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Topic: Realistically

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  1. #1

    Realistically

    If you please, what specs am I looking at to run GPO without compromise? Ram, CPU etc. I am getting a machine solely to use with GPO and other libraries. I aim to have an entire orchestra with several extras (piano, harp, percussion) going at once.

    The instrumentation I use for sampled renditions is 3,3,3,3-3,3,6,1-strings-tuned/nontuned percussion-piano,harp,celesta.

    With suitable doubled (or tripled) samples I can get away with less wind parts, In the past I have simply doubled parts as if they were real, using 3 different clarinet patches lets say.

    I\'m assuming that GPO implements some kind of keyswitch right? Nothing bugs me more than having 6 channels for a single violins II divisi section!

    In the past I have always done all dynamics with controllers setting velocity to a constant. Looks like GPO is the first commercial library to finally get a clue and do it this way. The exception is percussive performance techniques. I set up pizzicato, spiccato, pianos, marimbas etc to respond to velocity since that is how such sounds are controlled in real life. I would assume that GPO makes this simple distinction, although using controllers for spiccato is not a big deal.

    Any advice on suitable sound cards for use with GPO would be welcome as well, although I have several with ASIO drivers.

    The demos suggest that GPO is a real steal for the money. Some of the other sound libraries out there are too bloated and romantic, being practically useless for certain types of orchestral blends, such as classical-era emulations.

  2. #2

    Re: Realistically

    Let me second this request and refine it. If I understand correctly, Kunio asks what system will be able to run GPO with a large orchestral palette.

    I define this as the \"modern\" orchestra of the type used by Ravel (\"La Mer\") Holst (\"The Planets\") or Stravinsky (\"Rites of Spring\") consisting of quadruple woodwinds, quadruple brass, and assorted percussion, pianos, and harps.

    On the other hand, the \"classical\" orchestra has served composers well for centuries. By \"classical,\" I mean something along the lines of the classical period composers such as Schubert (Symphony #5); Beethoven (Symphony #4); Mozart (\"Jupiter\"), and Haydn (the \"London\" Symphonies) consisting of double woodwinds and brass (see also Prokofiev\'s Classical Symphony).

    In between is the \"standard\" orchestra used by the romantic period composers like Brahms (Symphony #3) and many twentieth century composers like Stravinsky (Symphony in C; Symphony in 3 Movements) and Shostakovich (Symphony #5) consisting of double or triple woodwinds and brass (3 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, and tuba) pitched and unpitched percussion, and the odd piano or harp here and there.

    My question is, what are the system requirements for each of these size orchestras: \"modern,\" \"classical,\" and \"standard.\"

    I read that the Beethoven #5 demo was done on a P4 2.4 Ghz machine with Sonar. Perhaps the other users and beta testers who did demos for Mr. Garritan would share their system specs with us. The demos on the Garritan site list the instruments used, but it would be nice to see the specs of the systems that were used to create them.

    GPO raised the bar for price/performance in sample libraries, and opened the world of orchestral composition to many people who are hobbyists and perhaps on a budget. Given this fact, if anyone cares to post what they believe are \"adequate\" system requirments for these types of orchestras, it would be appreciated.

    The \"gearheads\" among us I\'m sure would be content to say , buy the most powerful machine out there (ex. p4 3.2 800 FSB), but many of us do not have the budget to do so, and might not need the extra computing power.

    Some of us are confused by system specs, processors, and hardware, and just want to make music. For instance, would folks recommend Intel or AMD processors? Is one brand better than another for music applications? Does GPO benefit from Intel\'s hyperthreading? Do we need a P4 3.2, or can we get by with a P4 2.4 or 2.6? Will we benefit from loading up our machines with 2 gigs of ram, or is 1 gig or 1.5 gigs enough?

    Sorry to hijack your post Kunio, but if there are as many hobbyists out there like me as I think there are, my questions may be on many person\'s minds as they debate their next computer purchases.

  3. #3

    Re: Realistically

    My specs:

    P4 2400 hyperthreading
    1 Gig RAM at 400 dual channel
    Gygabyte motherboard
    2 HD (60G and 80G UDMA MAXTOR)

    I use GPO under Cubase SX 2. For the demos on garritan.com I\'ve not used more than 3 instance.
    The performance meter never go over 50%
    Hope this help to compare.

    Francesco Marchetti

  4. #4
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    Re: Realistically

    I used the same basic specs as Francesco for all of my demos.

