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Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

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Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

Postby Touchmaster Oddski » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:33 am

Hi all
Im considering trying to take my show on the road properly to liven up my live presence (I make hip hop and just MCing over a CD track doesnt really cut it any more).. with that in mind, I need:

a laptop (PC)
a laptop audio card with a handful of inputs
some effects
a good parameter controller and/or keyboard (possibly more than one)
a drum pad of some sort to trigger some, but probably not all of the rhythm section

has anyone got a similar setup and any recommendations? Im keen to make the right choices here as I imagine live usage has certain requirements that are different to the studio.

Also, I produce my tracks in Cubase SX, would I be right in thinking converting my tracks to Ableton Live would be a good idea for a live setup in which you can trigger song sections easily etc.?

I read someone recommending the notepad / perc pad for live drums and percussion recently, does anyone have any feedback on these too? Or a drum trigger/MIDI convertor that would be good to use with these?

Many thankings you in advance.

Joe
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Re: Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

Postby Touchmaster Oddski » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:25 am

please! oh, im getting impatient again, sorry.
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Re: Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

Postby John Willett » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:22 am

I use the RME Fireface 400 and my laptop has a 6-pin Firewire connector that powers it from the laptop. :D
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Re: Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

Postby Touchmaster Oddski » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:37 am

whats the latency like over firewire? is it better than USB 2? obviously low latency will be absolutely key here, especially as the timing is so important with hip hop. The RME looks lovely, but a bit overkill for my purposes to be honest. As it is only for live, I dont need the convertors to be the best ever, super low latency and portability are the most important things to me. Id like to spend 2-250 quid ideally. Something that has effects built in might be good, Id love to run vocals and synths with a bit of reverb in realtime...
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Re: Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

Postby snipsnip » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:49 am

Joe,

It doesnt seems there is much out there for £250 from a quick google search.

http://www.imuso.co.uk/ProductDetail.asp?StockCode=ST00542

This has effects and is not too much more, but only has 2 line in which is a bit weak. Could ADAT up some extra cheep behringer stuff which i tink would be fine for live ish, but then the buget is still getting streched.
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Re: Best laptop soundcard / live midi controllers

Postby CdnBcn » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:56 am

This is quite the shopping list. You would be wise to start with the notebook and specify the applications you are looking to run first.

As for an interface, Firewire will likely offer better performance especially if coupled with a dedicated TI chipset iEEE card. This will cause less cpu load and offer better sustained transfer rates of data. Built in DSP power for effects would also be an asset if for live laptop use as this could also alleviate CPU load when running the specific DSP effects. The Focusrite Saffire may be the right choice given your budget.

If you could stretch it more a proper live workstation such as the Korg M3 would offer everything you need as well as a PC interface if you opt to add the optional Firewire add-on.

Tim
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