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Discussion in 'Recording' started by Kurt Foster, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i'm going for a laptop to run the new Harrison Mixbus DAW ... i have singled out a few machines ... i'm looking for advice as to which OS, Windows XP Pro, 7 or 8?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    7 for certain but if the Mixbus likes 8, maybe that. Forget XP now. Its done. 7 is great.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    all mixbus wants is anything past XP .. and duel core. win 7 is perfect, it's what the machine is loaded with now although he says he has certs for both 7 & 8.

    found an asus w / 16" screen, 500 gig 7200 rpm drive, 4 gigs of memory and an Nvida graphics card with both USB2 and Firewire ports! perfect for a small portable DAW rig ...


    he's asking $275. i might be able to grind him down to $250 ...... :biggrin: happy, happy, happy!
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Actually, what it wants is anything XP PRO or better. XP Home Edition won't cut it. And of course, dual core.

    While I agree with Chris that XP is done, it's still a rock solid OS. But all the same, you're probably best to look at 7 or 8.

    And FWIW, pretty much all store bought PC's come with bloatware, not just HP. Dell, Toshiba and all the other store bought PC's all come resident with crap that you'll spend the first 2 hours with deleting and uninstalling.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    got it. had to go the whole 9 yards .. $275 but even at that it's a screaming deal ... i looked it up and they are asking 500 to 600 on ebaaa for ones that show wear or have chips /scratches on the case. mine is pristine.

    i'm really jazzed. spawn of GF (who is a computer geek) says it's a 3rd gen i5 processor and that just the chip alone cost that much. he thinks i got a steal.

    i have to wait for a couple of weeks to buy the Mixbus software. i'm also thinking of installing Studio One as well.

    i'm also looking for a 16 channel firewire interface and some small powered desktop speakers. i have a small foot print rack that is slanted on the bottom and straight at the top that will hold 20 spaces of gear so i'm going to put the outboard i have left and my patch bays in that and the whole mess should fit very nicely into my home office (which is very small). i'll be getting back into production very soon now .... really excited.
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    are you looking to go higher end on the interface like a prism orpheus, or UA, or RME? o something more mid line like a motu? or just something basic? have you checked out krk's small speakers yet. yamaha just redesigned their former hsm series into now the hs series, lol. they might be worth a listen.

    i still use xp, but that's cuz it ain't broke on my aging home rec system, and i ain't fixing it. i use windows 7 on this laptop for internet, ect, and find it as stable and clutter free as xp. i'm sure it's probably that way for audio production, but w/ the added option of 64 bit operation, if your hardware supports it. i might be interested in any peices of gear that doesn't find it's way into the rack, keep me posted, if your getting rid of anything.

    glad ta hear your gonna be back up and running man!
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    not going to go high end on the converters. i'm looking at the echo audiofire box. it's 12 in and out 192 k. that should do me just fine. if i need more i'll get a second one and i'll have 24 in and out. if i can't get by with that i'm an idiot. the 6" krk's are what i'm looking at for monitors. i've always liked krk's stuff and they can be had for cheep on the eblow and C/L.

    i will have a bunch of stuff left over K but i'm not sure if you will want/need any of it. there's a list of stuff i had for sale on the want ads here if you want to look but now i'm gonna keep what good stuff i have left like my Lexicon 60/70 & 80 as well as my Eventide DS/E 3000,the Millennia Origin my JLM TP-8 and Dyna-Mite. i also have a pair of drawmer 404 gates i'll hang on to at least for a while until i decide if i need them or not. i sold my SM7a but the guy i sold it to decided to re sell it so i bought it back. glad i did that now. i'm wishing i hadn't sold my KEL-HM1's now. eventually i'll be on the lookout for a pair of nice para eq's. it's a sickness you know.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It is indeed. It is referred to as Gear Addiction Syndrome, or, GAS.

    I've been suffering from GAS for many years now. ;)
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I think the little Tannoy Reveal 501/601 do serious justice to sound. Not expensive for a pair. Add a good powered sub and its really pretty nice.

    Nice machine. I will say that you might get really tired working on that size of screen. Since I bought a 32 NOTHING is even remotely acceptable to these old eyes.

