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stratman79
post Mar 20 2011, 01:30 AM
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Can anyone help me with some computer issues, I'm thinking about getting some software but I'm worried my laptop won't hack it. what do you think?

I have a Sony Vaio with 4 GB Ram and an AMD P320 dual core 2.1 processor.

I was thinking of getting:

1. Sibelius 6
2. Ez Drummer VST
3. Garritan Big Band 3 VST


I can up the RAM to 8gb

The other option is to get something like Cubase or Logic instead of Silbelius but I guess that will be harder on the esp if I want to record Audio...

here are the blurbs off the websites...

what else do I need... I'm rubbish at this!!


Sibelius system requirements.

Minimum requirements for Sibelius 6 alone Windows XP 32-bit SP2 or later, or Windows Vista 32-bit SP1 or later, 512MB+ RAM, 550MB hard disk space, DVD-ROM drive


Additional recommendations for using the included Sounds Essentials sound library
Windows: Intel Core Duo or AMD Turion or better, 1GB+ total physical RAM (2GB recommended),
3.5GB total hard disk space, ASIO-compatible soundcard

You can use the 'Sounds Essentials' if your computer doesn’t meet the recommended requirements,
but you may find that you cannot use as many sounds simultaneously.

Using external hardware MIDI playback devices with Sibelius 6
If you have an external hardware MIDI playback device that you wish to use,
please check that a compatible sound set is available.

EZ Drummer sysyem requirements

Windows XP SP3 or newer, Pentium 4 or Athlon processor with 512 MB RAM

Garritan Big Band 3 requires


Running Jazz & Big Band is dependent on the speed of your computer. The faster the processor, the better. The ARIA audio engine is designed to make use of the processing power of your computer's CPU. The powerful and complex algorithms of the ARIA Player work best on modern and fast CPUs. Please also observe the systems requirements of your host application.

* 2 GB of free hard disk space.
* DVD Drive.
* Windows XP, Core 2 Duo or better is recommended.
* Mac OS 10.4 or higher, Mac Intel is recommended.
* The ARIA Player needs a soundcard for playing the sounds of Jazz & Big Band. Standard DirectSound, MME or ASIO drivers required; Windows-compatible MIDI hardware if required.
* A MIDI interface is required if you are using a MIDI keyboard, another MIDI controller or an external sequencer. The MIDI interface integrated in many sound cards can also be used.
* To play and entire big band arrangement, we recommend 1 GB of RAM or more. There is a direct correlation between the number of instruments that can be loaded and the amount of available RAM. The more RAM available the better.
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dark dude
post Mar 20 2011, 04:00 AM
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Your RAM and processor cover all the requirements you've listed.

I wouldn't bother getting 8GB, the processor will bottleneck things first. My processor scores a little worse, and I'm able to record with EZ drummer, Guitar Rig and Reaper, but it isn't a 100% smooth recording.

Perhaps trial your hardware by using a free DAW, drum VSTi and VST first? If you don't run into problems, you should be fine on the other software.

Also, are you going to plug your guitar straight into the sound card? Or through an interface first? I'd recommend the latter.


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stratman79
post Mar 20 2011, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply man.

The idea is to write in Silbelius and then set the drum and percussion sounds to the VST's as well as the horns... Then I'll mute out all the guitars, bass and keys and record the programmed ideas into a my little boss micro 4-track then record live guitar, bass and keys.. to give it more of a live feel... once I have the demo's sorted arrangement wise I'll then print out the scores get some proper players in and record on to my Fostex E-16 reel to reel...

I know its a bit of a convoluted way to do it... but I can't see my laptop hacking cubase with Audio and VST's and I can't fork out on a new laptop but I need to put the music down with decent sounds so I can write...

What do you think?
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 28 2011, 05:29 PM
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As far as the CPU and RAM, your laptop is definitely good for the jobs you mentioned.

IMO, the biggest problem will be hard disk because of the large sample libraries of the VSTi's you mentioned. Usually they put slower 5400rpm disks in laptops, if yours is faster then it's good. If not, you may experience slow loading times here and there. However, it shouldn't be that much of a problem, it will only slow down your work a bit. You should, however, definitely check if the software you want to get can run on the declared rpm value of your hard drive.

Other important thing is the sound card. I recommend getting external audio interface for your laptop, as this will enable you to produce audio with comfort. There isn't too much comfort with integrated laptop sound card because of the latency, noise and general instability of the drivers regarding audio production.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask mate.


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dark dude
post Mar 28 2011, 06:51 PM
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QUOTE (stratman79 @ Mar 20 2011, 12:31 PM) *
Thanks for the reply man.

The idea is to write in Silbelius and then set the drum and percussion sounds to the VST's as well as the horns... Then I'll mute out all the guitars, bass and keys and record the programmed ideas into a my little boss micro 4-track then record live guitar, bass and keys.. to give it more of a live feel... once I have the demo's sorted arrangement wise I'll then print out the scores get some proper players in and record on to my Fostex E-16 reel to reel...

