Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD?

Posted by: soundedge

Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/18/12 11:37 PM

Hello,

I'm sorry for this beginner question, but I'm looking to buy a new drive to use Synthogy Ivory and need a bit of advice. Since my budget is strained, I'd have to install Windows 7 + Ivory + a few video games on an SSD. I'm aware that this isn't the ideal solution, but do you think I will run into problems using this method? What I want to avoid are sound problems like crackling noises and dropouts due to a "slow disk".

Or would I be better off installing just Ivory on an HDD? My main focus is on playing the piano, a faster computer start-up etc. are secondary. My computer's specs: Intel 2500k, 8 GB RAM, Asus Xonar DX. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Patrick
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 12:01 AM

How about one SSD for the OS, apps, and games, and another SSD for Ivory and any other music software you purchase in the future?

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 12:01 AM

With that system you will not have any problems with Ivory regardless of whether it's on an SSD or HDD. It has streaming tech that stores the first part of each note in memory (a few hundred megabytes, most likely, and probably a tunable parameter). It fetches the tail end of the note while you are holding the key down. It always has it by the time it needs it.

I don't own Ivory but I run Galaxy on an old core 2 duo, underclocked, with a 5400 rpm hard drive and 2 GB ram and I have no issues whatsoever.

Stick Ivory wherever you have room. It will be fine. Problems like crackling are typically due to bad audio drivers these days, not slow hard drives.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 06:20 AM

I did a double take when I saw your question because I just upgraded to an SSD specifically for the Ivory II American Concert D last week. I see you are PC user - and as a Mac user I make a point of not advising PC owners on hardware setup issues - because I don't know which information that applies to Macs will or won't also apply to PCs due to hardware, OS, and application software differences. So ordinarily I wouldn't respond to your question. But since I just went through HDD vs SSD comparisons on the Ivory II last week I will share my observations as they apply to Macs.

i.e. You may want to ignore the rest of my comments - they may not apply at all to your situation. But I will post these comments because a Mac user will someday have your same question and find the title of this thread in a search.

So with that HUGE caveat, here is the situation I found on a Mac.

I previously ran Ivory II GP's standalone with a 128 sample buffer (44.1 kHz) and a 96 voice limit set on a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo iMac with the samples on a 7200 rpm Firewire 800 external disc drive. I never had "Slow Disk" messages, or the accompanying dropouts. When I added the Ivory II American Concert D, which includes a new version standalone app and AU Plug-ins, I started getting "Slow Disk" messages when the number of actual voices reached around 80 in number. It is very easy to generate 80 or more voices with this program. The samples are longer (5-8 secs in the program readout depending on the notes - the undamped top strings are the longest) on the American D than the previous Ivory II pianos, so more notes overlap even when released and there may be other differences in the newer version app as well. Bottom line, I had to increase my buffer to 256 samples (or reduce the number of voices) to eliminate the "Slow Disk" messages and accompanying audio artifacts, neither of which I wanted to do. According to my Mac disk activity monitor the Firewire 800 HD was hitting about 30 MB/s (with 80 voices) when the "Slow Disk" messages appeared, but the maximum transfer rate of the Firewire 800 HD measured well over 80 MB/s (which is expected from FW 800 transfers). So I concluded the problem was not the FW800 transfer limit, but instead the random access time of the mechanical hard drive.

So I purchased a 256 GB SSD with an external FW800 (and USB 3) interface since the random access time of the SSD is negligible, approximately 0.1 mS. Once I moved the samples to the SSD it solved the issue entirely. I was able to run up over 250 voices according to the Ivory II readout (using the sustain pedal and pressing an unrealistic number of keys) before getting the "Slow Disk" message and artifacts using a 128 sample buffer. I bought the SSD with a USB 3 interface (which is about 5 times faster than FW800) - just in case the SSD limited by FW800 didn't solve the problem.

