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Need advice from a user to a new device.

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Need advice from a user to a new device.

Postby Francois2010 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:07 am


I use Notion since august 2010. I acquired Miroslav Philarmonik and I noticed that my computer is not powerful enough to use software that big, especially if I want to use several intruments.

Before talking to a dealer I would like to hear a musician who uses a PC: What equipment do I need to get a good result, paricularly with Miroslav Philarmonik.

Thank you very much!
I love Notion ! I love to compose !
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Re: Need advice from a user to a new device.

Postby wcreed51 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:43 am

What do you have now? MP doesn't require that much in the way of computer resources...
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Re: Need advice from a user to a new device.

Postby Surfwhammy » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:13 pm

Francois2010 wrote:Hi,

I use Notion since august 2010. I acquired Miroslav Philarmonik and I noticed that my computer is not powerful enough to use software that big, especially if I want to use several intruments.

Before talking to a dealer I would like to hear a musician who uses a PC: What equipment do I need to get a good result, paricularly with Miroslav Philarmonik.

Thank you very much!

This is my advice:

(1) You will discover that it is vastly easier to do digital music production on the Mac, and you can do this productively with a Mac mini and your existing display if the display is high-resolution, but another option is to get an iMac, where for reference the lowest price 21.5" 2.7-GHz iMac quad-core i5 will be more than sufficient, although you will want to upgrade the memory, which you can do yourself with memory from or Other World Computing (which costs less and is easy to do), since 64-bit computing will make it possible to use all the memory you can get, which is one of the nice aspects of 64-bit computing . . .

[NOTE: In some respects, having a larger display can be nice, where for reference the least expensive 27" iMac costs approximately $500 (US) more than the least expensive 21.5" iMac but is approximately the same cost as a 27" Apple Thunderbolt display and a Mac mini, which is another option that gets you quad-core i7 processors although not so much memory and fewer ports. It is easier to add a second internal hard drive to a Mac mini, and you can add more memory to a Mac mini, up to 16 GB, while the maximum memory upgrade for an iMac currently is 16GB for the 21.5" iMac and 32MB for the 27" iMac, which overall makes the 27" iMac attractive. Another possibility is to get a used iMac with a warranty and service plan, since the general rule for Intel-based computers is that if they work for a week, then there you are, which is the case with Mac and Windows computers. You can get a sense of the prices for used Macs at the PowerMax website. I purchase Mac stuff from PowerMax every so often, and they are reliable, so I recommend them, as is the case with and Other World Computing for Mac stuff. I use a 23" Apple Cinema Display that I got from PowerMax, and it is nice. The reality for displays is that one cannot see the entire screen of a 21.5" or 23" display, so having a larger display is more of a "bell and whistle", really. For most folks the in-focus visual area of a screen is approximately the size of a 3" by 5" note card, but it is nice to be able to park stuff on the screen rather than to switch from one application to another, but so what . . . ]

Pre-Owned Macs (PowerMax)

Other World Computing

Mac OS X and its Core Audio are designed specifically to work wonderfully with the hardware, and everything you need is present and is high quality, which includes all the firmware, drivers, and utilities like "virtual MIDI cables" . . .

Switching to the Mac also avoids the maze of attempting to determine whether the hardware and digital music production software, as well as firmware, drivers, and utilities, work correctly with whichever version of Windows you might decide to use; and this also avoids needing to become proficient in devising a strategy for running digital music production software based on different flavors of user accounts, security levels, and privileges, as well as not needing separate and distinct versions of 32-bit and 64-bit software, since when there are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Mac applications, they usually are packaged in a single application that you can switch easily from 32-bit to 64-bit as you desire by setting or clearing an option ("Open in 32-bit mode") . . .

(2) Sometime this year, IK Multimedia will release SampleTank 3, which is the 64-bit version of SampleTank, where SampleTank is the engine that powers all the IK Multimedia virtual instruments, including Miroslav Philharmonik, where for reference the user interface for Miroslav Philharmonik is just a visual wrapper on SampleTank . . .

