in), but for the most part, I do it with a midi interface recording the automation of the virtual mixer. As far as having one track playing while listening to the other, if I don’t want to listen to that track, I just mute it. But I have an emu card and they use this software that lets your out everything the way you want it- so i can route back asio channels into the patch mix, do monitering outside of the host and do whatever else I need- It’s kinda like having the extra outputs out side ouf your host but still inside the computer. Man for the price of the novation- you should just pick up an emu 1616 or an emu 1616m and a flat out midi board (emu makes nice ones to compliment their other products and they are pretty nice as well). You could pick up an emu 1616 for about 300-400 usd and get the midi board for around a hundred- so figuring that the x stations are about 500-600 usd, for about a hundred less, you could get a card that has protools a/d converters, three sterio inputs, optical ins, coax ins, a set of REALLY nice preamps for your mics- same for the outs. It has a dsp chip, so you can use effects that are processed outside of the computer. I know you were looking for portability, and it’s pretty small and tuff as nails- I’ve dropped mine, had it bouncing around with gear smushing it in the back of the car on the way to shows- all sorts of torment.

here’s what they look like up close…

I have both models (not a gear whore- aquired a deceased friends studio)…
I’m telling you- they are sweet! Plus you get a pcmcia card that can be used stand alone that has stereo outputs and a dsp chip built in (and if you have a desktop, you can buy a pmcia to pci adapter for like 19 usd and it works like a charm… I use this for shows and hook up my midi controllers via usb so I don’t have to worry about damaging my precious breakout boxes at shows. They work great with renoise as well- I use renoise with their drivers at about 4-7 (at most- but ussualy if I run into anything that doesn’t sound good at 4 ms I just refresh it and keep the same latency even with huge projects). I don’t know- I think they are perfect- Oh yeah- they also suport up to eight adat channels as well. It’s kind of a no brainer IMO. yeah so after one of these all you need is a decsent midi board (I use an edirol pcr-30- sweet too), I got my emu 1616 and the midi board for even 450 usd after hagling a friend down at my local shop. The midi part uses a midi break out cable- two midi ins and two midi outs!! unbeatable!!! damn emu should pay me :lol:

The whole point was I wouldn’t have to buy a soundcard as well as a controller…

oh… yeah… Well I guess the other guy who started the thread might find it usefull (especially since he has an assload of $$ expendable). I don’t know buddy- for what it does, I think it’s worth “lugging” around a breakout box. I’d still go with the novation if not the previously suggested. I mean if you need extra outputs, then that means you have another outboard peice of gear you are running those outs into, so I personaly wouldn’t care if another little piece of gear was thrown into the equation (especially for what it does). I don’t know man… get the frikken m-audio thingy if you don’t need a built in synth with dope filters and hella controls or protools converters with 8 in/outputs and adat i/o and nice preamps. :panic:

If it had 8 channel ADAT there wouldn’t be a question, I already have a converter. Only digital out it’s got it spdif, and no comment on whether it can send different tracks from the actual computer. Everything suggests it’s only two channel to and from the PC.

Everybody I’ve spoken to who’s used the Ozonic has sounded very happy as well. It’s just a shame it’s only got pots and not encoders for the knobs…

the m audio stuff just feels so cheaply built to me is all. Maybe it’ll be a good buy---- hay wait, what about this with the firewire expansion…


with the firewire expansion you get two 1/4 inch ins and outs and for the extra two outputs you needed there is digital spdif output as well… this looks good no?

Had a look at that keyboard and wasn’t that impressed by it. That expansion board still only gives you one stereo pair on analogue outs anyway…

Your parent’s had a hard time pleasing you huh? :lol:

Well, good luck with all that, let us know what you cop when you decide on something. I would go with the m audio I guess, it’s going to be cheaper than the rest of the other stuff and has all those outputs you wanted. FLIMSY

in my opinion the m-audio stuff is reasonably priced. you get good quality for the price you pay. and since that price is not that high, you cant expect the best.