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Building support...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by seven, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. seven

    seven Active Member

    I'm really considering building this system myself. My main concern is that this would be the first system I've ever built, and I don't want any mistakes or over looked details to get in the way of my production. Does anyone know of any online lay out or fully detailed... step by step building procedures I can follow? I mean everything down to the last LED. And is pricewatch.com really a good place to find equipment? I tallied up the expenses for the pre-built $1229.99 system, and found them to total about $810. on pricewatch. However, I once called a couple of companies from their list for some memory, and the guys sounded like they could hardly even speak English, nor did they seem to have much knowledge about the products they were selling... anyway, I figured, with the proper guidance, it would definitely be well worth the money I can save.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...I dont know of any step by step building guides..you might want to venture over to ZDNet and search for one..that would be the best place for that.
    Yes Pricewatch is the best place for getting the best prices...that's where I shop for my parts.
    Building your own system can be pretty tricky at times especially when you dont know whats going on during the install of Win2k or XP. Get your parts and maybe we can start a thread here on building a PC.
    Let me know
    Opus
     
  3. seven

    seven Active Member

    Sounds good to me man. Is using a scsi drive for audio, and an ide for apps a good idea? And how does a 36.7 gig scsi hard drive compare to a 40 gig ide? Would that be plenty of space for audio?
    Thanks bro.
     
  4. seven

    seven Active Member

    For future reference, I did find a link...
    http://www.soniccontrol.com/tech/midi/articles/090101/daw.shtml

    They're building an AMD system, but pretty much cover everything.
     
  5. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Some good stuff but to tell ya truth...it seems very amaturesque sounding...
    Things he's failed to mention or realize...
    One: 98SE can be booted form the BIOS..98FE can not and that's why you need a boot up disk.
    Once you set the BIOS to boot from CDROM it will see the 98SE boot sector installer and let you either start from CDROM or Hard Disk..choose CDROM..it will then give you a choice of 1: Boot with CDROM Support 2: Boot without CDROM support and a third option I forget(forgive me for I havent touched 98 in a looooong time!! lol)
    Boot up with CDROM support...it will recognize drives and give you a command prompt..type in the CDROM drive letter assigned to it with the 98SE CD in it. so..if it says D: is your CDROM drive then type in "D:"
    Then type in this cd Win98
    from there type in FDISK and hit enter

    Thats one issue he didnt get into..
    Also he mentions the ability to put 4 hard drives in one system..that's a no no!!
    When you put more than one IDE hard drive on one IDE cable..you affectively lose half your bandwidth on that controller bus when accessing both drives.
    Besides..most people will want a CDROM/DVD and a CDR/W on a machine. The best way to do this is to put a drive on each IDE cable and set each one as the master. CDROM drives will be slaves.
    There was once an issue with 98FE with CDROM's on the same cable as hard drives...pretty much after 98SE that issue went away with the ability to turn Auto Insert Notification off!!

    Dont get me wrong..it's some good stuff but more facts and more indepth analisys is needed
    I'm going to start a new thread with the discussion if building a system from absolute scratch
    sound good?
    cool
    Opus
     
  6. seven

    seven Active Member

    Sounds real good bro. And thanks for the insight.
    That's why I love this place!!! :D
     
  7. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    In pricing out a system recently, I found tufshop.com to be pretty close to cheapest for a lot of things, at least within a few bucks. The added benefit was that when I called them, the guy I talked to was pretty knowledgeable, at least in a general sense. It's good to have that, if only to know that you're getting adequate cooling and power, your case is easy to work in, etc., etc.
     
  8. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Oh, one other thing, 16 bit 44.1 audio is 5.5 megs a minute per mono track, so you can extrapolate from there as to how much space you need (x1.5 for 24 bit, x2 for 96K).

    In practice, I have a 40 gig (audio only) drive in my mac (partitioned 4x10g), and I usually have anywhere from 1-3 projects per partition (1 album with extra room, or 2-3 demos).
     
  9. Fozz

    Fozz Active Member

    Seven,

    I've been trying to figure out what to do about a PC/MAC for recording. I found the following recently:

    "Roll Your Own (AMD) Thunderbird" http://prorec.com/prorec/articles.nsf/articles/D6A94D6B2F7DA99186256A7F00747CC9

    Keep us posted on what you do.
     
