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Konskoo

I want to build a computer for Cakewalk

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I want to make mastering of piano music. These will be piano pieces. Each will last from two to three minutes. I will combine these pieces into the album. The album will have from eight to ten pieces. The finished recording will have only a piano - one instrument. After mastering I will upload the finished recordings to different music sites - this will be the only way to distribute these recordings. There will no be physical media - CD, DVD - in distribution.

Next I will make new piano pieces.

I will make budget from tasks solving. First - what I need to solve the task? Next - how much money I need for it.

I want to build a computer for Cakewalk.

I will use Windows 10 Home 64-bit.

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I discussed "How much SSDs to use on computer for Cakewalk?" here: https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/topic/19334-how-much-ssds-to-use-on-computer-for-cakewalk/

Thanks to everyone who gave their opinions. I took into consideration. My main conclusion: I will use two SSD.

First SSD. Disk C on it. On disk C - Windows 10 Home 64-bit, applications including Cakewalk.

Second SDD. Disk D on it. On disk D - current project work files.

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Next I discussed "Overclocked RAM or not for Cakewalk?" here https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/topic/19444-overclocked-ram-or-not-for-cakewalk/

Thanks to everyone who gave their opinions. I took into attention. My main conclusion: I will not use overclocked RAM. I will use traditional RAM: for example Crucial CT 3200 MHz, Kingston KVR 3200 MHz.

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At that topic abacab have wrote:

On 9/10/2020 at 8:33 PM, abacab said:

RAM is not a bottleneck in modern computer performance, unless you don't have enough of it. It is the CPU clock speed and core count that matter most.

At that topic I have wrote that I want to make mastering of piano music. Next I asked:

On 9/10/2020 at 10:47 PM, Konskoo said:

In this case what CPU clock speed suitable for Cakewalk? What core count suitable for Cakewalk?


abacab asked me clarifying question:

On 9/10/2020 at 11:31 PM, abacab said:

Will you be using an acoustic piano and recording via microphones, a digital piano with direct in, or will you be using a Virtual Instrument piano in the box?

VI's take more CPU than audio tracks. Since you probably won't be using many simultaneous tracks of audio for your piano recording (just L and R for stereo), your needs should be modest. You would probably be fine with any quad core with the fastest clock that you can afford.

But if you plan to use heavy mastering plugins, then the same rules would apply as with VI's. It all depends on exactly what you plan to use. Virtual Instruments and FX plugins can be very taxing on the CPU, but again, that depends exactly on which ones that you plan to use.

And save some money for a professional audio interface. Good pre-amps will be very important to high quality acoustic recordings.

I can describe how I want to do. I will do it in this topic.

I agree with abacab:

On 9/12/2020 at 6:33 PM, abacab said:

A single thread about your entire new computer build would be fine.

On 9/12/2020 at 6:33 PM, abacab said:

That way you would capture all of the information in a single context. This would also help someone seeking the same answers in the future who happens to search and find your thread.

Besides the Q and A, this forum is also  knowledge base that others will reference, and it is indexed by Google.

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So,

On 9/10/2020 at 11:31 PM, abacab said:

Will you be using an acoustic piano and recording via microphones, a digital piano with direct in, or will you be using a Virtual Instrument piano in the box?

I want to make experiment: what way will be suitable for my musical art tasks?

Some piano pieces will be in Rondo musical form. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rondo

Some in Binary musical form. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_form

Some in Ternary form. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ternary_form

Some pieces will be Fantasia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasia_(music)

Some will be Scherzo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scherzo

Some pieces will be Waltz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltz_(music)

Some will be Polka. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polka

Some will be Romance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_(music)

Every pieces will last from two to three minutes.

What is the best technical way for me to express my musical ideas? I want to fit technical requirements of musical sites on which I will distribute my music.

For experiment I will use all variants you listed. I will use scheme: first variant - few compositions, second variant - another few compositions, third variant - another few compositions.

Next I will analyze result and will make conclusion which way is suitable for me.

Do I understand right way: Virtual Instrument piano in the box - it is VSTi? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology

 

Edited by Konskoo
synthax

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@KonskooSo I understand your basic requirements are:

1. One instrument, a VSTi piano, to be recorded in the box. Project files  to be stored on secondary SSD drive. Good plan.

