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Daw build
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Daw build
Subject description: Daw build, a interactive work in progress
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I though I share my build up of a DAW.
First off, I just got the upgrade to the version of Sonar I am using now, Producer 4. The upgrade is 8.5. I am very use to Sonar and I know, this version will be a challenge but not as much as switching to something else. I have reviewed many others, like cubase and protools even Logic, in the past. I am a Sonar user.
Going past that, I am a Intel person with a os preference of MS. No reason to change now.
After looking at what I have to spend, I decided to look close at using a AMD cpu, the hex core 1090t.
I am also looking close at using a Asus MB, a M4A78T-E. Thinking about 8 Gb ram with the option of adding 4 more Gb later if need be.
I have a video editing system now, I plan on keeping my old Daw working too. In a sense I would have 3 DAWS in the studio, a xp box that runs the softsynths has cubase on it already. The video editing system is in another office in the studio. Just for reference, it's a duel quad core type. Duel monitor etc.
I do have a need to synch up video and it would be nice for me to do that in the studio and not in the other office. Hence the reason behind the Main Board.
Cost being a major part why I am going AMD and why the other parts chosen.
I am open to other suggestions or reasons not to use these or why use these. I think it would help others who are also pondering a DAW or build as well as point out to me, things I did not consider.

OS windows 7, 64bit.

Dale

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dale
many links, cd baby or origo planet to find what we have for sale, myspace, facebook or reverbnation to name a few to hear what we are up to current ... Wink

Last edited by dalekay on Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The above is the system. This part is the sound card or recording part.
My method of recording, which is a big consideration in what I would use, uses a analog mixer, tube preamps, patch boxes that patch in and out effects, analog filters and sub mixers for all the synths.
I have a MOTU 24i and a presonus firebox. I seldom use more than 2 in recording. The mixers and such mix the rest. When I do bring in more than 2 at once to record, it seldom goes higher than 6 channels in. Example, 1 from the last mixer with all effects in, clean channels from the synths and mikes from the mains. Yea I might mix all that down for the ambience.

I would use firewire not usb in. USB in works fine for midi. I do not think it works well for audio past 2 channels. Maybe the new version 3 but 2, nope. I toyed with that already. Did not think it all that great for how I work.

I am use to Presonus firebox. I use that now on the xp system for the softsynths. It works great. FM8 for example, hard to tell the real deal from the software.

So I would use a Presonus FireStudio Project or Firestudio Tube. I am leaning toward the Tube as that will free me up on several patches into what I call the matrix.

Another thing to keep in mind before you tell me how off I am or recommend other products is I do believe I get a more truer sound from digital after I run the sound into a analog filter and or set of tube preamps. I call that rounding off the squares (in reference to the digital wave).

Dale

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dale
many links, cd baby or origo planet to find what we have for sale, myspace, facebook or reverbnation to name a few to hear what we are up to current ... Wink
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wow, I was expecting some comments or suggestions ...

I'll drop back in a few days to see, else I guess this post should just be removed ...

Dale
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elektro80
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Joined: Mar 25, 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dalekay wrote:
Another thing to keep in mind before you tell me how off I am or recommend other products is I do believe I get a more truer sound from digital after I run the sound into a analog filter and or set of tube preamps. I call that rounding off the squares (in reference to the digital wave).

Dale


If you use a modern and decent audio interface then you you can kinda pretty much consider it to be a wire.. it adds nothing and takes away pretty much nothing. And there certainly won´t be any digital squares or staircasing of the signal. However, it is up to you to add the required flavour ( or distortion.. Very Happy ).

As channels these days are pretty much unlimited ( within reason ) you can both record a direct signal as well as several versions of a live signal off a PA or keyboard cab using microphones. -Or send the signal into a filter or whatever.
You could also consider throwing in a few UAD-2 cards.

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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://select.sweetwater.com/2009/09/hands-on-universal-audio-uad-2/
close up of those ...
yep, I saw them at winter NAMM, cool items and pricey
Any luck, this year I will win one ... Laughing

RME is another great dsp unit too ...

For the type of material being recorded here, I am not sure I would ever use what the UAD offers. RME is reach too. The gem of this is, I can always add, that is the main board holds the expansion to do so.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I´ve been using the UAD cards for quite some years now and the UAD-2 is a great improvement in DSP power. The main point is of course the brilliant plugins. I wouldn´t really call the UAD-DSP soup pricey. You do get access to a silly lot of soundshaping tools. That is always a good thing.

The RME gear is also quite brilliant. As you probably know already I`m very fond of the FW 800.

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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

FW 800, that would be the one I would go with if I was going RME.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It is good and versatile. The software is excellent too. That being said, I´m sure you can get less expensive interfaces that will work well for you. I reckon that Presonus interface is just fine.
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I use the firebox now as mainly output for the xp box that does most of the softsynths. I record to it only when I need to go higher that 48KHz at 24 bits.

It has been very good in that use. I am tempted just to go that route with the new DAW too.

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dale
many links, cd baby or origo planet to find what we have for sale, myspace, facebook or reverbnation to name a few to hear what we are up to current ... Wink
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am going to post the build up on www.alienearmusic.com .. I am expecting it to be in a few parts as time/funds permit. I decided on making it into a rack case.

Dale

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bachus



Joined: Feb 29, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just finished a similar build -- AMD Ph II X6 1090T 3.2GHz, 8 GB.

It's pretty good except for the cooling. I opted for the Corsair H70 sealed water cooler. It works great, but cleaning it is going to be a %&$#*Sad I may have to take ever thing out of the case and mod it to make regular cleaning easy. Anyway, good luck with yours.

