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Pro Tools Pre Qualified PC's (Terra Digital Audio) = Apple Watch Out!
Old 23rd September 2005
  #61
Gear Head
 
Drewid's Avatar
 

Just posted a thread asking about this topic..."Audio designated PC vs. Mac" and one of the units Digi mentioned was the Terra Audio. I'm looking to buy a new comp--(forget building it myself...I'm busy enough w/o having to repeatedly cross examine each and every component for compatibility, stability and efficiency)--and I wonder how Sweetwaters' Creative Solutions might fare. Terra Audio is the first HD endorsed comp but never mentioned LE. Someone mentioned Music XPC which is also a viable option. As for Mac, this leads me to the next point...

I worked at a top 40 studio in LA for a few years, the ONLY comp we use is Mac. It CONSTANTLY crashed. Every error known to man would occur at some time or other. Some sessions went smoothly, most didn't. These were intensive sessions created on big stack rigs (TDM and HD). We always used the latest OS and the "newest" comps...none-the-less...very problematic. Sure, we always found ways to "fix" the problem (usually simply rebooting or recycling the power did the trick) but it was a repetitous cycle.

I've never used a PC for audio purposes but now that I don't have access to a wonderland of gear, I have to buy my own...and am realizing how frickin expensive the gear we used really is. I'm going from using 5 interfaces of PT HD, an SSL 9K, blah-de-blah to finally getting 002 and computer!! but I digress Point being, there HAS to be a more reliable way to record effectively. And I'm thinking PC...one of those lil' ditties mentioned above.

I don't wanna go Dell cause let's face it...any company that had such a cheeseball marketing campaign as Dell did can't be that serious about audio (though I know nothing about Dell). I wouldn't mind following the pack (with Mac) except...what I mentioned--but on the flip--can't really afford to be a "pioneer" of sorts with little to no feedback on these relatively new Audio based PC's. Like previously mentioned...how is their teck support? How's their compatibility (despite their boasting)? What a dilemma

If I were to go PC, does anyone out there have a suggestion?
Welp, back to the
Old 23rd September 2005
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by zboy2854
Anyway, no doubt MSFT has stolen a good number of its ideas from Apple...
Let's not forget that Apple stole their ideas from Zerox PARC.

And even Apple is switching to Intel (belatedly, begrudgingly - yes - but switching they are)
Old 23rd September 2005
  #63
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As a mac user i have to say that i would never touch a pc for music again. After lots of bad experiences with viruses and crashes (there was no cracked software on my machine) i will only use mac now.Many pc users will laugh at this but for many mac users its the whole feel of the machine coupled with the looks and slick os that make it the best option for a music computer. RELIABILTY and pc's just don't go together from my experience.

Regardless of what a pc is capable in terms of processor power, this is something that pc manufacturers never seem to grasp: a computer has to feel great (sturdy,good ergonomics,nice materials) and look good when you use it 15 hrs a day. Every pc looks cheap and looking cheap does nothing to make you wanna buy one. I don't care how much faster this or that pc may be because their design is rubbish. What makes me laugh even more is that when a pc manufacturer attempts to make a computer look better, it just looks like a shabby version of a mac!What would make a mac user ever want to use a pc again??? The answer is nothing.

heh
Old 23rd September 2005
  #64
Gear Head
 
Drewid's Avatar
 

Goldphinga,
I do understand your point with the Mac being more aestheticly pleasing and the OS being easier to handle...

"After lots of bad experiences with viruses and crashes (there was no cracked software on my machine) i will only use mac now."

What version of PT were you running and on what system PC? How the unit looks is the least of my worries, it's how efficient the system works in conjunction w/ PT. And I wonder how did you "get infected" running PT's? (I've never heard that happening before.)
Old 23rd September 2005
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga
RELIABILTY and pc's just don't go together from my experience. What would make a mac user ever want to use a pc again??? The answer is nothing.
I am sorry you had such unreliable PCs in your life.

In my days at Eventide (1986-1995) I had the opportunity to work with early Macs and Atari 1040STs. The PC thing started slowly there - HP150s, PC-AT, PC-XT, then 286, 386, 486, then Pentium. Apples went from early Macs to the Pizza Box models, the SEs, a few Quadras, then on to 650s. When I left and started Wave, the G3s came out and the Pentiums went to II, then III, now 4 and Dual Core. Meanwhile the Macs went G4, G5 and the cases evolved nicely along the way.

