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Windows 10 Pro?

@audiokid @pcrecord @kmetal or anyone...

Guys, can you explain to me the benefits ( audio production-wise ) of moving up to W10 Pro Edition, as opposed to the Home Edition I have now?

Marco - I followed that very useful link you posted sometime back, that had a great walk-thru of the steps to take to optimize my PC for audio production...

Chris, you mentioned switching to W10 Pro fairly early on after switching up to W10 from W8 ( or was it 7?)
Did it make a noticeable difference in your operations?

Kyle - I know you've been doing a ton of research on computer builds... I'd like to hear from you on this as well.

Here are my current specs:
Athlon Quad Core 64 Bit
3.2ghz processor
24 gig of RAM
(1) internal Western Digital TB HDD
(1) external Seagate 4 TB / USB drive for storage/archiving/safety back up
No Firewire or TB ports are on this PC. Just USB 2 and 3.

This PC is coming up on 4 years old, I'd like to get another year out of it if possible.

I'm not noticing any "obvious" problems or issues, other than occasionally pushing the DSP into the red on Samplitude when I'm working with VSTi-heavy projects. Under normal circumstances, things run pretty smoothly.

Does W10 pro allow me to disable Cortana completely ( I've followed the steps to put it in the background and at lowest priority, but it's still showing up in Task manager...

The Runtime Broker thing occasionally gives me trouble, I have to go into TM once in a while and end it.

Mobile Device Service and Store are a few more that keep popping up randomly in TM. Ending them doesn't negatively affect my system, sometimes it allows the PC to run smoother.

I guess maybe I'm looking for more control of what actually loads upon startup and runs by default. I know there are certain processes that I can't end, and some that I shouldn't, but it would be nice to decided which optional ones I can delete from startup if I want to.

Thoughts?

Comments

audiokid Sat, 04/29/2017 - 17:06

DonnyThompson, post: 449894, member: 46114 wrote: Chris, you mentioned switching to W10 Pro fairly early on after switching up to W10 from W8 ( or was it 7?)
Did it make a noticeable difference in your operations?

I moved from 7 pro to 10 pro. I always use Pro. I can't honestly tell you how great it will be for you because your DAW version works best for the OS. Since you are on an older Samplitude, I would most likely be at W7 pro. If you upgrade your DAW, I would upgrade to W10 Pro or Enterprise.

The Professional Version optimizes better than Home. The Enterprise version is the best because you can turn all the bloat off. Hope that helps.

pcrecord Sat, 04/29/2017 - 19:54

Since I'm an IT and I'm used to remotly manage computers on a domain, the enterprise version is the best version to do so (specially for licencing).
I honestly can't say how or if the pro version is more limited to customisation but I defenitly know the pro and enterprise versions are better than home version.

Windows defender and Cortana are hard to deactivate but it can be done by changing the services and some registry keys.
easy to find on google search.

Your athlon quad core is a bit dated and I suspect it's your bottleneck.

kmetal Sat, 04/29/2017 - 21:03

From what I gather pro just allows the disabling of more things, letting your system run more streamlined. The main feature being the ability to disable update notifications.

As far as enterprise vs pro I compared them a while back but I forgot what the big differences were. Definately the networking things Marco mentioned. At the time they didn't have it available monthly, that I was aware of at least, and it required purchasing like 5 licenses, so I gave up.

Pro is in general good enough from what I can gather around the www for most audio things. Enterprise is better because it offers even more control, but you've got to justify the cost. Really the ability to disable updates is why most people even bother moving from home to pro, from what I understood.

D, you may wanna scoop up a little 120gb SSD if you end up upgrading the OS. It's nice to do a clean OS install on a new drive, and the SSD should give you some extra performance/life from the system. Samsung has the 850 pro SSD for around $110 these days if you catch them on sale for a 256gb SSD. Plus it's nice to have your other drive in 'as is' condition in case of accidents or the need to revise something old. There was two different OS drives on the main studio Mac for a while while we migrated over to 64bit.

kmetal Sat, 04/29/2017 - 21:29

Forgot to add-

If you do go pro, make sure you get the "retail / boxed" version, Not the OEM. OEM registration is tied to your motherboard so if you upgrade your computer you have to get in touch w Microsoft. The OEM version wouldn't allow you to install the same w10 copy on say your main and laptop. The OEM version is like 30-50$ cheaper than the "retail" or "boxed" version. So if your shopping around and see w10 pro at two price points, that's why. OEM is basically use once and destroy.

I ended up grabbing the retail version from newegg a couple months back for like $180 or something. It can be had cheaper once in a while. I have yet to install it.

DonnyThompson Sun, 04/30/2017 - 02:43

@pcrecord @audiokid @kmetal

Great info guys. Thanks.
I'm wondering -as Chris mentioned, if maybe I should consider rolling back to 7 or 8 Pro...

Or maybe it's time to consider the 5 year change a little early and get into a more powerful processor - the thing is, I don't "bottleneck" often. It's only when I'm working with a client who wants 50 different VSTi's and then processing in each track on top of them, that things start stuttering.
Under normal circumstances, basic rock and pop mixes, things run fine, and that's pretty much where I live anyway. For this project coming up in June, Presonus S1 is most likely going to be used, although I'm not sure what platform will be used to mix the album yet. I just hate the W10 bloat of things I'll never use or need... Cortana, Store, Shopping, and all the other attachments that came with the upgrade to W10 when I made the switch from 8 last year. If it wasn't for all the bloat of the OS I really wouldn't have any problems with 10, especially since I followed the directions in the link that Marco posted last year. Doing the things the vid recommends really did seem to help.
But I do understand that the tech on the PC is 4 years old now, and there are far better CPUs available.

kmetal Sun, 04/30/2017 - 04:13

I recently saw an i5 desktop w 8gb or ddr4 ram and possibly a small SSD, for around 450$, it was a Lenovo similar to mine, which is still boxed :(

if vsti is your issue it could be RAM related. Some vsti load completely into the ram and then start seeking from the HDD/SSD when that is at capacity. So you could be seeing a slump in performance due to streaming the samples from the HDD instead of the ram.

