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  1. #1

    Default October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    I haven't seen anything new on this forum in a while, so I figured this quiet stretch might be a good time to ask one of my silly questions. Actually, now that I think about it, I have TWO.

    1. I'm thinking about investing less than $500 in a laptop. I don't want to spend more than that because every single laptop I have owned in my life either burns itself out or becomes obsolete before I have gotten my investment's-worth out of it. This will be solely for working on small productions during my lunch hour at work.

    These productions are telephone "message-on-hold" programs that involve four or five tracks (at the most) of voice-overs and music, all of which are pre-recorded in "real" studios. I simply need to edit voice-over tracks, then pop them into Multi-Track View and mix them with music. Although my productions are a bit more "involved" than the typical M-O-H recordings you hear on business phone systems, they don't involve a whole lot of resources from the computer. Heck, I did them the same way with SAWse and Windows 95, or 97, back in the old days.

    So how little laptop power can I invest in to be able to run SAW BASIC without wanting to tear my hair out from lag or some other deficit? Is $500 realistic?

    2. (BONUS QUESTION) In all the time I've used Basic, I haven't figured out how to completely wipe all regions on one track with a single keystroke. Instead, I've been deleting each region individually until all are gone. This takes too long and involves having to zoom in and out too much just to make sure all the regions are gone. You guys always seem to have the answers to these puzzles. Does anyone have a heart to share the answer to this one?

    Thank you all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Posts
    2,152

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Hello,

    Find yourself a reputable, used computer dealer and find a used Lenovo/ThinkPad or Dell system with Windows 7.

    I recently obtained a Lenovo T540p with SSD and spinner for $400.00 and it is just great!

  3. #3

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    As with Dell, Lenovo Thinkpads have been great for me, too. A local computer liquidator sold me two different refurbished ones over the course of a few years for less than 300.00 each, with Windows 7 pro 32 bit. I still use them both - an x60 and an x61.

    2 - not a single keystroke, but pretty slick - blacken the channel number for your chosen track, hit Shift/End and then Delete. Removes all regions and automation, including any orphaned automation at once. Blacken multiple channels for the same result on simultaneous tracks at once. At least that's how it works in Lite and Full.
    SAW/SAC - finally retired a P4/2gHz after ten great years! Burnin' rubber in 2015 with an Intel Core2 Duo e4700/2.6GHz and the trusty RME Digiface/PCI pack.

    2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets recorded/mixed in SAW with SAC as a front-end mixer for live streaming radio!
    Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
    Pharoah Sanders Quartet
    Fred Hersch Trio

    These are post mix sets to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

  4. #4

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpTilDawn View Post
    2 - not a single keystroke, but pretty slick - blacken the channel number for your chosen track, hit Shift/End and then Delete. Removes all regions and automation, including any orphaned automation at once. Blacken multiple channels for the same result on simultaneous tracks at once. At least that's how it works in Lite and Full.
    And it worked for me in Basic! Thank you!

    I also can't figure out how to delete a region between two other regions and make the two surrounding regions automatically snap together. (Wanna give that one a try?)

    I know you may think I'm just too lazy to learn these things on my own, but keep in mind that I only use SAW about once a month. At 55, my brain isn't anywhere near as sharp as it was when I was 35. Instead of taking hours to learn all these tricks, I'm spending a few extra minutes each session doing things the long way.

    Regarding the laptop, it looks like the Lenovo is the one with all the love?

  5. #5

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
    ...
    I also can't figure out how to delete a region between two other regions and make the two surrounding regions automatically snap together. (Wanna give that one a try?) ...

    This depends on whether or not the regions in question are back-to-back... with literally no space between region boundaries.

    If a region is simply cut up into 3 segments, for instance, and you want the middle segment removed and the last butted up against the first, then your best bet might be to, instead, use the K key to make the first cut up front and use the D key to make the second cut down the timeline - this forces the third segment to move forward and butt up against the first - but only if you use the D key instead of the K key on that second edit.

    If you should make the first cut down the timeline and then want to remove the middle segment with the second cut earlier on the timeline, use Alt/D to remove (what would be) the middle segment and move the third forward to butt up against the first segment.

    Offhand, I can't think of how you might push the first segment down the timeline to butt up against the third segment - there might be a way to do it in one or two steps, but I can't think of it at the moment. At any rate, moving it that way after the middle segment has been removed is simple - and there are numerous ways.

    And as with so many edits made in SAW, most of this can be accomplished across multiple tracks simultaneously by blackening the track/channel numbers you want to include in the operation. Be forewarned though, that if the regions in each track are not identically distributed, you can and often will get very unexpected results. In those cases an alternate strategy would need to be employed - again, many possibilities there.

