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jimsavitt1

New PC Specs / Platinum upgrade

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Posted (edited)

After being a Cakewalk user for over 25 years, it is finally time to upgrade since I will be getting a new computer.   I would greatly appreciate this group's guidance on hardware specs and upgrade process as I have been putting this off for a long time... and have many legacy cakewalk projects that I want to be able to access going forward. 

PC SPECS (will be using with a focusrite audio interface)

  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-11900K processor (8-Core, 16M Cache, 3.5GHz to 5.3GHz)
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
  • 64GB, 16Gx4, DDR4, 2933MHz
  • 1GB PCIe M.2 SSD +1TB SATA 7200 RPM HDD   

questions:

  • in the past, there was guidance to install SONAR on the OS drive and have a dedicated drive for recording digital audio.  Is this still the case?
  • If not, then should I plan to have everything run, and record on, the SSD and just use the HDD  as a "backup" drive?
  • Is there anything else to consider related to the hardware specs?

UPGRADE PROCESS

  • From what  have seen in this Forum, it seems that I should I first try to re-install SONAR Platinum on the new machine (assuming that my product activation codes can be found and work) then install BandLab?  The idea here would be to try to take advantage of the legacy SONAR FX and VST instruments.   
  • Is there a thread / FAQ or other resources that I can review that documents people's challenges / experiences with this similar upgrade?

Thank you so much in advance.

Jim

www.jimsavitt.com

 

Edited by jimsavitt1

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I usually leave the hardware discussion for others but will say this.

An M.2 SSD is overkill for a system drive. It is an excellent choice for the libraries used by streaming sampler plug-ins. 

A 500GB SATA SSD is plenty for a system drive. 

A secondary drive for DAW projects is a good idea.  Because of SSDs, less for performance but for keeping backups manageable. 

If you are not using a lot of sample-based plug-ins, 64GB of RAM may be excessive. DAW projects consisting mostly of recorded audio require little RAM. Samplers that don't stream from disk are the chief users of RAM. Whether one needs 16, 32GB or more RAM depends on their use of plug-ins and sample libraries.

 

When it comes to installing legacy SONAR see

 

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There is no more Sonar platinum. It is Cakewalk Bandlab now - although it is the same with some additional features & fixes.

As far as an upgrade to your hardware you can expect to lose some of your plug ins, even many of the ones that Cakewalk used to include. You might be able to copy some across but not all of them will work.

I have an occasional problem with old song files. Some of these are 30 years old. The other day I had a plug in crash the program. (Was ok after deleting)

Sometimes it's just a missing plug in. I can copy the midi data to a new track & pick something else to play it on.

Once in a while I get an old file that really clogs up the works & I have to copy everything to a new file.

It all works out though. You might end of wanting to purchase a few new plug ins. I say it's worth it.

I am currently toying with replacing my machine as well & will be keeping my eye on what people say on this topic.

So far what I think

16GB RAM or more

1 TB SSD (SSD is faster)

At least one type C USB

6 Or more cores

A space for an extra drive would be nice but I could take the drives I have and put a new USB case on them.

I use mostly external MIDI & mix to one track. The more soft synths & effects you use the more you will stress the processing.

The more Audio you record the more hard drive space you'll need.

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13 minutes ago, rfssongs said:

even many of the ones that Cakewalk used to include. You might be able to copy some across but not all of them will work.

All of the plug-ins installed with 64bit SONAR work in CbB.

At least the ones bundled with the 64bit SONAR X1 and newer.

My guess is all of the plug-ins going back to the first 64bit SONAR release will work as well as they did in SONAR.

Plug-ins bundled with 32bit SONAR but not installed with 64bit SONAR are a different matter.

AFAIK, these are all 32 DX plug-ins that were not ported to 64bit.

These are 32bit host specific and will not load in any 64bit host.

There is no bridge software for DX format plug-ins.

There used to be a VST wrapper floating around the internet but bridging VST wrapped plug-ins is not a good idea and VST wrapped plug-ins are not recognized as replacements for the original DX plug-ins in old projects.

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Thank you for the above so far (and please keep the comments coming!).   I am still trying to get my drive strategy clear... it seems that I should probably have 2 SSD drives, 1 for the OS/Apps  and a second to record the audio and store files/data on(?)   also, it seems that there is no need to use HDD at this point.  

Make sense?

 

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For sure 2 SSD Drives. I have  2 x 240 GB SSD and then a 1TB DATA drive for back ups. I also have a bunch of external drives for data backup. 
My C drive has never gone over 50% and I use mostly default paths for installing. 
The second SSD drive is my working drive for projects and it’s only at 40% right now. 
But I only keep recent projects there. All else is stored on the backup drives. 
 

Lots of treads on rebuilding. My advice is to copy the Command Center download folder from your old computer and copy the installers to the new system CC download folder. This eliminates re downloading 

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A minimum of 2 drives. With SSDs this is mostly for ease of backup. For spinners, it is a performance issue too.

If you use a lot of samples a third drive can be handy.

Drives dedicated to samples don't need to be backed up as often (if at all) as other data and the OS.

Sample data does not change, takes up a lot of space and depending on the sampler may benefit from high transfer rates.

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Oh & two monitors is a real plus - Most (if not all)  computers do this now. At one point I had three monitors.

(You can also use a some USB's with a converter as a monitor out.)

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Posted (edited)

"All of the plug-ins installed with 64bit SONAR work in CbB."

