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Topic: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

  1. #1

    eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    Hi there,

    I'm a veteran composer and I've recently went on a shopping-spree and purchased a series of EastWest librariess and think it's time for an upgrade. But I'm a bit out of the loop with technology for the past years as I've been sticking with my old system for far too long.

    This is what I got now:

    Symphonic Orchestra
    Symphonic Choirs
    Voices of Passion
    Stormdrum 2

    I might add Ministry of Rock and the Hollywood series later if my system can handle it versus being worth the investment compared to quality gain if you consider I already own Symphonic Orchestra.

    I want to get full potential out of all of these. I will compose orchestral music and world music.

    I've been stuck with Adobe Audition and Reason for far too long so I want to upgrade this too.

    My current system is:

    WinXP SP2
    Intel Core Duo, E8400 @ 3.00ghz
    4GB RAM (XP only recognises 3.25 when rightclicking MyComputer specs)
    Harddrive ST3500320AS 500GB, 4 partitions
    Emu E-DSP soundcard

    System was bought in 2007-8

    SO: **** I've got about 1000 USD to spend on a new system (to either replace or add to the current one).

    I'm very much a playing composer, a live player, meaning my composing style is live-play where-after I edit and expand.

    I'm not up to date with what's possible regarding slave machines and such. I've also heard about "server motherboards" but I have no clue where to start looking and how this would function practically.
    I'm thinking that my current system is beefy enough at least be function for some tasking, but I'm skeptical with my 4gb of RAM, especially with XP not even recognizing all of it. Should I install a few of the EW VSTS on that system and get another *main system* with the other ones on it, then linking them or something similar? Or can I just keep using this system if I would put Win7 on it? Advice appreciated!

    It would be a waste to ditch my current system, I have a feeling 1000USD isn't going to get me very far if I have to start a whole new single system from scratch so i prefer to keep it for some purpose if I can, maybe upgrade the old one a bit and add a new one. But I can stretch to 1500 USD if required.

    More things I wonder: upgrading to Win7 or Win8? - could one system be winXP and the other Win7/8 or would that gave major problems?

    How about the benefit / problems with 64bit OS using several systems connected?

    As far as sequencer/host I'm thinking about Cubase & Ableton live, but feel free to recommend against it with something else that would fit me. I want it to work fantastic with my EastWest libraries.

    I would really appreciate your input. Serious advice would be a light in a dark tunnel of a man getting grey hair from the available options and pitfalls of potentially wasting money with all the incompatibility risks and driver/communication problems. I just want the East West VSTs to sound right and work flawlessly ( I can handle 1 crash per day, just not 1 every hour). Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    As far, as I can see, for stuff you got, you can really cheep extend you hardware - both computing efficiency (two times or more) and memory capacity without swapping into windows 7 or 8. Amount of RAM depends on your motherboard and how are organized your memory banks. Forget about buying server mainboard till you hire someone who knows how to build/upgrade computers - but I can guarantee - on your own you will fail. And I'm pretty shure none of server mainboards, even those tower entry level ones, won't fit as replacement your old one, which is desktop I suppose.

  3. #3

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    Hello -

    Don't know if you can, but check to see if you can add/upgrade your RAM to your existing computer. Have you checked the recommended specs on the EastWest instrumental libraries that you purchased? Let that be your guide as to whether or not your computer system has what it takes to use your new libraries to the fullest potential.

    Something to keep in the back of your mind. Once people get into heavy-duty instrumental libraries, they generally use more than one hard disk drive (HDD) to their computer. Many people employ 3 HDDs in some fashion. The 1st drive would hold the operating system and application software; the 2nd HDD would hold all of the samples to your instrumental libraries; and the 3rd HDD would be used to store your projects (separate from the other two HDDs). YOUR computer may or may not have the ability to install additional internal HDDs. If your computer has either eSATA port or firewire port, they can be used to add additional external HDDs. (Note: I would stay away from using your USB 2 ports for external HDDs. It's my understanding that the USB 2 ports are not well suited for audio and video recording/editing. However, the newer USB 3 port protocol apparently is capable for audio and video recording/editing.) If your computer does not have eSATA port for external HDDs then maybe you can add an eSATA card that would fit into an unused PCIe slot in your computer if one is available. (By the way, eSATA ports allow for faster rate of transfer than Firewire ports.)

    Now. . . IF your computer is not upgradeable (in terms of RAM, internal HDDs, PCIe cards, etc.), there's no need to worry. You can still use your computer in a "master/slave" relationship that you mention in your post. If you decide to go that route, here is what I recommend:

    Consider going Apple!

