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#1032495 - 03/15/11 02:36 PM Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5
GeoSteven Offline
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Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Upstate SC
Sure is hard to find any version history on Sonar but my deduction is that 8.5 Producer is at least 3 years old. Based on that would it be safe to assume that I could put together a PC that far exceeds the base requirements for not a lot of money (~$300)?

Would I be better off trying to stick with XP? I understand that RAM is of the essence so it would seem Win7 64 bit would be a better choice.

Any guidance is appreciated but specifics on FSB speed, CPU speed and model, HDD speed and size, sound card and graphics pros and cons would be a plus.

Thanks in advance...

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#1033038 - 03/18/11 10:23 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GeoSteven]
gonzo Offline
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i'm running a custom built pc, using win xp and sonar 6PE.

i spent 200 bucks on my sound card alone!
heheheh

i have 4 gig of ram, and get to use 3.2 of it.

i mostly record audio.
i do use Superior Drummer as a midi instrument, but that's it.

all of this, works perfectly fine for me.

i just don't think that you'll get performance, better than what you have now, for only 300 bucks more into it.

if xp is working, why move?
_________________________
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"Trouble", by Bats Brew
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Listen >>>> 'Bats Brew'

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#1033086 - 03/18/11 05:37 PM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: gonzo]
GeoSteven Offline
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Registered: 02/17/11
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Loc: Upstate SC
Can't blame a guy for asking . Oh well - guess I need to save up a few more clams first. Thanks.
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#1033263 - 03/19/11 04:00 PM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GeoSteven]
GAMBLE Offline
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Registered: 02/22/04
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When it comes to things like "minimum requirements" to run a given software program those are the requirements to effectively start the software up.....not to actually do anything with it.

To run Sonar well......you need a half decent PC.

As for XP and Sonar. I would not recommend it. Not that it won't work....it just probably won't work as well as it would with W7.

Nobody is developing software around XP. Just something to keep in mind.

As for a $300 PC and having any reasonable expectation that Sonar will run well or do much of anything......not a chance.

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#1033362 - 03/20/11 03:49 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GAMBLE]
GeoSteven Offline
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Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Upstate SC
OK so here's where I am. I've got;

Tyan Trinity 2090 socket 478 MB, Northwood P4 @ 2gHz, 2GB RAM, Seagate ST380011A 80GB HDD, NVIDEA GeForce FX5500 video adapter, Adaptec AIC7850 SCSI controller, Creative SB Live Drive, Aardvark Q10.

I've removed all network adapters so there is no internet access. Because of that I've also removed any type of firewall and AV products. This is truely a stand alone PC. Anything going to it is scanned before it hits the thumb drive.

I'm running 8.5 on this PC and so far have been able to load projects that were recorded in various studios. All seems to be working fairly well but I haven't done any recording. One reason is that Sonar won't see the Q10 except as a MIDI device.

From what I've been reading it looks like I need to scrap all these relics and save some dough for a serious system to support a soon to be obsolete DAW (Sonar 8.5). Is that about right?

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#1033394 - 03/20/11 10:52 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GeoSteven]
GAMBLE Offline
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Registered: 02/22/04
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I don't know what you expect to accomplish with a 2GHz P4 and 2 gigs of RAM. It won't be much. You'll max that out pretty quick.

Sonar 8.5 is no longer the current version. Doesn't necessarily make it obsolete though.


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#1033400 - 03/20/11 11:32 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GAMBLE]
uptildawn Online   content
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8427
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 Originally Posted By: GAMBLE
I don't know what you expect to accomplish with a 2GHz P4 and 2 gigs of RAM. It won't be much. You'll max that out pretty quick...


That depends highly on what you're expecting it mostly to accomplish.

I can definitely see the limits being reached quickly with today's reliance on vst/i's, mega sound and sample libraries, etc. But if your goal is recording, editing and mixing mostly real audio, then a PIV with 2GB of RAM (and the proper graphics and audio cards) can still handle the job with ease.

I've got three such machines in use today that have been going for more than eight years and serve my purposes perfectly, which is mostly recording, editing, mixing multi-track audio. I can easily load down one rig with 32 live input channels without more than a screen redraw slow down now and again... and that's with two apps open at once. The main editing rig handles those same live recordings with ease when editing and mixing, loading it up with channel dynamics, eq, fx, etc. It chokes a little bit on 24 channels of 96k/24bit recordings though. Another PIV I've just started to put to use is a general purpose IBM ThinkPad. I tested the waters recently with a 16-track live recording event... two 70-minute sets... didn't even bother to disable the wireless network. I was happy. \:\)


But I can also point to those same machines to verify how much they can get dragged down by a lot of resource-heavy software being demanded today.

Kinda like how an older version of Sonar doesn't necessarily mean obsolete.


