Best Set-up (Painfully Generic Topic)

If you guys knew my circumstances, you'd know that I truly, TRULY don't have a spare 30 minutes right now to peruse the archives here and educate myself on the in's and out's of all things Virtual Drumline. That being the case, is anyone here willing to recommend a laptop to a more or less computer-ignorant VDL prospect? I just want to compose stuff for my own personal gratification and will be buying my first computer some time in the next week or two. Don't need all of the bells and whistles, but would like to hear a nice, clear representation of the things I write, (assuming that quality sound-producing hardware can even be used with a laptop). In addition, if you guys can mention, in suicidally simple terminology, anything that a beginner might want to know -- best compatibility with notation software, etc -- it'd be really appreciated.

And talk to me like I'm 4.


The Sultan of Snare Drum/ The Monarch of Mallets/ The god of Quad/ The Dictator of Drumline/ A(nother) Technologically Inept Wannabe Marching Percussionist With a Mouse.
San Antonio, Tx.
[url=]MacBook Pro[/url]
[url=]Sibelius 5.1[/url]
[url=]Virtual Drumline 2.5[/url]
[url=]VDL 2.5 Sibelius Sound Set & Template[/url]
[url=]VDL 2.5 Installation Tutorials[/url]

That's all you need to start creating some great music.
[quote]MacBook Pro
Sibelius 5.1
Virtual Drumline 2.5
VDL 2.5 Sibelius Sound Set & Template
VDL 2.5 Installation Tutorials

That's all you need to start creating some great music.[/quote]

Not gonna lie when I read that, I was quite impressed at your suggestions lol, but for someone on a budget, and just looking for something simple not sure if a MacBook Pro is the best path.

I use a Dell Inspiron 6000, got it for graduation a few years back. I have done some things to it, but now I have a decent machine that works how i want it. I upgraded to 2 Gigs of RAM, and changed the HDD from a stock one to a larger 160 Gig one that spins at 7200 RPM. It works great for me, and it was pretty cheap. It is also great for just doing the normal stuff. Its like a part of my daily stuff that I grab on the way out the door, along with my keys wallet bottle of water and cell phone. I don't wanna be stuck somewhere and think man if only I had VDL and Sibelius right now.... but ooo yea thats another thing... being a beginner, I would highly suggest Sibelius 5.1. To me, it was much simpler to pick it up and run with it than was Finale. Only reason I really learned Finale was because that was what we had at school and in my spare time I would write stuff out. Also, I would definitely look into getting a MIDI-controller/keyboard. Makes things ALOT easier. You can get a few good ones, I have an M-Audio Keystation 49E and I love it, just wish I would have gone with something smaller, but thats just since I am in a small dorm as it is. Hope this helps, if you have any more or want some more in depth info send me a PM or email or AIM, its all good.
The MacBook Pro has only a slightly faster cpu than the regular MacBook + a much better graphics card and some other misc. features- none of which help in making music.  A regular MacBook is plenty, and this year's model is faster than last year's ";pro"; model anyways.  You can get a refurbished one for under $1k at 

If you're a PC user, you can get a Dell with the same specs as the MacBook for $700.  If you want a Desktop, you can even get a Core 2 [b]Quad[/b] refurbished from for around $500.  That's just insane. 

As long the computer has a Core 2 Duo and 2+ GB of RAM, you have yourself a solid music machine.
Going from a Macbook to a Macbook Pro... The screen size is a massive plus and well worth it. I would almost upgrade just for that. I couldn't be happier with the setup I have right now!
Faster ";processor speed"; but bus speed is about the same...although I'd still have have to say that you can get a maxed out MacBook for cheap!  Especially going with 3rd party RAM.  BUT...if you have to have PC, definitely Dell or far as I have heard, but I'm a Mac guy so what do I know...but you can't beat 17"; of Apple
Thanks very much, fellas. There's a guy here helping me interpret these recommendations, so all appears to be going well. Maybe I'll even post some samples of what I'm sure will be monumental contributions to the marching percussion landscape. And by ";monumenal"; I mean 19-minute unapologetic ram. All unison. 165th notes at 9,000 bpm.

J Mattson, I have to do this in a frenzy because I'm in reception to start AIT at Fort Sam, having completed basic at Fort Sill Thursday of last week. I'm a 68WM6, so my AIT is like a year and a half, which will be plenty of time to compose some slick battery material before I go to the sandbox and get blown up.

";I hear the choppers hoverin'...";

PV2 Cox
I'll see to it you're awarded some kind of medal posthumously.

btw Mac people, there's a class action lawsuit forming against Apple over the MacBook.  Apparently they went cheap and only use a 6-bit color screen, so it's false advertising when they say it has 8-bit ";Millions of Colors"; when it only has thousands.
That's on the 20"; imac, yes?

BTW, like they say on Woot!...  refurb (r0x0rz!)

Definitely look for refurb deals if you're on a tight budget.  The sound card in those MBP aren't as good as one might hope -- yes, they have optical in and out, but that requires something on the other end of the lightpipe.  I just grabbed a UA-1ex off of ebay, and if you can find one of those, I think a macbook will be just fine for most musicians.  As Felix says, get 3rd party ram, and save the $$.  I am, too.

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