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 PC DAW - Scott's New Sweetwater Creation Station

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
garrigus Posted - 11/17/2006 : 7:45:05 PM
Yes, it was that time again... My old DAW has served me well (and I still use it), but I needed something more powerful so earlier this year I got myself a new DAW. Instead of building it myself, I wanted a full system put together by computer techs that really know their business when it comes to audio PCs, which led me to Sweetwater and their Creation Station DAWs. I got their top-of-the-line model Creation Station RackDual 3.4. This thing is a monster and runs anything I throw at it. The CS is hands down the best PC I have ever owned! And because I love it so much, Iím putting together a special issue of the DigiFreq newsletter to tell you all about my experience with it. In the meantime, you can find more Creation Station info by clicking this link:

Also, let's get a discussion going here... got questions about this new DAW? Post away... and I'll try to answer them.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
alkie Posted - 05/19/2008 : 12:38:51 AM
hi i was checking out all the parts and pricing out everything in canada and come to a grand total of $1560 for the parts here in canada that`s to build the RACK XT CS i realize this thread is a couple years old but the price at the site says $2999 i guess your actually paying for the 40 tweaks it goes through.but it also let me know that i built mine right, that you only need xp home and ddr2 800MHz .
dB Mania Posted - 04/17/2008 : 10:31:23 PM
>> Yeah! Total madness the lengths some people go to. The thing looks like it would need to be anchored down or it would hover off the desk. <<

[to add more to my post]

Well apparently it wasn't anchored down properly! It was reported that NASA spotted that system taking off to the moon narrowly missing the ISS.
Jim Sturm Posted - 04/17/2008 : 3:46:24 PM
Actually, becoming airborn isn't a problem with this cooling arrangement. You just set the generator that powers it on top of the array...

dB Mania Posted - 04/17/2008 : 10:00:47 AM
Yeah! Total madness the lengths some people go to. The thing looks like it would need to be anchored down or it would hover off the desk.
garrigus Posted - 04/16/2008 : 5:48:38 PM
Wow! That fan array must make a ton of noise...

dB Mania Posted - 04/16/2008 : 06:33:28 AM
Originally posted by lawapa

HP sent me an email for there new Water cooled quad core machine. It rang up a cool $6300. I've never bought a HP machine but they send me emails anyway

As with all cool toys it's nice to window shop even though I know I'll stick with my budget.

I remember seeing such a monster setup and I thought!?! WHOA!!! Too insane and expensive for a DAW.

and the alternative of what some people do to keep it all cool! ----->

dB Mania Posted - 04/16/2008 : 06:12:54 AM
Oh Yeah! That's the future!!

Sure! PTHD and UAD has been around for a while and is proving popular! But like I said, having dedicated hardware with built-in processor, options for multiple expansion for effects and instruments, an easy 'plug-n-play' solution integrated into the host audio/midi app makes a lot of sense because this would take the load off the computer and allow for larger more complex projects without too many hiccups. My gut feeling tells me that companies such as Cakewalk (by Roland) will have their version of this type of hardware in the near future.

OK!! Enough dreaming for me

Meanwhile! I can't wait to get my new DAW. :)
> Quad-Core Q6600 CPU
> Gigabyte, Ausus or Abit P35 chipset mobo
> Corsair 2.GB Ram
> Seagate 250 & 320 GB H/Drives
> ATI dual DVI video (512MB) Passive (silent)
> Nice case, good 500.wtt PSU and silent cooling fan
> Multiple FWire and USB.2 ports

That should be able to handle 24 to 32 Tracks and plugins easily.

I've got to get another microphone or two, AT2020 and/or Shure SM86
otto Posted - 04/15/2008 : 07:33:00 AM
This is more likely the future:


dB Mania Posted - 04/15/2008 : 12:27:41 AM
This is an interesting topic

Soon (Ordering it in May/June) I'll be getting a new DAW (PC), Quad-Core, maybe an Abit P35 Mobo, 2.GB Ram, two H/Drives, a silent graphics card with 2x DVI, decent PSU and a USB.2 coffee espresso machine. (What!?! A USB.2 coffee espresso machine? that's because once I get my new DAW I'll be getting straight to work almost non-stop) OMG Give me strength!!

