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Old 11-21-2007, 05:10 AM
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Question Jambo, habari? Total newB needs advice please?

Hi to all,

The greetings in the header are Swahili. I'm an ex-colonial from East Africa, Uganda.
Age? well, no longer in the first flush of youth shall we say!
Location: Near Bonn in Germany.

I currently support my partner (musically that is) who has a very fine (slightly mezzo) soprano voice. She will sing the lead from Haensel and Gretel in a local concert at Christmas. We are just starting out to make some additional income (hopefully) from music. I have collected together and use a MIDI based system including Yamaha MU1000, MU128 plus various PLG cards and a Roland SC-8850. All external sound modules driven either via USB or through a host connector (RS232). I've become fairly useful manipulating SysEx, if you'll pardon the expression. I either use the equipment live (with a laptop), through a mixer, as backing tracks, when no orchestra is available, or record a CD for very small venues, i.e. peoples houses.

Music type. Well various classical mainly, I've just started sequencing "Mi chiamano Mimi", and I've completed some soprano/alto solos from Bach Cantatas. Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Puccini etc.

Having heard the amazing quality of the EastWest products I'm quite keen to move on to the next generation of sound production but really haven't a clue where to start. The Gold bundle has caught my eye as probably giving me the best bang for the buck. Will this suit the type of music I'm sequencing?

So some basic questions:
What capability PC must I build? i.e. processor, RAM, HDD capacity etc.
What operating system? I currently still use win2k. Not going Vista yet, better XP?
What sequencing software might suit (price is an issue).
Any other hints and tips please. Keep them clean if you can!

Please take pity on a complete newcomer to this area of sequencing.
All the best,
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Last edited by SysExJohn; 11-21-2007 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:08 AM
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Are you going to use the EW instruments as the backdrop sounds for your vocalist or as your main sound palette?

It would be cheaper to build a suitable system for the former. I'll just go on that since cost will be an issue. Minimum requirements (*My own personal standards. Don't let it get to you too much. )

PC: At least Dual Core 2.8 GHz, Motherboard with P35 chipset, 3GB RAM, 7200RPM HDDs.

OS: Windows XP. Wise choice not to move up to Vista.

Sequencing software (or DAW): It really depends on you. I use SONAR; but for your type of music you might prefer stuff like Sibelius or Finale. Many other options including Nuendo, Cubase, Ableton, Pro-Tools. Cost-wise they all differ but dont expect them to come cheap though. If cost is really an issue for a DAW, you can purchase the "Light Editions" (LE) of the sequencer... Cubase and Ableton have their own; SONAR's is in the version of Sonar Home Studio.

*Additional content: Now I understand you wish to purchase EW libraries... Not just the SO Gold Bundle right? Ok; heres when you need multiple dedicated HDDs. Current versions of EW libraries powered by Native Instruments as well as new libraries (e.g. Voices of Passion) and future upgrades of old libraries to PLAY all utilize a technology called Direct from Disk Streaming. The rationale for that is because certain patches of EW instruments are so huge, you will find yourself running out of RAM very quickly and needing to freeze / unfreeze tracks repeatedly; making your music production process very tedious and rather unefficient.

So here's when multiple hard disks come in. Plan carefully which hard drive to use for your OS installation and which others to use to put your EW instrument patch files into. It's not good to plonk multiple libraries on 1 hard disk drive as it has to handle multiple streaming tasks in turn; thus you will still experience problems during playback of your audio.

As a guide, here's my distribution of files. I currently own SO Platinum bundle, QL RA, SC, and Bosendorfer 290. Planning on SD2 as well. I have 4 hard disk drives whose capacities correspond as best as I can to what I wish to put into:

500GB Seagate Barracuda HDD: My 'Core' drive. The harddrive which I boot my OS from as well as install all programs and save all audio data from my music projects into.
250GB Seagate Barracuda: Bosendorfer 290, RA, Other software instruments which dont use Disk Streaming.
74GB Western Digital Raptor HDD: Symphonic Choirs, SD2
150GB Western Digital Raptor HDD: The whole Platinum Bundle.

