My DAW considerations thread.

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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby soundwave106 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:51 pm

Plink Floyd wrote:Question: is there any reason why VSTs have to be on the OS drive? That's where SONAR puts them by default,


Nope, no reason at all, unless the DAW is silly and doesn't have options to change the VST folder. I have no problems storing all my 64 bit VSTs on my sample drive with Reaper.
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby MetroSonus » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:22 pm

In most hosts, you can specify the VST folder. EVERY VST wants to install into C:\steinberg\vst but you can change that to a custom folder and then point to it in your host.

By the by, i'm assuming that it's better not to cache your files on an SSD drive? Do DAWs alow you to change the temp and cache folders?
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby ElectricPuppy » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:34 pm

256 GB of solid state memory. Holy. Shit. :lol:

/old
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby christianrock » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:03 pm

That's what I got in my computer over a year ago, as mentioned in this thread :)
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby ElectricPuppy » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:09 pm

It probably struck me the same way then, too, I just didn't mention it. :grin:

I read a book last year about how the first "modern" computers were developed at Harvard; They struggled mightily to achieve only 4K-words of memory via the use of 40 (!) CRT memory tubes, and they were unstable as hell. And what did they do with the machine? They did nuclear bomb simulations. :eek:

What do we do with our impossibly powerful machines now? Angry Birds. :lol:
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby MetroSonus » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:31 pm

I record farts into mine.
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby ElectricPuppy » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:42 pm

MetroSonus wrote:I record farts into mine.

Well, that's more recording than I've done lately. :grin:
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby Plink Floyd » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:10 am

MetroSonus wrote:I record farts into mine.
(note to self: do not buy used mics from MS)

ElectricPuppy wrote:256 GB of solid state memory. Holy. Shit.
It comes in 512 GB too. But I think I can squeak by with half of that.

christianrock wrote:That's what I got in my computer over a year ago, as mentioned in this thread :)
Due to the lengthy verbosity of this thread, ur audacious claims cannot be verified.

-

So consider this interesting tidbit I learned whilst researching HDDs: Multi Level Cell technology in flash memory allows each memory cell to store one of four voltages, representing two bits (0,1,2 or 3) instead of just one (0 or 1).
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby ElectricPuppy » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:33 am

Note to self: Pack some Febreeze for next round of Raint Steaks (tm) at Metro's.

Yeah, it's scary what they can do with flash these days. I'm pretty sure one of our divisions at Teh Office works with that stuff as their bread-n-butter business, but I know nothing about it.
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby gregwar » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:55 pm

well my interest in turn of the millennium daws and dsp cards has turned up a new in the box ensoniq Paris 'pro' system III (the blue one).

right now I'm just getting a basic system with the option of expanding it later for dirt cheap. I'm still looking for an oasys pci card to go with it

this stuff is totally obsolete and a pain to install and get working but I might turn it into a small side hobby for the summer

*edit: here's some pics of it

Image

Image
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby christianrock » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:52 pm

Oohhh the mythical Paris, highly recommended by none other than Don Solaris himself.

It was supposed to have state of the art converters for its time but I'm curious to hear how it would compare against modern stuff.
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby gregwar » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:07 pm

another sweet system is the kyma capybara. apparently it's all over the amon tobin isam record (a pacarana most likely). he uses it with a haken continuum but those controllers are retardedly expensive.

I've always wanted a capybara (also legendary converters) mostly as an effects unit. it would really come in handy with my cyberwar concept album and I could use it to process my lunetta synth(s)

now that native processing is making hardware dsp mostly obsolete it's coming down to the unique coding and genius of these systems.

I've prolly said too much again lol
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby gregwar » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:48 pm

about the paris I see it as basically a daw version of the ensoniq dp4 (my fav effect processor). The reverbs are 'dark' and have a unique grainy sound I like. same with the amp sims and distortions.

apparently the paris can be 'pushed' and it has unspecified soft clipping kind of like my apogees had. I don't know if the Paris clips at the input a/d stage but apparently if you mix hot it doesn't just melt

I'm not totally sure how I'm gonna get audio in and out of it tho. there is an adat card that I could connect to my apollo but the paris is a 24 bit system and their adat is only 20 bits. not sure how the dithering would affect things going in and out.

