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Topic: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

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  1. #1

    Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    I've really appreciated the helpful responses I've gotten here at the Forum.

    Most recently, I posted that GPO is freezing up and crashing--I can never get it to load new sounds without getting the dreaded "program not responding" error message, and often I have to crash dive the whole computer to start over again, everything gets so locked up.

    Well, I also said on that post that I figure it's probably the limitations of my computer that are causing the problems.

    Confession time:

    My Dell computer has a Pentium 4 processor, and mega mega gigs of storage--BUT the RAM is "only" 512, not the "recommended" 1 gig. Therein lies most and maybe all my problems with GPO, yes?

    When I bought the program, what I was hoping was that I'd at least be able to load a couple sounds at a time and work with them, since the GPO literature says something to the effect of "to use all the instruments, 1 gig of ram is recommended."

    But it seems that the more precise truth is that you need that gig of ram to make the program function properly at all, regardless of how few instruments you have loaded.

    At this point I've spent 2 laborious weeks trying simply to hear ONE song of mine played with the gorgeous GPO instruments. I've tried every trick I can find reference to, increasing buffer sizes to the max on Everything--GPO, my sequencer (Cakewalk)--I've taken to using the X File versions of the instruments so I can use the DFD feature, with THose buffers turned up to the max.

    But problems persist. I've been trying to record instruments in small groups, sometimes singly, and have been able to record no more than a couple seconds at a time before getting the dreaded pops and clicks. SO I go over and over to get these tiny wav files--and then trying to balance all these wav files so they sound cohesive, that's another huge job in itself.

    I'm working "backwards"---I have a full dramatic musical composed, and the finely tuned MIDI files already exist. I've been doing everything I can to adapt those tracks into ones useable on GPO--ie: changing cc#7 data to cc#1 data etc. Cloning tracks to fill out my orchestra, shifting those clones to avoid robotic starts etc.

    It's a full orchestra set up I'm attempting to use, along with the piano, to be synched with my synth modules providing a rock trio accompaniment of trap set, bass and sometimes guitar.

    So it's a huge thing I'm trying to adapt into GPO---and obviously, to do what I want, I'll need to upgrade my brand new computer.

    Frankly, I hadn't even HEard of 1 gig RAMs before. I certainly don't think systems with that much RAM can be described as "typical" "modest" or "reasonable"--to use the word in the GPO literature. I don't know anybody with systems like that.

    I had to borrow money to buy GPO--there's no way I can upgrade yet. SO, I'll probably keep plugging away with what I've been doing--but omg, I've already spent 2 years developing those MIDI tracks--adapting it all to GPO under my present circumstances would take approx one month for each of the 35 songs in the show--obviously, not a doable proposition.

    No questions here really--Just wanted to underscore two points:

    1)--GPO is a fantastic program with great instruments and a very clever user interface, with an expressive new approach to MIDI.

    2)--GPO's literature and site are to be taken VERY seriously when the suggested system requirements are listed. To try to really work with it than anything less than dooms one to very tiring failure and discouragement.

    I'll get up to speed one of these days/months/years!

    rbowser

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    Have you tried lowering the polyphony? That usually saves a lot of cpu power.

    JT

  3. #3

    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    rbowser,

    There is definitely something wrong here. I started out with only 512mb RAM (using GPO with Overture and Cakewalk Home Studio) and things were okay until I started adding a LOT of instruments...at which point I bumped it up to 1gb.

    Have you turned off all unneccesary services in Windows?

    Have you checked to make sure that no spyware is present on the machine?

    There are sites that give you tips for setting up XP to maximize audio performance...have you taken a look at any of those? These sites have been mentioned here on the forum, so if you haven't seen those yet, we can find them for you.
    ;-)

    Jim Jarnagin - no not THAT Jim Jarnagin, the other one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    I agree, there is something amiss. At home I have a G5, and at school I have a Mac-mini. I realize that Macs and Pcs are different, but my Mac -mini also has only 512M of memory, and and GPO works. I haven't had the time to see how many instruments I can load - I have to do this thing they call teaching.
    But it seems that you should be able to get some decent utility out of the program.

    R. Pearl

  5. #5

    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    I agree with the other posters here, you should be able to do plenty, even with only 512MB RAM. A lot of the individual instruments are fairly small in size. Of course, if you try to feed it the full Steinway, it's going to choke on it. I only recently went to 1.5 GB RAM so I could load up a whole orchestra worth of samples at a time. Worth doing -- memory is not all that expensive right now.

    Watch out for other background services that could be eating up the RAM you want to save for GPO. Turn off any anitvirus software, any unnecessary stuff in the system tray, close other programs, etc.

    Jim

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlueMax's Avatar
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    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    Wet vs. Dry samples?

    Boy... this sounds just like me!
    "AAAAUUUUGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!" -- Charlie Brown

  7. #7

    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    How about more info? Like what sound card are you using, driver version, WDM/MME/ASIO? Has your sound card been profiled correctly in Sonar? Latency settings, number of buffers, etc.? Lots of clicks and pops sound like they could be a sound card settings issue.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser
    I've really appreciated the helpful responses I've gotten here at the Forum.