I'm still relatively new to this as well; so this is just my 2 cents.. To everyone else, do correct me if I've said anything wrong with regards to my help on this.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:31 AM
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Red face Ouch, that's some spec!

Many thanks for your rapid response persentio.

That seems to be a lot of hardware!

I was hoping, at least initially, to be able to base something just on the gold bundle, so I guess two HDDs would do. I have some experience with Cubase so maybe that's the one I'd go for.

In terms of sounds and how it all hangs together I guess I need to understand a lot more about how this way of sequencing works compared to the way I currently work, Is there any kind of tutorial I can get at or maybe a book?

Many thanks,
Best regards,
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Old 11-21-2007, 03:09 PM
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Greetings from the sunny north Germany, Osnabrück ha ! just a joke no sun up here at all, welcome and enjoy ! Chris
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Old 11-21-2007, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SysExJohn
Ouch, that's some spec!
I set my standards quite high.. Just my suggestion.

Hmm since you are just going to start with Gold only, 2HDDs would be fine and I believe you can settle for alot less.

Since Gold is relatively small in size compared to Platinum, you could choose not to split your library up. (The norm for Platinum would be to split it into 2 dedicated hard drives with 2 libraries on each.) So you would have 1 drive for your OS and Audio files, and the other for Gold.

A dual core processor will be just right for you. I believe they are very affordable right now with the entry of Quad Cores or Core 2 Extremes. Another option would be to try AMD's processors however I don't use AMD so I cant really give you any recommendations for that.

For the RAM, 3GB would be just right. Your sequencer can only have access to a maximum of about 2GB of RAM. The other 1GB RAM you would require for Windows background tasks and such.

To your last question I can give no definite answer since I've lived mostly on self-experimentation. Run a search on Google Books for "Cubase Tutorial". There are some you might be interested in. For tutorials on SO Gold, there are some helpful tips found in the manual, available HERE.
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Old 11-21-2007, 04:13 PM
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Just to add on:

http://www.sweetwater.com/shop/books-videos-courses/
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Old 11-22-2007, 03:00 AM
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Wink So far so good.

Thanks persentio,
and guten Tag to Chris too from a boiling hot Bonn!

So dual core Pentium (I shan't go AMD although good I've had problems once in the past with compatibility). A reasonable slice of RAM and some hard disks, probably 2 presumably 7200rpm? Any specific advice on display cards? I thought a 2 display ATI. Sound card? M-Audio 2496 okay? I've also got their Delta DiO 2496.

Then Cubase I guess if I'm going XP then I need at least SX3?

Thanks BTW for the links. I'll have a good read of that material.

Many thanks so far and any suggestions from others would still be most welcome.

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Old 11-22-2007, 03:19 AM
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Then Cubase I guess if I'm going XP then I need at least SX3? why ? I still you SX2 you know why? it WORKS !!! a buddy updated to Cubase 4 and has nothing but headaches, if what you have does the jobs then leave well alone
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Old 11-22-2007, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
So dual core Pentium (I shan't go AMD although good I've had problems once in the past with compatibility). A reasonable slice of RAM and some hard disks, probably 2 presumably 7200rpm? Any specific advice on display cards? I thought a 2 display ATI. Sound card? M-Audio 2496 okay? I've also got their Delta DiO 2496.
Yup sounds good. Ah yes soundcard. The 2496 series from M-Audio are pretty popular; I havent tried any but so far I havent heard any complaints. Safe choice.

Oh. And don't worry about graphics cards. Since you are building this system primarily for music, just settle for a cheap cheap one.
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:38 AM
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Question SX2 still available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fongi View Post
[SIZE="2"] why ? I still you SX2 you know why? it WORKS !!! a buddy updated to Cubase 4 and has nothing but headaches, if what you have does the jobs then leave well alone
Couldn't agree more Fongi. But is SX2 still available to buy?
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