For my normal playing with the SSD I set the audio buffer to 64 samples (below that I could generate occasional ticks and pops from maxing out the CPU) and the maximum voices at 128. At 80-100 voices, which my normal playing generated, the transfer rate measured a maximum around 60 MB/s with no "Slow Disk" messages. The SSD still measured over 80 MB/s max due to Firewire 800, but Ivory II simply didn't need to go faster with my playing.

So I want to stress the original limitation was due to the random access time of the 7200 rpm disc (5400 rpm discs have even slower access times). That had limited the number of voices I could get with a 128 sample buffer and forced me to a 256 sample buffer. With the faster random access SSD, still using the same FW800 interface, I could reduce the buffer to 64 samples and increase the voices to 128 (that was an arbitrary choice over the max voices I needed and I'm not sure of the max number of voices I could have used with the 64 sample buffer, but I got over 250 voices with a 128 sample buffer).

----

The other observation I will make is that the Galaxy Vintage D - Kontakt program streams samples at a MUCH lower rate from the disc than Ivory II. It never exceeded about 7 MB/s from the disc in my playing when using 256 voices and a 128 sample buffer. (Voices are not counted the same way by the Ivory II program and Kontakt - Kontakt counts release samples and Ivory doesn't for instance.) The Vintage D samples are shorter and I think they may also be compressed. In any event, I never had any slow disc issues with the Vintage D or Alicia's Keys (also Kontakt) using the mechanical HD.

So hopefully this information will be useful to a Mac user considering an SSD, and the big point I want to make is that the random access time of the mechanical drive was the limiting factor and not a FW800 interface (on the other hand, a USB 2 interface would have been limiting for Ivory II - probably not for the Vintage D). Finally, I again stress this information is my experience with a Mac, and may not apply at all to a PC user because the hardware, OS, and virtual piano software is different.

------

BTW, I'm now happier with the American Concert D (I wasn't happy with increasing the latency or reducing voices before the SSD) and will reassess it vs the Vintage D (which I had previously favored).
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 08:13 AM

Macy: Thanks for that detailed writeup. Just btw, does Ivory have any settings for the disk streaming? (i.e like Kontakt's pre-load size) I did some testing of Kontakt with different pre-load sizes, and it can affect polyphony. However, I was doing artificial performance testing - not playing normally.

Greg. (on Windows)
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 09:53 AM

Wow, I did not realize there was such a difference in the effective requirements of Ivory vs Galaxy. Somehow I had the impression that they were on par. Thanks Macy.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 11:22 AM

Galaxy pianos are at 4 to 6 GB per piano (Vienna, Vintage D, and Steinway).

Ivory's samples were quite large in v1.5 ... over 60 GB for four pianos.
It seems the Ivory v2 samples are larger still.
Posted by: djwayne

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 12:41 PM

I tried putting my Ivory II program on a 128 gig ssd...it worked great for about a month then my computer couldn't find the ssd any more, It was like it was completely dead, so I went back to putting my Ivory II program on a standard but seperate hard drive, which in my opinion is much more reliable, and it's working like a charm....

I have East West's Symphonic Orchestra on a different ssd and that's working fine.

So I'd say ssd's are a gamble.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Macy: Thanks for that detailed writeup. Just btw, does Ivory have any settings for the disk streaming? (i.e like Kontakt's pre-load size) I did some testing of Kontakt with different pre-load sizes, and it can affect polyphony. However, I was doing artificial performance testing - not playing normally.

Greg. (on Windows)


Ivory II has a Small, Medium, Large setting for the RAM sample buffer (this is for the digital audio file samples not the audio sample buffer, i.e. it has no effect on latency) but the sizes are not specified anywhere that I can find. That's it.

