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Re: Using a laptop onstage: Dominic Frasca's take is misguided

On 5 jan 2006, at 20.19, Travis Hartnett wrote:

> If anyone out
> there is doing all their signal processing and looping on a laptop,
> I'd love to hear the specs of what they're using.

I have tried that but given it up. Now I only do the looping on  
laptops and process my instrument sound with an additional preamp and  
effect processor before the audio hits the lappy input. It sounds  
better, it gives a larger sound pallet to work with and finally; it  
doesn't bog down the computer too much. I also enjoy to record my  
fully processed sound into loops, as opposed to dong the looping  
first and adding effect plug-ins to the loops.

The closest I ever was to a working "laptop only" looping setup was  
when using an electric guitar with a green Tube Screamer fed directly  
into the soundcard. Suitable input level and great sound - but no  
other sound than that "great green sound" ;-)   Then, on a blow-out  
sale I was lucky to pick up a TC Electronix Fireworx very cheap and  
it totally rocks (after reprogramming the patches). I also borrowed  
an Eventide Eclipse for a while, to test it, but did not like the  
sound as much. I also play flute and sax, so different mics is also  
an issue (not going into that here).

Anyway, "all signal processing and looping on a laptop" is  
complicated and what I'm trying to say is that you may be rewarded  
for keeping it simple - which is getting a box that sounds good (Pod  
Pro, Vetta etc if you use guitar) and feed the Laptop looping  
software with the best signal and tone. Also see to keep the pre-amp  
MIDI clock synced from the looping software, so whatever beat synced  
effects you play will be in sync with the loops. This opens up for  
very free and open playing where you can dare to let loops fade out  
and add some space, depth and horizon to the music. It is also a good  
way of fighting latency related problems.

If you're shopping for a Powerbook, try to hold on to the new line  
with Pentium processors. The recent Powerbooks are rather limited  
regarding CPU power (IMHO). Also watch out for those inexpensive pc  
lappies. Quite often the truth is that you "don't get what you don't  
pay for". Take Dell for an example, they use to put new and untested  
components into the Inspiron product line to see how it is working.  
If the components do fine they will be used in the more expensive  
models, but if the components don't do very well - just bad luck for  
you if you happened to buy such an "inexpensive" machine during that  
particular testing period. When comparing prices Mac/PC I have found  
that it's almost the same cost, if you want to stay clear from risk  

Mac or PC is also a software question. For me that is important  
because I do a lot of work in Logic and love to loop in Augustus  
Loop, both OS X only apps. On the other hand, the mighty Möbius is XP  
only and can't be run on a Mac. So it's also up to what you want to  
do musically.

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.looproom.com (international)
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
--->  iTunes Music Store (digital)