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View Full Version : Best new system on the market for playing the Steinway???



JohnGrant
10-09-2010, 03:47 PM
I'm about to buy a totally new system, exclusively to drive piano samples, mainly the Garritan Steinway.

What--in precise terms--do I need to be able to simultaneously play and record the piano flawlessly--absolutely flawlessly, in real time???? MAC PC I don't care. I have the full version of the Steinway, btw.

I've been looking at the SSDs now, since to be perfectly honest, I've never had totally clean sound out of my old system which included the 10k raptors. Still got occasional pops plus unacceptable latency, even with a high-end card (the name of which now escapes me--that's how long it's been!!)

John Grant

Haydn
10-09-2010, 11:14 PM
SSD's are necessary to play the Steinway library. I use it along with a whole slew of other libraries (and samplers) without any pops or clicks and up to 600 note polyphony. This is on a PC based Core i7 system with 8 GB of RAM.

Jim

JohnGrant
10-10-2010, 06:41 AM
Thanks Jim,

Could you give me the details, like number, make, and placement of ssds, soundcard, firewalls, 64 bit?, and anything else a total technopeasant like me would need to know, esp., can I switch between giga and pianos running on alternative (standalone) platforms, or is reconfiging the system going to be necessary?

Hey, maybe there's a reasonable online or instore company that would build me your type of machine and solve all my problems once and for all...

JG

Haydn
10-10-2010, 08:43 PM
There are many DAW makers out there. StudioCat has reasonable systems that are configured without the issues you'll have with a store bought PC. I hear nothing but praise for their systems. Here's a link to there site: http://www.studiocat.com/2/index.php/Tower

Jim

JohnGrant
10-10-2010, 10:10 PM
Great. Thanks Jim.

JG

Jeff Hurchalla
10-12-2010, 12:59 PM
If you want to simultaneously play and record then I'd definitely recommend looking into an SSD. The Intels are well regarded as well as the relatively newer ocz Vertex2. Just make sure you read up a little on whatever you want before buying, since some of the older SSDs were truly awful with performance stalls- probably unusable for your purpose. That's probably a solved problem with the newer ssds, and was never a problem with the Intels, but you don't want to be surprised.

But to clarify for an average user who is just trying to play the Steinway, an SSD isn't typically needed. I think it is always a good idea (with a quality ssd) if money allows, but I've happily demoed the Steinway for trade shows using the internal 5400 rpm laptop hard drive, while setting the latency to the absolute minimum (32 samples/0.75 ms). I certainly can't guarantee that a user can always use a laptop standard internal drive and get no problems and be able to use the lowest possible latency settings, but I was able to do it when I connected a good audio interface.

I'd recommend a desktop, and PC, since you'll have more control over components and changing components if you happen to find out that a particular component is causing you trouble.
You may find the following program very interesting for Windows
http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml
A typical source of pops and clicks can be a wireless connection, and this utility will probably show if it's a problem, as well as many other drivers that might be stalling the audio stream.
Hope this helps-

JohnGrant
10-12-2010, 02:40 PM
Great info!

Interface: they can be expensive. Are you allowed to say what a play/record piano player would need without overkill?

And is a 64bit system compatible with Garritan Steinway? (Hey, I know, this info's probably out there.....???)

And is my gigaorchestra history if I go 64 bit? (I liked that program, although maybe a version of the pmi bos 290 is available in standalone 64 bit compatible.... I don't know.)

Thanks, again, and sorry if these questions are too simplistic.....

JG

Haydn
10-12-2010, 04:12 PM
The ARIA player that the Steinway uses is 64 bit compatible. I'm using it with Windows 7 x64 with no problems.

I can vouch for the performance that Jeff was getting at NAMM this past year as I worked the booth with him. It was amazing how tight the latency was!

Jim

JohnGrant
10-12-2010, 09:10 PM
I'm pretty confident things are going to work out for me. Just crossing my "i"s and dotting my "t"s.

And maybe thinking there's someone out there who will buy my giga4?

Cause I don't think I'll be needing it anymore, which kinda troubles me.

JohnGrant
10-13-2010, 02:39 PM
Thanks to all for the advice. Made my decision. Looking forward to making music.

JG

ab53
10-14-2010, 02:08 PM
In XP (and I assume Win 7) you can go to control panel and disable the network connection. This is convenient because one does not need to unplug the cable physically, replug it again etc.
Does disabling the network connection in the control panel solve this problem? Or is the driver still there somehow causing disruptions?
THANKS for your help.
P.S. I have my Steinway on an Intel SSD and it cut down the time in half for loading from my prior WD 10000K raptor drive.


A typical source of pops and clicks can be a wireless connection, and this utility will probably show if it's a problem, as well as many other drivers that might be stalling the audio stream.
Hope this helps-