On the Vintage D-Kontakt I use the maximum preload size, which is about 240 KB per sample, which results in a total preload of 720 MB. That's 3000 samples (720 MB/240 kB). (Alicia's Keys preloads about 1.26 GB of samples, which is almost twice as many samples as the Vintage D.) If you divide 3000 samples by 88 notes, that's about 34 samples per note. The Vintage D has up to 13 layers and it has soft pedal samples, sustain resonance samples and also release samples. But the total size of the samples stored on the disc is only 4.23 GB (not counting the Pads which are 1.12 GB). On the other hand, the Ivory II American Concert D has almost 49 GB of samples on the disc and doesn't use separate sustain resonance samples.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 02:45 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Galaxy pianos are at 4 to 6 GB per piano (Vienna, Vintage D, and Steinway).

Ivory's samples were quite large in v1.5 ... over 60 GB for four pianos.
It seems the Ivory v2 samples are larger still.


Yeah, about 49 GB alone for the American Concert D.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 02:53 PM

For Vintage D, I load the default of 197 MB.
Why do you load so much more (720 MB)?
Originally Posted By: Macy
On the Vintage D-Kontakt I use the maximum preload size, which is about 240 KB per sample, which results in a total preload of 720 MB.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: djwayne
I tried putting my Ivory II program on a 128 gig ssd...it worked great for about a month then my computer couldn't find the ssd any more, It was like it was completely dead, so I went back to putting my Ivory II program on a standard but seperate hard drive, which in my opinion is much more reliable, and it's working like a charm....

I have East West's Symphonic Orchestra on a different ssd and that's working fine.

So I'd say ssd's are a gamble.


There have been reports of reliability problems with some SSDs, particularly early models, and also there were a few wacky firmware problems in some models. I use Samsung SSDs on my computers and they have had a very good reliability track record. I used a new Samsung 840 256 GB SSD, just released, for the piano samples. It is a different technology (TLC, rather than MLC) than the previous Samsung 830's I use, so I suppose it is a bit of a gamble. But when it comes to technology I like living on the edge. smile
Posted by: RafaPolit

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
For Vintage D, I load the default of 197 MB.
Why do you load so much more (720 MB)?

The more you load on memory, the less it has to stream from the HD. You can find a good compromise depending on the amount of RAM and speed of your HD.

For what is worth, I keep it at default and it loads about 257MB (when most of the 'extras' are turned on like repedaling, release and noises are loaded).

Macy's approach may work much nicer for systems with lots of available RAM. How much do you have Macy?

Rafa.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
For Vintage D, I load the default of 197 MB.
Why do you load so much more (720 MB)?
Originally Posted By: Macy
On the Vintage D-Kontakt I use the maximum preload size, which is about 240 KB per sample, which results in a total preload of 720 MB.

It reduces latency requirements when playing notes the first time and I have a lot of RAM, so why not?
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: RafaPolit
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
For Vintage D, I load the default of 197 MB.
Why do you load so much more (720 MB)?

The more you load on memory, the less it has to stream from the HD. You can find a good compromise depending on the amount of RAM and speed of your HD.

For what is worth, I keep it at default and it loads about 257MB (when most of the 'extras' are turned on like repedaling, release and noises are loaded).

Macy's approach may work much nicer for systems with lots of available RAM. How much do you have Macy?

Rafa.


I'm running 8 GB of RAM. The iMac is 2 years old and soon to be retired so I haven't added more RAM to it. I'll go to 16 GB in its replacement.

Even with 8 GB I have no trouble running several Ivory II pianos and Vintage D all at the same time in MainStage so I can instantly switch pianos, even without cutting off notes from the previous piano. But 16 GB will allow even more pianos to be loaded simultaneously.
Posted by: Kos

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 03:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy

On the Vintage D-Kontakt I use the maximum preload size, which is about 240 KB per sample, which results in a total preload of 720 MB.

Mine's at 830MB with the effects turned on smile

Originally Posted By: RafaPolit
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
For Vintage D, I load the default of 197 MB.
Why do you load so much more (720 MB)?

The more you load on memory, the less it has to stream from the HD.