  10. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    BTW, I *do* have a beige G3 upgraded to G4/400 with 2 drives and Digital Performer I'd let go for $700...

    :)
     
  11. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Hey...keep your stinking Mac's out of this thread you apple loving freak!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
    Lmao
    Opus :p
     
  12. seven

    seven Active Member

    lol!!!
     
  13. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Regarding the SCSI matter...
    This gets into a price-vs-performance area. An Adaptec 39160 card will run you about $250. An IBM Ultrastar 36Z15 36Gb drive is about $575 (15,000 rpm). Of course, you'll then also be all set for your Plextor SCSI CDRW...
    On the other hand, you can get a Maxtor 7200 rpm, 80Gb, ATA 133 drive for about $225. It'll save you a bundle on storage, and it's adequate for the job, but I doubt very much that you'll want an IDE CDRW drive...
    Bottom line...if you're not too lean in the wallet, go the Ultra160 SCSI route.
    The other option is to wait til Ultra320 SCSI technology comes out this year. Some of the Ultra320 products are just starting to come out, but it'll be a little longer for the cards. Who knows what the "buy-in" cost will be, though.
     
  14. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Ultra 160 is great, and 320 doubly so, but it really depends on what you're hanging off the SCSI chain whether you'll see any improvement. The fastest drives out there today are hovering around 50(+) megs a second maximum, so with one single SCSI drive (or one at a time), you won't see a difference between 160, 320 ,or the brand-new-for-2004 UltraSuperSCSI4000. If you're doing drive arrays, then yeah, you need more bandwidth (i.e., 4 15K rpm SCSI drives in a single RAID array will likely choke the 160meg/second transfer rate of Ultra160, as in combination they'll top out over 200 megs a second). If you're not, then whatever SCSI speed you can buy now will be fine- 160 will be enough to run a couple of drives and a CDRW at the same time.

    Originally posted by SonOfSmawg:

    <snip>

    The other option is to wait til Ultra320 SCSI technology comes out this year. Some of the Ultra320 products are just starting to come out, but it'll be a little longer for the cards. Who knows what the "buy-in" cost will be, though.[/QB]
     
  15. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Thanks for expanding on the subject.
    My main point was simply that SCSI seems like a lotta cash to invest in the beginning, but well worth it, for the many obvious reasons.
     
  16. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    SOS...why do you say you dont want an IDE burner on your IDE chain? I've done comparison's on both and to be honest I see no reason to go one way vs the other. They both perform fine. In fact I've seen more hiccups on the SCSI side than the IDE side!! Do tell your reasoning for this!!
    Opus
     
  17. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    I'm in the same boat, but this is one area where I just decided to go with the ultra-computer-tweakhead mastering guy consensus. I do a fair bit of mastering, and I will occasionally use signal chains that go audio application -> analog output -> analog processing -> re-enter audio application -> plugins -> SCSI burner in realtime. For this kind of convoluted (but extremely common in mastering) setup, SCSI seems to win out among the engineers that do the comparisons. I don't really know why.

    It also seems to win out when you're talking about another mastering bread-and-butter issue, burning CD's in the background while you load in or process/listen to other files.

    With normal, everyday audio burns from a finished file or backup burning, you're probably right that it doesn't make much of a difference. Burner quality and software will be a much bigger factor.

    Originally posted by Opus2000:
    SOS...why do you say you dont want an IDE burner on your IDE chain? I've done comparison's on both and to be honest I see no reason to go one way vs the other. They both perform fine. In fact I've seen more hiccups on the SCSI side than the IDE side!! Do tell your reasoning for this!!
    Opus
     
  18. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Ok...understand that issue..if the issue was with just regular computer to burner than I would have to argue that. But real time input is a different story alltogether.
    Opus
     
  19. seven

    seven Active Member

    So, with a 1.7 gig P4 would an IDE or SCSI drive be recommended...if either?
     
  20. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well....how many tracks do you plan on doing? If you are a general hobbyist..stick with IDE! ATA 100 is fast enough and if you go with the newer Mainboards they have ATA133 even!! At that point why bother with SCSI!!! lol!! No..seriously, I would stick to internal IDE if you arent planning on doing higher than 24/48 recording and also not going over say 40 tracks!
    SCSI is great for those who truly need the throughput speed it offers!
    This is a decision thats up to you in the long run
    I'm going to start a new thread for Step Three which discusses which hard drives to get
    Opus
     

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