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Old 04-04-2018, 05:30 PM
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UltimaBahamut93 UltimaBahamut93 is offline
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Default Beginner looking to get started

Hey everyone, new member here. I'm wanting to get started into composing orchestral music but have some newbie questions I hope you can help me out with.

1) I have found out through some research online that using these massive libraries takes a lot of memory. I've read before that you will need a slave computer and/or other external hard drives. While I am not asking for hardware specifics, I want to know about how much this might cost to have a PC built for running and mixing many different orchestral libraries. Perhaps you could give me an estimation or an example of what you spent on your computer? I know that this is a vague question in a sense because there are a lot of different options available for different prices and budgets.


2) I see there is a Hollywood Orchestra and the Hollywood strings/brass/woodwinds/percussions. Is the Hollywood Orchestra sort of like a bundle set of the other libraries or are they totally different products?


3) Is a DAW required to use EW libraries? Are the instruments/libraries able to be ported into a DAW?



I really appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:03 PM
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if you want good DAW to get started, try Cakewalk by Bandlab, it's free and basically Sonar without the third party plug ins....
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne View Post
if you want good DAW to get started, try Cakewalk by Bandlab, it's free and basically Sonar without the third party plug ins....
Ahh thanks I will have to check that out.

Do you have any suggestion on how much money it might cost to build a pc to run multiple libraries? I'm thinking of getting some EW, and a few other packages. That's already over $2K right there. And like I said earlier, I don't know if using a "slave" computer is needed or not.

And do you know if the hollywood orchestra is a bundle package or does it use different instruments than the individual packages like strings or brass?

I'm really excited to get into making orchestral music but it is a little intimidating to get started.

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Old 04-05-2018, 01:50 AM
bigfatwombat bigfatwombat is offline
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My 2 cents worth:

Question 1: PC
I run Composer Cloud X and a few other libraries. - CC X is Gold + Close mic position.

My PC is ancient - i7 3770, 16 Gigs of RAM will be enough to get started. I do have 32 Gigs RAM but in practice I've rarely exceeded 16 Gigs, and even then it could have been easily avoided.
If you use Diamond libraries then probs 32 Gigs needed - but you don't need this to get started and frankly the Gold libraries already have more articulations than I know how to use well!

I have not needed a Slave PC at all at this stage. You can use your Daw to freeze/bounce track to reduce load if necessary but I've not needed that either.

Best option by far though with budget in mind is a separate 1TB SSD to hold the Hollywood libraries. It both reduces load and memory need so better option than more memory to start.

So spec something like: i5 or i7 CPU, 256 Gig SSD for OS, 1 TB SSD for EW CC, 16 Gigs of RAM, 2 TB HD for "other stuff and projects", 4 TB USB external hard drive for backups!

Libraries wise, CC X for a full year will teach you more about capable libraries and your needs than spending $2k upfront to get started - and cost you less. I've only been on CC since January this year and have already learned more about orchestral (and the other) libraries than all the reviews in the world can teach me. I may or may not continue with CC at years end but I will definitely buy Hollywood Orchestra if I don't. I also no more about what the library can do and what other libraries I might need to suit my style. I am a far more savvy buyer just using CC to get started.

You can always add a slave, you can always add another sample library, you can always add more RAM,etc. Just get started at low cost, build confidence so you next buying decision is more informed.

Question 2
Hollywood Orchestra - Bundle Set as you suggested. But, I would suggest CC X for a year (Gold level plus close mic). You will learn heaps and be in a better informed buyer both in terms of what you need for your style and to assess what is available.

Question 3:
You will need a DAW. Play 6 instrument runs standalone and as a plugin in a host DAW, but in practice its not really designed for live playing , besides you are composing so a DAW is what you need.
There are lots of DAWs varying from free (as mentioned above), to cheap ($60 or so), to more regular pricing. I'm not even to going to be tempted into a debate about which DAW - depends on how you like to work. Most have 30 day trials, so again, try a few, see what you like.


Hope that helps. No doubt others will chime in with suggestions.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:55 AM
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This post has been edited on 18th April with titels to better break the rather long wall of text.
Edited on 28th April to add the DAW Compatibility Matrix picture.


Lots of questions, long answers … well, I´ll probably be repeating a bit from what the wombat already wrote.

The most important adage is: Updates and add-ons are always possible later on!
This includes hardware and especially sample libraries!


