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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Anyone knows what the minimum requirements are for Mr T's sax?
I read something like a 2Ghz, 2GB RAM computer.
Anyone tried it with an Atom processor notebook like the Asus EeePc?

They mentioned a 3,2Ghz dualcore had only a 15%load, so perhaps it might work with higher processor load on an Atom/Celeron mininotebook?

Also, current generation of netbooks do they respond fast enough for live performance?

Thanks!
 

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It all comes down to the ASIO drivers. The stock ones that come with windows, and even the ones provided by Turtle Beach or Creative are pretty much rubbish - and chew CPU like it was candy... Worse, most netbook audio cards (ALC888 or ALC662) don't even INCLUDE ASIO drivers. The problem ends up not being the softsynth at all, but that you would end up resorting to using DirectSound or MME - both of which have too high a latency for realtime music work...

Thankfully, there's ASIO4ALL.
http://www.asio4all.com/

If you install that, Kontact Player (and by extension Mr. Sax T) will use it. All ASIO4ALL really does is translate all ASIO calls into WDM (windows driver model) calls, bypassing the normal audio API's. Works great and can even breath new life into machines where the ASIO is already 'working' after a fashion - My desktop for example (Q6600, Audigy 2 ZS) saw CPU use in Reaper, Sonar and Kontact Player go from 50% or more when running multiple softsynth banks, to barely tickling the CPU at all piping everything through ASIO4ALL.

Mr. Sax T's actual requirements once you get ASIO working properly ends up much akin to what I've discovered about the Aria software that comes with the EWI USB. You add ASIO4ALL, and those requirements get cut in half.

I just built myself a busking rig for the EWI including a Roland Cube Street, lets me fit everything into a 28" duffle. The key componant of the setup is a MSI Wind U123.

The Wind U123 is pretty much typical - 1.66ghz N280 Atom processor, 1 gig RAM (I upgraded to two), win XP.... Out of the box as mentioned it had no ASIO, but ASIO4ALL took care of that right quick. I'm able to run not just Mr. Sax T, but also ARIA as plugins from inside Reaper with no problems, it doesn't even consume more than 50% CPU. I'm even able to run Cakewalk Sonar on it and use it to manage the VST's, adding the bundled Roland TT-1 softsynth and Proteus VX - and even with all of those going at once it's still leaving 20% cpu free.

Word of warning though - if you end up using Vista or Windows 7, turn off the screen saver. When the screen saver kicks in you get a half second audio glitch... and that's the BIGGEST of the problems I've had with softsynths on a netbook.

So yeah, Mr. Sax T - no real problem on netbooks. Runs great. I've run it successfully all the way down to a 1ghz P3 - the trick is to use ASIO4ALL.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Means we're investigating if low-powered computers and netbooks (which are extremely portable) can be used in live situations.

If Mr Sax's software runs with less than 50% CPU load, (be aware to see if that translates to a single thread, or multithreading), we could take it a step further and perhaps test some MID's out there.. running XP?

hehe..

The result can be very promising for electronic wind instrumentalists out there who want to play onstage.
For a mini netbook costs about $300,and the Mr T software costs about $100. That's $400 total for a very good sounding sax. An additional 150 and you have a 'perfect' sounding trumpet.
This all in a package that runs on AC or battery powered for 1 to 4 hours (depending on what sort of netbook you have).
While if you buy a Yamaha VL70-m, you have more samples (instrument sounds) available, but they generally sound less good, and are not battery powered.
Plus, you can still use the netbook for other purposes like browsing the internet, or watching movies/listening or playing with music on mp3 files.

I had the impression MR T's software needed more CPU because it's handling samples instead of tone generators.

Anyways, thanks for the help so far.. :)

(if there are any others users wanting to bring in their experiences or thoughts, they are welcome to do so!)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, I know exactly what you were asking.

The whole thing just seems ethically wrong to me somehow.
I don't think so if it works. We're just looking for a cheap alternative. I'm sure that's the reason why many buy the EWI USB, because it's cheap and already runs from a PC. It's just getting it from the studio in a Live setting,and trying to find the limitations.
As for midi signals routing through a netbook (EeePc 701) to a midi sound module (via midiOx) works pretty well for onstage! (less than 10ms delay)
 

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Oh, I know exactly what you were asking.

The whole thing just seems ethically wrong to me somehow.
Nah, it's not unethical. It just doesn't really sound like a trumpet or a sax, except to a layman.
 

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Oh, I know exactly what you were asking.

The whole thing just seems ethically wrong to me somehow.
Nah, it's not unethical. It just doesn't really sound like a trumpet or a sax, except to a layman.
I think the OP aint all that hip to what I'm trying to say....

So I'll stop wasting my keystrokes.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Oh, I know exactly what you were asking.

The whole thing just seems ethically wrong to me somehow.
Nah, it's not unethical. It just doesn't really sound like a trumpet or a sax, except to a layman.
I think the OP aint all that hip to what I'm trying to say....

So I'll stop wasting my keystrokes.
The OP is asking about hardware for specific software, not ethics!

Maybe some explanation would be useful. I know you mentioned loss of studio work earlier, I'm a pro session player so would be very sad if this meant less work for me but I'm not yet sure in what way. Should I be worried?
 

