Suncake Lounge Vol.2 is stil very much a work in progress at this stage, but we know we won’t be using these two tracks. Enjoy!
So remember two posts down where I said I’ll save up all my Second Life earnings and buy a new computer in about 6 months? Yeah, right – me and my stealy resolve. I’ve buckled, borrowed money from myself and bought a new machine on Saturday – hey, I can still pay the loan back with SL earnings, right? Here are the specs:
- CPU Intel Core i7-930
- Motherboard Asus P6T SE
- Graphics HIS HD 5670
- CASE Lancool PC-K62
- POWER CoolerMaster Silent Pro M700
- MEMORY Kingston DDR3 1333 3x2GB (6GB)
- HD 1 Intel X25-M 80GB (SSD)
- HD 2 WD Caviar Green 640GB
First off, the case (pictured) is larger than I expected, probably to accommodate those 120mm and 140mm fans. I planned to get the less blingy K58 or K60 model (no window, and not painted black inside), but they were out. I’m happy with how quiet the case is – obviously a large consideration when making music.
I’ve decided it’s a good time to finally move to Windows 7 – 32-bit for now, which means that I can sadly only use half of the installed 6GB ram. I’ll make the move to the 64-bit version once current audio projects that rely on 32-bit plugins are out of the way. Either way, I’m very, very pleased with Windows 7 so far.
All my installs went without a hitch with some noteworthy items. The Windows 7 driver for the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra worked out of the box, but crashed when I ticked the “high performance mode” check-box under “settings” in the FTU control panel. I had to roll back with System Restore and re-install the driver, this time leaving the “high performance mode” alone. I’m currently running at the lowest ASIO/WDM buffer size of 128 samples with no problems (I ran the Core2Duo machine at double that – 256 samples).
I’ve decided to upgrade to the latest version of Ableton Live Lite 8 (8.1.3) – I tried Live 8 on the previous machine, but had it crash on me in a show, so I stuck with Live 7. I’ve played my last three SL shows on the new machine and so far so good with Live 8 on this PC, except for the little weirdness you can hear from 4:23 to 4:30 in the recording of Live Online #66: Core. Some of my channels dropped out unexpectedly and I kinda expected Live to crash, but it picked itself up and kept going. No idea what happened there ;^/
Finally, a mention about install times for LA Scoring Strings. It installs off 5 dual-layer DVD’s for a total of 40GB. The documentation warns of a long install, saying that each DVD can take up to an hour to install. That was certainly the case when I installed LASS on the Core2Duo PC 2 weeks ago. Total install time was close to 5 hours. In contrast, the new machine did the install in close to an hour!
Oh, and a note about PC versus Mac. When mentioning my plan to upgrade my PC a couple of people suggested that I move to Mac. I thought about it, but decided to stick with PC for the following reasons.
- My Cakewalk Sonar sequencing software is PC only – I can install Windows on the Mac, but that kinda defeats the purpose, right?
- You can’t get a similarly specced Mac for double the price.
- I’ve never had a problem with XP and I’m more than happy with Windows 7. Honestly, reliability and viruses have never been a problem here.
That all said, Macs are still beautiful ;^)
I’ll update this post if anything crops up with the new PC, but if you don’t hear from me you can safely assume I’m happy as a pig in mud.
***UPDATE 2*** Official 32-bit and 64-bit drivers for Windows 7 are now available here: http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=support&tab=driver&PID=926320a5a5686189748193dbd6eb7d5f&serie_ID=6#tabs
For my own experience with the Windows 7 32-bit driver, have a look here: http://moshang.net/soundjeweler_blog/by-the-ways/new-pc/
***UPDATE*** M-Audio released a BETA driver for the FTU on October 13th. I’ll be upgrading to Win 7 soonish and will report on my findings then. You can download the BETA driver for yourself here: http://forums.m-audio.com/showthread.php?p=58296
I reported on a quick experiment with the Windows 7 Beta and my M-Audio Fast Track Ultra soundcard in January and have been following developments regarding a dedicated driver for the FTU with an eagle eye. Well, it’s September and the driver I’m waiting for is still in the development stage (read low on their list of priorities). At least they have added a handy page to chart progress on the M-Audio / Windows 7 driver front. Not sure if the image below will update, but here goes:
I’m no Oprah, but here’s a book I can recommend whole-heartedly. And that without having even read it yet (downloading as we speak).
Admittedly, I’m a fan of Prof. Lessig’s ideas, as is a growing legion of people who have discovered the benefits of licensing their work under Creative Commons licenses.
The PDF version of the book is available as a free download here: Remix – Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy
I had the privilege to meet Prof. Lessig at the iSummit held in Sapporo, Japan last year. On the spur of the moment, I presented an idea regarding CC+ licenses and a sample marketplace on ccmixter.org – it was generally considered a good idea by those in attendance, and though it’s not been implemented, I’m happy I threw the idea out there and maybe someone will act on it in the future.
Here’s a picture Bob Chao took of me doing the presentation (used under a CC BY-SA license):