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powerbook G4...how good is it really?

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  • powerbook G4...how good is it really?

    Hello,

    I'm looking into purchasing a G4 for home recording purposes...

    When building this notebood what should I make sure and include? (memory, ram, programs, ports, etc..)

    Suggestions or directions anyone?

    Thanks,

    Robert
    http://www.mp3.com/robertdubois

  • #2
    Well it is an excellent notebook.. the build quality is fantastic and although pricier than its Pentium counterparts it is still a sophisiticated machine.

    A G5 it is not.

    If you require a lot of processing power for softsynths, plug-n effects etc. Then I wouldn't go with a laptop.

    A laptop venture is expensive too, plus you have to buy a Firewire audio card, and an external harddrive, along with some extra RAM.

    Take all that into consideration, and maybe it isn't that portable?

    If you need a computer that is easy to gig with but you will only do this once and a while, then maybe an iMac G5 is the way to go? You'd still need a Firewire audio card and an external drive would help but at least you'd have more power...

    I don't mind having to lug around a monitor and a tower every once and a while. Some do.. I'd rather have more power for my $$$ so I opted for the dual G5.

    I used to use a Powerbook 800, but it couldn't keep up with my needs. A friend of mine just scored a brand new Powerbook 1.33gHz for cheap, but he turned around and sold it for twice as much to get a G5. He wasn't sure what to do, but I pointed out that he wuld only make music in his studio so he wouldn't need the laptop.

    Anyhow, consider your needs and you'll amke the right choice.
    Waldorf Q, RS7000, A4000, PCR-300

    Comment


    • #3
      I currently own a dell desktop, and the reason I'm looking into notebooks is for portability. I won't use this notebook solely for recording.

      How much extra ram would I need? If I were to buy this notebook I'd go ahead and get it with 512 mb DDR333 SDRAM 2x256 SO-DIMMs or 512 mb DDR333 SDRAM 1 SO-DIMM. I don't mind getting an external hard drive either. Do you have any specific suggestions for a firewire audio card?

      Please excuse any ignorance..I'm fairly new to the whole at-home recording world.

      Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Robert
      http://www.mp3.com/robertdubois

      Comment


      • #4
        I would say at least put a gig of RAM into it.

        Lacie FireWire drives work well.

        Recommended FireWire cards:

        Motu 828 MKII
        M-Audio Firewire 410 (tested on same chain as firewire drive, worked fine)

        you have a lot of options for programs so you will have to do extensive research. Depending on your needs you can spend nothing to around a grand on recording software alone.

        look into:

        Tracktion Promo version:
        http://my.mackie.com/profile/member.asp?t=tnfra

        this is Mackie's MIDI and audio recording software. Not the most sophisticated but it's practically free

        Apple's Garageband - Part of the iLife suite of apps, it is very basic but fun and cheap way to record songs. Works pretty well... www.apple.com

        Logic 7 Express or Logic 7 Pro - probably the best all-round DAW for the Mac platform www.apple.com

        Digital Perfomer - long-standing, excellent DAW. My choice on the on the Mac. www.motu.com

        Intuem- simple and affordable MIDI and audio recording. http://www.intuem.com/

        Ableton Live 4.1 - if you are making groove oriented music this is that cat's pajamas. Powerful, yet simple http://www.ableton.com/
        Waldorf Q, RS7000, A4000, PCR-300

        Comment


        • #5
          This is great info..I really appreciate the help.

          If I were to purchase the m-audio firewire 410 and logic 7 express I would be able to completely control my instruments/mics plugged into the firewire card through the logic 7 program, correct?

          If I plugged a stage keyboard into the midi port could I access all of logic's synth options for recording with the keyboard?

          Would I need anything else besides the recording program, external hard drive, and sound card?

          As far as the processor goes: is there a huge step up between teh 1.33 ghz and the 1.5 ghz? Would it be worth the difference?

          Thanks again for the wonderful advice...

          Robert
          http://www.mp3.com/robertdubois

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE]Originally posted by Robman
            This is great info..I really appreciate the help.

            If I were to purchase the m-audio firewire 410 and logic 7 express I would be able to completely control my instruments/mics plugged into the firewire card through the logic 7 program, correct?