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Oh, I know exactly what you were asking.

The whole thing just seems ethically wrong to me somehow.
Nah, it's not unethical. It just doesn't really sound like a trumpet or a sax, except to a layman.
I think the OP aint all that hip to what I'm trying to say....

So I'll stop wasting my keystrokes.
The OP is asking about hardware for specific software, not ethics!

Maybe some explanation would be useful. I know you mentioned loss of studio work earlier, I'm a pro session player so would be very sad if this meant less work for me but I'm not yet sure in what way. Should I be worried?
Nah, I don't think the modeling of the attack transient inherent in saxes will make it convincing unless a lot of processing is brought to bear, which already makes a sax sound less like a sax. , IMO.

I find it difficult to believe, that a one trick pony like Mr T Sax, which lists for around $175, with an EWI usb, which is around $300, plus a netbook at around $500, not to mention that you have to power the whole thing (a consideration for busking). is really a cost effective solution.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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News flash, not every sax player works in the studio where you can do twenty odd takes until you have it 100% how you want it (and then the A&R guy mixes half of it out and applies more effects atop it)

Some people play for a HOBBY and for this amazing thing called FUN, others are looking for ways to lighten their rig when travelling, and even more alternate between Synth and Accoustic (It worked for Brecker!) so how about taking your snobbish elitist attitude elsewhere!
 

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Newsflash.

Even though this is Sax on the Web, there's a section for electronic equipment. Mostly it's for folks that use devices WITH their saxes, not INSTEAD of their saxes. Don't expect folks around here to like an EWI imitating a sax.

Not to mention that Brecker NEVER tried to make his EWI sound like his sax.
FWIW, I also own an EWI, as well as a kurzweil 2500.

Maybe you could start EWI on the web.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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News flash, not every sax player works in the studio where you can do twenty odd takes until you have it 100% how you want it (and then the A&R guy mixes half of it out and applies more effects atop it)

Some people play for a HOBBY and for this amazing thing called FUN, others are looking for ways to lighten their rig when travelling, and even more alternate between Synth and Accoustic (It worked for Brecker!) so how about taking your snobbish elitist attitude elsewhere!
I'm sorry, I try not to be snobbish, if it came over like that then my apologies!

I just don't understand why a question about software has anything to do with ethics.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
..
I find it difficult to believe, that a one trick pony like Mr T Sax, which lists for around $175, with an EWI usb, which is around $300, plus a netbook at around $500, not to mention that you have to power the whole thing (a consideration for busking). is really a cost effective solution.
It's just a matter of being smart!

MrT sax :119Eur = $166 : http://www.samplemodeling.com/en/order_sax.php
EWI = 300
Netbook: Asus EeePc $199 :http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...e&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=PRICE

Total cost:
$666 (EWI inclusive).

Add trumpet sound: +$208 = $874 and you have at least 2 good sounding instruments!

Cost EWI4000s without laptop or sound module: $699: http://keyboards-midi.musiciansfrie...WI4000s-Electronic-Wind-Controller?sku=705622
You have plenty instruments, but few to none good sounding.

Cost EWI USB + sound module + laptop to convert the USB signal to Midi:
300+200+660 = $1160 : you have some reasonably good sounding instruments

Cost EWI4000s+sound module:
700 + 660 = $1360 : Same as above

Add patchman's turbo chip... and you know how much it costs...

Any more explanation?

You can even switch that netbook with a $90 more expensive model ($279 Atom EeePc 901 or the same priced MSI Wind U100)

As for me I won't need to buy a netbook, because I already own one, and I think a lot of people have a laptop at home, so that's a cost they can substract from the total price.
 

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Well, keep me posted how it turns out. I'm skeptical.
 

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There have been similar concerns throughout music history: records replacing live music, overdubbing vs. direct recording, DJs versus live bands, synthesizers replacing real instruments, sampling.....it goes on and on. All that's really happened is the creation of new markets for manufacturing gear. Most buy these as toys for personal enjoyment, maybe to use in composition and home demos, perhaps even in a live setting but that's rare. I've never seen anyone get as excited by a trumpet sample or the horn patch on a keyboard, or the generated vocal harmonies of a stompbox, where a good horn solo at an open mic will bring the house down. I understand the sentiment, but I wouldn't sweat it.
 

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Most buy these as toys for personal enjoyment, maybe to use in composition and home demos, perhaps even in a live setting but that's rare. I've never seen anyone get as excited by a trumpet sample or the horn patch on a keyboard, or the generated vocal harmonies of a stompbox, where a good horn solo at an open mic will bring the house down.
EXACTLY.

I really don't see how this 'threatens' the studio performer - since it really doesn't as already pointed out, sound like a sax. A few people (like Bernie Kenerson) use the EWI to play lead, but when mixing in the studio and they want a sax, they're still going to call a sax player.

Of course if talking about a netbook for Mr. Sax T it's probably to add it to a synth rig and the BEST way to play it is with a wind controller - which means you STILL need a musician behind it, so where's the loss?

It's not like these things are going to play themselves, and when/if you try to have that happen you end up with garbage. Nothing can replace the human 'spark' when it comes to music. (unless you're talking that twinkly soft AM radio crap you hear behind female pop vocalists like Celine)
 
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