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Potential Capability

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DJ FADE, May 11, 2005.

  1. DJ FADE

    DJ FADE Guest

    for starters, ive done my research to this point, including searching past forums topics and posts, reading reviews, and talking to as many people as possible.

    now to my situation. ive been recording for years and have gradually been upgrading hardware and software. to this point, its been pc for everything. its getting to the point where im in definite need of an upgrade, because my pc can't even handle basic tracking anymore. it wasnt originally built for audio processing, so i cant blame the thing, but its still annoying. and definitely time for an upgrade.

    i have considered switching over to mac since i run digidesign hardware and pro tools and from my research know that pro tools was designed and built for macs, and later converted to be used with pcs and windows os. id rather stick with a pc if capable of the same tasks, simply because its what im used to and familiar with, cheaper, and all my applications are formatted in windows format and i dont necessarily want to re-purcahse them for mac osx. but it could be arranged if it would be a lot better.

    this could easily turn into a mac vs pc debate, but thats not what i want. my main question is this: i dont necessarily want to build an AUDIO ONLY machine, id like it to be more flexible and versatile. i know this wont be best for daw performance, but it will work best for what i need the machine for. it will be mainly audio applications, with web browsing and a few other tasks that arent too demanding.

    i know that pcs are coming a long way and expanding quickly, and theyre more powerful and versatile than ever. what i like about the macs though, is their ability to do so many things at once. they can process audio on pro tools (lots of tracks AND plugs), as well as run other tasks in the background. is it possible to build a pc capable of these functions? with a potential pc, i wont necessarily be running tons of tracks all the time, but i do run quite a few processor intensive plugs, including waves, as well as lots of sampling and midi sequencing. ive read lots of reviews that say how many tracks and plugins are capable, but i dont know if those are realistic predictions, espeically since 1. im running pro tools, and 2. it wont be a COMPLETELY dedicated audio machine

    im asking for OPINIONS on what a nice pc could do with pro tools and background tasks, compared to a mac. im not deciding on any specific pc parts yet, just trying to get a general feel for what would be capable.

    also, a laptop would be quite convenient, but theyre not quite up to par with the latest technology with the desktops, as usual. what would be possible with both a notebook pc and macintosh (probably ibook pricing with some upgrades).

    i tried to keep it as clear and concise as possible, and i apologize for the length. any opinions are greatly appreciated. thank you so much.
     
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    DJ,
    my impression is that you can indeed get quiite as much mileage out of a modern PC as you would get from a modern Mac. It might differ here and there, but I would not expect any really great difference.

    But of course this takes a well designed and maintained PC or Mac. And of course, if you absolutely need 28 instances of that plugin and one of the systems can handle it and the other not, well then of course the difference does matter.

    So, the question goes back to you, what do you really want to do? How many channels, how many plugins and what type and so on? Can you live with bouncing stems, ie doing submixes and save them before going on? What plugins do you find really not worth living without?

    Just a comparison: I tend to track acoustic music, symphony orchestras and such with up to 10 mics. I later mix and master them to CD. This is done on a laptop PC with the built-in disc, without any great problems. Admittedly a rather heavy and fast laptop, but still. One of my great friends is Norton Ghost. I take full backups of my system now and then, and once I see problems I go back to and older working image.

    Gunnar
     
  3. DJ FADE

    DJ FADE Guest

    hey gunnar, thank you for your reply. as for right now im not running very many tracks, usually 15 at the most, doing anything from acoustic to small bands in many genre's. but like i said, i tend to use quite a few plug-ins that require quite a bit of power, including reverbs, compressors, eq's, etc. right now i have to audiosuite everything and make it permanent, just because my computer doesnt have anywhere close to enough power to process the plugs in real time. and even though im not doing a whole lot of tracks right now, i would like to have room for expansion down the road, and id like there to be as few limitations as possible. and i guess the main reason that im so hesitant is because my pc now should be capable of so much more. so i was just making sure that these systems that people are building are actually giving realistic performance similar to that which was predicted. thanks for your help.
     

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