SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 06, 2014 6:15 pm

Aye, compare a PC running 10x FM8, 10x 16tr. Komplete and about 30 reverbs with equivalent amount of hardware. Then we talk. Or, if you do a mix of 40 stereo channels, compare the PC (in price and power consumption) to an 80 channel SSL console, 80 tracks worth o' HD recoders and another bucketload o' outboard.

You know what it is? Just because your most favourite 50's novel was written using a typewriter, doesn't mean that a typewriter is more practical than a PC running Word, InDesign etc.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by calaverasgrande » Tue May 06, 2014 6:23 pm

madtheory wrote:I think most people like to use both. Software is unbeatable for recording. Even if you like tape it's highly unlikely you won't use a DAW at some point.
calaverasgrande wrote:
CS_TBL wrote:Hmm, in that I read: "I'm willing to do a blind test!"
blind tests are kind of pointless, all they prove is that our senses are not terribly reliable.
Our brains just aren't as good at remembering 'tone' as they are at remembering symbols and colors.
A blind test has the blush of objectivity, but in fact it is just carefully orchestrated subjectivity.
Or it could save you a ton of cash by proving to you that Mini Monsta sounds exactly the same (to you) as a real Mini Moog! (I'm kidding, but only a bit).

But seriously, that's such a negative view of it. With what we learn from any kind of objective testing, we can expand our minds beyond our senses, and appreciate our senses for what they are.

But it's true that testing is not 100% reliable either, for giving us accurate information. Most often it's because all of the variables are not accounted for. With synths, the tactile part has a huge influence on how we experience the sound, and I think it also affects what we create with the synth (all of which makes it very hard to do a comprehensive blind AB of a real Mini vs a plugin version). It's important to be aware of our cognitive biasses, and to work with them. We're human, it's good to know how we are.

Also, I have to take issue with your assumption about remembering tone. Yes, untrained the auditory memory (i.e. for timbre) is on average around 7 seconds. Unfortunately there are no studies I know of that assess the memories of people who do sound designing- probably because we're a very small group! But studies with students show it can be improved to 30 seconds to a minute. You'll find references to some studies in [url+https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/jason-corey/]this[/url] book.
I am a bit jaded, but I spent about 8 years in qualitative AND quantitative market research.

There is also this forum called talkbass, where every single discussion;
ebony vs rosewood, tube vs solid state, fender vs gibson, 10" vs 12" (speaker you dirty sods).
All boil down to a 'blind test".
This is music, not science.
Whether you can prove "this" or disprove that matters little in terms of art, which deal in the ephemeral and ineffable.

But then a lot of bass players have engineers, not poets souls.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 06, 2014 6:44 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:There is also this forum called talkbass, where every single discussion;
ebony vs rosewood, tube vs solid state, fender vs gibson, 10" vs 12" (speaker you dirty sods).
..except that those are debates about apples and oranges. Yes, there's a difference between Fender and Gibson, speaker sizes, wood etc. So, yes, you can have a debate about that (not that it makes much sense (taste 'n such), but at least you could argue there's a major difference).

In Sw/Hw-debates, the SW-people are merely talking about the Hw, except that it's all virtual. You know, people buzzing about CS80V, ImpOscarII, JP8V etc. etc. So it's basically the same thing, except that the PC can do much more for the same money, and (following the enerygy talk) for less power if you compare a fully loaded PC project to the equivalent worth o' hardware. And that's what I do also, I'm not against hardware, I just don't find it practical (and it's way more expensive) compared to the itb workflow. And, when it comes to sample based production work, there's no Hw match for itb anyway, anywhere and anytime, for the simple reason that PC's remain cheap because it's a mass-market.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 06, 2014 6:50 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:This is music, not science.
Yet I can scientifically prove that a 100 GB virtual orchestra sounds better than the Royal 4 MB Sound Canvas Philharmonic. It's science, taking into account the way breathing organisms (humans) blow, the time it takes to move their fingers, the noises instrument mechanisms make, etc. etc. etc. all these details are science, and 100 GB represents these better than the Royal 4 MB Sound Canvas Philharmonic.

Since music is organized sound, sound is important, and so is the science of sound.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by calaverasgrande » Tue May 06, 2014 7:34 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
calaverasgrande wrote:This is music, not science.
Yet I can scientifically prove that a 100 GB virtual orchestra sounds better than the Royal 4 MB Sound Canvas Philharmonic. It's science, taking into account the way breathing organisms (humans) blow, the time it takes to move their fingers, the noises instrument mechanisms make, etc. etc. etc. all these details are science, and 100 GB represents these better than the Royal 4 MB Sound Canvas Philharmonic.

