9 Things Before You Order That New Computer Part 2

By • July 16, 2008

Well, in case you didn’t get back, we’ve had some good discussion on this subject, including comments from people at Apple and Redmatica. So this week, I’m recapping some of what came up.

1. Andrea Gozzi of Redmatica and Markus Fritz from Apple both wrote in that the EXS24 has been designed in such a way as to access 4GB of RAM or more based on how much RAM you have loaded. Basically, as much RAM as you have is how much the update EXS24 in Logic 8 can access.

This should be a good incentive for some developers to begin creating product for the EXS.

2. Composer Rohan Stevenson took the time to write in about the built-in IAC driver that enables you to run one additional program similar to the way you run Soundflower. I posted these links for further review:

Nick Fox-Gieg’s Tutorial
http://fox-gieg.com/tutorials/2007/inter-application-midi/

Discussion on Sonik Matter, no response
http://community.sonikmatter.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39530&mode=threaded

Discussion on Apple Forum, no response
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1572480&tstart=89

IAC Driver Issue – post unresolved
http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=831&page=1

Vienna Instruments Streaming

Three of you brought to my attention my misunderstand that Vienna Instruments do stream off the hard drive. This caught me off guard as I was under the impression that the Vienna Instruments player was loading samples into RAM. Apparently I’m not the only who thought this. Read the thread on the Vienna Forum.

http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/p/8118/60280.aspx#60280

I also doubled checked with Daryl Griffith, a super Vienna Instruments user in the UK, master of all things PC, and a superb composer, orchestrator and conductor. He wrote:

“Yes, Vienna streams, and I believe that the pre-load is set at 60kb.”

So, my point about having more hard drives is still valid. So pick that case wisely.

CUBASE LOWERS PRICING

To become more competitive in the market, Cubase has lowered its MAP price to $595. This means that Cubase is only $100 more than Logic. Steinberg has also opened a new online store for the UK and Europe. Cubase is now up to v4.1. Here’s what’s happening with Cubase and Vista:

Cubase 4.1 now fully supports Windows Vista32. A Preview Version for Vista64 is also available, which runs natively as a 64-bit application and supports up to 128GB RAM.

WINDOWS XP – RIP

In a valiant effort to keep Windows XP available, InfoWorld created a petition drive which logged over 200,000 petitioners asking Microsoft to continue selling XP past June 30. Alas, no soap. Says Microsoft on their web site:

Last year you told us you weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Windows XP. We listened. That’s why we delayed our plan to stop selling it until June 30, 2008.

We love that you love Windows XP. We’ve seen it on our website, in e-mails, and through independent online petition drives. Our engineers work hard to build innovative software that empowers our customers. It’s nice when you tell us we’ve made a difference.

But our commitment to innovation sometimes means making tough choices. This is one of them.

After careful consultation with our customers and industry partners, we’ve decided to proceed with our plan to phase out Windows XP in June. It’ll be along goodbye. We plan to provide support for Windows XP until 2014.

So When Upgrading to That New PC…

Keep in mind that EastWest PLAY, GigaStudio 4 and the Vienna Instruments, are already running at 64-bit. Sonar 6 and 7 are also running in native 64-bit mode (ahead of Yamaha Steinberg).

Audio Cards at 64bit

In checking the web, it’s a short list which includes Echo, E-MU, Lynx, MOTU, and RME.

Logic and 8-Core Funkiness

For those thinking about getting a Mac Pro 8-Core, I still have concerns. Unfortunately, no one at Apple is liberating systems so we can adequately test all this. So I refer you to this thread I found on VI-Control.net/forum.

All you 8-core users – let’s hear specifics!

Final Thoughts

Over the past few days, I’ve been testing multitimbral issues with Logic 8. And frankly, I’m so frustrated with the lack of thoughtful documentation that I’m seriously telling more and more composers who write me to skip the 8 Cores and buy a pre-owned G5.

And here’s why.

When you set up the multitimbral option in Logic, and you load a Kontakt 2 player which you set up internally for multitimbral use, what you discover is that in Logic 8, any fader in the Inspector area controls all the faders. So if you want to have volume settings, you can set them up within the Kontakt player, but not initially with Logic 8. In Logic 7, this was addressed by adding an Aux fader in the Mixer.