I have 2 patch bays and tons of cables and snakes so I figure I'll just connect everything with analog cables for now but a large format analog console would be ideal for routing and layering all this digital mayhem lol
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby christianrock » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:06 pm

No you didn't say too much. Our traffic here is very limited, nobody's going to drive Paris system elements prices up :)

I am very very interested on how this will turn out. It seemed like a spur of the moment kind of thing...
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby Plink Floyd » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:05 am

gregwar wrote:my lunetta synth(s)
O yeah? Do tell moar, if you please...
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby gregwar » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:24 am

Plink Floyd wrote:
gregwar wrote:my lunetta synth(s)
O yeah? Do tell moar, if you please...


ya in the synth diy thread I posted some lunetta cmos chip based synth modules. Some designs are from tom bugs of bug brand fame and i forget the others. I'm planning to just buy a few different chips and wire them up on bread boards. then I can make teh drones, logic gates, etc

hopefully I can find most of the synth diy stuff I need locally. I'm pretty set on banana jacks but I'm not sure where to order them. I was thinking of mounting the bread boards into steel studs (cut to around 17" lengths) and screwing them into aluminum front panels where all the patching would take place.

they'll be then recorded into the daw for further processing with reaktor, tassman, and possibly max and meta synth. meta synth is pretty expensive but if u like robot sounds and spectral stuff there isn't anything quite like it.


my ensoniq Paris should ship on Monday (new in the box) and I've got a few offers for a korg oasys pci and old powermac g4s. I'm not 100% sure what kind of display will work with a g4 as it was before my time (I got my first Mac in '05 or '06).

the last items on the digital mayhem list are a v-synth, kyma capybara and nord modular. I don't plan on getting all 3 unless I can get a nord micro modular for cheap and a capybara for medium cheap.

the v-synth is intriguing because there have been some cheaper than a capybara or nord g2 and its great for sample mangling. a gt (with keys) would be my first choice as it has the most dsp power and a librarian for osx (and pc). also, dat sax lol
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby gregwar » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:02 pm

my stupid debit-credit card declined on the ensoniq paris. that thing has brought me nothing but grief when it comes to gear acquisitions arg :facepalm:

I'm still trying to get a second hand v-synth gt. there's one in Canada I might be able to scoop up on Saturday hopefully that goes smoother

I've had no luck so far finding a used kyma capybara and all the nord modular g2s are priced way out of my league (like 1850 euros for a g2x) and a new kyma paca would be like $3000 :eek:

I guess you can't win them all :idk: :cop: :wink:
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby ElectricPuppy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:15 pm

Just a quick jaunt over at Symbolic Sound shows me that they don't offer the Capybara anymore, but you could have a lovely Pacarana for a measly $4400! Oh, my!
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Re: My DAW considerations thread.

Postby christianrock » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:51 pm

gregwar wrote:my stupid debit-credit card declined on the ensoniq paris. that thing has brought me nothing but grief when it comes to gear acquisitions arg :facepalm:

I'm still trying to get a second hand v-synth gt. there's one in Canada I might be able to scoop up on Saturday hopefully that goes smoother

I've had no luck so far finding a used kyma capybara and all the nord modular g2s are priced way out of my league (like 1850 euros for a g2x) and a new kyma paca would be like $3000 :eek:

I guess you can't win them all :idk: :cop: :wink:


You don't use Paypal?

I had the same problem with my AppleID, I could buy anything except for Logic Pro. It always declined on that, which is why I ended up looking at Reaper after like 100 unsuccessful attempts. Well I shouldn't say declined. It always said it could not process this sale at this time, try again later.
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usb 3 vs firewire 800 and external hard drives

Postby gregwar » Thu May 02, 2013 8:02 am

i was recently shopping for a new external hard drive and just wanted to summarize my findings. first of all usb 3 drives are cheaper and offer the same large capacities. some have found them to be slightly faster but in real world use i've found them to be pretty much the same speed.