    As for interfaces....Dont overlook Focusrite. The Pro40 for firewire and the Scarlett's for usb. Great reviews. My local pro shop is a dealer and they have almost zero returns on them.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    thanks for the hints Dave.

    i have been on a laptop with a 14" screen for years now so the 16" screen on the ASUS looks huge to me. i'm not going to be working for hours on end and i usually don't really pay so much attention to a screen unless i am dialing something up. i think it will be fine but if i need i can always borrow the GFs' monitor or get a larger one to hook up although i am striving to keep the overall footprint down and portability to a minimum. it's already getting out of hand.

    i was looking at the Apogee Ensemble but unfortunately they are Mac only. Why would they do that ? i don't need preamps. i already have the Yamaha ML7 for 8 cheapos and the JLM TMP 8 and the Millennia SST-1 for 9 channels of premium pres and a monster "channel strip".. so i don't need more. what i need is as many channels of line inzanoutz without any frills for "at mix" processing and summing. later i will be looking for a summing solution. the the more i look the more i lean to the echo audiofire but i think i would want at least 2 of them. there goes the footprint and portability.

    i just noticed the $40 offer from Harrison expires on the 12th. after that it's back to $220. I guess i'll bite the bullet and get it tomorrow. oh well no milk shakes or ice cream for the next couple of weeks!
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    got it.installation was a breeze. been playing with it for an hour or so and it's a simple program to use. the compressors on the channel strips and buses sound pretty good from what i can hear so far. i'm very happy with it and i'm looking forward to getting an interface so i can do some tracking.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Most interfaces with a decent budget type price these days will include at least two preamps. Its just the way the manufacturers structure things for their clientele. You dont have to use them in most cases. The reson I mentioned the Focusrite is the ability to use all the preamps you have. Having two inputs at a time when you clearly have so many choices would seem backwards thinking and a interface only is going to be a large expenditure. Of course if you still have any ADAT machines left you have your interfaces already.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    good thoughts Dave. thanks for that.

    i also still have the 16 channels of ai3s i used with my Cubase computer too. so i do have a ton of 16 / 48 and 24 / 48 inputs but i want to go at least 24/ 96 throughout the whole system, so the adats are all out. plus i am just sick to death of the toslink cables and all that goes with them. useing SMUX is a pain too with the limits on track count they offer, usually 8 tracks total. the whole system is antiquated and if i am going to update, i'm going to really update. i'm going to sell them if i can find someone who wants them (the ai3's) but i seriously doubt i will ever be able to get rid of the blackface 16 bit ADATs and the BRC, even if i offered them for cheap. no one wants them and they are getting harder and harder to find tape for.

    second i need a bunch of inzanoutz for mixing so i can sum externally and run effects sends returns and do inserts so the 12 in and out the echo firebox has, will be used up fast. like i said i really want at least 2 of them for 24 inzanoutz. i would love to go high end RME / Benchmark / Apogee but i can't swing that and at the level of work i will be doing (mostly self amuse) it makes it hard to justify spending that kind of cash.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I dunno, pal. I mean, I understand affordability, budget constraints and the need to justify purchases with business based on that purchase...believe me I understand.... but you're one of "those" cats who has a certain level of expectation for themselves, too... and you need to ask yourself if you are going to be happy with anything less than what you would expect from someone else. This latest move into (or back into) digital for you was, and correct me if I'm wrong here... motivated by several factors: (?)

    You want to be able to mix and do projects, either of your own design, or to perhaps look at involving yourself in mixing for others, maybe making a few bucks, but which doesn't exclude projects like Indaba mixing contests...

    Your interest was really piqued by the latest offer of the Harrison Mixbus, which is a bit of a touchstone for your love of analog...

    You miss being able to work on something, anything, which will get that audio DNA that is infused within you working again, creating, mixing.

    So with all of that being said, are YOU going to be happy with anything less than what you'd expect from someone else? Okay, so the Neve is probably out. Very few of us have that kind of cash lying around, and justifying that one to the significant other is a really tough sell when they look around at all the gear you already have - lol - and wonder why you can't just make due with the rooms full of audio gear that you currently sit on. ;)


    you're one of those "purist" guys, and I don't mean that sarcastically or disrespectfully. You and I don't always agree across the board on things, but our motivation and expectation for great audio is completely shared, and we've always been on the same page in that regard. And, we respect each other, regardless of our occasional differing opinions... so with that being said...

