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Puter question for Joel

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SonOfSmawg, Jun 9, 2001.

  1. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    I have been warned that, in general, Athlons are not as stable or compatible for audio apps as Pentiums.
    Is this the case for running the R.ed? Are there any problems regarding compatibility with certain specific components? The basics of the puter I'm considering...
    1.5Gb AMD Athlon T-Bird
    Iwill KA266(R?) mobo
    IBM Deskstar 60GXP 40Gb Harddrives
    768Mb DDR SDRAM PC2100, 266Mhz
    Matrox G450 32Mb video card
    Your help here would be greatly appreciated, as I'm gearing-up...
  2. Smawg Jr.
    As far as R.Ed is concerned, it's a non-issue.
    "A major advantage of the Soundscape approach with separate dedicated
    hardware, is that the PC is not required to perform any audio processing,
    playback, storage or synchronisation and becomes just a control 'front end'
    for the hardware."
    (and of course, I have R.Ed and R.Ed 24 in stock. . .but you knew that!)

    Bert Neikirk
    Neikirk Audio, Inc.
    toll-free (866)NEIKIRK
  3. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    Hi SonOfSmawg!
    It shouldn't be a problem. But it is always best to doublecheck...
    Have you checked out this thread on the Soundscape forum?: http://www.soundscape-digital.com/Support/Corner/Forum/Exec.asp?Action=TpcVw&Id=611&Mn=806
    It may contain information that is useful for you.

    Best regards,
    Fredrik Lidin
  4. audiovista

    audiovista Guest

    R.Ed can run on just about any processor including a 486 (NOT recommended due to other limitations) but I would recommend that you stick with Intel Pentium Processors and Intel Chipsets. Also make sure your motherboard has at least one(1) ISA Slot available.

    The main reason for using Intel Products is that they have demonstrated the least amount of compatability issues with Soundscape Mixpander and Mixtreme PCI cards. I realize that you are requesting info specific to R.Ed, but once a R.ed user, you will realize,and appreciate, using the power, flexibilty, elegance, and sonic purity of the DSP based Mixer andplug-ins Once you have experienced this, you will definately want to add a Mixpander or Mixtreme card for additional DSP Power and audio streaming capabilities. The Mixpander Cards add more DSP then you should ever need in a full 32 track mix (can you say multiple parametric EQs and compressors, several TC Reverbs, a few multi-band dynamic processors like TC Dynamiser, delays up the ying yang, choruses, dither, realtime converstion to Dolby Surround, etc.) along with the abilty to stream audio directly into the Soundscape mixer from applications such as Acid, GigaStudio/Sampler, Reality, etc.. AND......this is all possible concurrently and with basically ZERO Latency. I run all of this along with automation and console manager running via my 02R, and non-linear video editing, all concurrently, on a PII 400 (Soundscape does not need any host CPU power except for bit to run automation).

    With Mixpander/Mixtreme you can also run additional audio tracks directly into Sondscape from any host based MIDI/Audio program such as Logic, Cakwalk/Sonar, Cubase, Nuendo, Wavelab, etc.. All you need to be aware of is the latencey with these host based programs and any DirectX plugins you may be running. This can be adjusted for if you carefully set channel delays withing the Soundscape Mixer.

    I have been a Soundcape user for about 5 1/2 years now. I started with (2x)SSHDR1+Pro and now a R.Ed. I have run both on several differnt systems including my P166 IBM Thinkpad (via the parrellel port). I have never had a Soundscape System crash on me or cause me to lose data. At one point, a famous sound designer deleted about half of my drive including several important sessions (name withheld to protect him because he was improperly told he could use that Hard Drive), and I was still able to recover ALL of the data by using the Soundscape recover function. I have lost power (that happens here in California a bit lately) and still had all of the takes that were recorded up to the moment of power loss.

    Sorry for the long winded response. I just thought it was important to point out why Intel.

    All the best,

  5. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Hmmm...mixed replies on this one. I sure would like an official word from Soundscape. Guess i'll have to email Joel. I'll ask him to reply here rather than email me back...
  6. audiovista

    audiovista Guest

    Dear SonOfSwang,

    I really don't see any conflicting statements in any responses. I just went a step further to point out the fact that you should also consider the requirements for additional DSP Power via the MIXPANDER and MIXTREME PCI cards.

    I would think that Joel would have a response in the same flavor as mine. I have performed tech support and beta testing for Soundscape and come accross some of these issues first hand. Dirk (Soundscape Development), the driver developer of these cards and who is most likely the best in the industry, has been able to resolve most all of the Processor/Chipset incompatbilities with modification to the drivers and the mixer software. He has been extremely responsive as can been verified by user statements on the Soundscape Forum. BUT.....with all of the Processor/chipset/motherboard combinations out there now, it is basically impossible for Soundscape to test every setup and fix every incompatibility.

