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Author Topic: Setting up your PC for Recording  (Read 149422 times)

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #300 on: August 13, 2008, 08:51:04 AM »
Win XP RAM question:

1. I've been reading that there's not much point in investing in more than 2GB RAM in an XP system, but some sites I've seen say that  the /3GB and/or /PAE switch can allow Windows to access the entire 4GB. What's the score [for audio, at least], really?

Gerard seems to be the master at this lately but here's the skiiny... Since XP is only 32-bit, it can only address a maximum of 4 Gb ram. From the MS Support site, they mention this:

Quote
Operating systems based on Microsoft® Windows NT® technologies have always provided applications with a flat 32-bit virtual address space that describes 4 gigabytes (GB) of virtual memory. The address space is usually split so that 2 GB of address space is directly accessible to the application and the other 2 GB is only accessible to the Windows executive software.

The /3Gb switch tells XP to let applications use more than 2 Gb, approx 3.2 Gb, leaving the rest for Windows.

For audio, having a lot of ram isn't that important for tracking. It only means you can have a lot of applications open simultaneously without windows having to access the swap file every now and then. This also means faster program access and switching since ram is faster than reading from disk. Ram does become important when you use a lot of virtual instruments - samplers are especially sensitive to ram and with libraries being several gigabytes in size, having sizable ram is a must (disk streaming is sometimes not fast enough if you need lots of polyphony).

If track count is a concern, however, faster hard disk access is more important, that's why it's often recommended that you defrag before every session.

Page file question:

2. Should I put the page file on a separate drive, or put it in the fastest parts of a drive? I read some of your replies and you mentioned that it can be done using the right software. I'd appreciate guidance on this.

Some people partition a small space on the system drive just to serve the swap file - something like 4 gigs will do since the swap file is often 1.5 times the size of your installed ram. At and above 2 gigs ram, however, the swap file becomes moot since your available ram is more than capable of handling most applictions (except for samplers as explained above). There are special partitioning software that can assign a specific space on the drive for the partition location; can't recall if it was Partition Magic or Paragon's partitioning soft.

Going back to our physics, the tangential speed of a disk is fastest at the outside edge of the platter. This means that data access should be fastest at the outer edge. By location a partition there and assigning it to the swap file, you can theoretically speed up hard disk access - this is only pertinent with the data in the swap file, though. Special defragmenting software (like Ultimate Defrag) locate your directories and the MFT (master file table) in the outer edge of the platter making data access faster. Bear in mind. also, that the rotation speeds also have a bearing on HD data throughput; a 7200 rpm disk will spew out data faster than a 5400 or 4200 rpm drive - that's why 10,000 rpm Raptors are so expensive.
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Offline titser_marco

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #301 on: August 13, 2008, 12:09:17 PM »
Gerard seems to be the master at this lately but here's the skiiny... Since XP is only 32-bit, it can only address a maximum of 4 Gb ram. From the MS Support site, they mention this:

The /3Gb switch tells XP to let applications use more than 2 Gb, approx 3.2 Gb, leaving the rest for Windows.

For audio, having a lot of ram isn't that important for tracking. It only means you can have a lot of applications open simultaneously without windows having to access the swap file every now and then. This also means faster program access and switching since ram is faster than reading from disk. Ram does become important when you use a lot of virtual instruments - samplers are especially sensitive to ram and with libraries being several gigabytes in size, having sizable ram is a must (disk streaming is sometimes not fast enough if you need lots of polyphony).


I see. Currently, I have a lot of VSTis [DSK Brass, GTG Drummer, DSK Strings, Guitar Rig 3, et al.] loaded in a project. Will more RAM mean better performance given these project specs?


If track count is a concern, however, faster hard disk access is more important, that's why it's often recommended that you defrag before every session.

Some people partition a small space on the system drive just to serve the swap file - something like 4 gigs will do since the swap file is often 1.5 times the size of your installed ram. At and above 2 gigs ram, however, the swap file becomes moot since your available ram is more than capable of handling most applictions (except for samplers as explained above). There are special partitioning software that can assign a specific space on the drive for the partition location; can't recall if it was Partition Magic or Paragon's partitioning soft.

Going back to our physics, the tangential speed of a disk is fastest at the outside edge of the platter. This means that data access should be fastest at the outer edge. By location a partition there and assigning it to the swap file, you can theoretically speed up hard disk access - this is only pertinent with the data in the swap file, though. Special defragmenting software (like Ultimate Defrag) locate your directories and the MFT (master file table) in the outer edge of the platter making data access faster. Bear in mind. also, that the rotation speeds also have a bearing on HD data throughput; a 7200 rpm disk will spew out data faster than a 5400 or 4200 rpm drive - that's why 10,000 rpm Raptors are so expensive.

