Hello All,

First I hope you are all doing very well.


A few weeks ago, I have read a post here (I do not remember which one unfortunately) that was very interesting about composing gear set ups.

One thing actually GRABBED my attention.

A gentleman composer was saying he was using 24 Gb of RAM for his orchestral software.

So my question is the following? How can you set up from 20 to even 40 Gb of RAM on a PC or a laptop since most of them reach at most 8 Gb!!!

That is a mystery for me. I have found, on the Net, a PC with this capacity, music oriented (Vision ... something... DO not remember the full name of it)

Basically, as I travel a quite a lot from UK, France and South Africa, I want to set up a quite powerful laptop to be able to record anywhere; both for music composing than band recording.

If you have the answer to "my" mystery, try to explain in simple words, with stepped explanations. I know about computers but I am not Bill Gates!

Thanks in advance

Roland

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Replies

  • Hmm, I am wondering what the answer to your qustion is as well...

  • It depends on what you're looking for Roland. A laptop is adequate for running some lighter software by itself. 

    If you're looking for an extensive setup to create detailed and realistic orchestral compositions digitally then you tend to need something bigger. 

    Myself I'm using an 8-core Mac Pro with 24GB of RAM plus a second PC with 8GB of RAM which I generally just use for strings and woodwind. My full orchestral template (which aims for a traditional cinematic sound a la John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith) generally takes up over 26GB. 

    To me this is the kind of setup you need for realistic and detailed writing. 

    If you want stuff that sounds realistic then there are shortcuts with ensemble style libraries (Symphobia, Albion, Da Capo, Tutti, etc). They can sound quite realistic but are quite broad in terms of usage. No really detailed writing but it should work on a laptop.

    If you want just detailed writing then you can use Sibelius and Garritan orchestra. Again this will work on a laptop but it won't sound realistic at all.

    So if it's important to have realistic and detailed orchestral writing then unfortunately you need a big and powerful setup. 

    I'm happy to help with other areas of this if you need. 

  • Thank you James for all these details. I did not know Mac could offer so much RAM memory! On top of this the graphics are exceptional!

    Do you think there is such a thing as a laptop offering over 8 Gb of RAM?

  • but, if I might add, macs are so expensive in comparison to their pc counterparts. I don't want to even think how much 24gbs and 8 cores cost on a mac.

    Go to a computer store and ask. There should be laptops with that capacity of memory, or close to that, but they will cost, potentially a lot more (and I mean a lot) than 24gbs on a desktop. Nowdays ram is cheap-you could have 32gbs of ram on a desktop and not need a loan for it. as an example, a greek retailer sels 32 gbs of ram (4 memory sticks) for 235 euros-I could live with that.

  • Yeah you can definitely get laptops with this much RAM. 

    Of course RAM isn't the only issue with samples. You also need to consider streaming from hard disks. 

    For instance my Mac Pro has a fairly typical set up: -

    System/applications drive

    Recording drive

    Samples 1 drive

    Samples 2 drive

    So this means that the separate physical drives will help prevent any contention/blocking. Streaming samples and recording is intensive with disk activity. With laptops many people use external drives to stream their samples. Even when I'm loading 26GB into memory I'm still streaming like crazy. Modern sample libraries are very resource-hungry. 

    Again feel free to ask further questions.

  • I see... SO you need a good motherboard that can run all these drives.

    You know James, my problem is that I tend to travel a lot this past 3 years... Isle of man (4.5 months - I am there at the moment), Cape Town (6 months), Paris (1.5 month) so I need a mobile set up, this is why I am asking all these questions.

    I do not think Hard drive are problematic as long as their speed is good but finding a 24 Gb Ram laptop seems to be another one!

    I have found Asus (and another one I do not remember) that runs 16 Gb of RAM. Apple do seem to offer 8 GB and not more.

    Do you know some as you said?

    Roland



  • Spiros Makris said:

    but, if I might add, macs are so expensive in comparison to their pc counterparts. I don't want to even think how much 24gbs and 8 cores cost on a mac.

    Go to a computer store and ask. There should be laptops with that capacity of memory, or close to that, but they will cost, potentially a lot more (and I mean a lot) than 24gbs on a desktop. Nowdays ram is cheap-you could have 32gbs of ram on a desktop and not need a loan for it. as an example, a greek retailer sels 32 gbs of ram (4 memory sticks) for 235 euros-I could live with that.

    Do you have the details of this greek retailer? it is pretty amazing when you see that it retails at 1000 £!!

    But as you say you need the laptop to take it. i found some but you have to add the price on top of standard one

    Roland

    Extensive RAM memory for music composing
    Hello All, First I hope you are all doing very well. A few weeks ago, I have read a post here (I do not remember which one unfortunately) that was v…
  • Well again Roland remember that my original post said IF you need to produce high quality detailed work. If I use a laptop then I generally only load something like


    Spitfire Albion

    Emotional Piano

    Omnisphere

    and just accept that it would sound great but wouldn't be hugely detailed. 

    I do think that a top-end PC laptop would provide amazing power for reasonable prices. 

  • no, no, you missunderstood. Those ram sticks are for a desktop, not for a laptop. Said retailer does not carry any laptop with more than 8GBs of ram. I suppose that the price for desktop ram is similar all over the world, even cheaper on the other side of the ocean. Especially if you count your money in euros ;)

    Also, if you can find a place that builds such hi end laptops, the price should still not be too much. In the link Ray provided, the cost for 32gbs is only 233$ dollars more than the 4gbs. assuming a good 80$ for the 4gbs, 310$ seems allright.

    Your best bet is to go to a hi end pc retailer in your area (one of the three anyway) and set the specs you need, let them figure out the rest.


    Roland Bouchat said:



    Spiros Makris said:

    but, if I might add, macs are so expensive in comparison to their pc counterparts. I don't want to even think how much 24gbs and 8 cores cost on a mac.

    Go to a computer store and ask. There should be laptops with that capacity of memory, or close to that, but they will cost, potentially a lot more (and I mean a lot) than 24gbs on a desktop. Nowdays ram is cheap-you could have 32gbs of ram on a desktop and not need a loan for it. as an example, a greek retailer sels 32 gbs of ram (4 memory sticks) for 235 euros-I could live with that.

    Do you have the details of this greek retailer? it is pretty amazing when you see that it retails at 1000 £!!

    But as you say you need the laptop to take it. i found some but you have to add the price on top of standard one

    Roland

    Extensive RAM memory for music composing
    Hello All, First I hope you are all doing very well. A few weeks ago, I have read a post here (I do not remember which one unfortunately) that was v…
  • Got it Raymond, all point of view welcome. thanks

    Roland

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