This ^^
With the price on RAM so ridiculously low nowadays, it has pretty much become a standard for your average desktop to have a 6-8 gigs of memory. That's enough to fit an entire library and then some, if only software would allow it smile
Posted by: djwayne

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 07:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: djwayne
I tried putting my Ivory II program on a 128 gig ssd...it worked great for about a month then my computer couldn't find the ssd any more, It was like it was completely dead, so I went back to putting my Ivory II program on a standard but seperate hard drive, which in my opinion is much more reliable, and it's working like a charm....

I have East West's Symphonic Orchestra on a different ssd and that's working fine.

So I'd say ssd's are a gamble.


There have been reports of reliability problems with some SSDs, particularly early models, and also there were a few wacky firmware problems in some models. I use Samsung SSDs on my computers and they have had a very good reliability track record. I used a new Samsung 840 256 GB SSD, just released, for the piano samples. It is a different technology (TLC, rather than MLC) than the previous Samsung 830's I use, so I suppose it is a bit of a gamble. But when it comes to technology I like living on the edge. smile



I also like living on the edge until I got burned with this one SSD. Now I'm back to a standard hard drive and happy as a clam with it's performance.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Macy


Ivory II has a Small, Medium, Large setting for the RAM sample buffer (this is for the digital audio file samples not the audio sample buffer, i.e. it has no effect on latency) but the sizes are not specified anywhere that I can find. That's it.

On the Vintage D-Kontakt I use the maximum preload size, which is about 240 KB per sample, which results in a total preload of 720 MB. That's 3000 samples (720 MB/240 kB). (Alicia's Keys preloads about 1.26 GB of samples, which is almost twice as many samples as the Vintage D.) If you divide 3000 samples by 88 notes, that's about 34 samples per note. The Vintage D has up to 13 layers and it has soft pedal samples, sustain resonance samples and also release samples. But the total size of the samples stored on the disc is only 4.23 GB (not counting the Pads which are 1.12 GB). On the other hand, the Ivory II American Concert D has almost 49 GB of samples on the disc and doesn't use separate sustain resonance samples.


Thanks. Did you try changing the ram sample buffer in Ivory then? Mind you, if you were getting 30MB/s, that's already pretty good for a HDD (for the random nature of sample streaming) IMHO.

Given that you are using the maximum pre-load in Kontakt, that would of course help to reduce the data rate from the disk, because the larger the pre-load, the less likely it is that the disk is required, when playing in in a normal fashion. (i.e, not holding down lots of notes for a very long time) If the time-per-sample stored in memory equated to much larger time than Ivory, that might partly explain the large discrepancy in the data rates. I'm pretty sure you're right that Vintage D uses compressed samples though. (encrypted and compressed, I think, but I'm not 100% sure)

Greg.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Originally Posted By: Macy


Ivory II has a Small, Medium, Large setting for the RAM sample buffer (this is for the digital audio file samples not the audio sample buffer, i.e. it has no effect on latency) but the sizes are not specified anywhere that I can find. That's it.

On the Vintage D-Kontakt I use the maximum preload size, which is about 240 KB per sample, which results in a total preload of 720 MB. That's 3000 samples (720 MB/240 kB). (Alicia's Keys preloads about 1.26 GB of samples, which is almost twice as many samples as the Vintage D.) If you divide 3000 samples by 88 notes, that's about 34 samples per note. The Vintage D has up to 13 layers and it has soft pedal samples, sustain resonance samples and also release samples. But the total size of the samples stored on the disc is only 4.23 GB (not counting the Pads which are 1.12 GB). On the other hand, the Ivory II American Concert D has almost 49 GB of samples on the disc and doesn't use separate sustain resonance samples.


Thanks. Did you try changing the ram sample buffer in Ivory then? Mind you, if you were getting 30MB/s, that's already pretty good for a HDD (for the random nature of sample streaming) IMHO.