my goal was to back up my current external hard drive and to be able to use sample libraries on both my laptop and mini desktop. i wanted it to be cost effective and the same speed or faster. thunderbolt may phase out firewire in the future but usb 3 should be a mainstay for many years and offers the best bang for the buck imo.


drive failures

i used to be a big lacie fan and paid a premium for their drives. after one died on me a few years ago i switched to a western digital my book and haven't looked back. all mechanical drives are prone to failure regardless of the manufacturers reputation and should be backed up (including a back up of the back up !)

my first external hard drive, the lacie big disk had 1tb of storage and 2 hard drives in it. it had firewire 800 and was pretty fast especially for 2006. the problem with having 2 drives together like that in a quasi-raid configuration is the data is spread out over both so when it goes down its almost impossible to retrieve.

after trying every diagnostic and repair tool under the sun i was fortunate to be able to revive the dead lacie and quickly transfer the data over but external hard drives with only 1 physical drive in them are easier to restore in case they crash.

for backing up critical files its recommended that you back up your back up plus store a copy in another location (in case of flood, fire, etc). i'd recommend using dvds or for huge files blu-rays and making 2 copies of each disc minimum.


costs and performance

my current external hard drive is a western digital my book pro. it has 2 tb of storage and a few options like usb 2 and firewire 800. it has served me well the last couple of years but it was getting full and really needed a backup.

the current my book offerings at the local computer shop were $200 for a 4tb my book with usb 3 and $280 (on sale) for the same with firewire 800. there was a 4tb my book duo with thunderbolt for $550 but the huge premium for the marginally faster connection wasn't worth it to me (more on thunderbolt and ssds at the end this post).

so far i haven't noticed any real increase or decrease in speed from usb 3 over firewire 800. i can load my existing projects in logic with lots of kontakt instruments and both drives function the same. cpu and ram are the limitations now which i upgraded to 8g ram in my laptop and 16g in my mini desktop.

terry white does a great job of showing the differences between usb 3 vs firewire 800 in this video. he uses the same hard drive, same laptop and same test software with the only difference being the connection between external hard drive and the laptop:



his findings are similar to mine. usb 3 might have a slight edge in the benchmark software but in every day tasks like file transfers there's very little difference in speed. these tests are based on 7200 rpm hard drives, which are the bottleneck here not firewire 800 or usb 3. an ssds would be way faster in a usb 3 enclosure than a fw800 one, more on that at the end of the post.


daisy chaining

firewire has the ability to connect multiple firewire devices together called daisy chaining. its an important feature especially since most computers with firewire 800 only have one of those ports. i was able to get an express card adapter to add 2 more firewire 800 ports to my laptop and pcie cards can be added to desktops but generally speaking firewire ports are limited on most computers.

i have an apollo audio interface and can connect my external hard drive to it and both have firewire 800. the problem is that the apollo won't be able to utilize all of the available bandwidth. lots of people daisy chain without any problems but i prefer not to as having audio interfaces and external hard drives on the same computer port can cause data packets to get delayed, causing performance to suffer, audio glitches, etc.

firewire 800 ports are different than firewire 400 but you can get adapters and cables and transfer data between them. just remember to keep the faster fw800 devices first from the computer and the slower fw400 ones last that way the fw800 devices can still potentially operate at full speed, depending on whats happening.


usb hubs

usb 3 isn't able to daisy chain but there are hubs available so you can connect multiple devices to one usb port on the computer. i haven't tested any usb 3 hubs but i've used the usb 2 versions and some devices are picky. for example audio interfaces with usb 2 should for the most part be connected directly to the computer but i've connected multiple midi controllers to the same usb hub with no problem.

if you have a usb 3 hub with usb 3 devices connected to it like external hard drives and decide to connect a usb 2 device like a midi controller the devices should operate at their respective speeds. the reason is usb 2 and usb 3 are separated in the wiring so a usb 2 midi controller won't slow down the performance of a usb 3 external hard drive.

the quality of hubs varies quite a bit. before buying my usb 2 hub i did a lot of research and decided on a griffin model (that also supported firewire 400). so ya definitely do your due diligence and research you specific usb 2 and 3 devices, whether they play well with hubs, and how good a hub is that you may be considering to purchase.