I've used DOS (v 3.3-6.0), Windows (286 [ugh], 386, 3.0, 3.11. 95, NT, 98, 98SE, 2000, XP), Apple (7, 8, 9, X) and Atari's excellent GEM. SO from an evolutionary standpoint, I've used, tweaked, built, sold and supported most everything out there.

My Mac's had their share of problems, so did my PCs. My Ataris oddly never gave me any trouble, but to be fair they didn't stay on the market long enough for a 20 year comparative history. My G3 iBook crashed and toasted 3 times before Apple replaced it, I have friends wth nightmare PowerBook service issues.

If you *prefer* Apple, good for you - it's a great hardware standard, and the new (ripped off and/or cobbled together from Unix and neXt) OSX is very stable (except with Pro Tools in the intial phase of any new revision). But to slam PCs based solely on your expereince with them is a tad ignorant.

Quote:
What makes me laugh even more is that when a pc manufacturer attempts to make a computer look better, it just looks like a shabby version of a mac!
I have to disagree with you here. No One copied the bulbous G3/G4 chassis in their day, and the cutesy colored iMacs have all but dissapeared already. Remember the toilet-seat rev 1 iBooks? I didn't see any PC manufacturers rush to copy those.

On the other hand, Carillon designed and produced a gorgeous rack-mount PC chassis (still does) that Apple still can't touch, because other than 1U X-Servers they don't make rack-mount computers.

I think Rain Recording PCs are very elegant (definately not shabby) and the Sony Vaios are far from shabby. I've got a new HP Digital Media Center for the house that looks like a piece of hi-fi equipment, and sits in my home theatre rig - Apple makes nothing like this. Don't get me wrong, I am not dissing Apple at all (I have owned every rev PowerBook, my current one is a maxed-out 12" and I love it) - just wanted to point out that your opinions on the matter are just that, yet you state them as though they were fact.

-g
Old 24th September 2005
  #66
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Don't call me ignorant please.

All i can go off is my own experience with pc's AND a few of my fellow muso types who have been trying to finish albums with pcs and have spent more time having to swap components out and deal with crashes than actually getting music finished. Yet, they refuse to even consider a mac because they can get this or that piece of software for free. Idiots.What i particularly love is watching cubase glitch across a pc's screen when it tries to update especially when i am laying down one of my best rhodes performances causing the computer to lock and crash.

I know pcs have got better of late but they are still miles off target for most mac users.
Old 24th September 2005
  #67
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I'll re-phrase that.Just to let you know it wasn't my rhodes playing that caused the pc to crash! The pc was the culprit. (underpowered i presume).

I'm open to pcs being good music computers but haven't seen one yet myself. But yes, i admit for every bad egg theres a million good ones.
Old 24th September 2005
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga
Don't call me ignorant please.
I didn't. I said that slamming PCs based on your personal experience was a tad ignorant - the unilateral statment, not goldphinga the person. I apologize if I offended you.

Quote:
Yet, they refuse to even consider a mac because they can get this or that piece of software for free. Idiots.What i particularly love is watching cubase glitch across a pc's screen when it tries to update
Then that PC is either lacking sufficient RAM, or not optimized for Cubase. Mine runs smooh as silk.

Quote:
I know pcs have got better of late but they are still miles off target for most mac users.
Fair enough - that's an honest appraisal.
Old 6th October 2005
  #69
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Rob G's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

All,

Looks like Terra Digital Audio has the line up set up for AES NYC 2005 just as I predicted. Let's see how many orders, & high profile Pro Tools clients jump on these new computers.

Rob G..
Old 7th October 2005
  #70
Do you work for them Rob?
Old 7th October 2005
  #71
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drewid,.....
ive helped many people with their daw pc's....and my comment is...
if there are problems.... its always down to incorrect configuration.
i recently came across a user cursing a pc who had 128mb memory running xp.
which is ridiculously low....so....of course problems.
once memory was upped ,,,,it ran like a dream.
my pc's never crash at all.....and yours wont if properly configured.
if you post your max track count and plug in needs....i'll suggest a config.
Old 9th October 2005
  #72
Lives for gear
 
Rob G's Avatar
 

Unhappy

All,

I agree with 'manning1'. Not enough RAM, & improper configuration can cause the forementioned problems.

