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Topic: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

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  1. #1

    $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    I everyone

    I am about to upgrade my studio. I have $2800 to spend on a new PC or Mac.I am currently using a Intel Pentium Core Duo 2 with 2 Gig Ram. My motherboard only allows for 2 Gig ram so i am at the limit.

    I do everything on 1 computer. I run Soner Home Studio 6 as my Sequencer, Kontakt 3 as my sampler wich I used as VST in sonar and I use EWQLSGO, Garritan, Vienna Symphonic, etc. etc. as my samples. Currently I only have one harddrive 350 GB that Windows XP 32bit plus all my programs and samples is installed one. Yeah... I know.. not the ideal way to go. But so far it has worked for me. I do see that the memory issue is starting to kreep in and a lot of CPU overload when I use more than 7 tracks of samples (percussion, violins, woodwinds... etc. etc.)

    I was thinking of buying Symhonic Choirs, but EAST WEST told me that 2 Gig ram is not enough to load multiple voices and use them with orchestra sounds. Thats a bummer. No i have to settle for Symphonic Voices which is an old library and no word builder. (By the way... is there any other company that does choral samples ?)

    So here I am now, wanting to buy a new PC or Mac. I have never worked on a mac and dont know if my programs are support or able to install on a mac.

    So my question is this. What should I get ? I here XP can only go up to 4 gig Ram, but then using 64 Bit XP I can get more ram, but Sonar and Kontakt3 is not support. So I am confused.

    What setup can I buy or build to make me effectively score for film without having memory issues ?

    I was looking at the new Intel Xenon Quad Core with 8 gig ram, but having xp on that wont even matter. XP will not use the ram on the system pass 2 Gig.

    How are you guys doing it ? All I want is to seemlessly run my sampler, sequencer without any memory CPU overload problems. I am willing to use 2 PC's if need be, but I have not knowledge of how to do that. I will get 3 HD for my new setup.

    So what are you guys's setups like ? Is it working great for you ?

    Remember I need to run Sonar, Kontakt3 and be able to used big samples as EWQLSGold + Stormdrum and Vienna etc. etc.

    I will need to get this in th next 2 weeks, so any answers and help will be VERY MUCH appreciated !!

    Thank you guys !!
    "‘The heights by men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,
    but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night
    .’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."



  2. #2

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    The new motherboard will help along with 8 gb of ram with a fast (3.0 or higher) processor (ref intel.com) dedicate 1 hd to 64 bit. Sonar 7 PE has 64 bit drivers, not so with NI. ram should be 800 or higher with a 1066 fsb or higher. 64 bit is probably the best way to go for now for sequencers however, we are still on hold for ARIA and its associated programs. Talk with David Plogue, he is a wealth of good advice. Samplers so far have a long way to go to catch up with 64 bit processing and may end up relics due to many sample lib. that are available and the advance in sample player/editors. Best of luck.
    John

  3. #3

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    Sonar will not run on Mac.

    So we're limited to PC, which is good anyhow because you can get a whole lot more computer with 2800 going the PC route.

    64bit operating systems (on 64-bit chipsets) allow you to access more RAM than you'd ever need, provided the motherboard can handle all that RAM.

    Yes, XP64 is soon to be deprecated by Microsoft. That would leave us with Vista64, which is not highly recommended at this time because Microsoft needs to get its priorities straightened out. You can still get XP64 off newegg however. Sonar will run on it, and if it uses its 64-bit version which I think it will but can't confirm, it will access more than 2GB, and provided your audio interface has XP64 drivers, you will hear it.

    K3 is not a 64-bit application, so you won't get any benefit from 64-bit with it. There are plans in the works to upgrade it on NI's side.

    High clock Core 2 Duo's are the way to go, IMO.

    That all said, you should definitely be able to get more than seven tracks out of your current setup. What are its detailed specs, and can you throw another hard drive in it for samples?

  4. #4

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    For PC's, XP64 will let you use lots more memory, but be sure to do your homework first and make sure that all your software and hardware will still work.

