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Thread: Netbook powerful enough for recording?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    2

    Netbook powerful enough for recording?

    Hello Ubuntu Community!


    I am planning to do some audio recording in my bands rehearsal room. The idea is to use the Zoom H2 mobile recorder as an audio interface with my netbook computer to record songs with a maximum of 8 to 10 tracks (if possible, otherwise 6 to 8 would do as well).


    Due to the flexibility of a netbook it would be great to use it for the recording and additionally using a desktop computer for the editing at home, I'm just wondering if my netbook has enough performance to run Ardour on Ubuntu Studio and to record a couple of tracks.


    On the ardour website it says 2gb of ram are recommended, as the netbook only has 1gb, might that be enough to to the recordings with no effects to be used or editing to be done? I've read that the Intel Atom CPUs aren't really recommended for doing these kind of things, but if there is only recording?


    Furthermore, do you think Ubuntu Studio is the right choice to run on the netbook? Does it require more performance than the basic Ubuntu (concerning the low latency kernel)? Perhaps another distribution might be better for the job due to less usage of the resources?


    What can I do to safe as many resources for the recording as possible (things like a basic desktop with no visual effects and stuff like that)?


    The specifications of my netbook are:
    Acer eMachine 355-N571G25ikk Netbook, Intel ATOM Processor N570 (1M Cache, 1.66 GHz DDR3) Dual Core, 1GB RAM DDR3 1066Mhz, 250 GB HD 5.4KS


    I know, instead of asking these questions, trying would simply be the easiest way to find out, but I do not have the opportunity until early September and I would like to plan a bit ahead.


    Thank you very much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Beans
    308
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Netbook powerful enough for recording?

    I would say Ubuntu Studio is the right choice, but then again I'm biased. I run Ubuntu Studio 13.04 on a Asus eee pc netbook just fine with 1 GB RAM and Intel Atom N270 1.60 GHz processor. I haven't tried any recordings with it though.
    You could save some RAM by running Debian and Xfce or perhaps Lubuntu, but then you have to set up the kernel and so on and IMHO perhaps not worth the effort to get that small gain. Standard Ubuntu use more resources than Studio if you run Unity. Otherwise you could run Ubuntu with Xfce which is sort of the same thing as Xubuntu or Ubuntu Studio.

    Are you going to record 1-2 tracks at the same time with a total of 8-10 tracks per song? Which means the last take might record 2 tracks and play 8 tracks at the same time? It's hard to say in advance without testing it properly.
    Last edited by cub; August 10th, 2013 at 08:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    1,133
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio

    Re: Netbook powerful enough for recording?

    AV Linux is maybe most lightweight and optimised for audio.
    But still I don't understand, Zoom H2 is a USB audio interface? Which has 8 inputs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    2

    Re: Netbook powerful enough for recording?

    The Zoom H2 is a mobile recorder, but you can also plug it into a computer via USB and use it as an audio interface with the recorders interior microphones.


    My plan is to record one track at a time with a total of up to 8-10 tracks, maybe I will try to record the drums with the Zoom H2 in stereo and then add the single tracks (2 guitars, bass, vocals, backing vocals, maybe some percussion and other overdubs), always one track at a time, so in the end I would like to record 1 track, while playing 7-9 tracks at the same time.


    Thanks a lot for the advice, I might give it a try with Ubuntu Studio, if it doesen't work I will have a look at AV Linux, maybe Puppy Studio or PupItUp, I was just thinking that my Netbook might by far not be powerful enough for the task (as a matter of fact that I did not know), or someone already tried something similar, but it sounds as if it might be worth a try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Beans
    308
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Netbook powerful enough for recording?

    Please post your experiences if you try out AV Linux, Puppy Studio and PupItUp. Seems the two puppy based are not maintained any longer though.

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