Windows 7 does have ram limitations to be aware of.

As far as drives or ddr4 ram my experience has been that becuase things are just switching over the state of the art 'NVME' SSD drives which fit into an 'M.2' slot are the same price as the, other type of SSD that uses the slower sata 3.

So depending on the computer you may or may not be able to Boot up from an m.2 drive, even with a pcie adapter, becuase the bios may or may not support it.

So basically unless your computer can support the m.2 drive your gonna be paying the same money, for a much inferior drive.

Ram is the same idea just the price gap between ddr3 and ddr4 is larger.

There's things you could try, like running your sample drive as a pair of drives in RAID 0 mode, either by partitioning a single drive, or ideally using two or more drives. Basically what it does is spread the data across the two or more drives, so the read/write speeds add up together. So two drives that do 250 mb/s would do 500mb/s in raid 0 mode.

So in the case of streaming samples you'd be steaming 2x as much data. The catch is if one drive fails the whole thing goes down, becuase the two drives are seen as one large drive. With samples and OS this is fine, with audio drives your better off with a different raid mode, that includes redundancy.

Definately worth consideration, especially if you have some HDDs laying around.

I don't know how appropriate a RAM disk would be in this case, but you could allocate a certain amount of your ram as a HardDrive and get blazing performance from it.

You can also use VEP to hookup your laptop or windows tablet or something to use as extra horsepower for larger sessions. Or if you get a new computer, keep using the old one as a slave.

Even if ram was a good price it's still not gonna work with the next computer so, must live w the current one. SSD is also a sensible upgrade, but again because of the computers age, you'd be paying full price for the worst/slowest type of SSD. Two years ago these upgrades would have been far less deep into diminishing returns, but now price is the same and performance differences can be 3x or more on hard drives, and 15% on ram ddr4 vs ddr3.

Basically I'd say ride it till the wheels fall off, or snag a new computer and have a nice quad core slave. It's the exact same situation I fell into when I wanted to upgrade the Lenovo. NVme may or may not work, ram limit was 32gb, ect. It ended up being a great buy as is, as soon as upgrades were involved it's own limitations, and current pricing of hardware, made it cost essentially the same to upgrade as to put those parts on a new computer that you put together yourself.

You could easily do a basic i7 4 core build for 6-800 if your careful with it. Add $100 to go 6 core.

I've attached a couple cost/component lists I've put together over the year, just a decent idea of different things that would work. These aren't the cheapest parts in these so money can definitely be saved right from the get go. And the xeon one, lol you can easily take 1.5 off on ram and redendant SSDs. The xeon takes 2.5k to get going w dual processors and 64gb of ram.

I also figured I'd mention since it may be a bit more time since I'm ready to set things up, I've got that Lenovo i5 never opened, and an acer i5 laptop never opened, as well as w10 pro, which I haven't installed on anything yet. If your interested it might make sense for us to make a deal on it. Let me know. There's probably a couple other goodies I can toss in too for bonus.

Let me know if your interested.

kmetal Sun, 04/30/2017 - 05:42

DonnyThompson, post: 449906, member: 46114 wrote: Awesome info Kyle. :)
It's gonna take me a little bit to go through the numbers, but I sure appreciate you posting them... in addition to helping me, you could very well be helping someone else who may be doing a search on this topic.

:)

No prob D, I can offer several alternatives to any of the parts on there too, not that I'm an expert by any means, I've just spent a lot of time feature comparing lately.

Best bang for your buck is an 8core/16thread xeon for 425, budget asrock tia chi motherboard for 250, ram for 150 or whatever, and a corsair or similar psu for 100-150.

Basically it comes out to 1k and change. But it's pretty much a beast of a computer. The type of performance you get for a couple hundred more than the i series stuff, is immense.

The other option is go free/generic w the case psu and mobo. I've seen free psu after rebates and 10-30$ MObos in electronics store flyers. You could come in under 500 for an i7 rig.

Lol sorry for rambling, no sleep till sunshine lately.

michael chadwick Sun, 06/11/2017 - 05:58

kmetal, post: 449907, member: 37533 wrote: No prob D, I can offer several alternatives to any of the parts on there too, not that I'm an expert by any means, I've just spent a lot of time feature comparing lately.

Best bang for your buck is an 8core/16thread xeon for 425, budget asrock tia chi motherboard for 250, ram for 150 or whatever, and a corsair or similar psu for 100-150.

Basically it comes out to 1k and change. But it's pretty much a beast of a computer. The type of performance you get for a couple hundred more than the i series stuff, is immense.

The other option is go free/generic w the case psu and mobo. I've seen free psu after rebates and 10-30$ MObos in electronics store flyers. You could come in under 500 for an i7 rig.

Lol sorry for rambling, no sleep till sunshine lately.

thanks for the info kyle. I've been looking for the latest pc build spec for home studio use. lots to consider especially where cost is a limiting factor. it might be i5 for me.

kmetal Mon, 06/19/2017 - 19:31

michael chadwick, post: 450928, member: 50637 wrote: thanks for the info kyle. I've been looking for the latest pc build spec for home studio use. lots to consider especially where cost is a limiting factor. it might be i5 for me.

No prob. I have an i5 Lenovo still in the box, which I'm using for archiving my old stuff. I think the xeon 8c for $400 with the asrock tia chi mainboard for $200, is the most powerful daw for the buck by far.