So far, after a great deal of trial and no success working with adding Auxes, three of us couldn’t find the answer after several hours of effort.

My chief gripes most always fall into the, “please manage my time better,” category.

This one of them.

How much time away from writing do we need to take to try to figure out how to setup K2 or any other multitimbral player inside Logic as an AU or standalone, or, skipping the Mac, buying a PC and putting the multitimbral players there?

The Logic manuals have 1800+ pages of documentation and this isn’t covered. How hard is it for one engineer at Apple to work out a 2-3 page tutorial with screen shots using SnapZ and make it available as a PDF?

These are the omissions that try men’s souls!

Wrap up

Got something to add? We’d like to hear from you. Post your responses below this article.

Comments

By Jeff Laity on July 16th, 2008 at 9:16 am

TASCAM interfaces also have 64-bit drivers for XP and Vista.

I hope we get the Altiverb bug fixed soon, because I can’t wait to trade in my G5 for an 8-core Mac. Apparently there’s a bug that keeps plug-ins from seeing the other core on aux busses.

By John Butler on July 16th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

I have an 3.2 ghz 8-core Mac Pro w/16 gig of ram and a Motu 424 system, so I’ll share my findings.

I read the thread in VI-Control about this Altiverb issue when instantiated on an Aux track with audio bussed to it and this overload is not my experience. And I have my buffer at 64 samples. This issue is very easy to test – just open the “Brandi Carlile” demo that comes with Logic Studio. Open the mixer and scroll to the Aux tracks that have Space Desingers on them. Replace them with Altiverbs. On my computer, there is only a nominal increase in Cpu and it scales perfectly across cores.

Unfortunately, processor scaling only works well during playback. I”ll confine this to a specific example that much of us would experience. I’ll load three instances of Kontakt 3 with one of each Mic placement of the EWQLSO “70 Piece Str Marc RR”. The reason for 3 instances is that Logic will play back this polyphony killer on only one core if it’s loaded in one instance as a Kontakt Multi. I then record-enable each instance and start to play…and the first processor core gets pegged. When I play back the recording, Logic scales appropriately with way less cpu hit. This isn’t a bug, but more of a design flaw. Logic should be programmed to scale across cores for playing into and recording VI’s as well as playing back.

About the multitimbral issue – I’ll use Kontakt again as the example. For multitimbral instruments, do not check the “Multitimbral” checkbox when creating a new instrument track. Only create the one track, instantiate Kontakt and find that instrument in the Environment. Then create a “Multi Instrument” object and cable it into the instrument object that has Kontakt loaded. Then you can drag that whole multi instrument object onto the tracks column in the arrange window and it will automatically create how ever many tracks according to how many channels in the multi instrument object you enabled. To control volume of individual instruments in Kontakt you need to use CC 11 (expression) and not CC 7 because that will change the volume of the instrument fader, and thus all patches at the same time. If you want separate processing on each Kontakt output (assuming you instantiated a muti output one and not just stereo), then you create aux objects and select one of Kontakt’s outputs as the Aux input.

This sounds complicated verbally, but if you can get the Spectrasonics tutorial video “RMX and Logic” you’ll see visually how simple it is and that this is the way you should work with all mutitimbral instruments. The video example is done in Logic 7, but the process is identical for Logic 8. All I just described takes about a minute to do.

By the way, Frontier Design’s Dakota card has 64 bit Vista/XP drivers and GSIF 2.1 for those using Gigastuio 4.

By Peter Alexander on July 17th, 2008 at 5:01 am

John, thank you for an amazingly complete and thoughtful response and update about the Dakota card.

I went to the Spectrasonics site to look up that tutorial, but unless you’re registered, Logic users can’t access it.

Would you be open to providing a couple of screen shots we’ll be glad to post. This is the third different solution to the same issue I’ve read.

Is this the video you’re referring to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URw6Sgk9GUA

Thanks again.

By John Butler on July 18th, 2008 at 12:11 am

Yeah, I can provide a screen shot. How do I go about it?

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