Old 01-29-2019, 02:20 PM   #1
gkoelling
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Default Help With Computer Choice

Hi,

I'm new here and joined on the recommendation of folks at The Gear Page with knowledge of recording. My budget is limited but I want a laptop for portability to a friends place where we jam and write together.

I'm looking at a HP with a Intel i5 8th gen. processor, 12GB memory and 1TB HDD. It has touch screen but I don't know if that matters. It's priced at $450.

Is this a good deal and is HP a reliable name?

Thanks for your help. I'm so new I haven't even started yet!
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:16 PM   #2
toleolu
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HP has been around forever, pioneers in computer technology.

Your hardware is probably OK for recording, but you might have performance issues with mixing and mastering. Depends on how big the project is, number of tracks, plugins, effects, stuff like that.

Lot's of people here using lots of hardware, someone else can probably give you more info on potential performance issues if any when it comes to mixing.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:09 AM   #3
gkoelling
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Thanks, toleolu

I'm likely going to have a couple guitar tracks, bass, vocals (sometimes two vocal tracks) and maybe EZDrummer or MT Power Drums.

I have an AT3035 and a NuX UC2 interface.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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I can't comment on that particular lappie, but there's more than enough horse power there to do what you want.
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:31 PM   #5
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I can't comment on that particular lappie, but there's more than enough horse power there to do what you want.
Thanks, I was told I could get by with 8GB but saw this one and figured I'd rather have room to spare than get by. I just bought it and it should be here between the 5th and 7th.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:40 PM   #6
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Hi,

I'm new here and joined on the recommendation of folks at The Gear Page with knowledge of recording. My budget is limited but I want a laptop for portability to a friends place where we jam and write together.

I'm looking at a HP with a Intel i5 8th gen. processor, 12GB memory and 1TB HDD. It has touch screen but I don't know if that matters. It's priced at $450.

Is this a good deal and is HP a reliable name?

Thanks for your help. I'm so new I haven't even started yet!
Hey hey,

So nice you're getting into production!

One thing I would definitely say about the computer is take your time with it.

With $450.00 you might be surprised with what you can get. I'm not sure how well-versed you are in computers themselves but a good deal of these lower-end/over-the-counter machines tend to come with a lot of bloatware and other such nonsense that can kind of bog down your machine.

So, with an i5/8th gen and 12gb of ram, you shouldn't really be running into any issues--especially if you tweak power settings and such to find a good way to run reaper more smoothly.

The audio interface will also help out a good deal with the recording, and since you said you plan on doing a good deal with that, I would just make sure that you find one with enough ins/outs, low-latency if you can, and as little interference--little things help.

The last thing I would say is that it really helps to abuse Reaper's, and other DAW's ability to freeze/bounce tracks. Once you get in the swing of recording something, tweaking it, freezing/bouncing, and going back to recording, you'll see that your specs are actually quite good.

As for HP, I'm really not that big of a fan. They had some big "accidental keylogger" release a while back and, personally, I've never very much liked the tactile component of their laptops--although sometimes the external batteries are a nice touch.

Not sure if this helps so much but if you have any more specific questions, I'm happy to answer as best I can.

Definitely also good to think of the long term if you plan on being with the laptop for while.

Take it easy.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:07 PM   #7
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With $450.00 you might be surprised with what you can get. I'm not sure how well-versed you are in computers themselves but a good deal of these lower-end/over-the-counter machines tend to come with a lot of bloatware and other such nonsense that can kind of bog down your machine.
Couldn't agree more. Whatever you buy, if you don't get a Windows DVD with it (and most places you don't), at least make sure you get a license key. If you get one of those machines with all that crap installed on it, use the Windows DVD or download the ISO and use your license key and wipe that drive and do a clean windows install. If you're not sure how to do that, take it someone who knows how, it will save you a lot of grief down the road.

Also, don't short yourself on the front end. While you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do now, the more you get into it, and the more you start realizing what all you can do, you're going to find yourself wanting to do more. This stuff has a tendency to grow on you. If you start out with a minimal config up front, you may find it limits what you can do down the road.

With respect to HP, I would have to respectfully disagree. No company is perfect, but HP is one of the few computer companies that is still around from back in the 70's, (Their history goes back even further than that.) so they must be doing something right.

