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Topic: Building a studio

  1. #1

    Building a studio

    Hi folks,

    I need some advice here about how and what I should get into my \"virtual\" studio.

    I want to publish my orchestral works (symphonies for BIG orchestra and smaller works for string quartets etc.) on CD\'s. However, I also want to be able to mock-up and publish my friends pop/techno etc. songs.

    Btw. I have GigaStudio already so I\'ve decided to use that, but I\'m not sure if I should or need to buy also an hardware synth/sampler.

    What kind of PC do I need to be able to play full scale symphony (think Mahler or Brahms) through Gigastudio with low latency?

    I know that I need a lot of RAM, possible 1GB of it, true? But I\'ve no idea of what soundcard or CPU/Motherboard would be best suited for such heavy duty.

    I also need to buy myself another monitors, so advice on that would be great.

    Almost forgot to ask what libs I should get, I know that Garritan Orchestral Strings are must (or what?). And I defiantly need VOTA for my choral works (I think). What more?

    My budget is from $5k to $10k, however I want to do this as cheaply as possible.


    Ps. If I\'m forgetting some vital information, let me know and I\'ll post it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    New York City

    Re: Building a studio

    You will need a good synth for the techno stuff. Whether it is a soft synth or hardware depends on your preference for the sounds that the instrument generates. You will also need a very good sequencer (Digital Performer (Mac), Logic (Mac going forward), Cubase (PC/Mac)). I recommend running Giga on a separate machine with a WaveCenter audio card and a MOTU Micro Express midi interface -- rock solid setup.

    You bought GigaStudio before you had a computer for it? [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Building a studio

    Hi Falcon1,

    For monitors you can\'t go wrong with the Mackie HR824s. For $1600 you get active monitors that sound great (good low end too).

    I can\'t recommend a Mac for sequencing because today\'s PCs outperform Macs by about double for Logic. That\'s the real tragedy of the Apple takeover of EMagic. So I\'d go with CuBase SX and a P4 PC with plenty of RAM. For large orchestral works get 2 PCs for Giga and a 3rd PC for sequencing. The Midiman Audiophile 2496 is a good card. If you can afford it you\'ll get lower latency from the RME Hammerfall series, but you probably won\'t need that on the Giga systems.

    I have GOS and love it, London Orchestral Percussion is great too. The forum\'s all abuzz over Dan Dean Brass Ensembles, I have DDSB and it\'s real good. I also like the Bigga Orchestral Brass library. I haven\'t purchased Dan Dean\'s woodwinds as there are supposed to be some good woodwind libraries coming and I\'m not in a hurry.

    You might be able to get all of that into $10K. While you\'re at it grab a good piano (Malmsjo and either Grandioso or Bardstown Bosey).

    Then you\'ll be wondering how to organize all those libraries. Good luck.

    Steve Chandler

  4. #4

    Re: Building a studio

    Originally posted by aplanchard:
    You bought GigaStudio before you had a computer for it? [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Aplanchard, I\'ve a computer which I could use to run Gigastudio for limited time but I found that my PC just wasn\'t capable to do large things. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]
    Btw. if someone is wondering what sound I\'ve used, then I\'ve been using soundfonts. Which are of course steps lower in quality than I\'m at least hearing in the various sound lib demos.


    Ps. Regarding sound libs, should I wait for Vienna and hope that they do sell strings, woodwinds etc. in separate volumes or should I just go ahead with today\'s sound libs?

  5. #5

    Re: Building a studio

    Hi Christopher,

    I wrote:
    \"...today\'s PCs outperform Macs by about double for Logic.\"..

    You wrote:
    Wow... any benchmarks?

    I know you\'re not expecting this, but as a matter of fact,... YES! You\'ll note I specified for Logic. This page has links to a dsp test that was a staple on the Logic Users Group for a while. It gives details on how to do the test and measures dsp performance with two plugins, Platinumverb and Spectral Gate. A dual 1 GHz Mac got 22 Platinumverbs (didn\'t measure Spectral Gates), a P4 2 GHz got 47 Pverbs (39 Spectral Gates). For more details click this link.


    That\'s why I view the discontinuation of Logic for PC as a tragedy. It\'s a good site that will teach a lot about signal processing with plugins.



  6. #6

    Re: Building a studio

    .. that is a cool site.
    Is the Platinum Verb a standard Logic Plug (I am not using logic)?

  7. #7

    Re: Building a studio

    oh... it also says, though:
    \"Please consider that on Dual Processor Macs, the PV/SG tests are running exclusively on one of the CPUs, while the other CPU is still free for Live Inputs and other functions.
    Fot this reason, results between DP Mac and single processor PCs as listed here are not directly comparable and not very indicative of typical performance on a song using Live Inputs.
    On average, a G4 DP 1000 would normally perform about like a P4 1700\"

  8. #8

    Re: Building a studio

    Hi Christopher,

    Yup, Platinumverb is a standard Logic plug (Logic Platinum only).

    I\'m also aware of the way Logic is coded to run on dual processor Macs, but I don\'t think I\'d go so far as to say that it\'s equivalent to a 1.7 GHz P4. Think about it, one of the processors gets used only for audio. The other is used for MIDI, graphics and live inputs. So by comparison each Mac processor is doing less. The audio processor doesn\'t get bothered to process MIDI or graphics. In the PC one processor does everything. The most accurate comparison would be a single processor 1 GHz G4 vs. the P4.

    Another factor to consider is that EMagic haven\'t figured out how to divide audio processing between multiple CPUs. Until they do, this is the reality Logic on Mac users will have to deal with. It\'s not worth speculating how a Mac might perform under different circumstances, because it\'s not the reality of the situation.

    I use Logic Gold and have placed my order to upgrade to version 5 (for Windows). I may very well also do the crossgrade to CuBase SX in order to get on a path with a future. I just can\'t see spending a premium to buy a Mac that will give me half the performance of a PC I could build for half the price (of the Mac) just to stay with Logic.

    My $.02


  9. #9

    Re: Building a studio

    Hi Steve,

    I see your point - two things I don´t understand though (maybe my line of thought is just faulty somewhere):
    \"In the PC one processor does everything. The most accurate comparison would be a single processor 1 GHz G4 vs. the P4\". Why? As of MacWorld NY a couple of weeks ago, there are no more single-proc. Macs, so having the second processor is a given and should be included in the \"shoot-out\".
    \"...Another factor to consider is that EMagic haven\'t figured out how to divide audio processing between multiple CPUs. Until they do...\" Is that issue still viable (?) with OSX?
    I´ve heard some great things at the Musikmesse about the CoreAudio etc... (but I am not very well informed, so I might be totally wrong..)

    PS. please no platform war....

  10. #10

    Re: Building a studio

    christopher and pantonality, can we please stay on topic?

    I don\'t want to listen (read) to another Mac vs PC war!


    Ps. if you want to discuss this (Mac vs PC) please create another thread or do so in private. Please!

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