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Computer Requirements For Virtual Synths

 
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racer25



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Near Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Computer Requirements For Virtual Synths Reply with quote

There's probably something listed here on forums, but couldn't find anything recent.

I'm struggling with computer hardware needed to run some of the newer virtual or soft synth software now available. Seems like the new software exceeds most of the older computer hardware.

Have two older Dell Pentium-4 computers (one is 2.00GHz; other 2.60), Windows XP, maxed out the RAM on each (2GB on one, 4GB on other), 7200rpm HDD's, and M-Audio audiophile 2496 cards in each. I've gone through two different (old) guidelines to optimize the computers for music applications.

Just purchased UVI Emulation II s/ware and Garritan Personal Orchestra. When I run these (as standalone, although I have Sonar and haven't tried them as plug-ins), I get digital dropouts, clicks, pops, etc. I've tried most all settings on the M-audio card, some giving slightly better results than others.

I hate to trash these computers and fork out $$$ for a newer computer, but guess that's always an option. The UVI does recommend "minimum" of Core Duo or faster processor and 1GB RAM. But thought I might get by with the P4 at 4GB RAM.

Any other users out there having issues, or maybe some recommendations as to what to do: 1). on what I have, or 2). Forget it and buy a new computer?

Like said, I've gone through to "optimize" what I have, and even read where Win XP was great for music applications...even over Win-7.

Thanks for any input!
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Yoa
Senior Member


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Exeter, NH

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't mind what OS you run - technically your BIOS can do music, just not very well. If the minimum specs say to have more than what you have and you can't rebuild your computer, then yes, get a new one. The minimum specs usually still have either a lot of dropouts or a lot of lag. However, since DAWs tend to run plugins differently, you may have better results with using Sonar.

One thing to note is that you can have 100GB of RAM, but if you have a slow or inefficient processor it means nothing. A P4 used to be the coolest bit of badassery around, but now it's akin to using stone tablets to write on. I'd recommend at least an i3 with 4GB of RAM for doing anything musical, since that's very common now and so a lot of companies make their software run decently on that.

I'd hit up eBay to sell those machines. You may want to part them out as that tends to get more money.
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Cheers! Yoa

Current electronic equipment: Korg Kaossilator, miniKP, microKORG, nanoKEY, nanoPAD, nanoKONTROL, monotron, Pandora PX5D, AX1000G, M-Audio Keystation 88es, Casio VL Tone, Soundcraft 102 mixer, laptop (which, among other things, has the KORG Legacy Collection and various NI stuffs), Acer Iconia a100 (has many music apps), Stylophone, Yamaha DX7
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racer25



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Near Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yoa,

Thx for your input. I was wondering if the Sonar plug-in approach might be better. Will try that just to see.

Also was thinking I could sell the two P-4's and put that towards an i5 or maybe i7. Prices are pretty good on desktops right now. Hadn't thought about breaking out parts, so might consider that also.

With what software you run, can I ask what system you use...and do you ever have any issues with latency or clicks/pops?

Thanks again!!!
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Yoa
Senior Member


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Exeter, NH

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's totally possible that using Sonar might be worse just because you're running a large program and a small program in it, but I also don't know how Sonar processes plugins. I use Live, mainly.

The p4's alone are only worth as much as people would pay. I'd just sell the motherboard as a whole.

I've spent years tweaking my machine so that it works just about perfectly, despite its specs. It's a Gateway NV53A laptop with a dual-core AMD Athlon P230 running at 2.1GHz (and artificially overclocked at 2.8GHz), 4GB of RAM (with an available 30GB slow-speed RAM using the hard drive as RAM), running Win7 64-bit HP. Available at any Best Buy for about $400. Less now, because this thing is a couple years old.

As for latency, like I say I needed to perfectly set up everything, but I have about .2s of lag, but only while recording. Normally I use a through-port audio system (built-in), which allows for nearly zero latency. I also adjusted all of my buffers so that it is perfectly balanced between no pops and low CPU usage.
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Cheers! Yoa

Current electronic equipment: Korg Kaossilator, miniKP, microKORG, nanoKEY, nanoPAD, nanoKONTROL, monotron, Pandora PX5D, AX1000G, M-Audio Keystation 88es, Casio VL Tone, Soundcraft 102 mixer, laptop (which, among other things, has the KORG Legacy Collection and various NI stuffs), Acer Iconia a100 (has many music apps), Stylophone, Yamaha DX7
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Ksynth
Platinum Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 1216
Location: Northern California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get the latest Intel 6th generation i7 PC, Windows 10.

And DDR4 ram - 32GB if you can manage the cost. Prices are pretty good now.

I build my own after looking at the latest build guides etc.

About to build another system like the i7 above.
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