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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

what case did you use?
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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133100

MB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128442

The case is a bit tasteless but it was the only one that appeared fit all my requirements. I got a 0+1 RAID plus 3 other HDs

Another thing about the H70 cooler, it's loud. But for the next two years I'll be coding rather than making music. So I'll worry about that later.

I'd be more enthusiastic about the system except that it's replacing a dual quad core Xeon system with 32 gig of ram which I lost due to my own carelessness. Russian Roulette and my office re-do ate my budget for this year. So it goes.

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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Power supply on the bottom? I watch this close. I am thinking a rack mount case or a small tower. I use stealth fans made by vortec, which are very quite and move air.

Gigabyte is a good company too. I used them in many projects in the past for customers and my own use. I do not remember the exact model but I did review one from Gigabyte before I settled on the Asus.

Dale
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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dalekay wrote:
Power supply on the bottom? I watch this close.


Watch close? Because of additional dust? Or because of heat? But I do like it because it makes the system more stable.

dalekay wrote:
I use stealth fans made by vortec, which are very quite and move air.

Yea that's a good idea and I may try that eventually. Not sure how much it will help though. I think much of the noise is generated by the airflow against and through the radiator.

dalekay wrote:
I settled on the Asus..

I actually prefer ASUS but I couldn't find the combination of features I was looking for in an ASUS board -- but now I forget what the issue was.

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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
dalekay wrote:
Power supply on the bottom? I watch this close.


Watch close? Because of additional dust? Or because of heat? But I do like it because it makes the system more stable.



oh I never have liked cases with power on the bottom, they seem to me to run hotter that those with the PS on top

In dusty areas, I use a material I get from fabric shops, called facing. I cut out the area a little over the fan inlet or air inlet, tape or mount in place. Noise goes down too. Flip side, you got to either wash it or change it every few months.

It is a desert here, where I am. I got fine dust that eats into fine electronics in a very nice fashion. I keep towels and other covers over things till ready to use. There are times the air is brown from this dust. So I am use to doing clean up things on a regular schedule.

Vantec <----- I gave the wrong manufacture ... here is a link to a place I often order from
http://www.coolerguys.com/840556017028.html

Dale
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

CPU wise, the Intel i7 950 and the AMD 1090 now is about $50.00 US difference. And its a tad faster too. Back looking close at this as it is key to what main board to use, memory, case and video.

Dale
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bachus



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dalekay wrote:
CPU wise, the Intel i7 950 and the AMD 1090 now is about $50.00 US difference. And its a tad faster too. Back looking close at this as it is key to what main board to use, memory, case and video.

Dale


But the i7 950 is a quad core while the AMD is a six core yes/no?

The app I'm writing will need highly parallel processing so the AMD looks a lot better -- to me any way. And I would hope that Sonar plugins are multi-threaded giving the AMD an advantage there too -- I would think. But I'm not a hardware guy.

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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 141
Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This chart shows the Intel faster. But if I had the funds to do two build ups, I would love to compare apples to apples. I did read there is a bug in Sonar such that the first core is where the most process occur. It is not spread out so well. Programming? or how the hardware being used shoves xyz ... Daw is a special animal. If I could, I would build up two and do a compare not just on specs like I show in this link but something DAW wise. Then we would know.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
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bachus



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dalekay wrote:
I did read there is a bug in Sonar such that the first core is where the most process occur. It is not spread out so well.


A superficial search did not turn up any evidence of a problem with Sonars multi-processing other than specific issues with specific addons. Do you have a link on that?

I've not written any muti-threaded apps but I'm studying the subject at present. Thinking about Sonar from first principles: Assume there are some number of plugins that can operate in parallel, each running on its own core. Somewhere there must be a thread on a core that aggregates their results. This thread would likely be more heavily taxed than the others and simply looking at core usage might give the appearance of less than optimal distribution of computation when in fact that was not the case, but simply a reflection of the limits of multi-threading in that application domain. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I would comment on this.

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dalekay



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

multi-thread flaw
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/545831-sonar-x1-3.html
but
like anything else, it's a forum with all kinds of people and views ..
beware ...
however there are some screen shots on this ...
I think if I was really seeking the real deal, I would contact the more intelligent of the posts.

One of the regulars there seems a tad "overzealous".

Please send me a post back what your take on it is and if you can see this too or it makes sense etc, I am interested to read your view.
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dalekay



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
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Location: Lancaster CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here is another thread on AMD/INTEL with audio in mind.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/551920-amd-vs-intel.html

some interesting remarks there ...

I had hit all of these when I first was trying to determine what the build would be. needless to say, it does get into sticky areas lacking facts ...
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Audio benchmarks in Sound On Sound magazine always have intel performing better than AMD.
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bachus



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
Audio benchmarks in Sound On Sound magazine always have intel performing better than AMD.


$ for $ or ... ?

Edit:

I would never say that AMD processors are better than Intels. They are not. But I was under the impression that over the history of the two companies there have been times when, $ for $, one did better buying an AMD. I really don't know if that is true today. I would take your word for it, if you assert it.

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dalekay



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

$ for $ 100% with you. There have been times when it was sensible to buy one over the other.

In this case, if not amd and that board, then intel + about $60 just for the CPU. I am still looking but also that means a external graphic card to do the video as it is not built in the intel boards. Intel boards that are equal (in my mind anyway) are more. So in the end, going intel for that little speed increase might cost ~ $250 more? or so.

I have to decide what is the end result desired over costs. I can always wait till I recycle more precious metals. Wink Once in hand, I am stuck with what I got. If like the last time, that would be about 10 years. Which I am still using right now. Asus board and intel at that. Sometimes the devil you know ... Rolling Eyes

Dale
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