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 PC DAW - Scott's New Sweetwater Creation Station
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garrigus
Moderator

USA
14504 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2006 :  7:45:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit garrigus's Homepage  Reply with Quote  [Reply to Topic]  | [Reply w/ Quote]
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:
http://www.sweetwater.com/click/garrigus/dcreation_station/

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

Scott




--
Scott R. Garrigus - http://www.garrigus.com
* Cakewalk SONAR Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottGarrigus?sub_confirmation=1
* Author of the Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge Power book series: http://garrigus.com/?PowerBooks
* Publisher of the DigiFreq music recording newsletter: http://www.digifreq.com/
* Publisher of the NewTechReview consumer tech newsletter: http://www.newtechreview.com/
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otto
Platinum Member

2707 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2006 :  10:33:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm very interested in this topic myself, so I look forward to hearing all about the details. I'm particularly interested in your experiences with the 64 bit OS, but I'm just as interested in hearing what is possible while sticking with the 32 bit OS, I guess what is going to be thought of as a legacy OS soon. Types of effects, specific details on various softsynth performance, and what you consider to be you best effort to max out the system. Give us a comparison with how things were on your former system so we can have a sense of the overall improvement. CPU utilization of some of the biggest softsynth and effects hogs would be interesting to hear about. Massive seems to burn up the CPU, as does Tassman 4. I'd also like to hear about your sales and support experiences.
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garrigus
Moderator

USA
14504 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2006 :  11:18:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit garrigus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Otto... I'll keep those topics in mind.

And if people have specific questions, feel free to post them...

As for 64-bit, you know it's kind of funny but I got a much higher performance boost because of the dual-core processor rather than running under WinXP 64. I think that's because most software still doesn't take advantage of 64-bit processing yet. Sonar does and Cakewalk's synths (Rapture, Dim Pro) are large address aware so they can take advantage of more memory (my system has 4 GB and the usually application limit is 2 GB).

Scott

--
Scott R. Garrigus - http://www.garrigus.com
* Cakewalk SONAR Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottGarrigus?sub_confirmation=1
* Author of the Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge Power book series: http://garrigus.com/?PowerBooks
* Publisher of the DigiFreq music recording newsletter: http://www.digifreq.com/
* Publisher of the NewTechReview consumer tech newsletter: http://www.newtechreview.com/
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otto
Platinum Member

2707 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2006 :  11:56:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, that's very interesting regarding the dual core at 32 bit vs. the 64 bit. It could take some time before the vendors issue the 64 bit upgrades that really do take advantage of the new higher bit OS. They figure correctly most likely that the market is very small still. So it could take 5 years before the apps catch up. I'd prefer to have things ready for that as it unfolds though, as you do. This is a bit like when people years ago ran out and bought more powerful CPU's when they actually would have been better off just putting in some more memory.
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Beagle
Bronze Member

USA
478 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2006 :  9:30:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garrigus

Thanks, Otto... I'll keep those topics in mind.

And if people have specific questions, feel free to post them...

As for 64-bit, you know it's kind of funny but I got a much higher performance boost because of the dual-core processor rather than running under WinXP 64. I think that's because most software still doesn't take advantage of 64-bit processing yet. Sonar does and Cakewalk's synths (Rapture, Dim Pro) are large address aware so they can take advantage of more memory (my system has 4 GB and the usually application limit is 2 GB).

Scott



Scott - a tangent to your post - Rapture and Dim Pro are LAA? I didn't realize that. Do you know why Sonar itself isn't?

What other software are you running on this super-system? Do you have any samplers like GS or GPO or Kontakt? I'd be interested in knowing how well they worked, especially with the extra memory and the comparisons between the different types of execution if you have different ones (i.e. DFD vs. RAM streaming, etc.).

Q6600 2.4GHz
4G DDR2 RAM
M-audio Delta 44
Sonar 8 PE
Behringer 2031A's
Mackie CR1604
http://www.beaglesound.com
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otto
Platinum Member

2707 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2006 :  12:23:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Colossus, now that's what would be interesting to hear about as to how much you push that alone to the limit.
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garrigus
Moderator

USA
14504 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2006 :  1:54:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit garrigus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Otto -- Yep, I'm testing Colossus. Lot's of great sounds.

