Hmm, I've been thinking about buying a new desktop specifically for doing Cubase work with orchestrating using something like Vienna Symphonic Library. What kind of specs would you need for a computer to run that kind of thing effectively? Would you have any suggestions for that? I tried assembling a computer along time ago but had a lot of problems. What kind of budget should I be looking at to support something like that? How much would it cost? Is there an method I can use to shop an effective computer for this in a reasonable price range? (a specific Thinkpad maybe, with the soundcard replaced?)

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  • Here's some limiting factors:

    - a computer which there is minimal need to modify it (pre-packaged)
    - windows
    - is it possible to do it under 400$? realistically what are the practical minimum that would need to be spent?
    - real-time MIDI input and output with a keyboard controller using a more elaborate VST (what extent is this realistic? would you need a really powerful computer if you did this with Vienna?)
    - running multiple programs, especially Cubase, a browser and Finale at the same time (if possible)
    - Cubase, Adobe Audition, Ableton Live, Finale (for programs)

    - what specs in particular are important? what isn't important (other than a graphics card)? what are your current specs?

    I've asked around in computer stores before but I've had trouble because not many people specifically tried to design for music computers as opposed to gaming computers.
  • Yes, this is a problem for me too; it made me wish that there was someone that sold pre-made music-specific desktops, even if they cost a little more.
  • I have to say Kento, that Ray's right. No one can know of your special requirements other than yourself. You'd have to fill out a very detailed questionnaire to even begin.

    For a start, even the cheapest Vienna Instruments Package (Special Edition) is more than $400. This is the cheapest package in my country, and this company are notoriously cheap (I shop there often).

    However, I'll leave you with the first bit. If money is definitely an important factor, find a cheap desktop computer with at least 3 gigs of RAM and 2.5 ghz CPU, whilst bearing in mind that you're gonna need another $200 for an ASIO soundcard and an external hard drive (not vitally important but a bloody good idea). (continued on next reply)
    • Okay, if you're an impatient sort. You can put the soundcard and extra drive on the back-burner. However, I must warn you that when you start composing, the music being played back on your sequencer will stutter occasionally until you replace the standard issue soundcard. Having said that, if you can tolerate the stuttering (like I had to), when you come to formatting your sequencer file into an audio file (wave, mp3 etc), the stuttering will stop.

      So, the next stage would be your sequencer. I am only familiar with Cubase SE1, which is the equivalent nowadays of Cubase Essentials 4.5. Now you can get this quite cheap, if, and only if, you shop around. Here, you'll see that you can get it (not the student edition) for about $150:

      ...which is very cheap if you were to compare it with the full Cubase 5 package which currently retails at over $600 IF you shop around.

      Once you've got this far Kento, give me a call and we'll carry on.
    • OK, so the main thing I need to mod after looking at a computer with good enough specs is an ASIO soundcard and an eternal hard drive huh? I was thinking of buying this for an external hard drive:

      As for an ASIO soundcard, any recommendations, or could you just share with me the one you happened to choose?

      In terms of specs, would you recommend I just look over different kinds of computers or go with something like the Thinkpad? I know this kind of thing is up for eternal debate, but I'm curious to hear your personal preferences as someone who uses something like Vienna.

      Stuttering is a huge issue, if that was happening it'd defeat the purpose for me of getting a new desktop for music. This is why I'm already planning on replacing the soundcard by default, since it seems most computers that aren't high-end gaming computers aren't designed with the intention of taxing audio programs.

      I'm set on what programs I'll be using.
  • Kento, before I recommend a soundcard, could you provide me with a link to describe what you mean by a ''Thinkpad''. I haven't a clue what it is, other than maybe a specialised computer geared towards a DAW.

    The external drive is fine by the way, but you don't need one with such a large memory. You'd be better of with two or three of them with memories of 300+ gbs each.
    • Thinkpad is a brand of IBM computers by Lenova. They`re known for being sturdy and for the company being really good with replacing computers.But actually nevermind, I forgot they only make laptops.

      Hmm, why would I be better with that? Should I go with 2-3 300+gb external drives over the one I linked to even if it's more expensive?
      • Maybe, maybe not. I would ask Ray Kemp. External hard drives are very handy for storing your different libraries (collections of samples) and it makes sense to have a seperate hard drive for each library. But I maybe wrong.

        On the subject of soundcard, I can personally recommend the M-Audio 2496.

        I bought it reluctantly thinking that it might not work (I don't know why), but once installed, the difference in sound output was magical. And it's easy to install (if you know how, but I can help you there).
    • Is this because of USB slowing down doing anything with an external hard drive so much?

      Seems like Quadcore is needed to keep up with the times!
  • Kris, if you can get Steinberg Cubase Essentials 4.5 for $80, get it. I SWEAR that's all you need. The full Cubase programme will just confuse you. The learning curve is huge and you'd learn a load of unnecessary stuff. I know what sort of music you wish to write and the Essentials package is more than enough. I know it's cheap, but believe me, I use the same programme except a lot older and I'm creating orchestras with no problems, no bouncing or anything complicated like that. You'll be surprised at just how powerful it is, as long as you have enough PC specs.
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