            Yep

            If I plugged a stage keyboard into the midi port could I access all of logic's synth options for recording with the keyboard?

            Yep

            Would I need anything else besides the recording program, external hard drive, and sound card?

            nope

            As far as the processor goes: is there a huge step up between teh 1.33 ghz and the 1.5 ghz? Would it be worth the difference?

            Probably not a lot. I haven't used Logic on OSX but the FReeze option looks like it might negate some speed concerns.


            Thanks again for the wonderful advice...

            Robert


            I've been looking at a 12" G4 1.33 powerbook quite a lot recently. I just can't help thinking that as soon as I buy it, it'll end up being just before they bring a G5 laptop out for $50 less..

            I still might buy a G4 1.33 and probably get the same amount of horsepower out of my 1.2gig upgraded G4/400 which is pretty decent..
            "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

            Comment


            • #7
              I appreciate the response.

              One more thing...what size external hard drive is recommended? Is there any other info I'm missing at this point?

              thanks again,

              Robert
              http://www.mp3.com/robertdubois

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Robman
                I appreciate the response.

                One more thing...what size external hard drive is recommended? Is there any other info I'm missing at this point?

                thanks again,

                Robert


                I saw a 160gigger on a firewire buss for £100 the other day. I would go for something around that size but for you, it depends on how much recording your going to be doing..
                "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

                Comment


                • #9
                  There are x86 laptops out there that are true desktop replacements - 7200RPM hard drives, 3+Ghz processors, 17" screens, etc... they aren't exactly light and don't expect fantastic batter life though. Look into Sager, HP, Alienware, and Dell.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    first of all, i'm not a rabid mac-maniac. i use a windows pc desktop, and a mac laptop.

                    i've been using a 1ghz 15" aluminum powerbook with my 002r system with no problems. I can record 8 tracks simultaneously, even to the internal HDD with no problems (i dont have any more pre's than that to try more).

                    granted, it can get a little bogged during mixing, when you've got a jillion plugins going, but thats probably just because i've got 768MB memory. i like to mix on my PC just because i've got a ton of memory and a multi-monitor setup.

                    yes, the powerbook is not a G5, but it does offer performance to meet most any windows laptop out there. the question is do you want to pay a little more to get the mac.

                    and yes, the build quality is matched by nobody. the current powebooks are litterally the BMW of computer hardware.
                    */ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                    Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for a day.
                    Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.
                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - */

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by elevate
                      There are x86 laptops out there that are true desktop replacements - 7200RPM hard drives, 3+Ghz processors, 17" screens, etc... they aren't exactly light and don't expect fantastic batter life though. Look into Sager, HP, Alienware, and Dell.


                      There are Powerbooks that are true desktop replacements.


                      I'm using a 1.5ghz 15" as a replacement for my aging dual 1ghz tower.

                      Essentially the same plugin count and track count as the desktop in Logic.

                      And MUCH MUCH quieter (tracking in the same room as the laptop is not a problem)

                      Nope. Not a G5. But it's stable, plenty fast, and I can take my recording rig on the road.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        *nods*

                        I've been using a PB 17" 2 GB RAM, and I have had no problems.

                        In fact, it runs better than most desktops.

                        Unfortunately, I don't need the mobility anymore, so I *am* getting a G5.

                        (If anyone is interested in a PB 17" 2GB PM me. )
                        Rocking fat donkey lips, always.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DivideByZero
                          yes, the powerbook is not a G5, but it does offer performance to meet most any windows laptop out there.

                          This is completely wrong.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kamurah There are Powerbooks that are true desktop replacements.

                            Well, technically speaking, every laptop ever made could conceivably replace some desktop. However the point is, "desktop replacement" refers to something near top of the line in terms of desktop performance. You can get that in an x86 laptop. You cannot get that in a Powerbook.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well.....technically speaking ....

                              My laptop runs just as fast as the top of the line Mac desktop just prior to the introduction of the G5.

                              Which means technically it was fast enough for Crystal Method to record their last album on....(I think they used a dual 1ghz running MOTU DP)

                              .....so that means it should technically be fast enough for most people's modest needs.


                              BTW...I am dubious there is a windows laptop out that can hang with a dual 2.5ghz G5. Happy to be proved wrong though.

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