    Most recently, I posted that GPO is freezing up and crashing--I can never get it to load new sounds without getting the dreaded "program not responding" error message, and often I have to crash dive the whole computer to start over again, everything gets so locked up.

    Well, I also said on that post that I figure it's probably the limitations of my computer that are causing the problems.

    Confession time:

    My Dell computer has a Pentium 4 processor, and mega mega gigs of storage--BUT the RAM is "only" 512, not the "recommended" 1 gig. Therein lies most and maybe all my problems with GPO, yes?

    When I bought the program, what I was hoping was that I'd at least be able to load a couple sounds at a time and work with them, since the GPO literature says something to the effect of "to use all the instruments, 1 gig of ram is recommended."

    But it seems that the more precise truth is that you need that gig of ram to make the program function properly at all, regardless of how few instruments you have loaded.

    At this point I've spent 2 laborious weeks trying simply to hear ONE song of mine played with the gorgeous GPO instruments. I've tried every trick I can find reference to, increasing buffer sizes to the max on Everything--GPO, my sequencer (Cakewalk)--I've taken to using the X File versions of the instruments so I can use the DFD feature, with THose buffers turned up to the max.

    But problems persist. I've been trying to record instruments in small groups, sometimes singly, and have been able to record no more than a couple seconds at a time before getting the dreaded pops and clicks. SO I go over and over to get these tiny wav files--and then trying to balance all these wav files so they sound cohesive, that's another huge job in itself.

    I'm working "backwards"---I have a full dramatic musical composed, and the finely tuned MIDI files already exist. I've been doing everything I can to adapt those tracks into ones useable on GPO--ie: changing cc#7 data to cc#1 data etc. Cloning tracks to fill out my orchestra, shifting those clones to avoid robotic starts etc.

    It's a full orchestra set up I'm attempting to use, along with the piano, to be synched with my synth modules providing a rock trio accompaniment of trap set, bass and sometimes guitar.

    So it's a huge thing I'm trying to adapt into GPO---and obviously, to do what I want, I'll need to upgrade my brand new computer.

    Frankly, I hadn't even HEard of 1 gig RAMs before. I certainly don't think systems with that much RAM can be described as "typical" "modest" or "reasonable"--to use the word in the GPO literature. I don't know anybody with systems like that.

    I had to borrow money to buy GPO--there's no way I can upgrade yet. SO, I'll probably keep plugging away with what I've been doing--but omg, I've already spent 2 years developing those MIDI tracks--adapting it all to GPO under my present circumstances would take approx one month for each of the 35 songs in the show--obviously, not a doable proposition.

    No questions here really--Just wanted to underscore two points:

    1)--GPO is a fantastic program with great instruments and a very clever user interface, with an expressive new approach to MIDI.

    2)--GPO's literature and site are to be taken VERY seriously when the suggested system requirements are listed. To try to really work with it than anything less than dooms one to very tiring failure and discouragement.

    I'll get up to speed one of these days/months/years!

    rbowser

    You can do a lot with 512 Mb RAM. I don't think that it the source of your pops and clicks. That sound to me like settings of buffers, sample rate, latency. But there may be sound card driver issues here. Or a conflict with some other driver, possibly your graphics driver.

    Which Cakewalk product are you using?

    Richard

  9. #9

    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser

    Well, I also said on that post that I figure it's probably the limitations of my computer that are causing the problems.
    This sounds more like an underlying PC issue. Please email me.

    tony@avantech.co.uk

  10. #10

    Re: Confessions of a "Modest Computer" User

    Thank you all for all the responses, and so quickly!

    It's a bit of a relief to hear you all say that I should be getting more steam out of GPO with my set up--but then it's a bit dismaying exactly what to do, considering the newness of the computer.

    Here's more info, in case it helps--and I'll take you up on the offer, Tony, to email you about possible computer problems:

    Dell Dimension 3000
    145 giga hard drive
    512 RAM

    Computer is NOT ONLINE---After reading your responses, I did discover that my fiance had set up the McAfee Security System, and I wasn't aware of that. Now I'll try turning off the un-needed Spam guard and Firewall while trying out GPO--that's one thing I can try.

    More system info:

    Tascam US-122 external ASIO audio card--also a new purchase, primarily for recording vocals--(has XLR inputs)

    As per the instructions, I have the ASIO latency set up to match that on GPO--I have it at 512 currently. The Tascam has two even larger latency settings--1024 and 2048, but I'm not using those since they can't match the available sizes in GPO.

    Cakewalk Pro Audio 9--my sequencer. It's pre-VST and DXi, so I'm not able to use GPO as a plug in, but it picks up the GPO Studio, and then I route the audio signals through the Tascam to record into Cakewalk audio tracks.

    I'm not running any other programs while working on music. We plan on keeping that machine offline so it can be just for music and graphics work--I do Photo Shop projects, but of course that program isn't used while I'm working on music.

    Um---I'm not incredibly technoid, that's all I can think of at the moment. I DO have persistence, and that's how (after 2 weeks) I finally today have at least a scratch version of one song re-done from the MIDI files, and it's sounding pretty nice--great to finally be hearing GPO play the tracks.

    If there are more insights, I would be grateful to hear them. Meanwhile, what you've already posted has been a help.

    rbowser

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