That was a good treatment. Most of that advanced stuff is relevant to video
and multi-track audio running multiple plugins or tape machine emulation
where synchronized overdubbing requires very fast i/o speeds. For simple
classical 8-channel mixes, my ancient early-2010 Athlon II is still
adequate. A friend who is an uber-geek insists that 64bit Windows systems
have better security, even if you don't need the horsepower.
The article does hint at one thing that runs counter to the main concerns of
pro-audio users, and that is the matter of noise generated within the system
and its effect on external DAC performance. (Could also effect ADC for
recording to DAW, I suppose.) Cutting-edge computer audiophiles have for
several years been experimenting with SLOWER systems as data sources for
USB- or Firewire-connected converters. Some claim obvious improvements when
using Atom-based systems that have lower clock speeds, minimized running
services, and integrated USB busses replaced with expansion boards powered
by linear, filtered, sometimes battery-powered power-supplies. Yes, the
computer has a "sound."
Another tweekoid thing that's easier to try is RAM playback - that is
sourcing the audio files from RAM rather than directly from the HD or
network. The suggestion is that RAM has faster access to the system buss
with fewer interruptions in data flow caused by our primitive, non-realtime,
preemptive multitasking computers. Foobar2000 users can try it by installing
the RAM-DISK component.
For adventurous W7 owners there is Jplay. This utility package includes a
cute little console player and a backend interface to USB converters. The
interface has options for different OS audio stacks (kernel streaming
preferred) and ram capacities.
But the real wacked out thing is its system suspension capability. In this
mode, you hit play and the whole GUI goes to sleep, along with video,
keyboard, mouse, and as many other processes as possible, to eliminate as
much noise and process contention as possible. The downside is that without
video and input devices, you can't stop or pause the music; it plays until
it is done or you turn off the machine! Somewhat inconvenient if you've
loaded up a Bruckner symphony and then the phone rings.
In this mode, I've had the best sounding playback from my computer via USB
yet; another level of subtlety, cleanliness, and musicality, on Redbook as
well as higher-rez audio. (Surprisingly, better than the headless Vortex box
server.) But, the suspension is unstable enough that it doesn't always give
the system back after the files have played, requiring a nasty pull-the-plug
reboot. They've just issued a new version, but with the concert season
beginning, I don't want to risk messing up my DAW with experimentation.
Maybe Micky isn't using her laptop....
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Roderic G Stephens
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 8:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A New Mix Magazine Article
I just read this article as it pertains to DAWs and other high end video
editing platforms. It's pretty easy reading for laymen as well as pros.
The future seems to be heading toward solid state drives and more speed for
those who need it.http://mixonline.com/gear/reviews/other/mac_vs_pc/