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Laptop for Pianoteq
#2346240 11/06/14 11:00 AM
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When I retired I bought a Casio AP620 and began to learn the piano. I would now like to link the Casio AP620 to a laptop and take advantage of the one of the available software programs, initially Pianoteq. Attempts to use the demo of Pianoteq on my old laptop resulted in a horribly long latency.
Could anyone let me know of a suitable laptop, preferably one they use themselves that works well? I am familiar with Windows 7, so this would be ideal and as the laptop would be primarily dedicated to running piano software I do not require a top of the range model.

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346246 11/06/14 11:16 AM
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If I recall correctly you cannot use ASIO in the Pianoteq demo, which is what you need for low latency.

If you're going to get Pianoteq regardless, I'd recommend trying the full version (through ASIO) on your old laptop before buying a new machine.


Playing since April 2010.
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Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346248 11/06/14 11:18 AM
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Were you using native ASIO or the generic ASIO4ALL drivers with your old laptop? If not, you might want to try it again, as it's really the difference between it working and not working at all. You can get the ASIO4ALL drivers here. Once they're installed you have to make sure you're actually using them in the Pianoteq setup.

http://www.asio4all.com/

I had good luck with the latency on an older laptop after using ASIO4ALL but wasn't able to solve the line noise problems, even with an external USB interface.

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346262 11/06/14 11:31 AM
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I used free AS104 All on my laptop. Worked immediately and eliminated latency. The computer wasn't even mid range.. Line noise comes from earthing issues usually and are common in the music industry. Insulate the earth pin on the computer and see if it goes. Use a bit of paper on something to isolare the earth connection.


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Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Deffie #2346267 11/06/14 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Deffie
If I recall correctly you cannot use ASIO in the Pianoteq demo, which is what you need for low latency.

If you're going to get Pianoteq regardless, I'd recommend trying the full version (through ASIO) on your old laptop before buying a new machine.


I am running the demo just fine using the native ASIO drivers that came with my audio interface no problem. ASIO4all works fine too. AFAIK there is no restrictions on what drivers the demo supports. Just that it has timeout after 20 mins and some disabled keys.

I agree with the above though, try ASIO4all and see of you can better the latency, it makes a big difference over direct sound supplied in windows.


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Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346296 11/06/14 12:14 PM
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Many thanks for your prompt replies. I have just downloaded ASIO4all as David suggested, run the Pianoteq demo and the latency has been eliminated. Will spend some time adjusting the demo and playing a few pieces. Many thanks again.

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346341 11/06/14 01:09 PM
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Two other things to do, to improve performance:

1. Set the "Power Plan" to "High Performance".

2. Use the wireless network manager (I forget what it's called in Windows 7) to _disable_ the wireless network (usually WiFi) adapter. That's more effective (in my experience) than just disconnecting from your WiFi network.

If you have problems, the Pianoteq forum is quite helpful. But it sounds like you're well on your way.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346580 11/06/14 11:49 PM
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Friendly reminder for anyone else that may find this topic:

Pianoteq runs smoothly even with extremely modest resources. The official website lists something like less than 100 MB of RAM as adequate. Myself, I have ~1.8 GB of RAM (low-end Chromebook running Arch Linux) and that's plenty, no special sound card or anything.

In other words, if Pianoteq isn't performing well on your machine, it's probably because of some other component -- like in this case, sound drivers -- or a misconfigured JACK audio server, or a bad MIDI connection, etc., rather than the computer being too resource-constrained or old.


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Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346781 11/07/14 01:51 PM
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A good option is to download ubuntu studio... it can be tested without installing, or installed next to windows very easily, no latency, no viruses...


Pianoteq / Kawai CL 35 & MP11 / Old 1920's Upright Zimmerman
Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346800 11/07/14 02:56 PM
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Given that Pianoteq uses not su much resources from a mdoern CPU (i3, i5) you can fin on affordable laptops investing in the audio interface is key to get good performance. ASIO4all doesnt compare to quality drivers by steinberg in their UR range.


Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
login #2346829 11/07/14 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by login
Given that Pianoteq uses not su much resources from a mdoern CPU (i3, i5) you can fin on affordable laptops investing in the audio interface is key to get good performance. ASIO4all doesnt compare to quality drivers by steinberg in their UR range.



I'm using Steinberg's UR22 interface myself and it works well but my reasons for abandoning ASIO4all were twofold; the need to be able to readily play media and youtube files without switching drivers. Also the ability to independently control headphone and monitor outputs. But providing the OP has no specific need for an external audio interface I would disagree that ASIO4all fails to compare in audio quality. Rather than spend money unnecessarily I would urge trying out the free driver.

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
dire tonic #2346853 11/07/14 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
I would disagree that ASIO4all fails to compare in audio quality.

Audio quality is more dependent on hardware implementation and modern software-switched PC "HD" sound codecs are anything but "high definition" - especially if you're going to use the analogue outputs (use digital output and say hello to additional latency).

I got an UR-22 for Pianoteq, too. That greatly improved audio quality and latency (= realtime).


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
JoeT #2346867 11/07/14 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jtsn
Originally Posted by dire tonic
I would disagree that ASIO4all fails to compare in audio quality.

Audio quality is more dependent on hardware implementation and modern software-switched PC "HD" sound codecs are anything but "high definition"


I've no idea what the above means.
Which codecs are involved when outputting audio through a laptop's motherboard?

Quote

- especially if you're going to use the analogue outputs (use digital output and say hello to additional latency).


How many laptops provide digital output, and therefore what, in your experience, are the implications for latency when using analogue, e.g. headphones?



Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346869 11/07/14 05:41 PM
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ASIO4ALL does't degrade audio quality, because it works on digital audio. In my system, I use ASIO4ALL and optical output from the motherboard audio chip. The audio quality depends only on the external DAC.


Jack
Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
dire tonic #2346887 11/07/14 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
But providing the OP has no specific need for an external audio interface I would disagree that ASIO4all fails to compare in audio quality. Rather than spend money unnecessarily I would urge trying out the free driver.


I didnt mention a difference in audio quality, just the drivers performance which allow for lower latency.

Last edited by login; 11/07/14 06:30 PM.
Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346898 11/07/14 07:06 PM
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ASIO4ALL seems geared towards providing ASIO support for chipsets that have no native ASIO driver.

I can confirm that in the two cases where I've tested ASIO4ALL against native ASIO drivers, the native ASIO drivers were better, although both were useable and down in the green in DPC Latency Checker. And these were just cheap audio solutions: an ASUS DG PCI card and a Behringer UCA222 USB interface.



Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346902 11/07/14 07:12 PM
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In what way were they better?

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346911 11/07/14 07:37 PM
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I'm pretty sure in both cases the ASIO drivers were about 10-15 μs lower than ASIO4ALL. If I listened closely I could hear it, but both were usable. I just looked at the machine with the ASUS card and it looks like it's averaging about 75 μs in DPC Latency Checker. I don't know how to interpret these numbers, as I've read postings in other forums claiming their latency is awful at much lower values. Seems like a can of worms. All I can say is it sounds good to me.

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346913 11/07/14 07:38 PM
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And that will be the last time I try to be clever and use the micro character in my postings.

Re: Laptop for Pianoteq
Chiral #2346917 11/07/14 07:50 PM
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You must be a superhuman if you can hear difference in micro seconds.

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