which laptop for pyramix/hapi

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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby mpdonahue » Mon Jul 10, 2017 03:02

stephanc wrote:Hi Mark and colleagues,

I wonder if there has been any update in the past two years regarding Masscore on a laptop. There are new PCI Express adapters released, and I wonder if you've further investigated in this matter. Now with Merging advertising on their website the support of the late MBP models with v11 and stating that Macbook Pro's of the last generation "seem to be the preferred laptop for on location recordings". I wish Masscore on a laptop would become reliable reality.

Thanks for any input,


Stephan

mpdonahue wrote:
I suspect you will be waiting a long time for Macbook Masscore....The holdup is actually the RTX driver from Interval Zero (Not Merging). We've tried all the available Thunderbolt to PCIe adapters and they all have the fundamental problem of RTX not seeing the Merging Network card. There was a discussion over a year ago about trying to get Interval Zero to use an OEM Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter to work with the driver. There has been radio silence since then.

I run Masscore on my Lenovo W540 all the time. I found an passive (Has to be passive1) Expresscard to PCIe PCB on a Chinese website years ago. It is designed to allow use of an outboard graphics card on a laptop. The RTX sees the card just like an internal slot and it actually works pretty phenomenal on the Lenovo with the standard caveat about using onboard video. (High count DSD and DXD are not happy with Intel Integrated video) I recently recorded an opera with over 80 tracks of 192 on it and it works faster than my 2 year old silent builds. W540 also has Thunderbolt which I use for an outboard storage array.

I've ordered one of the Dell M4800 laptops with the integrated AMD Firepro graphics($1500 fully loaded). Will let you know how it works as soon as I get a chance to test it here.
All the best,
-mark
We've relegated laptops to native only use. I can coax my lenovo W540 to do Masscore, but it is not for the uninitiated. I can't send it out as a primary recorder with the other engineers.
On the merging site, they talk of MBP for NATIVE only.
There are changes coming in the Merging/RTX world. We are anxiously waiting for the new updates that will hopefully eliminate the Nvidia exclusion and the expansion of multi-processor support.
There was a mythical MBP/Masscore setup, but the constant changes in both MAC hardware and software made it a bit of a white elephant. The mid-2014 MBP/Iris Pro Graphics with Mavericks and bootcamp using a Sonnett Echo Express was made to work, with all the same onboard video issues.
I'm looking into NUC based systems this summer. Will let you know how it turns out.
All the best,
-mark
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby jplaurel » Fri Sep 08, 2017 21:18

Hi Mark,
I'd be interested to hear more about anything you've learned about running Masscore on a NUC. Also, I have heard that Masscore can run in Native mode on a laptop with the USB key. Do you happen to know if that's true? The reason I ask is that I'm primarily mobile, but also work in my local area. For local sessions, I could reasonably bring a desktop machine for running Masscore. But for jobs where I have to travel, and Native will do, sometimes only a laptop is possible top bring. PMX is very expensive, so I'd rather just have a single license and use it on either machine as needed.

mpdonahue wrote:We've relegated laptops to native only use. I can coax my lenovo W540 to do Masscore, but it is not for the uninitiated. I can't send it out as a primary recorder with the other engineers.
On the merging site, they talk of MBP for NATIVE only.
There are changes coming in the Merging/RTX world. We are anxiously waiting for the new updates that will hopefully eliminate the Nvidia exclusion and the expansion of multi-processor support.
There was a mythical MBP/Masscore setup, but the constant changes in both MAC hardware and software made it a bit of a white elephant. The mid-2014 MBP/Iris Pro Graphics with Mavericks and bootcamp using a Sonnett Echo Express was made to work, with all the same onboard video issues.
I'm looking into NUC based systems this summer. Will let you know how it turns out.
All the best,
-mark
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby Thomas Grubb » Mon Sep 11, 2017 02:21

I've been recording this way for the past 3 years - MassCore editing on a desktop and DXD (up to 8 channels) location recording using the same dongle on a laptop.

I've recorded many sessions and a number of concerts (I still connect a backup recorder to the direct outs for concerts because I'm not that trusting!) - only issue being if the Hapi has changed sample rates, there'll be a click after 20 minutes or so, but this is solved by disconnecting and reconnecting the inputs in the mixer. I'm hoping this has been solved in v11...)

