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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  • Kris, I've recommended a sound card, down below.
  • Hi
    I would recommend Garritan personal orchestra GPO4 with Aria player. Look at their website fo details. It is affordable.
    Regrads, AlexBG
    • I'm already using a form of Garritan because I use Finale, but I'm looking to upgrade from it because the sound quality of the instruments isn't at where I'm looking for, particularly in the string samples.
  • I would suggest you call Sweetwater and ask them about their Creation Stations. They are really powerful PC's designed specifically for running audio apps, and they will answer any question and fix any problem. If you are buying software from them at the same time they will pre install everything and make sure its running up to snuff too. This is going to be quite a bit more than $400 tho
    • Yes, the cheapest one I can find is 1000$. Maybe I can try to buy a generic computer somewhere else with the same specs that wouldn't cost as much? The only problem is sound...I wonder if there's some way to read in the specs how much sound computer parts generate?
  • I think if you are seriously wanting to make a VST composer workstation you will need a couple computers and a good DAW and some good libraries. If you just want something to do some beginning writing with, then just any PC with the cheapest soundcard and the cheapest DAW software will be fine, and something super cheap like GPO will get you some mileage. But at that point, why are you spending the money? If you want to just hear your music, just get the cheap stuff. If you want to try and step into the professional market and sell your compositions or score a film or a tv show, you have to spend, like Jan Civil, probably minimum of $10k to get a real and big sound, probably more if you intend to do full orchestral arrangements, as you would need 2 computers minimum to load and play all the sounds you will need for a really good convincing orchestra sound, and several licenses potentially of certain products.

    If I was going to do it again from scratch, and had film scores in mind, heres what I would get:

    Mac pro 8 core, 16 gigs ram, specced for the DAW you choose
    PC Quad core, 16 gigs ram, specced for VSL Vienna Ensemble Pro
    Cubase 5 or DP 5 or Logic (try demos first and see what you feel best with)
    A nice keyboard that has the action you like
    A non-external soundcard (Pro Tools HD if I had the bread, Motu or Hammerfall if not)
    A small mixer, maybe one of the Steinberg things if I was going cubase, otherwise something like a mackie digital console or the digidesign one
    Some Genelec nearfield monitors
    AKG K240 headphones
    HD Projector (to project on teh wall/screen above your monitors the picture)
    2 big monitors (30 inch if possible)
    Vienna Ensemble SE plus Extended (and dig into any of the single instruments that I really feel I need in my orchestra and get those in addition)
    Vienna Imperial
    Vienna Ensemble Pro
    Vienna Suite
    Vienna MIR
    SAM True Strike
    EWQL Symphonic Choirs
    EWQL RA and Silk
    Wallander Instruments
  • I don't understand the purpose of your comment..I can't give full-fleshed out comments every place, but I've generally responded to the posts I've seen the last time I've checked this thread. For the very long posts, I appreciate them but I have to read them several times over to know what all the new lingo is about as to avoid responding or asking something that's already been addressed, since I find most people that write long posts find that pretty annoying. I don't see the point of saying anything if I don't have anything but hollow air to say (an opt-in system, not an opt-out system), but I'll avoid this if you find this to be somehow rude or passive-aggressive. Either way, I'm a little unsettled at what sounds like a passive-aggressive jibe for not being active enough in your forum, since you're a forum moderator; out of all people you should be understanding of this from experience.
  • What is the purpose? Are you trying to step into a professional market? Or do you just want to have fun and play some stuff for your friends? It is a huge committment on the pro end, and you will always always be upgrading, repairing, expanding. So if you are really serious about this for professional career reasons, you need to understand the dark abyss where your earnings will go ;-) If its just for personal use and you want to have your stuff sound a little bit more real, then its a different formula altogether
    • Well, I am a music composition student in school, so it is the direction I am going (it seems nowadays digital orchestration is a necessary endeavor for cutting down on budget). I'm sure I'll be upgrading in the future, but for now, I really just want to step my foot in for using these programs regularly; I'm more interested in fluency with the systems than having the top top this instant, but I've already started exploring the VSL chamber ensembles and so I'd like to use a system where I'm not spending more time waiting than doing things with it.
  • Yes, one of the main reasons I am not looking for an Apple computer is because of the price. Also, I find Apple emphasizes using the mouse more, and I like doing almost everything quickly with keyboard navigation or shortcuts if possible. I guess if I look at the specs of a MacPro or the Creation Station that was mentioned earlier by Chris, then maybe I'd be able to buy a computer equivalent in specs but more generic in name that'd be cheaper The only problem then is sound mentioned in the specs of computers? If not, I guess I'd have to go for water cooling?
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