The ability to add more ram than what an i5 system would handle makes the small difference in cost very much worth it.

When you compare that to any of the 4 core or 6 core offerings it's a no contest.

The diff between an i5 build and xeon 8core/16thread is $200. The other parts are all similarly priced or the same. Like psu or case.

I was shocked by this price/performance point a few months back when I came across it. The other xeon chips don't offer that type of value for this case or mine.

Besides a gross amount of raw core power, and ram capacity, for $200 the xeon gives you 24/7 operation / reliability.

Just my two cents, looking forward to seeing what you end up getting.

michael chadwick Wed, 06/21/2017 - 21:54

thanks kyle. I appreciate your thoughts. I am a home studio hack doing my own stuff and every several years I get a hankering for a pc update. truth be told I probably don't tax my comp that hard but I try to keep an eye on the road ahead. I think the motherboard choice is particularly challenging. at this stage I think the asus prime Z270AR is the leading contender with its variety of connections i.e onboard type c 3.1 and thunderbolt 3 possible and pcie ssd. mostly I'm finding that mobo marketing is aimed squarely at gamers and I don't need that extra candy. anyways my next comp i'll again have for several years. and this time I aim to be less of a hack mixer and work harder to produce better sounding tracks. your 4 core pc build in an earlier post pointed me toward the ssd storage concept although my audio storage drive will be good ol' 3.5 inch platter. a lot less ram too.

kmetal Thu, 06/22/2017 - 02:47

Cool man. I personally don't see a whole lot of need for thunderbolt or USB 3 unless it's a laptop. There's no interfaces really utilizing the USB 3.x bandwith, and performances are about the same as any of the current USB 2.0 interfaces and drivers. I could potentially see thunderbolt if your absolutely sure your Interface or storage is gonna use it.

Otherwise as you pointed out, there's a lot of features that go unused by the audio user.

The gigabyte UD-3 and UD-5 were boards I almost bought on a couple different occasions. For 120-150$ on sale, they offer a lot. Particularly they have one or two NVME SSD slots built in. Which because I of pricing is without a doubt the way to go. The older SATA SSD like the Samsung 850 evo I just got last week for a new laptop, are relatively slow, but similarly priced to the latest Samsung 950 evo m.2 drive.

I think the UD-5 mobo has 2 m.2 ports. I liked the idea of one for os and one for audio, or the possibility of raid, built into the board. From what I've gathered the UD line is a no nonsense reliable model/line and I found it the best feature set out there for a bang for the buck build with that cpu socket. Definately worth comparing to. I often found that while ausus seems more popular, gigabyte always had better features for the money, or less unecsaary stuff. Asus was always relatively more expensive or limited. Particularly in m.2 slots, and ram capacity. Both of which are very important and something you want standard, not pay a premium for. Beyond that gigabyte has a dual bios, which can help if your bios gets attacked by a virus. Their both reliable brands.

It came down to server stuff just being more practical, becuase the general moBOs were like you said catered to gaming, with unwanted features and limitations. The tia chi mobo was the closest to a mainstream board that did xeon chips and ecc memory.

Since your mixing is a focus, you'll want plenty of room for RAM. I believe the current i-series chips cap off at 64gb. There's also little to no advantage at all to the 270 vs 170 chipset from anything I could find, so it's a good place to save a couple bucks, and put the money towards something more integral.

kmetal Thu, 06/22/2017 - 02:58

This is one I had specd out to possibly build back in August 2015. It's still a good build for that class as is,the only thing I would change would be the PSU to the AX series becuase its both cheaper and higher quality.

I had included a thunderbolt add on card in the estimate just in case, but didn't have and TB hardware specifically in mind.

I think ram prices have dropped since then. Ddr4 was just release back then.

michael chadwick Thu, 06/22/2017 - 20:42

after some more looking I found the gigabyte z270 gaming k3. I'm not sure if here in Australia we have different model names but in terms of cost it is around the $190USD mark. but prices can vary quite a bit. it seems to have all the stuff that will see me through for several years. and i'll turn off the fancy lighting in the bios! so, I will probably also go for an i5, an m2 ssd OS/app/plug in drive coupled with a 3.5 inch 7200rpm sata for audio storage and as much ram as I can afford which I reckon will be 2133mhz Kingston value ram. all in all a modest budget rig for the home recording hack that I am!

kmetal Fri, 06/23/2017 - 03:39

Hey Michael, took a quick peek at the k3, and it looks good to me. Seems to tick a lot of useful boxes and has very little 'bonus' bloat. Overall that looks like a nice board and a good fit for its intended purpose.

A nice psu (like seasonic) and you'll be well on your way to having a nice reliable machine to create sonic mayhem with!!

I'll be breaking out my i5 laptop I've had boxed for almost a year believe it or not, and I'll be breaking out the i5 desktop to get all my old files organized and run some test sessions. They were all done on dual/quad core PCs/macs, pretty basic 40trk sessions, so I'm thinking the i5 will be able to handle the old sessions, getting things labeled and organized for when I build the xeon/mytek rig after the summer.

If you find the i5 underpowered you could always grab a 6th gen i7 on sale/closeout next year or so, giving you more processing threads. You can use the i5 with a bare basic mobo and use is as a dedicated effects or mixdown rig. Good computer parts can grow with you and be re-purposed, as they run they're working life span.

Congrats on your diy daw! Should be super fun.

kmetal Fri, 06/23/2017 - 04:38

One very important thing to keep in mind about the i5 is that is does Not support hyperthreading. Your daw of choice may or may not use hyperthreading, but probably does use it. If your daw uses hyperthreading and your processor doesn't support it, your reduced to a single core essentially for your audio/daw. The i7 and I belive some i3s support hyperthreading, and may be a better option depending on your daw.

