Best Laptops for Ableton Live

If you are a music producer, then having the right software for the job of recording, composing, mixing and mastering will be of paramount importance. If you are experiencing any latency issues or feedback, then you might mistakenly think there is a problem with your recording rather than an issue with your software.

Ableton Live is one of the most popular sound production programs that you can currently find on the market. It beats Pro Tools and Audition in terms of functionality and smoothness.

Best Fanless Laptop

Have you already bought this software and are now experiencing horrible delays and trouble playing back? If you are a professional producer who takes their job seriously, then you’ll definitely want as little of this as possible. However, never fear, we’ve got a list of some of the best laptops on the market.

These laptops cover everything: processing speed, graphic card, design and, above all else, great sound quality. We’ve picked some laptops that boast 3D sound, which will allow you to pick out every instrument, which is important for making them blend and selecting the right volume levels.

So what exactly are the best laptops for Ableton Live? What features and abilities does your laptop need to have to give you that ultra-smooth playback and great recording quality? How much can you be expected to pay for a decent laptop for sound production?

Well, if you are struggling to get the correct sound quality for your band or solo artist, then we recommend that you read on. We’ve compiled a list of the 5 best sound production programs that you can currently find on the market, along with a list of pros and cons to give you a better idea of which one is better for your setup.

OUR TOP PICK

MSI GF63 Thin 9RCX -615 15.6' Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i5-9300H, NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti, 8GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, Win10

Our first laptop has been recommended as one of the best on the market when it comes to screen-to-body ratio, with a massive screen on which you can easily track all your wave formats.

This is great for a high definition experience with a powerful 2.2 GHz Intel Core processor that will cut down massively on any lagging issues - introducing the MSI GF63 15.6-Inch Gaming laptop.

That’s right, just because this is a gaming laptop, then that doesn’t mean that it won’t do wonders for your music production. In fact, music production requires significantly less processing power than gaming, so you won’t have to worry about your sound files lagging or glitching on you any time soon.

This runs around 40% faster than any other DDR3 software series, giving you the ability to check the CPU processing power with the GPU to check whether or not you are overclocking your computer. This is perfect for identifying which apps or software is sapping the most processing power and closing it down immediately.

Pros

  • Battery life - you can keep this one running for 8 hours on a single charge, which is very important when you are mixing large files, which might take a few minutes.
  • This has a max turbo clock speed of 4.2 GHz, but it actually runs at a very low temperature. You can manage graphic design, spreadsheet and 3D modeling with this powerful CPU.
  • This has an amazing resolution, giving you everything that you need for crystal clear high definition, with a massive screen that you will be allowed to view many different multitrack.
  • This has a sleek and efficient keyboard that you can even detach if you fancy mixing your tracks in a relaxing position in your home. You can be expected to be stuck in front of the screen for long hours, so comfort is important.

Cons

  • Some users have complained that if you run too many processes at the same time, then this computer will start to glitch on you. If you have a demanding workload, you might want to pick something a little more heavy-duty.

EDITORS CHOICE

HP OMEN 15-en0029nr Gaming Laptop - Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz -16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD - 15.6' IPS Full HD (1920x1080) - NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti 6GB - Windows 10 Home

This next laptop comes with a solid performance and all for a decent price. This has a screen resolution of around 2256 x 1504, which is exactly what you need for crystal clarity and to be able to juggle many different multi-tracks at once. Not only that but it comes with a sizable 2BG of VRAM - introducing the HP Omen 15-en0029nr Gaming laptop.

This device has multiple USB ports, which are also very useful for transferring files, which is important if you are demoing or sending tracks to record executives. To put it in perspective, you could put around 50 layers on top of one another with this device before it starts to stutter and grind to a halt.

This utilizes a very Liquid Loop technology to make sure that the system itself will stay super cool even when it starts to run numerous programs at the same time. This also is a very lightweight option, so you won’t find your arms aching after carrying it around for most of the day.

Pros

  • The battery life - you can keep this one juiced up on a single charge for around 8 hours. This is great if you are running numerous apps at once and need to make a mixdown.
  • This has a decent graphics card, so as well as using your Ableton software, you can also play some high-end games, which will be a blessed relief when you need to unwind after a long day of mixing.
  • This has a micro SD slot, which is great for transferring a large number of files at once. If you have a whole album that needs shunting onto another device, then this is the perfect option for you.
  • This has a touch screen and stylus, which is great if you want that precise alteration when it comes to volume and mixing levels.

Cons

  • The keyboard is a little tricky to use, without colored lighting you might find it awkward to find your place on the mixing desk.

BEST VALUE

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6' Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD

This next notebook laptop is a great performer, with a fanless laptop that is great if you want to keep things quiet. This device is very flexible and you can take it with you across the other end of the country without much fuss if you need to - introducing the Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop.

This laptop is one of the best units to use for multitasking. You can have numerous apps open at any one time and not experience too much audio lag. This will be very important for professional producers who want that extra level of control when it comes to getting their sound just right.

There is also a very high definition screen, which is great for making sure that all the information from your sound tracks is conveyed with that pristine level of accuracy. This gives you around 14 hours of battery life, making it one of the longer-lasting laptops on this list.

