Major Technical Computer Question

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TheHound
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:26 pm

Major Technical Computer Question

Post by TheHound » Thu May 05, 2016 12:16 am

This involves preferences and computer power.

I'm currently running an i3 and 4 gig RAM.

Currently I have been running WAVE RT so that I can monitor incoming audio at low latency but the best resolution it offers is 16 bit but a guy who will be mastering and collaborating needs 48000 and 24 bit.

When I go to wave I can record at 48000 and higher and at 24 and 32 but I can't monitor the incoming audio due to the high latency. I can get around it by putting a mic on my amps but that is not always possible.

Can upping the RAM do much to solve these issues?

With WAVE and 48000 and 24 bits playback uses 8% of the processor. At 192000 and 24 bit Mixcraft reports that it is using 25% of the processor but the playback is "scratchy" with 21 ms of latency. That's the best I can get but 21 ms of latency is too much.

I don't relish getting a new computer because the one I have is working well but it is getting long in the tooth.

Tell me if I'm wrong but I'm thinking a more powerful computer will fix this?? I'm looking at a very powerful desk top

Here are the specs and I am hoping that this machine will cut the muster.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

3.5 GHz AMD A10-7800
12GB DDR3 RAM
AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
2TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner, 7-in-1 Card Slot
Gigabit Ethernet
802.11ac Wi-Fi
HDMI / VGA / USB 3.0 / USB 2.0
USB Keyboard & Mouse Included
Windows 10 Home

This desktop comes equipped with an integrated AMD Radeon R7 chipset that delivers visuals to your monitor via the HDMI and VGA ports. For accessing external storage drives or other peripherals, it has four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports. You also get a 7-in-1 media card reader and a SuperMulti DVD burner as well as a wired USB keyboard and mouse.

This Lenovo H50 desktop comes equipped an AMD A10-7800 APU that performs as a CPU and features AMD Radeon HD graphics. This APU comes with a base speed of 3.5 GHz and can achieve speeds up to 3.9 GHz while running demanding applications.

Will this machine run MC 7 at the highest settings?

One more question. If I get this laptop is it possible to run MC 7 with dual monitors so that I can see 20 or so channels on the mixer?

Thanks in advance.

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AHornsby
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Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by AHornsby » Thu May 05, 2016 5:52 am

I believe one of the keys to achieving the lowest latency possible is to keep as many of the OS's processes from reaching the CPU as possible. Persistent programs running in the background (that you can't remove without blowing everything up) eat up precious CPU real estate and those you just have to deal with. Even when you remove entire programs there's often a flag portion that still polls the processor endlessly, at will.

What we all need is a new streamlined OS for audio dogs.

I thought that switching to a Linux environment would solve some issues -- and it has -- but my 3.3 GHz I3 / 4G RAM still gets its share of garbage processes.

You might look into that HDMI capability and check out whether or not you can tap that audio output somehow... at least before you shell out lots of bucks for a pipe dream which might not give you that much of an edge.

The market is telling us that we should be on the optical bandwagon but let's not get too thrilled unless something changes drastically OS-wise. -h

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Rolling Estonian
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Location: MD/DC

Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by Rolling Estonian » Thu May 05, 2016 8:53 am

AHornsby wrote:What we all need is a new streamlined OS for audio dogs.
It won't be as easy as just an OS though. It'll have to be the biggest and best of processors, ram, memory, cpu, monitors etc. We all know how much 'specialized' systems can run.

The way things are, you can build a monster computer for about $1k. i7, 32gb ram, 2 ssd, 2hdmi out. At least that's what I'm going to do in the next year or so.

To the OP, i3 and 4gb ram is pretty much the bare minimum for recording, just upping your ram won't really do much as the i3 won't be able to handle it. Plus, ASIO is definitely the way to go. Ideally you'll want more processor power, more ram and a faster hdd. A gaming system is a good place to start but like I said, don't be locked in to a 'specialized' system when you can have a great music machine without the latest video card for example, those are really expensive. You'll get a lot of opinions and advice, but most will definitely agree that you want the best/fastest processor, most ram and fastest hdd you can afford.

The 12gb system sounds okay but my understanding is that Intel is far superior to AMD, more costly but considered worth it. And yes, definitely get two monitor out so you can have more monitor space.

Good luck!

M

J Gretch
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:39 am

Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by J Gretch » Thu May 05, 2016 12:09 pm

Currently I have been running WAVE RT so that I can monitor incoming audio at low latency but the best resolution it offers is 16 bit but a guy who will be mastering and collaborating needs 48000 and 24 bit.

When I go to wave I can record at 48000 and higher and at 24 and 32 but I can't monitor the incoming audio due to the high latency. I can get around it by putting a mic on my amps but that is not always possible.

Can upping the RAM do much to solve these issues?

With WAVE and 48000 and 24 bits playback uses 8% of the processor. At 192000 and 24 bit Mixcraft reports that it is using 25% of the processor but the playback is "scratchy" with 21 ms of latency. That's the best I can get but 21 ms of latency is too much.


A quality audio interface with ASIO will eliminate 99% of this mess in most cases. Sure a powerful processor and more RAM will make everything run better but asking your computers' sound card to do all the work is just a miserable way to go about it.

And most modern interface units have 24-bit/96kHz resolution.

i use the Focusrite 2i4 when it's just me, and the Zoom R16 when I need more inputs.