    If you have no intentions of ever taking advantage of the additional DSP PCI cards, then any industry compliant combo should work with R.Ed alone. I am just suggesting that if you are going to build a system with extreme stability, and the possibility that you may add extra Soundscape DSP (or any video capture/editing/streaming cards), I would highly recommend sticking with Intel-based Products. There are several Digital Audio Gurus that even go so far as to suggest that you stick with the Intel 440BX Chipset. The single highest posted subject on the Soundscape Mixtreme Forum relate to issues with VIA chipset and Athlon processors. The second most frequent is Dirk's responses to those posts.

    Just trying to share real life experience. I hope that clears things up regarding my previous post. BTW...R.Ed is truely an awesome recorder/editor. It is so quick and stable, I sometimes fall into such a secure state that I neglect to regularly back-up my data (and my clients never ask). Shhhh!

    All the best,

    Jim :confused:
  7. audiovista

    audiovista Guest

    Sorry SonOfSmawg,

    I misspelled you nickname.

    BTW...the drives and graphics card you have listed are great products. I absolutlely love IBM Drives and my Matrox G450. I am running 2x 19" NEC flats and I will never go back to a single monitor (unless it's a 42" Plasma that can run 1600x1400 or higher.

    .tak care,

  8. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Yeah, I'm very aware of how the VIA chips wreak havoc on damn near every piece of hardware and software that it touches. The Iwill KA266 and KA266R mobos use the Ali MagicI chipset. This T-Bird/KA266/Ali combo is known to be rock solid.
    With all of the research that I've done and the advice I've gotten, I'm now in a quandry. On one hand, Athlons are known to be designed MUCH better than Pentiums, and on the other hand Pentiums are generally known to somehow be better for audio apps. Memory is also an issue here...DDR SDRAM(266, 2100) as opposed to RAMBUS. I'm sure you have the 411 on that...
    If at all possible, I would definately prefer to go with the Athlon system. Mixpander cards are a must with the R.ed system, which I realize are your concern with Athlon systems in general. Another issue that I must consider is getting into video in the not-so-distant future. But that's another can of worms...
    I emailed Joel last night, and I'm hoping he does make an appearance here. I'd really like to get more specifics on this R.ed-on-a-Athlon sbject. Maybe I'll get in touch with Chris Wright and see if he'll contribute here. I think this could be a valuable thread to a lot of people.
    Jim, maybe you could shed some light on R.ed being run on Athlons with other-than mobos with VIA chipsets. I fully realize that the only mobos that amd recommends on their site have via chipsets, but...
  9. I find this response odd. Most PARIS users use AMD with better success than INTEL cpu's.
    Further, most hardcore gamers with few exceptions prefer the AMD chips for stablity. Perhaps you could clarify this issue for me.
  10. audiovista

    audiovista Guest

    Dear SonOfSmawg,

    I have also heard that AMD design processes are superior to Intel. However, I don't see a significant performance, usability, or other feature of the AMD, that would steer me away from a known solution that works for me (Intel), for a option that I know is somewhat suspect (AMD, but mainly the VIA chipsets that seem to go hand-in-hand). I am not saying that an Athlon/VIA combo is not a great solution, I just cannot justify sacraficing stability for an unknown potential performance increase that I would most likely never even notice. I am better off spending my time engineering/producing/composing/playing.

    Once again, due to the WONDERFUL FACT that R.Ed only uses the PC basibally for a GUI and controller, the only performance that can be affected by the processor/chipset relates somewhat to console manager, which is basically MIDI. Yes, the PC is also connected for network/data back-up functions, but these functions are basically limted by some other system component (serial bus, drive bus, Ethernet efficiency, etc.) and not the CPU/Chipset.

    There may be some manufacturers that write their product code, APIs, and drivers to target Athlon/VIA parameters and specs, however, I would bet my Neumann Tube that most manufacturers begin initially writing for, and testing on, Intel based systems because that is where most of the market is.

    Athlons may be great for the Gammers' community, that's fine. But I don't play too many games on my pro studio system (unless my clients want to play for studio time ;) , so I will gravitate to what I know works and has worked flawlessly for over 5 years.

    I think it would be great if Chris Wright and Dirk joined in on this thread. They are a bit closer to the issues that you asking about. Also, I know for fact that Dirk has tested several Athlon/VIA combos and could add much more concise findings than I.

    Time to go edit.

