Zendrum Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: software/laptop set up - advice?  (Read 2132 times)

aziel

  • Guest
software/laptop set up - advice?
« on: November 21, 2009, 07:15:33 AM »

hi everyone,

logging back onto this forum, just seen some of my silly rants about modules/samplers, but hopefully some of you might still be willing to give me some advice!

i've finally ordered a zx and i've already got a few modules and hardware samplers i use in electro acoustic set ups. however i'm coming round to the idea of wanting to use software instead, having recently having a go with some daws, in particular ableton, with some keyboard and finger drum controller action!

so my question really is if/when i decide to rely on a laptop for my zendrum what set up would people recommend? please bear in mind i still don't really know what i'm doing half the time with my electronics, even as things stand, and i haven't fathomed out the mysteries of midi or how to make the most of my laptop to make music. i mean, it took me about two days to work out how to get my controller to work with live, d'oh!

i've been looking at battery 3 and i think that's probably a good option for me, both in terms of budget and application. i'm more interested in synthetic, ethnic sounds and also being able to use my own samples and loops in a simple and straight forward program. so i think i'm fairly set on that.

what i could really do with some advice on though is any suitable hardware set up to get the most out of my zendrum and battery 3, although on a budget! i guess i mean things like sound cards, midi/usb interfaces. i haven't really looked in to what a muse receptor is/does, other than understanding it kinda works as a hardware module for all your software (is this right?) but i think that for the moment that's going to be out of my price range anyway. so how best to connect my zendrum to my laptop (latency etc.) and then how best to connect my laptop to the pa. yes as you can see i really am a complete dunce with electronics, anything more than tuning up a skin and bashing it with a stick is a challenge!

so i guess the most straight forward and budget conscious laptop set up is what i'm after really, both for recording and live, but mainly thinking about live performance. i know that some of the people i play with are going to freak out for an age if they see me get out a big wooden wedge instead of a drum kit and electronic pads, and they'll probably be even more concerned if i then wip out a laptop (with vista!) rather than a module/sampler!

anyway, thanks very much in advance for any advice/insights from anyone. sorry if this is the kind of boring newbie 'hardware or software' question you come across like every week or something!

cheers people 
Logged

Genzen

  • Tribal Pledge
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: software/laptop set up - advice?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 08:55:45 AM »

I have a 64 bit HP laptop that had the vista O/S - battery 3 sucked on it.! >:(
went to office max and picked up the windows 7 upgrade 3 pack for 149$
and did a fresh install. now battery runs flawlessly with no latency just like my td-20 module. ;D
I'm using a tascam 144 interface with no problems.
hope this helps
Jim
Logged

aziel

  • Guest
Re: software/laptop set up - advice?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2009, 11:41:53 AM »

oh dear, that doesn't sound very promising!  maybe i'll stick with hardware, hmm.

anyway thanks for the info ginzen.
Logged

timecutter

  • Guest
Re: software/laptop set up - advice?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 05:49:32 PM »


Buy a Mac laptop.   I'd recommend a MacBook Pro, but some people are saying you can get along with a basic Macbook, which I believe now come standard with 2GB RAM.   If you've a PC person who's never used a Mac, you don't know what you're missing.  Once you've used the Mac for a little while, there will be no looking back.  For ease of use, reliablity, and stability, the Mac beats the PC hands down.   I thought at one time I'd never want to use a laptop for performance and I'm totally over that now.   I use a pretty complex software setup inside the Macbook Pro - running Battery 3, Kontakt 3.5, and BFD inside Ableton Live - and I'm very happy with how that's working.   I'm very fond of Batery 3 on the Mac - runs great.   But there's lots of software options out there.

The Mac comes with Garageband, which is actually very useable software for making music and includes some very decent drum kits & percussion sounds.  I've actually sucked out some of the sounds from Garageband & the Jam Packs that can be bought from Apple to use with other software.  You could start with Garageband - its fun to play around with and can do good stuff - and move on to something else later if you want.

You'd need a way to get MIDI signals into your Mac (or PC)  and you'll want an audio interface to get sound out (though you can just take the sound out of the built-in sound card on the Mac).   

Here's a couple of options for you:
1) If you're just starting out, and maybe you'd just like to play some sounds through your home stereo or earphones, you could buy a small MIDI keyboard that has a MIDI-in port.  You could plug your Zendrum into the keyboard MIDI-in port, plug the keyboard USB into the Mac, run Garageband, and plug your earphones (or stereo) into the Mac audio output.   This could be cheaply done & would provide you a keyboad, sometimes very nice for auditioning sounds (or playing an occasional bass line). 

2) If you're a little more serious & have a little more money, you will want to get a Firewire or USB audio interface for your laptop that also handles MIDI.  Then you'd plug our Zendrum merge-brick output into the interface, plug the interface into the Mac, and plug the audio output from your interface into your amplifier & speakers.   There are lots of interface choices, varying in cost from < $200 to > $1000.   Look through the forum here for discussions of interfaces.  I like MOTU gear.  M-Audio makes some affordable interfaces; while not a real prestige brand I have used their stuff & can't complain about it.   

I believe strongly Mac is the way to go.

count on learning a lot - have fun

Mark


Logged

aziel

  • Guest
Re: software/laptop set up - advice?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 11:01:31 AM »

aha, thanks timecutter.

i guess i was waiting for someone to tell me to buy a mac! thanks for the info,, it all helps for me to try and make the best decision for me.
Logged

Atardecer

  • Guest
Re: software/laptop set up - advice?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 08:29:14 PM »

If youve got the bucks I'd have to recommend a receptor. You can run your favorite drum sampler VSTs with next to no latency, and you bypass any host/OS/computer issues. Not cheap but a worthwhile investment. I will need to upgrade to the Receptor 2 version to run BFD2 unfortunately, but they take more RAM and a much quicker. In terms of cost against a laptop theyre pretty reasonable.

Jim
Logged

aziel

  • Guest
Re: software/laptop set up - advice?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 09:55:35 AM »

yup hopefully one day i'll be able to afford a receptor in my set up but that probably won't be for some time.

going off on a bit of a tangent, back to hardware, has anyone used an elektron machinedrum much for electro stuff?

check this if you're interested! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bokToqFV-Fc
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up