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Old 06-08-2018, 06:58 AM
TonyF TonyF is offline
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Default Help with purchase decision

Just joined. About to make my first EWQL purchase. First a little background.

Started putting together funds for a new home studio (been out of it for a while and not a pro musician) and made a few initial purchases. Got blindsided recently by my employer announcing the facility I work at is closing this summer. As part of the technical staff they're offering a position at another facility but not sure I want to relocate.

Anyway, had plans to build a PC with top notch components (parts already spec'ed out) but now I'm forced to make do with my Dell 5567 laptop. It will only be used as a DAW. Did the optimizations and bumped the ram from 8g to 16g. Would have added more ram but this model doesn't have any more memory slots. It has an i7 7500 cpu and an internal 5400 HD. Has 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x 3.0 USB ports. Using Cubase Artist and their UR22MKII interface.

Bought two glyph Atom ext HD's, (500G for audio files and 1T for virtual libraries.)

With all that out of the way, I'm looking to purchase a really good virtual orchestral library. Already purchased Steinberg's Absolute 3 (wanted a virtual synth) and IK's Philharmonic 2. I realize that Halion Orchestra and Philharmonik 2 are not in the same league as EW's HO and SO but as they were both 50% off when I bought them, I figured I'm bound to find some useful patches. Bought them to supplement a better package like HO or SO.

So, was leaning towards HO Diamond+ until I started reading through some threads here about PC resources for that package and now I'm not sure my Dell can handle the load. And with Absolute and Philharmonik already on the 1T glyph Atom, I'm not sure HO Diamond would even fit being 680+ gigs in size?

Rethinking all of this, I'm now leaning towards SO platinum. I don't do film scoring or HUGE orchestral pieces. I'm a guitarist but back in the day I took piano lessons for a few years to learn some technique when MIDI first hit the scene.

Among some other songs to which I want to add some orchestral textures I have a few musical pieces based on piano that I'd like to add some orchestration. These pieces are similar in nature to a few Dan Fogelberg piano instrumentals such as Aspen and Half Moon Bay, etc. so they won't be "thick" with full orchestration.

That being the case, I'm thinking Symphonic Orchestra might be a better fit for what I'm doing and won't be so demanding on my Dell.

Would appreciate feedback and opinions on SO vs. HO.

Thank you.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:41 PM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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Tony,

welcome to the family!

Considering you're working on a laptop, I would highly suggest going the Symphonic Orchestra route. Yes, it's old, and no, it doesn't hold up perfectly (nothing from the early 2000s does, really, regardless of developer), but it's a complete package that works well with your resources.

I would absolutely not suggest using Hollywood Orchestra Diamond without an SSD - and by SSD, I mean an SSD connected by SATA/eSATA. USB 3.0 isn't fast enough. Even with the Gold versions, at least a 7200 rpm hard drive is required (in my opinion) to do anything meaningful with it.

I'm not a pro either, and going for a dual-PC, SSD, template setup was a huge financial investment for me, but I've worked with HO Diamond and a 7200 rpm hard drive. I just spent most of the time loading and unloading stuff. That's no fun, and it destroys your creativity after a while.

If you'd like to try out whether Gold could (barely) work on your system and if you're okay with that, go ahead and subscribe to Composers Cloud for one month, download the Gold series and try them out.

If there are any further questions, don't hesitate asking the good folks on this site or shoot me a private message.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:12 AM
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LMW LMW is offline
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HO Diamond should actually even be split up so that the libraries are on multiple drives.
This will further lessen the load, when you have a heavy library (i.e. HS) with a not
so resource-intensive on one single drive.

Re specs: Everything looks good. You did your research, so kudos on that.

A slight optimization suggestion: You currently have a 5400rpm as your internal OS drive.
Upgrading that to a 7200rpm would give you an immense boost for your DAW power.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:19 AM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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Lorenz, are there 7200s for laptops? I only ever use desktops, so I wouldn't know, but since Tony uses a Dell laptop...
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:37 AM
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Yes, basically everything is available 7200rpms, SSDs ... . My entire system is a laptop, e.g.

