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Cakewalk Sonar 2
Cakewalk Sonar 2

General Sequencer from Cakewalk belonging to the Sonar 2 series

Thread Need advice - Want to buy/setup a laptop studio w/Sonar

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1 Need advice - Want to buy/setup a laptop studio w/Sonar
Forgive me if this has been covered before... I did some searching and didn't find what I was looking for.

I currently run Sonar 2 on my desktop HP Pavilion (900Mhz Celeron, 256 MB Ram, 30GB factory supplied HD - not sure if it's 5200rpm or 7200rpm). I've been able to run up to 30 tracks with reasonable stability on this system and I'm looking for the same or better in a laptop.

I have already purchased an M-Audio Duo USB audio box for use with the laptop if I ever get one (got it from a friend... good deal). Assuming this box will do the job I think that will solve the audio card issue. I couldn't get it to work on my desktop cpu (serious latency issues and what not) - I contacted the company and they said it was the combination of Windows ME and the Celeron processor and that with an AMD or P4 and XP I wouldn't have that problem.... we'll see I guess.

I've read some people who warn to just stay away from laptops and forget about it because they'll never work. I'm hoping some experienced users could steer me in the right direction on this - do you agree? What do you use? What are the specs? What are your success/nightmare stories?

I'm thinking a 5400rpm HD in a laptop might not be fast enough and that I should invest in an external firewire 7200rpm HD if I go the laptop route. What do you think?

I've also been thinking that I should by an Indigo card by Echo for monitoring purposes. Thoughts?

I plan on running Sonar 2 or upgrading to Sonar 3 for the system. Looking for at least a 2.4Ghz P4/AMD/Centrino (is one better for this sort of thing?). I've seen AMD64, AMDXP, and P4M, and Centrino... I've heard Centrino is the way to go because it's so quiet. Of course I'll be trying to get 512MB Ram, and a CD burner and all the usual stuff. I'm looking at HP and Compaq computers at the moment.

I'm just really looking for some clarification, advice, and feedback from others (especially laptop users). I appreciate your taking the time to point me in the right direction - the most important thing is my audio quality be the best possible. Thanks!

I run a Sony Vaio laptop. Specs are 2.8GHZ, 768mb of ram, 20gig5400rpm internal drive, external 120gig 7200rpm hard drive for audio data. I run Sonar 3 Producer Edition and Sound forge 6.0 under WinXP Home edition with a few minor tweaks. It runs great, I never thought I would have it this easy with a windows os (I am an MCSE, I deal with trying to fix windows all day long! I wanted a Mac from the get go, but couldn't afford it). I am really happy with my setup. For I/O, I use a Motu 828mkII firewire interface. It works very well, no issues whatsoever. One thing that I do that is a pain but I think directly contributes to the stability is that I have 2 different Hard drives for my laptop, one for studio work and then one for home internet use. I have to remove the bottom cover and swap them out all the time. But I never get nailed with a virus this way. If you are running that many tracks with a celeron you are one very lucky man as the celeron is not a very "resource intensive" processor. You will notice major improvements with a Pentium 4. Don't get an AMD or Centrino processor, or a celeron for that matter if you are buying a laptop. The intel p4 is really the most stable platform for XP/Sonar 3 that I have seen so far. I don't really think that you're problems with your interface are directly related to hardware, I really think it has to do with ME. It was a terrible version of windows, I have heard and seen nothing but problems with it. You really can't go wrong with XP. If you don't get new hardware you might want to try installing it on your system. Put in some more memory and it should run decent. If you can, buy a screamin' laptop. You will be very happy you did! Good luck to you!
I'm new to all this and i just need guidese to get started. I want to get started making my own music at home. I need to know what i need to get started, were to buy my equipment, also the costs of equipment. If you can help me, it would be much apprieated. If you can help me, please do write to me at, conn3rs@hotmail.co.uk

Thank you