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  • beginner's question--computer setup

    I'm looking to get into the VSL SE primarily for the purpose of supplementing my songs with string parts. I've avoided even attempting to use strings thus far because I've performed with orchestras my entire life and can't stomach what gets passed off as acceptable string and wind sounds, and I lack the budget to invest several thousand dollars in a proper mic setup for even a quartet. My current computer setup is a late 2007 Mac with 4GB memory, running Logic and MOTU Machfive 3. From what I've read, it looks as if even the smallest subset of VSL is likely to overload that system. Is this correct? Assuming that it is going to be an issue, I have a limited budget surplus (how very un-American of me) to invest in new hardware. A Mac Pro is completely out of the question right now, so I'm honing in on either an i5 or i7 iMac with the RAM maxed out (16 GB). Realistically, I very badly need to shoot for the i5. Am I doing myself a major disservice by going this route? Or, better yet, can I make do with my current system (I think I know the answer to that)? Typically my projects utilize anywhere from four to ten software instruments, plus several audio tracks. Of those, two or three of the software instruments might utilize larger sample collections. I'd be using VSL for usually no more than four or five parts.

  • Welcome crohnsappleadams!

    [quote=crohnsappleadams][...]I have a limited budget surplus (how very un-American of me) [...][/quote ]

    Hey, VSL is a European company, so that's fine with us. ;-)

    But joking aside: There's no need to dispair. As long as you don't aim for huge orchestral settings with 60 or more full-blown instruments playing at the same time, your existing system will go far. You will have to deal with some tricks, but that's nothing to be afraid of.

    Your biggest limitations will be RAM size and diskspeed. Fast, external disks for the actual sample data will help. You can make good use of your existing RAM on behalf of Vienna Instruments "Learn / RAM Optimize" feature, which will unload all unused samples once you have finished a certain part of your arrangement.

    Maybe you will have to use the audio system with larger latencies when you run into CPU limits. When this is inconvenient, try to make use of Logic's "Freeze"-feature to reduce the load for the processor.

    ... a purely anecdotic sidenote: I've made small arrangements with four or five Vienna Instrument on a 10 years old notebook equipped with a 1 GHz CPU and 1GB, RAM, streaming samples from its internal 200 MB disk. 8-)

    Kind regards,

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
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    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Done. I may give it a go on the current machine, but I think I'm going to want to bite the bullet on the i5. I just want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for heartache by not going with the i7.

  • Don't get me wrong - the more powerful your system is, the more you will enjoy your work. All I wanted to say is that it _is_ in fact possible to achieve useful performance with seemingly dated machines, too. :-)

    Kind regards,

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library