There is no way to enable or disable hypterthreading in the daw, it is part of its coding. Reaper being open source, might be different.

miyaru Sat, 08/26/2017 - 12:44

I would not opt for an i3 myself though..... Just bought an i7-7700 DAW build PC and it is fast, real fast and powerfull! http://www.prodaw.nl/ I bought a 19" case PC with as said the Intel i7-7700, 16Gb ram, 250GB SSD and a 2Tb HDD with all ultra quiet fans and coolers. It runs a tweaked version of Windows 10 Pro.
I use it with Ableton Live Suite 9.7.3 and Wavelab Elements - and that's it. And oh, I have Native INstruments Massive synth running on it.

Spend some more time with your old PC to save money for a new one, and buy the strongest for your budget!

Cheers.

michael chadwick Sun, 08/27/2017 - 15:54

Thanks miyaru. Good advice there. Identical to what I'm planning. So far I have gathered a Gigabyte H170 Gaming 3, a Samsung 960 Evo 256gb SSD, a Seagate 1TB HD and 16gb or ram. Now wanting the i7 7700. Maybe I can get away with a tweaked Win 10 Home retail pack. Once it's built it will do me for several years.

Meanwhile I'm busy with my current Q6600/Asus P5Q Pro PC tidying up any of my previous compositions that I think music publishers or production libraries would find a use for. I use Acid Pro 7! God I hope Magix release a Pro 8.

DonnyThompson Mon, 08/28/2017 - 05:53

Looking into the crystal ball, and attempting to make a system "future proof" ( I've come to dislike that term, BTW) is NOT as easy as it sounds, not even for experienced computer and DAW users.
Software drives the hardware - the CPU, storage and memory markets - and each time something new is developed on the software end, hardware manufacturers struggle to keep up with the growing demands and requirements that the software demands to work at its optimum. The more powerful the software, the more resources it will require.
You can try to anticipate certain changes in the future, but when all is said and done, it's still just a guess, or at best, a hunch.
There was a time when Nubus Macs and 486 PC's were considered to be powerful. And at that time, they were ... but as the rapid changes and advances in software came out, those systems became obsolete.
All you can do is to give it your best guess, talk to people in the industry, and find out - as best you can - what is on the horizon. But even computer manufacturers don't always know for sure. It's not their fault necessarily, it's just they are at the beck and call of the software industry.

IMHO ;)
-d.

miyaru Mon, 08/28/2017 - 07:42

Yeah, you are right.... My first music PC was driven by an Intel Pentium 100 with 16 Mb ram and 1.3 GB HDD for both the OS, software and data. I could make music with that setup, don't ask me how LOL. I evolved to a P2/400MHz setup with 384Mb ram and a 10 Gb Hdd. Then for one single time an AMD system running at 1800MHz with 512 MB ram. Then came my i7/920 system quadcore thingy and now my brand new PC with an INtel i7-7700 with 16GB ram and a250Gb SSD and a 2Tb HDD. All culmunated to a large amount of money for all those PC's

Soundcard whise it was an expensive journey too: Event Darla, RME Digi 96/8, Roland V-Fire audio interface for VS serie stuff, Lexicon IONIX FW 810 and now a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40. And in one PC there was this FX/Synth card fitted from Creamware XTC, equipted with 8 sharc processor to relief the CPU - costing a small fortune.......

With my new PC last week I bought Ableton Live Suite 9.7.3 and last winter I already bought the Ableton Push 2 controller, spending another small fortune the last 6 months.

I don't even earn one cent from my music, but love to do it. It is more than a addiction, it is a way of life......

Am I future proof? for the next 6 month or so, maybe......and then it starts all over again with software updates, faster hardware, better convertors, new monitors, another microphone and stop, please stop!!!!!

Greetz from the Netherlands, Robin.

kmetal Mon, 08/28/2017 - 10:01

Ya know one thing that I feel is a misconception about audio computers is that they need to be up to date to do music.

In other words, barring wear and tear, a computer doesn't stop doing what it does, just becuase something new is out. There's no reason why say a 12 year old core 2 duo, running XP, and 4gigs of ram, won't comfortably run a basic 24 track, 8 bus sessions. It will. And if that's what your doing that's all you need.

The mackie D8B, HDR harddisk recorder / editor/ mixer essentially runs off of a 366mhz pentium with is own basic proprietary OS. The board even used dsp cards for realtime effects, and had its own per channel effects strip.

Now that system had reliably isssues as it aged, and was built to a 10k price point, so not as robust as possible, but really was a great system took daily use. It made 'real records' that came out on 'real' labels, albeit not major labels, not garage level labels either.

My point is that a Daw machine can run for a very long time (relatively) and very stably. Aside from huge leaps like 32 to 64bit, ect, there's no need to upgrade.

There's a certain pursuit of want not need, and it's encouraged by marketing, that incremental upgrades are worth it.

For instance my phone is 3gen behind now, and besides water resistance, and a camera upgrade, there's nothing more the potential 1,400$ worth of upgrading each gen would have gotten me.

Many people get stuck in the upgrade box becuase they're not using a good solid power supply that has a 7-10 year warranty. Or the Best Buy computer doesn't have compatible parts (lol ask me how I know), or ram capacity isn't expandable.

People don't look at their machines and software sets as closed systems. They often don't define there needs, and then attain them. GAS gets us all at some point, but it's much more financially sound in the hardware realm.