I had used a lowly Lenovo laptop, but now have a 2015 13-inch MBP with external Thunderbolt drive. Haven't heard the fan yet so makes for a silent setup that's not too big. I also have Logic on the OSX partition in case the Pyramix dongle dies one day so I'm not totally stuck.

Seems fine also in DSD256 which I've been experimenting with.

Cheers,
Tom
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby fl » Mon Sep 11, 2017 14:52

Thomas Grubb wrote:I've been recording this way for the past 3 years - MassCore editing on a desktop and DXD (up to 8 channels) location recording using the same dongle on a laptop.


Is the laptop running Pyramix as Native, or do you have MassCore on there as well? If Native, is it the same license as your MassCore, or do you "reprogram" your dongle?
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby klaukholm » Mon Sep 11, 2017 19:44

jplaurel wrote:I have heard that Masscore can run in Native mode on a laptop with the USB key. Do you happen to know if that's true? The reason I ask is that I'm primarily mobile, but also work in my local area.

A Sentinel dongle with any of the masscore "packs" will also work as a native dongle.
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby Thomas Grubb » Tue Sep 12, 2017 02:53

The Native Audio Support is enabled on my MassCore Pro Version 10 license - there's also Extended Native Audio Support which is not enabled, though I'm not sure what that offers. I can certainly record 8 channels of DXD on the laptop. CPU usage is quite low, and I think it's been optimised in Version 11.

Cheers,
Tom
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby ljudatervinning » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:33

Hi Mark!
What issues did you have with the W541?
I am looking at a Lenovo P51 for Native, but am not sure about it.
Have had older T-series several years back, and had to turn off the touchpad to be able to write text. (I repeatedly touched the touch-pad, making the mouse pointer move)
Pyramix Native 11.0.6 / Ravenna ASIO 11.0.7
win10 Pro 1709 / i7 3770k / 32MB RAM / Nvidia GTX 670
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby charlienyc » Thu Jan 18, 2018 16:48

ljudatervinning wrote:Hi Mark!
What issues did you have with the W541?
I am looking at a Lenovo P51 for Native, but am not sure about it.


Mine's coming today so I can let you know how it works for Native in a few days. I'm curious to hear Mark's impressions too.
2x MassCore v11.0.6 Win7/64 i5-3450
3x Horus for 72 In / 24 out in PCM
Native V11 Win10/64 Xeon 3520 2.67GHz RME HDSP MADI
Native V11 Win10/64 ThinkPad P51 i7-7700HQ w/Hapi, iFi iDSD nano
Native V11 Win10 Bootcamp Mac Mini i5-4278U
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby mpdonahue » Thu Jan 18, 2018 17:34

The issues with the W541 had to do with the video affecting Masscore overs that the W540 did not have.... With Native it will be a fine system. However, I would strongly suggest you opt for the Win7pro with upgrade rather than Win 10. I haven't been able to get anywhere near the reliability with Win10pro of any build.
I loaded the W540 with a 256gb m.2 2242 SATA drive in the expansion slot for the OS'es (Dual boot Win7 pro and Win10pro) and put a 2tb 7200rpm spinning drive in the 2.5" bay for recording.
All the best,
-mark
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby ljudatervinning » Thu Jan 18, 2018 21:49

@Mark: Thank you for your sharing your knowledge!
Win7 is a god tip. I am so genuinely tired off the constant updates of win10, and all the hassel to prevent it from updating itself. I am seriously considering reverting back on my desktop workstation as well.
I would prefer a new Mac book Pro, but as they are not upgradeable anymore, It is not an option.

@Charlienyc
I am looking forward to your impressions!
I am curious of fan noise under ”normal” load in Pyramix.
What screen resolution did you choose?
Last edited by ljudatervinning on Thu Jan 18, 2018 23:21, edited 1 time in total.
Pyramix Native 11.0.6 / Ravenna ASIO 11.0.7
win10 Pro 1709 / i7 3770k / 32MB RAM / Nvidia GTX 670
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby charlienyc » Thu Jan 18, 2018 21:54

ljudatervinning wrote:I am qurious of fan noise under ”normal” load in Pyramix.
What screen resolution did you choose?


