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Old 11-24-2017, 12:24 AM
maallyn maallyn is offline
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Question Cubase vs Ableton and newbie questions on computer

I hope this the correct forum for this question.

I am a brand new user; have not yet purchased subscriptions yet as I am still investigating the choice for digital audio workstation software and finalising my computer selection.

For the computer, I am considering external sound card and separate SSD drive for the EW libraries that I assume are downloaded when I purchase the subscriptions. I am not sure, though if each library needs a separate SSD drive? I am guessing that I would want gaming computer with Intel i5 or greater and 32 GB RAM. I am assuming regular HD for my O/S, but SSD for the EW libraries. I assume that since this is not for gaming, I should not have to care much for the video card.

I am looking at doing only composition/creation in a studio. Not planning to do live performances at all. So whatever I want to use needs to be focused on composition in my room alone without a live audience. The end target is music tracks for my youtube videos.

I understand that Cubase may be best for private composition and Ableton is best for live performances. Is this true? Is being creative without live audiance best suited for Cubase? Does E/W work best with Cubase or Ableton? Are both equal for MIDI support?

Which one (if either) could be used for recording myself singing into one of the tracks and then adjusting my voice to be in proper pitch? I am a lousy singer and I cannot sight reed, but I was told that I do have a decent voice. Someone told me to forget this without having to spend about 5 grand for some weird special hardware piece. Is that correct?

Thanks for your help.

Mark Allyn
Bellingham, Washington
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:09 AM
wagtunes wagtunes is offline
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Hi Mark:

Welcome to the forum. I think I can help you with this as I'm a Cubase user and have pretty much everything from EWQL

Let's begin.

1) Don't get an i5. Get an i7 with at least 16 gig RAM. EWQL, depending on which libraries you get, can be a real CPU and memory hog. On my system, I'm just about getting by and it's an i7 3770K 3.50 ghz with 16 gig RAM. And I'm running an external drive as well. In short, you want a powerful PC to run these libraries, especially if you get Hollywood Diamond and Symphonic Platinum.

2) Yes, Cubase is better for these libraries hands down. Don't even bother with Live. Some people use it with no problem but I think Cubase is a better fit. Cubase has its quirks. It's not perfect by any stretch. But if it's a choice between the two, Cubase wins hands down.

3) As for the singing, Cubase can handle vocals fine and even has a stock autotune plugin. It's not amazing but it'll do the job. But hey, your voice is really only as good as your voice is. No DAW is going to turn you into Celine Dion.

Any other questions, just ask.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:13 PM
maallyn maallyn is offline
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Question How many tracks are use doing with 16 GB of RAM?

Thank you for getting back to me. I am curious; you mention that you are just getting by with I7 and 16 GB of RAM.

How many tracks is your average song you are creating? Are you doing a lot of I guess what I call re-timing (where I take my voice and change the pitch slighjtly)?

I am wondering because should I take the plunge and do 32 or 64 GB?

And do you need a separate SSD for each of the EW libraries? I notice that EW has an option of ordering the library sent to you on a HD (I assume it's an SSD). That would mean that I would have to have spece and SATA capacity of X number of SSD's one for each library? Or am I completely off base?

Thanks

Mark
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:40 PM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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Hi maallyn,

here's a post I recently wrote up for someone who was just starting out, too. (<- click!) It has some info not only on hardware and library, but also on keyboard choice. You might find it helpful - at least I hope so.

Regarding some of your specific questions:

Quote:
And do you need a separate SSD for each of the EW libraries?
That depends. If you're looking to use the most demanding instruments with several mic positions at once, I would suggest to put Hollywood Strings on a dedicated SSD and Hollywood Brass + Woodwinds on a second one. The smaller libraries should work on one SSD for all of them.

Quote:
I notice that EW has an option of ordering the library sent to you on a HD (I assume it's an SSD).
Not an SSD! The drive EastWest sends you is for transport/storage/backup only, not for running the library. You will need to purchase an SSD (or multiple) and transfer the data from the external transport drive to your SSD(s). Also, if you decide to go for the "Plus" subscription (Diamond versions of Hollywood instruments etc.), those are not downloadable and you'll need a transport drive.

Quote:
I am wondering because should I take the plunge and do 32 or 64 GB?
32 GB is definitely a good idea. I just ordered a slave PC (I'm going to work with two PCs at the same time, connected via LAN), and both my PCs will have 32 GB each and powerful processors. That's the way to go for large templates. You're sticking with one PC, and that's absolutely sufficient for "normal" use (I'm a bit of a performance geek with a laaaarge template; I'm talking about 100 instruments loaded) - 32 GB should be perfect for you in combination with one or two SSDs.

I don't work with audio (as in recorded stuff like singing myself or mic'ing a "real" instrument), so I can't tell you a whole lot about that, but I would agree with wagtunes: Cubase is awesome for that kind of stuff.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Last edited by Dominik Raab; 11-24-2017 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:45 PM
wagtunes wagtunes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maallyn View Post
Thank you for getting back to me. I am curious; you mention that you are just getting by with I7 and 16 GB of RAM.

How many tracks is your average song you are creating? Are you doing a lot of I guess what I call re-timing (where I take my voice and change the pitch slighjtly)?

I am wondering because should I take the plunge and do 32 or 64 GB?

And do you need a separate SSD for each of the EW libraries? I notice that EW has an option of ordering the library sent to you on a HD (I assume it's an SSD). That would mean that I would have to have spece and SATA capacity of X number of SSD's one for each library? Or am I completely off base?

Thanks

Mark
1) The reason why I'm just about getting by with an i7 and 16 gig is because my songs have tons of tracks. Sometimes as many as 30 or 40. So I'm really pushing things. How well you do with your situation will depend on how much ham you try to squeeze into a 10 pound bag.

