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I Want a ROCK!
Old 30th May 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 

I Want a ROCK!

Sorry to quote Dee Snyder, but I'm getting sick of searching and listening to everybody's opinions. There are just too many out there. It seems rediculous that I just have to buy or build something and then "take my chances."
I want a PC DAW to use with my Fireface 800 that I wil never have to think about again.
I do 99% audio. Tracking doesn't seem to be a problem, but mixing with Sonar 5.2 occasionally drops out for no reason. I use a lot of the Sonitus & Waves plugs and run about 20-30 tracks with various busses, auxes, etc.
I'll even consider switching my DAW program for STABILITY.
What's the most stable system you have seen out there? I don't think I'm asking for the impossible.
Are there any builders that guarantee stability? Are they really any better than what I could build?
Old 30th May 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
commaKaze's Avatar
 

Sorry to be the "bearer of bad news," but everything is engineered to fail.

I Want a ROCK!-pinto-74.jpg
Old 30th May 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

don't use any non bundled plug-ins.
Old 30th May 2006
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quincyg
don't use any non bundled plug-ins.
You know, I've often thought about that. The Sonitus stuff isn't bad, but it sux that we paid $1500 for Waves Platinum.

I guess the most frustrating thing is that nobody wants to take ownership of the compatability issues. How do you set up a DAW? Software companies can make suggestions, but they won't recommend a MOBO or a CPU or RAM, etc. And then the tweaks, etc.
RME has some good info on their site, but it seems to be dated back to 2002.
I think for what I want to do, a fast enough system is within reach. I've got a local guy that says he can build me one for just under $1000, but he builds for gamers. He insists that short of the graphics card, the systems are the same. He's talking about R/RW cache and FSB, which I believe are the critical points in a DAW, but he doesn't have any real experience with DAW's.
Maybe I should just bite the bullet and buy from a DAW builder.
Old 31st May 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
John The Cut's Avatar
 

No need to buy from a DAW builder. They charge stupid money and its nothing you cant do yourself.

I think the problem you have highlighted is bang on "too many opinions". Dont worry about it! PCs work fine if you put them together right and avoid "major" incompatibility issues.

Keep it simple.

M/B - Asus have a good rep. Get Asus. Chipset? **** it. doesnt matter. Personally I favour the VIA .. you see, wait for people to chime in and say "VIA.. are you mad, its got to be the worst chipset." Its not, works fine and I dont care.

RAM - Again - Kingston, Corsair.. all good makes just make sure you get some that fits and is compatible with you M/B. Easy enough.

CPU - Decide what speed you want and get it. Go for AMD. Cheap and simple and... works FINE! If FSB is a worry find the biggest number and use that. But 66Mhz of difference doesnt mean **** to your tunes...

HDDS - Always been a Maxtor user. Never had one die. Fast and quiet. Again, all the top brands do the job. Get a couple of 300 GBs, so you dont have to worry again for a few years The new Maxtor 300GB have 16MB cache. Any good? Who gives a ****! Sounds enough to me.

What else... CD-writer - anything will do the job (But I use a Plexwriter Premium )

er.. Graphics... ****! this stuff is designed to work.. get an ATI or something, they're all good, make sure it has loads of onboard memory - 128GB or something. (not that I know or have any inclination to know how that effects performance).

Then format and install the OS yourself and dont put anything on there you dont need, but DO install the CD that came with your M/B. Run music tweaks from www.musicxp.net

Its really simple actually. Good luck fuuck


EDIT: Now I know I've just given you another list of opinions. But I find your situation amusing. I used to do IT (got out in about 2002) - so I've always built my own machines. I've also used a lot of so-called "problematic" components - from VIA chipsets, Soundblasters to ATI graphics cards, EMU 1820M and Maxtor drives.

I've never had a days problem with my PC (in its many guises). In fact my machine just keeps evolving, the oldest thing in it is the floppy drive. But.. well, I've proved to myself that MOST issues are USER related.

