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Topic: DAW Upgrade Advice Needed

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Pacific Northwest

    DAW Upgrade Advice Needed

    I have recently expanded my sample libraries, and am in need of expanding my computer setup. I have a couple of primary options that I am considering, but am sure there may be others.

    1) Upgrade a Dell Athlon 2x3600 that I have, turning it into a slave (it is on XP Home). This has the advange of being a low-cost solution. The potential soundcard remains open. Note that I could upgrade the soundcard in my main DAW and use the Audiophile 192 that is currently in that system here. I would be open to other sound card suggestions in the $150-$450 or so price range. The weakness to this solution is the potential risks of using a stock Dell (I had a very bad experience several years ago seeking to combine a Dell with a Gigastudio).

    2) Do nothing for now, and let things sort themselves out a bit in terms of the somewhat confusing 64 bit world. Under this option I would seek to convert my main DAW into a 64 bit machine with 8 gigs of Ram, and an upgraded processor (Q6600?). This option would also require the sound card be replaced as the current one has no 64 bit drivers. The drawback here would be trying to do everything on one machine.

    3) Wait, and seek to eventually buy a second DAW from a DAW builder. The cost might end up being somewhat similar to #2, if a lower end 32 bit system were to be purchased.

    Your thoughts, suggestions, and comments about these, and possibly other ideas, would be appreciated. Funds are limited so cost truly is a factor.


  2. #2

    Re: DAW Upgrade Advice Needed

    To wait or not is a tough one.
    Me, never wait; I just gotta go get whatever and when I feel it's ok to.

    It's nice to have a slave computer so would probably do that and build my own DAW. If you're not confident doing that do you know someone who would do it for you? I don't do it for money but I build computer systems for Audio applications for far less than those Pro systems cost.
    About half and they're better. It's fairly easy.

    What software do you use, I know you mentiond Giga, I use that also.

    The sound card would depend on your requirements, is it only for Midi?

    Reply if you're still looking to chat about this.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Pacific Northwest

    Re: DAW Upgrade Advice Needed

    I no longer use Gigastudio - it never did work correctly in the configuration I had, and I had already thrown enough $$$ down that particular drain. I cannot do a BYO because I have too little eyesight to decipher the parts.

    My main software consists of Sonar (currently 6PE) and Finale. I cannot use Finale on any flavor of Vista or 64 bit O/S, so it has to stay on an XP 32 bit system. I am limited to using Finale 2005 or earlier. Because of sight limitations there are certain ways that I have to be able to use it, and those ways were broken in Finale 2006, and have remained broken in subsequent releases.

    My current soundcard on my existing DAW is an Audiophile 192. Unfortunately, M-Audio has not yet created any drivers for a 64 bit o/s. My interests lie in using sample libraries for chamber and orchestral music, not live recording (though recording myself at some future point might happen). At this point if I went the slave route, I would probably be most comfortable using hardware rather than FX Teleport or some other midi over lan solution. I am simply never going to be running large numbers of computers.

    In reading more, I have become aware of some who have had success using Dells, so upgrading that remains an option for immediate needs - it simply is not the best long-term solution, as it maxes out at 4 gigs ram, and can only take one additional internal hard drive.

    I am in no hurry, and that is a plus. For now, I could even live with simply adding one more hard drive to my existing DAW as a short-term solution. Nevertheless, I would prefer to work without freezing tracks, so making other upgrades would be beneficial. My existing DAW as it stands will not be sufficient once some of libraries I currently use are released to take advantage of 64 bit format - not to mention others I hope to eventually purchase (Vienna SE, etc.).

    Thank you for your comments.


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