    EastWest has a new Play engine that supports 64-bit, but they haven't released it for their Symphony Orchestra. Likewise, Garritan is working on
    their new Aria engine which will support 64-bit. As taylorchandler said, Sonar 7 already supports 64-bit.

    The general advice is to research everything so that you're not disappointed, and get a dual-boot system with both 32 and 64-bit OS's. I'd avoid Vista for the time being. Some people are having success with it, others hate it. I'd stick with XP until you see lots of people who use samplers saying they are happy with it.

    Another way to approach this, is to buy a custom audio computer. That way you can be sure that everything will work the way you want (assuming you've described EXACTLY what you want to the builder). Jim Roseberry (www.studiocat.com) is highly recommended in the Sonar forum. I'm considering getting a system from him myself.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  5. #5
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    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    If your running mostly VSTi's for playing samples, then a Core 2 Duo is just fine. The issue is with memory not CPU power for most of these libraries. Now is you run virtual synths like Arturia MiniMoog or others like this, then you may opt for a Quad Core. All of these processors in the PC world are $200-$300. Motherboards are usually anywhere from $100-200. Get a decent fanless video card which are around $100. Memory is dirt cheap now. You can get 8 GB of DDR2 800 memory for under $200!

    I run Windows XP x64 for orchestral type work. Talking to folks at the Cakewalk booth at NAMM I found out that most use Windows XP and that Sonar 7 works fine in x64 Windows XP.

    The ARIA player is x64 which is how I've been running it while beta testing the Steinway. Haven't had a single crash with it. VSL libraries are x64. Many of the developers have announced x64 versions although I wouldn't hold my breath for Native Instruments. They seem to be on the slow side with updates so I doubt it will be ready this year. Kontakt 2 works in x64 but is limited to 2 GB of memory and sometimes hangs when loading even though it doesn't appear to have more than 1 GB loaded.

    I have 2 partitions on my system drive with both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows XP. I still use the 32 bit partition for projects that use plugins that aren't x64 compatible or don't work well.

    I recommend having a minimum of 2 hard drives. One for OS and the other for samples. My system has 4 drives - one for the OS's and projects, 2 for samples and another to backup to.

    Jim

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
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    233

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    Hi

    There was a similar sort of post a little while ago. (http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=59756)

    People here also talk about a dual boot system. If you're able to get them, OEM versions of XP and XP64 would be a good way to go. Avoid Vista for the time being.

    Windows 7 is said to be coming out late 2009 or early 2010. That's not too far away. (By that time, Vista may well be stable enough to look at )
    Seriously though, software may well have evolved enough to be stable on Vista, and maybe even Vista64 by the time Windows 7 is announced.

    But, as has been stated before, research the products that look at, and consider the after sales support that each vendor offers.
    Getting the newest and fastest will only result in tears if it breaks and there is no support, or support is limited to sending the faulty equipment off overseas and waiting for a month while the product is repaired/replaced.

    Cheers...

    Daz :0)

  7. #7

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    Your absolute best bet is contact Jim Roseberry at www.studiocat.com and have him build a system for you. He makes great machines specifically for music/audio work and has great prices. He's also a top notch guy and iwll do his best to meet your needs as they are. For your $2,800 he can build a screaming quad core machine and give you back plenty of change to stock it with more VSTi's.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  8. #8

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by klassical View Post
    For PC's, XP64 will let you use lots more memory, but be sure to do your homework first and make sure that all your software and hardware will still work.

    EastWest has a new Play engine that supports 64-bit, but they haven't released it for their Symphony Orchestra. Likewise, Garritan is working on
    their new Aria engine which will support 64-bit. As taylorchandler said, Sonar 7 already supports 64-bit.

    The general advice is to research everything so that you're not disappointed, and get a dual-boot system with both 32 and 64-bit OS's. I'd avoid Vista for the time being. Some people are having success with it, others hate it. I'd stick with XP until you see lots of people who use samplers saying they are happy with it.

