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Topic: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency results

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  1. #1

    PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency results

    I’m about to upgrade my home studio primarily so I can run Trilogy, RMX Stylus and Atmosphere in Cubase 4 or Cubase Studio 4 which I also will be upgrading to.
    I could not seem to find any quantifiable stats on how much horsepower and/or RAM I’ll need as well as what type and brand of sound card I should also purchase for the new setup.
    As far as the CPU and RAM are concerned, I will either get a machine with:
    a Core 2 Duo E6850 and 4Gb of RAM or
    a Core 2 Quad Q6600 and 4Gb of RAM.

    I would like to get an RME AI if I can afford it, such as the HDSP 9632.

    I would be using the RMX Stylus and Trilogy on most of my projects with a sprinkling of
    Atmosphere for good measure.

    I also own Waves Renn Maxx which I will probably be using in all of my projects as well.

    If anyone could help me in the decision of a CPU, RAM and sound card for my new setup, I would greatly appreciate the feedback.

    I could afford to go around 3K for those HW items.

    Thx,
    Ciao, Dan

  2. #2

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    $3k is way more than you need for a top-end audio system, especially if you use avadirect.com (*wonderful* custom PC site).

    First of all, 4gb of RAM is not useful unless you are using Vista64 or XP64, and even then, its usefulness is negligible right now without extensive tweaking and planning with regards to your sequencing and plugin setup. 3gb is good to shoot for.

    Next, a Q6600 (2.4ghz x4 cores) processor @ $280 is a great deal considering the E6600 (2.4ghz x2 cores) is only about $50 less. So in this case, bigger is definitely better. Don't forget to get extra cooling!

    Any pro soundcard or interface, from EMU to Presonus to RME, will definitely give you good latencies and rock-solid drivers. I've used a number of pro cards and they all do the job VERY well. If you're working in the box only (not doing a lot of outside recording) then I would recommend the Presonus Firebox. It's Firewire, $300, has great preamps if you need them, and has the most stable, efficient drivers I have seen in this price range. I highly recommend it.

    Lastly, consider your hard drive setup. I recommend a RAPTOR hard drive that you can use for Windows, your sequencer, plugins, and other core applications. These run at 10,000 RPM but have less storage space - a 76GB model will do just fine. Then, make sure you have at least one large hard drive (500GB) where you can install your actual sample libraries and bounce audio. These are very cheap nowadays. You might consider an external hard drive in the ~500GB range as well for backup.

    All of this stuff will not even run you $2000 with AVA (most likely not even $1500) and you'll get a killer warranty to boot. You might consider spending the money you will have saved on dual LCD monitors, something I did earlier in the year. Two 20" widescreen Sceptre LCDs ran me about $450 and I LOVE 'em.
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  3. #3

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    Thanks for the reply Andrew,
    But I am intently concentrating on a Vendor who builds DAWs.
    The importance of having the HW, Sequencing SW and audio interface play nicely together is paramount.
    Having that knowledge and also knowing that there will be a support group to contact, after they've made the sale, are the main reasons for doing so.
    This will be my second DAW that I will own.
    I WILL NOT make the same mistakes that I made on the first one.
    Thx,
    Ciao, Dan

  4. #4

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    I bought mine from sonica-x and couldn't be happier with that choice.
    I got a quad core, 4GB ram etc......
    Truth is I usually now get to do my projects at 64 sample size in Nuendo 3.2 using a Lynx Two C card, and have not had a problem with instances of atmosphere and trilogy (I have probably used as much as 10 instances of atmosphere in one project).
    Stylus on the other hand, I only get about two instances which for most projects are enough (the 16 channels) but for me stylus's limitation is Ram not cpu.......and I don't think unless it was reprogrammed or you are using a 64 bit OS that you will escape this.....
    But certainly my two advices would be....
    go to www.sonica-x.com and configure and choose one.....and buy what you can afford.....

    rsp
    richard sven
    sound sculptist
    ------------------
    Nuendo 4.3 | Intel DP35DP : Intel Quad Core QX 6700 : 4GB RAM | Windows XP Pro SP3 | Lynx Two C | Midisport 2x2 | 2xUAD-1, UAD-2 Quad |

    Cubase 4.5.2 | MacBookPro 2.16 Ghz | 10.6.3 | 2GB | TC Konnekt 8

  5. #5

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    Quote Originally Posted by DannyDep
    Thanks for the reply Andrew,
    But I am intently concentrating on a Vendor who builds DAWs.
    The importance of having the HW, Sequencing SW and audio interface play nicely together is paramount.
    Having that knowledge and also knowing that there will be a support group to contact, after they've made the sale, are the main reasons for doing so.
    This will be my second DAW that I will own.
    I WILL NOT make the same mistakes that I made on the first one.
    Thx,
    Ciao, Dan
    Fair enough. But as an audio professional I would not be recommending AVAdirect unless I was 100% pleased with their service. They offer rock-solid warranties w/ phone support and labor, assemble and install everything you need, and will walk you through every step of the buying & customization process. They will not BS you. The person who built my current DAW (his name is Misha) actually talked me out of several features that would have increased the cost of my rig, but would not have been useful for audio.

