Revised 7-3-2009, changes are in red.
For over two years I've been completely laptop based and loving it. Here are some notes on the three configurations I run with my latpop.
First, I'm running an HP DV6500T running Vista, Ableton Live 8 Suite, and various vsts (Alchemy,Sylenth1,NI
Massive/Absynth 4,Gladiator 2,Dimension Pro, Morphine…)
I run in one of the following states:
1 – Laptop Only – Laptop alone with Ableton Live + VSTs. I use the qwerty keyboard and touch pad and do composition and sound-design on the go (or from the couch).
2 – Laptop + Korg Nano – Sometimes I want more control or want to user velocity sensitive keys when I'm on the go. I then add a Korg nanoKey or nanoKontrol to config #1.
3 – Laptop Docked – Last year, my awesome wife and kids re-vamped my studio space as a birthday gift. Besides painting and swanky new furniture, they created stand to hold all my gear by cleverly using the old Ultimate Support Apex column I used to gig with and attached two permanent shelves (painted black and attached with brackets). Shelves are 15 3/4"x 47 3/4" and I believe were from home depot. The footprint for this rig is 26" wide from the wall to the outside edge of the bottom shelf, and 47 3/4" wide. Underneath all this is a dock with tons of USB ports that all the gear plugs in to. The laptop is sitting on a mesh filing box turned upside-down that I picked up from Target (see last picture in post). This setup is pictured below. All I have to do is plug the laptop into the doc and the following comes online:
- HP Notebook Quickdock
- External Monitor – Samsung SyncMaster 930b
- Novation Nio USB sound card
- M-Audio Studiophile SP-5B reference monitors
- Bamboo Touch Pad
- Wireless Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard with built-in touch pad
- Akai APC40
- Novation Remote SL 25
- M-Audio Trigger Finger (Still lovin it after all these years. After touch on drum pads and seamless integration with Ableton drum racks are great).
- Rode NT-1A on an a broadcaster's boom which is fed into Behringer UB802 Eurorack which is routed to the Nio. I mostly use this for voice overs, recording voice related samples, and vocoding. I also record video tutorials through this mic.
- Sometimes a Korg TR via USB is added to the mix when I want that "triton" sound or want to play a controller with more keys on it.
For me this strategy is simple, elegant, has a small footprint yet is extremely powerful and flexible. With Ableton Live and VSTs accessible in every configuration I can jump in and out of projects in any configuration. I find the combination of the APC40, Remote SL and Trigger Finger to be perfect for just about everything I do.
The APC40 has made this a dream setup really and has almost completely eliminated mousing for me. I'll close with a few photos of the APC40 in my studio setup.
Just a fun shot in a dark room.
The APC40, Remote SL 25, and a Trigger Finger fit perfectly on the bottom tier.
Using the APC40 as a Lite Brite – "M" plus pretty colors :^).
Ableton Live APC40 Computers & Laptops Contollerism Mark Mosher Music News Midi/USB Keyboards & Controllers Novation Remote SL Synths & Instruments (Virtual) ableton live tablet ableton vista akai apc40 studio pictures apc40 pictures bamboo tablet laptop musician laptop producer Logitech diNovo Edge Mark Mosher Music mark mosher music studio Mark Mosher studio remote sl trigger finger
Composer, Synthesist, Electronic Musician & Multimedia Artist | Sr. Systems Analyst | Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup