Whats your current computer setup like?

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tomorrowstops
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Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by tomorrowstops » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:44 pm

Especially aimed at the mostly or all software guys/gals - what's everyone's computers looking like these days spec wise?

Mine:

13" 2013 Retina Macbook
2.4ghz Dual Core i5
8gb ram
250gb flash drive
250gb external thunderbolt SSD

I'm pretty minimal when it comes to software, most of the time I'm just using stock Logic X instruments or the Aturia V collection. But I've been trying to run multiple instances of Aalto lately and every time am getting pops and clicks, like overloaded CPU type glitches. Its just 3 tracks of Aalto, no other instruments or effects of any kind. I'm guessing its just power hungry, like Diva was.

Curious to see how underpowered I am compared to the rest of the world...

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:46 pm

Keeping it simple:

2012 27" iMac quad i5, 16G RAM, 1 TB disk

Ableton Live

Alchemy, Absynth, Diva, ACE, Bazille, Aalto, Synplant, Analog Labw but still mainly using hardware

I freeze the u-he stuff so I can use highest quality. Yep, Aalto is hungry.
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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by piRoN » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:08 am

Quad core i5 (can't remember what clock speed), 16GB DDR3 RAM, SSD system drive and two hard drives.

Windows 7 64-bit, MOTU DP8.

Though to be honest, I use very little in the way of plugin effects and instruments. I do like having the power on tap to use external software like PureData and Granulab running back and forth through JACK for Windows at reasonable latency. The current system handles that quite well, but JACK and DP8 aren't the best of friends sometimes. Also I do occasionally still get random CPU overloads in DP8, but I think that's more down to the recent Windows port still being fairly buggy.

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:28 am

Looks like quad cores with 16gb ram are where its at. That was my old computer... a 2008 Mac Pro.

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:13 am

2010 15" MBP, 2.53GHz dual-core i5, 8GB Ram, 512GB SSD.

Running Live Suite 9, Pro Tools 9, Aalto and a bunch of McDSP and Sound Toys plugins. Most of my sound sources are outboard.

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:29 am

Samsung RF710, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD+ 750 GB HDD (more portable)

HP z600, 24 GB RAM, 2x 500 GB HDD (more power, going to put more storage in it shortly)

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by piRoN » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:56 am

tomorrowstops wrote:Looks like quad cores with 16gb ram are where its at. That was my old computer... a 2008 Mac Pro.
Actually, I think 16GB is overkill for the vast majority of audio work. The only reason mine's got that much is because I work in animation and motion graphics, and I wanted to be able to work on stuff at home if need be.

Most audio software doesn't use much memory, because it's generally streaming stuff from disk as it's needed.
Last edited by piRoN on Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:17 am

my z600 is primarily for animation as well. Notice i didn't say what kind of graphics card it has.

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by CS_TBL » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:08 am

i7-4770 @ 3.40 GHz (8 cores)
32 GB RAM
SSD: 512 + 512 + 256 = 1.25 TB
A lot of loose external harddisks on my desk, all together maybe around 15 TB or something.
onboard audio/video, no classy audio interface at all :)
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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:30 am

oh, i have another machine not as much used for music with a Core2Quad that has 4 TB of disk space and acts as storage for a lot of project files, and then we have a file server with 6 TB, used for footage alot.....

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:05 pm

For my Aalto experiments, I noticed that I was using about half of my available RAM. The CPU was spiking all over the place though. My next computer, someday, will be a quad core again.

CS - love that you don't even use an interface. You don't notice a major difference with the D/A conversion this way? Unless you have some kind of sweet internal audio card, I suppose. You're definitely the coolest totally in-the-box cat I've come across!

When I bought my current laptop, I was attempting to minimalize the use of a computer in my writing studio. Something I could just throw up anywhere and hit record. This laptop is small and unintrusive. I love how I can just take it off my desk and make it disappear when I please (my audio interface can operate standalone). Of course a big plus for that is my interface doesn't mind being plugged/unplugged from the computer - no sounds, no restarts, just an audio drop out for a few seconds.

But as much as I prefer working in hardware synth and acoustic instrument land, there's still this attraction to the ultimate simplicity that is working solely in the box. One small keyboard, a zillion different virtual instrument options, composing on the infinitely tweakable midi landscape. I guess you still need to make a serious investment, just in a different kind of hardware!

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by CS_TBL » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:27 pm

Well, it's really about being rational, and believe me when I say I'm the most rational cat around too. I don't have writers blocks, the only reason I'm not composing is because I'd be physically tired or prefer to do something else (tv, gaming, social media, blah) or because I don't have an assignment to do. So, I don't really rely on hardware synths to give me inspiration. And I've been around here long enough to know that others fancy such machines (looks, smell, legacy, sound) for inspiration - but, not me. So, I just pick the easiest route: in the box, where I control everything from one point without having to be bothered about voice count, effects 'n such.

In my JW-50 days (nearly 20 years ago) I did all the work with that microscope editor.. Composing just didn't go very fast and with each musical concept I had to pick my sounds strategically to avoid hitting 24 voices too soon, and cut down note lengths to avoid overlap. So, I can say: been there, done that. I really didn't want any polyphony/multi-timbrality issues anymore, ever! And you know, a client mails me at 10 PM "hey can you replace that vocal by, oh, an oboe?", and he needs it next morning. What would be easier to just replace the whole thing in the box, export it again, drag the file into the mixing app, and export again? In-the-box is ideal if you're working with multiple project files at the same time and exporting/mixing goes criss cross.

As for the on-board D/A: I don't know. It's called "Realtek High Definition Audio" - looked it up in my device manager! As I work in the box, my output is digital whatsoever because in the end I only make wav/ogg/mp3 files. I've a Zoom R16 here which can technically act as audio interface.. never tried.. :)

My second-latest musical contribution to a game is this one:



The game has 5 level tunes (you'll hear only one in this vid), including some carol'ish material. It's all not too dissimilar to John Williams' "Home Alone". For some stupid reason I have a knack for writing traditional xmas music. ^_^ The sleigh bells are my own. Two models: one with 4 or 5 bells, the other with 25, sampled some 32+ round robins from both. Somewhere there's a frame drum in it too, of which I sampled 8x full hand and 8x each finger. That's how I estimate my future GAS: real instruments and then sample the s**t out of 'm! Already got a cymbal set too, zillions o' ways to hit it, damp it, prepare it etc. Like inverting a ride and put loose screws in it, or holding it at one side and hitting it at the other side for a deep gong like sound. Or hitting it with a pincher. Now that's sound synthesis 2.0!
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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:44 pm

Awesome, I love that you're meticulously sampling real instruments. That's a direction I'd like to head in at some point. Starting with proper drum kit samples. I've also got a pile of percussion instruments ranging from bell trees to timpanis. Not to mention a beautiful old marimba and set of vibes. Just need to make the time....

And yeah, I can totally get behind totally in-the-box for full time composing work - it just makes sense. Most of the time commercial clients arn't demanding you reinvent the wheel sonically anyways. They want clean and accurate...and the ability to quickly change their mind!

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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:03 pm

2012 15" Retina, 2.6ghz i7, 8gb Ram, 512 SSD and the NVidia graphics jawn/ 1gb.

I run Logic X, Aalto, Arturia Pro V, Jup 8, Moog V, and CS80 + Spark. Also use an AudioFire 8 & Apogee Duet to record 10 channels simultaneously.

The past few days I have been recording 10 channels of Audio and 4 channels of MIDI instruments in logic from the MPC60 (Harpsichord, Mellotron, Aalto, and Jupiter 8) with absolutely no problems aside from slight time code errors from the aggregate device.
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Re: Whats your current computer setup like?

Post by silikon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:10 am

2011 Macbook Pro, Core i7/2.8GHz, 8GB, 512SSD+2TB HDD (replaced the DVD with a second drive), running MacOS 10.9.5

27" Display
10TB of Firewire RAID storage
Apogee Quartet

Mainly use Pro Tools 11, Digital Performer 8, and Live. for DAW work, Sound Forge for editing,

NI Komplete 10 (mostly use Reaktor and Absynth), U&I Metasynth 5, Virsyn, AAS, Aalto & Kaivo, Max/MSP, U-He, Waves and Audio Damage. A metric s**t tonne of Samples from Sonic Couture, Heavyocity, and a host of other self-design sounds (hence the need for the secondary internal drive).
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