I've always used the Large RAM buffer in Ivory. The smaller settings make the CPU work harder and may lead to needing a larger audio buffer and more latency.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Given that you are using the maximum pre-load in Kontakt, that would of course help to reduce the data rate from the disk, because the larger the pre-load, the less likely it is that the disk is required, when playing in in a normal fashion. (i.e, not holding down lots of notes for a very long time) If the time-per-sample stored in memory equated to much larger time than Ivory, that might partly explain the large discrepancy in the data rates. I'm pretty sure you're right that Vintage D uses compressed samples though. (encrypted and compressed, I think, but I'm not 100% sure)


What you say is true, but the pre-load size (even at maximum) produces very, very, short bursts of audio. You can listen to the pre-load length in Kontakt by disabling the samples library after the pre-load completes at startup. Then just play the notes. (With an external drive you can simply unmount it, disconnect it, or shut off its power. I suspect you could also just temporarily rename the sample library folder on an internal drive too, but I never tried that.) I haven't tried that with Ivory II. It's something I'll have to do.

Yeah, I'm not certain that the Vintage D samples are compressed, but I've been told that.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/19/12 09:55 PM

@Macy: On Windows, I found that the maximum pre-load in Kontakt = 480kBytes per sample per channel. I.e, a stereo sample would have 480*2 = 960kB stored in memory. For a 44.1kHz stereo 24-bit sample (not compressed), this is 3.7 seconds. I found that Kontakt waited quite fair percentage of this 3.7 seconds before accessing the disk. (obviously it can't wait until the very end, otherwise an underrun would occur. I was actually surprised that it waited as long as it did) For normal playing, a 2 or 3 seconds is quite a long time IMHO. Time permitting I'll repeat the test.

Greg.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/20/12 04:07 AM

Originally Posted By: sullivang
@Macy: On Windows, I found that the maximum pre-load in Kontakt = 480kBytes per sample per channel. I.e, a stereo sample would have 480*2 = 960kB stored in memory. For a 44.1kHz stereo 24-bit sample (not compressed), this is 3.7 seconds. I found that Kontakt waited quite fair percentage of this 3.7 seconds before accessing the disk. (obviously it can't wait until the very end, otherwise an underrun would occur. I was actually surprised that it waited as long as it did) For normal playing, a 2 or 3 seconds is quite a long time IMHO. Time permitting I'll repeat the test.

Greg.

Sorry, I made a mistake describing what happens on the Mac in Kontakt when the samples are unmounted after the pre-load. I was writing from my memory of hearing only short sounds and hadn't tried it in a while. I just went and tried it again. On the Mac if I unmount the external disk containing the samples after the preload, I only get a short pop when a key is pressed after the FIRST key press. It appears that Kontakt realizes that the sample library is missing after that first key press, and then it no longer plays the preloaded samples (or attempts to mute them with just a slight pop sound). However, each time you release a key, you get a short note which may be the release sample for each key. i.e. you get a pop when the key is pressed and then regardless of how long you hold the key you apparently get a portion of the release sample when you release the key. That must have been the short sounds I remembered earlier. Apparently this works differently on the PC version, but that is what happens on my Mac (I tried it several times in a couple different ways just now). Sorry for the earlier confusion.

Interestingly, Ivory II works exactly the opposite, and more like what you described for Kontakt on the PC. I just tried it (I hadn't tried it before). On Ivory II it indeed plays the preloaded sample portion for each key pressed after the disk containing the sample library is removed, but it doesn't play any portion of the release samples for each note when a key is released. Perhaps the release samples are not preloaded at all, or more likely after it can't load the remaining part of each sample it doesn't try to play the release sample. The latter seems likely because each key press produces a separate Error message in the Ivory II display.
Posted by: sullivang

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/20/12 04:19 AM

Although I concede that a few seconds won't change the maximum - i.e - it won't affect the demand on the disk when playing big, long chords with the sustain pedal. I suppose it would mainly affect the average data rate, which isn't very interesting. Since you were using the maximum memory in Ivory, you were doing a fair comparison with Kontakt, using it's maximum pre-load.

