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Computer for Ivory 1
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Computer for Ivory 1

I've used my laptop (running Ivory) with my Clavinova, and it ran well with NO discernible latency. But the sound card is mediocre, so I don't use it anymore.

Meanwhile, I've replaced my old desktop with a new one, a screamer. That leaves me with this 6-year-old desktop sitting idle. I'd like to use it with the piano (and Ivory 1).

But I don't know if it's up to the task. It's a Dell 4600 with a P4 2.8 GHz HT processor, 1.5 GB RAM, lots of disk storage (PATA), and a Sound Blaster Live sound card.

Before I spend money on an upgrade sound card, how can I know if this box is at all suitable? Are there measurements I can make to confirm the suitability?

Besides the sound card, I'm also concerned about the disk I/O rate. What minimum sustained data rate is needed for the job? And, is there a tool to measure that?
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
Computer for Ivory 1

Get a M-Audio 2496 audio card and take out the SB Live, or try the SB with Asio4All.
Old 30th December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thanks, bitley. I wonder though ... it seems that card has been around for a decade. Should I buy something newer?

Also, do you have an opinion about the Ivory-worthiness of my old computer?
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 

I would say get an E-Mu 1212m audio interface, it is very affordable at around $170, and it has pro audio grade specifications, such as great dynamic range, large signal-to-noise ratio, low latency through E-Mu ASIO drivers (no need for your CPU to be loaded with ASIO4ALL processing duties). It has some of the highest grade components in its class, and it definitely sounds better than the M-Audio card. It gives you MIDI, S/PDIF optical and coaxial, and balanced 1/4" line inputs and outputs.

The SB Live line has been discontinued, so finding updated drivers for it would be problematic. You can at least buy a cheaper SoundBlaster X-Fi card (the latest and greatest line of SB products), it has ASIO drivers. Make sure it has a PCI, not a PCIe interface, though. However, if your old machine has a spare PCIe 1x port, take advantage of it. The above-mentioned 1212m is also PCIe, or you can buy an used PCI version on eBay for cheaper.

I think your old machine is kind of pushing its specs for VST instrument libraries. A fast SATA HD (for which you would probably need an extra SATA PCI controller, since it sounds like your system only has PATA) and more RAM could help, but it would still be pushing it. It will definitely run a DAW, but your number of simultaneous instruments and effects would be low. Did you check the system requirements for Ivory? Does your computer meet them? What operating system does it have?
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
Gear Head
 

d

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elteto View Post
I would say get an E-Mu 1212m audio interface, it is very affordable at around $170...
Sounds like a plan. Thanks.

Quote:
The SB Live line has been discontinued, so finding updated drivers for it would be problematic.
That won't really matter. Either it's sound will be good enough ... or not (and will be replaced). I won't be upgrading the OS. I'm running XP, and I have no need for any cute "extras" in Windows 7. This will be a dedicated Ivory box (with occasional wifi access for the odd file transfer). All of the other Windows "treats" can be disabled.

BTW, would an external, USB-connected sound card work? If so, can you recommend something?

Quote:
Make sure it has a PCI, not a PCIe interface, though. However, if your old machine has a spare PCIe 1x port, take advantage of it.
Oops. That kills it. It has AGP (4x or 8x?) video, and the rest of the slots are plain old ISA.

Quote:
A fast SATA HD (for which you would probably need an extra SATA PCI controller, since it sounds like your system only has PATA) and more RAM could help, but it would still be pushing it.
This box came with a 40 GB PATA, and I added a 250 GB PATA afterward. I could have gone with SATA ... the mobo DOES have a SATA port. But Dell says that if I do that, then the SATA drive MUST be the boot drive. At the time, I didn't want that (it didn't fit my needs). But today, for $50 I could throw in a big SATA drive, and not need the PATAs.

Quote:
It will definitely run a DAW, but your number of simultaneous instruments and effects would be low.
No effects needed. No recording. No mixing. No additional instruments. This is simply replacing the Clav sounds with Ivory. Piano only. The idea is to put Ivory INTO the Clav. That's not possible, so I'll put Ivory NEXT TO the Clav, so to speak.

Quote:
Did you check the system requirements for Ivory? Does your computer meet them?
D'oh! Kick me. Didn't do that. Will get to that this weekend.
I mentioned earlier that Ivory ran flawlessly on my work laptop, a Core Duo T7300/ 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM (and that was with lots of corporate "overhead" crap loaded on it, including the Symantec/Norton pig pig pig).

It remains to be seen whether a one-core P4 / 2.8 GHz desktop can handle it. It has only 1.5 GB RAM, but I have a pair of 256 MB cards lying around. The box has the slots to accommodate them ... so I could move up to 2 GB if necessary. That might not even be needed, though, since I'll try to turn off ALL of the unnecessary Windows services. They're just not needed here, and probably detrimental even on a more capable box, eh?

Quote:
What operating system does it have?
XP. I don't see any reason to change. Do you?

Thanks for your attention.

Signed ... Mr. Talented in many other things, but doesn't know squat about music computing.
Old 1st January 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 

Ivory requirements

I have Ivory 1.5. The vendor's requirements are:
MINIMUM
1.3 GHz P4, 1 GB RAM, 11 GB drive space (7200 RPM), Windows XP

RECOMMENDED
2.0 GHz P4, 2 GB RAM, 41 GB drive space (
7200 RPM), Windows XP

MY "OLD" DESKTOP
2.8 GHz P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 200+ GB drive space (7200 RPM), Windows XP
So it looks okay.

Unfortunately, I just had knee surgery (yesterday).
So hauling the computer out and doing this work will have to wait until I get off of these crutches.
Old 1st January 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 

For Ivory you need a fast drive with a decent buffer.

Plain and simple.

If you want to play it like a real piano, you need a sound card that will give you at a minimum 128 samples and better still 64 samples.

The CPU really has little to do with it.
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