2. Two SSD drives, [C/D]  Good plan.

3. Standard RAM (not overclocked). Good plan. For using VSTi you should probably install 16GB minimum.

Next:

CPU: This PCPartPicker site has a system builder that lets you select the CPU you want, and then guides you through selecting only compatible motherboard, RAM, etc. You can come up with a rough budget this way.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/

Since you will be recording a VSTi, will advise that you should use a reasonably  fast CPU, at least a modern one in the 4.0GHz and up range. If you will be using VST plugins for mixing and/or mastering your tracks after recording, a few extra cores won't hurt.

For the DAW studio, there are  several more things you should consider seriously as well. If you already have these, well then never mind...

Audio Interface: Audio interface? Why do I need that if I am recording in the box and I already have on-board audio? Well specifically if you are going to be playing a virtual piano, you will want a very low latency between the time you play a MIDI note on your controller and the time the VSTi plays the sound. A professional audio interface will come with ASIO drivers supplied by the manufacturer. Any respectable USB audio interface with ASIO drivers should be sufficient, as you really won't be needing any external audio inputs or pre-amps for your VSTi. But the audio driver quality is very important. Your budget will dictate what you want to spend on this. There are popular choices from FocusRite, PreSonus, Behringer, etc.  in the $99-$120 price range (not recommendations, just examples).

MIDI keyboard controller: For piano, probably an 88 key USB controller is most suitable.

Studio monitors: You want to  correctly hear your piano playing, as well as the recorded audio while editing/mixing. You can edit/mix with headphones, but starting with real  monitors should make the job easier. And studio monitors will provide better frequency accuracy.

Graphics card: Not really necessary for a DAW if your CPU has onboard HD graphics. You can put this money to good use for a better audio interface!

 

Edited by abacab
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Honestly, any laptop that costs more than $500 usd will suffice for what you have described.

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5 hours ago, Gswitz said:

Honestly, any laptop that costs more than $500 usd will suffice for what you have described.

The OP wants to build a computer. I assume that probably means a desktop.

But yes, any modern CPU and motherboard should work. I imagine that you should be able to build a respectable desktop  PC with  a $500 budget.

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Gswitz, thank you for your opinion.

On 9/19/2020 at 8:10 PM, abacab said:

The OP wants to build a computer. I assume that probably means a desktop.

abacab, yes, I want to build desktop.

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I have read. Many information. I made conclusion.

I want to publish my music on musical sites. I need to fit their requirements to files. I need to make mastering according their requirements to files. I need to know technical details how to work with files during mastering. I need to know steps of mastering. I need to know equalization, compression. I need to know what hardware and software to use for mastering.

Hardware for mastering: computer, audio interface, studio monitors, studio headphones, cables. Do I need physical devices: equalizer, limiter, compressor? Or VST plugins replace them?

Also I need MIDI keyboard controller to make music.

Software for mastering: Cakewalk, VST plugins.

Also I need VSTi piano to make music.

I need device or VST plugins to analyze frequencies.

Am I thinking right way?

Edited by Konskoo

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5 hours ago, Konskoo said:

Do I need physical devices: equalizer, limiter, compressor? Or VST plugins replace them?

Physical devices not necessary, as they can be emulated in the box. Their VST plug-in equivalents can do a fine job. However some plug-ins can put a big demand on the CPU. So that is why the question regarding how you intend to use the computer.

Otherwise it sounds like your thinking is on track!  Good luck with your project!

Edited by abacab
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You could record VST Solo piano on just about any computer made for the last 12 years. And if it's a top quality VST then not much else will need to be done as far as EQ and Mastering. You'll want to tray as many demos of the VST pianos to find the one that you like best. I've chosen Addictive Keys for the style of music I play. You might hate it, everyone is different. 

You really don't need much to record 1 instrument. It just needs to sound excellent before you record it. Good monitors and room treatment will be more important than the computer.  And as advised get an Audio Interface to optimize the playback quality and latency. 

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On 9/24/2020 at 4:24 PM, abacab said:

Physical devices not necessary, as they can be emulated in the box. Their VST plug-in equivalents can do a fine job. However some plug-ins can put a big demand on the CPU. So that is why the question regarding how you intend to use the computer.

Otherwise it sounds like your thinking is on track!  Good luck with your project!

abacab, thank you. I took your words into consideration.