The memory size can change the maximum throughput that a disk can support, though. At least, that's what I have observed in Kontakt. The reason is simple: as the pre-load size is increased, the amount of data that is read from each sample each time a sample is accessed also increases, and that makes the accesses more efficient. (because the disk is spending more time reading sequentially, which it can do very well, and less time moving the heads, which is very slow) However, even if Ivory is the same as Kontakt in this regard, since you were already using the maximum in Ivory, there was nothing more you could do to improve it.

[technical side note]
As I've said elsewhere, when doing repeat testing, it is important to understand that there is secondary caching occurring by Windows, over and above the sample pre-load. So, if you do a test after rebooting your machine, and then repeat the test using the same performance (or MIDI file), you may get a vastly better result, simply because the system performed extra caching of the samples that were used in your performance. Unfortunately reloading the instrument or even restarting Kontakt does NOT clear this cache, at least in Windows. So, in Windows, to avoid rebooting the machine every time, the utility
RamMap (command: Empty | Empty Standby List) can be used. Unload the instrument, run the utility, and then re-load the instrument. This procedure will allow different settings to be tried without rebooting the machine inbetween each test.

Greg.
Posted by: soundedge

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 11/20/12 11:39 AM

I just wanted to thank you for the answers, especially Macy - wow! I'm very glad you decided to write all this down, and I'm sure anyone searching for this topic in the future will be too. Kawai James, I hadn't considered that since I've heard smaller SSD's tend to be slower than the bigger models, but I think I will take your advice and go with two SSD's.

I don't want to disrupt the discussion any further, it's very interesting to read what's going in detail. I've certainly learned a thing or two - I appreciate it.

Thank you all,
Patrick
Posted by: Vijay '82

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/29/13 03:56 PM

Yeah, thanks for this thread folks...

Let me just mention, I too had the problem of pops and crackles with Ivory II, when pressing down on the sustain pedal...

I've managed to fix it (well, kind of), by using Elgato's Thunderbolt SSD 240GB.

Having said that, with the benefit of hindsight, and having watched reviews by other users/commentators (particularly on Youtube), I think it may be more advisable to go with e.g. a Samsung 840 series SSD, perhaps 500GB, with a Thunderbolt adapter, e.g. the one by Seagate. Overall, this configuration apparently performs vastly better than the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD product. I mean it apparently achieves read/write speeds in the region of 300MB/s; whereas the Elgato SSD achieves something like 100MB/s write and 220MB/s read.

To be fair, the Elgato SSD works just fine for my requirements, it's just that I've realised, in hindsight, I could have gotten a more powerful set-up for the same price. I mean, the Elgato cost me approx £400; had I gone for a Thunderbolt adapter (£100), Samsung SSD 500GB (£250) and a separate Thunderbolt cable (£50) the overall cost would have been roughly the same, with more memory and faster performance (apparently).

I would also mention that, when "testing", the Elgato performs quite comfortably with a 64 voice buffer (i.e., rapidly and repeatedly tapping on an unrealistic number of keys), with no pops/crackles/dropouts; I think perhaps under more "normal" playing conditions, I could probably manage quite easily with a 32 sample buffer (I mean, at the moment I'm trying to learn relatively simple stuff, by e.g. Einaudi).

So overall, yes, using an SSD for memory, with Thunderbolt for I/O, has, for all practical purposes, fixed the problem for me, although of course at a fairly hefty price.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/29/13 06:15 PM

pv88, are you related to my mate Richard?
Posted by: Temperament

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/29/13 09:58 PM

Sorry James, just curious, was this a PW defect again dropping your post in a wrong thread, wasn't it - I can't see a post of PV88 anywhere to realate to on this topic?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/29/13 10:15 PM

Yes, it appears that pv88 deleted his post.

He originally asked if the user above, Vijay '82, was related to golfer Vijay Singh.
Posted by: bfb

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/30/13 07:52 AM

I am holding out on moving my Ivory II pianos to my macbook until Thunderbolt external drives are available at a more reasonable price.

Macy- you are using firewire for your external SSD on your imac? (by the way- you consider a two year old computer to be "retirable..?" man you like to spend money on tech hardware!) Macbooks won't support USB 3.0, right?
Posted by: raikkU

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/30/13 08:42 AM

What's wrong with simply getting an internal SSD with enough space?