    I guess I'm just tossing the idea out there as to how much you'll end up liking a DAW layout that simply "gets you by". It seems to me that, because of your experience level, your trained ears, your passion for fidelity, and, dare I say your already existing "less-than-excited about digital platforms" attitude, that any system based on mediocre pres and converters is not even so much a lateral move for you, but perhaps even a step backwards? You need to ask yourself if you're going to be happy by "just getting by" in terms of these things, especially with a cat like you who isn't all that crazy about digital to begin with. ;)

    Look pal, I know that financial constraints are a very real issue, even for us pros, but you need to at least consider putting money back towards a future purchase of that which is necessary to get you the best results you can with the system and platform you now own, regardless of whether it's for commercial client projects or just for your own stuff... because I don't think you're gonna really be happy until you get what would make you satisfied.

    just sayin'...

  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    good point Donny but i have already been recording exclusively in digital since 2001. i think you have perhaps misconstrued my enamoration for analog as me "only recording with analog". that's not the case at all. unfortunately i sold off my MCI desk and analog machines in 2001 -2002 when i saw the bottom of the market dropping out from underneath me. i got out while i could still recoup some of my investment (i only lost half of my ass).

    since then, i have been recording only with a computer / Dual core AMD Anthlon 1800 Windows XP pro and 16 channels of Alesis AI3 converters. that rig has been sitting out in my shop for years now. it's big, it's loud ( forced me to get a "Silence Box") it's hot. it's a pain in the ass to set up and it takes most the space in a room. it uses toslink cables which i absolutely despise. i have doubts as to if the hard drives will even spin at this point. it's time to upgrade to something i can set up in my home office with a laptop, one rack and a couple of small powered monitors.

    i never did invest heavily into high end conversion. my last DAW used Alesis AI3's and before that i was using ADAT's and i've always been not excited but fine with how they sound. but on the other hand, perhaps that is exactly why i have never been that jazzed about digital audio?

    you seem to be pooh poohing the Echo Audiofire 12. do you have any particular issues with it? do you know something about it i don't? Martin Walker from SOS gave it a pretty good review.

    "The Fireworks module combines industry-standard Texas Instruments Firewire chips with DSP technology, supports up to 12 simultaneous input and output channels at 192kHz and more at lower sample rates, has a built-in low-jitter clock and sync to external clock, and includes a digital mixer."

    as far as the conversion it seems to be better than some but not quite as nice as others. the TI or Cirrus Logic seem to be the most popular chips in the generic world of converters with more esoteric chips being used in the high end. yes i would love a UA or an Antelope but i just cannot justify spending that kind of cash at this point of my "career" in audio.

    my issues with digital have always been flat non dimensional sound and what i have learned through experimenting is that external summing of tracks will go a long way towards fixing that problem. i always wondered why my old 16 ADATS through the MCI made better mix's than anything i mixed itb with Cubase. well it's the old bug-a-boo mixbus clog itb. even mixes piped out of Cubase with Alesis AI3 converters into a lowly Mackie SR24 sound much better (to my ears) than anything mixed itb.

    i just have an issue about investing in stuff that has a short shelf life (read less than 15 years! LOL) . while it appears the dust has settled at 24/ 192 and we won't be moving away from that format for quite a while advances in computers themselves, DAW software and how the data is transferred from converter to computer is still in a state of flux. what's going to be the next way of doing it? MADI? Thunderbolt? today Mixbus is cool but what about next year or even next month?

    i would really be pissed if i went in the deep end for $6k to get some fire wire converters only to learn i can't connect the damn things to anything in just a few months or even years. computers have a way of forcing us to move on from things that just work well for us despite the learning curve and the need to re tweak everything to get back up running. i know this will not be my last computer and i will likely be getting different interfaces in a few short years. it's only been 7 years since i invested in my AI3's and they are more or less useless door stops at this point as they are limited to 24 48 performance. 7 years may seem like forever to some but for me it's just the blink of an eye. if i were working with analog this would never be an issue. this is another reason i hate digital. but what the hell, i gotta get back on the bus, so to speak at some point.

