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Topic: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

  1. #1

    Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    I got the laptop to \"\"like\" software I was having problems with earlier.

    So I put it through a more rigorous test today

    I got the thing to drive 150 poly max, but that wasn\'t without hiccups from trying to run samples from a \"sleeping\" drive on ANOTHER computer through the network. When I tried just running gigapiano from the internal hard drive I got to about 130 poly without it popping, more with a little bit of note cutting and more depended on what was sustaining and how many note ons where going on at the same time.

    This was all from the on board sound chip and WITH a sequencer running along side. The CPU was pushed into the 130% area... how thats possible I have no clue

    As for running audio along side giga...I cant

    The sequencer isn\'t recognizing the wave output for some reason. I\'ll try another one at some point in the future. Also I\'m not sure it would even work since its only ONE output and it will be taken up by Giga...or could they both access the output? I forget its been so long since I really tried to get Direct sound working

    I\'m looking into the MotU 828 for this thing since it has direct monitoring options and a headphone jack..... I jsut wish it would fit into my laptop bag

    Really...I am an Idiot

  2. #2

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    I\'ve tweaked some more and found that I was getting low poly from the power saving features.

    When running from the AC power I get 160 POLY NO PROBLEM! This is pretty amazing for a laptop if you ask me.

    When running NFX reverb the playback does hiccup if I hit 155-160, and if I gave the notwe cut off at 80, bringing both back a tad leared this up. Again pretty amazing for a lap.

    I did get vegas to run along side the sequencer and giga and spit out audio to the same output via the \"virtual audio cable\" driver. This KILLED my poly to nearly half and I was seeing about 70 note poly max with some major stress on the computer . Looks like I need another drive to doaudio long side. I do have an ORB drive but need to get a SCSI interface for this sucker.

    Really...I am an Idiot

  3. #3

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    Don\'t stop King Idiot - I\'d love to have a laptop with Gst/midi and audio one day - verrrry sexy!

  4. #4

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    I ahve to admit getting this thing ahs been really cool. I can now do ALOT of my editing in bed . This is great when doing tedious work. I have been cutting up a few thousand Audio samples and renaming and building instruments. On my desktop this is crazy. I get tired from teh screen really quickly and its jsut not as confortable as just hanging out on the couch with the dog while I work.

    I can also copose on this sucker without any outboard MIDI input. I found a mouse/keyboard MIDI controller applicaion that is really great. I can create chords with different voicings that I can play off of one key and step write them into a sequencer. Its pretty awesome. Doign drums is not that fun tho. I\'m too araid I\'m gonna pound on the keys too much ...plus thy are so close together. Anyhow. I\'m having alot of fun with this thing. Its not as powerful as my desktop station, nor does it give me access to all my routing in the studio. BUT Its still great, and its awesome to use as \"another\" sampler for more poly. I need to get one of those aleses reverb units for some outboard effects to take on the road. Composing with reverb really helps me...jsut because I lie to twea so much...but doing that without FX means that it could be all for not when I finally do add effects.

    I still can\'t believe I haev a full orchestra in my laptop!!...and it sounds good!!

    Really...I am an Idiot

  5. #5

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop


    For those intersted in another portable solution check out bsicomputer.com

    I got a lunchbox chassis from them. I am currently having Soundchaser put the computer together for me.

    The cool thing about the lunchbox chassis is that it can hold a regular sized ATX board. Which means you can get PCI slots...which means using your favorite soundcard and other goodies.

    I haven\'t got the box yet from Soundchaser but they said it was \"rockin\'\".

    The down part about the lunchbox chassis is the 13\" screen model alone is $1500(I mean just the chassis alone is that much.)
    The 15\" screen is $2500 (chassis alone).

    Well, I went with the 13\" model. I\'ll let you know how this computer works out when i get in December.

  6. #6

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    Definitely lunchbox chassis are an awesome option as well as rackmount chassis.

    I still wanted a laptop so I could use it like a lap instead of it being limited to being a porta studio. Meaning it was easier to carry.

    Another option for people looking for PCI card slots is MAGAM PCI bridgges from the PMCIA slot of a lap. Its another reason I went with the Toshiba. Their extensions wont work with the likes of a Vaio or else I really woould have considered one of those.

    I\'m thinking about picking one up to try to get some TDM/DSP farm plug-ins going on the Tibook....but that wont be for sometime....too much money spent on the laps now and I\'m nearly going over budget...not tomention Xmas...

    Really...I am an Idiot

  7. #7

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    Hi, KingIdiot (Really! You\'re not an idiot!)

    Just curious to do a price comparison (if you don\'t mind).

    What is the Toshiba Tecra going for? Or what did you pay to get it(minus any music software).

    Just curious because, I checked out the Magma 4 PCI slot box and it seemed cool until I saw the price tag.