I'm from old school and so my workflow revolves around audio tracking (24 to 32 trks) and mostly dry to begin with, and I use effects wisely and in an efficient manner, and it's good to be aware there are some heavy duty hog snorting plugins out there LOL!! Ah! What the heck I thought!! I'll run @ 32-Bit with 2.GB Ram, but once I get into Softsynths this is where I might run into issues (resource meltdown) but with apps such as Sonar I can work around that issue (Freeze Tracks / Convert Midi to Audio), oh and raise latency + adjust buffer settings and so on and so forth but I haven't had those issues since I mostly work with audio.

IMO the best way to get more out of a PC and make it so that resource loads aren't an issue is to use PCIe or Expansion-Board on hardware with most importantly 'independent CPU' built-in to that hardware which handles the load of softsynths and effects thereby taking the load off the PC.

I'm feeling optimistic with companies such as Cakewalk and since Roland has definitely taken a huge interest! Therefor I would not be surprised if in the future various new hardware such as audio interfaces, surface controllers, keyboard controllers and possibly rackmount modules (Music Production Suite Modules) all specifically designed for the PC to integrate and run smoothly with Sonar apps (and possibly work ok with competitors apps too), hardware that all have upgrade options for multiple 'Expansion Boards' (Effects and Softsynths) designed as an easy plug-n-play upgrade solution to really add some serious heavy duty power to the DAW without any load on resources thereby allowing for much larger more complex projects to run more smoothly.....

...if that happened?? Watch all the competitors (such as Cubase (Yamaha) and Audition Sony)) scramble to release their versions! OMG!!! It's going to be an 'Expansion Board War! LOL!! And I have a feeling companies such as NI (Native Instruments) will quickly jump on the bandwagon too.

Why I think this may well be the near future trend for a lot of companies (Apps and Plugins)?.... because Windows dominates the management of resources for multi-cores and multiple CPU's, developers have to overcome, work around this, and since there are so many variables to consider also such as various different setups and settings among the hordes of various hardwares, components and software apps, all that needs to work in harmony to have a fairly rock solid setup. *Phew* All that must be considered and yet be frustrating for developers. Therefor after years of frustration I guess the best solution to overcome that is to think outside the DAW.

lawapa Posted - 09/26/2007 : 10:33:26 PM
HP sent me an email for there new Water cooled quad core machine. It rang up a cool $6300. I've never bought a HP machine but they send me emails anyway

As with all cool toys it's nice to window shop even though I know I'll stick with my budget.
garrigus Posted - 09/26/2007 : 9:08:01 PM
Hi Will,

Well, there's always a chance that future versions of software may not work on a current system. In that case, you'll have to upgrade your hardward. But if works for what you need right now, then you might as well wait because there's always something new and more powerful being released.

Even my dual-core system is already out of date because they have quad-core systems. Eventually, I'll get a quad-core but right now I'm fine with the dual-core.

Will Smith Posted - 09/26/2007 : 6:29:04 PM
Thanks, the system that Im using works good for what im doing, the only thing Im concerned about, I read one of the topics here on media center computers, even though this one by HP is working out so far i was just wondering if I might run into some problems later on.
But anyway Thanks, I will just see how this system holds out.
garrigus Posted - 09/26/2007 : 3:50:24 PM
Hi Will,

I haven't used that Tower+ system so I can't really say how it will perform. My SW PC is still working great, but it's a different model. SW has updated their PCs since I got mine.

As for USB audio though, you shouldn't need that. You should be able to use your existing audio card and just swap it into the new system (unless the new system no longer has PCI slots). You'll have to ask about that.

And if possible, I would stick with Windows XP for now. SW should be able to hook you up with that instead of Vista. If you get Vista, you'll need to be sure that there are drivers available for your sound card. Either that or then you'll need a different sound card.

One thing to ask yourself is do you need a new PC? If you're current system is running fine, then there's no need for a new one just yet. If you're working on large projects and the performance isn't that good, then that's when you might want to consider a new PC.

Will Smith Posted - 09/26/2007 : 1:52:14 PM
Hey Scott i just talked to Derick at sweetwater, Im thinking about
getting the Tower+ and the Edirol ua-25 usb sound card. Although
im just doing some work in a spare room in my house, im just using
a triton workstation and a eurorack 8 channel mixer / sonar 6
producer bx5a m-audio / audiophile 192 sound card and all going through a HP computer 3800+ athlon with 1gb memory 250gb hard drive
i even upgraded the video card, i have a external hard drive for all
my audio. I would like to no if this Tower+ would be just as fast
in recording and processing my audio as this AMD athlon? They told me
at sweetwater it would be better for me to run through a usb sound card. Thanks
andyriggle Posted - 05/26/2007 : 9:40:47 PM

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