[PD] notebook (PC) for creation of sound ?

G.G Karman ggkarman at airtel.net
Sat Aug 11 18:39:15 CEST 2001

Hi im using a fujitsu siemens liteline lap with linux suse 7.1, everything
goes fine here after some trouble configuring the graphic adapter (trident
cyberblade). Im sure this isn't the ideal laptop for making music... but im
really happy, latency is unnoticeable, and can use reasonably complex
patches without getting the CPU meter too far up(AMDK6II), in fact i have
never experienced cpu performance problems even running fairly CPU consuming
patches like the phase vocoder in the /doc directory or a fairly complex
"granular workshop" im working at. Not like in my wndws setups where working
with audio is not possible as i get a huge latency and continuous clicks and
The only 'problem' i have is that i get occasional clicks when making sound
and redrawing arrays simultaneously, but i think this was a general issue,
am i right? I think somebody had a workaround for this running two pd
instances one without graphic interface and the other without sound
communicating via netsend (is this documented somewhere? i couldnt get it

My lap has also a built-in soundcard ESS maestro 3 (number 1870 i think),
but in my case i/o is limited to just 1 mono input and stereo out (the
output quality isnt too bad).
Sometimes i have experienced problems with the fan: a couple of times when
outputting sound & the fan started, pd seemed to freeze and the whole system
slows down to snail speed during 4 or 5 minutes (the terminal reports
'signaling pd') and then back to normal. The problem goes away deactivating
autofan in the bios (which frightens me a little). Somewhere i saw a message
where somebody claimed that there were some laptop models where this could
not be done so watch this.

Also i get occassional dac errors (IO stuck etc.. ) when using alsa drivers,
so i use alsa's oss emulation  preferably. OSS drivers went fine after a
little experimentation with -frags flag. -frags didnt seem to do anything
when using alsa so maybe there is a kind of tuning flag i could fiddle
around with for alsa drivers too?

Im looking forward to getting some better i/o too. I heard about hamerfall
PCMCIA, and Ego-Sys PCMCIA (?), but the shop won't let me test before buying
so im a little frightened to buy before hearing about more people running
similar setups succesfully.
I thought i heard somewhere firewire wasnt the way to go yet in linux as it
is little supported, or is somebody linux-laptop-sound-firewiring out there?
I think some soundcards' alsa drivers cant get audio & midi working together
o am i wrong again? (i would really like to twist my patches).

By the way, be careful ... laptop+pd = total pd addiction.

pd:..sorry for my english!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrey Savitsky" <savitsky3000 at yahoo.com>
To: <pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at>
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 9:52 AM
Subject: [PD] notebook (PC) for creation of sound ?

> hi
> Is there anybody in the list who uses a notebook (PC) for creation of
> ?
> I`d like to buy one for mobility but can not find any answer on the
> of quality of sound.
> In specifications for some notebooks stands only "SBpro compatible stereo
> sound" comment.
> I dont know what does it mean, becouse it's just driver-standart, no more.
> Would it be enough quality (of a soundcard) for making sound? Have any
> experience?
> Thanks.
> Andrey.
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