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Building a PC DAW---Step Four

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Opus2000, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well...looky here... a new installment of building your own frankenstein...ooops...PC DAW!!
    keep getting my forums mixed up :p
    So..now that we have the case..floppy..power supply..hard drives(whether IDE or SCSI) and Motherboard we now go on to the fun part!! PCI cards and IRQ's!! Oh joy oh joy!! Yippee!!
    Now..we explain IRQ's!
    Interrupt Request...This is where the PCI bus sees a device and gives it a certain allocation to talk to the processor. This is important..
    When windows was first out all we had was 8 measley IRQ's...then again there wasnt much to offer and we had ISA slots which were 16bit interfaces! PCI..meaning Personal Computer Interface is 32bit and now they have 64bit slots..PCI with an extra little added on..not sure what they are calling it..at least I havent memorized it yet!! (that reminds me...here's a Joke/Quiz for ya...what does PCMCIA stand for? I want the real one and I want to see if you know the joke one too!!)
    So, now we have 15!! but remember this..9 is a cascade of number 2..so basically they are the same..wierdness all around there I tell ya!!
    You can also go into the BIOS(I'll discuss this next) and disable the Serial Ports, USB(if not used) and the LPT(if not used..but most likely you will have Cubase or Nuendo which requires this to be enabled)
    If you at least disable the Serial Ports you have Two more IRQ's to play with!!
    Now..BIOS..Basic Input Output System..this is your CMOS chip(Complimentary Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor) this CMOS chip can be erased and written to..this is what allows us to change the BIOS! In the BIOS you will find many things..many of which you shouldnt even be messing with unless you actually know what you are doing.
    The important things here are..
    Serial Ports for Disabling!
    LPT ports for possible disabling or changing the mode for(EPP and ECP)
    USB enabling or Disabling
    Processor overclocking and or memory config
    Device Detection and much more!
    Now..we want to find two things..
    Plug and Play OS..turn it off!!
    ACPI..turn it off!!
    If you have any built in soundcards or NIC cards that arent going to be used this is where you will disable them!! If you dont use them and leave them on they will take up IRQ's and resources!!
    Other than that this will be what you need to get started...we can go into more detail of the BIOS later
    Now..we have a slot for video which is the AGP slpt..Accelerated Graphics Port. This is key since it takes the video off of the PCI bus! Having a PCI card is not so good these days since it takes bandwidth much needed for PCI cards..especially audio cards! So they developed the AGP bus! The AGP will have its own IRQ and you will see that most likely the first PCI slot will share the IRQ with it. This is not a problem since the AGP bus is on it's own and doesnt care about that..
    So..how do we configure a system with the PCI cards!
    Here's an important tip....ONLY START WITH THE AGP CARD!!!! This way when windows installs it One: doesnt see any cards or try and load it's own drivers for it and leave it hanging! Two: gives you the utmost flexability for installing the cards later!!
    Now..I know we havent yet installed the OS but here it goes anyways...
    Put one card in at a time..always use the SECOND PCI SLOT first...boot up..Windows recognizes it and asks you for the drivers...load the drivers and if asked to restart...dont!
    Look at your IRQ list now..
    Win98..Right Click My Computer..Properties..Device Manager..double click on the COmputer Icon on top of the list..this is your IRQ's
    Win2K and XP..Right Click My Computer..Properties..Hardware..Device Manager
    Under View select Resources By Type..choose IRQ's..
    Ok..now we look to see where the new card is and if it's sharing with anything else..is it? No..god damn that was easy!! If Yes..well, time to shut down and pick another slot!! Yes...this is what I call the Nutshell game...you never now where the hell that nut is going to show up!! lol
    Ok..so you do this for every card you have and try to configure it so that it has it's own IRQ!!
    It's that easy my friends...the tricky part is when you have too many PCI cards as well as Serial port devices and USB devices!!
    Sometimes certain devices dont mind sharing with one another..but make sure audio is on it's own!! This is the key to a good PC DAW!!
    Well..as usual I'm going to end it here to have people post different ideas as well as question they might have
  2. Caveman

    Caveman Guest

    This is the greatest forum!

    How about overclocking in general? A good idea on a P3 600/Abit BE II? At least I remember I got the display messed up once,hehe.
    My home setup is far from pro, it´s an all in one system with lots of shared IRQ:s, a million programs for audio and video plus all the normal everyday stuff. And I use it for the Net,too!
    Nuendo still runs very nicely about 50 24bit audiotracks playing at once with some Vsti:s and a good reverb.Plus some insert stuff. Good for me.
    I just checked,pushing the limits on a project.
    As far as I know,this should not be possible!
    I´m only going 44,1 but still more than happy with the situation - I only record max two tracks at once,this is my composing/arranging tool.

    The question is can I cause some irrepairable damage by fiddling around with the clock? Because I really don´t know how to get this setup back to this point where everything works - took a year...

    Nuendo or Cubase only crash if I push them too hard with VSTi:s, otherwise very stable. Even Premiere works fine. Look at the list:
    Sony CDR,Samsung CDRW,floppy,two IBM 45 Gigs IDE,Abit BE II,512 RAM,Hercules Prophet II MX,HP Scanjet in one USB,
    Epson Sylus (Comm), Terratec 24/96, FAST firewire capture for DV, Hitachi 715 monitor,Soundblaster Live Platinum hehehe,Fujitsu kyb, a midikyb going to SB 9-pin, Telewell USB-ISDN... most of it, I guess.
    So, any ideas to get more CPU power?To just leave it this way is fine with me,I need another PC in my studio anyway. Perhaps the plattform will be the same, seems to work because it´s old enough!

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