Hmm, got it. Will a 7200 RPM drive be sufficient for my needs? I don't see my projects going beyond the 24-track mark. :) Will a SATA drive be siginificantly faster than an IDE drive, btw?

Thanks KitC!
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #302 on: August 13, 2008, 06:12:49 PM »
I see. Currently, I have a lot of VSTis [DSK Brass, GTG Drummer, DSK Strings, Guitar Rig 3, et al.] loaded in a project. Will more RAM mean better performance given these project specs?

Not really since most of the mentioned VSTIs aren't 'heavy hitters', ram-wise; you will find that having a fast processor is more important in this case. If you use a lot sample-based instruments (Kontakt, Halion, Gigasampler, EmulatorX...), this is where ram becomes very important.

Hmm, got it. Will a 7200 RPM drive be sufficient for my needs? I don't see my projects going beyond the 24-track mark. :) Will a SATA drive be siginificantly faster than an IDE drive, btw?

7200 rpm is quite sufficient, provided you are running at ATA-5 or even ATA-6 speeds. If your IDE HD controller is incapable of that (a rarity nowadays), you might have to upgrade your motherboard. SATA is quite faster than IDE. IDE has a theoretical maximum of 133 megabits per sec while SATA1 is at 150 mbps; SATA2 drives are rated at 300 mbps.
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Offline titser_marco

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #303 on: August 13, 2008, 07:55:58 PM »
I see. Thanks kit! By the way, what free drum sampler can you recommend? The GTG free drum sampler worked fine, but I found it limiting because i need more pads. Moreover, I don't think I'll be able to change the MIDI note assignments for each pad - which I need, considering that I need to sync it with my Alesis SR16 :)

Thanks again!
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #304 on: August 14, 2008, 10:05:57 AM »
I honestly don't know what free sampler to recommend since I've almost been exclusively using the VSTIs in Sonar, Cubase and Live, along with EmulatorX. You can try this though, SuperDrumFX, Short Circuit, and Grizzly. Both SuperDrumFX and Grizzly have something like 8-10 pads, but Short Circuit is quite deep with lots of editing options and sample compatibility (it used to be paid software but is now unsupported freeware).
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Offline titser_marco

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #305 on: August 14, 2008, 10:24:17 AM »
God, what would Philmusic do without Kit? Thanks uli, man!
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Online siore

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #306 on: August 14, 2008, 10:32:30 AM »
Hey, I needed those too!  Thanks KitC.   :-D
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #307 on: August 14, 2008, 10:34:32 AM »
Always a pleasure, guys!  :-D
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Offline titser_marco

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #308 on: August 14, 2008, 11:14:00 AM »
Grabe, I never thought MIDI would be this much fun - and relatively affordable. :)

I just hope I can survive on a p4 system hehehe
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #309 on: August 14, 2008, 01:52:05 PM »
Believe me, you can. My first "serious" DAW involved an Athlon 1700+ with 512 megs of ram, but it did house my Emu 1820m though.  :-D
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Offline titser_marco

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #310 on: August 16, 2008, 12:29:25 AM »
Whooopeee there's hope!

KitC, mind sharing the programs [sequencers, samplers, audio editors, plugins] that you used when you had that set up? I'm thinking of using those in my p4 system until I have money for an upgrade. Thanks! :)
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #311 on: August 19, 2008, 09:46:07 AM »
Whooopeee there's hope!

KitC, mind sharing the programs [sequencers, samplers, audio editors, plugins] that you used when you had that set up?

Sequencers - Sonar 4, Cubase SL2
Sampler - EmulatorX 1.5
Audio Editor - Wavelab Lite
Plugins - almost every free stuff you can find, but I've been using digitalfishphones a lot.
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Offline nolit

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #312 on: August 20, 2008, 12:39:25 AM »
I have heard of monitor matrix from behringer and from samson (C Control). Both devices handles 3 stereo outputs from mixable 3 inputs.

My question is this. Since mastering employs checking the playability of a music on several hardwares, it is imperative to use several speakers. How can I feed an output from my soundcard to feed at least 4 devices where I can monitor how the music will play on several devices such as powered speakers, stereo component, line in on portable cassette players, etc. It would be best if you will have fader controls on each. This device sounds like the opposite of a mixer... where you have one signal source and feed to multiple outs. Getting an 8 bus mixer is expensive and a waste of those inputs as I only need the 8 outputs.

I am posting this question for a friend. Since I am using EMU 1820m with 4 monitor outs - this issue do not apply on me.  But I know a lot of people have  other soundcards and this may be a problem.