SampleTank 3 supports all the previous sound sample libraries (Miroslav Philharmonik, SampleTank, Sonik Synth, SampleTron, and SampleMoog), but it adds approximately 2,000 new sample sound instruments and a lot of other stuff, including a nice set of signal processors and effects from T-RackS, as well as "round robin" sound sample variation for the new sampled sounds, where instead of the same sample being used repetitively, there is a set of samples and they are varied to create a human and natural realism. where as an example instead of having a single sample for a specific bowed violin note, the will be as many as eight samples for the specific bowed violin note, all played by the same violinist, and when the "round robin" option is used, each same pitch note is bowed a tiny bit differently but nevertheless in the same articulation or playing style, which is the way a real violinist bows . . .

Violinists and all other musicians generally strive to make every note in a particular articulation or playing style identical, but this never happens, and there are tiny variations, hence to logic for the "round robin" and multiple sample sets strategy . . .

SampleTank 3 was shown at NAMM in January 2014, and at present IK Multimedia is projecting summer as a possible release date, although the IK Multimedia folks are like the Notion Music folks and release software only when they determine it is ready to be released, so there is no telling when SampleTank 3 actually will be released, but I think that it should be released this year . . .


For all practical purposes, Miroslav Philharmonik and its current 32-bit virtual instrument engine are outdated software. However, the sampled sounds for Miroslav Philharmonik are not outdated, but regardless I think it makes the most sense to focus your computing platform plan for the future on currently available or soon to be available software . . .

I also think it is very important to get out of the practice of needing to restrict your digital music production efforts based on limitations imposed by Windows and associated hardware, including firmware, drivers, and utilities . . .

Everything works very nicely on the Mac, and my 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro (Early 2008) with 20GB of memory running Mac OS X 10.9.2 (Mavericks) is configured the same way as a new Mac for purposes of doing digital music production, which maps to my being able to provide detailed information information on configuring a new Mac even though my Mac Pro is six years old . . .

A new Mac will have a few parameters and options that my Mac Pro does not have, but (a) they mostly are "bells and whistles" related to all the so-called "green" energy saving nonsense and (b) they need to be disabled, anyway . . .

If you want the display, hard drives, and so forth to go to "sleep", because you have not touched the keyboard or moved the mouse for 5 or 10 minutes, then "God bless you!"; but when I am doing digital music production, I have enough sense to know when stuff can "sleep", hence I configure everything so that I make the "sleep" decisions . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. Regarding what you can do on a Mac, I refer you to the following YouTube video that I made recently which shows a ReWire 2 session where Digital Performer 8 (MOTU) is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application and ReWire 2 host controller and both NOTION 4 and Reason 7 (Propellerhead Software) are ReWire 2 slaves. Additionally, NOTION 4 is playing two of the Reason 7 synthesizers via music notation on NOTION 4 External MIDI staves where NOTION 4 converts the music notation to MIDI instructions and pipes it to Reason 7 via a "virtual MIDI cable" . . .

[NOTE: I like Digital Performer, but the DAW application just as easily can be Live 9 (Ableton), Logic Pro 9/X (Apple), or Studio One 2.6 Producer/Professional (PreSonus), and probably Cubase (Steinberg), although at present I have not verified Cubase in this scenario . . . ]

The song is "Faster" (Techno Squirrels), which is a favorite demo song for Reason 6 that I use for this type of tutorial, and I added several instruments of orchestration to the song with music notation and virtual instruments in NOTION 4 and, as noted, two of the Reason 7 synthesizers . . .

And for reference, this is not the most complex digital music production scenario by any means, but it is useful for providing the clue that you will not be limited arbitrarily on the Mac by difficulties, annoying or intractable, with getting everything to work cooperatively, accurately, and gracefully without needing to mess with computer science stuff, since one of the primary rules for the Mac is that the machine never should bother the human, which is fabulous . . .

[NOTE: Anyone with a keyboard, computer, and ISP connection can write just about anything, which I certainly do at every opportunity, but I also can and do prove the accuracy of what I write, which I think is a very important aspect of providing advice. It might appear initially to be my opinion, but proving it makes it a fact . . . ]

DP8 N4 R7 ReWire2 MIDI ~ YouTube video

Fabulous! :ugeek:
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