    By the way - personally, I think working in a software DAW makes me sharper over time. I think I'm less dense today than 10 years ago, thanks to the constant effort to understand and overcome computerthink. Keeps me on my toes.
    SAW/SAC - finally retired a P4/2gHz after ten great years! Burnin' rubber in 2015 with an Intel Core2 Duo e4700/2.6GHz and the trusty RME Digiface/PCI pack.

    2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets recorded/mixed in SAW with SAC as a front-end mixer for live streaming radio!
    Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
    Pharoah Sanders Quartet
    Fred Hersch Trio

    These are post mix sets to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Posts
    2,152

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Tom,
    Regarding the laptop, it looks like the Lenovo is the one with all the love?
    ...Dell is also a good unit to consider.

    What I believe to be very important is the video. I prefer not to use NVidia, so stay with the integrated Intel or ATI.

    What I like about the business-class Lenovo's is, in most cases, the ability to turn off a lot of the integrated hardware. Business-class Dell's comes in as a close second here.

  7. #7

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Hmmm, the Alt/D move did not work for me. It did the same thing that just hitting "D" would do.

  8. #8

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpTilDawn View Post
    2 - not a single keystroke, but pretty slick - blacken the channel number for your chosen track, hit Shift/End and then Delete. Removes all regions and automation, including any orphaned automation at once. Blacken multiple channels for the same result on simultaneous tracks at once. At least that's how it works in Lite and Full.
    Never knew about this! But I've refined it: for a single track you don't have to blacken the track number. You DO, however, have to be sure the track of interest is the Hottrack and that the playback cursor is before the first region and automation entries for the track, though -- preferably at the start of the track (The easiest thing to do. Drag it there, click the space on the interface just before there, or hit the Home key).

    Also: the orphan automation entries (not within region entry boundaries) will NOT be deleted unless you are in Automation Mode. And in that case, any region entries won't be deleted. So, alas, this is approach is not perfect; you would need to do it in two steps to be sure everything is gone -- once in Normal Mode, once in Automation Mode.

    But wait! Even then it's not perfect: shift-End only marks the track through the end of the last region entry in the session (among all tracks); if there's orphan automation beyond there, it's out of reach of the marked range! Another good reason to NEVER allow orphan automation to exist. Put it on a blank region, if you have to have it.

    That said, the best I can think of to cover all your bases is:

    1) do what UpTilDawn said
    2) enter Automation Mode and extend the marked range past any remaining automation (by dragging in the Time Line or ctrl-Tabbing to the final automation entry and hitting the E key)
    3) hit Delete

    A couple keystrokes you may find handy, Tom: Tab and shift-Tab to move between region entry boundaries, alt-left-arrow and alt-right-arrow to move between SoftEdge outer extremes, and ctrl-Tab and shift-ctrl-Tab to move between automation entries (works in automation mode and automation "peek" mode (right-click the WAV view button when in Normal Mode to enter "peek" mode)).
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 10-17-2018 at 06:55 AM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  9. #9

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
    Hmmm, the Alt/D move did not work for me. It did the same thing that just hitting "D" would do.
    Name:  D vs. Alt-D.JPG
Views: 149
Size:  47.8 KB

    Actually, the above descriptions are incomplete. For any region entry, D removes audio data that's left of the cursor, then moves the data that's right of the cursor (and any following butt-spliced region entries) back to where the region entry started originally. Alt-D removes audio data to the right of the cursor and moves any following butt-spliced region entries to where the cursor is. I use these a lot in voice-over editing.

    A handy tip that, probably, no one uses but me: for VO editing I take my left hand and place three fingers on three keys: index finger on K, middle finger on U, pinky on D. They fall there pretty naturally. Makes editing go pretty fast without having to look down at the keyboard.

    RE: removing the middle region and butting the remaining two

    I don't think UTD covered this: if all three are butt-spliced together, placing the cursor over the middle region entry (or, in Select Mode, selecting it) and hitting shift-Delete will remove the middle one and move the last one (and any following, butt-spliced regions) back up against the end of the first one.
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 10-17-2018 at 07:22 AM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  10. #10

    Default Re: October 2018 - Least Expensive Laptop Capable of Running SAW Basic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Name:  D vs. Alt-D.JPG
Views: 149
Size:  47.8 KB

    ...I don't think UTD covered this: if all three are butt-spliced together, placing the cursor over the middle region entry (or, in Select Mode, selecting it) and hitting shift-Delete will remove the middle one and move the last one (and any following, butt-spliced regions) back up against the end of the first one.
    Aah - that's a good one to remember!

    Thanks for clarifying. The pic also helps a lot.
    SAW/SAC - finally retired a P4/2gHz after ten great years! Burnin' rubber in 2015 with an Intel Core2 Duo e4700/2.6GHz and the trusty RME Digiface/PCI pack.

    2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets recorded/mixed in SAW with SAC as a front-end mixer for live streaming radio!
    Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
    Pharoah Sanders Quartet
    Fred Hersch Trio

    These are post mix sets to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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