For example I've attained well over 10k worth of software legitimately paid for, for about 5k. I took advantage of BFD 50% off sale cycles, and waited for what I wanted to be on sale as low as it typically goes. Sometimes early adoption was the trick, ozone producers pack for $420 or so, was a steal. I had been waiting years to take the plunge on ozone, as I liked it immedialty back in version 2007. The new one came out at a great intro price, and my (newfound) patience and financial strategy had money for when the occasion rose. Ditto for my Vienna Symphony stuff which would otherwise be out of my affordable price range. Wait for the sales cycles, observe, then you'll know how low the price points get on particular things, and you can buy at the opportune time.

A big mistake on the hardware side is buying and underpowered system. Upgrades are best kept for keeping a system going after the first 3-5 years. Otherwise upgrades cost more than buying correctly upfront. This requires some knowledge and planning on your software and workflow side of things, to make an accurate judgement. I've learn the hard way that I tend to push things to the max, and therefore meeting the minimum hardware requirements always left me unsatisfied. Then your stuck with it until a complete overhaul.

I've run ozone and Samplitude on a $80 w10 tablet, and 'mastered' songs with the setup. This was a test to gauge things like sams reliability and ozones CPU consumption.

Then there's lack of planned obsolescence. The manufactures have that in mind, so should the end user. Re-assign that older PC to running some effects busses as a slave, or use it for moxdowns, or emails. Ect ect.

Also, lol, end rant here, it's important to keep your daw as clear as possible of NON daw related things. For instance my Adobe photoshop/acrobat stuff should be on a different system, and likely will be. Maybe if your doing a lot of video you need a dedicated system. Divide an conquer comes into play when people like me are wearing many hats. Within the same money amount, you can often get two separate machines dedicated to certain things, VS one extremely powerful machine to conquer all. This has to do with the nature of diminishing returns on the hardware side. An 8 core xeon is $450, the 10 core is $1,000. So you can run dual 8 cores for a total of 16 cores on a single computer, for less than a single 10 core. It's a game of MIN/MAX. And matching the numbers. I've found this journey fascinating, and feel that only in the last year or two do I have a solid basic understanding of computing relative to audio. I've learned the hard way...

DonnyThompson Mon, 08/28/2017 - 12:43

Before I moved from XP to w7, and subsequently from Sonar 8 PE to Samp, I was starting to feel the limitations of the 32 bit system; because it would only run a max of4 gig of RAM, and the OS took up at least one gig just to run, I was starting to bog down with VSTI's... things like drum sampling progs, various synths, etc. it wasn't so much a VST thing, it was more the sample libraries that weren't working at what I felt were their optimum.
XP was a great platform, very stable, reliable. But after MS announced that it was ending support, I felt I needed to change up to a 64 bit system. I did a trial run on Sonar X-1, and they had changed things so much that I felt as if I was learning all over again. Figuring that if I was gonna have to learn a new platform anyway, I contacted Chris (@audiokid ) and he turned me on to Samp.
Samplitude was not a breeze to learn, it's a deep and powerful platform, but in the end it was worth the hair pulling. I'd have yanked just as many hairs trying to learn a new version of Sonar anyway, and Samp turned out to be the most productive system... for me. In the end, it's all about how a platform works for you.
Stepping up to a more powerful 64 bit system with a more powerful CPU, and a lot more RAM at the time, saw great improvements for me in what I could do, and how I could do certain things I wasn't able to do before.
I've managed to keep every system I have owned for between 4-5 years. I think that's pretty decent in a technology that is moving at a lightning speed these days.
I'm probably due for an upgrade soon... although I could still keep using this system for awhile without any major complaints .. although I'm really not a fan of W10. There's lots of bloat there.

miyaru Mon, 08/28/2017 - 13:47

Around the millenium change, I worked with the Mackie D8B at school. I attended the SAE college in Amsterdam from 1999 to 2001. We had this D8B and an Yamaha 02r desk as digital desks and at that time the D8b was the bomb. In my memory it wasn't sluggish or so, and we really loved to work with it. It was devided in two: the desk was really a HUI and controller, and the real machine was a 19" box with the pc in it. It was indeed a 366MHz Intel Pentium 2 and later on they stepped to 400MHz units. We found it more friendly than the 02r. Back then I had an Yamaha 01v myself. The latter was fitted with an ADAT card, and my PC was fitted with a RME Digi 98/8 card. This gave me the power of recording 8 channels at a time with a total of around 24 tracks - a big step up from my Fostex D108 8 track recorder! So you see, times are changing........

About the upgrading: machines from 5 years old re still capable of doing most things, but man ain't it nice to have a PC that boots in 15 seconds? I love it!!!!

DonnyThompson Mon, 08/28/2017 - 16:07

I remember the Mackie. Never worked on it but knew guys that did.
In '98 I sold my Neotek console and 1" 16 Track machine and installed two O2R's, with cards installed for the Tascam DA Series digital decks. I had one DA88 as the master and slaved 3 DA38's to it.
In retrospect, it was a bad move. First, I really liked my Neotek. Second, I didn't know at the time I bought the DA decks that they would require R-Dat head servicing after 600 hours of use, and the servicing wasn't cheap, either. 600 hours sounds like a lot of hours, but it's really not if you're working on them 10-12 hours a day, 6 and 7 days a week... which on those days I was.
On top of that, using the 8 mm cleaning cartridge took life off the heads as well.
I did some good work on that system, but I never "loved" the way the DA decks sounded. I really should have made the move to a fully loaded DAW platform at the time instead of those DA's.
I did the work I needed to do, made my clients happy, but looking back it wasn't the smartest decision I ever made, creatively, sonically, or business-wise. But, sometimes it takes hindsight to realize those things, I suppose.

kmetal Mon, 08/28/2017 - 16:26

DonnyThompson, post: 452344, member: 46114 wrote: Before I moved from XP to w7, and subsequently from Sonar 8 PE to Samp, I was starting to feel the limitations of the 32 bit system; because it would only run a max of4 gig of RAM, and the OS took up at least one gig just to run, I was starting to bog down with VSTI's... things like drum sampling progs, various synths, etc. it wasn't so much a VST thing, it was more the sample libraries that weren't working at what I felt were their optimum.