The Hollywood Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimaBahamut93 View Post
3) 2) I see there is a Hollywood Orchestra and the Hollywood strings/brass/woodwinds/percussions. Is the Hollywood Orchestra sort of like a bundle set of the other libraries or are they totally different products?
The Hollywood Orchestra is a bundle of the following four libraries:
- Hollywood Strings (link)
- Hollywood Brass (link)
- Hollywood Orchestral Woodwinds (link)
- Hollywood Orchestral Percussion (link)

The Hollywood Solo Instruments (link) include:
- Hollywood Harp
- Hollywood Solo Cello
- Hollywood Solo Violin

The last remaining part of the Hollywood series is the Hollywood Choirs (link).



Which DAW to use?
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimaBahamut93 View Post
3) Is a DAW required to use EW libraries? Are the instruments/libraries able to be ported into a DAW?
While all EW libraries can be used in Standalone mode, basically all of us will use it in a DAW
sooner or later. And since you want to compose, that´ll be from the beginning.

Djwayne wrote about Cakewalk. I´m an avid Cubase user, which you´ll probably notice later on,
but there are two important things that you should pay attention to:

- Does the DAW fit your needs?
- Which version of the DAW do you really need?

Especially question 2 is something that you should really thing about. Cubase for example, has Element, Artist and Pro versions, which have quite different amounts of features. I highly recommend you think about what you´re aiming for.

That being said, most DAWs out there allow for a 30-day trial if you submit a e-mail or register an account, albeit with varying restrictions on what is available for use. Limited track count, no export functions – you get the gist.

I do recommend you try out the varying DAWs that exist. You´ve probable come across
a few of them till now, but I´ll still list a couple. The fat ones have a trial available:
Cubase: https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/cubase/start.html
Neundo: https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/nuendo/start.html
Logic Pro X: https://www.apple.com/lae/logic-pro/
Digital Performer (DP): http://www.motu.com/products/software/dp
ProTools (PT): http://www.avid.de/pro-tools
Reaper: https://www.reaper.fm/download.php

Once you´re sure of your DAW and you aim to continue in music, then I´d suggest getting the full version with all of the features.


Screenshotted from the Play 6 webpage > System Requirements.
Please note that these are merely the DAWs which are tested by EastWest. If you have any other DAW
and want to know more about the compatibility, please contact our support. Thank you.


Hardware and Software Prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimaBahamut93 View Post
Do you have any suggestion on how much money it might cost to build a pc to run multiple libraries? I'm thinking of getting some EW, 8dio, and a few other packages. That's already over $2K right there. And like I said earlier, I don't know if using a "slave" computer is needed or not.
Like bigfatwombat, I´ll divide this into two parts, software, that is, the libraries, and hardware.

Software For a beginner, there is a lot of stuff out there. Really a lot. There are so many companies and libraries, that it get´s a bit confusing. Which is why I find the ComposerCloud quite nice. Especially, since the regular ComposerCloud has an introductory price with a 50% discount, which you can select on the page by clicking on the red button “Start your 30 days trial now”.

I recommend that you start with that, you can always upgrade and add-on later in your career. Returns of digital products is always a bit of a hassle.

NOTE: Many companies host regular sales during holidays etc. with sometimes massive discounts. Make sure that you´re subscribed to every single company out there. Sure, it gives you a truckload of e-mails over time, but it´s sure worth it!

In the following text, I´ll give you a brief overview of the ComposerCloud and it´s available plans.
http://www.soundsonline.com/composercloud
The ComposerCloud (often abbreviated with CC) would allow you to pay in monthly installments.

- CC: $29.99 (monthly installment, cancelable every month), downloadable (total: 832GB), Gold, 16-bit, 1 mic-position.
- CC X: $24.99 (yearly commitment, monthly installment), downloadable (total: 1041GB), Gold, 16-bit, 1 mic + 1 additional mic. http://www.soundsonline.com/Support?...faq&article=15
- CC Plus: $49.99 (yearly commitment, monthly installment), partially downloadable (total: 2041GB), Platinum / Diamond, 24-bit, 3 / 5 mics.