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #313 on: August 20, 2008, 08:44:25 AM »
This is where the monitor matrix like the C-Control comes in. It can route any input to any output, sometimes all 3 at the same time. At work, we use a Presonus Central Station; Mackie has the Big Knob which does the same thing.
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Offline bindoy

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #314 on: August 20, 2008, 08:52:38 AM »
This is where the monitor matrix like the C-Control comes in. It can route any input to any output, sometimes all 3 at the same time. At work, we use a Presonus Central Station; Mackie has the Big Knob which does the same thing.

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Offline melody_guitar

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #315 on: September 06, 2008, 04:21:51 PM »
does anyone here knows the free downloadable software KRISTAL AUDIO ENGINE??.. does anyone here have tried and used it?? ako kasi eto yung main software na ginagamit ko for more than two years now.. but now, im studying the cakewalk 2.0 version.. reviews naman sa kristal audio engine guys kung meron man..salamat po ng marami....
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Offline pings15

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #316 on: September 08, 2008, 09:58:06 PM »
quick Q:

lets say i have a mixer..  how can i connect it through my PC?.. and use it as my soundcard?

will the pc detect how many I/O does it have?..



thanks!

(i think my question is related sa topic sorry pag hindi or pag may nakapagtanong na i cant use the search eh, im having these error messages (my internet is the problem) )
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Offline jamming_papu

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #317 on: September 09, 2008, 12:18:52 AM »
quick Q:

lets say i have a mixer..  how can i connect it through my PC?.. and use it as my soundcard?

will the pc detect how many I/O does it have?..

thanks!

(i think my question is related sa topic sorry pag hindi or pag may nakapagtanong na i cant use the search eh, im having these error messages (my internet is the problem) )

quick A.

i haven't see anyone did this. maybe you are referring to use the outs (like control, rca-line out, headphone out) of the mixer and directly plugging it to the 1/8" audio line in of your pc. i tried it myself in my own desktop and mixer. nothing happens.
im not sure why. (can anyone tell us why?  :-D)

anyways, if you like to connect your mixer to your pc then you should have a proper interface that would mediate between your analog sound signal to the digital language of your pc. behringer uca usb, Maudio 2496 are some stuff that can do this job. 8-)

however, some mixers are pc ready to record all the channels in their inputs and track them as separate tracks in a recording software. try looking for Alesis multimix usb and firewire in the net for example.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 12:21:28 AM by jamming_papu »
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #318 on: September 09, 2008, 08:22:46 AM »
quick A.

i haven't see anyone did this. maybe you are referring to use the outs (like control, rca-line out, headphone out) of the mixer and directly plugging it to the 1/8" audio line in of your pc. i tried it myself in my own desktop and mixer. nothing happens.
im not sure why. (can anyone tell us why?  :-D)

First, check your routings. You should connect the mixer out to the line in, which is usually blue in color - line outs begin at lime green. Next, make sure you have line in activated in the sound control panel. Unless that input is selected for recording, your software won't 'hear' anything. Lastly, if you are connecting the pc outs to your mixer's stereo input, be it tape in or a spare stereo strip, you might encounter feedback looping. Go to Tweakheadz.com and study the guides. There are several diagrams there on how to 'wire' your studio.
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Offline Zazza

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #319 on: September 09, 2008, 05:19:53 PM »
jose roberto,

Judging from your pc specs, you didn't mention a soundcard so I assume your pc has onboard sound. While you can record using onboard sound, remember that it is bound by the following limitations:

a. Not-so-great sound quality. Motherboards are built to a price specification and sound often takes a backseat  so don't expect high quality converters here. There will he higher noise levels and the line in usually doubles as part of the 5.1 or 7.1 output so operation of the inputs is a compromise.

b. Limited sample rate capability. It's either 44.1 or 48 kHz... 96 kHz? Forget it! Plus, if the mobo has s/pdif, it's almost always an output operating at 48 kHz ONLY.

c. Analog I/O is in 1/8" stereo jacks. Not the most robust of connections plus these are prone to component failures when repeatedly inserting and removing the plugs; this is due to the way the sockets are soldered onto the board. You can get around this by making a sort of 'breakout' extension cable that puts the strain of repeated removal and insertions (necessary when you have a lot of gear but only one pair of inputs) on the breakout. Some use a small mixer to act as a breakout.

That said, get a good soundcard if you want to sound better. Better yet, get a soundcard designed for audio recording. Soundblasters are a good place to start but are not really meant for serious recording, but will do for demos. The M-Audio brand is very good for recording and has a range to suit most budgets.

I'm not sure if you can plug your G1 direct since I can't find any reference to it on the net. I'm sure it was meant for direct connection to an amp; if it has a designated line out, you can plug that into your mixer/soundcard. If in doubt, use it's headphone connection instead, but watch out for levels!