I bought a brand new laptop as soon as the core 2 duo came out, back in '04 as something for college work, and as a audio computer upgrade from my 566mhz celeron HP computer. Lol. I was essentially a bit too much of an early adopter, and I had a nightmare experience with digidesign / protools, just not working smoothly. I was told to upgrade to a certain external drive with a digi approved bridging chip. $180 for 160gb HDD. Then it was move to 4 gb of ram instead of the two, $100. Then it was oh the mbox, so I exchanged it for an m audio and protocols Mpowered, additional $200. Still the same damn problems. At the end of the day it really ended up being that the PT just simply wasn't coded to take advantage of dual core processors, and windows itself. So for many years I lived with a shaky PT system that one day ran great, the next day wouldn't record 1 track (no exaggeration). I used my older Adobe audition as a backup program and eventually the main thing.

It wasn't ultimately intensely dissapointng learning experience. It taught me about what is important to me in a DAW, and how to more appropriately match the hardware to what I'm trying to do with it.

I ended up using digital performer on the Mac pros at the studio for the next 8 years or so, and found myself now on hiatus designing my own Pc system based of my new ideas and my old experience.

While i subscribe to daws do have a sound, after working on the same gear with various engineers at the studio from beginner to decorated vet, I understand the lines between gear and experience. There's only so far experience and skill can take you before the gear takes over, and there's only so far the gear will take an inexperienced operater.

lol that said neve and apogee Rosetta changed my recordings instantly one night, so there is I guess growth to be had in both directions.

Funny thing is now I'd feel the 'need' for far less pluggin power than I would have in my laptop period. Although I do have a much better understanding of the need and type of power for VSTi's. Being a guitarist latency is a concern, and where I developed a master/slave setup on paper that should handle both needs in an economical way.

5 years is basically what I consider the working life span of a daw machine that needs to stay current. Much more than that, they chug, much less is a luxury for the avaergae pro, a necessity for the big time.

miyaru, post: 452345, member: 49780 wrote: About the upgrading: machines from 5 years old re still capable of doing most things, but man ain't it nice to have a PC that boots in 15 seconds? I love it!!!!

lol wish I knew about 15 sec boot time Robin!! You seem to have a solid working knowledge of this stuff.

Cheers to you for knowing about the D8B's lol, they seem to be an unsung board and somewhat ahead of their time in certain respects. I really had very little trouble jumping from typical live mixers to that in the studio. They were already pretty old by '07 when I started at the studio, so I learned some of the quirks and fixes along the way. As well as some agent management lol.

The one thing I do miss is having the physical knobs and faders of a setup like that, and the dedicated fat channel section where the knobs weren't changing by mistake or by console layer.

I still think we're about a decade or so away from fully digitally controlled analog boards or fully integrated daw controllers, by we are inching there.

I do however love touchscreen editing, it makes a lot of sense to me.

I got W10 pro and feel I'll have to upgrade to enterprise on the main machine(s), but will have to make due with pro on my others for cost reasons. I'm somewhat of a 'bottom feeder' professional and my recording projects don't leave me the financials to maintain anything hi end. I'm very fortunate tht acoustics is a somewhat in demand skill to have, and to have met with and be part of a couple nice commercial facilities.

I believe this semi-freelance way is the new work method for a mid level professional engineer and commercial studio. It's the luxury of some great rooms at a premium to the client for important things on the record, and the luxury of time, and more modest gear requirements for editing and overdubs with my own system.

Cheers!

kmetal Mon, 08/28/2017 - 16:47

DonnyThompson, post: 452348, member: 46114 wrote: I remember the Mackie. Never worked on it but knew guys that did.
In '98 I sold my Neotek console and 1" 16 Track machine and installed two O2R's, with cards installed for the Tascam DA Series digital decks. I had one DA88 as the master and slaved 3 DA38's to it.
In retrospect, it was a bad move. First, I really liked my Neotek. Second, I didn't know at the time I bought the DA decks that they would require R-Dat head servicing after 600 hours of use, and the servicing wasn't cheap, either. 600 hours sounds like a lot of hours, but it's really not if you're working on them 10-12 hours a day, 6 and 7 days a week... which on those days I was.
On top of that, using the 8 mm cleaning cartridge took life off the heads as well.
I did some good work on that system, but I never "loved" the way the DA decks sounded. I really should have made the move to a fully loaded DAW platform at the time instead of those DA's.
I did the work I needed to do, made my clients happy, but looking back it wasn't the smartest decision I ever made, creatively, sonically, or business-wise. But, sometimes it takes hindsight to realize those things, I suppose.

Drooling over that neotek D. Just sounds like a blast to mix on.

My first two recordings were done at local project studios when I was 13 and 15. Little pop punk tunes. The first studio had adats and we mixed down to cassettes. Sold all 100 copies at shows within a couple moths! Lol. We tracked that 8 song demo in one session live, with vocals overdubbed that day. I remember being super like 'wow' looking at the board and the knobs and all that. The engineer let me play his brothers Tele w humbucker, thru a little Mesa combo. Lol instead of my ibanez RG / crate rig. It came out fine, for what it was and I even sent one out to Fat Wreck Chords, my favorite indie label out in California. They coined the sound of Cali skate punk in the mid to late 90's. They actually responded with a letter that was pre written but had check boxes, and we got the mark just above the bottom. lol they were surely being polite, but actually responded. It's weird how important that was.

