Laptop suggestions: for live setup with Multiface and Fedora CCRMA

Hi everyone,

I’m wanting to build a small linux setup for live performance using the multiface II via an express card and running the CCRMA realtime kernel. I’m trying to decide on a laptop to buy and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions/experience.

I intend to synthesise around 8 channels using my supercollider code (which is relatively efficient). These will be put through some basic effects chains via ardour or standalone jack effects. It’ll all be controlled via midi controller (still trying out a few different things here).

I appreciate the help - I’m a bit out of touch with laptop hardware and it changes very fast!


The reason why nobody has answered so far is probably because your question is so generic. The answer to you question would be “Any notebook with express card slot might do”, unless you specify some more requirements - price range, weight, special features etc. etc.

I can only recommend checking out working setups. There is a reason why you see practically only Thinkpads on a LAC stage :slight_smile:

Thanks for the response faberman. I see your point, the post was too generic. I’m glad you mentioned a Thinkpad, that’s top of my list at the moment.

I would like to keep the price around the $1000 mark if possible. I’m not particularly bothered by weight or battery life and the less special features the better. No need for exceptional graphics. I’m looking for something simple which will do the job reliably. This seems to be the way thinkpad are branded, but I’ve never used one before. I don’t have to do much else on the computer except for endless Tex.

I did see that at one point there were some problems between the thinkpads and the hdsp express cards that required a workaround. Does anyone know if this is all sorted out now?


There were some problems with the power managment of thelLinux kernel in combination with centrino 2 chipsets and the RME express card interfaces, but nothing thinkpad-specific. With a recent kernel (tested on 2.6.36) it all works nicely. Just tested it two weeks ago on a X200.

I’d say ANY notebook today can do what you want, after all they’re all more or less the same chips. So it really comes down to what display, size, weight class, design you like…

Great, thanks for your help