    Unlike Dell, HP, or other mainstream manufacturers they do not install useless software. They optimize the computer for performance from the getgo.

    Every audio computer company I have seen marks up ~$500-1000 over cost of parts and really do nothing extra except give you a bare bones XP installation (which AVA does) and do some very basic XP tweaks (which you can do yourself using the picture walkthroughs at musicxp.net).
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  6. #6

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    Quote Originally Posted by zvenx
    I bought mine from sonica-x and couldn't be happier with that choice.
    I got a quad core, 4GB ram etc......
    Stylus on the other hand, I only get about two instances which for most projects are enough (the 16 channels) but for me stylus's limitation is Ram not cpu..........
    go to www.sonica-x.com and configure and choose one.....and buy what you can afford.....
    rsp
    Hi Richard,
    Thx for the response. I'm a newbie with VIs and afraid that you've lost me regarding instances.
    Could you please point me to some link where I can find out what you mean by that term, regarding the use of VIs?
    I've tried to do a search in this forum but could not find an explanation of the term.
    Also, if I'm understanding you correctly are you saying that, with regard to using Stylus, I really don't need the Quad since it is more RAM which Stylus uses?
    ciao, Dan

  7. #7

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    ah....not sure where to point you to, but I can try to explain it to you.
    I hope you have midi hardware cause it is easier to explain that way.
    let us say you only had two hardware midi instruments, a minimoog voyager and a Roland Fantom.

    as you may know the moog mini will respond to one midi channel......
    whereas the fantom or any modern workstation has at least sixteen midi channels so you can in theory access 16 different sounds on your fantom simultaneously.

    Ok

    If I had a song that needed four different moog sounds to be played simultaneously and I dont' want to record them as multitrack audio.... I would need to buy four mini moog's..... hope you follow so far.... in the vsti world that translates as four instances.....

    If I wanted in this same song to play 10 patches from the Fantom simulataneously, that will only require one instance, since one instance or one Fantom can play 16 parts....
    If instead I wanted to play 22 patches. I will need two Fantoms or two instances of Fantom in the vsti analogy. One will play 16 parts and the other the remaining 8 parts.

    As Directly related to Spectrasonics stuff.
    Atmosphere and Trilogy can currently only play one patch.
    So if I had a song where I wanted to use ten patches of Atmosphere, I would then have to use ten instances of Atmosphere.
    RMX can play 8 patches/loops simultaneouly (well you can use groove menu etc to play more, but I am trying to keep it simple)... it means I can use one instance of RMX if I only need to play 8 or less loops.
    hope this helps.

    Stylus also needs the cpu of the quad, what I am trying to say however, is that even if you get a quad, you will still be limited by how many instances of stylus you can use without 'freezing'.
    rsp
    richard sven
    sound sculptist
    ------------------
    Nuendo 4.3 | Intel DP35DP : Intel Quad Core QX 6700 : 4GB RAM | Windows XP Pro SP3 | Lynx Two C | Midisport 2x2 | 2xUAD-1, UAD-2 Quad |

    Cubase 4.5.2 | MacBookPro 2.16 Ghz | 10.6.3 | 2GB | TC Konnekt 8

  8. #8

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    It's true that Stylus is rather RAM intensive. However, remember, you can always tweak loops to perfection (with chaos designer, onboard effects, etc) then bounce those loops/tracks to WAV and unload the RMX vst. I do this all the time. Until we get to a point where 4GB or more of RAM is useful, this is a good solution.
    Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.

  9. #9

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
    Fair enough. But as an audio professional I would not be recommending AVAdirect unless I was 100% pleased with their service. They offer rock-solid war
    Every audio computer company I have seen marks up ~$500-1000 over cost of parts and really do nothing extra except give you a bare bones XP installation (which AVA does) and do some very basic XP tweaks (which you can do yourself using the picture walkthroughs at musicxp.net).

    I have no idea what Sonica's mark up is, but three years tech support via email and phone with full warranty on parts and labour which is what sonica offers is way more than worth it for me.....
    he will even set up a test system to mimic all your hardware etc to find solutions... at least he has done so with me.... maybe I am just special....lol
    rsp
    richard sven
    sound sculptist
    ------------------
    Nuendo 4.3 | Intel DP35DP : Intel Quad Core QX 6700 : 4GB RAM | Windows XP Pro SP3 | Lynx Two C | Midisport 2x2 | 2xUAD-1, UAD-2 Quad |

    Cubase 4.5.2 | MacBookPro 2.16 Ghz | 10.6.3 | 2GB | TC Konnekt 8

  10. #10

    Re: PC System Specs in order to run Spectrasonics products and get low-latency result

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the explanation of instances as it would relate to VIs.
    I think I've got it.
    I just hope that the Quad is in my budget.
    And your reasoning for going with a company like Sonica is exactly what I'm looking for.
    ciao, Dan

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