I'm curious about fan noise too! From the reviews I read & watched, it should be okay.
I got the 15.6" FHD (1920x1080), IPS, 10-point multi-touch. For me, there's no sense in going 4k on a screen this size.
2x MassCore v11.0.6 Win7/64 i5-3450
3x Horus for 72 In / 24 out in PCM
Native V11 Win10/64 Xeon 3520 2.67GHz RME HDSP MADI
Native V11 Win10/64 ThinkPad P51 i7-7700HQ w/Hapi, iFi iDSD nano
Native V11 Win10 Bootcamp Mac Mini i5-4278U
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ThinkPad P51 mini review

Postby charlienyc » Tue Jan 23, 2018 21:07

I have to say it's great so far. I just got everything installed and running - Pyramix Native via Ravenna working perfectly from the start!

Pros:
-Fan noise is quiet - not an issue at least for editing. I'll need to run more extensive tests for heavy-taxing tasks later, as well as recording.
-I love having the pointing stick, full size keyboard with Num pad, though the home/end/insert keys will take some getting used to.
-The keyboard feels very good and is as quiet as could be. I ordered backlighting, easily worth the extra $40.
-The display looks great (even the 1080p version) and the touchscreen is a must for web browsing or anytime you need to scroll. It's about as matte as you'd want, cutting down on reflections while looking great. Fingerprints are manageable.
-I configured my with an SSD boot drive and a HDD for audio. Lenovo smartly put the OS on the SSD. The machine is fast and capable!
-So many ports! Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB 3 including an always-on charging port, HDMI, SD card slot, Express card slot, USB C Thunderbolt, 1/8" headphone/mic jack (if you're really portable & desperate)
-Only two Lenovo apps came preinstalled, neither of which I'd consider bloatware. Windows 10 has plenty, but Merging's Win10 configuration guide has many tips including how to uninstall all the junk.
-Easy access to upgrade RAM and hard drives. I bought it with 8GB but plan to bump it up to 16 soon.
-Battery life is excellent. I used it for 3-4 hours doing installations and it only went down to 60%. You can sneak away without the power brick for a while.

Cons:
-This is not a light laptop. There's a certain amount of compromise to be expected, and weight takes a hit having so many things on-board.
-The power adapter is quite heavy and large (3" x 6" L x 1.5"). The power connector is proprietary, not USB-C as many are these days.
-The function keys are mini; I expect weeks or even months of time to adjust to them without looking. Offset keyboard, a sacrifice to having a num pad.
-Evidently the dock made for this series is unreliable. I have a habit of docking my ThinkPads to skip connecting power, wired internet, multiple monitors,

Overall I'm very happy with it, and am excited to have a machine that can handle Pyramix plus many other tasks on-the-go. With my previous machines, I had to tote along external hard drives, USB hubs, mice, external num pad, etc. This gives me the freedom to work from nearly anywhere I can find quiet. I just need to remember my Safenet dongle & iLok!

Cheers,
-c
2x MassCore v11.0.6 Win7/64 i5-3450
3x Horus for 72 In / 24 out in PCM
Native V11 Win10/64 Xeon 3520 2.67GHz RME HDSP MADI
Native V11 Win10/64 ThinkPad P51 i7-7700HQ w/Hapi, iFi iDSD nano
Native V11 Win10 Bootcamp Mac Mini i5-4278U
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby ljudatervinning » Wed Jan 24, 2018 14:49

Looks good!
The Merging guide is great!

Any temperature problems (CPU throttling) under high load?
Pyramix Native 11.0.6 / Ravenna ASIO 11.0.7
win10 Pro 1709 / i7 3770k / 32MB RAM / Nvidia GTX 670
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Re: which laptop for pyramix/hapi

Postby charlienyc » Wed Jan 24, 2018 17:26

There is some fan activity during mixdown, as it gets slightly warm. It's nowhere near hot though and these fans are fairly quiet.
2x MassCore v11.0.6 Win7/64 i5-3450
3x Horus for 72 In / 24 out in PCM
Native V11 Win10/64 Xeon 3520 2.67GHz RME HDSP MADI
Native V11 Win10/64 ThinkPad P51 i7-7700HQ w/Hapi, iFi iDSD nano
Native V11 Win10 Bootcamp Mac Mini i5-4278U
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