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Articles September - October 2023

Capturing The True Essence Of Sound New!

From Lewitt Audio's Pure Tube Microphone to Sennheiser's Profile USB Microphone, these studio microphones offer precise audio quality to the users and deliver crisp, clear sound. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Photo Feature: Studio Showcase New!

From A.R. Rahman's studio in Mumbai to composer Raag Sethi's first Dolby-compliant studio in Gujarat, PALM Expo Magazine's Studio Showcase features the latest studios in India. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mastering The Art Of Sound With Donal Whelan New!

Whelan talks to the PALM Expo Magazine Team and discusses his foray into the world of mastering, his unique experience at the PALM Conference 2023, and more. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Nx Audio Celebrates Two Decades Of Pro Audio Journey New!

Nx Audio completes 20 years of delivering pro audio products for the Indian pro sound industry. Read about Nx Audio's journey over the last two decades. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mumbai Studio Explores New Verticals With Genelec Monitors New!

The combination of Genelec Smart Active Monitors and digital audio interface delivered an ideal monitoring solution for BOING Recording Studios. read more

Articles September - October 2023

IRAA Awards 2023: Jury Reflections New!

Read about IRAA Jury's perspective on the bigger questions in the music industry - AI for music production, the status of mega consoles, & emerging trends in sound recording & mixing. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Gray Spark Audio Opens New Studio For Academy Students New!

PALM Expo Magazine Team talks to Ronak Runwal to explore how the newly-designed Studio D is poised to become a recording haven for the academy students. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Firdaus Studio: Building A Sonic Paradise For Recording Artists New!

The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman stands as a beacon of innovation in the music production industry. PALM Expo Magazine explores the making of the musical maestro's magnus opus in the recording landscape. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Naveen Deshpande Elevates Stand-Up Comedy with Bespoke Lighting Designs New!

Naveen Deshpande, a renowned lighting designer, made heads turn through his recent collaboration with India's leading stand-up comedian, Zakir Khan, during the latter's international tour. read more


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Dummies Guide to Computers for Live Sound Recordings & Audio Applications Engineering

I am not a computer geek, computers interest me, because it really helps me understand how I can get the best of my software applications, be it Test & Measurement, Recording and a Control Command Centre of various applications made by manufacturers that are made to get the best of their sound systems.

To begin with, I prefer making my own machines for serious applications and for starters rack-mount servers with commercially available parts according to me are the best starting points to build good machines for your relevant applications.

The motto here is RELIABILITY, SPEED & MORE SPEED and to do so I am going backwards. Lets get to the genesis of making a good piece of well built gear, this includes even computers.

Power Supply

Having a good supply will give you great stability and reliability for the system; any compromises here will lead to shutdown and you wouldn’t want that especially if your computer was passing audio and serial part of the audio chain. There is a rule in electronics engineering and that rule is so true even till today that ‘A great design is always benchmarked by the construction and quality of its power supply’.

Cooling & Noise

Not many know that computers slow down if they overheat and cooling plays a vital role in keeping all the parts running at the same speed equilibrium, for audio based applications the noise levels of the cooling has to be extremely quiet especially with computers built for recording applications, there fans needs to be pretty silent enough to keep a low noise floor in the room. Nowadays even the memory like the SSD & the RAM have heat sinks designed for them to make sure the speeds are consistent, no matter how hard they are driven by the applications.

Chassis

Strength and cooling here make a big difference, weak inferior quality chassis causes problems with computers that travel and my advice is to never use a desktop machine for a professional application no matter how convenient it is to procure. Well-built rack mount chassis servers ensure that the parts of the computer are not flexed in transit and because all the parts are horizontally placed and not vertically the reliability of the machines are far much better.

Hard Disk

Don’t look below SSD’s out here and their speed cannot be matched by the HDD counterparts; whilst we all love SSD’s the new speedster on the block is M.2 pronounced as (M dot Two). It is the new speed king and this can really read and write at some amazing speeds and also the fact that it sits directly on your motherboard eliminating a cable. I can tell you it’s a bump in itself to invest in M.2. Off course you cannot ignore the price of regular hard disks and those come in use for archiving your recordings after the days work and backup.

RAM

RAM is expensive and good quality RAM with a high switching frequency is even costlier. It amazes me after all these years, the price of RAM is always so prohibitive and I can honestly tell you if you are not going to spend good money here then its pointless aiming for a speed demon computer, no matter how fast your processor is. Go for the best, the higher the RAM capacity the better, and if your motherboard supports higher switching frequencies then get that RAM to take your performance to the next level; you wont be disappointed.

Motherboard

No matter how expensive parts are, so many guys build machines with cheap motherboards and I don’t understand why or probably I do! Is it because they cannot market themselves like the processors do is probably the reason we ignore this element altogether. However the name suggests, “Motherboard” doesn’t that ring a bell that an i7 chip is so vulnerable to the abilities of its motherboard it sits on.

Chipset

Whilst AMD and Intel fight for supremacy the consumers benefit with more bang for the buck and now that we are in i7’s 8th Generation audio related tasks are such a breeze, speeds really matter with video related editing and hence people in the audio industry go with i5 machines, well here is the biggest mistake we make and the advantages of i7 are only realized when you are doing tasks in the field and the speed plays a very vital role. In roles of applications engineering an i7 just radically improves the speed.

GPU Graphics Board

We all generally use our onboard graphics cards to monitor our computers work, however we also run out of speed on our applications so often and we end up blaming our computers advanced abilities until we add a graphics board and a good quality graphics board can be the most expensive piece of hardware in your machine. This is very relevant with gaming applications and not much heed is paid to a graphics card for audio recording applications, however a graphics card added to the motherboard for running audio applications that have graphics intensive applications help a lot in relieving the on-board CPU’s processing horsepower to do other applications

Networking

Gigabit networking has changed how we control all our equipment in the field, however I always see audio companies resorting to cheap consumer grade network switches for controlling their loudspeakers or LAN based digital audio transport systems and very low quality cables for protocolling between the devices, you cannot even imagine how important the quality of your network switches should be in order to have robust networking across your system and especially if you have over 100 amplifiers on your network then the computers on-board LAN or your LAN card has to be top notch.

Benchmarking

Total system benchmarking of the machine is a evaluation of the machines total ability to handle all the tasks you have applied it too and I assure you if you followed this simple ready reckoner, your computer will give you amazing service in the field for yours to come.

Warren D’souza - Founder, Managing Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com

#SoundGuyForlife
#AudioEvangelist

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