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Requesting advice/insight on multi-computer set-up.
Last post Sat, Feb 13 2021 by civilization 3, 6 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Feb 07 2021 17:04
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 286

X-Post from "General/Hardware" to see if anyone on this sub-forum might have an answer or insight:

Hey all - I have a question for anyone who has an answer:

I currently run a single-computer set-up with adequate but aged (5-ish years old) hardware for running large sample-based projects at low latency.  At some point I'll want to upgrade, however, and at that point it would be extraordinarily useful to use my existing computer as a secondary "sample server" using VEP7 rather than let it go to waste.

My question is this: when the time for upgrading to a newer, more powerful computer comes, does it make more sense to use the newer and faster hardware (i9 cpu, m.2 ssd, etc.) on the secondary computer so that the big, chunky sample libraries (like Synchron Strings Pro and whatnot) can run blazingly fast, or does it make sense to have the main computer with the DAW be the faster one?  I'm unsure how network architecture and VEP7's inner workings are best optimized/utilized in this case...

For context, my current single computer set-up is Windows 10 on an i7 4820k 4.5ghz quadcore, 2.5TB SSD space, 64gb ddr3 RAM.  (My interface is an RME Babyface Pro, if that matters)  My prospective new computer would most likely be something like an i9 8 or 10 core something or other, 64-128gb RAM, and a 2TB m.2 drive (or whatever is within budget and/or current gen at the time of purchase)

I highly appreciate any advice on this.  I know that the secondary computer needs RAM and SSD space for the samples, but I'm not sure if it also needs the faster processor, or if that's more needed by the main computer and the DAW and OS...

Cheers,

- Sam

Posted on Sun, Feb 07 2021 17:32
by BasariStudios
Joined on Mon, May 14 2012, NYC, Posts 66

Wondering the same too. My old Machine is i75820k with 32GB RAM, (upgrading to 64 soon).
My New machine is an i9 10900k with 64GB RAM (upgrading soon to 128GB).
Both on Windows 10, the 5820k on Enterprise LTSC.
As of now my 10900k is the master but is there any benefit in flipping those 2 PCs
and the older becoming the Master and the newer the Slave but something is striking me up.
The Master will be also the one Mixing and Mastering everything, running all the other VST Synths
and everything possible...which logically makes it a no.

Thanks

Reality is due to Lack of Weed
Posted on Sun, Feb 07 2021 22:35
by Bill
Joined on Fri, Sep 23 2005, Berkshires, MA, Posts 1042

I'd personally recommend using the new system as your main computer. It will probably handle your needs most of the time, but you have the older system to bring into play when you need it.

Finale 25, Sibelius 2018, Notion 6, Overture 5, Cubase 10.5, StaffPad
Win10 x64, 32GB RAM; Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Kontakt, Bunch of VSL, VIP, VEP, EWQL Orch, Choir and Pianos
August Forster 190
Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 19:10
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 286

You both raise a good point I wasn't thinking about: the main system will be handling synthesis and mix/mastering tasks while the sample tank won't (or at least not as a priority).  This would necessitate a faster processor on the main system.  I appreciate the words of advice!

Posted on Tue, Feb 09 2021 21:34
by JuanPC
Joined on Mon, Mar 26 2018, Posts 5

Long ago many people used fxmax teleport in windows xp, vista and 7, 32-bit only....
Large Sample libraries was Not possible because the 4GB "3.7GB" limit of 32-Bit OS & software,
You could install 64-Bit XP, Vista or 7 but audio software was 32-Bit.

The main pc was usually the more powerful tower, in that time laptops were very limited, dual core.
Usually laptop was helper, towers were q6600 or better.

Most plugins like faster cores than many but slower cores in audio,
Specially Protools 12.7 softube modular, some pspaudioware, etc...

With today crazy fast Apple i9 MacBookPro lines have blurred.
Also USB soundcards was Not possible in the past because the limited CPU power, impossible in a Pentium4 1-core,

most people had Digi001 pci or similar pci soundcard, RME, Lynx Studio, etc... firewire was on the edge, but today Focusrite Clarett USB have professional quality at a decent price impossible a few years back. Digidesign 888/24 AD/DA was $3000usd. 48khz and requires Mix Farm pci cards $$$.
Technology has evolved very much in 10 years.

Pro studios were Not using CPU only, were using DSP cards like Creamware Scope, Protools Mix, UAD, Yamaha DSP factory DS2416, TC Powercore, Korg Oasys, and others... Or digital mixers.


Powerful & fast = main.
Slower = helper.

Mac world was another story... Most audio software was designed for 32-Bit G4 cpus with OS9.2, OSX Tiger 10.4 or OSX 10.5 Leopard, almost none for 64-bit G5 optimized.
The 2005 Quad G5 was very powerful, as good or more as 2007 Q6600, but changed from PCI to PCIe, PCI soundcards like Digi001 were abandoned, had water cooling leaks, etc...
G5 has 90nm, intel q6600 had 65nm.
Watercooling 2.5GHz was required.

There was a previous golden era, the Atari ST midi studio with Steinberg Cubase or C-Labs Notator, everything in Hardware, samplers, mixers, everything...
Commodore had very limited Midi SW.

Old music can be done with new HW, there are youtube tutorials...
Sounds very similar...

Posted on Sat, Feb 13 2021 00:59
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1807

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post
[...] does it make more sense to use the newer and faster hardware (i9 cpu, m.2 ssd, etc.) on the secondary computer so that the big, chunky sample libraries (like Synchron Strings Pro and whatnot) can run blazingly fast, or does it make sense to have the main computer with the DAW be the faster one?  I'm unsure how network architecture and VEP7's inner workings are best optimized/utilized in this case...

For context, my current single computer set-up is Windows 10 on an i7 4820k 4.5ghz quadcore, 2.5TB SSD space, 64gb ddr3 RAM.  (My interface is an RME Babyface Pro, if that matters)  My prospective new computer would most likely be something like an i9 8 or 10 core something or other, 64-128gb RAM, and a 2TB m.2 drive (or whatever is within budget and/or current gen at the time of purchase)

I highly appreciate any advice on this.  I know that the secondary computer needs RAM and SSD space for the samples, but I'm not sure if it also needs the faster processor, or if that's more needed by the main computer and the DAW and OS...


The business end of this question is more the amount of RAM IME. I don't know that anything I'm plugging into VE Pro is needing very fast single-core performance but a total YMMV situation, I guess. Now, if you use certain things which do hammer on a single core (certain modular synth applications do), clock speed def an issue. If your RAM is equal, the argument depends on your need for clock speed vs cores. This said, I have not myself seen anything use on the order of 24 cores (even just the logical cores) or like that.

I wouldn't really consider what you have a slow or weak machine particularly. I haven't run a slave for a decade, though. Then I used a master machine with fewer cores and 4GB so there was no real question of which would be which (IE: it's my view, using VE Pro for ~ or >98% of instruments or FX, the 'slave' computer needs the muscle far more than the master (as the language itself suggests). As it turned out, the two MacPros then did not deliver much that the more robust machine didn't on its lonesome. I think you're good either way, albeit I wouldn't personally sell you on the second acquisition unless you're running into things you cannot accomplish in realtime.

MacBook Pro 16,1: 2.3 GHz 8-core i9
64GB 2667MHz DDR4
OSX 10.15.7
VE Pro 7.1056, Cubase Pro 11.0.0
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