2) Vocals don't matter as far as CPU or RAM usage. They take up very little. It's a non issue.

3) You can spread your libraries over as many or as few drives as you want. There is no minimum or maximum. Yes, each library will ship on its own drive unless it has a download option and doesn't come with a drive. Some small libraries you can download. What I've done is gone out and bought a 4 TB external and just throw all the libraries on it. Of course copying does take time. Just took me 4 hours to copy just the Hollywood Brass Diamond from the drive they sent to my 4 TB drive. So it's going to take me a couple of days to get everything copied. Of course I could just run Hollywood off the drive they sent but if it dies (and it will) then I'm screwed. So definitely make a backup. Point is, how much you can shove into one drive is solely dependent on how big your drive is. But if you can fit everything you buy onto one drive, you can run it all off of that one drive. No need to spread them out unless you want to.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:13 PM
maallyn maallyn is offline
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Question So, each library does not have to be on its own drive for performance?

"Point is, how much you can shove into one drive is solely dependent on how big your drive is. But if you can fit everything you buy onto one drive, you can run it all off of that one drive. No need to spread them out unless you want to."

Could this mean that the individual libraries do not have to be on it's own SSD drive for performance reasons?

I think I am not clear on how stuff needs to be distributed among the drives. I was thinking of:

O/S on drive 1
Cubase on drive 2
EW library 1 on drive 3
EW library 2 on drive 4
...
EW library x on drive x
and so on and finally
My output files on its own drive

And that all drives except drive 1 are seperate SSD drive.

Is this what I am expected to come up with? Or can the libraries all be put on one drive and still have the same performance?

Regarding the transit drive that you get from EW, are you expected to return it once you dump the contents to your local drive?

Mark
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:38 PM
wagtunes wagtunes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maallyn View Post
"Point is, how much you can shove into one drive is solely dependent on how big your drive is. But if you can fit everything you buy onto one drive, you can run it all off of that one drive. No need to spread them out unless you want to."

Could this mean that the individual libraries do not have to be on it's own SSD drive for performance reasons?

I think I am not clear on how stuff needs to be distributed among the drives. I was thinking of:

O/S on drive 1
Cubase on drive 2
EW library 1 on drive 3
EW library 2 on drive 4
...
EW library x on drive x
and so on and finally
My output files on its own drive

And that all drives except drive 1 are seperate SSD drive.

Is this what I am expected to come up with? Or can the libraries all be put on one drive and still have the same performance?

Regarding the transit drive that you get from EW, are you expected to return it once you dump the contents to your local drive?

Mark
The larger libraries (Strings, Brass) when run together off one drive COULD push your PC a bit depending on how many tracks. Yes. But, even spreading them out over 2 or 3 drives (Strings on drive 1, Brass on drive 2 and everything else on drive 3) if you're going to make 100 track songs, you better have a beast of a PC to drive that thing. That's just the reality of these libraries.

When I'm doing a really large project, if I suspect that I'm going to run into problems, what I do is do one track at a time (entering or playing the notes) and then, when that track is complete, I freeze the track. In Cubase what that does is it turns the track into a wav file. So for the remainder of the time you're working on that project, that one track is no longer loading the library samples. If you ever need to go back and change a note, you can always just unfreeze the track, make your changes and then refreeze the track again when you're done. It's a pretty common practice and how many people get through doing large projects. Not everybody has a monster computer to work on.

What I'm trying to get across is not to sweat this much. Just make sure you get a PC that's pretty robust to begin with (i7, 16 gig RAM minimum) and you shouldn't have any problems even if you put everything on one drive. If you're concerned about the Strings and Brass, put each one on its own drive. But now you're working with 3 drives so make sure you've got enough slots. I actually don't so I use an adapter that can plug 4 USB plugs into it.

But you certainly don't have to have every single thing you create on its own drive. That approaches the point of insanity.

I have Cubase on my main HD along with all the music I create.

I then have one drive (currently) where I have all my EWQL stufff on. However, having just bought Diamond Strings and Brass, I'm going to split them up between 2 drives and place everything else split between those 2 drives. The other libraries use so little resources, relatively speaking, that I don't think I need to go to a 3rd external drive. Tonight I did a track with Diamond Brass on the same drive as everything else and it worked fine.

Really, don't drive yourself nuts over this stuff.

But first thing's first. Decide what you're going to buy. Then you can figure out from that how many drives you'll need.

Your main HD and 2 other drives should be more than enough.

That's how I plan on running my system from hereon out.

PS - You keep the drive they send you. It's yours.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:39 AM
maallyn maallyn is offline
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Thank you for the help. I will try O/S and software on the SSD and the tracks on the non ssd HD. I will opt for the 32 GB RAM I7.

Mark
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:27 PM
jdmcox jdmcox is offline
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So far, nobody has said whether Cubase can alter your voice's pitch...

I know Hollywood movie-makers use expensive voice pitch-changing hardware (all those actors can't sing THAT well), but it's really not that hard to change music's pitch to be right-on in software. I haven't done it, but I'm tempted to do it in PianoRollComposer (which will show your actual voice's pitch).
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:37 PM
wagtunes wagtunes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmcox View Post
So far, nobody has said whether Cubase can alter your voice's pitch...

I know Hollywood movie-makers use expensive voice pitch-changing hardware (all those actors can't sing THAT well), but it's really not that hard to change music's pitch to be right-on in software. I haven't done it, but I'm tempted to do it in PianoRollComposer (which will show your actual voice's pitch).
Cubase does have pitch correction. It's not great but it's usable.
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