Laptop and sound card for ubuntu studio

Gustin Johnson gustin at
Tue Sep 1 07:38:27 BST 2009

Hash: SHA1

aj at wrote:
> Hi All,
> Thanks for all the tips I've picked up from this list over the last few
> months. Now I have the usual questions about good hardware to run Ubuntu
> Studio. Looks like I'll have to buy a new laptop in the next month so
> are there any makes/models/chipsets to avoid? I was thinking of an ASUS
> or a Lenovo but please let me know what you've had good experiences with.

I am a very happy Dell Latitude e6400 and Lenovo X41 (Tablet) owner. In
both cases I used after market RAM and hard drives (4 GiB in the Dell, 2
GiB in the Lenovo, you can never have enough RAM IMO).  I also used 7200
RPM hard drives.  I really like the eSATA port on the Dell.  If only I
had waited for the self powered eSATA spec...

For the laptop I have a generic USB audio device that is cleaner than
the onboard audio that I use with the laptops.  I have messed around
(briefly) with an M-Audio and an Edirol 25ex.  Both seemed to work, but
YMMV.  Do your research before buying, make sure it works (or that you
can make it work).

For the actual recording part, I still use an RME 9652 + RME ADI-8 DS +
Alesis XT + a regular PC so someone else will have to provide some
guidance on the audio interface.  The laptop is the wrong tool for the
job IMO.  Just my opinion, please make up your own mind.
> Currently I have a Emu 1616m PC Card sound card but that might have to
> be replaced because a lot of new laptops don't have the right slot. Also
> I can't get MIDI to work. Do you find USB or Firewire interfaces give
> lower latency? Would it be a good idea to use FFADO and pick a card

I hate firewire for so many reasons, so I avoid it.  My personal
favourite is still the PCI/PCIe solution.  Even under Windows I have
never been a fan of firewire.  Since that is not always an option, USB
is acceptable to me.  Again, YMMV.

For midi I primarily use the midi interface in the 9652.  On my laptop I
will use either the M-Audio Axiom built in USB-Midi ports or I will use
the midiman 1x1 or 2x2 (I have both).

> that's fully supported? Again hardware that you've had good luck with
> and not over about $300 or so would be really great to hear about as
> would any gotchas.
You forgot to ask about world peace :)  In all seriousness I think the
Edirol UA-25EX works (at least that is the impression I get from google)
and is likely what I would pick up for my laptop if I ever felt the
need.  I am sure there are more dedicated laptop people here who can
help better than I can here.

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