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Topic: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

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  1. #1

    Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    Or so some authorities claim. I think they are overstating their case. Pure physical pain (e.g., kidney stones or Hall & Oates) can cause real suffering. However, there is much truth in the statement. I had 25 straight days last month without buying or wanting anything, and I was happy. Now I’ve heard GS3 piano demos, and suffering has begun.

    In my case, this desire is irrational. Upgrading my playing ability from Version 0.1 will improve the sound of my piano more than upgrading Giga ever will, and all it takes is time and effort. A Giga upgrade requires a different computer.

    So I ask for your help. Some of you could tell me if you have a cheap computer that is handling a convoluted piano. So far, my voice-o-meter tops out between 56 and 70, and I’ll be getting Ensemble. I have a Terratec EWX 24/96. At this stage, I only capture audio as a joke, so that card should be fine.

    Those of you who really care for my well-being could tell me that I can’t possibly afford a capable system, and/or that I should desire to improve myself first.

  2. #2

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    I have tried several pianos on GigaStudio3. If you are playing by hand rather than feeding four hand piano rolls into the thing, I suspect most computers will do fine. While I have a "made for GS" system, the CPU meter doesn't seem to indicate the computer is breathing heavy. Conventional wisdom says get a good fast sample disk for the second hard drive (this won't run you THAT much) and you should be set.

    Of course if you want to give us a ballpark $$$ amount people can probably make system suggestions.

  3. #3

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    I don't have a specific dollar amount. I have a spare 80 gig IDE drive with 9 ms seek time. I have the Post B290, so I can get the GS3 version for $50. I can upgrade to Ensemble for $50. Those amounts are within the financial noise level. Beyond that, I can get extra work to buy a computer, but the hours so spent are largely a waste of my time on earth, and that is where I hear Hall & Oates. After tax, I only net about $10/hour at that job. If I can get a capable used computer for $250, that makes $350 total. I have to decide whether that's better than spending 35 extra hours at the keyboard. I'm tempted by the thought that GS3 will be so much more like a real piano that it's a fair trade, but another side of me says no. If I have to spend $500, it seems almost impossible to justify until my ability has advanced.

  4. #4

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    I should mention that my current machine is a 600 MHz P3.

  5. #5

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    Is there a Frys in your area? Every once in a while they offer some great budget deals on Motherboard/CPU combos. The AMD stuff is the best bang for the buck, and if you look at the thread about systems that WORK, most of those listed are AMDs. Assuming that you've got an ATX case and power supply, you'd just need the MB/CPU and some fresh RAM. 512 MB might be enough for a single piano, but I'm not sure. 1 GB certainly does it.

    My AMD 2500+ w/ 1GB plays GigaPiano II just fine.

    Your power supply might also be insufficient. I highly recommend the 300W Fortron. It's under-rated - it works great up to 390W then shuts down gracefully. It's also reasonably quiet and costs only $25.

    http://store.yahoo.com/directron/fsp30060atv.html

    Here's the review:
    http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20021021/index.html

    All the best in ceasing your suffering!

    -JF

  6. #6

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Blankenau
    Those of you who really care for my well-being could tell me that I can’t possibly afford a capable system, and/or that I should desire to improve myself first.
    I recently upgraded to a new studio box, and my old PIII / 450 is now serving secondary duty as my sequencer running Cakewalk Pro Audio 9. I didn't even attempt to load GS3 on the PIII.

    Talking to my regular hardware guy, upgrading the processor could only ramp it up to around a PIII / 800, and even that was a few hundred bucks. Long story short, after exploring other options, upgrading it quickly became more expensive than it would be worth due to the "Oh, and now we also need to upgrade the..." syndrome.

    You can find some deals on new machines (personally, I tend to buy "latest and greatest" minus one to get the best bang for the buck), but hardware gets out of hand in a hurry. If you're not prepared to drop around a $1000 to $1500, you'd be better off waiting on the new machine. It would be a bummer to spend $500 on some used machine only to find after running GS3 that you also need to buy an X, Y, and Z (and man, are those Zs expensive!) before you could use it.

    So, am I doing any good at talking you out of spending money?

  7. #7

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    Many thanks to both of you. Computers are like cars: the best deals often come to those who look without haste. I'll check my power supply; the new mobo option is appealing. In the coming months, I'll work a bit extra, staying within my tolerance, and keep my eyes open for computer deals, but without spending too much time. I'll also watch for better monitors, to hear more out of those 16 bits. If I find myself with a computer's worth of truly unallocated cash, and if I've spent far more hours at the keyboard than I have this summer, I may upgrade, or not. I'm not sure why, but the desire has fallen to a tolerable level.

  8. #8

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    The best bang for the buck on monitors are headphones. You can get new Sennheiser HD280Pros or Sony MDR-7506s for under $100 new - probably less on eBay. Sure, cans don't image like speakers and you can't hear phase problems. OTOH, it would cost ten times as much to get speakers with such a flat response and the room treatments needed to hear that level of detail. I like having both, but if the budget is really tight, I'll take some middling PC speakers and pro headphones any day of the week.

    -JF

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Blankenau
    Upgrading my playing ability from Version 0.1 will improve the sound of my piano more than upgrading Giga ever will
    While I think Giga WILL indeed help matters and you won't regret it AT ALL, THIS, Paul, has GOT to be the best quote of the year!!

    I will print it and put it in a tiny frame in the studio and re-word it with your permission thusly:

    Upgrading my playing ability from version 0.1 will improve my sound more than upgrading gear ever will!

    Thank you sir.

  10. #10

    Re: Desire Is The Root Of All Suffering

    Hi Paul,

    I just checked the Friday Fry's ad. You can get a 2.4 GHz Celeron, fan & MB with Intel chipset for $69. For $99 you can get an AMD Sempron 2800+, MB & fan. They may not be the prettiest girls at the dance, but you can still have fun with them.

    They have 1 GB RAM sticks for $129, 512 MB for $59.

    All told, $128 plus tax gets you to first base...

    -JF

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