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In Reply to: RE: Using a computer as a live virtual synth? posted by Dman on April 28, 2010 at 08:31:03
I appreciate your advice, but it would mean buying a laptop and an external sound card when I already have a computer with a sound card. I might be able to find a low-end laptop, but my experience with laptops has been that they are more prone to things like overheating and power supply failures than desktops, especially as they age. Then there are the too-small keyboards, etc.... I know some people love their laptops, but I've never really trusted them. You can't downsize a computer that much without making serious compromises.
The replacement power supply arrived yesterday, and, after installing it, I have no more random crashes, and the cooling fans (it has three) are properly coordinated.
Remember, I'm used to moving a 1959 Hammond C-3 and a Leslie 122. Compared to those, even a large desktop computer tower is nothing :-)
Also, this is just for occasionally playing at bars with friends. It's not a money-making enterprise.
Go to Apples site and see if you can find the Thermal calibration
download for that Mac
I think Thermal calibration is included in the diagnostic cds
Im not sure if a regular consumer can download that stuff.
I can cause we have a license to do so here at the University and Im a tech
I guess I didnt see what Mac your running
Pro Sound Guy,
I'm running a 2002 Quicksilver G4. It was originally an 800Mhz single G4, but the previous owner installed a PowerLogix PowerForce dual 1Ghz G4 CPU daughtercard. It's maxed out with quality RAM and has a bootable SATA card for faster hard drive access.
Unfortunately, PowerLogix stopped updating the "CPU Director" software for this card after 10.4.8, so, although the processors and caches are fully functional under later OS versions, there doesn't seem to be any way to read the CPU temperature. I've tried various temperature monitor utilities, and they can't find it.
However, just touching the heatsink, it seems to be running cooler. This case is, in my opinion, one of Apple's worst designs in terms of airflow. It has three fans exhausting hot air, and the smallest of the three exhausts the air around the CPU heatsink. If the other fans are running too fast, they work against the CPU cooling fan. (The heatsink does have its own dedicated fan mounted on it in addition to the exhaust fan.)
Before installing the replacement power supply, the power supply fan ran fast all the time; now, it runs more slowly, and the air temperature of all the fan outlets is about the same. I also noticed that the Acbel power supply I bought that works correctly has Nichicon and Rubycon capacitors in it. The Delta unit that apparently wasn't working right used capacitors by manufacturers I've never heard of.
I've also removed the case's plastic back panel, and I'm thinking of removing the top plastic panel. They're merely cosmetic and trap heat.
(Thank goodness for the G5 case design: lots of airflow and a bare aluminum exterior--no plastic panels to insulate it.)
Using AU Lab, it seem to have enough processing power to run most plugins with no problems. GForce Minimonsta is something of an exception if you try to run it with lots of polyphony. Standard monophonic Minimoog is fine, and it's OK up to around 5-6 voices. GForce's default setting of 8 voices per patch, however, turns it into a CPU hog, but that's pretty much what most users have said about it. The 133Mhz memory bus speed of the Quicksilver is probably a bottleneck compared to something like my main computer, a dual processor G5.
My brother gave me an extra UPS unit from a batch he bought on sale for my family's business. Now, I just need another flat panel monitor--in black to be unobtrusive.
Since you insist on using this Mac, I suggest you wipe the hard disk and install only the OS and audio software you need from scratch. I don't believe you've indicated this was done--who knows what it is running?
If you still have crashes, the only thing you can do is replace the RAM and hard disk, and disconnect every device you don't need (CD, USB bus, etc). If you still have problems then, it's probably the logic board and you ought to just scrap it. There's no magic fix after a certain point, the computer's 8 years old, they're not meant to last.
The nice thing about that Nord, is for the same amount of money as that Mac, it'd likely still be working. You at least wouldn't have to buy another Nord to get a working one!
Point taken regarding the laptop issues. WE use them all the time and haven't had any problems... yet! But my guitarist is religious about his compy upkeep (he's in the programming biz... go figure!).
I too know just how heavy a B-3 is- my uncle has one from the same era (he was a progger from the 70's!), with two Leslies, a 122 and a 147 (?). When he's gone (hopefully not too soon), that, and a ton of vintage keyboards come my way!
"When a musician believes that music is a commodity, music dies in them." - Robert Fripp
When you get the B-3, go to the Hamtech e-mail list for any repair/restoration issues. That's where the true experts hang out.
I like using two Leslies in tandem, preferably stacked one on top of the other, and my favorite combination is one pre-1963 single-speed Leslie (Fast & Stop) and one post-1963 two-speed Leslie (Slow & Fast).
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