    When I added the Tecra with the Magma box I was suddenly up to $US5000 without even a soundcard.

    I\'m not saying the Lunchbox chassis is cheap. It ain\'t!!! But so far with Soundchaser configuring the lunchbox, I\'m up around $4000 (that\'s with a Direct Pro 24/96 soundcard included in that $4000). Still expensive for me, no doubt...but gotta do it.

    It seems maybe a bit cheaper to go with a lunchbox than the laptop+Magma set-up. As far as reliabiltiy goes, I haven\'t tried my new computer yet so no coments about that yet. And I really don\'t know the reliability or speed transfer of the laptop to Magma connection.

    As far as portability, I think you may be right about a laptop. It\'s thin. It\'s small. It easy.

  8. #8

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    Totally. The laptop is in teh realm of more portability and you dont \"have\" to use the Magma. So you can compose..say... at the beach

    You can get a Magma 2 slot which I believe is cheaper, but the Lunchbox is more than likely cheaper, and more \"powerful\". I\'f youre looking at doing ALOT of moving your gear and its going to be moving from team to team. Then go with this rout or a rackmount.

    If you want somethign that can serve as a general laptop as well...

    Let me know ohw the lunchbox setup works. I was totally looking at that for a while.. but I REALLY wanted a LAPTOP solution

    Really...I am an Idiot

  9. #9

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    --- External FireWire drive better than internal laptop drive??? ---

    Since laptops are hindered (amongst many other things) by slow hard drives, I\'m thinking an external 7200 rpm FireWire drive for audio, keeping the internal one for the applications. What do you think? FireWire, in terms of data transference is theoretically faster than SCSI (it is supposedly capable of 50mb/second, right?), and if the drive is good (fast seek and large cache), and the drivers robust, it looks like it should be like getting desktop performance from a drive you can take to the beach: a good solution to slow laptop drives cutting down our polyphony. can you envisage Giga streaming 160 voices over a FireWire cable???

    I\'m not a tech, by the way, and may well be talking rubbish -- so go ahead and set me straight.

    Here\'s a laptop situation I imagine could work well for running Logic Audio and GigaStudio simultaneously. opinions please!:

    - A really big 7200 rpm FireWire drive (can anyone recommend one with robust drivers for streaming audio?)

    - Hammerfall DSP Interface: CardBus (PCMCIA type II) + DIGIFACE

    - Er…. A good laptop. (what do you think of the specs I spotted the other day from AHTEC - see below -)

    It would be really great if someone could lay down a list of the determining factors in a laptop for running GigaStudio + sequencer: chipset, motherboard, crappy power-saving functions that make a lot of laptops useless (CPU turns itself off whenever it likes!), type of ram, built-in graphics cards that free up the CPU and ram properly, etc…

    ---- SPRINT 4600 Laptop Specs (www.ahtec.net) ----
    o 1 GHz Intel Pentium III-M (Speedstep) 512Kb cache
    o Chipset: Intel (R) 830MP (Amador)
    o 1024MB SDRAM (yup, it\'ll hold a Gb of RAM in two SO-DIMM sockets)
    o HD: 33/66/100 UMDA 40GB 2.5\" (4500 rpm)
    o CDR-DVD Combo
    o Graphics: ATI Radeon M6-P with 32MB AGP 4x
    o PCMCIA: 2x Typ2 or 1x Typ3
    o IEEE1394: Firewire
    o Built-in SPDIF output

  10. #10

    Re: Did some more with the Toshiba Tecra Laptop

    I wrote to Soundchaser some time back about using Firewire for audio. As far as getting the 160 polyphony...no idea...I\'ve never tried.
    But, read below. My letter to Paul Erlandson at Soundchaser and his response.

    >>I talked to you on the phone recently about the DELL Inspiran as a Laptop
    >>solution for audio. You mentioned connecting a IEEE hard drive to the
    >>laptop for the storage of the audio. Does IEEE stream fast enough to get
    >>10 tracks going smoothly?

    Shouldn\'t be a problem, The Glyph models are tested with 24-tracks.

    >>If so, then is putting Gigasamples on another IEEE drive a possibility as
    >>well? This would mean two HD connected via IEEE to the laptop...one for
    >>audio...one for Giga (with the 1.3 GigaHertz and probably 512MB RAM in
    >>the laptop).

    That\'s what I would do, always best to have a separate drive for Samples.
    However, they will be sharing a fixed amount of Firewire Bandwith, so there
    may still be a degree of bottleneck


    Paul Erlandson

    Sound Chaser Music Software
    \"Everything to make your computer musical\"

    Ext. 202

    So, If glyph can stream 24 tracks of audio maybe it has a chance of doing 160 polyphony.
    Thoughts anyone?

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