You dont need to squeeze every ounce of performance from every component. Any standard build job will be good enough for music as long as you have enough RAM, enough HDD space and enough CPU power and a CLEAN system it will be OK. But you have to ask yourself.. do you just want a ****-hot computer or do you actually want to make some music?
Old 31st May 2006
  #6
DHD
Gear Nut
 
DHD's Avatar
 

Hi JustMike,

a combination of freezing the tracks and using FX wisely will get you where you need to go. Ease up on the inserts of individual tracks.

So many people are reshaping the sound to be what they want it to be instead of making the source sound how it should and then miking it correctly. If you are correcting things using plug-ins then you should look at your mic technique.

So much can be done with one instance of a covolution reverb on an Aux and a plate on another with hardly any insert fx. All IMHO of course.

Peace,
DHD
Old 31st May 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Yeah...I'm tired of reading opinions...there are too many.....I've had it...time for action...I want something definite right now.

Okay...what's your opinion on that?
Old 31st May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Mike,

This may not be the answer you're looking for but I found SONAR to be the problem for me. I certainly don't want to have this turn into a thread about which software beats the other but for me, I saw a HUGE performance difference between Samplitude and SONAR. I couldn't get my FF 800 to work at a level that I needed with SONAR. The second I switched, my problems were solved. So my point is, I would look at the program before I would upgrade the system. I found SONAR to be glitchy and drop-out-y. It would often freeze and I was never able to get it to the point where I could use it.

Again, I'm not looking to start a war, and I may not have been doing the right things to finally get everything right with SONAR but that may be the point. I don't want to have to be a programmer to run the studio. I want to record. I couldn't record the way I wanted to with SONAR. I can with Samp. I would give it a look. I think that SONAR works great for the vast majority of users and I have no doubt that it is a first-class program, but for me, another audio-only guy, Samp had more of what I needed and less of what I didn't(a ton of midi functions). It has been worlds apart in terms of stability most likely due to my own incompetence.

Just an idea.
Old 31st May 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogWai
No need to buy from a DAW builder. They charge stupid money and its nothing you cant do yourself.

I think the problem you have highlighted is bang on "too many opinions". Dont worry about it! PCs work fine if you put them together right and avoid "major" incompatibility issues.

Keep it simple.

M/B - Asus have a good rep. Get Asus. Chipset? **** it. doesnt matter. Personally I favour the VIA .. you see, wait for people to chime in and say "VIA.. are you mad, its got to be the worst chipset." Its not, works fine and I dont care.

RAM - Again - Kingston, Corsair.. all good makes just make sure you get some that fits and is compatible with you M/B. Easy enough.

CPU - Decide what speed you want and get it. Go for AMD. Cheap and simple and... works FINE! If FSB is a worry find the biggest number and use that. But 66Mhz of difference doesnt mean **** to your tunes...

HDDS - Always been a Maxtor user. Never had one die. Fast and quiet. Again, all the top brands do the job. Get a couple of 300 GBs, so you dont have to worry again for a few years The new Maxtor 300GB have 16MB cache. Any good? Who gives a ****! Sounds enough to me.

What else... CD-writer - anything will do the job (But I use a Plexwriter Premium )

er.. Graphics... ****! this stuff is designed to work.. get an ATI or something, they're all good, make sure it has loads of onboard memory - 128GB or something. (not that I know or have any inclination to know how that effects performance).

Then format and install the OS yourself and dont put anything on there you dont need, but DO install the CD that came with your M/B. Run music tweaks from www.musicxp.net

Its really simple actually. Good luck fuuck


EDIT: Now I know I've just given you another list of opinions. But I find your situation amusing. I used to do IT (got out in about 2002) - so I've always built my own machines. I've also used a lot of so-called "problematic" components - from VIA chipsets, Soundblasters to ATI graphics cards, EMU 1820M and Maxtor drives.