Beagle -- I did some additional research and I may have been mistaken about Dim Pro and Rapture. I'll have to confirm. But in the meantime, who told you Sonar isn't LAA? It is, but only if you have a 64-bit PC, running WinXP 64, and using the 64-bit version of Sonar. In that environment, Sonar is large address aware.

This info comes straight from Cakewalk:
"Yes, if you are running Windows XP X64 edition, the 64 bit versions of SONAR 5 and SONAR 6 support addressing up to 16 terabytes of memory (the operating system limit). The 32 bit versions of SONAR can only accesss upto 2 GB (the max available to a 32 bit application) which is shared by the OS and other processes. Technically a large address aware 32 bit application can access a bit more - upto 3GB by configuring the OS with the /3GB flag - but that doesnt buy you much more.

The way to go if you are interested in using more than 2GB efficiently is to use a 64 bit OS and SONAR X64 edition. SONAR is the only native X64 capable DAW currently.

Noel Borthwick
Cakewalk"

===========================

Scott

--
Scott R. Garrigus - http://www.garrigus.com
* Cakewalk SONAR Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottGarrigus?sub_confirmation=1
* Author of the Cakewalk Sonar and Sony Sound Forge Power book series: http://garrigus.com/?PowerBooks
* Publisher of the DigiFreq music recording newsletter: http://www.digifreq.com/
* Publisher of the NewTechReview consumer tech newsletter: http://www.newtechreview.com/
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Beagle
Bronze Member

USA
478 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2006 :  9:04:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garrigus

Otto -- Yep, I'm testing Colossus. Lot's of great sounds.

Beagle -- I did some additional research and I may have been mistaken about Dim Pro and Rapture. I'll have to confirm. But in the meantime, who told you Sonar isn't LAA? It is, but only if you have a 64-bit PC, running WinXP 64, and using the 64-bit version of Sonar. In that environment, Sonar is large address aware.

This info comes straight from Cakewalk:
"Yes, if you are running Windows XP X64 edition, the 64 bit versions of SONAR 5 and SONAR 6 support addressing up to 16 terabytes of memory (the operating system limit). The 32 bit versions of SONAR can only accesss upto 2 GB (the max available to a 32 bit application) which is shared by the OS and other processes. Technically a large address aware 32 bit application can access a bit more - upto 3GB by configuring the OS with the /3GB flag - but that doesnt buy you much more.

The way to go if you are interested in using more than 2GB efficiently is to use a 64 bit OS and SONAR X64 edition. SONAR is the only native X64 capable DAW currently.

Noel Borthwick
Cakewalk"

===========================

Scott



Scott - I had read on one of the Sonar threads on the CW site that it wasn't LAA, but I must have missed the fact that they must have been talking about S5 in 32bit mode (or lower). Thanks for clearning that up for me!

Q6600 2.4GHz
4G DDR2 RAM
M-audio Delta 44
Sonar 8 PE
Behringer 2031A's
Mackie CR1604
http://www.beaglesound.com
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Third Wave
New Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  02:04:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Long time listener, first time caller, as they say. And after purchasing one of these PCs, I'm happy to see it's getting good feedback. I was truly afraid that it would rapidly become a doorstop as 64-bit takes off. But I also thought that other than Sonar, there weren't enough 64-bit apps for me to go the 64-bit route.

Quick question--and I can certainly understand if this isn't the place to ask it, but will this platform support the 64-bit Windows OS? If so, I'd be tempted to add another hard drive and a dual boot setup, and switch back and forth between the 64 bit and traditional 32-bit apps.
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otto
Platinum Member

2707 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  02:41:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I understand you correctly, you can have this unit configured as a dual boot OS where you can have 32 bit WinXP as well as 64 bit WinXP, and have the best of both world. I think that's how Scott had his configured, but I'm not sure on that. From what I have understood, the only way to get 64 bit WinXP is to buy a computer configured with it. Maybe Microsoft lets 32 bit WinXP users download the 64 bit WinXP version for free, not sure on that. That certainly would be nice of them wouldn't it? There does seem to be 64 bit apps popping up here and there these days, apps such as specialized effects for example. I haven't paid super close attention to it as it's a very early adopter venture. Scott has special motivation to take the adventure.

