Laptops in the Front Ensemble

Looking around the forum, I've found several topics about using VDL in live performance using laptops.  I'm late to the party with this but am very interested in applying this concept. Using VDL and other Synth pads .wav's etc...

So my question to you is:

What kind of setups are you guys using?  Software and Hardware?  Is there a program that will let you have many different sounds without having to change banks like Kontakt?


Thanks in advance!
Behringer makes inexpensive USB audio interfaces that are also mixers. 
I'm still looking around to find the right product for our needs.  I have been looking at Roland's Juno GI.  What would the benefit of a Mac (with kontakt or logic studio) and midi controler be over a synth like this one.  Being able to assign different sounds to individual keys without switching banks would be about the only difference i could see.

Here is a link for the Juno GI

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JunoGi?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=none&gclid=CJui8dyz46cCFYhM2godFj3C-w

Seems like something simple like an Mbox or something along those lines would be an adequate intermediate layer between the laptop and the board.
Thanks for the information. Its given me a good starting point for research. 

Anybody have suggestions about sending audio form the Mac to soundboard?

Also,  What about putting VDL 2.5 on multiple systems?  If the school buys it, can they but it on a ";back up"; Mac?

I've been using Ableton for a few years now. Paired with the Akai APC controller, it's super easy for kids to trigger audio samples and activate VSTs. We have Kontakt 4 and some EastWest libraries in use, and works pretty well for managing it all. There's a bit of a learning curve for students, but the tutorials are great and so far the kids have picked up on it pretty quickly.

For the computer, we're just using an off the shelf HP desktop that we put more RAM and USB ports in (for the MIDI controllers).
A lot of schools have that pricing as well. I got my copy from UNT last year for $150 as well, and I believe about half of the schools offer that price to faculty and students.
PM me for the info. I'm not sure I want to post an Apple employee's email address on the internet where everyone can see it!
[quote author=ted_boliske link=topic=3950.msg20808#msg20808 date=1298911552]
Eric,

How did you get the Apple contact in educational sales so as to get that quoted price for Logic? I've been using Digital Performer for 10 years, and will continue. But at $149 for the full version of Logic, I'm willing to take the time to learn a new program.
[/quote]

What Ted said.
Eric,

How did you get the Apple contact in educational sales so as to get that quoted price for Logic? I've been using Digital Performer for 10 years, and will continue. But at $149 for the full version of Logic, I'm willing to take the time to learn a new program.
I'm about to get into this ";business"; this year. Already purchased is a new MacBook Pro and Logic (which is on its way). By the way, the academic price I was quoted for Logic was $149! This is not the educator price; it's the one that requires you to deal directly with someone in educational sales (at Apple).

There will be a learning curve for me, for sure, but having done the research, I'm fairly confident that I have some pretty powerful tools at the ready.

In the past, I got away with a malletKat, a cheap Dell laptop (not powerful enough...), Virtual Drumline and all of the appropriate cords/cables, but it was occasionally unstable -- I blame the computer (although, we had our occasional malletKat issues, too). Notice, that I am trying a new route this time around...

There are quite a few resources out there.  Do some research into Rax (http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/rax/).  A lot of folks also use Logic's Environment window as well as Mainstage.
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