I know its a bit of a convoluted way to do it... but I can't see my laptop hacking cubase with Audio and VST's and I can't fork out on a new laptop but I need to put the music down with decent sounds so I can write...

What do you think?

First off, sorry for not replying sooner, I didn't see your reply until Ivan's post today.

Going for a staggered approach, adding instruments one at a time will definately lessen the load.

As long as you avoid live monitoring multiple instruments, and playing back too many instruments (a higher drive speed would help, but no worries) at once, you should be good for getting ideas down. Put your faith in your click track, all will be well.


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stratman79
post Mar 28 2011, 11:29 PM
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Hi guys,

Thanks for your advice.. this is really the stuff I don't know or really understand so your replys are really helping smile.gif

Ivan I'm afraid from what I have managed to find out I think my Laptop does use a 5400rpm hard drive... (would it be worth taking it to the shop and getting an upgrade?? maybe I will do if it's becoming a problem).

Why do I need an external soundcard? Will it make the sounds better? I thought that was what the VST's did? I'm not planning on recording any live audio.. only midi and VST's..

Would it be better to get a small USB stick type one or a larger unit?

Thanks again guys smile.gif
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Todd Simpson
post Mar 28 2011, 11:47 PM
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Do you have FIREWIRE on your laptop? Or is it USB only? EIther way, you can get a nice External Hard drive for under $100 these days. Here is a good spec list for an external Firewire or USB

1.)7200 RPM (Minimum)
2.)8 MB Cache (Minimum)
3.)1 Terrabyte Storage (Minimum)

USB is fast enough to allow you capture audio and a terrabyte drive will be big enough to hold your VST instrument libraries. That way you are not stuck to your internal slow drive.

That said, if you can upgrade your internal drive, you won't regret it but it will cost more per Megabyte than an External Drive typically. Laptop drives are smaller and typically just a bit higher priced but having a BIG FAST internal drive can only help things. If your machine starts running out of ram, it will use the hard disk (internal) as a "swap" or holding area. So a slow drive can kill performance.

Sounds like you have plenty of ram. Unless you are running Windows 64 Bit, you can't address more than 4 GB in practical use anyway.

As for external sound card, yes, they will probably sound better as the internal is surrounded by other electronics and can raise the "noise floor". Also, it's not meant for recording as it's only got that one "unbalanced" mini input jack. It's just not meant for recording. Get an extenral audio interface that you can plug real microphones in to. Thats a whole different topic though. You can start with a small line 6 recording interface that just has a guitar jack on it and that will get you going. Eventually you may want to mic your vocals, your amp etc. So having an audio interface with XLR jacks (Mic inputs) is handy smile.gif

Todd
QUOTE (stratman79 @ Mar 28 2011, 05:29 PM) *
Hi guys,

Thanks for your advice.. this is really the stuff I don't know or really understand so your replys are really helping smile.gif

Ivan I'm afraid from what I have managed to find out I think my Laptop does use a 5400rpm hard drive... (would it be worth taking it to the shop and getting an upgrade?? maybe I will do if it's becoming a problem).

Why do I need an external soundcard? Will it make the sounds better? I thought that was what the VST's did? I'm not planning on recording any live audio.. only midi and VST's..

Would it be better to get a small USB stick type one or a larger unit?

Thanks again guys smile.gif



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stratman79
post Mar 29 2011, 12:05 AM
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Hi Tod

Thanks for the reply.

I do have an external 500gb hard drive although I'm not sure of the disk speed; I'll have to check it out and it's a great idea.

I do have a 64bit version of windows 7... I think it's maybe best to upgrade to 8gb of RAM

I don't ever intend to record audio via the laptop, it's just a writting tool and I'll use the VSTs to have slightly better sounds. hence I don't really want to spend more than I really have to on fancy soundcards and harddrives when it's just to get an idea of the horn harmonies and arrangments.

I have an old Fostex E-16 that I'll use for the audio once the tracks are all finished... nothing sounds as good as a reel to reel tape machine wink.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 30 2011, 12:09 AM
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It would be wise to start working on the projects before investing. 4GB of RAM should be enough because EZDrummer is spending somewhere around 300MB of RAM on it's own. Nuendo packed with 2 guitar rigs, EZDdrummer, Superior Drummer 2, and Trilogy is somewhere in the 1.3GB region, so you have plenty of room left on the 4GB.

The HDD problem isn't such a big problem, as I said, you may experience slower loading times. The time that it takes for your plugin to load samples from HD to RAM is what counts here. This is not a big obstacle for you, and since you are working with MIDI, there are no big audio files to read/write from HD, so the HD will usually stand still.

I'm not sure how demanding the projects are, but as I said, if you want to produce audio (especially by using those VSTis you mentioned), you won't get far with integrated audio card. Glitches and noise will be the first thing you will encounter if you enter several tracks playing at the same time. You may not experience any problems while writing in Sibelius, but as soon as you add VSTis to your MIDI tracks and play them, the card will start to click and pop.

As I said, it's best to start working on those projects, and see what needs upgrading. First thing will be the sound card. Optionally, you will need larger HD storage for VSTis.


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