I have read. Many information. I made conclusions.

I need to research system requirements of every plug-in I will use. Before it I need to analyze which plug-ins I need to record piano in a box and to make mastering. Am I right?

Also I want to analyze how listeners will listen my music? In my opinion many of them will listen my music using smartphone and headphones. Because of it I want to analyze which unprofessional headphones for common everyday usage are popular? I want to make list of popular headphones. Next during mastering I will use professional studio monitors, professional studio headphones and also I will check my music in different popular unprofessional headphones.

Also I want to analyze on which streaming services listeners listen classical piano music and will listen my piano music? In my opinion it is Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, Deezer, YouTube Music, IDAGIO.

IDAGIO is a paid streaming service specializing in classical music. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDAGIO

Also I need to analyze mastering requirements of this streaming services. What dynamics reserve I need to make for exact streaming service? How many dB should I lower before loading on exact streaming service? What exact streaming services do with dynamic range?

Also I need to analyze requirements of this streaming services to files. 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, stereo? All streaming services have such requirements? Or there are any nuances on exact streaming service?

Also I need to analyze which limiter and which spectrum analyzer should I put on the master track?

Also I need to analyze should I use 24 bit, 192 kHz, stereo during recording and mastering? And because of it I need to analyze how I will do dithering. Are there any nuances?

Also I need to analyze RMS. Are there any nuances on exact streaming service?

Also I need to analyze LUFS. Are there any nuances on exact streaming service?

Edited by Konskoo

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On 9/24/2020 at 6:47 PM, John Vere said:

You could record VST Solo piano on just about any computer made for the last 12 years. And if it's a top quality VST then not much else will need to be done as far as EQ and Mastering. You'll want to tray as many demos of the VST pianos to find the one that you like best. I've chosen Addictive Keys for the style of music I play. You might hate it, everyone is different. 

You really don't need much to record 1 instrument. It just needs to sound excellent before you record it. Good monitors and room treatment will be more important than the computer.  And as advised get an Audio Interface to optimize the playback quality and latency.

John, thank you. I took your words into attention.

I like Steinway & Sons grand piano. I want its sound.

I will research different VSTs which have Steinway & Sons grand piano.

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9 hours ago, Konskoo said:

John, thank you. I took your words into attention.

I like Steinway & Sons grand piano. I want its sound.

I will research different VSTs which have Steinway & Sons grand piano.

I wouldn't get too caught up in which piano they sampled, it may or may not actually sound like what you have in your head as the S&S sound.

 

I'd download this for free as a starting point:

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MonasteryGrand

If it doesn't sound like you want after you tweak it with various mics and settings, then move on and try another.  

 

another options that are free and of high quality:

https://vst4free.com/plugin/2294/

http://ivyaudio.com/Piano-in-162

 

 

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2 hours ago, Brian Walton said:

I wouldn't get too caught up in which piano they sampled, it may or may not actually sound like what you have in your head as the S&S sound.

 

I'd download this for free as a starting point:

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MonasteryGrand

If it doesn't sound like you want after you tweak it with various mics and settings, then move on and try another.  

 

another options that are free and of high quality:

https://vst4free.com/plugin/2294/

http://ivyaudio.com/Piano-in-162

Brian, thank you. I will research it.

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The Addictive Keys Studio Grand that John mentioned, Steinway Model D concert grand piano, is available for a free demo in a 4 octave version, no time limit, but limited to 4 octaves and 3 microphone perspectives.

It sounds good to me, but I am not a classical pianist. So try it,  and judge for yourself.
 

Quote

 

Studio Grand was recorded in a large recording studio at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation. The studio is famous for being extremely quiet and for having a controlled acoustic ambience; for such a large room the reverberation still sounds tight and airy which is a rare combination and the perfect condition for recording a grand piano.

The recordings were done using rare vintage tube and ribbon microphones capturing the instrument at several different perspectives. From close up perspective with microphones next to the soundboard to far away perspective with natural room ambience. The end result is a warm and vibrant sound that goes from intimate to larger-than-life. The microphones used were hand picked from the studios impressive collection.

 

https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/addictive_keys/instrument/studio_grand

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On 9/24/2020 at 6:47 PM, John Vere said:

I've chosen Addictive Keys for the style of music I play

John, thank you. I will research Addictive Keys.