Edited by uptildawn (03/20/11 11:39 AM)
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Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1033538 - 03/20/11 10:23 PM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: uptildawn]
GAMBLE Offline
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Registered: 02/22/04
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I don't necessarily disagree with you. I was running Sonar on a P4 many moons ago.

But in your case you're balancing the work load between multiple lower speced PC's.

I remember with a 2.something GHz P4 and 2 gigs of RAM I could get about 5-8 tracks....but that's because I was using a fair amount of VST effects and always had multiple VSTi synth's open and other craziness going on. I was maxing out the PC with ease and wasn't even coming close to what I wanted to accomplish with number of tracks/effects/etc.

So of course I also ran into that scenario of having to balance the workload on multiple PC's. That's about the same time I realized just buying one PC that could handle what I wanted was probably a better idea for a number of reasons just one of which being that I had spent the same total amount of cash on multiple lower end PC's that I could have just put toward one high end PC. For me, workflow and efficiency became pretty important pretty fast. I personally don't want to worry about and deal with things like the situation you're in anymore. It only serves to slow the entire music making process down IMO.

But I agree that if all one is doing is running a handful of tracks with a handful of effects you don't really need anything all that great. Of course the first time you max out that PC....and it will happen....you might think twice about investing in a better PC. I say why even bother going through that in the first place?

These days I don't do much recording but I have it down to 2 upper mid range PC's. It's not for load balance as much as separation and workflow considerations. One for tracking and effects...one for synths and effects.

YMMV


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#1033553 - 03/20/11 11:57 PM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GAMBLE]
uptildawn Online   content
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The three PC's I'm using for recording actually serve crossover purposes. Two are 2G PIV's and the laptop is a Centrino Core Duo (is that right?... I can't remember what those are called... it's only six years old). All three running XPpro/SP-3, or SP-1.

One stays in the studio and does 16 tracks or less of live audio (it can handle 24 before it runs out of hardware inputs.), plus almost all of the editing and mixing needs. One is the road rig... I've pushed it to 33-40 live tracks with both SawStudio to record and SAC software mixer for monitoring and radio feed open together... That's the one I have screen re-draw glitches with sometimes, but the only time that has happened was outdoors in the Summer heat. The laptop is the one I just tried with 16 live tracks with the wireless still active. It's the PC I use at school, so it has loads of garbage on it...

I can just imagine what would happen if I was trying to load any of them down with VST's and stuff...... It would never happen... like what you experienced, I'm sure.

I could think about upgrading the PC's sometime and probably be able to do it for half the money for 50% more power today.... and I'd actually like to change out the remote gig rig 'cause it shows its age a bit. But it won't happen until I've got a bundle of cash stashed away.... I keep trying and it keeps running away somehow! \:\)
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2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1033555 - 03/21/11 01:14 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: uptildawn]
GAMBLE Offline
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Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 18894
I hear you. I spent $20 on Chinese take out today. That's kind of dumb when it comes down to saving for and buying gear.
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#1033558 - 03/21/11 04:59 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GAMBLE]
GeoSteven Offline
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Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Upstate SC
Thanks to both. Your words are encouraging. It's good to know that I can use what I have until I graduate to synths and VSTs (I had to research VST to see what it was). Live sound is my main interest and effects are mostly outboard. I'm not trying to do anything in a 'professional' manner, that is to say I'm not being paid for my services (yet). So it will only be MY frustration when my system fails me.

UTD your last comment on "half the money for 50% more power" is where my head was when I started this thread. If I were to purchase an updated MB and CPU to give more FSB speed and accomodate more RAM then I'd be better off. And to 'upgrade' from where I'm at would cost very little indeed. Keep me posted if you decide to go that route.

I'm interested in your 'road rig' configuration. That's near to what I'm trying to accomplish. I mentioned my Q10 not being recognized so my inputs are very limited. How do you accomplish 20+ inputs?

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#1033565 - 03/21/11 08:02 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GeoSteven]
uptildawn Online   content
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8427
Loc: Iowa
Sounds like you might have some knowledge about how to build a PC... I've got just enough to know which advice to follow and change stuff in and out. I do okay there, but don't invest much mental energy beyond finding the best prices I can muster when I'm ready to upgrade. \:\) I'ts getting harder to find a good PIV MB these days, I think. But at least you don't have to bleed money to buy one.

I've got to run right now, but let me just add that besides the PC's own specs, the next most important things I've found are the soundcard/interface driver reliability and the video card's compatibility with the soundcard.

I don't know the Aardvark, so I don't know how robust it is in the driver department. Have you actually used it before, or is it just something you're thinking of putting together with this rig?

