Will this system do for now?

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Tunesmith
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Will this system do for now?

Post by Tunesmith » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:43 pm

Hi All,

I've been researching in to fully upgrade from my vintage Atari ST and Roland VS1680 workstation. I am planning on using Tracktion and bought the Behringer UMC204HD 2x4 24-B/192 kHz USB Interface which includes VS 6 of Tracktion. So my question is would this Dell PC do the trick? It seems so but I just want t be sure..

Fast Dell Optiplex Desktop PC Computer Dual Core 3.0Ghz 4GB 1TB Win 10 Pro

Tracktion requirements:

Windows 7,8,10
Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz Processor
2GB RAM (4GB Recommended)

Thank you for your input!

Linda C.

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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by waveheavy » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:23 pm

As long as you're not planning on loading up a bunch of VST's and high track count the Dell ought to work fine.


Tunesmith wrote:Hi All,

I've been researching in to fully upgrade from my vintage Atari ST and Roland VS1680 workstation. I am planning on using Tracktion and bought the Behringer UMC204HD 2x4 24-B/192 kHz USB Interface which includes VS 6 of Tracktion. So my question is would this Dell PC do the trick? It seems so but I just want t be sure..

Fast Dell Optiplex Desktop PC Computer Dual Core 3.0Ghz 4GB 1TB Win 10 Pro

Tracktion requirements:

Windows 7,8,10
Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz Processor
2GB RAM (4GB Recommended)

Thank you for your input!

Linda C.

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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by Len911 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:08 am

Linda, yes it will work.

A couple thoughts. Dell and HP are a couple of brands that can be a problem upgrading, proprietary and non-standard size components. However, if you are buying an off-lease, at a cheap price, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

You didn't say what you were buying it for?
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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by Tunesmith » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:41 am

Len911 wrote:Linda, yes it will work.

A couple thoughts. Dell and HP are a couple of brands that can be a problem upgrading, proprietary and non-standard size components. However, if you are buying an off-lease, at a cheap price, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Hi Thank both of you for your replies. I did find out that dual core and core 2 duo have two different meanings. So best to stick with the core 2 duo as Tracktion requires it! I'm looking to get something to start with. So I found this:, (the link is below)
Dell with 1TB, 8 MG ram, 19" screen. I need a PC monitor, so this includes everything I need for $184 with free shipping..refurbished. I have 2 other dells I have bought refurbished and they have been great workhorses...

DO VST's take up a lot of Ram? I do plan on using them, so what is it I need so I can have a load of them up? more ram or HD space? I can put in another HD.

Thank you!
Linda C

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLEARANCE-Fast- ... PiukX89vTQ

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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by waveheavy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:23 am

Have you tried newegg.com, or one of those places? Seems like I recall they have refurbished units also.

If you're wanting to lay down a rhythm section so you can play and sing on top of that, then yeah, the more RAM the better. And at least 2 hard drives, one for Windows and the other for your music Audio projects. Hard drive needs to be at least a 7,200 RPM drive. If the computer is not too old, you can probably find some more RAM for it (always in stick pairs and must match motherboard' manufacturer's specs for type.) You can probably get by with 8 Gb, but I'd recommend 16 Gb RAM. The RAM is where your selected VST samples are temporarily stored while you're composing. If you don't have enough RAM you have to default to relying on a section of your hard drive being used as a temporary cache in place of RAM, which is especially why you need another hard drive for audio with low amount of RAM.

The bottleneck for RAM is what the motherboard and CPU can handle. 64 bit Windows allows more than 4 Gb RAM (Windows 7 and later versions). A motherboard might have 8 slots for RAM, and you could put 8 sticks of 8 Gb RAM each to total 64 Gb of RAM, but the CPU might only handle up to 32 Gb of RAM, so 32 Gb would be wasted and essentially be doing nothing.

Most DAWs include some kind of drum kit and bass, organ, etc., so I'd look and see what's included in Tracktion before laying out more money for separate VST's if you're trying to keep to a tight budget.

Sorry to post so much, but building a computer is not really that difficult today. The biggest chore is just matching the main components like motherboard, CPU, RAM, and power supply. There's some differences with graphics card requirements, like Pro Tools has a requirement for Quadro type graphics cards. (Quadro is NVIDIA's professional level graphics card for DCC, or digital content creation workstations.) Pro Tools will work OK enough without a Quadro graphics card, but for better DAW performance the Quadro makes a difference. Should not be something you would need with Tracktion or any other DAW that I know of. Most computer manufacturers today provide 'on-board' integrated graphics on the motherboard, which uses your CPU and RAM, so that's why Avid Pro Tools suggests a separate Quadro graphics card.

This is why I said as long as you're not going to load up a lot VSTs, the Dell would work. But the more GHz board speed, RAM, and powerful CPU, and separate graphics card, and 2 hard drives, the better.


Tunesmith wrote:
Hi Thank both of you for your replies. I did find out that dual core and core 2 duo have two different meanings. So best to stick with the core 2 duo as Tracktion requires it! I'm looking to get something to start with. So I found this:, (the link is below)
Dell with 1TB, 8 MG ram, 19" screen. I need a PC monitor, so this includes everything I need for $184 with free shipping..refurbished. I have 2 other dells I have bought refurbished and they have been great workhorses...

DO VST's take up a lot of Ram? I do plan on using them, so what is it I need so I can have a load of them up? more ram or HD space? I can put in another HD.

Thank you!
Linda C

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLEARANCE-Fast- ... PiukX89vTQ

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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by Tunesmith » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:55 pm

Thank you Wave! I am going to refer to all you posted as I proceed! I will see if I can upgrade it to 16 meg. I actually thought 8 was kind of small for what would be going on...i have an extra HD here I think will work.

When I am done and running I will post what I did so others will have a guide.

Best,
Linda C

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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by Len911 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:43 pm

I'd be careful about going too crazy with more ram, because you still have the older processor, core 2 duo vs. say an i5.

I would see how that works first, extra hard drive or two for samples is fine. You can always render audio tracks if necessary or other processor/memory savers/techniques.

Many vst's like Kontakt and others have settings for disk streaming to save on memory usage.

The thing to keep in mind, is that the limit is really about how many tracks you need to process at once with all of the effects without rendering the track to audio and releasing the instruments and effects. If you render a track to audio and need to go back and change some things, you already have the midi and automation, if you save the settings on the effects as presets, you can always go back and make adjustments and re-render to audio, no big deal. If you want to keep a whole orchestra open and with all the processors and automation, and all effects on all the busses right down to the final, then you need the biggest computer with the most memory and processing power.
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Re: Will this system do for now?

Post by mojobone » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:39 pm

To be clear, Core 2 Duo or better is recommended, maybe not necessarily required. Tracktion can run on some fairly weak laptops, just not if you load up a lot of virtual instruments and tracks. I've gotten as many as 20 tracks to run glitch free on a Win7 Core I3 latop with a single drive and no virtual instruments. The main bottleneck in that situation is you'd be reading/writing to/from the same drive, which is no bueno. USB 3 and and an external (or additional internal) drive to write audio to would be my first recommendation, maybe even before upgrading the RAM.
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