I think we probably paid about 3-500 for the recording session, and $2 per tape copy which the studio did for us.

I later learned the engineer who did all those (Fat Wreck Chords) albums I loved was a Grammy winning guy. His name is Ryan Greene. So for many years I was under the understanding that those records were not great sounding becuase that was punks reputation, shitty sounding records. So in reality I was trying to match my own 4 track demos to some pretty damn good records. The way we learn man, lol.

The second demo was at a better designed project studio, where my favorite local punk band recorded. It was the singers dad's project studio. He was a mailman for day job, but was in an 80's punk band 'The Lads' who did one record or so for a major label. I found out years later that they recorded w Phil, who is the decorated engineer down at the commercial studios i built a couple years ago, and am associtaed w. Lol small, strange place, is the music world...

We did the second demo to cool edit pro, tracked live, keeping drums and some bass, overdubbing the rest. We made CDs, dupped by my uncles friend w a wicked nice laser printer. We paid a few bucks each for those, and $250 per song (flat rate) to record the 10 song demo, over about a month. Probably about 10 sessions between short overdubs and a couple days. Mixing was done by Joe on his own.

It took me a long time to realize that those engineers were competent professionals who really did know what they were doing, they just worked in a home, late 90's/early 2k project studio setting. I have great memories from them and the times, particularly the 2nd demo, and I learned a lot too. Joe was a fun guy to make a record with. And really put in an honest effort. Considering the songs were terrible and we were just barely old enough to drive (except me) it really was pretty cool.

Sorry not sure what this has to do with Windows besides joe used windows and a Sony 900mhz PC w cool edit. But your DA38 comment Donny flooded my memory.

Davedog Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:17

I know this isn't PC based and I get that your DAW dictates that but this comment is about "needing an upgrade" to keep up with the Jones' ..My MAC (there I said it) is a late 2009 quad core Xeon. The only major upgrade it has needed was a couple of SSD's and a new drive to house the library. Stable. Fast. Able to turn off ANYTHING I don't want or need. So, streamlined for recording. There's an internet access, of course, so I can send tracks or mixes out or receive them. I periodically brush its teeth and comb its hair even with the SSD main drive. It doesn't get into arguments with ProTools.

So I will have an upgrade if I build the room I have planned. But I wont have to upgrade the mainframe of the machinery. My Guru runs the same platform and is running 64 bit PTHD 12+. But then he knows these things.

miyaru Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:32

Well, I'm the last to suggest one needs to upgrade - as it costs a lot of money. But if you upgrade, do it good and the right way. No matter if it is about a Win PC or Mac, or even a Linux based machine. If one is happy with his/her PC/Mac/Linux machine - better!!! I survived 8 years on the same machine before it was replaced last week!

So no, no upgrades for fun please.....

DonnyThompson Tue, 08/29/2017 - 08:10

I wonder if Jim Roseberry is still custom building systems for DAW production.. ??
Jim was a frequent contributor to the Cakewalk/Sonar forum, and was/is highly respected for making "lean and mean" computer systems designed specifically for audio production. I've never had him do anything for me, but, I personally know guys who have, and all of them have given glowing reports of his builds.
He specs out each machine ( or at least used to) based on the client's needs and budgets. Beefy power supplies, ultra quiet cooling, CPUs, RAM and HDDs that were tested as being the best for digital production, along with removing all the bloat that is so commonly found as part of OS's.
He then personally tests each machine to make sure everything runs perfectly.
When the time comes for me to upgrade, and when I can afford it, I'm gonna talk to him about building one for me, if he's still doing it.
:)
FWIW
-d.

kmetal Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:05

miyaru, post: 452355, member: 49780 wrote: Kyle, I meant my new machine boots in 15 seconds, not the old one LOL..... The old one needs more then 90 seconds.

lol understood robin, I was just commenting that I've not experienced the joy of SSD boot times on the computers I've used. I've been mostly on tablets for this interim, and on hiatus from the commercial studios for a year or two.

There was nothing more intense than trying to keep singing the melody, or playing that riff, to try and remember it while the well worn HDD based machines booted up!

Davedog, post: 452356, member: 4495 wrote: I know this isn't PC based and I get that your DAW dictates that but this comment is about "needing an upgrade" to keep up with the Jones' ..My MAC (there I said it) is a late 2009 quad core Xeon. The only major upgrade it has needed was a couple of SSD's and a new drive to house the library. Stable. Fast. Able to turn off ANYTHING I don't want or need. So, streamlined for recording. There's an internet access, of course, so I can send tracks or mixes out or receive them. I periodically brush its teeth and comb its hair even with the SSD main drive. It doesn't get into arguments with ProTools.

So I will have an upgrade if I build the room I have planned. But I wont have to upgrade the mainframe of the machinery. My Guru runs the same platform and is running 64 bit PTHD 12+. But then he knows these things.

Perfect illustration of computers don't stop doing what they did, just becuase something new comes out.

Also it may be pertinent, but having a single user, who does the same basic routines/procedures seems to lend itself much better to computers in general. I think at the studios with about half a dozen different computer operaters, the computers (macs) seem to be more prone to bugs and clogging in general. I'm not positive about this but it's a hunch. I've seen mac psu's blow up in my face, I've seen Pc's crap out, I don't any computer is invincible, nor do I think in general that similarly spec'd machines perform much differently.

Much of what we pay for in audio gear in general, which alludes to D's post, is the RnD, and the guarantee of performance.