    The Planets demos did push my system as it has dual harp parts. In Venus they play arpeggios together and the 2 parts alone were using about 50% CPU. I was able to get the entire orchestra in with about 200 MB\'s to spare running 8 instances of Kontakt (this was before the player was finished). The memory requirement would be about the same with the player.

    You should be able to fit your library as stated above in about 1 GB of memory.

  5. #5

    Re: Realistically

    I\'m interested in this thread as I will be updating to a more powerful PC in a few months, but I\'m on a budget and therefore can\'t afford the latest and greatest.

    I have a bunch of older plugins I can\'t afford to update and I\'ve heard about the P4 \'denormal\' thing (causing CPU to spike way up). If I understand it correctly, the AMD Athlons don\'t suffer any worse than my old P3. What\'s your take on the AMDs, are they better? I understand the P4 HT thing isn\'t being exploited much.

    All answers appreciated..

  6. #6

    Re: Realistically

    I have PIV 2.26 and 1Gb of ram.
    The samplefiles are in a total of 1.8 Gb, so you cannot fit all of it unless you have 2Gb since your operating system and sequenser needs something too.

    I have two standard templates each using about 800 Mb of ram. The first one has full brass section and string section (not solo instruments) plus all those woodwinds and drum-multi.

    Luckily i have a digital piano .. because there is no way i can fit in another 512Mb right now. The other template focuses more on solo instruments - solo strings, solo brass etc

    In a finished production you probably dont use all those instruments, but if you are like me and compose with flow you really want all instruments at your hands, ready with no additional loading when working.

    My answer therefore is: 2Gb

    Happy shopping! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: Realistically

    My experience with building and using computers (6 years or so) has led me to believe that Intel stuff is generally just over priced, and for the same amount you get an AMD CPU that will smoke Intel - even if they are both 2.0GHz. That being said, I\'ve often heard people say Intel is better, in general, for audio applications - that may or may not mean it\'s more stable though, I don\'t know. I do know AMD has never let me down and I\'ll probably stick with them.

    I could be completely wronge though, cause I\'ve not used many different types.

  8. #8

    Re: Realistically

    Originally posted by Furlan:
    Let me second this request and refine it. If I understand correctly, Kunio asks what system will be able to run GPO with a large orchestral palette.

    I define this as the \"modern\" orchestra of the type used by Ravel (\"La Mer\") Holst (\"The Planets\") or Stravinsky (\"Rites of Spring\") consisting of quadruple woodwinds, quadruple brass, and assorted percussion, pianos, and harps.

    On the other hand, the \"classical\" orchestra has served composers well for centuries. By \"classical,\" I mean something along the lines of the classical period composers such as Schubert (Symphony #5); Beethoven (Symphony #4); Mozart (\"Jupiter\"), and Haydn (the \"London\" Symphonies) consisting of double woodwinds and brass (see also Prokofiev\'s Classical Symphony).

    In between is the \"standard\" orchestra used by the romantic period composers like Brahms (Symphony #3) and many twentieth century composers like Stravinsky (Symphony in C; Symphony in 3 Movements) and Shostakovich (Symphony #5) consisting of double or triple woodwinds and brass (3 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, and tuba) pitched and unpitched percussion, and the odd piano or harp here and there.

    My question is, what are the system requirements for each of these size orchestras: \"modern,\" \"classical,\" and \"standard.\"

    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Thanks for the reply... one thing to keep in mind is that doing winds in 4\'s doesn\'t require 4 actual patches per instrument. Anytime you actually need an A4 in real life, it\'s for added power or balance, if it\'s not a unison, it\'s a simple matter to play 4 notes with 1 or more patches. The difference between an A3 and an A4 is not large enough to warrant A4 samples. In fact adding a fourth clarinet in real life to a unison doesn\'t change much other than make it louder. The only exception to this would be where you have 4 seperate parts that double on a note here and there, but seriously this is rare for one wind type (I\'ve never seen it in a score in fact except for flutes and one of those is always an alto in such cases). However, the POLYPHONY requirements are still greater than winds in threes, which is important. Similarily, I score for 6 horns usually, but only need three patches in practice because in fortes and above they are doubled two to a part most of the time. In fact, one section patch is usually enough for 6 horns but it\'s nice to have a few different horns to play with, not to mention solos.

