Using a Dedicated Live Computer

While it is not always feasible or affordable to have a separate computer that is dedicated to live performance, it can be the cornerstone of the most reliable live rig.

Ideally, a dedicated live computer should remain streamlined and not be used for other things, like email or word-processing. It’s also not necessary to install all the Virtual Instruments, DAWs, and sample libraries that you have on your studio computer.

NOTE: Once the dedicated live computer is proven to be stable and reliable, it is not recommended to upgrade critical software like the DAW or the Operating System unless absolutely necessary. New versions can introduce bugs or version incompatibility issues that can make your computer unstable or cause your peripherals to misbehave.

How to Secure Your Laptop

Unfortunately, when you take your laptop out into the world for live performance, there is always a risk of theft or that your data could be compromised. There are a variety of ways to secure your laptop and its files—preventing any invasion of privacy, theft of your data, or the theft of the computer, itself.

Access to your laptop’s data can be restricted by simple password protection and is always recommended.

Physical locks are also available and recommended. Some systems employ steel cables that attach the computer to a fixed table or rack and are unlocked with combinations, two-factor authentication, or even fingerprint readers. Others employ more robust mounting devices that secure your entire computer to a solid base, or a rack-mounted security drawer—making it difficult, if not impossible to remove without causing damage to the computer.

Solid State Drives

Modern laptops have extremely fast, high-performance internal Solid State Drives (SSD), which are the preferred choice for using Omnisphere—especially during live performance. The transfer rate is much faster and it’s less likely you’ll encounter any glitches or CPU overloads.

USB Hubs

Simple setups with just a laptop and a USB keyboard (including a USB–C adapter for newer Mac laptops) are often all you need—in these cases, you will probably not need a USB hub.

However, bus-powered USB hubs can work well for slightly larger setups that include hard drives and other devices that draw minimal power. They evenly spread the USB transfer bandwidth across all connected devices and the power from your plugged-in computer handles any necessary power requirements.

If your setup includes more devices (such as additional MIDI controllers), or ones that draw more power than the rest, you might need to employ a powered hub to keep things running smoothly. The power will be evenly distributed, along with the USB transfer bandwidth.

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