Powerbook G4, and external hard drive

I have a 1 Ghz Powerbook G4 with 768 MB of RAM.  It's has a 40 GB hard drive, with only about 6 GB of space left on it.

I also have a decent external hard drive with about 45 GB of free space on it.

I do not own any music writing software, and I don't own VD2...yet. 

With the equipment I have, which is listed above, what are some of your opinions of how I should install everything for the best of use. 

Thanks for the opinions.  It's much appreciated.

Brian Stockard
Hi Brian,

Welcome to the forum. In general, running VDL2 from a laptop is a little less efficient than running it from a desktop machine, however that shouldn't stop you from diving in. If your external drive is a Firewire spinning at 7200RPM, that would be a good place to hold the VDL2 ";library"; folder which contains all the samples (about 4 gigs worth), and instrument files. You could install the the VDL2 ";player"; (the actual software program) normally - in the ";Applications"; folder of your main drive. It doesn't take up nearly as much space as the library folder. That will all work fine, as long as your external HD is connected. If you plan on keeping this laptop for a while, I'd definitely recommend maxing out its RAM. I believe you can put 2GB in them. The RAM would help productivity more than anything. Eventually, you may find the 1Ghz G4 to be a little slow, but it'll still work fine. Just might pose more of a limitation on scores that have a lot of staves and require a lot of simultaneous polyphony.

Music writing software will also be important. If you're aiming to write in a notation environment (so it looks pretty and you can distribute parts/scores) your two options would be Sibelius or Finale. Both programs offer academic pricing if you are a student or teacher. You'll find that both programs have a loyal base of users and both are very powerful. Personally, I prefer Sibelius. Finale, however, has some cool features that allow you to 'host' VDL2 as a plugin. I think it's still evolving. If you don't care about notation and would rather work in a ";sequencing"; environment, I'd suggest you check out Apple's Logic, or MOTU's Digital Performer.

Sounds like you are approaching this the right way in gathering facts before you dive in head first. The more educating you can do, the smoother the process is.

Good luck!
Thanks for the help Jim.  It's much appreciated.  Ya know, you and I have a mutal friend.  Vince Gardner.  I now live in Central Pennsylvania, but I grew up in Southern California.  Vince and I taught Pacific Crest together.  I was the snare tech.  He's a great guy, and speaks very highly of you as a teacher, and especially as a person.

As far as VD2, I will be using this mostly for Battery percussion only at the moment.  I forsee myself needing to add pit percussion around the same time I plan on buying a new computer.  If possible, I would like to stick to a laptop.  What laptop computer would you reccomend?  I'm an Apple guy, so I'm assuming most from them would be great.  Maybe the MacBook Pro?


Cool! Tell Vince I said hi next time you talk to him. He's a great guy!

Sounds like you'll be pretty well set with your current powerbook. By the time you're ready to dive into a MacBook Pro, VDL2 should be available in a universal binary format (to benefit speed boost of mac intel machines), and music production on a laptop should be more efficient than your current machine.

Good luck!
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