Rob G..
Old 9th October 2005
  #73
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga
Don't call me ignorant please.

All i can go off is my own experience with pc's AND a few of my fellow muso types who have been trying to finish albums with pcs and have spent more time having to swap components out and deal with crashes than actually getting music finished. Yet, they refuse to even consider a mac because they can get this or that piece of software for free. Idiots.What i particularly love is watching cubase glitch across a pc's screen when it tries to update especially when i am laying down one of my best rhodes performances causing the computer to lock and crash.

I know pcs have got better of late but they are still miles off target for most mac users.
I have had maybe two hard software crashes in the last year on my PC (BSOD hard reboot), and one of these was my fault not the machine. News like yours just baffles me, what are they doing? I bet its the crappy warez and not the PC.
Old 9th October 2005
  #74
Lives for gear
 
Rob G's Avatar
 

Unhappy

All,

Baffles me too.

Rob G.. stike heh
Old 9th October 2005
  #75
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i fixed up two more pc's this week with cursing owners.
not the pc's fault.
in both cases "the kidz/teens/tweens" had been let loose for hundreds hours on end on the net downloading lots of chat programs and garbage files.
in both cases once i got rid of the chat programs and located and deleted the garbage files things returned to normal.
in one case i was laughing so hard....i went to windows temp dir and there must have been thousands LITERALLY of *.tmp files clogging up and using gigs of disc space.......in another case someone had taken a clunker old disc drive from an old pc and installed it. in another case someone had a nice amd processor but garbage ram......in another situation someone had installed a flakey power supply.......in every case it was user error.....and so it goes....and the pc gets blamed. really its a bit like me loading up flakey old rusting 2 inch tape on a studer multitrack.
want a good pc ??....load up on ram, 8mb cacjhe hard drives.....and MAINTAIN IT,
and keep it away from invasive net programs and downloads.....and overspec the power supply !
Old 9th October 2005
  #76
Lives for gear
 
Rob G's Avatar
 

Unhappy

I'm amazed at the incompetency of PC user's that don't take the time, & effort to configure their computers correctly. The Terra Digital Audio helps to avoid this with relation to Pro Tools.

Rob G..
Old 10th October 2005
  #77
Gear Head
 
Drewid's Avatar
 

Manning1...
That's heh !! I think you've nailed it down. When you get a bunch of 's that don't have a what they're doing, then you're bound to have problems that otherwise wouldn't be encountered. Seems like rudamentary issues...nothing being based around running on the XP platform vs. OSX, actual components used in PC's or how the system communicates with itself. Either system, with the problems you've discussed, crashes would inevitably happen. Good info...thanx so much.

"if you post your max track count and plug in needs....i'll suggest a config"--Manning
Max trax= 96
Max Plug-ins= running at most 40 RTAS simultaneously including about a dozen virtual synths/module emulators...(I do a lot of audio suite processing, not as much real time). I'm not running any video plug-ins as of the moment. When I'm running numerous virtual synths for audio AND video editing that requires manipulation, is that when I may have more of an issue?

Thanx man...ning



Back to the
Old 10th October 2005
  #78
Lives for gear
 
Rob G's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Manning1,

Same thing here. Good insight.

Rob G..
Old 10th October 2005
  #79
Lives for gear
 
Rob G's Avatar
 

Question

All,

I wonder how much time individuals will save with a computer like the Terra Digital Audio that's dedicated to work with Pro Tools? Or even more important how much money they'd save due to lack of set up, or down time?

Rob G..
Old 10th October 2005
  #80
Gear Head
 
Drewid's Avatar
 

Sounds to me, Rob G, you DO work for Terra Audio! ...which if it's true, that's cool. I've seen your posts here on GSlutz and you know wassup. I AM really curious about them as well. Soon enough, I'll get one and find out. I'm surprised nobody has posted any feedback about them (w/ all this response). Maybe it's because Terra is the first PC maker endorsed by Digi for HD...and HD is still a bit too expensive for most home users. Maybe if Digi would endorse them for the rest of the PT line, there would be more buyers. We'll see...