Good luck
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:57 PM   #8
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Default Consider an SSD if you can afford it

The only thing I'd suggest changing is the 1TB HDD - although an SSD would probably be much smaller for the price it would have a *huge* effect on the performance on the laptop overall and you will likely be able to run projects with more tracks or at higher recording quality. 256GB at a minimum, 512GB+ if you can afford it.

They can be a pain to install later (I know for our HP laptop I had to take the whole thing apart to get to the HDD, sometimes there is a panel you can just unscrew, sometimes there's not!).

Backups are important as either type of drive can (actually, will) fail, especially within the first month. I store my reaper files in OneDrive (sync paused while working) and regularly use the cleanup unused media options when working on a project. Plus it's laptop you are actually taking somewhere, so the risk of dropping it is much higher
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:06 PM   #9
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Backups are important as either type of drive can (actually, will) fail, especially within the first month. I store my reaper files in OneDrive (sync paused while working) and regularly use the cleanup unused media options when working on a project. Plus it's laptop you are actually taking somewhere, so the risk of dropping it is much higher
Backups are definitely a really, really good idea.

Fortunately though, Reaper has a pretty gnarly system in place for handling either different versions of projects, or tangents, or however you want to organize it--including auto-save.

Good place to start on the software side of it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:18 AM   #10
gkoelling
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Thanks, everyone, for all the input. I'll need all the help I can get!

When the laptop gets here next week I may have to take it to the tech I use to have him clean up the software.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:25 AM   #11
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Thanks, everyone, for all the input. I'll need all the help I can get!

When the laptop gets here next week I may have to take it to the tech I use to have him clean up the software.
For sure .

And don't stress out so much about the tweaking of it to fit your recording needs. It can often be a slow process but is definitely worth it in the long run.

Enjoy .
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:51 PM   #12
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When the laptop gets here next week I may have to take it to the tech I use to have him clean up the software.
You should check out some on-line tutorials first. You may find that a fresh windows install is well within your comfort zone.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:10 PM   #13
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I'm new here and joined...
Welcome gk, you will find these forums a massive wealth of information with plenty to assist you. Honestly, I have never been a real 'forum' fan until I landed here. I've asked plenty of questions in my short time here and always got help I needed, so don't be afraid to ask!


Quote:
Intel i5 8th gen. processor, 12GB memory and 1TB HDD
That will definitely do the job, just one note on laptops, get the very best you can afford in terms of processor and ram - either of those are notoriously expensive to upgrade later in a laptop. HP have been making desktops/laptops for eons, look after it and it will look after you for many years to come.

I have two laptops, an old HP DUO (which is useless) and a Acer I3 with 4gb ram which I run Reaper on as well and it works fine for recording - although if I start loading up a lot of plugins it can chug a little sometimes dependent on the plugins. Although I mainly use it for recording - I've recorded a solo artists on it so far without issue and done the post on my desktop.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:38 PM   #14
gkoelling
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Hi,
I'm trying to find a place to start. I've located a number of apps that are questionable. Should I delete x-box and Wild Tangent Games software? There's also Office, One Note, etc. I'm leaning toward getting rid of game software and keeping the Microsoft products for now.

The next step is reading whatever I can find for a total neophyte.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:59 PM   #15
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Hi,
I'm trying to find a place to start. I've located a number of apps that are questionable. Should I delete x-box and Wild Tangent Games software? There's also Office, One Note, etc. I'm leaning toward getting rid of game software and keeping the Microsoft products for now.

The next step is reading whatever I can find for a total neophyte.
Hey hey,

Grats on getting the computer . I'll try to give you the rough crash course--but you might need to let me know what you need the computer for. Here are my recommendations:

(1) Download Firefox, set firefox to default browser, and optimize firefox to suit your needs under "options" by clicking the hamburger menu to the top right.

This may sound odd but Reaper has a great ability to allow you to play audio while you're working on music. So the smoother your browser runs, the easier it is to go back and forth between making music and browsing or what have you.

(2) Delete/Uninstall all "bloatware"/programs you don't need--either by control panel or your program of choice. I find the control panel is fine in most cases.

Disabling/uninstalling these programs is great because, most of the time, in Windows, they tend to run in the background--so removing everything you don't need under the "uninstall/remove" in the control panel, actually helps a great deal when squeezing out some extra, upper-level processing power.