Unless you plan on installing all of the pianos a 256GB or even 128GB SSD should be fine.
Posted by: bfb

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/30/13 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: raikkU
What's wrong with simply getting an internal SSD with enough space?

Unless you plan on installing all of the pianos a 256GB or even 128GB SSD should be fine.


i assume you are addressing my inquiry... i use the macbook for a lot of other stuff and i'm a believer in segregating the samples on a separate drive from my OS files etc. maybe that's not necessary with an SSD- but 128GB/256GB would be pushing it for me as far as not enough capacity. perhaps if i used it only for pianos (a future possibility- but i think i'd get an ultrabook for that purpose)- as i currently do with an older desktop - that would be a good strategy.

thanks..
Posted by: doudou

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/30/13 03:47 PM

I would say, for Ivory II : a ssd, AND a powerful computer.

Mine has a ssd, but is a little old now (Core 2 duo at 2Ghz, Windows 7 4 GB ram).
I cannot play without glitches Ivory, so I don't use it anymore and play now with Galaxy Vintage D, it's much less consuming I haven't problems now.
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/30/13 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: bfb
I am holding out on moving my Ivory II pianos to my macbook until Thunderbolt external drives are available at a more reasonable price.

Macy- you are using firewire for your external SSD on your imac? (by the way- you consider a two year old computer to be "retirable..?" man you like to spend money on tech hardware!) Macbooks won't support USB 3.0, right?


Yes. I bought an external drive enclosure with a Firewire 800 and USB 3 port and dropped a 256 GB Samsung 840 SSD in it. It took about 10 minutes to assemble and it works perfectly. If you are concerned about cost that is a pretty inexpensive way to go. Get the Samsung 840, not 840 Pro, to save money. The 840 is perfect for this application because you will seldom write to it so wear out isn't an issue.

Firewire 800 is fast enough for Ivory II with room to spare (you need an SSD for its fast random access reads, not a faster drive interface). But USB 3 is there if another piano comes out that needs more bandwidth. I don't see a future in Thunderbolt for this (or many?) application. USB 3 is much less expensive, plenty fast enough, and will be ubiquitous. All current Macs (except the now 3-year old Mac Pro) have USB 3. I'm waiting for the new Mac Pro (expected this summer) before replacing my current piano iMac. (Yes, I'm an engineer and love tech stuff. Fortunately I can afford it.)
Posted by: bfb

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 04/30/13 09:01 PM

yeah, i'm one of the folks that has a 3 yr old macbook pro. so no USB 3. but i do have firewire...

thanks for the input on the 840.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/01/13 08:32 AM

Is there something about Ivory 2 that makes it more resource-demanding than Ivory 1, or than the various Galaxy pianos? My old laptop ran fine with Ivory 1 and with the Galaxy items, despite its paltry 1.7 GHz Core Duo, 2 GB RAM, and 330 GB/7200 RPM drive under Win XP. So whuzzup with Ivory 2?

I recently moved to a 2.8 GHz i7-940 quad-core, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB drive. Will Ivory 2 run on this box? Or do we all need to move to SSD to run Ivory 2?
Posted by: Macy

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/01/13 04:35 PM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Is there something about Ivory 2 that makes it more resource-demanding than Ivory 1, or than the various Galaxy pianos? My old laptop ran fine with Ivory 1 and with the Galaxy items, despite its paltry 1.7 GHz Core Duo, 2 GB RAM, and 330 GB/7200 RPM drive under Win XP. So whuzzup with Ivory 2?

I recently moved to a 2.8 GHz i7-940 quad-core, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB drive. Will Ivory 2 run on this box? Or do we all need to move to SSD to run Ivory 2?


I never had Ivory 1 so I can't compare them. But the Ivory II American D definitely required a faster (faster random access) drive than the previous Ivory II pianos. It's samples are longer, but the Ivory II plug-in and standalone (Mac) engine were also changed when it was released, so that may also have something to with that.

