The studio box I bought GPO for is decent - P4 / 3.0ghz, 3 gigs ram. I didn't expect any problems there. However, since Gary's cool enough to allow a second authorization, I thought I'd install it on my ancient laptop just to see what happened. This thing is a P3 / 800mhz with only 192 megs of ram. I fully expected to uninstall it shortly after the installation, as I knew that running a professional grade sampler and sequencer was probably a bit much to ask of this battle weary box. Well, I've been wrong before...
I loaded up 8 instruments (precisely the number I needed for the piece I'm working on as coincidence would have it) and said "OK" no less than 4 times to the Will Robinson messages about low memory. I thought, "Well, I'm ignoring what the programmers are telling me, so this puppy's gonna crash as soon as I run it, and probably bounce the PC in the process." Loaded the last instrument. No reboot yet. Okay, so then I fired up Overture, imported the midi file I'd been working on, and set about assigning instruments and dynamics, etc. (and pestering a very patient Joseph all night with stupid Overture questions over at their forum).
Everything being set up, the moment of truth was at hand. I pressed play, dived across the living room floor and tucked myself under the couch so as to avoid any shrapnel when the PC expoded. What I heard was not an explosion, but merely the dubious results of my latest musical musings. All 8 voices. And it even sounded good through the cheesy laptop sound card and speakers. I got up off the floor, dusted myself off, and said to no one in particular, "Yeah. No problem. I knew it would work."
Admittedly, I could see that this was pushing the box to the squeaking point as the screen updates on Overture had some hesitations, etc. But remember, folks, we're talking 192 megs of ram here. This box raises one eyebrow when I fire up Microsoft Word.
To make a long story short (too late!), I was delighted to find that my less than audio worthy laptop, which I originally bought for writing books and such, is going to serve me well and allow me to work on compositions on airplanes, etc. This was not on my list of expectations when I ordered GPO. In a previous lifetime, I spent 15 years as a C/C++/Windows guy, and I'd like to get technical with you for just a moment and put this in the rather complicated jargon of professional programmers: "Hey, these guys are good."
Okay, so this post probably isn't telling you guys anything you didn't already know, but it's not often that I encounter a stable app in general, let alone one that performs even when what I consider to be unreasonable demands are made on it. I guess the basic message here is to not underestimate the software - if you have an old box that you didn't think could run stuff like this, try it anyway. Even though the number of concurrent voices I can load on the laptop are limited, if I want to, I can actually work with a full orchestra simply by recording a few instruments at a time into Nuendo and then shifting GPO over to the next set of instruments.
I now have a road PC for music, without having to buy a new laptop. From my perspective, that's bonus. Nicely done, guys.