The EDU program is for students and teachers at musical institutions. The purchase has to be vetted by the EastWest sales department. The content of the subscriptions are the same.
- CC EDU: $19.99 (like CC)
- CC X EDU: $14.99 (like CC X)
- CC Plus EDU: NOT AVAILABLE!!
To qualify for the EDU program, please send your Student ID (or similar credentials)
to our sales deparment at sales@eastwestsounds.com.

NOTE: The CC X and CC Plus, which allow for monthly installments on your yearly commitment,
also allow you to fully pre-pay the entire year.
Please check the page for the individual prices. These two plans are not cancelable midway!

NOTE: The CC Plus is not fully downloadable. A harddrive will automatically be added to your cart. Please make sure that in the according pop-up window, you select the one appropriate for your Operating System.

The according drives for the individual plans:
CC / CC EDU: http://www.soundsonline.com/CC-Gold-HD
CC X / CC X EDU: http://www.soundsonline.com/CCX-HD
CC Plus: http://www.soundsonline.com/CC-PRO-HD

Apart from the CC Plus, you are not obligated to purchase a harddrive with the samples preloaded.
Hardware This is a bit harder to answer. What´s your intended budget for the computer?
You can go anywhere from $1k to $30k (not recommended, but fun to put together ).

Harddrives: I have a link to an article about harddrives in my signature. I highly recommend reading that,
since this is often one of the limiting components.

RAM: 16GB is a minimum requirement, if you´re getting serious about it. I myself
use 32GB in combination with the EW Diamond / Platinum versions and regularly hit the roof.

Remember that RAM sticks can always be purchased and upgraded in hind-sight!

CPU: Aim for i7 and a 3 GHz.

I suggest you put together a machine which is in your budget range
and then post it in the hardware section of our forum. I´ll gladly
give some pointers there.

Audio Interface: You absolutely need one! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_card
Focusrite Scarlett, the Steinberg UR series etc. ...

Slave: This is also something that you can always add later on in your career.
Remember that you´ll need (Vienna Ensemble Pro) for that.


Well, that became one long text. I hope it´s legible xD and that I´ve answered most of your questions.

Cheers,
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Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On Harddrives, On DAWs
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.30, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii

Last edited by LMW; 04-28-2018 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:00 PM
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Thank you all so much for the replies, this really helps a lot!

I've seen a lot of people using cubase for orchestral music at least when I'm watching reviews on YouTube. I really have no idea what DAW I'll use but I'll try them out and see what I like.

I have a friend who knows a lot about building computers although it's more related to gaming. Maybe he can give me some options and such.

I just want to make sure I'm smart about what i buy. You get what you pay for. It's insane that these libraries take up hundreds and hundreds of gigabytes.

I'll be doing some research on hardware and still looking at reviews on daws. Thanks again this is a huge help
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:44 PM
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I recently bought Cubase Pro 9.5. It's a great program but expensive and requires a dongle from Steinberg. I mentioned Cakewalk by Band Labs because it's basically Sonar without all the third party plugins, runs well, and is FREE. It all depends on your budget. If i was just starting out I'd do the cloud offer from East West for a year or two...to see which programs you like the most. There's lots of stuff to buy, so don't blow all your money on one thing.
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Performer, writer, owner of a very well equipped home studio. My East West collection includes Symphonic Orchestra Silver and Gold, Goliath, Gypsy, Fab Four, Silver Bechstein Piano, Gold Pianos, ProDrummer Vol 1 & 2, Hollywood Strings Gold, Hollywood Solo Violin Gold, Hollywood Brass Gold, Hollywood Percussion Gold, RA, Ghostwriter, QL Spaces, and Play 6.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimaBahamut93 View Post

I just want to make sure I'm smart about what i buy. You get what you pay for. It's insane that these libraries take up hundreds and hundreds of gigabytes.

I'll be doing some research on hardware and still looking at reviews on daws. Thanks again this is a huge help
Seeing how you're new to the game, I highly doubt you'll use more than 16GB Ram. Unless you plan on using huge templates with the Diamond version, you'll be fine with 32 or less, and I assure you a slave won't be necessary anytime soon.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:12 AM
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16GB actually goes down to 12-13GB what with the OS and the DAW also being loaded.

The good thing about RAM is that it´s easily upgradable - depending on the amount
of slots and the size of the sticks which were previously used.

Just for the heck of it, here are 1.000GB of RAM.


From: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/things-do-with-1tb-ram/
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Helpful links: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On Harddrives, On DAWs
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.30, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii
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