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Topic: Advice needed - buying pc for music

  1. #1

    Advice needed - buying pc for music

    Hi everyone,

    My name's Aleem and I'm from the UK, studying history at University. I've been waiting for a few years to be able to buy a decent sample library and a computer that could run it. I've decided that its most likely I'll end up buying Opus1. This would be my first sample library ever. Up until now, I've been using the onboard synth sounds that my inbuilt "soundcard" allowed me to have. I've seen Opus1 at action at my friend's house, heard demos in comparison to other libraries and I like most aspects of it enough to want to buy it. However, I don't have a machine to run it.

    I wanted to ask some advice; what sort of specs for a machine am I supposed to aim for? Say I were to run Opus 1 on the machine, what soundcard, how much RAM, hard disk space etc. would you recommend?

    I have to add though, that my budget is not large. Afterall, I'm a university student. If you personally had, in the region of £450 ($800) what spec machine would you buy?

    Thanks anyone, for taking the time to read this; any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm clueless in matters like these; I don't even know if the £450 mark will get me a minimum. I hope it does, because if its not enough then I'll have to wait another year until I get enough money to buy a computer, a library, and finally start composing.



  2. #2

    Re: Advice needed - buying pc for music

    Hi, Aleem.
    I'm using Opus 1 too and I'll be glad to tell you some of what works and what doesn't for me.

    I'm using a pentium 4, 3 ghz 800 mhz FSB, 2 gigabyte DDR 400 RAM, and 2 sata disks installed as a raid-0 partition. My software is Cubase 3 and Halion 3. This combination is able to run 75% of a full orchestra arrengement in medium tempo using opus 1. I'm quite convinced that you will not be able to run an entire orchestra arrengement using Opus 1 on 1 PC for some time. I'd say that you shoud consider getting yourself separate computer parts and assemble your computer yourself. This will save you much money and enable you to custom build your computer .. however with the backside of no computer support to call.

    My experience is that to run heavily with samples through your system you need to get the strongest base functionality you can get - CPU, RAM, harddrive and stable soundcard drivers. Peripheral functionality, for example a great graphics card or a motherboeard with tons of bells and whistles, are things you can save up on.
    Also, to ensure that all data will flow stable and without interrupts you need to focus on one of the PC's weakest links: the Interrupt Request system - IRQ - which unchecked is a major bandit in hang-ups and system instability. To ensure this, is a bit of a lottery, but the best way to ensure you will be able to set the IRQ as manual as possible is to use some of the best and most stable chipsets from Intel and get yourself a motherboard (BIOS) with allows the user to set alot of things with alot of freedom. I would recommend Intels Canterwood Chipset i875 for the time being.

    Hope this provides some starting out ideas. Good Luck
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

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