One PC for everything, DAW and business work?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by MJ Slaughter, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    When was the last time you recorded 16 tracks at once in Sonar with Pianoteq and Ozone plugins running on the track fx? Try running a pro studio where the bare minimum requirement is 16 mics at once, high bit depth and sample rate tracking, with a video clip to synch to, and see how long your client sticks around if your machine can't stay on task because it isn't optimized for daw and you have your FB and email and anti-virus and an ebay auction open in the background. There aren't many 32 bit machines that can handle that without clicking and popping if they aren't optimized for daw. How much serious tracking do you do in your studio?
     
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  2. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    I doubt the OP or this guy will be doing what you suggest. Most DAW's today will barely run on a 32bit machine. THose running 32 bit deserve what pops and clicks they get lol.

    Many people run Win PC's just fine for many multiple applications. We have guys running Adobe suites and other very computer resource intensive programs on Surface Pro's.

    Avg Joe home studio guys should be able to run an interface and DAW on most laptops with W10 as well as use the same system for surfing, work, or whatever. When I say most systems I'm talking I3's I-7's with 8GB ram and a decent HD with usb 3.0 external drive to store the audio files for the DAW. I ran Sonar X3 on an I3 with 8GB ram and we recorded the band live, all 16 tracks from the XR18. No pops no glitches. I pre mix is Ozone on a bus along with many other plugins running plus Pro Channels on every track and some buses.

    Late model W10 laptops should be plenty for most applications. Really isn't much of an optimization requirement as much these days either. Just select options for performance modes and most users will be fine without service and other tweaks common to previous Win oper sys.
     
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  3. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    I just recorded an album with the band on the same 6-year-old laptop that I use for everything else. There were no hiccups.

    Would I want to follow this model if I were making a business out of it? Absolutely not.

    Does it work for the average home-recording enthusiast? Easily.
     
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  4. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

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    I'm surprised they still sell 32 bit PCs these days. Mine is 64 bit, i7, 8 Gig RAM, Win10 Pro, projects saved to a separate HD. I think my hard drive is the weakest link right now so I'm going to have to upgrade that real soon. The video card is an older 1 Gig card but I haven't noticed any problems when recording or play back. This is just a home rig and while I sometimes record a several tracks at the same time I don't approach 16 at the moment. I think that soft synth tracks before bouncing and effects plugins are the most resource intense tasks I have, while my crappy HD tries to keep up.
     
  5. wpod

    wpod Member

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    pretty far out there...
    Mac running VirtualBox with a Windows VM. All the benefits of a MAC DAW and the bolt on option of Windows for corp/business compatibility.

    FWIW not the same as Windoz 10 running VirtualBox and a Maco VM( NO!! )
     
  6. rsm

    rsm Member

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    My Win10 box does just fine (Alienware), no need to pay the premiums for Steve Job's ghost. YMMV

    When I do get a dedicated laptop for music, it will be windows, likely another gaming machine.
     
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  7. MiguelDamas

    MiguelDamas Member

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    That's hardly a common occurence now is it? When was the last time you tracked 16 VST piano tracks at once or needed 16 CPU intensive plugins for real time monitoring from a 32 bit machine with a dual core CPU and under 4GB of RAM?

    I'd love to know how you optimise something like that to get such a significant performance boost.
     
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  8. germanicus

    germanicus Member

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    You can do both easily these days on a single machine.
    From a security standpoint, there is nothing inherently risky about DAW production, unless you are running pirated software.
    Depending on the nature of your "work", its unlikely the DAW side will increase exposure.

    My main studio computer (home built tower) has 32 gigs ram, runs an overclocked i7 with 2 ssd drives and several other internal and external drives for backups and efficiency.
    It can handle all I can throw at it in Sonar, hundreds of tracks with heavy soft synth/sampler usage.

    You can build a PC that runs circles around a similar priced mac if you are comfortable with some tweaking. There are some good articles on optimizing win 10 for audio. its nothing crazy.

    That said I just purchased a dell outlet laptop to run realtime soft synths/samplers and run sonar as a remote recording setup. Its blazing fast (true quad core i7, 16 gigs ram, m2 SSD) and its comparable to what my main desktop does performance wise. Run virus software/malware protection when surfing, turn it off (or not- I rarely do) when in DAW mode.

    I don't do work on my DAW computers, but that is due to other reasons, mainly the nature of my work and professional standards.
     
  9. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    The guy said he couldn't imagine ever needing to optimize, let alone why anyone would want to have one machine dedicated to DAW. Well, there are many scenarios that demand it. I'm running 64 bit dual core optimized for DAW and I still can get clicks and pops if I try to play note-rich piano parts using Pianoteq. There are several people here who record 8 or 12 or 16 at once in a pro studio setting, and I'm pretty sure they have optimized, dedicated machines doing the work.

    Yeah, there comes a point in the technology curve where the machine is so blinding powerful that it wont matter, one human wont be able to do enough stuff on it at once to make it gag. See @germanicus post above. But most of us here are not ready to have such blazing fast machines at home.
     
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  10. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Also depends on the laptop brand. I had a Toshiba and it was a nightmare with dropouts, clicking, any recording - even just one track in a DAW.

    Never buy a Toshiba for recording. It seems to be known as an albatross around the neck in music forums, online.
     
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  11. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    Go SSD. All my PC's are now SSD. They destroy my Mac in terms of speed and access. Most of our production computers for video and audio are now SSD PC's on Win10. Most of our clients prefer this option vs having to buy top end 6K Mac's.

    My video production PC's have 3 Samsung EVO 960's. Very very fast. Adobe CC boots in a few seconds and used to take about a minute to load projects in After Effects. Sonar Platinum with VST's loaded in the project come up in seconds ready to go. I store data for audio and video on standard HDD's. Cache, System, and Programs all SSD.
     