If you have a question about what is safe to uninstall/remove, just post it here.

(3) Same deal as (2) but you're going into the startup programs. So, after (2), log in and do ctrl+alt+delete to get to task manager, then startup, then disable--pretty much everything on your new comp can be disabled unless you have something you want on startup (sometimes antivirus--but it depends on what you want).

Again, here, just ask if you have a question.

(4) This is optional but I find that it helps a great deal. If you set Windows for "best performance" instead of whatever the other one is, you should find that the performance is better but Windows will look slightly different.

For this, windows key, then search for "View Advanced System Settings", "Advanced" Tab, Performance "Settings"...

Under Visual Effects, select "Adjust for best performance". Under the "Advanced Tab", select "Adjust best performance" for programs.

There is also a paging file there that is pretty helpful--although I forget what a good ratio is as I haven't done it in a while. That is super helpful though and worth looking up--maybe somebody here knows but I wouldn't mess with it until you know the correct ratio.


That's pretty much it in terms of upper-level tweaks to a clean install. Obviously there is a lot more you can do--overclock, get into the actual windows services settings, and various other tweaks you can make to help your computer. Incidentally all of this is good for computer health as well so hurry for that lol.

Anyways, let me know if you have any questions but that should take care of a good deal of the first-round so to speak xD.

Take it easy .
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:31 PM   #16
gkoelling
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Thanks, psyberscenic

At this point the new laptop will be for recording only. I'll get rid of anything related to gaming and go from there.

Oh, thanks for the directions and where to find settings.


gk
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:03 PM   #17
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Thanks, psyberscenic

At this point the new laptop will be for recording only. I'll get rid of anything related to gaming and go from there.

Oh, thanks for the directions and where to find settings.


gk
For sure . Enjoy .
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:54 PM   #18
toleolu
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If you plan is to uninstall the bloat rather than wiping the drive and doing a clean install, I suggest you take a look at a program called CCleaner. There's a number of other Windows Maintenance programs out there, but I've used CCleaner for years and have never had any trouble with it. It's a pretty handy maintenance tool, and it's free, just be careful when you install it because like most of that free stuff, it has check boxes to install Chrome, McAfee and God knows what else.

Once you've deleted all the programs you don't want, run CCleaner and clean the registry. CCleaner will prompt you to make a backup of the registry before it changes anything, make sure you create a backup. After you clean the registry, do a restart. If something gets jacked after cleaning the registry, you can boot to safe mode, restore that backup, and you'll be good to go.

Once you've cleaned the registry and everything is working OK, CCleaner has a handy little function under Tools that will let you see everything that starts up when you boot the computer. You can just double click the things you don't want running on start up and those programs will not start. They'll still run if you launch them manually, but they won't automatically start.

Finally, and this is kind of old school but I still like to do it, after you have deleted everything and have things the way you want, optimize the C drive. Like I said, it's kind of an old school thing to do, but I still like to do it when I've deleted a lot of stuff off of a drive. I don't do scheduled drive optimizations, just run them manually from time to time.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:28 PM   #19
psyberscenic
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If you plan is to uninstall the bloat rather than wiping the drive and doing a clean install, I suggest you take a look at a program called CCleaner....

I don't do scheduled drive optimizations, just run them manually from time to time.
As much as I used to be a fan of CCleaner, I wouldn't recommend it anymore--especially if you're a novice to both windows optimization and daw/recording optimization on top of it.

You can probably get away with it but considering you're adding registry stuff and their bout with malware (last year I think?), I would say that it'd probably be a wiser option to steer clear of it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:47 AM   #20
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You can probably get away with it but considering you're adding registry stuff and their bout with malware (last year I think?), I would say that it'd probably be a wiser option to steer clear of it.
Steer clear because of a 2017 hack to the 32 bit version?

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3225...d-malware.html

Seems a little extreme, but OK. Note in the article where PC World states that CCleaner has been on PC Worlds list of best free software for years.

As far as this being something novice users should stay away from, I agree to a point, however, registry maintenance is something every Windows user should be familiar with. Don't mess around with regedit, but a Registry Maintenance program of some type is kind of a must have for Windows users. As far as things a novice user should stay away from, overclocking the CPU would top my list.

But to each his own.
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