One computer I can say offered poor value for the money, longevity, and performance was my cousins sweetwater creation station rack (dual core). Priced at the healthy $2,500 mark, and claimed to be "digidesign" tested, was a plethora of tech support calls, and a computer that wouldn't nearly run a 16trck session after about the 4 year mark. He's been happy with is 2013 Mac Pro (quad) since.

I learned a lot about computers troubleshooting his and my joe tools rigs, having perhaps been sold some snake oil with my cousins case, and unrealistic expectations in my case. It made me a better engineer, but was very dissapointing.

Still now knowing more about the hardware side those creation station pcs seem highly overpriced and a poor value. And while they tout tech support, you really really shouldn't need it that often enough for it to be a selling point. And at some point they will say 'well sir I dunno what the problem is' and your left high and dry. I'm not intentionally bashing the CS machines just telling it how it was.

Using a company that outfits Pcs for true professional engineers, with a reliable track record is paramount, or a computer expert who's also very familiar with the varying needs of how daws vsti's work and their relationship w the hardware is completely necessary, and few and far between.

miyaru Tue, 08/29/2017 - 11:02

Oh, absolutely true! For some purposes a Mac is better up the heat as is a "normal" PC. I'm honest to say I can't afford myself aa new Mac, nor is it in perspective with what I do in this music bussiness. But that aside, my new PC is capable of doing what a Mac can do for half the price at this moment in time. As an hobbyist songwriter, performer and engineer I have a lot of nice stuff to keep myself bussy in a more than decent way. Happy enough, I have a wife who understands my musical and interlectual needs and supports me where she can mentally and financialy.

All in all I'm a happy man! Beside m music stuff I host a radio show, which broadcasts 2 hours a week on the thursday evening. It is a local radiostation, and my show is all about bands and music from our region (Zaanstreek). We have a live band every week, playing for 30 to 60 minutes depending on their setlist. Interviews and backgroundinformation is done by me too, and I have a co-host doing a list with things going on musically in our region. The radio stuff gives me lots of joy, and it was a kidswish from me to do so,- at the age of 52 the circle becomes closed in a good way.

Well telling about myself: I have no kids and with nice weather I ride my Yamaha XJR 1200 SP bike for fun beside making music!

Cheers!

kmetal Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:10

miyaru, post: 452362, member: 49780 wrote: Oh, absolutely true! For some purposes a Mac is better up the heat as is a "normal" PC. I'm honest to say I can't afford myself aa new Mac, nor is it in perspective with what I do in this music bussiness. But that aside, my new PC is capable of doing what a Mac can do for half the price at this moment in time. As an hobbyist songwriter, performer and engineer I have a lot of nice stuff to keep myself bussy in a more than decent way. Happy enough, I have a wife who understands my musical and interlectual needs and supports me where she can mentally and financialy.

All in all I'm a happy man! Beside m music stuff I host a radio show, which broadcasts 2 hours a week on the thursday evening. It is a local radiostation, and my show is all about bands and music from our region (Zaanstreek). We have a live band every week, playing for 30 to 60 minutes depending on their setlist. Interviews and backgroundinformation is done by me too, and I have a co-host doing a list with things going on musically in our region. The radio stuff gives me lots of joy, and it was a kidswish from me to do so,- at the age of 52 the circle becomes closed in a good way.

Well telling about myself: I have no kids and with nice weather I ride my Yamaha XJR 1200 SP bike for fun beside making music!

Cheers!

Man that's cool stuff Robin. when you do the radio show with the bands do you also record it? Do you know which program the station uses for its broadcast? I'm looking into a premium program (magix sequoia) becuase of its broadcast features, and several other key features. Just curious what you're using and how radio/broadcast needs and features differ from your personal recording setup as far as the Daw is concerned.

I'm also in the camp of using PCs to save $ vs buying a Mac Pro, I have love for both and feel both are excellent. I'm also a control freak lol, and since Mac OS can run on a PC and vice versa it's really solidified my desire to build my own PC for recording, and eased the system compatibility between me and studios.

miyaru Tue, 08/29/2017 - 23:39

Hello Kyle,

I used to use Mixxx - free software - to do my broadcasts, but I'm looking right now for other software. This is because Mixxx leans heavely on your CPU, and ain't always stable. I'm thinking of running Ableton as software for the broadcasts, but I'm not shure yet. Regular software for broadcast is way to extended for what we do, and is also pricey. Sometimes we record these bands we have as guests using our MIDAS M32 going via USB 32 channels to Cubase running on the laptop of my engineer. I have the luxary of having my own engineer, and all I do is macht levels of the songs and move the faders for the mics.....LOL And of course I start and crossfade songs.....

DonnyThompson Wed, 08/30/2017 - 04:34

miyaru, post: 452372, member: 49780 wrote: I used to use Mixxx - free software - to do my broadcasts, but I'm looking right now for other software. This is because Mixxx leans heavely on your CPU, and ain't always stable

This is an interesting point - that different DAW programs will tax your CPU more ( or less) than others right out of the gate. I've never used "Mixxx", so I wouldn't know, but if I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that just the platform in itself taxes your system's resources...
And it's not necessarily based on dense VST or VSTi scenarios ( which would presumably hit your system even more).
I wonder why this is ... And I'm not doubting you here,I'm sincere in my curiosity...
You'd think that a freeware program would tax your system resources less than other more complex platforms like PT, Sonar, Samp, S1, etc. Because the feature sets of those progs would be far more intensive - unless that has nothing to do with it and it all comes down to the coding of the developer(?)
Interesting...
As a side note, have you considered trying Presonus S1 Artist Series? Last time checked it was free (I'm not sure if it still is but it can't be all that much if there is a cost)... S1 has become a respected DAW platform in the last few years. I know more than a few Pro's who use it. It's very stable, user friendly, and has some very nice features.
FWIW
-d

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