Author Topic: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.  (Read 949 times)

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Offline digger72

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Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« on: July 30, 2012, 08:55:03 pm »
Hi,

I'm toying with the idea of buying a new PC solely for music production.
Current system (is old)
Athlon 5000+
Windows XP
4GB ram
500gb 7200 hd
1gb graphics

I use Focusrite saffire pro24 interface via firewire. My daw is Ableton Live.

I want to continue using my daw as I'm comfortable with it, but when I start using compressors and noise removal, eq, etc on multiple tracks the pc can't cope. I can currently run about 30 tracks with no plug-ins, or about 10 tracks with 2 or 3 plug-ins on each track (depending on type).

My way around this at the moment is to export files with noise removal done then use the new wav and do the next bit e.g. eq, but this is a chore and can cause problems when mixing.

Would upgrading to an i5 or i7 with 8-16gb ram make a massive difference, or is the expense not really worthwhile? Budget; absolute maximum £1000.

Thanks for any help.

Digger

welly_59

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 09:10:35 pm »
well theres no version of ableton that currently supports more than 4gb of ram so the upgrade would be pointless in my opinion. you would need a 64bit version with windows 7 64bit, and ableton is only available in 32bit so a max of 4gb.

my only question is why you would be needing more than 20 tracks in your recordings?

Offline digger72

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 09:30:41 pm »
Hi Welly,

It's funny how the tracks mount up - each bit of the drums on a separate track, multi-tracked guitars, vocals, keys. Sometimes the  parts overlap from verse in to chorus, so they will be on separate tracks. I think sometimes i get carried away.

Your point about Ableton is very useful. Don't really want to change daw as I'm happy with it.

Thanks for replying.

Digger

Offline Tourniquet

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 10:39:41 pm »
plugins are rather processor hungry as it's doing everything on the fly. (EQ shouldn't present too much load as it filters more than alters)

If you know exactly what you want from certain tracks or are reaching a stage where things are starting to slow down, render the individual tracks with their plugins in high quality and import it all into a new file (keep the original as a master incase you need to go back to fix something).
dumps the CPU load into hard drive space (cheap and plentiful).

Alternatively you could do away with some plugins by using hardware (pedals etc)
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 11:48:30 pm »
I don't know where an i5000 fits in but yes a new modern system should be a massive difference.

I would also seriously seriously consider Reaper no matter how much you like Ableton. Reaper is the DAW of the future and it's getting some serious professional level attention. Build an x64 system and run an x64 DAW. You won't be sorry.





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Offline LievenDV

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 02:00:36 pm »
I agree with tourni when it comes pre-rendering tracks to prevent the same and repetitive on the fly processing by plugin. you might want to tweak after but that's why (in graphical programs that is) I keep the original channel without manipulations and keep track of what I do to them. In Photoshop you can record "actions"; is that possible in your DAW too? It will ask more of your imagination to figure out your vision tot finished product process but as soon as a channel is seperately rendered andi mported; it will go a lot smoother.

I also agree with TB-AV that investment in a newer processor will give you a lot of benefit. 1GB GFX card are a standard now but for DAW only; you won't need that much. Don't buy a laptop for the job tohugh; it will nibble from your memory even more for the shared graphics memory.

There are some ways to make your windows lightweight, forucsed on active programs rather than background processes, ... but the newer the windows, the lesser easy it becomes to make it do exactly as you want. (Win XP was great but Vista and 7...ugh)

can't argue about the prgrams though, don't know much about them.
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Offline Endureth

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 06:09:26 pm »
An i5 would be a great upgrade.  I don't think you'd absolutely need an I7 unless you were doing some intense gaming or CAD design or something.

I have both, the i5 and the i7.  I have Reaper installed on both and I don't notice the difference.

And digger, buddy.  Try Reaper!  I finally shelled out the registration costs a couple months ago.  The free version is complete, only a small pop-up you have to wait through asking you register that last like 5 seconds.  Then it's all available.  So it costs nothing to try it.

AND reaper has a feature where two people can work on the same project together over the Internet.  Combine that with a chat program like Ventrilo (of which I run a server for gaming already) and it'd be just like we were in the same room working together. 

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 06:31:14 pm »
I  can give you the recipe for my i7 system if you like. I spent a long time researching things. dan G helped me with a few things including video which I really knew nothing about. But there was a reason for me wanting a little more video power this go round.

It is very stable.

Gygabyte
Mushkin
Nvidia
Corsair
RME
specific fans which I can't recall the name.

If you are in US and shop at NewEgg I think I still have all the part numbers.

It's very time consuming to try to research all the possible combinations and assure that things are going to all work together and be quiet and stable. I spent months in serious research after prior months of casual research.

Probably all of these parts are still available except Mushkin has probably increased performance on the memory which you could just buy the replacement. I assume the Mobo is still available.

Anyway, if you want it, I can dig it up. It's not cheap but I gave up trying to save money.

Now you can bring any computer to it's knees so at some point you have to freeze tracks, make renders of processed tracks, etc.. That's just life. always has been. It's a lot better than 4 track tape though.
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Offline digger72

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Re: Worth buying a new pc? Tech help needed.
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2012, 10:37:07 pm »
Hi guys,

Sorry it's taken a while to get back. Been away, then internet went down for a couple of days.
Torn now. Been buying a few pedals lately, so that is definitely one option. Love the reverb I'm getting off the TC Electronic Hall of Fame.
The bank has seen fit to return some of my PPI money, so I may go for an i5 rather than i7, then use the spare cash for some new pedals, and look at reaper.

TB - I'm UK based, but thanks anyway.

Food for thought.

Cheers.

Digger

 

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