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  12. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    I would think so too and wish I could agree but it hasn't been my experience.

    For the last month or so I've been mucking around with a "new" laptop which is actually a couple years old but not ancient... i5 8 gigs RAM Win 10. Had a power failure which put my old office machine Gateway desktop, Win7 moved to 10 into a death loop. While trying to sort that out the power supply failed. Not even sure how old it was but had a good run, said screw it and we moved machines and around and got a new laptop I'm not allowed to touch!

    When I got this laptop, typing now actually... First thing I did was erase the droids memory with a fresh OS installation. Back to factory defaults.

    So far its not doing anything really well. I've been running whatever version of Studio 1 that came with the mixer... do a couple rough mixes and some "trial" tracking to shake things out before I unleash it on a paying session and the machine just crumbles. Recording 16 tracks of audio at 44.1 gets me CPU spikes that abort recording after about 20 minutes.

    At this point I'm kinda baffled. Been using XP and Win7 for years and this is my first leap into attempting recording with Win10 - I've followed most all of the standard optimization tricks... all the USB stuff for performance, networking is disabled, firewall is down etc. I even have the stupid thing on a cooling pad with a fan blowing directly on the base so it won't overheat.

    Truthfully, in terms of straight audio performance my old 4-gig XP Dell laptop just runs circles around the new machine. Of course, that's all it does and the software is old, but I know I can whip it out and track someone's 2 hour set without it barfing.

    I'm sort of thinking that maybe what I want to do is maybe use this Win 10 machine for audio only and get a cheap Chromebook for general use. They basically run Linux and most of my day to day stuff is basically all online anyway. Couple of my friends got one and love it. And if I'm being 100% honest I'm not too sold on Win 10 either.
     
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  13. MiguelDamas

    MiguelDamas Member

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    If you're running older hardware then every CPU cycle matters, but I'm genuinely interested in what you consider DAW optimisation. What exactly did you do to your machine?

    I think it's common sense to not concurrently run other resource intensive apps if you don't have the horsepower to spare. But with a modern OS like W10, apart from your interface buffer settings, I really don't see the need for any hacks that can potentially make your system unstable just to extract an extra 1% of performance.

    I see the benefit in a commercial studio having a dedicated DAW that is offline, but for data protection reasons - you don't want your customer's album leaking out or to be locked out of your stuff due to a ransomware attack.
     
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  14. jomama2

    jomama2 Member

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    Where to start....

    1 - Bit depth is part of sample rate, but you appear to think they are 2 diff things. Maybe you meant sample frequency?
    2 - If you did mean sample frequency and you think anything higher than 48 is advisable or "better" in any way, you are mistaken. It sounds logical on the surface (and wow are companies making AIs milking that all the way to the bank!), but if you do some research, you'll find otherwise.
    3 - I have no idea why you mentioned a 32-bit machine or what that has do do with anything. It's not anything I suggested.
    4 - Your reply doesn't even appear to have a point, frankly, in relation to anything I've said. Maybe part of that is because apparently you didn't even understand what I said, evidenced by your second reply on this:

    No, that's not what I said. I said what does "optimize for DAW" mean. Please don't twist my words.

    And again: what does "optimized for DAW" even mean, as explained by the OP? If you're simply talking about having a more powerful computer, that isn't anything unique to DAW requirements. In fact, most DAWs themselves aren't very demanding at all on PCs. It's when you start tossing in all the VSTs and whatnot. But again a PC's "power" isn't really even what this actual thread was about. You might want to re-read the OP.

    My point, which you somehow appeared to miss, was why not just have one machine which can do all that's needed for audio work, and use that for other personal use (email etc and whatever as described by the OP), i.e. without the need for separate configurations etc?
     
  15. jomama2

    jomama2 Member

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    Someone gets it, thank you
     
  16. GravityJim

    GravityJim Silver Supporting Member

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    My computer is a 2010 5,1 MacPro, 3.33kHz 12-core with 32Gb RAM. Radeon 1Gb GPU, 3.5Tb of internal SSD storage, 2 UAD Duo PCIe cards, two DVD drives.

    This machine routinely pushes orchestral templates with three dozen VIs (big ones, with massive samples and heavy scripting, like LASS, Cinesamples, Piano in Blue) and processing on every track, plus further processing on aux busses and mastering plugs on the stereo mix, all at 24-bit 96kHz resolution. This kind of work requires pretty high performance from both the CPUs and the drive buss, and mine not only performs flawlessly, it didn’t cost $6,000 or anything like it. I have about $2,200 dollars in this Mac, which is still melting faces after almost 8 years of use, with more anticipated. That’s better than price, that’s serious value. I don’t think you can do better than hot-rodding a 5,1 MacPro.

    You can hear some of the tracks I’m describing at my website (check my profile if you’re curious).
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    Easiest is to create two user accounts, one is the boring work one and the second login is your DAW+.

    I'd dig out that old pc from the garage and install UbuntuStudio on it. It will run faster than the original Windows that was on there.
    If not that, you can install UbuntuStudio on a USB flash drive and boot that on your pc. Do your work, save to a second USB, then reboot back to your home machine without it ever knowing you were recording.

    .
     
  18. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    Awesome stuff.
     
  19. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    Great info, but you could have said all that without sounding like I made you defensive and without sounding like you want to knock me down. Your info is solid but your delivery sucks. My delivery probably sucks too.....
     
  20. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    And hope that you can get all of the same plugins to run under Ubuntu Studio that were running under Windows. I gave up on any form of Linux daw after I quickly realized that I would have to replace almost all of my plugins.
     
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