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Old 05-04-2006, 12:30 AM
Bill Rigby Bill Rigby is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Sydney,NSW,Australia
Posts: 190
Default Re: Best Systems and Components for Win HD/TDM

Track counts...voice only *limited* by the Digi hardware. Basically, it is like any digital mixer: configurable, but with limitations in number of channels.

I can only afford an HD 2. Money is also an issue for me

Next would be computer hardware. In my experience, SCSI (ultra wide) of the highest performance rating will aford one with a bit of an edge, but NOT in track count. OK, that is a lie...track count within a rather large session (full voice use, maxed buss use) with tons of edits (high density) might be comprimised (to a degree). Of course, sample rate can have an impact as well. The biggest consistent advantage I have experienced is that SCSI drives (high quality) "spin up" faster, and thus "press play to audio" time is (significantly?) lower. However, this (once again) will vary with session type and size, and thus significance vs $$$ difference will shift as well.

I work with mainly surround in mind (hence the desire for a high track count).I am also working with High definition Video streaming off a Sata drive and these video`s will be the same Quicktimes that I will be working to within a Pro Tools session. I visited your forum and read about your system, very nice! I also run a second computer with the same Motherboard as you with Gigastudio and Virtual Instruments ,but with a Soundscape Mixtreme. This connects Via 2 TDIFs into an O2R and Streams into Tools via 16 AES.
The computer Specs that I have listed in my earlier reply within this post will hopefully do everything within the same computer, but I have the second computer there if there is a RAM problem.(IE BFD/Gigastudio running with a high track count Tools session and Video simultaneously)

I have not tried adding video, nor have I delved into 192K rate (I simply do not see ANY value in it...sorry...)

I also believe there is little value in the upper sample rates......everything is relative.The upper end audiofile stereo market is very limited, but the surround market, well that is a whole different kettle of fish...............

SCSI is nice, but I have seen too many pro installs with external, racked RAID enabled SATA solutions, with firewire capabilities for portability, or "flying in" extra files. The caching you speak of simply provides the faster "press play to audio" times. Reliability was also a factor before, but it seems to have diminished returns as well.

I agree, SCSI is nice....... and I also think that networking/and file
importability/transportability is important so the USB/Firewire/DVD options are necessary. I also wish I could have all Video/audio Tape formats available for backward compatability but some things you just have to rent per job. (eg Digi Betacams ,HD formats for restripes).Depends on your client ,volume of work and budget.

Lastly, with a RAID solution that has two drives apearing as one (non-mirrored), the benefit is that the two are seen as one, but perofrmance is (effectively?) doubled. In other words, as data streams to/from the "single drive," it is actually the two drives doing work, thus the capabilities are doubled (for the most part). It is the pipe the data flows thru that presents the biggest problem then. But, SATA is plenty capable to providing a big enough pipe for anything thrown at it.

With reference to this last comment, I know Digi overspec to cover there butts as I mentioned before (I am running 5 SCSI drives dedicated to Pro Tools Audio and hoping to achieve the maximum track count ...192)Fingers crossed, but I am hesitant to Raid at all because it is unsupported.

To quote from the Digi Compatability page

Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel Systems for Windows XP

Hard Drive Minimum Requirements

Dedicated audio drive or drives (internal or external). Recording to or playback from system drives is not supported.
SCSI drives recommended for maximum performance
Support for IDE/ATA, SATA, and Firewire drives listed below
Pro Tools does not support RAID technology. Please do not activate this feature

Note the last line.I wish you luck,.......maybe I am not brave enough

I only do music, and do not do extremely high density edits. I never excede 128 tracks in regular use (only for testing and such). And I have never needed more than two SATA drives for anything I have done, ever. Of course, that doesnt mean other solutions dont have merit!

I have just upgraded from a Mixplus system on a MAC and I did run into DAE errors due to High PCI traffic on Maximum track counts with Video.....It is probably my Meglomania (Composition, Post,Surround etc) that brings me undone but I believe that the research I have put into this system should give enough headroom for all these requirements simultaneously.
I have paid a lot of attention to the overall demands on the computers resources and the only area that I can see will let me down is 32 Bit Window XP`s limit on RAM (4 gig).Obviously the Virtual instruments/Gigastudio rewire instruments will have to bounced down to audio at some point,but hey,we all have to make comprimises somewhere

I`ll let you know how I get on, thanks for the feedback, I think open dialog really helps us all

Keep up the good work (Your site is great and I think it has a big future)

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