How to buy a laptop for music production

Written by luke roberts
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When buying a laptop for music production, there are several factors that need to be considered before you pick out the computer you want. Having an idea of what you are looking for before you go shopping will help you get the right computer.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine your basic needs before you narrow down your computer choices. Compile a list of what features and options your computer will need to run the programs you will be running, as well as how much space you will need to run it all.

  2. 2

    Ask about the chip that is running the computer. Computer chips change often. Find out which computer chip on the market is best for running multiple processes, such as the audio production software that you plan to use.

  3. 3

    Load up on memory. Audio production software requires a fair amount of RAM, so you should be sure to include plenty of it on your laptop. Check the requirements of the software that you plan to use to be sure you have plenty of memory.

  4. 4

    Look for a large amount of hard drive space. If you plan to keep the files you use on your computer, rather than on an external drive, you will need a very large hard drive. To figure out how much space you should get, you can check to see your average file size for the tracks you plan to use, and figure out how many tracks you will have on your hard drive. If you plan on saving to an external hard drive, you can get a considerably smaller hard drive built in to the laptop. Nevertheless, you should still keep enough space to work on several tracks on your computer.

  5. 5

    Pick a suitable sound card. If you will be recording directly into the laptop, you will need to be able to connect to the laptop with the inputs you want to use. If you want to record into the laptop with XLR or 1/4 inch cables, you may need to use external gear to do so. This can often be connected via USB or FireWire ports, but not internally. Laptops have far fewer options when it comes to internal sound cards, so you need to know how you are getting your audio into your computer..

  6. 6

    Double check that your software's requirements are met. As long as the laptop you are buying can run the software you plan to use, you are buying a suitable computer. From there, it's a matter of the laptop handling the files that you are going to use. Get a laptop that fits your software requirements, then add as much RAM and hard drive space as your budget will allow.

  7. 7

    Pick a suitable sound card. If you will be recording directly into the laptop, you will need to be able to connect to the laptop with the inputs you want to use. If you want to record into the laptop with XLR or 1/4 inch cables, you may need to use external gear to do so. This can often be connected via USB or FireWire ports, but not internaly. Laptops have far fewer options when it comes to internal sound cards, so you need to know how you are getting your audio into your computer.

    If you are recording to something other than the laptop, there are many options to transfer the files onto the laptop for production. For many uses, the factory 1/8 inch headphone and microphone inputs will transfer audio quite well. If your recording is already on a computer, you can transfer the files as you would any other file, via CD, hard drive, FTP, or e-mail.

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