I gotta run..... I'm late.
I'll check back tonight.
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2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1033577 - 03/21/11 09:54 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: uptildawn]
gonzo Offline
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 Quote:
As for XP and Sonar. I would not recommend it. Not that it won't work....it just probably won't work as well as it would with W7.


well, like i said earlier, i'm running sonar 6PE on winxp, and it's working perfectly.

i don't need win7 to get the job done.

to get win7 to run as smoothly as my winxp does now, i'd have to get more horsepower and double the ram.
_________________________
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"Trouble", by Bats Brew
"Stay", by Bats Brew
"The Time is Magic", by Bats Brew
Listen >>>> 'Bats Brew'

"if you want to find the secrets of the universe,
think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
-Nikola Tesla

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#1033581 - 03/21/11 10:22 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: gonzo]
GAMBLE Offline
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Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 18894
I know what you're running.

But nobody can buy sonar 6 anymore....or 8.5 for that matter.

And X1 (or even 8.5) wasn't developed with XP in mind...but was developed to take advantage of W7.

I would love to see someone run X1 with XP on a P4......that would likely be very buggy and sluggish....in between crashes.

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#1033616 - 03/21/11 12:03 PM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GAMBLE]
GeoSteven Offline
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Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Upstate SC
Gamble - "buggy and sluggish....between crashes" is something nobody would love to see. Your point is well taken. I understand the risks and where I'm at but I'm also trying to minimize my expenditures. To get a modern PC with W7 is one thing but as Gonzo points out to take full advantage of the 64bit OS I'd have to also spring for more RAM, a new sound card, video card and other items that now run optimally on my dated XP 32 box.

UTD - the Aardvark is something I picked up a while back and have used some with Audacity. Great mic pre-amps but non-existant support. Company went belly-up a few years back. Even so I'd stll like to keep it around if I can. Can't find any help on making the 2 (Soanr and Q10) work together though.

The SB Live card has been a good one for most of what I do. It has a SPDIF port that I've used to bring in th final mix-down from the 880VX. Of course that's one of the things I'm looking forward to getting away from. Idealy I'll be sending individual tracks from the 880 to Sonar and do my final mix and mastering there instead of trying to work on the Roland thru the keyhole so to speak.

Can anyone recommend any 'dated' technology in the sound card field to match my system that may move forward more gracefully as I upgrade other components?

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#1033725 - 03/21/11 04:35 PM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: GeoSteven]
uptildawn Online   content
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8427
Loc: Iowa
M-Audio makes some good, dated stuff... Are you planning on using PCI soundcards?... I would say that (or PCIe) would be most stable at 24+ live input channels. I can't say from experience because I haven't tried... just from the constant comments I read from people who have issues with large channel counts and FW or USB interfaces.
The school has a bunch of M-Audio FW410 interfaces that work very well. The 410 is only four (or is it six) live inputs... it had driver issues for a long time and was replaced a year or so ago with the 610. We don't have any reason to push the 410, but it's reliable since the last driver update they release just after we bought a bunch of them at clearance price.

Personally, I'm hooked on RME Hammerfall cards and breakout boxes. They have some of the best, most reliable drivers and support there is. Although they hold their resale value quite well and are not cheap, even used. But it's easy to find the PCI card and a Multiface or Digiface for good used prices once in a while.... problem being that a good used price on the RME still isn't that cheap.

A single Digiface would give you 24 channels of ADAT input, plus spdif, but would require mic pres that have ADAT output (ADAT IN and OUT would be better, but harder to find). You'd need three Multifaces + three PCI cards for 24 Analog inputs, but you'd also have 24 channels of ADAT and six channels of spdif (one ADAT and one spdif pair per unit).

A lot of folk on the Saw forum seem to like certain Motu units... the MKII being a common one. http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=motu+mk&_sacat=See-All-Categories
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uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1034799 - 03/27/11 03:07 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: uptildawn]
RoostRider Offline
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Registered: 12/06/09
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I run Sonar 8.5 on a Celeron 2.53 GHz with 1GB of RAM.... we do not use it for recording, but use it with very little hassle for mixing and mastering up to 16 tracks at once... every once in a great while it will "drop out", but I do not think that is a computer resources problem.... but I could be wrong...

I have run it with a pretty fair number of effects and whatnot.... still pretty reliable...
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#1047205 - 06/08/11 08:18 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: RoostRider]
creatingcomforts Offline
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Loc: 200 RAWHIDE ST WAXAHACHIE TX 7...
Nice post!!! Can Sonar 8.5 be used for recording purpose?
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#1047221 - 06/08/11 09:41 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: creatingcomforts]
uptildawn Online   content
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Loc: Iowa
Absolutely! sonar 8.5 (like all versions of sonar equipped with audio tracks (IIRC)) will record multi-channel audio as well as midi.
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uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1059074 - 08/10/11 10:24 AM Re: Economical PC spec for Sonar 8.5 [Re: uptildawn]
gonzo Offline
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time to move on up to X1
_________________________
"The Wild Animals", latest album from Bats Brew
"Trouble", by Bats Brew
"Stay", by Bats Brew
"The Time is Magic", by Bats Brew
Listen >>>> 'Bats Brew'

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think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
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