    All the best,

  11. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Again, I'll reitterate that I have no intention, whatsoever, of buying an Athlon with a mobo that uses a VIA chipset. That's why I'm curious about the successes of people who have used R.ed on Athlons that don't have mobos which have VIA chipsets. VIA chipsets, in general, have issues with darn near everything under the sun, including SS products. I am not concerned at all with the fact that the Iwill mobo isn't on AMD's "recommended" list, as it is in very wide use with stellar performance and stability...MUCH better than mobos with the VIA chipset. The Iwill mobo gets rave reviews all over the internet (I've yet to see a bad one), plus I know people who use it with no problems whatsoever. With what I know about the Pentiums and the Intel company in general when compared to AMD, I really don't want to buy a Pentium unless I absolutely have to.
    Oh, and Charles,
    Yes, it is true that gamers prefer the Athlons in general. It is also true that Paris users have better results with Athlons than with Pentiums...you can see Dedric's reply to my post in the Paris forum here on RO.
    However, for various reasons, sometimes hardware and software perform best on very select systems with very select components due to the way that they were designed. This is not a good thing. In general, in a perfect world, it would be nice if a DAW system would run flawlessly on damn-near any computer, but it just isn't that way. Paris works better on Athlons, and SS works better on Pentiums...so far. I'd be very very interrested in knowing how R.ed runs on the Athlon/Iwill combo, as should SS, as in some cases it could make a difference in some peoples' buying decision...especially people who already own an Athlon. If an Athlon owner just had to replace their motherboard instead of their computer, the Soundscape product may look still more attractive than brand X, Y, or Z.
    One thing I've learned which is of great importance in the DAW realm is that you want to buy from a company that supports its' products 100%, and SS is definately all that. The SS people are top-notch, and bend over backward to help their users. This issue is of far greater importance than which computer their product requires. This particular reason is why I wouldn't buy another Digidesign product. That said, when I'm finished here on RO, I'm going to go ahead and email Chris Wright over at SS.
  12. I'm using a Asus Mobo with Athlon and a Via KX133 chipset with my REd. It has 2 x ISA ports and works fine with R.Ed. I've tested with the printer port and this also works, so even with no ISA slots there's an easy way to connect the REd unit.

    I saw that there are some supported PCI Parallel interface cards for REd as well, so if you use dongles on the printer port and you don't have an ISA slot then you can still connect to REd.

    I have Mixpander too and I don't see any problems. From reading the Mixtreme forum, it seems that Mixpander and Mixtreme share the same PCI interface and drivers. There are many users who are successfully using Mixtreme and Athlon 1GB systems, but it seems to take more setting up than Intel 440BX or 815 mobos. That said, if you can save a whole load of cash, then for some it's going to be worth it.

  13. audiovista

    audiovista Guest

    That is precisely my point! Anthlon can be a great solution, especially if it fits your needs. But in respect to Soundscape, is it worth the worry and possible time required to get it right. How much is your time worth? What do you charge your clients (if you use your system to produce revenue and not just personal music)? If you already have an Anthlon with a VIA, or other chipset, then by all means try and enjoy.

    IMHO, if you are building a system for Soundscape, using Intel is worth the additional $50-100 to eliminate any concerns and allow the user to get back to making noise.

    Stu is right about the parallel port option, I use one with my P166 Thinkpad Notebook for location recording. However, it is known that some parallel ports will not work with R.Ed, and some that do may not with a VocAlign dongle too. That is still a intermittant issue that has not yet been resolved by Soundscape (because maybe it cannot be resolved). Soundscape Development is working on a PCI Interface Card solution, but I would not hold your breath and base your decision on it being available anytime soon.

    SonOfSmawg, I have no info regarding Athlons and chipsets other than VIA. This would best be directed to Chris Wright, Dirk, or Johan. I am glad that you support the notion that manufacturers develop and test there products with certain supporting products in mind. It does not mean that they don't want to support all possible combos, it just illustrates that they have to start somewhere (that somewhere is usually where the largest market segment is for the application of their product). Soundscape usually writes their drivers and other code to work under NT/Win2000 first and then 95/98. It just makes more sense for them. Maybe if Paris was a bit more Intel friendly, it would perform even better, who knows. PT is still limited does not perform as well on NT/2000 as on MAC. Is this because MAC OS and HW are better than the WINTEL platform? I think not. The fact that almost all of the non-linear video editing manufaturers are focusing on the NT/2000 platform would suggest the opposite. And, we all know that digital video is much more demanding and finicky than audio.

    In summery....Some systems may work better with one hardware (OS, whatever) solution than another. It is manufacturer dependent and based on what they focus on. AND there may be MORE THAN ONE RIGHT ANSWER. For me, the right answer would be to stick with the known entity and avoid the one with doubt.......but that's just me.....and you don't have to agree.....but you asked.

    All the best,

  14. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    First I would like to apologize for my really really late response!!!!!!

    I have been out on the road,,,,,any way

    I will make my post with no reference to the other posts for simplicity purposes

    SOS The computer that you have described will work very well. The R.Ed. does not use the CPU for Audio; it only uses the Computer for screen redraws and import export (with exception to a very few specialized plug ins the use the CPU, I.E. OMF import/export, cue sheet, time expansion/compression)

    I know that was a vague and broad answer, please feel free to ask more detailed questions if the other posts have not already answered them for you,,,,

    A side note,,,,Jimbo is very closely tied to Soundscape, and just as informative as I am. And so is Genius at work,,,,

    Hope that helps,,,again forgive my late reply!!

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