Laptop setup for v5 essential

Hi all,

Just retired and also acquired a new Dell laptop (for working) and Essential 5 (for fun). Experienced keyboardist (blues mainly) and currently playing in a blues band but minimal experience of midi/cubase/digital recording. Note posts on other threads re Dell laptops and would appreciate any general advice on how best to get started.

I have an inspiron n5101 i5 processor, 4gb and 500 gb drive.

Plan to use for homestudio work - initially programming backing for home development of new band tracks so probably quite simplistic to start with - but possibly using to substitute for others in the band in a live situation.

What external audio interfaces do I require or can I just use what’s in the Dell.
Do I need any other hardware? Software?

Can anyone advise the best/fastest way to get up to speed on Cubase - any recommendations on books? Hardware?

All suggestions gratefully received.


What’s in your laptop will only run very basic projects without stuttering and glitching and if you want to record audio it won’t really be very good. If you want to record audio you could get an external soundcard (firewire or USB) with the amount of inputs you want. If you are sticking to your internal soundcard for now, I would recommend you get the asio4all drivers. Just google for them, they’re free drivers that tend to work better than the default ones.

For recording your keys I would recommend you get yourself a midi interface (1in 1 out will do for now) which lets you record and playback midi from and to your keyboard. These are very cheap and would be a nice way to get started in midi. You will also need 2 midi cables (or just 1 if you just want to record and playback midi through software sounds instead.)

On literature, I guess the cubase manual would be good, although probably a bit too detailed for you right now. If I remember correctly there’s also a getting started document. Not sure what’s in there but the title suggests it might be what you’re after :wink: