DSP cards... the truth?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Fooldog01, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    Alright, I understand the principle behind DSP cards. They do the grunt work by processing plugins. My question is concerning the application. Can you only use them with the supplied plugins (like included in a bundle) or does someone make DSP cards that will run your existing DX and VST plugs? Im using a P4 based PC and Win XP with Sonar 4 Producer.
  2. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    You may feel even SILLIER when you find out you can use the "EDIT" button to go back into your own posts and correct them. :? :lol: :cool:
  4. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    Thanks for the tip... now if someone just had an answer to my question...
  5. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    At this point, I believe, there is no "generic DSP card" that runs just any VST pugs. A couple years ago TC Electronics claimed that they were working with Emagic to enable the Logic plugs to run on the PowerCore card - that would have been great (for me anyway). Then Apple bought Emagic and things never happened (as much as I know).

    I believe that the DSP cards need to know things about the algorithms they run (e.g. memory needs, DSP horsepower requirements etc.) which is why only "bundled" or "officially approved" algorithms (the ones you have to buy from them) run on their cards.

    Some assumptions here, but I believe them to be reasonable ...

    Hope this helps,

  6. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    ahhh. I see. Thanks a lot. Does anyone have any feedback on a particular brand?
  7. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Both the TC Powercore and the Mackie UAD-1 are quite useful. I particularly like the ClassicVerb on the PowerCore - reason alone for to me like the card. The compressors are quite usable on the UAD-1 and the DreamVerb is OK. If you can spare the change get one of each, they are not that expensive these days. The UAD-1 is fairly easily maxed out. Two of the Nigel Amp emulators use up pretty much all the horsepower. The compressors do a little better but still ... The TC has plenty of power. It takes 4 of the high end reverbs to max it out. Most of the other algorithms take a lot less resources so you can run plenty of them.

    A final disclaimer before I am getting blasted: These algorithms do not replace higher end outboard gear. The do well in comparison to less expensive hardware units and the convenience of having them as plug-ins (recording software permitting) is hard to beat.

    Just my opinion.
  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    There is an article on such things in the latest Electronic Musician magazine(April, 2005). Answers at least some of your questions and several more...

  9. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    I appreciate all your help, but I have one more question. I checked out the TC Powercore and it says it needs a VST compatible host. Does that mean you couldn't use Sonar 4 Producer with it? That is the program I had planned on running. Should I perhaps consider an alternative, like Cubase or something?
  10. Someday

    Someday Guest

    2 years ago i came to the conclusion that DSP cards are dead unless you want those specific plugins that could be only available there.
    All DAWs have the freeze feature.
    No need for DSP cards, and the host CPU is going to be more and more powerful.
  11. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

  12. Steve Halko

    Steve Halko Guest

    Sonar 4 IS a VST compatible host.
  13. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    about a year ago i heard someone was trying to tap into the mostly used power in high end video cards as a generig all around DSP. but i never heard anything more.

    if you want really good reverb but dont have the space/money for a good out board unit the TC has good reverb. if its compressors your after then go for the UAD1 also the UAD1 is made by Universal audio not mackie.
  14. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I don't think they're dead. They're still selling and coming out with new models and plugins all the time.

    The main reason to buy them is for the specific plugins that only they will run...reverbs especially, as those are the plugins that tend to tax your processor the most and native reverbs don't sound as good as the DSP-based ones anyhow. That's to be expeced...when you're writing a reverb plugin, you have to take the amount of DSP it takes up in mind. It would be hard to sell a great-selling reverb plugin that doesn't let you run any other plugins on your computer.

    While it's true that these cards only run plugins specifically for them, they'll still let you run more of your native plugins as more of your computer's processor's power will be freed up.

  15. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    Well, I already have a reverb plug that I am particularly fond of (Ambience) that currently takes up about 35% of my CPU power on my Do-it-all Dell. I plan to upgrade in the near future and I am trying to focus on getting as many plugins to run as many tracks without problems. My setup was going to be a Dual 2.8 Ghz Xeon 800FSB processors, with 2gb of ram, a 10k rpm system drive and 7200 rpm audio data drive, built in firewire connected to my firepod. What can I expect out of this setup as far as performance?
  16. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    Why 10K RPM for the system drive and 7.2K for the audio drive? You'll get better performance doing it the other way around.

  17. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    because the biggest 10k drive is 72 gigs and I need more than that for audio. Probably a 200 gig audio drive.
  18. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I'd opt out of the 10K RPM drive if it'll save you some money...there's no need for such a fast system drive.

  19. fontane

    fontane Guest

    For what it's worth, i have cruised around many different forums and thats the config that I see everyone turning to... a real quick boot-up time and application load time while using the still very fast 7200 drives which also have much more capacity being used for audio and graphics data...

    i believe this would be the way I would run a 10000 and a 7200 as well...

    and Fooldog01 -
    I have heard many great things about the UAD1, I have actually picked up one myself for my new DAW - specifically for the compressors/limiters...
  20. SONICA-X

    SONICA-X Guest

    Twice as many plug-ins from single to dual CPU.

    Guy Cefalu.
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