Back to the
Old 10th October 2005
  #81
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drewid....
did i read that right ?
96 tracks and 40 plug ins ?
at what bit depth ? and sampling rate ?
looks like your hi end needs could stress a lot of tech currently on the market.
Old 11th October 2005
  #82
Gear Head
 
Drewid's Avatar
 

Manning...
The guy I'm going to be working for has an expansive PT HD 2 Accel system w/ an extra Accel card and a 64 bit expansion chassis. Running at 96K, w/o the extra Accel card, I'm able to run 96 trax. At 48K, I'm able to run 192 trax. Being the Accel system w/ the expansion chassis, it shouldn't stress the computer much.

Of course he has his own comp (PC or Mac?) though I'd like to have my own that can handle his PT configuration. Keep in mind, my needs mentioned previously are future "theoretical" needs based upon the projects he has planned. So there really shouldn't be an issue as long as I'm buying a higher end computer. It's funny, here I am just getting a 002 for my own projects while I'm working this elaborate system for someone else. Classis case of someone with lots of $$ and not much knowledge...though I don't boast to be a techno-Einstein either.

I'd like to get a PC because...I've never tried it....though I wonder how compatible cross system communication would be if he has a Mac?

Maybe this is the perfect time to indulge Rob G and get a Terra system? heh

Back to the
Old 11th October 2005
  #83
Lives for gear
 

drewid....
something to think about....
once in a past life i worked on hi end iron computer systems.
the guys who got the arrows in the back were typically the people that bought at the very top and bottom of the range.
two problems...hi cost and rapid obsolescence.
tech companies love folks that buy at the very top end range systems.

you said you needed something for personal use.
have you ever considered ....instead of running say 100 tracks at once....
doing what i do ?
i typically write songs that need max 32 tracks....because the way i figure it is if the bob ohlssons of the world did songs with few tracks 32 is a luxury and thus i'm overproducing.
my self imposed limit of 32 means i dont need dual or quad processors.
and i can do the "biz" on a 300 buck amd sempron class machine.
if i need more tracks i just mix down the 32 to stereo.....
and reimport to a new session in powertracks that i use.....and away i go to add 30 more tracks.
saves me buying at the top end of pc tech (going back to my first para).
do you have an aversion to my method ?
i mean i would love quad processors (opterons)....but this stuff gets obsolete soooo fast.
Old 15th October 2005
  #84
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Rob G's Avatar
 

Talking

All,

Anybody out there who's purchased, or is about to purchase a Terra Digital Audio computer please post your opinions on the computer here. I'm planning on shelling out for one in February, or March 2006.

Rob G..
Old 15th October 2005
  #85
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

For what it is worth...

Building a PC on your own is a very smart way to go. It is Easy, Much Less Expensive, and Also quite rewarding if it is your first time doing it, as it teaches you alot more about your machine that processes your precious Digital Audio.

Do not let anyone fool you, it is very easy to do, does not take long at all (30-60min) and most importantly YOU SAVE a Ridiculous amount of money.
Tutorials can be found all over, and if you have the technical skills, I suggest diving right in.

The Current Pre-Compatible PC's that are on the market (Terra, Music XPC) do a fine job, and if you've got the money... go right ahead. Be Warned however... with some research it is very easy to build the exact same machine for on Average 20-60% less -Hardest part to find is a nice rackmountable chassis that you like.

And Lastly,
0S9 v. OSX -> I don't use OS9 for PT and I don't really care for it... however with that being said ; OSX is extremely stable.
Windows XP Professional is also very stable.
BOTH are Suitable for Professional Applications

Either are Great for Protools, and anyone who tells you one or the other is not stable is running on a poorly maintained system.

