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Old 10-08-2015, 05:53 PM
davisbrown100 davisbrown100 is offline
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Default Tell me what hardware to get

Dear Forum,

This is my first time posting on EastWest forums, and I'm doing so at the suggestion of LMW.

I'm an orchestra composer, and I'm getting ready to upgrade my 1990s-era MIDI recording technology. I like the HO sounds very much and want to use the Gold packages for my next big recording project. My difficulty has been in getting a crystal-clear idea of exactly what hardware I need to buy. Once I buy the computer hardware, there's no returning or upgrading it, so I have to get it right the first time.

Although I consider myself a competent composer and musician, I'm not particularly literate in the technology. Therefore I'm turning to this forum with a plea for someone to just tell me *exactly* what hardware I need in order to successfully record music for full orchestra using HO sounds plus a few other EW sounds, error-free, trouble-free, glitch-free. Let's say, 120 sounds open simultaneously, playing about 33 parts at any one time (not counting key switches).

I'm buying a new computer for this, and I anticipate using Pro Tools. I won't be using the computer for anything else.

Mac or PC? What operating system? (If OS X El Capitan isn't performing well with EW, as I've read in one thread, then will Apple downgrade the operating system for me?) How much RAM do I *really* need, and what speed? LMW recommends external SSDs for storing the samples; how many, and should they connect via USB 3 or Thunderbolt, or something else? Will an Intel quad-core processor suffice, and what processing speed do I *really* need? LMW says the conventional sound cards supplied by Apple won't be powerful enough, but I have no clear idea what other sound card, i.e. make and model, will suffice.

Bottom line, would anyone mind just telling me exactly what hardware to get for this, right down to the processor, operating system, quantity & speed of memory, types and speeds of internal & external hard drives, types of ports, sound card (name and model), and any other critical components that I've missed?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Old 10-08-2015, 11:07 PM
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trumpoz trumpoz is offline
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I can't help you if you want to go down the Apple route as I dont use MAC.

If you want to use Pro-Tools, I strongly suggest hosting your samples outside of your DAW in Vienna Ensemble Pro. It is by far the most efficient host for samples.

If you want to go the PC Route - 32GB ram should be sufficient to run the complete HO. If you want to load a lot of articulations it might be safer to go with 64gb.

If you get a PC, don't worry about external SSD's - it is cheaper to go with internal and you don't have a USB controller to worry about. I assume you are in the USA. If $$ are not a major concern, I'd get in contact with a DAW builder (ADK or VisionDaw) and have a chat - talk to them about what you want/need and they will be able to put together something to do what you want, computer and interface. Yes you pay a premium for this, but it is expected that when you get the machine you turn it on and start - no messing around, no fuss, just composing. Their after sales support is also important and very highly regarded. I assume you are in the USA.
Old 10-10-2015, 06:33 AM
davisbrown100 davisbrown100 is offline
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Default still need more info

Thanks, Trumpoz.

After a history of disappointments with PCs, I'm pretty sure that I want to go back to a Mac.

Anyone out there who works with full orchestra on a Mac with Pro Tools, and has had no technical problems: Could you tell me what hardware you use? I.e. processor, amount of RAM, types of external drives, & audio interface? Please don't leave me guessing.
Old 10-10-2015, 07:01 AM
tommyrack13 tommyrack13 is offline
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Not using Pro Tools, but working on Mac using a large scale orchestra in Logic (HO Diamond, and a huge bunch of others) - streaming HStrings from an external Thunderbolt SSD, most of the rest from a WD Velociraptor (10,000 RPM HDD, Thunderbolt connection).

iMac 27" late 2012, 3.4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 3TB fusion drive as the internal hard disk.

It's not perfect, it's not glitch-free, and there are issues with larger templates that I usually have to resort to separate sectional stems in individual project files to work around. It was basically the most powerful iMac available to me at time of purchase, and it doesn't quite cut it - so, yes, I would say you would probably need something more powerful than the above.

If you're set on Mac, a Mac Pro with some hefty specs would probably be advised - but that's likely to take you into five figure territory. If you're planning on spending that much, it might be worth considering the option of getting yourself a reasonably spec'd iMac and slaving it with a high-powered PC from VisionDaw or ADK for instance. I looked into getting a VisionDaw in the UK and apparently they can't really ship outside of the States because the equipment is technically classed as a "supercomputer" by customs, haha. That made me want one even more, I tell you!

Hope this is vaguely helpful!
Old 10-10-2015, 10:34 AM
mrdsee mrdsee is offline
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I too would look into ADK
A 5820k processor(they can overclock it up to about 4.2ghz if you need more plug-in processing power) and with 64gb will yield one fine system. A 256gb Samsung 850 Pro SSD for the systems drive, and 850 EVO's for samples and recording drives(could use HDD for recording drive), along with standard HDD for back-up drives. Throw in a couple of monitors and a audio interface and you'd be well served for years to come. They'll optimize it and load Pro Tools 11 or whatever, iLok, plug-ins, along with anything else you want. True turn key ready. Plus will be there with lifetime support. Something their known for.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:56 PM
davisbrown100 davisbrown100 is offline
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I hadn't heard of ADK before; I'll definitely take a look. Thanks for your suggestions, and please do keep them coming!
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