    Another way to approach this, is to buy a custom audio computer. That way you can be sure that everything will work the way you want (assuming you've described EXACTLY what you want to the builder). Jim Roseberry (www.studiocat.com) is highly recommended in the Sonar forum. I'm considering getting a system from him myself.
    Thanks for great INFO. I have found my answer. My problem was I was trying to do everything on 1 machine. I just found out about MIDI OVER LAND which will take care of all my problems. I will rather spend $3000 buying 3 more 2 Gig ram, 2.4 Ghz computers to run as slaves. BUT THING IS... I NOW NOTHING ABOUT MIDI OVER LAND. I dont know how it works and if I know can take my sonar en Kontak and all my registered software off my NOW DAW and put it on a better PC to be my master and use 3 others as my slaves ?

    How does that work ? And how does the license thing work ? Can I remove my samples and everything from my current computer and put them on a new pc and register them again ?
    "‘The heights by men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,
    but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night
    .’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."



  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    233

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    Midi over LAN essentially does away with midi cables between two computers, and replaces them with one network cable.

    So where previously you might have had two computers, each with a midi interface with 8 midi i/o (4 in 4 out) and 8 midi cables running between them, you now have just two computers with 1 network cable running between them.
    If you have four computers to connect together, it will be 1 hub/switch, and 4 cables. 1 cable each from the computer to the hub/switch.
    A *lot* less dollars

    You will still need a midi interface if you're using keyboards or hardware that *requires* a midi cable, but I cannot see that being an issue for your new machines, as they're to be sampler slaves only.

    As far as the licensing thing goes, most sample libraries allow just that. Check with the support pages for each library to make sure. Should be no problem though.

    Cheers...

    Daz :0)

  10. #10

    Re: $2800 To spend - What PC/Mac to get for sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Empneo View Post
    Thanks for great INFO. I have found my answer. My problem was I was trying to do everything on 1 machine. I just found out about MIDI OVER LAND which will take care of all my problems. I will rather spend $3000 buying 3 more 2 Gig ram, 2.4 Ghz computers to run as slaves. BUT THING IS... I NOW NOTHING ABOUT MIDI OVER LAND. I dont know how it works and if I know can take my sonar en Kontak and all my registered software off my NOW DAW and put it on a better PC to be my master and use 3 others as my slaves ?

    How does that work ? And how does the license thing work ? Can I remove my samples and everything from my current computer and put them on a new pc and register them again ?
    "Midi over LAN" is essentially a closed local system. That is, a Local Area Network made up of your own machines. You'll need a Network Switch* (not a "Hub"), a network cable from each machine to the switch, and a setup process for getting up and running. Most modern motherboards include built-in LAN, but you should double check before you make your purchase.

    [*A Hub divides the total bandwidth between each machine, while a Switch provides intelligent management to maximize the available bandwidth of each "node." Many currently available Routers provide both functions, so you might look into those.]

    Licensing is not a major problem. Sonar can be moved to whatever you're using for your main computer. Kontakt can be registered on two machines, although technically you're only supposed to be using it on one of them at a time. You wouldn't have to do any "transferring" of licenses for that unless you wanted to move it to a third machine - at which time you'd have to "unregister" it from one of the other two. And, as Daz pointed out, you'll want to check with the support folks on this issue for all of your other sample libraries.

    Keep in mind the options for making use of these samples from slave machines: as Rewire devices, as network-aware slaves, etc. It's fairly flexible, but there are a few places where there are limitations. An instance of a limitation: Gigastudio (with it's own approach to "rewire," can be used in this way very easily . . . but unless you're using it on a machine with a "GSIF" enabled sound card you don't get the kernel level drivers that can make it extremely fast and efficient. Just a "heads up."

    Best of luck in your choices. Also, as others have pointed out, there are folks who specialize in building the hardware itself, and they've been very helpful to people in getting up an running.


    Joe

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