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Topic: OT: Windows vs softsynths ...

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  1. #1

    OT: Windows vs softsynths ...

    64bit thread makes me wonder:

    I understand the economies of scale offered by the Wintel system but it seems that running a realtime system under a high level OS is just plain bad systems partitioning.

    The PC price point is now so low that serious softsynth users have dedicated computers with dedicated sample drives.

    Do any of you expect there to ever be a dedicated stripped down realtime OS or a hardware spec that allows the entire subsystem to be moved out from under Windows?

    Ernie

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Windows vs softsynths ...

    That raises some half-rhetorical questions:

    How much overhead does the OS actually take? How much does it increase the latency? How important will that be in, say, two years when the next generation comes around? How much more efficient is Giga (with an engine that seems to have bypassed Windows) than HALion or the NI samplers?

    Or for that matter how much more efficient is a MUSE Receptor, which runs a tweaked Linux OS, than a nice Windows machine?

    In other words, we already have dual-core dual-processor dual-price 64-bit hardware. How long before the OS and all the music software takes advantage of that?

    And how much more power will the programs that come along to take advantage of all that take up - will they still eat up a single machine for breakfast?

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Windows vs softsynths ...

    OS intrusion. Hmm, I presume you've tried to run samples on the OS drive?

    The big problem is system integrity. For realtime operations you need to give the programmer permission to perform surgery and go straight to the guts of the machine. But he/she is playing with the same guts that are shared by everyone else and that doesn't make the OS programmers happy. They want a bullet-proof system - Microsoft is becoming GPF-shy. The trend is to make the OS more and more reliable by making it more and more interpretive.

    Moving realtime systems off the motherboard also means fewer conflicts. You don't care if a video card holds on to the PCI bus because commands, not audio pass down it. You can also re-allocate resources to your advantage. There is no reason a hard drive could not be dual ported. It would be visible to either the OS or audio hardware with the audio hardware getting priority. Goodbye dealing with the kernal and hello, reliable streaming.

    That said, the easiest way to do this is not with a dedicated hardware spec but rather with a "high risk" basic musical OS with direct access to all hardware. Musical DOS. Driver structure would have to be well defined and set up with (don't laugh too hard) programming tools so any college kid with reasonable skills could do a decent job. Plenty of troubleshooting tools so when something goes wrong any user can find the source and report back to the programmer. Yeah, a bad driver would bring the system down, but since you're not running internet, word processing, email, presentations, video editing and storing personal info on that computer your life goes on while you troubleshoot it.

    What comes down to is that there is no need to run most of a 64bit OS on your Gigastudio machine. It's a product, a sample playback system, Muse in a stock box. It's not a PC. It doesn't need the various system protections. It either works or it doesn't and if it doesn't you don't buy it.

    Simple.

    How much of an OS do we really need to run Kontakt, Gigastudio and other audio programs?

    (Not a rhetorical question, if anyone has the answer, I'd appreciate their responding)

    Ernie
    Last edited by ohernie; 09-26-2005 at 12:24 AM. Reason: wrng cntrctn

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Windows vs softsynths ...

    I run a Mac all day long to put out a magazine, run a publishing business, surf the net, do things like designing and sending out invitations to my mother-in-law's 90th birthday party, pay bills in Quicken, store my digital pictures, and compose music with lots of software instruments and plug-ins.

    There are no conflicts whatsoever. Nor should there be.

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