Good luck :)

TheHound
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:26 pm

Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by TheHound » Thu May 05, 2016 2:05 pm

J Gretch wrote:
Currently I have been running WAVE RT so that I can monitor incoming audio at low latency but the best resolution it offers is 16 bit but a guy who will be mastering and collaborating needs 48000 and 24 bit.

When I go to wave I can record at 48000 and higher and at 24 and 32 but I can't monitor the incoming audio due to the high latency. I can get around it by putting a mic on my amps but that is not always possible.

Can upping the RAM do much to solve these issues?

With WAVE and 48000 and 24 bits playback uses 8% of the processor. At 192000 and 24 bit Mixcraft reports that it is using 25% of the processor but the playback is "scratchy" with 21 ms of latency. That's the best I can get but 21 ms of latency is too much.


A quality audio interface with ASIO will eliminate 99% of this mess in most cases. Sure a powerful processor and more RAM will make everything run better but asking your computers' sound card to do all the work is just a miserable way to go about it.

And most modern interface units have 24-bit/96kHz resolution.

i use the Focusrite 2i4 when it's just me, and the Zoom R16 when I need more inputs.

Good luck :)
I have an R-16 that I got for doing remote recordings but for overall recording and mixing I prefer mix craft.

If I plug in the R-16 will I need an ASIO driver? I'm thinking that the R-16 will act as a pre amp is this true?

I'll be working on getting the R-16 working. Any advice?

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by Acoustica Greg » Thu May 05, 2016 3:05 pm

Hi,

The R16 should have its own ASIO driver. Go to the manufacturer's web page to download and install the latest Windows audio driver for your R16.

Greg
Mixcraft - The Musician's DAW
Give it a try here: http://acoustica.com/mixcraft/
Check out our Mixcraft University video tutorials.

TheHound
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:26 pm

Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by TheHound » Thu May 05, 2016 3:25 pm

Rolling Estonian wrote:
AHornsby wrote:What we all need is a new streamlined OS for audio dogs.
It won't be as easy as just an OS though. It'll have to be the biggest and best of processors, ram, memory, cpu, monitors etc. We all know how much 'specialized' systems can run.

The way things are, you can build a monster computer for about $1k. i7, 32gb ram, 2 ssd, 2hdmi out. At least that's what I'm going to do in the next year or so.

To the OP, i3 and 4gb ram is pretty much the bare minimum for recording, just upping your ram won't really do much as the i3 won't be able to handle it. Plus, ASIO is definitely the way to go. Ideally you'll want more processor power, more ram and a faster hdd. A gaming system is a good place to start but like I said, don't be locked in to a 'specialized' system when you can have a great music machine without the latest video card for example, those are really expensive. You'll get a lot of opinions and advice, but most will definitely agree that you want the best/fastest processor, most ram and fastest hdd you can afford.

The 12gb system sounds okay but my understanding is that Intel is far superior to AMD, more costly but considered worth it. And yes, definitely get two monitor out so you can have more monitor space.

Good luck!

M
I've all sorts of differing review AMD vs Intel. My gut tells me to go with Intel but others don't agree.

The computer I am looking at is Lenovo H50-50 Desktop Computer and the spec look impressive.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

3.5 GHz AMD A10-7800
12GB DDR3 RAM
AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
2TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner, 7-in-1 Card Slot
Gigabit Ethernet
802.11ac Wi-Fi
HDMI / VGA / USB 3.0 / USB 2.0
USB Keyboard & Mouse Included
Windows 10 Home

What confuses me is that even when I have 16 tracks going the most Mixcraft reports using my processor using it 25% yet it won't play back at high resolution settings but it still has 75% of processor power unused. I don't think MC is misreporting because task manager says the same thing.

I tried ASIO 4all with Berringer USB interface and it didn't work well. I can get 3 ms latency with Wave RT so I can monitor incoming audio but it's at 16 bits stereo and 48000. When I switch off Exclusive mode the latency is 20 ms and the resolution is 32 bit 48000. 20 ms is a bit too much. I could probably play along with 1/2 that latency. If MC could run in Wave RT with 24 bit and 48000 I'm thinking the latency would be acceptable for my needs. In the meantime I will be using Wave RT and mic an amp and use foam head phones. That will work fine for now. I've thought about using 2 sets of head phones. LOL!

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Rolling Estonian
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Location: MD/DC

Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by Rolling Estonian » Thu May 05, 2016 6:15 pm

Acoustica Greg wrote:The R16 should have its own ASIO driver. Go to the manufacturer's web page to download and install the latest Windows audio driver for your R16.
This! You should get MUCH better preformance with their drivers than ASIO4ALL, by far.

https://www.zoom-na.com/products/produc ... #downloads

M

aj113
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Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by aj113 » Fri May 06, 2016 2:12 am

What exactly are you monitoring? Can't you just plug your cans into your soundcard/interface?

Really there is very little need to monitor back off the DAW.

J Gretch
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:39 am

Re: Major Technical Computer Question

Post by J Gretch » Fri May 06, 2016 6:40 am

Good to hear that you already have an R16 ! I used mine with an old Core-2 XP-Pro desktop for years without a hiccup. I also use it with a laptop, and my new hot-rod i5 desktop with no problems at all. If you have any problems getting it to work for you just let me know and maybe we can get on the phone or something.

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