When I added Bandlab to a machine that already had Sonar I was OK, But when I added Bandlab to a different machine altogether I had a number of problems. Some of which may have been fixable but I stopped at that point.

 

Added Note: As I recall Licensing was part of the problem on some of these. 

Edited by rfssongs

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3 hours ago, scook said:

An M.2 SSD is overkill for a system drive. 

Best choice.

3 hours ago, scook said:

A 500GB SATA SSD is plenty for a system drive. 

Definitely too small.

Plugins like Waves, Perfect and Addictive drums, Kontakt (to name a few) - all have huge factory Libraries that comes free with its installation, that requires the content to be in the same folder/Disk space/path - as the installation files.

2:) Your DAW utilizes the same space for recording as your OS drive. So for best results - it is best to have "500GB"  free space available to play with for this, so a 1TB for the OS, the DAW and to run your effects plugins is best here. It also eliminates that "Audio Dropout" nuance as well when theres enough space on your disk for speed recovery. (SSD's has its own limitation too.) If they get overworked when theres not enough space they burnout easily. 

When CPU reaches its limitations it utilizes ram and disk space too. 

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18 minutes ago, Will_Kaydo said:
3 hours ago, scook said:

A 500GB SATA SSD is plenty for a system drive. 

Definitely too small.

Plugins like Waves, Perfect and Addictive drums, Kontakt (to name a few) - all have huge factory Libraries that comes free with its installation, that requires the content to be in the same folder/Disk space/path - as the installation files.

Sample libraries do not belong on the system drive.

Most sample-based plug-ins provide a way to install sample libraries on a different drive from the plug-ins. Definitely XLN Audio and NI fall into this category.

I would not add Addictive Drums to the list of huge factory libraries but BFD and Superior Drummer can get pretty big. These plug-ins provide alternate paths for samples.

Not having Waves products installed but I doubt it falls into that category of large sample libraries either.

Kontakt libraries can take up a lot of space so should not go on the system drive.

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Will_Kaydo said:

2:) Your DAW utilizes the same space for recording as your OS drive. 

Not when using a dedicate project drive. At least not on a properly configured installation of CbB.

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1 minute ago, scook said:

Sample libraries do not belong on the system drive.

Most sample-based plug-ins allow provide a way to install sample libraries on a different drive from the plug-ins. Definitely XLN Audio and NI fall into this category.

I would not add Addictive Drums to the list of huge factory libraries but BFD and Superior Drummer can get pretty big. Both again, those provide alternate paths for samples.

Not having Waves products installed but I doubt it falls into that category either.

Kontakt libraries can take up a lot of space so should not go on the system drive.

 

 

 

Theres a difference between Factory libraries that requires them to be in the same space and Path as the installation and custom libraries. Some are 12GB by factory.  Omnisphere too. 

We all know to put sample packs on a separate drive.

500GB for system drive is definitely small. 

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3 minutes ago, scook said:

Not when using a dedicate project drive. At least not on a properly configured installation of CbB.

Yes, I agree. But a copy gets used by the System drive before saving it to the project path/drive. It's the rule windows. 

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Sorry Will, nothing you have posted here has any  basis in fact.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, scook said:

Sorry Will, nothing you have posted here has any  basis in fact.

Too you it doesn't, yes. 

I'll break this down for you. The more space yo use on the system drive the slower it becomes. 

Every single thing you install - gets installed on the system drive. You can't install cakewalk on your samples drive - can you now?  So all your other drives runs through your system drive. 

Less space - the harder and slower it reads these other disks. That brings latency too. 

Windows holds a footprint of your open files while its active which you will find in your Temp folders. It's in the name "Operating System." 

Edited by Will_Kaydo

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Most of this is wrong too but I will leave it for others to decide for themselves.

 

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22 minutes ago, scook said:

Most of this is wrong too but I will leave it for others to decide for themselves.

+1

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45 minutes ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Theres a difference between Factory libraries that requires them to be in the same space and Path as the installation and custom libraries. Some are 12GB by factory. 

This is not true for Kontakt. In Native Access you can change the content directory to a different drive. They show that if you look at their help. You can also move the Kontakt sample libraries after they are downloaded. I just upgraded from Komplete Select to Komplete and moved the Kontact libraries to another SSD. You just have to repair the links in Native Access after you move the libraries. FWIW.

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Or you can use symbolic links (via the mklink command) and put your libraries anywhere you like.

Last year I added a second SSD (1TB) for sample libraries. I put only my most-used libraries there and keep the rest on a conventional drive. Using symbolic links allowed me  to move my favorite libraries over to the new drive without impacting any existing projects. Kontakt, Superior Drummer and Spectrasonics instruments think their data is still on the E: drive, but it's actually on F:.

I plan to eventually replace my two remaining 1TB mechanical drives with SSDs when I can afford to, but it's more important to use them for things where the speed improvement is most noticeable, e.g. sample libraries. For now, those older drives do the job just fine as long-term bulk storage.

My system drive is a 500 GB SSD, but because I limit it to just Windows and applications, it has never been in danger of filling completely. However, if I was building a new system today I'd use a 1TB SSD just so I wouldn't have to plan out my disk usage so strictly. 1TB's are half the price today that the 500 GB drive was when I bought it 5 years ago. In a few years 500GB drives will be considered as obsolete as my dusty drawer-full of 250 and 500MB drives.

 

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