  9. #9

    Re: Realistically

    Originally posted by Kunio:
    The difference between an A3 and an A4 is not large enough to warrant A4 samples. In fact adding a fourth clarinet in real life to a unison doesn\'t change much other than make it louder. The only exception to this would be where you have 4 seperate parts that double on a note here and there, but seriously this is rare for one wind type (I\'ve never seen it in a score in fact except for flutes and one of those is always an alto in such cases). However, the POLYPHONY requirements are still greater than winds in threes, which is important.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I whole-heartedly agree. If the parts are not in unison, you can get away with less RAM usage by not loading so many samples. The polyphony issue you mention is the key as it relates to CPU usage. My main questions concern what type of CPU horsepower one needs to effectively run GPO in realizing large orchestrations.

    Like you, I prefer having as many different orchestral colors loaded at one time as I can. Even if I never end up using the more rare instrument (like a contrabass clarinet), I still like to have it up and ready to go in case it happens to be the exact instrument to be used for a particular passage.

    But in those instances when one does use the extended range instruments and various harp glissandi, pedaled piano runs, or timpani rolls, what kind of CPU horsepower is adequate?

    And what\'s better for GPO purposes, Intel or AMD? What processor speed? I would guess that unlike a giga system, where one would have two hard drives and less processor power (since hard drive performance is the critical need), GPO would require more CPU power, only one hard drive, and more RAM.

    I\'m contemplating buying or building a system on a $500-$600 budget. Is this completely unrealistic? I\'ve already got a p4 1.5 machine with a gig of ram and and an M-audio audiophile 24/96 card. Its a Dell with a 423 socket that can only be ungraded to a 2.0 gig processor, and the motherboard can\'t be replaced b/c its not standard ATX. Upgrading this machine is cost prohibative.

    Should I attempt to network the Dell to another machine and share the audiophile soundcard? Under this scenario, would I only need to build a computer with a decent motherboard, fast processor, small hard drive, cheap video card, no soundcard, and perhaps less RAM (since the instances of GPO and their respective samples would be shared between the machines)?

    Or do I just bite the bullet, put aside the Dell, and buy or build a standalone machine for GPO only? If so, what specs do folks who know more than me recommend?

    Thanks to all those that reply.

  10. #10

    Re: Realistically

    Thanks for the reply guys. I see some realistic figures now that Francesco and Haydn have related them to their demos. As pointed out, harp and piano are always the killers. For this reason I have long offloaded such parts to a Soundblaster Live! card, so I can let them loose without touching the cpu. It looks like this would be impossible with GPO since the samples are tied to the player and can\'t be converted to another format. Well, I guess I will just have to use some old harp and piano soundfonts I made. I also offload cymbals, percussion rolls and fancier tuned percussion parts (vibes etc), they eat up everything. Judging by the machines you guys have and the fact that I would like to use the GPO versions of these instruments, would two computers be more realistic?

    I will certainly have a harp sweep and low piano run going at the same time as some rolls and a full tutti. I fear that even a good machine will choke. I don\'t score for an unrealistic number of players, but I DO exploit instrumental resources.

    To get an idea where I am coming from, I\'m a composer/arranger with fully proffesional skills, with a bent towards colorful arrangements and textures that are not simple worn-out generic Hollywood horn solos over a sustained bed. I\'ve been waiting for something like GPO for some time, since I can\'t justify the mega-buck libraries when I get nearly equal results to their demos with free and custom sample sets. The aim here is to mock up serious concert works, which means I never \"compose for the samples\". I do soundtracks as well, which need to be realistic and \"finished\" emulations. In that case I do arrange to exploit the samples somewhat.

    Here is what I want to be able to handle:

    Harp arpeggios, celesta filigree, vibe chords, simple piano line, heavily divided string shakes, bass drum, timpani and gong rolls, full orchestra tremelos all this going at once. No sweat for a real standard sized ensemble. I just know I\'m gonna choke the cpu. Any ideas? I can\'t afford two machines, but I do have an older Pentium 3 machine, one with 500<B of ram and XP. Perhaps the old machine could handle a harp and a piano? If not, I really don\'t mind using a few soundfonts to fill out busy filler parts. I could easily use the GPO samples for the more exposed parts with a lighter texture, as long as I had the power to get all it loaded and available.

    Something like Reasons NN-XT sampler which is coded so efficiently can get you practically unlimited samples in memory provided you have the ram, but from what I\'ve seen of Kontakt it\'s much more CPU hungry, although it has some great programming features.

    Sorry if this post was too long-winded! Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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