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Topic: In need of hardware advice please

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  1. #1

    In need of hardware advice please

    Greetings. First post here and I am in need of some good advice.

    I am planning on developing a home music studio, and I want to utilize the EWQL Platinum, Gold and Silver Symphonic libraries, as well as the EWQL Symphonic Choir, RA and Collossus. I will also be using the entire Native Instrument suite of applications, to include Kompakt, Kontakt, FM7 Xpress and B4 XpRess. I will also most likely be running Cubase SX 3, Halion 3, Nuendo 3 and Sonar 4 Producing Edition.

    My question is this. If I purchased four of the Dell Dimension 3000 systems at the Dell site, with Intel Pentium 4 2.80 GHz, 533 FSB, and maxed out memory at 1 GB with each system containing 160 GB drives (the cost would be around $2600), could I install Platinum Strings on one, Brass on the other, etc., and distribute the processing load, while using one central system with the actual scoring software to stream the sounds through that main system? I know that EWQL has a company that they partner with who build such systems, but the cost is pretty hefty. How do you connect the systems, from a software-perspective? I know how to add them to my network, but I am unsure as to how to have the primary system call an application on another system and stream the sound libraries.

    Has anyone built their own music server farm in order to run the entire EWQL Platinum setup, and other software, so as to run everything at once with no latency or break-up issues?

    Also, on the primary system, should it be even more powerful than the other systems? And what is the best professional sound card setup that has full compatibility in a Windows XP environment? Is the top end SoundBlaster card with the brakeout box acceptable? Or is that not the way to go?

    I appreciate any feedback.

  2. #2

    Re: In need of hardware advice please

    Hi Mark

    Your particular question is out of my range of experience but there has been a lot of discussion of similar issues in the hardware forum over time. Until someone who is up on the current situation gets to this thread you can find lots of discussion by searching for FXTeleport &/or midi-over-lan. Things change fast so some of the discussion might be dated but it should get you started.

    Best wishes

    Chet

  3. #3
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: In need of hardware advice please

    Option 1: Cable Route

    For each box, have a good quality sound card and MIDI box (4 x 4?)
    Map MIDI to your DAW through something like a few MOTU Timepiece AV's
    Map sound via a digital mixer (Roland?) to your DAW or connect directly to DAW soundcard if it support multiple digital in's

    Option 2: MIDIOverLan

    Use MIDI over lan to communicate MIDI; but still route digital audio via cables

    Option 3: Use FX-Max products

    Send MIDI AND audio through gigabit ethernet. No soundcards or midiboxes needed. Your Sequencer opens them as a local instance.

    Option 4: Use some of your sound modules as plugins in your sequencer and not buy so many machines.

    Any others?

  4. #4

    Re: In need of hardware advice please

    Hey Mark, thanks for the post! I am new to this too. It sounds like we are going at this in opposite ways but arriving at the same place. I have been accumulating lots of hardware - PCs of the caliber you just described (except with 2GB of RAM. I do not have the software yet but for a few sampler libs with Kompakt and ones that need Gigastudio. I want to go with NI vsti and Sonar or Cubase (now confused after heated post currently active). I have been thinking all along of using FX-Teleport. I have Gigabit cards on each PC and a gigabit switch. It seems this will work great but the debate on this vs. MIDI-over-LAN, V-stack, etc is pretty confusing too. It seems a good time clock may be necessary? I will look forward to see what you come up with.

  5. #5
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: In need of hardware advice please

    I just ran a test via my XP laptop and my win98SE DAW using FX-Teleport. Took me a whilse to be able to setup my laptop access via network by DAW, but FX-Teleport is fantastic! Works great! VERY little latency - I cannot tell using my keyboard. No drops. Using a Linksys router.

    Now I can use this extra machine...try it yourself...they have a download 14 day demo version and you can try one of your VSTi's or get something like this to test it with.

    http://www.voxengo.com/

    www.fx-max.com

  6. #6

    Re: In need of hardware advice please

    HI,
    yes and no your idea in theory is correct

    2 things are needed for VSTi , 3 if its disk streaming

    1) CPU power
    2) Memory bandwidth
    3) Raided disk array for disk streaming samples or numerous voices/patchs on ram loading samples.

    the dell computers you describe have niether Cpu power
    or memory bandwidth.
    they may have other issues as well.

    you want at least 800 fsb processor and dual channel ram,
    preferably AMD for sampling.

    lastly your main daw had better be able to handle the load at a low latency.

    my ideal setup would be this

    Dual Opteron
    2 GIg Ram ( or more)
    300G 16meg cache Maxtor audio drive (very fast)
    same for sampples run on the main system or a pair in raid

    3-4 cheap boxs
    AMD 939 like 3000-3500
    1-2 Gig ram (more ram means more samples)
    small os drive
    300 G Sata

    use the FX teleport to save money.

    i have at least 2 doz guys who do exactly this for film scoring.
    some of the higher end guys will use RME 9652 cards to light pipe over to the main daw that has an RME Madi( or 2) AND ADAT to Madi converters.

    not as cheap as the dell answer but a much better and effective investment
    not to mention 64 bit ready

    Scott
    ADK
    (also in Kentucky)

  7. #7

    Re: In need of hardware advice please

    Thank you very much! All of the responses have been helpful, especially this one. Thanks again.

    Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcschild
    HI,
    yes and no your idea in theory is correct

    2 things are needed for VSTi , 3 if its disk streaming

    1) CPU power
    2) Memory bandwidth
    3) Raided disk array for disk streaming samples or numerous voices/patchs on ram loading samples.

    the dell computers you describe have niether Cpu power
    or memory bandwidth.
    they may have other issues as well.

    you want at least 800 fsb processor and dual channel ram,
    preferably AMD for sampling.

    lastly your main daw had better be able to handle the load at a low latency.

    my ideal setup would be this

    Dual Opteron
    2 GIg Ram ( or more)
    300G 16meg cache Maxtor audio drive (very fast)
    same for sampples run on the main system or a pair in raid

    3-4 cheap boxs
    AMD 939 like 3000-3500
    1-2 Gig ram (more ram means more samples)
    small os drive
    300 G Sata

    use the FX teleport to save money.

    i have at least 2 doz guys who do exactly this for film scoring.
    some of the higher end guys will use RME 9652 cards to light pipe over to the main daw that has an RME Madi( or 2) AND ADAT to Madi converters.

    not as cheap as the dell answer but a much better and effective investment
    not to mention 64 bit ready

    Scott
    ADK
    (also in Kentucky)

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