There's also the issue of warranty when you open the case.
It'd require a bit of researching and probably contacting Dell support.
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Last edited by LMW; 07-25-2018 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:42 AM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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You learn something new every day... Thanks for clearing that up, Lorenz.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:38 PM
TonyF TonyF is offline
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Just so I'm digesting all of this clearly:

The i7 7500 cpu is adequate?

Crucial markets an internal SSD as a replacement for the stock 5400 HD. Going with an internal SSD for the OS and DAW software would improve performance?

The Glyph Atom's I purchased are SSD's (connected via USB 3.0).

I've listened to allot of demo's and these are my observations.

HO Diamond and VSL (there may be others) are what I would call "Tier 1" libraries in terms of sonic quality.

My Halion Symphonic Orchestra and Philharmonik 2 I'd class as "Tier 2".

EWQL SO Platinum I would classify as "Tier 2.5" or of slightly higher quality vs. Halion and Philharmonik 2 which is why I would love to spend the money and get EWQL HO Diamond.

So if I upgrade the 5400 HD with the crucial SSD, and if I would get another 1TB Atom SSD to split up the HO Diamond libraries I might actually have a shot at supporting HO Diamond with my set up or are my USB 3.0 ports (for the Atom SSD's) and my laptops maximum ram (16G) still limiting factors (would love to get more ram if my laptop had more memory slots). Bear in mind I will not be doing "thick" orchestral or film scoring projects. Would just love to be able to use a "Tier 1" library like the HO Diamond package.

Thank you again.

P.S. The distinction I find in the sonic quality of HO Diamond and VSL (Tier 1) are that the individual instruments and sections retain their distinct timbre and tonal characteristics whereas the lower tier libraries often seem to have their brass and strings or brass and woodwinds "meld" into some kind of hermaphroditic "glob" of sound. Some of this is surely attributable to stereo field, over use of reverb and mixdown. IOW, the instruments in the better libraries seem to better retain their "identities" within a mix and don't overshadow each other.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:49 AM
TonyF TonyF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post

HO Diamond and VSL (there may be others) are what I would call "Tier 1" libraries in terms of sonic quality.

My Halion Symphonic Orchestra and Philharmonik 2 I'd class as "Tier 2".

EWQL SO Platinum I would classify as "Tier 2.5" (should have written "Tier 1.5") or of slightly higher quality vs. Halion and Philharmonik 2 which is why I would love to spend the money and get EWQL HO Diamond.
Sorry for the typo.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:28 PM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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Your CPU should be adequate. Disks are still a limiting factor for Diamond, though. In an ideal world, you'd want:

the OS drive to not contain any samples, as sample streaming and OS activity might affect each other.

HO spread out over at least two SSDs, with one being dedicated to HS.

no SSDs connected via USB. The SSD advantage is almost eliminated by USB speed.

I'm on mobile, so you'll have to Google benchmarks yourself. Just compare maximum read speeds for 7200s via SATA, SSDs via SATA and the maximum read speed of USB 3. Should tell you everything you need.

I'd still suggest Gold if you can't have multiple internal SSDs. For comparison, I'm running two computers with 32gb RAM each, one SSD in the master, two in the slave. I still need to be careful with my resources in a template environment (all instruments loaded up, no freezing of tracks or load-as-you-write).
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:55 AM
TonyF TonyF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominik Raab View Post
Your CPU should be adequate. Disks are still a limiting factor for Diamond, though. In an ideal world, you'd want:

the OS drive to not contain any samples, as sample streaming and OS activity might affect each other.

HO spread out over at least two SSDs, with one being dedicated to HS.

no SSDs connected via USB. The SSD advantage is almost eliminated by USB speed.

I'm on mobile, so you'll have to Google benchmarks yourself. Just compare maximum read speeds for 7200s via SATA, SSDs via SATA and the maximum read speed of USB 3. Should tell you everything you need.

I'd still suggest Gold if you can't have multiple internal SSDs. For comparison, I'm running two computers with 32gb RAM each, one SSD in the master, two in the slave. I still need to be careful with my resources in a template environment (all instruments loaded up, no freezing of tracks or load-as-you-write).
Although I mentioned I'm about to be between jobs I've always been a disciple of "buy once, cry once".

Guess I should reconsider the cost of HO Diamond and a new desk top PC vs. getting SO Platinum now and then purchasing HO Diamond and a new PC later on after I find a new job.
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