....and although I know very few of you might care, my professional opinion as far as operating systems go in a ProAudio environment - With a properly maintained system OSX is only the tinniest bit (like 0.1%) more stable than Windows XP Professional, (Don't waste your time with Home Edition).
It seems to me like it is the nature of the Windows Beast. Hence --> MAINTAIN YOUR SYSTEM

With all that non-sense being said --> good luck with your Recording, Mixing, and Grooving Everyone..
Old 15th October 2005
  #86
Gear Nut
 

ok guys i have been using a pc for music since 1999 and swithched to a dual 1.25ghz in 2002 before even using win xp, because of all of the hype about macs. my first problem was that none of my plug ins were ported over to os x yet. second problem was that my music apps would always poof. 3 rd problem was that it was about only 25% faster than my 600 mhz pIII. after dealing with it for a year i sold it for $1500 and built the computer which i am still using based around a 3.2ghz piv. this system smokes the mac i had and is far more stable.

it was very easy to build and requires no trouble shooting. as far as tech support the best form is a program called true image. if my system ever gets corrupted i can be back up with a fresh install of everything in a half an hour. i guess u guys r the same people that had tape machines but didnt know how to fix them.
Old 17th October 2005
  #87
Gear Head
 
Drewid's Avatar
 

Hi Manning....
Sorry for the delayed response..."biz"y...
So yeah, that sounds like an efficient way to lay it down!!! As long as you can commit to a 1/2 mix. Though it wouldn't be difficult to make minor changes as long as you have a vision. Really, I never even thought about going about a mix like that...clever.

Though I don't think these HD systems will be obsolete any time in the near future...on the other hand, it took less than 3 yrs for the HD to evolve so progressively and rapidly. Shoot! Next thing you know we'll be able to translate the music we hear in our heads without having to touch a button...but that's just crazy talk.

But you see, it's not MY $$$ so it'll be fun to test the limits on a super high end system. Your methods will translate well as I become accustom (or spoiled) and have to go back to my "rinky-dinky-rig".

Got a question, Manning...(seems you got some skills); Do you have any favorites in the plug-in world besides Waves or Bombfactory to acheive high (broadcast) quality mixes? And how essential is a Gigastudio for doing scores? Have you heard there's supposed to be a cross-platform ditty that will allow Mac users to use Gigastudio?

Back to the
Old 17th October 2005
  #88
Lives for gear
 

drewid....
answers....my perspective.
1.half mix....because this is pc land......of the daw....you can change anything.
i mean...i'm just a dumb computer engr with a recording studio....but one of the laws of recording ive found over the years from personal experience and talking also to experienced engrs is one loses control of mixes if too many tracks are running at the same time. i have to question 100 track mixes because even for an experienced audio engineer .....ive seen points made by experienced engineers about losing PERSPECTIVE on a mix.
christ ....i used to talk to experienced engineers at AES shows years ago...
and just running two 16 tracks was a tad piggy to control.
its a bit like having a hundred girlfriends....problems always arise the more you have....!
i'm from the KISS concept school.
2. i dont use waves or bombfactory....just the plug ins that are included with the software i use which give me a million and one different fx settings/combos.....my belief is that ....and ive seen it in a lot of friends studios....
often overusage of plug ins can lead to more problems...ie being used like a crutch.....ie....lets see how many plug ins/toys we can throw at this......like mud sticking to a wall. a while back for example i stripped a friends mix back from the "lets use 50 plug ins" approach to just using natural room ambiences.
really it depends on what your personal belief or audio religion is.
some folks believe in a 100 tracks and 100 plug ins....others like me opt for simplicity.......my personal philosophy is THIS...
if the bob ohlssons and the other great audio engineers of the past did great songs without a billion tracks and plug ins ....then its my stupidity/lack of skills if i cant do the same. i admire these guys highly.....and listen to patsy clines vocals on after midnite from the 50's for example....i always play it a few times a week just to remind myself of the greats of the past....(before plug ins).
i like experimenting a lot with crazy stuff ...like sliding tracks to get weird delays in conjunction with plug in delay in conjunction with say micing a speaker in a echoed room (like the old ways).
Old 17th October 2005
  #89
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parissound's Avatar
 

I always built my own computer and it always had problems until I learned to combine the parts for reliability issues.

I bought all the parts for the computer and 2-19"in Flat screens for under a grand.

This computer is running super fast with no errors or shut downs what so ever.

I am running PtLe 002r with tons of plugings, still running smooth.

I have a friend of mine with PtLe on a dual G5 that was over a few weeks ago and was shocked with how much I can do on my computer and he can't.

Different strokes for different folks.
Old 17th October 2005
  #90
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Roger Starr's Avatar
 

Hey Paris,

What is your PC configuration if I may ask?

Regards,

RS
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