Anyone here running V.6 on a laptop? I am thinking of getting one to do location recording…no mixing, plugins etc. I will transfer to the home machine for that…I still have version 3.3 which might run fine on an older machine to just capture the tracks. I will be recording to an external firewire drive with no need to monitor the input so latency is not an issue…just need some advice on a machine and a firewire interface that plays well with N…anyone?


Both laptops and firewire can be tricky. If you already have the laptop, n_track 3 or 6 will both work fine, as well as most other programs, but the hardware in the laptop can be an issue. If you do not have the laptop, see if you can run a test before you by it. Laptops are not as adjustable as desktops (you cannot just change the video card, chip sets, and so on -most Firewire audio interface want to have a TI firewire chipset, even using TI cardbus card for firewire may not work if the PCMCIA chip is a “compatable”. The designers of many laptops configure the architecture so that the audio get hind tit when it comes to resourses and the Video and LAN as well as other “extras” can interfer.
A few things to look for : Ti chipsets, seperate video card with a good amount of memory. If you are going to use cardbus for the firewire the “old” 400 standard will work and the “new” 800 speed will probably not work.

I have had better luck with USB audio than with Firewire. Tascam makes a two channel USB unit that many have had good luck with.

I use my laptop for mixing/editing importing my tracks from my DAW with a flash card.
Having a laptop for remote recording is a great idea if you want to just do a stereo or 4 channel with a small interface like a Tascam or whatever.
How many tracks were you thinking?

Thanks guys…I need 4 or most likely 8 inputs on the interface…I had heard that the TI firewire was the way to go…anyone here have a specific setup they can reccomend?


It’s too hit or miss Ray. For example, I have an HP/COmpaq that WILL NOT work with my Presonus FireBOX for love nor money. This is even with the Presonus recommended PCMCIA Firewire card. Presonus tech support and I gave up after two weeks… My son has a slightly newer HP/Compaq laptop and it works great on it even with the onboard FW connection.

I’d recommend getting your interface first. Presonus FireStudio or FP 10 would get you what you want. MOTU makes some fine FW interfaces too. Pick one and THEN order up a laptop but make sure you can return it if your interface does not get along with it!

Yes, as a general rule the TI Firewire chipset is preferred. However, that PCMCIA card I mentioned? Adaptec made it with a TI chipset and my Compaq STILL would not work with it.

Ya’ pays yer money and takes yer chances I reckon… :laugh:


You will have to try and get the specs for any laptop you get - different models hafe different setups. See if you can get recomendations from someone with a working setup would be best. Then I would check with the sound card company and see if they have recomendations. I have a MOTU 896 that I planned to run on my Lenovo, does not work well at all (the Ti chipset problem on the laptop, the unit is wonderful with my desktop and I am still hoping I can find the right settings to make it work. I have a Layla 24 with a cardbus and a Presonus Digimax Adat preamp and it works well on anything I have used. I did have to download a fix from Echo/Layla for the cardbus to make it work, but that fixed it. I tried out a Presonus 26x26 and could not get it to work, I sent it back. Presonus claims to have drivers that work now (it took over a year), but they also shut down their forum where they were getting a lot of complaints. I have heard that HP laptops work well for audio, but again, check the specs. I am not sure that you can even trust the model number completely as the laptop folks like to specify “compatable” so they can use the cheapest chip bid that meets wheit specs and they dpn’t seem to spec for audio.
I hope this helps.