I've never had a days problem with my PC (in its many guises). In fact my machine just keeps evolving, the oldest thing in it is the floppy drive. But.. well, I've proved to myself that MOST issues are USER related.

You dont need to squeeze every ounce of performance from every component. Any standard build job will be good enough for music as long as you have enough RAM, enough HDD space and enough CPU power and a CLEAN system it will be OK. But you have to ask yourself.. do you just want a ****-hot computer or do you actually want to make some music?

Maxtor?? hands down the worst hard drives. Seagate had to buy the company
cus they almost went out of biz.

I worked for a semiconducter equipment mfg in th 90's. We sold alot of clean room equipment to seagate. A seagate engineer
told me that many MAXTORs were really seagate hard drive that did not pass seagate strict QA/QC standards.

Did you ever think why they are so less expensive???????????

beware.....................
Old 31st May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
John The Cut's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
Maxtor?? hands down the worst hard drives. Seagate had to buy the company
cus they almost went out of biz.

I worked for a semiconducter equipment mfg in th 90's. We sold alot of clean room equipment to seagate. A seagate engineer
told me that many MAXTORs were really seagate hard drive that did not pass seagate strict QA/QC standards.

Did you ever think why they are so less expensive???????????

beware.....................

but... this is exactly the point! Opinion.. hearsay.. speculation.

I think I mentioned I've always used Maxtor drives because I've never had one die. They're quiet and fast.

And anyway.. i think your engineer mate is talking out of his arse. I remember back in the day that SEAGATE drives were the worst (apart from Fujitsu). Maxtor had a great rep back then and that stuck with me with no regrets
Old 31st May 2006
  #11
SLW
Gear Head
 
SLW's Avatar
 

well I got a lot to do with CS.

I wouldnt suggest maxtor either... its speculation just like everyone says behringer is low quality... its you get what you pay for. I go with Samsung, as they are really quiet.

VIA has got a bad reputation since they put out some really bad chipsets.
Their new chipsets all do there work but they just dont do it as well as Nvidia/Intel.

[if you want proofs for those problems with maxtor and via in the past... just google!]

right now there are SIMPLE rules to go for a computer (not just audio), if you want to avoid trouble, dont following them doesnt mean you get into trouble.


if you want to get AMD -> go for S939 -> NFORCE400+ Chipset
if you want to get INTEL -> go for 775 -> 975X Chipset
no(!) onboard GFX (it works fine, but shared memory always sucks)
2 SATA Harddisk Drives in RAID0.
some cheap PCI-X Gfx card that is cappable of doing dual monitors...
RAM isnt really critical, as long as you dont want to Overclock, just buy something that meets the Motherboard Spec. and a matching pair of it. like 2 x 1024MB from Samsung/OC/whatever....

just google for the components and reviews about them... check forums. youll find out pretty quick if they suck or not.


I base those things on my own experience and CS Mags that have a certain name...


another hint... RME has a mailing list server where they talk alot about optimal computer systems and stuff.. they used to feature a reference computer system on their website as well, so users could built a system that works 100% flawless.... most computers do run flawless with RME. maybe just go to their forum and ask they are probably happy to help you out. you might also ask for a "stock-computer" they might suggest.... because you maybe dont want it to built yourself or your store doesnt offer this service..
Old 1st June 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogWai
but... this is exactly the point! Opinion.. hearsay.. speculation.

I think I mentioned I've always used Maxtor drives because I've never had one die. They're quiet and fast.

And anyway.. i think your engineer mate is talking out of his arse. I remember back in the day that SEAGATE drives were the worst (apart from Fujitsu). Maxtor had a great rep back then and that stuck with me with no regrets

cool just buy some extra dvd's just in case of failure.
Seagates the worst??? your silly
they broke th 5400 spindle speed in 1995 they were the first mfg to make av drives.

Do you play a tele?? Maxtor asnd teles ah my favorite
do you like pearl jam and Bruce springsteen???
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