    i'm 60 this year and no kids want to work with a toothless old man who hates their music and looks like Santa Clause ... so i doubt i will be doing any recording with any one other that a few select geezer friends and by myself. plus i probably don't hear good enough any longer to notice any differences anyways.
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    are you sure it's a wise move to go w/ an exclusively fire wire box? this MOTU.com - Overview is a similar box to the echofire, but w/ ten channels of conversion. not quite apogee or rme, but not too far off, and better (ie, a bit, fuller, smoother high mids/top) to my ears than other interfaces i've used. just slightly more like musical, as opposed to clinical. unless i was getting a top of the line apogee symphony, or some heavy duty standalone converters, it's really hard to justify not using motu stuff. it's definatley no pro sumer. The dsp cue effx are cool too. super stable drivers too.

    to get to my actual point, lol, it's both firewire, and usb. your next computer will likely have usb, but probably not firewire, which i'm sure they'll be adapter cards and boxes, ect, but again more crap to accumulate.

    lol, i work w/ one of those sometimes!!! the stories are priceless.
  17. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    With Sonar x64 on windows 7 x64, I found that nearly all 32bit vst will work if I install them in the x64 vst folder (not in Program Files x86)
    So choosing X64 isn't a issue for me... ;)
  18. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Kurt wrote:"i'm 60 this year and no kids want to work with a toothless old man who hates their music and looks like Santa Clause ... so i doubt i will be doing any recording with any one other that a few select geezer friends and by myself. plus i probably don't hear good enough any longer to notice any differences anyways"
    First off, your hearing "was" probably 10 times more acute than most folks' to begin with, and I'd be willing to bet that you have taken better care of it than most have.
    So no more mixing rock'n'roll for the kiddies...Do you REALLY want to be in that seat now? There are TONS of folks out there who are older, WISER, and that have $$ to throw at gear and NO CLUE as to how to make it happen. They are the ones you target...the country pickers, the blues guys, the retro rockers. You go to them, they will appreciate YOU a helluvalot more than the stage mom with the next Justa Beaver...and don't discount nice acoustic artists and students who want a nice jury/demo of a live performance.
    PS Glad that YOU got the TLM, you bastard...:) I thought someone else here got it.
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    thanks everyone for the replies. it helps to go over this with others and get their thoughts. i am still not sure how i want to proceed but there only seems to be a couple of solutions. i would think there were more options but it doesn't seem so.

    i've had the JLM TMP 8 for years and i love it. it was one of the pieces i never considered parting with when i was selling out. i think someone else did get the one that was up FS here.

    i just can't find anything else other than the Firebox 12 that does what i need for less. the ASUS i bought does have USB and Firewire as well as Ethernet connections. i considered USB and i decided to go with firewire for a faster transfer rate when tracking and monitoring multiple inputs live with plugs. as far as the MOTU, i don't know why but those things (MOTU products) just don't twist my knob. i think it's a hang over from the old days when they were exclusivly Mac and pushing Digital Performer and MOTU hardware as a package. i was looking at the 24i/o until i realized it only works with a pci card ... that's not going to happen. i don't want to pay for or mess with unneeded features. the pre amps in MOTU's do not excite me and i don't need them, ADAT interfacing .... i am just so done with the whole Toslink thing and to boot the limits at 48k (ok higher with SMUX but what a a hassel for just 96 k).

    sure firewire may be on the way out (unless you work on a Mac) but by the time i ever reinvest (and it's questionable if i ever will), i think we will be all dancing to the thunderbolt tune or something else. if i were going to go USB i would be going for the UA Appolo 16 or an Orion but i just don't want to spend that much ... too bad someone wouldn't send me one .... lol.
  20. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    This was more of my concern ( for you) than anything else. I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought you to be inexperienced with digital. I just know your propensity for the 'analog" sound - and was suggesting that because of your experience and skill level, that your standards are high - the result of which could be your disappointment in the "run of the mill" converters that currently flood the market.


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