Pros

  • This laptop is geared for great performance, so if you want to reduce the audio latency levels on your playback and mixing, then this is the unit to go for.
  • Decent screen resolution - this screen will give you everything that you need for a crystal clear distribution of visuals as well as sound. You must be able to see certain sound glitches.
  • This laptop is a touchscreen, so if you want to add a touch of delay and echo to a certain portion of your track, then you can do so without relying on an unwieldy mouse.
  • The design of this laptop is very minimalistic, so if you are a producer that’s on the move a lot, then you might prefer this one to some of the bulkier options.

Cons

  • This is a very expensive laptop for what it has to offer. You should only consider this if you are a perfectionist when it comes to your sound.

RUNNER UP

GIGABYTE Aero 15X v8-BK4 15' Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop 144Hz IPS Anti-Glare FHD Display, i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1070, 16G RAM, 512GB PCIE SSD, Metal Chassis, RGB Keys

This is one of the more popular models of laptops, with an amazing performance as well as portability.

This has an impressive Intel Core i7 processor, with an energy-saving device that you can be sure will give you everything that you need for running multiple processors at any one time - introducing the Gigabyte Aero 15x v8-BK4 15-inch Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop.

This laptop has a very powerful display, so you’ll be able to get the best out of the screen, which is ideal if you are making those intricate changes.

This laptop is very lightweight, so perfect if you are traveling from A to B in between recording sessions. This has a port that you can use to hook up a secondary display.

This laptop has a sizable battery considering the overall size of the unit, so you can be sure of at least 12 hours of charge. The performance is great and is probably the best in its price range. This is a popular choice for most users, coming as it does with plenty of positive testimonies on Amazon.

Pros

  • This laptop is a very compact design, so you can be certain that you will be able to hide it in the most discreet of places. As long as you have a padded case, then you won’t have to worry.
  • This comes with a great running fan, which will do everything to cool down your operating system if it gets overheated running too many programs at once.
  • It has an Intel Core i7 processor, which is great for optimizing its running speed. You won’t have to worry about having too many things on the go with this device.
  • This has an impressive Gorilla glass screen, which will be very resistant to all the natural scratches and scrapes that a laptop naturally suffers from.

Cons

  • This doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard, so if you are mixing your sound late into the night, you might be struggling to tell the difference between your bass and your treble.

RUNNER UP

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop 2021: Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, 15.6” 360Hz Full HD, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD - CNC Aluminum - Chroma RGB - THX Spatial Audio - Thunderbolt 3

Finally, we have a standard traveling laptop that comes in a very sleek design but does not lack any of the punch of a regular processor.

This comes with 512GB of storage, so you can record as many tracks as you like without having to worry about the inevitable stuttering - introducing the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop.

This is one of the most popular brands of laptops on the ASUS market, with thin bezels that can be stored in any number of overhead compartments. It comes with a nice 13-inch display, so you won’t have to worry about any of your multi tracks being squeezed into the bottom of the screen.

This comes with copper alloy cooling technology, which is great for preventing any overheating issues. This has super-speed USB ports that are great for swapping your music tracks and delivering a product on time.

Having an all-day battery life will certainly be appealing to music producers who are finding it hard to keep it up well into the wee hours, which is often how long an editing session lasts.

Pros

  • This unit is one of the most lightweight units - this means no more RSI from holding your laptop or repeatedly carrying it from one storage bin to another.
  • This has all the processing power that you’ll need to run a decent Ableton session. You can have many multi-tracks open without experiencing any stuttering issues.
  • You can connect this computer to multiple sources including surround sound speakers and wireless storage devices, so if you are struggling with space then you’ll know where to turn.
  • This comes with faster charging and battery life, both of which are crucial when running your laptop outside or in an old church where there might not be a power point.

Cons

  • There are a few driver issues with this laptop that might result in some significant playback issues. Be prepared to call customer services more than once with this brand of laptop.

Best Laptops For Ableton Live Buying Guide

There will be a few basic things that you’ll need from your laptop to make sure that your Ableton software runs smoothly and does not cut out on you when you need it the most.

Here are a few features that you’ll be looking for:

Processor Power

You’ll need your laptop to perform more or less 100% all of the time. This means that if you have multiple sessions open then you won’t be experiencing any significant delay or lag issues.

Sound skipping might be the fault of your processor rather than the recording software itself. Make sure that the former is not leading you to believe that it is the latter.

Design

Having a laptop that is not only easy to carry, but very handy for storage will also be crucial, especially if you are traveling from one area of the country to the other.

We would also recommend that you get a laptop that is made from a durable material, as carrying it will always increase the risk of dropping.

Battery Life

This is an often overlooked aspect of your laptop, but it is nonetheless important. If you find yourself recording an outdoor location, then you should definitely want a battery that will last you at least 10 hours on a single charge.

Remember that if you are recording some acoustic folk guitar in a field then the chances of there being power in the nearby vicinity are not high!

Best Laptops For Ableton Live - FAQ's

How Fast Should Ableton Be Running On My Laptop?

Well, we would first suggest that you start a new session and try recording simply room ambiance onto one of the multi-tracks. If this is done without any glitching or skipping issues, then you can be sure that Ableton is running at its max capacity.

However, the only way of truly being able to know if Ableton can run at its full capacity is if it can handle multiple tracks running simultaneously. Very rarely is your music going to be just one track. You’ll be wanting to do plenty of overdubs. So plug in and see how many instruments you can record before things start to skip.

Our Final Say

We hope that you have everything that you need to be able to run some of the best sound design software on the market. If things start to stutter, then you should be in the market for a new laptop!

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