Since music is organized sound, sound is important, and so is the science of sound.
missing the point,
Maybe some wunderkind can blow doors with a GM soundset on a hardware keyboard, but can't even figure out how to press record in a DAW.
You can populate all kinds of metrics to prove that Synth A has more voices or more oscs or many more options for modulation than synth B. Whether synth a or b reside inside a box of elxtrons or on a table with cables is immaterial. At the end of the day all that matters is...can you make music?
And is that music any good?
This is what I mean when I say this is music not science.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 06, 2014 7:44 pm

Actually I believe music is science, I believe it can be argued why note x is at position y, I believe even emotion can be understood (it's what film composers do on a daily basis). But then again I'm as rational as can be, I might not line-up well with most other composers. And yes, I can make music. And the best synths can make my work sound better than some budget synth.

Anyway, this is besides the point of the topic. :keys1:
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by commodorejohn » Tue May 06, 2014 8:01 pm

CS_TBL wrote:all these details are science, and 100 GB represents these better than the Royal 4 MB Sound Canvas Philharmonic.
My line of thinking is that specs-obsession and the "one workstation, all things to all genres!" mindset is exactly the disease that got us the Royal 4MB Sound Canvas Philharmonic in the first place, replacing perfectly pleasant if not exactly realistic synthesized strings/brass from your Solinas and your Prophets and your whatnot or slightly cheesy but endearingly colorful sampled sounds from your Emulator II with pre-baked sample sets that have become progressively larger and larger and larger but somehow have never become proportionally less bland or boring. Keep your 100GB orchestra, I'll stick with my 128KB one.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by silikon » Wed May 07, 2014 2:16 pm

Ashe37 wrote:Silikon,

Also keep in mind that any reasonably current PC only consumes that amount of power when running at 100% CPU anfd GPU, and all the drives being active. Current CPUs use 85w or less. GPUs, it depends what you have. At idle, most systems go below 80 watts total these days (more so if you have SSDs)
True, indeed. However, most people don't write songs on a computer that's idling. :) That said, my main take away from that should have been that the computer is one of, if not the most energy-hungry system in a given home studio, not accounting for tube gear and wicked-large mixers.

calaverasgrande wrote:The "800 watts" of most enthusiast power supplies is an extremely optimistic rating.
Perhaps, but one could easily reach that with a system that has multiple internal rotational drives (not uncommon still today) and higher end graphics cards.
CS_TBL wrote:Aye, compare a PC running 10x FM8, 10x 16tr. Komplete and about 30 reverbs with equivalent amount of hardware. Then we talk. Or, if you do a mix of 40 stereo channels, compare the PC (in price and power consumption) to an 80 channel SSL console, 80 tracks worth o' HD recoders and another bucketload o' outboard.
Agreed, the computer in this instance would be heaps less if you attempted to factor in all the hardware it would take to replicate this.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 07, 2014 6:11 pm

I've been building DAWs since the mid 90's .
There is no reason to use a big iron GPU in a DAW.
In fact there are ample reasons not to!
  • uses up much of the power supplies reserve capacity
  • generates excess heat even at idle
  • 3D acceleration is not utilized by any DAW software that I am aware of.
  • Enthusiast cards do not play nice with PCIe based DSP cards.
I recommend using chipset video or one of Matrox's passively cooled workstation cards

Basically the only good reason to run a full tower case with an overbuilt power supply sucking watts out of the wall is if you are running a bunch of hard drives. In a raid array for instance.
I started doing that myself in the late 90's after I lost an entire hiphop project (with some of the best Minimoog bass I ever recorded).
But these days you can get a really nice NAS or DAS unit that puts your storage in an easily managed subsystem, which also consumes much less power.