To do a blow-by-blow here might make this post inordinately too long, but the short of it is to connect your signals to your inputs and to watch out for levels! If it's too loud, reduce volume at the source, not at the soundcard input. Another thing to consider is how you are monitoring (or listening) to what is coming into your soundcard; whats the point of recording if you can't hear it? Again, if you are still relying on onboard sound, remember the old computer axiom, G-I-G-O.

Sign up for the PC Recording workshop we have planned for the 9th. You might learn a trick or 2.



Sir Kit,

I highlighted the one above as my main question po. I plan to run an Athlon 64 system with 2gb DDR2 and 320g HDD, plus a Creative Audigy soundcard. Panu po ung "breakout" galing sa soundcard? And if that would be a small mixer, can you recommend a brand which is affordable po? I also plan to get KRK Studio monitors po. Dun ko ba ico-connect un sa mixer/breakout? Do i need a small mixer to get tha ball rollin' for my studio monitor speakers? Coz i also plan to mic my amp/guitar so a microphone looms too.

I'll record mostly guitar stuff, have no plans on MIDI yet. And besides getting a guitar USB input interface, what mostly do i need? I intend to get the KRK speakers pero I'm kinda lost in the setup process  :? Sorry i'm totally noob with recording setup process  :-D

Thanks in advance sir!
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #320 on: September 09, 2008, 07:02:28 PM »
I highlighted the one above as my main question po. I plan to run an Athlon 64 system with 2gb DDR2 and 320g HDD, plus a Creative Audigy soundcard. Panu po ung "breakout" galing sa soundcard? And if that would be a small mixer, can you recommend a brand which is affordable po? I also plan to get KRK Studio monitors po. Dun ko ba ico-connect un sa mixer/breakout? Do i need a small mixer to get tha ball rollin' for my studio monitor speakers? Coz i also plan to mic my amp/guitar so a microphone looms too.

Here's the thing... when starting out, you would want the simplest setup you can probably manage. I suggest sticking to a single audio interface, preferably a guitar usb interface. Come to terms with your equipment, then expand later as your skill grows. You may not even need the audigy if you choose the right usb interface. A good example is the Line6 Toneport UX1 which has both guitar and mic inputs. No need for a mixer; just add one as your needs grow. Start small, simple and inexpensive when learning.
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Offline Zazza

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #321 on: September 09, 2008, 08:18:00 PM »
Here's the thing... when starting out, you would want the simplest setup you can probably manage. I suggest sticking to a single audio interface, preferably a guitar usb interface. Come to terms with your equipment, then expand later as your skill grows. You may not even need the audigy if you choose the right usb interface. A good example is the Line6 Toneport UX1 which has both guitar and mic inputs. No need for a mixer; just add one as your needs grow. Start small, simple and inexpensive when learning.

Thanks for the input Sir!

About the studio monitors, do i still need them (sorry silly question i guess) or the Altecs and Philips 5.1 that i have preowned will suffice?

Cheers!
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Offline xjepoyx

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #322 on: September 09, 2008, 09:21:07 PM »
Thanks for the input Sir!

About the studio monitors, do i still need them (sorry silly question i guess) or the Altecs and Philips 5.1 that i have preowned will suffice?

Cheers!

If you're really plunging into this kind of hobby or profession... What you really need to invest first is your monitors....

I myself started with computer speakers... when i listened to my past recordings and mixes with my KRK's.... Haaaaaaaaayy grabe ang dami kong gs2ng baguhin!
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Offline Zazza

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #323 on: September 09, 2008, 09:52:27 PM »
If you're really plunging into this kind of hobby or profession... What you really need to invest first is your monitors....

I myself started with computer speakers... when i listened to my past recordings and mixes with my KRK's.... Haaaaaaaaayy grabe ang dami kong gs2ng baguhin!

Thanks for that Jepoy  :-D I think that nails it! Coz i felt that PC speakers ain't gonna cut it.

I'm gonna invest on the Line6 Toneport and a pair of KRKs or Samsons that'll fit my budget.

Cheers!
The Cranberrie's "dreams" is a rip off of Sampaguita's "Laguna".....

Offline xjepoyx

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #324 on: September 09, 2008, 09:57:24 PM »
Thanks for that Jepoy  :-D I think that nails it! Coz i felt that PC speakers ain't gonna cut it.

I'm gonna invest on the Line6 Toneport and a pair of KRKs or Samsons that'll fit my budget.

Cheers!

AFAIK may clearance sale ang TMS on KRK Speakers also AP has a clearance sale. Try to contact forerunnertech re: KRKs and Tarkuz re: Samson Monitors
good girls go to heaven. bad girls go to my room!  [/i]