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MoveEleven

Hardware For Composition/Production

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I am in the market for a new PC desktop/laptop. I would like to use East West Composers' Cloud and the Play engine. A friend of mine told me the Play engine takes quite a significant time to load samples even on his 2018 iMac with 64 GB. Is it necessary for me to spend $5000 on a desktop with a top of the line Xeon Gold 18-core processor and 128 GB RAM to use the Play engine effectively? Or should I be able to find very convincing and beautiful sample libraries and run them seamlessly without spending that much?

Any advice, thanks!

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You won't need to spend all that much. Sample libraries usually take quite a bit of time to load in almost every computer, as you have noted, so what really changes is the capacity of the pc to render the audio without losing quality, glitching, or god forbid me, crashing.

Now, it will all depend on the music you compose as well. If you write a 200 track orchestral track with a tutti every 20 seconds, then yes, you will probably need a monster of a computer. However, my pc is from 2015, has an Intel Core I7 3.60GHz, 16gb of RAM, with a pretty decent graphics card, and I've never had a problem with it. Recently I'm only using NotePerformer, so I haven't needed that much processing power anyways.

Now, if you have the option, I'd recommend getting a desktop, as you can get a whole lot more procecssing power for a lot less money. I don't know if you have a preferencec over Mac or pc, but I'm a huge fan of Dell. Building your own pc also has huge advantages, succh as a lowered price.

At the end of the day, you just have to find the best deal for what you want to do, which simply takes looking at your options/budget and picking whaat seems to have the biggest value/money.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the reply.

I definitely want a PC--I have been looking at Dell. Dell has an XPS 17" laptop coming out this Summer with 64 GB RAM and a 10th gen i9 processor--my other option is the Precision desktop with a slightly better processor--not sure. You said you never needed much processing power. Have you ever put your machine to the test with heavier libraries? 

There are many guides I have found online for composers regarding which samples/software/DAWs, but not much info on specific hardware requirements.

Edited by MoveEleven

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1 hour ago, MoveEleven said:

I am in the market for a new PC desktop/laptop. I would like to use East West Composers' Cloud and the Play engine. A friend of mine told me the Play engine takes quite a significant time to load samples even on his 2018 iMac with 64 GB. Is it necessary for me to spend $5000 on a desktop with a top of the line Xeon Gold 18-core processor and 128 GB RAM to use the Play engine effectively? Or should I be able to find very convincing and beautiful sample libraries and run them seamlessly without spending that much?

Any advice, thanks!

Absolutely not necessary. 

The speed at which samples load has less to do with PC itself and more with the drive. You'll want to use an SSD to store the sample libraries on, and stream off that. If not using an internal SSD, then you can buy external ones for ~100, just make sure it's USB 3.0 I stream all my samples (at one time the composer cloud too) from an external SSD and it all loads pretty quickly.

16 gigs of RAM and any quad-core processor from the the last five years should be all you need. However, since you're going with East West specifically, you may want to max out the RAM because, at least since I last used it, PLAY was notorious for not having a Kontakt-style "sample purge" feature, you'll basically have to load all the sample from any given instrument. In Kontakt, you can set it so that Kontakt will only load in samples as you play them.

You should be able to build a PC that can do what you need for less than a 1000. 

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Play got a bad rap for the load times. But that was fixed about two years ago with more efficient code. It may be slower, but only by a little. I use both Play and Kontakt and they load about the same time to me. But the most demanding libraries I have are those running on Kontakt. Spitfire Solo Violin, for example. These heavily scripted instruments are CPU intensive and that's the trend. But nothing in the East West collection is that scripted, so far.

 

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