Edited by - otto on 11/23/2006 02:43:38 AM
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Jim Sturm
Moderator

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  08:42:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The WinXPPro 64 bit OS is available all over the web. Just about every software retailer has a package available. Just do a Google search and get out your Visa! Make sure you get a package with the COA and installation media.

-Jim


Old Dog... New Tricks!
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Third Wave
New Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  1:00:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by otto

If I understand you correctly, you can have this unit configured as a dual boot OS where you can have 32 bit WinXP as well as 64 bit WinXP, and have the best of both world.


That's what I'm (slowly) thinking about doing. The 64-bit Windows allows for a lot more RAM than the two-gigs max that conventional XP allows, but how much RAM could I put into the existing motherboard on the Sweetwater PC?
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Rezn8
Bronze Member

USA
439 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  1:37:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Third Wave

quote:
Originally posted by otto

If I understand you correctly, you can have this unit configured as a dual boot OS where you can have 32 bit WinXP as well as 64 bit WinXP, and have the best of both world.


That's what I'm (slowly) thinking about doing. The 64-bit Windows allows for a lot more RAM than the two-gigs max that conventional XP allows, but how much RAM could I put into the existing motherboard on the Sweetwater PC?




The most recent Sweetwater catalog (which came to me yesterday) still shows 2GB RAM as the highest option available with their creation station's. The website doesn't indication anything different.

If you're not getting the Sweetwater catalog I highly recommend ordering one from their website. If you're already doing business with them then you already know this but I'll say it anyway for the benefit of those who don't. Sweetwater's service is unsurpassed IMO and they stock and store their gear very carefully. Also, many of their choice products are tested or inspected before shipping. They're even posting pictures recently of the actual individual guitar you're purchasing. If you don't mind buying guitar's online it's the safest way to go and a fantastic feature. FWIW, you're also assigned a sales rep for individualized service no matter how "little" or how "much" you spend. This year they also realized they need to seriously compete with MF and WWBW price-wise, so in '06 they reduced alot of their prices accordingly.

This is just my personal experience and I don't work for them. Heck, one time they messed up an order I placed for 5 or 6 reels of analog tape and within 24 hours I had the correct tape on my doorstep with apologies and candy (literally) in the box. My rep called me shortly thereafter to make sure everything had been handled properly. It's hard to beat that kind of service.

Even though I bought my last DAW from Justin at dawbox (and get fantastic service from him) I still buy all my pro audio gear through sweetwater and I'm sure Scott has gotten top-notch support from them.
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otto
Platinum Member

2707 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2006 :  12:10:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I mostly buy from whomever has the best deal, as most of my stuff is collected on the basis of a wish-list and then waiting for deals on that stuff unfolding, but in the midst of this process, I ran into Sweetwater and I'll have to say that somebody there knows how to run a retail business that puts almost everyone else to shame, particuarly GC which is the antithesis. That candy in the box still surprises me. It's been a long time since I had a Tootsie Roll.

I thought Scott had more than 2 gigs in his machine? I thought it was 4 gigs.

Edited by - otto on 11/24/2006 01:28:35 AM
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Third Wave
New Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2006 :  09:33:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Sweetwater machine came with two gigs of RAM; I was just curious if anybody knew if you could just drop larger amounts of RAM into the same motherboard under Win 64, or if you needed a new MB to match the new OS.

And I agree--Sweetwater provides a fantastic level of service, and the candy in the box is a beautiful touch. (Though my candy to product ratio was nowhere near high enough when I bought my PC and my Roland VG-88.)
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bluzkat
New Member

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2006 :  01:51:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ThirdWave,

The amount of RAM you can use depends on how much your mobo physically supports. Check your motherboard specs for the *definitive* answer. Windows just 'manages' the memory. Hope this makes sense.

bluzkat


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