    Now. . . I am NOT attempting to start a PC verses Mac war. Honestly, I'm not. I could go either way. However, Apple's MacMini is the BOMB!! It may look small, but it has a lot of bang for the buck. I'm considering purchasing the MacMini i7 version (which is a 4-core processor) and add 16 GBs of RAM to it which is wonderfully easy to do. The MacMini has the Thunderbolt Port which provides for wicked-fast flow of information. More and more companies are now making Thunderbolt Port-based external HDDs and even PCIe enclosures (to the Thunderbolt Port) for expandability! The MacMini also has four USB 3 ports which can be also used for expandability. Finally, it even has the Firewire 800 port which can be used for the audio device. The MacMini i7 that I'm eyeing to purchase costs a little under $800.00 which, given its specs, is quite reasonable. Heck, you can buy this baby from Best Buy and have interest free payments for up to 18 months (if you're into the credit solution of purchasing stuff)!! It has an ethernet port, of course, so it can easily be used in a "Master/Slave" set-up. The question is which computer would be the "Master" and which would be the "Slave"? Well, if your DAW is PC-based, use the MacMini computer as the "slave" I guess. Once loaded with RAM, it should have at least the minimal processing power to house your instrumental libraries (on the external HDDs, of course).

    Now. . . I'm not sure if EastWest's Play (which serves as the engine for its libraries) functions well with Apple computers (verses PC computers). But the set-up that I mention is worth considering. I will say that you now have an impressive library of instruments. They will be CPU and RAM hungry, though, especially when you load up your orchestra.

    Good luck with your research and your decision. Hopefully this will be helpful for you.

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  4. #4

    Lightbulb Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    I love (and own) Macs... no polemics. But my opinion is they are too expensive for your budget: in parity of price you may get the fast CPU and as much RAM memory you may afford (16Gb recommended), considering seriously to include a SDD disk for booting system and/or for main sample library streaming.

    That should dramatically improve the performance of your system: I had the same experience 1 year ago, and my "relationship" with libraries like EWQL SC or VSL and Samplemodeling has totally changed from source of frustration to source of satisfaction.

    I'm on quad-core i7 3.4Ghz 16Gb RAM, and I keep my old PC and my Mac mini connected via VSL Ensamble Pro server system...amazing.
    It plays in real time 24bit 48Khz SATB choir and full symphonic orchestra, even without network sharing.

    I tested Win8 it seems to work fine but it kills some of my oldies and freebies: Win7 is so good, I postpone the upgrade to later more attractive improvements. (up to now it's more an app store marketing upgrade and tablet PC system optimization...no earthbraking news for traditional Desktop or workstation computer users, despite some comments about performances and stability, i can't notice in my system).

    my 2 cents. cheers

  5. #5

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    A 64bit OS is essential, so if your current system isn't compatible, don't bother spending money on it. 16GB RAM at a minimum. Again, see what your current motherboard can handle.

    Use multiple drives; DON'T partition.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    I would recommend updating your system at this point. As others mentioned, 16 GB of RAM is essential plus it's quite cheap. If you are in the PC world, then you need to move up to Windows 7 x64 so you can use the full 16 GB.

    I would recommend getting a Core i7 as the Play engine is quite CPU intensive.

    I recommend a smaller SSD drive for your OS. 120 GB should be fine. Then have a large hard drive to hold your sample libraries.


  7. #7

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    Ensure the drive hosting your libraries is as fast as can be.

    SSD would be ideal but that would be seriously expensive for a big enough drive to allow growing your collection.

    7200RPM normal drive at the least.
    YouTube Music:
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  8. #8

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    Thank you so much everyone for the great insightful comments. If I were to upgrade my current system to have 16mb RAM w/ Win7 64, what kind of harddrives would be recommended to use? My current drive is running at 7200RPM already. I had that drive partitioned from C to G. The G partition is the one I used as a "temp directory" to let the DAW work with my projects ( I recorded 80% as audio so it kept on writing wave-files on that drive). I think I've really worn it down. It has short hangs and has been clicking every now and then for several years. It hasn't failed on me yet, so I'm guessing it might fail on me in the near future.

    My USB ports are USB1 and USB2 ports only.

    3 drives, like you mentioned, would therefore be a good option right? If I do that then I might as well make the switch from XP to Win7 as well. But I'm a bit skeptical about going from 32bit to 64bit. If I remember correctly EastWest runs their plugins in 32bit anyway right? (I don't have EWSO-Platinum, I have the Gold version and the rest of the EastWest products are just their default versions). I'm skeptical for compatibility problems using 64bit, fearing the whole thing is going to collapse once I start adding other VSTs or change to Cubase/Reaper/Reason in the future. There might be many variables to create compatibility in this way, or not so?

    Thanks for any input on the subject.

  9. #9

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    *What kind of drives would you recommend for each of the 3 drives?

  10. #10

    Re: eastwest libraries, system upgrade recommendations ?

    What I also wonder up there regarding the 32bit 64bit issue is if some 32bit plugins might work just fine on a win7 64 system but only if it is using a specific sequencer. I heard for example both good things and things in this regard about Reaper. The last thing I want is a 64bit that utilizes all the RAM but then all of the sudden isn't able to use my VSTs (even though it technically should be able to) because I just invested in the wrong host/sequencer program.
    There's probably all kinds of combinations here between OS versions, hosts, VSTs and even Player-versions, so all the advice and experience you can give me will be appreciated.

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