usb 2 and 3 compatibility and differences

usb 3 drives commonly only have 1 or 2 ports on the back and both are usb 3 and usb 2 compliant. usb 3 cords can be connected to usb 2 ports but only work at usb 2 speeds. for example my laptop only has usb 2 but works fine with the usb 3 hard drives i've connected to it but its a little slower (top out at around 40 mb/s vs 100-110 mb/s on usb 3).

usb 3 cords are different than usb 2, one has 8 wires the other has 4. the connection on the back of the usb 3 drives i've seen are different than usb 2 devices so you can't connect a usb 2 cord to a usb 3 drive afaik. if you're considering a usb 3 drive and want to use it with usb 2 ports occasionally just double check and make sure its compatible.

all the usb ports on the back of my mac mini are usb 3 but i can connect usb 2 devices with their respective cords and so far haven't had any issues. some people have had issues with usb 2 audio interfaces connected to usb 3 ports. it might be possible to fix it with a new driver but again, some homework may be required depending on your specific devices and ports.


formatting

macs use a different file format than windows. macs can read windows files and windows can read mac files but neither can write the other's format.

for example there's a bunch of audio tracks i was working on in logic (mac) and want to give them to a friend on pc. i can burn them onto a cd or dvd, put them on a usb key or an external hard drive and he or she can copy them off and vice versa. if they try to change the other platform's hard drive, add or delete files, etc then they won't be able to.

unless its specifically stated on the box most hard drives come formatted in ntfs, the default for windows. this is great if you plan to use the hard drive mostly with windows machines. if you want to use it only with mac machines you can format it to mac osx extended (journaled). on mac you can use disk utility or the my book from western digital comes with a free quick format utility for windows and mac.

if you want to use the drive mostly with windows machines but sometimes you want to use it with a mac then i'd format it in ntfs (windows native format) and get paragon's excellent ntfs for mac software. that way the mac can read and write to windows drives. it costs around $20 and greatly simplifies transferring files from a pc to a mac and back.

there's a format that both platforms can read called fat 32 but its limited to max 4gb file sizes. there's also a newer format that removes the 4gb limit called exfat that is supported by both mac and windows but only on osx 10.6.5 (snow leopard) and greater and only on xp sp2 and later with an update for exfat support.

i haven't personally tried either fat 32 or exfat so i can't comment much. if you plan to use newer macs and newer pcs almost equally and don't want to get paragon's ntfs for mac then it could work. still i'd research it online and all that before trying it


thunderbolt and ssds

for mechanical drives there's a limit to the speed data can be transferred. most are 7200 rpm and top out around 100-110 mb/s. to really take advantage of thunderbolt an ssd would be necessary and then the costs spiral out of control for much less space.

the best option imo is to get an ssd and install it directly into the computer. the prices and capacities range quite a bit but the largest and most cost effective option is the crucial m500 at 960gb for $600.

another good option would be to install a 3rd party ssd into a usb 3 enclosure. i haven't tested this my self but the theoretical speed limits of usb 3 and current ssds are around the same, close to 500 mb/s. if you had an ssd in a firewire 800 enclosure it would top out around 100 mb/s. so a usb 3 ssd would win by a huge margin but this doesn't apply to mechanical hard drives at 7200 rpm.

a quick note on the speeds posted above. the real speed, called throughput, is about 1/10th of the theoretical maximum speed. so for reference the theoretical limit is like 5gb/s for usb 3 and 800 mb/s for firewire 800. thunderbolt has a theoretical max of 10gb/s so if the 1/10 rule applies it might be able to do 1gb/s but the fastest consumer ssds are only half that speed.

i haven't found any thunderbolt hard drive enclosures on the market yet but they should be coming out soon. the diy option is to get a cheap thunderbolt external hdd like the buffalo ones, open it up and remove the hdd then replace it with a 3rd party ssd. or there's the seagate backup plus thunderbolt combined with the usb 3 model to make one enclosure . . .



tl;dr

i think usb 3 is a great option since its cheaper and just as fast as firewire 800. there's other considerations like daisy chaining, usb hubs, formatting and stuff. thunderbolt is a rip off.
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