Just for the record
Just want to check in as the OP of this thread and genuinely thank ALL of the users for their responses. I feel like each opinion offered me some more perspective on this decision and as of right now, I’m probaby leaning towards the latest (12th) gen i7 but plan on doing some more research first into what the i7 offers over the i5 beyond the additional cores and if AMD would suit my needs all the same. I’m still probably about a month out from my build so I’ve got a little time to make decisions.
Yes, correct. I’m not completely hopeless in regards to understanding technical specs and how it all relates to audio but I wouldn’t doubt most of the people in this thread could fill a textbook with how much more they know than me on this topic.
Responding to your other point, I may in the minority here but I can definitely tell the difference between 2 and 10ms latency. Of course, if I’m playing with 30ms latency for long enough, eventually my brain adjusts but then it becomes difficult to sit in the pocket if I suddenly switch back to zero latency hardware. For this reason, I generally like to aim to get everything to run smoothly at 128 samples, 44.1k sample rate, which is effectively no noticeable latency for me personally.
I’m also a keys player, though I’m relying more on sound generator VSTs than sample libraries. It would be nice, however, if I had the option to do both. On my current 32gb set up I’ve been avoiding some of the larger kontakt and EastWest libraries to avoid taxing my system. This is a good argument for installing 64 gb memory so I may do just that provided I can find high quality RAM at a reasonable price.
Well said. If I can just add on with my two cents: one of the things I love about this software and why I feel so confident switching over from Ableton to a DAW that I didn’t even know existed three months ago (let alone building a custom PC to run it) is not just because of Gig Performer itself but also the community here. Everyone is super eager to help and answer questions. The devs are active members of the forum and if I’m not mistaken both of them actually commented in this very thread. Two weeks ago, I posted a question on how I could accomplish a specific task in GP and a user took the time to write me a custom script which has worked from the very first iteration. I think these types of community forums have the best longevity and success when users avoid interpersonal conflict, which if left unchecked can create an environment where newer users might avoid asking questions or contributing altogether. Thanks to the mods and other users for keeping everything affable.
For my own personal context in selecting CPUs for task, I used to sweat out a $100K annual computer acquisitions budget for an office of 40 FTE staff ranging in use case from data entry to staff videographer. I built my most recent DSP slanted Windows machine last year. I thought the specs of WAVES’ newest line of DSP servers would be a fantastic free and critical pathed education, especially for a beginner, particularly because their lower-priced solutions would have to list limitations.
Waves is a particular semi-proprietary audio system and architecture designed around their software offerings which include a large number of plugins. External vendors can also build plugins that are certified to run on the Waves architecture. There are also a number of vendors whose software does run on the Waves architecture but not certified as compatible by Waves.
With respect to the Waves architecture, it is specifically designed to be able to offload certain tasks to network devices dedicated to these subtasks, all of which are further divided/designed to work with what the producer is using their software/hardware to do - namely live performance or studio work, as efficiently and fast as possible.
Waves does have a PDF available that tells the user how to set up and use the Waves gear and software, which I have included below for those who are interested.
WRT to processing power, like Celerons vs Core i9 Extremes or Xeons or various Apple monsters, all it takes is sufficient computational power to run a specific optimized architecture and software. So, yes, a (modern) Celeron can be overkill depending on what it is controlling. It’s one of the reasons for the statement that you need to understand what it is you need before designing the hardware and software to do it.
It is also worth mentioning that there is another topic in this forum from a User that runs a full Waves setup and from the description of what he is doing and the results it is absolutely a top of the line solution. The link to that discussion is below:
After my last build, I can vouch for the fact I spent more money on my build than I would have spent buying Waves hardware to do the same (actually more) thing as my rig - at least with respect to audio processing.
soundgrid-studio-manual.pdf (12.1 MB)
Check out the diagrams of the architecture if you don’t have the time or inclination to read through the documentation.
And in closing, for those of you contemplating buying new hardware and software, it is worth the time to ask Waves to give you a quote for what you’d like to do. The quote is free and their recommendations can be quite enlightening no matter what choice you make. From past experience, they are nice people and helpful.
This is precisely what I was trying to address for the OP, getting from 100,000 to maybe 50,000 or 30,000 feet as the first step in choosing what I assumed would be a single CPU solution.
Thanks sincerely for this deeper dive @CruiseCycle and the tip about getting a quote from WAVES is way better than my suggestion! And I can attest their support is top-notch too.
Thanks. It is also worth noting that GP can run on the host computer just like any other DAW and fully use the Waves hardware universe. As one of the Waves engineers told me though, they can’t guarantee that any given VST will be visible or work in a Waves patchbay unless explicitly certified by them as compatible. It has been my experience that a lot do even though not certified by Waves. However, I can also tell you that in my experience the Waves patchbays and Studio setups do work in GP in addition to every Waves VST I have from them, and I have a lot. In any case, a huge amount of the workload can be offloaded to Waves hardware but like anything else you have to pay attention to the setup. It’s worth reading through the description of the Wave User’s experience with this in this forum that was linked on my previous reply.
Also worth noting is that the members here in this forum are some of the nicest, most helpful people I have run into anywhere, bar none. As a result, when something rubs me the wrong way I have to remind myself that it’s probably me who hasn’t understood. It’s really pretty unbelievable when you consider how many nationalities and cultures are under this roof. To top it all off, the GP developers are actively engaged on a daily basis in the forum and with members. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
This is amazing. It’s definitely a beast of machine, but at this point, it would definitely be way too much for my needs to the point I might as well be throwing away money.
I should also mention that I try to steer away from Waves plugins as a matter of principle. Too many stories about disappearing licenses, incompatibility issues with updates, and users getting screwed out of their (would-be) rightfully owned software. I may catch some hate for saying that, as I know Waves tend to be pretty popular on these forums and among people with live set ups. I don’t doubt the support personnel are great but I have issues with their business practices.
I’m also pretty particular about plugins and like most people, I have many favorites that are my go tos for both instruments and effects. The risk that a Waves rig might not run one or more of my favorites probably takes them out of the running. All that being said, I’d imagine from what you guys describe that this type of system is not even necessary for me and probably a little out of my budget. I’m looking to drop $1k -1.2k USD on parts and be able to comfortably run a system that supports myself and sometimes one or two other players after putting it together. All that being said, I may take your advice, Kevin, and look into some of the Waves specs so I can get an idea of the type of Windows system/hardware that would be optimized for live audio.
LOL. As the prophet said, Know Thyself. In this case, know your requirements. When this is in hand you can define and execute what you need to do to meet them. WRT Waves, I can only speak from personal experience. It has been flawless, and interactions with their support people has been good. They also have a huge number of instructional and certification videos which definitely adds to the value.