In my experience (and measurements) the Vintage D takes a lot more CPU than Ivory II (perhaps because the Vintage D samples are compressed and have to be uncompressed in real-time, or Kontakt is just CPU hungrier than Ivory II). But the Vintage D is MUCH less demanding on the drive.

So do you need an SSD with Ivory II now? Synthogy (Ivory II developer) says minimum requirement is a 7200 rpm drive or SSD, connected via Firewire 800, SATA, or faster. I'd say the 7200 rpm drive is now on the edge unless you want to limit the number of notes you can play at once.
Posted by: Terra3

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/01/13 06:50 PM

Using Ivory II with a Core 2 Duo laptop (T7300, 2 GHz, 4 GB RAM - handful of years old), Win 7 SP1-64 and an external Lacie FW HDD (7200 rpm). Works perfect in tandem with am RME UC interface.

I do recall upgrading my laptop HDD a few years back to a faster spec SATA . . . uncertain to what degree that would affect things.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/01/13 09:38 PM

I had my hard drive replaced in this laptop. It's 72 or 7800rpm. It's a PC.
Still... I just now had the notes drop when holding down four of them. Was playing something not complicated. Yes, two hands. No big deal. The software shows the info coming from the midi controller keyboard.
If I change settings on my keyboard. I also have to restart Ivory. Otherwise, nothing. And it still shows info coming from the keyboard.
I only once had the pop and crackle bit. Restarted and ok.
I got my eyes on a new Mac. By the first of the year. SSD is at the top of the list.
Posted by: bfb

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/02/13 09:55 AM

yeah- i have a 7 yr old dell core duo desktop with a second 7200 RPM HDD for samples and it runs ivory II perfectly. i think i have 8 GB RAM (or maybe 16? whatever the max is for that box...)

i think the conclusion to all this is to either have an SSD on a laptop and basically just have it dedicated for pianos. OR, get an external HDD for a laptop and a second HDD or external device for a desktop. i just think as long as you don't get operating system stuff interfering with the HDD feeding the back end of the sample you will be fine. I've never had any problems with Ivory II/ Cantabile player. I have had some issues with Kontakt- not deal killers but it just doesn't run as smoothly for me- probably gets back to Macy's very perceptive post just above- my older box RAM access might not be as good and that penalizes Kontakt use over Cantabile use....
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/02/13 11:53 AM

Agreed, but I don't even see the need for a second drive or SSD ... as long as you dedicate the box to piano, and shut off the non-essential/overhead junk.

I used to run pianos on my 7-year-old Dell crappy laptop. It was marginal, but worked fine as long as I disabled AV and wireless ... and ran nothing but Kontakt. But if I turned on wireless and started up Firefox, the piano would hiccup. If I ran anything more intense than a browser, the piano basically fell apart.

OK, but all that was with a ghetto laptop.

I recently moved, and the new home has no space in the living room for the piano. So I put the piano in my office ... next to my much newer HP desktop computer. So I no longer use the laptop. I loaded the desktop with all the piano software.

I can load a bunch of pianos (with AV still running) alongside all of the regular desktop assorted apps. Another person can use the computer for normal stuff while I'm playing the various Galaxy pianos through Kontakt ... and no problems.

That's with a 3-year-old desktop, a 2.8 GHz quad-core i7 930 with 8 GB RAM, Win 7, and a plain old 1 GB 7200 RPM internal drive. No SSD. No external drive.

If I were running a DAW and were doing things that heavily taxed the computer, maybe there would be problems. But for JUST piano(s)? I have to wonder why Ivory 2 would not work here.
Posted by: bfb

Re: Synthogy Ivory - HDD or SSD? - 05/02/13 03:12 PM

MacMacMac, it probably would work fine on the single hard drive. i just found a 7200 HD for peanuts on amazon and wanted to prove to myself i could install a second drive and some extra RAM. really nothing more than that. one of those tool-time projects.