I really do encourage all of you to go out and pick up a kill-a-watt or similar device so you can see the actual cost of your gear's current draw.
I found that my large screen TV was the worst offender.
Living room light fixture was 2nd.
My music gear (as aggregate, it's always turned on as a unit) came 3rd.
My 2013 Mac Pro was 4th and my MacBookPro a distant 5th behind that.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by silikon » Wed May 07, 2014 6:23 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:I recommend using chipset video or one of Matrox's passively cooled workstation cards
I have no qualms with this other than for dual or more higher-resolution displays. Having a card that does solid 2D performance can't hurt. True that later generations chipset video does a good job for most duties.
calaverasgrande wrote:But these days you can get a really nice NAS or DAS unit that puts your storage in an easily managed subsystem, which also consumes much less power.
I don't trust NAS devices for streaming a session. Perhaps a larger file repository for samples and the like, but I don't trust anything using NFS or CIFS (or anything network-related). For recording, having internal or 'local' disks is quite handy.
calaverasgrande wrote:Living room light fixture was 2nd.
What do you run in your Living Quarters? An aircraft search light? :)
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 07, 2014 7:17 pm

silikon wrote:
calaverasgrande wrote:I recommend using chipset video or one of Matrox's passively cooled workstation cards
I have no qualms with this other than for dual or more higher-resolution displays. Having a card that does solid 2D performance can't hurt. True that later generations chipset video does a good job for most duties.
calaverasgrande wrote:But these days you can get a really nice NAS or DAS unit that puts your storage in an easily managed subsystem, which also consumes much less power.
I don't trust NAS devices for streaming a session. Perhaps a larger file repository for samples and the like, but I don't trust anything using NFS or CIFS (or anything network-related). For recording, having internal or 'local' disks is quite handy.
calaverasgrande wrote:Living room light fixture was 2nd.
What do you run in your Living Quarters? An aircraft search light? :)
I guess I am used to a broadcast type of workflow where you keep finished projects on your NAS or SAN. Then only the project your are working on today in the local storage. With flash based storage such as in the new mac pro or any of the recent Macbooks or ultrabooks we really don't need separate system and data volumes. That was a major consideration when DAWs were constrained by rotational media and relatively slow IDE, SCSI and SATA-1 interfaces.
Keeping your hard work on a disk array with single or dual disk failure tolerance (raid 1,5,6,10,50,60) is a good idea. Esp since you can pick up a Qnap, Drobo or Synology with drives for under a grand. NAS are generally better for people with multiple computers, but a DAS will work even if you record straight into it. A TB or esata attached DAS is as fast or faster than any internal drive.

My living room light fixture is 6 incandescent bulbs. It's on a dimmer so it freaks if I try and use the dimmer as a dimmer with CFCs in it. I may just pop half of them out.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by silikon » Wed May 07, 2014 7:32 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:I guess I am used to a broadcast type of workflow where you keep finished projects on your NAS or SAN.
SAN is completely different from NAS, but yes, I see your point -- which I completely agree with.
calaverasgrande wrote:With flash based storage such as in the new mac pro or any of the recent Macbooks or ultrabooks we really don't need separate system and data volumes.
I'm the guy who still desires the need for separate system and data volumes, as it's never only about speed in that instance. Again, I think we've completely distracted from the scope of this thread, so I'll leave it at that, and apologize for both hijacking of this thread and for not being as articulate as I could have been and also overestimating the wattage numbers in the initial post.
silikon wrote:It's on a dimmer so it freaks if I try and use the dimmer as a dimmer with CFCs in it.
You know they make dimmable CFLs (and LEDs for that matter), right? :)
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 07, 2014 7:38 pm

silikon wrote:
calaverasgrande wrote:I guess I am used to a broadcast type of workflow where you keep finished projects on your NAS or SAN.
SAN is completely different from NAS, but yes, I see your point -- which I completely agree with.
SAN and NAS are just two different approaches to the same thing. We use both here at the station I work for.
Though the SAN is dedicated to the motion graphics dept.
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by silikon » Wed May 07, 2014 7:42 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:
silikon wrote:
calaverasgrande wrote:I guess I am used to a broadcast type of workflow where you keep finished projects on your NAS or SAN.
SAN is completely different from NAS, but yes, I see your point -- which I completely agree with.
SAN and NAS are just two different approaches to the same thing. We use both here at the station I work for.
Though the SAN is dedicated to the motion graphics dept.
...and there's a reason why that is so, and I'm certain you know why -- so let's leave it at that and get back to topic. :)
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Re: SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

Post by synthroom » Wed May 07, 2014 7:44 pm

You can get 60W LEDs that look way better color temp wise than CFL for like $5 now at Home Depot.

I'm buying a couple every trip there and swapping them with any CFL that has a chance of getting broken, like table and floor lights. I never liked having the mercury in the CLFs sitting around waiting for someone to knock a lamp on the floor...

I've got a Kill-A-Watt too. It's a lot of fun and quite informative.
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