In which style you play music?

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2 hours ago, abacab said:

The Addictive Keys Studio Grand that John mentioned, Steinway Model D concert grand piano, is available for a free demo in a 4 octave version, no time limit, but limited to 4 octaves and 3 microphone perspectives.

It sounds good to me, but I am not a classical pianist. So try it,  and judge for yourself.

abacab, thank you. I will research it.

2 hours ago, abacab said:
Quote

 

Studio Grand was recorded in a large recording studio at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation. The studio is famous for being extremely quiet and for having a controlled acoustic ambience; for such a large room the reverberation still sounds tight and airy which is a rare combination and the perfect condition for recording a grand piano.

The recordings were done using rare vintage tube and ribbon microphones capturing the instrument at several different perspectives. From close up perspective with microphones next to the soundboard to far away perspective with natural room ambience. The end result is a warm and vibrant sound that goes from intimate to larger-than-life. The microphones used were hand picked from the studios impressive collection.

 

https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/addictive_keys/instrument/studio_grand

Thank you. I will explore  it.

Edited by Konskoo

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I read the OP, but didn't read every reply. I'm going to suggest you also look into some mastering software to help you make albums.

Check out Wavelab by Steinberg.

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Yes I use the demo version as Abacab has mentioned and never have I noticed the missing octaves. I use piano in most of my backing tracks which are standard dance party stuff. I also will use it in my original songs which are sort of folk/country rock and blues style. 

https://sites.google.com/view/cactus-studios/original-songs

 

Edited by John Vere
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On 10/8/2020 at 12:36 AM, razor7music said:

I read the OP, but didn't read every reply. I'm going to suggest you also look into some mastering software to help you make albums.

Check out Wavelab by Steinberg.

razor7music, thank you. I will research it.

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On 10/9/2020 at 12:33 AM, John Vere said:

Yes I use the demo version as Abacab has mentioned and never have I noticed the missing octaves. I use piano in most of my backing tracks which are standard dance party stuff. I also will use it in my original songs which are sort of folk/country rock and blues style. 

https://sites.google.com/view/cactus-studios/original-songs

John, thank you. I took your words into consideration.

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I listened your music. Here: https://sites.google.com/view/cactus-studios/original-songs

Nice.

John, October Blues is amazing. It rocks.

And I found your music here: https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1420844&content=songs

Nice.

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I watched your photos here: https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1420844&content=about

And here: https://www.facebook.com/Thesockmonkeyacoustic/

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How to pronounce family name Vere? Do you have audio of pronunciation of your family name? If someone will ask me who plays and sing I want to pronounce your family name right way.

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Here https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1420844&content=about written: Grand Forks, BC  USA.

In Wikipedia here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Forks,_British_Columbia written: Grand Forks, population 4,049, is a city in the Boundary Country of the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada.

Canada.

Why here https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1420844&content=about written: USA?

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John, do you have records of your music in which there is Addictive Keys Studio Grand - Steinway Model D concert grand piano?

Edited by Konskoo

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On 10/7/2020 at 1:45 PM, abacab said:

The Addictive Keys Studio Grand that John mentioned, Steinway Model D concert grand piano, is available for a free demo in a 4 octave version, no time limit, but limited to 4 octaves and 3 microphone perspectives.

It sounds good to me, but I am not a classical pianist. So try it,  and judge for yourself.
 

https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/addictive_keys/instrument/studio_grand

It's also worth noting that a fully licensed  XLN Addictive Keys is available as a free download in the Focusrite "Plug In Collective" with a choice of one out several different sampled pianos. The Steinway Grand, Modern Upright, Mark One [Rhodes] Electric Pianos etc. can all be purchased separately for expansion.

 Each one of these Sample Packs has a very large selection of different choices of microphone and preamp setups, what types of mic was used, and various very high quality FX built into it's user interface for detailed editing and setup. Many presets, all editable and fully customizable to your liking.

You can even dial in & choose how much "Pedal" noise you want to leak into your piano recordings.

It's available for free to all registered users of Focusrite audio interfaces and Novation MIDI keyboard controllers with a choice of 1 free sample pack included

Addictive Keys download.

 

I would obviously recommend the "Studio Grand" sample collection for the type of recording you have described, as the Steinway Model D concert grand piano is contained in part of it. 

 

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