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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: TonyB] #2376403
01/21/15 07:38 PM
01/21/15 07:38 PM
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Northern NJ
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted by TonyB
I am sorry you feel this way. We definitely have different views of how we would want to interact with other people.

People are one thing, corporations are quite another, and it's sometimes difficult to figure out how to deal with individuals who represent corporations, particularly when the lines are being blurred and they seem to want you to follow the internal rules of their particular fiefdom, or they are using the dynamics of personal interaction to further their own corporate interests. Corporations spend a lot on kinder, gentler image fluff, but the bottom line is money and that is pretty harsh. I don't make the rules.

Originally Posted by TonyB
I think civility goes a long way when asking for what we want.

When it comes to people, yes. When it comes to asking a corporation to do the right thing, maybe and maybe not. When it comes to discussing products with third parties civility is moot.

Originally Posted by TonyB
I was out of line in a comment I made to you and publicly apologized.

Thank you, but I was attacking your actions so if anyone should be apologizing it's me.

Originally Posted by TonyB
I personally think some of the things said to manufactures in this forum are out of line, but then we are all different.

Manufacturers don't care if we live or die, as long as we can somehow manage to buy their products, even if somehow from beyond the grave. They might employ the nicest guys in the world who pet their cats and such but it's all about the Benjamins. If the customer is indeed always right then here I am, asking for what I want. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: TonyB] #2376407
01/21/15 07:49 PM
01/21/15 07:49 PM
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Posts: 5,638
Hobart, Australia
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ando Online content
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Originally Posted by TonyB
Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by TonyB
I would not be at all surprised if engineers behind the product feel frustrated by limitations imposed by marketing, for example, because this is very common with many products (rather than because of anything particular about DP manufacturing).

I would bet that is the case too. Then again, if no one is expecting the engineers to do anything even remotely bleeding edge, the job is suddenly a heck of a lot easier.

Originally Posted by TonyB
...I really don't want a bunch of stuff connected together to make a workable DP...I am one of those customers who wants it all in one box.

Same here. I expect to pay extra for the integration, but not hugely so.

Originally Posted by TonyB
I do think the state of the art with DPs will continue to improve, and acknowledge that it has been improving all along, though I realize that is not in agreement with some others here.

It continues to improve, though glacially, and it didn't exactly have a head start to begin with.

Originally Posted by TonyB
That said, there is always room for improvement and people to push to make that happen. So, discuss away and maybe there will be some positive influence on manufacturers to come out of it. But keep it civil if you expect them to pay attention and listen.

Neither I, nor they, are in this to make friends. But if they expect me to bow and scrape while generally pointing out the obvious to them they can go jump in a lake.


I am sorry you feel this way. We definitely have different views of how we would want to interact with other people. I think civility goes a long way when asking for what we want. I was out of line in a comment I made to you and publicly apologized. I will continue to do that if I get out of line, but it is clear to me that different people have different senses as to what "out of line" may be. I personally think some of the things said to manufactures in this forum are out of line, but then we are all different.

Tony


Tony, whilst I agree with you on the value of courtesy in life, I think part of the lack of restraint on Dewster's part is that he is all too aware that DP manufacturers are not listening to us on these forums. They have no presence here on the product development side - although it is nice to have Kawai James and Jay Roland here to assist with product information and service issues.

There are a few issues with DPs that have been commented on ad nauseum for the entire time I've been on this forum - the manufacturers are on their own trajectory which is quite immune to suggestions from us. For example, most DPs (with your own being one of the few exceptions) have an unnaturally short decay time and obvious looping in the decay. This is a major shortcoming which could be addressed with minimal expense and effort. It's not even new technology - just add some more memory so that the decay is not accelerated and so looping isn't necessary. DPs are woefully stingy with memory. It doesn't cost that much to double or even triple the memory so that we can have full length (unlooped) samples.

The decay issue is my biggest single gripe with DPs. It's such a simple fix. No R & D needed, a few extra bucks per unit. If they can't even manage this simple fix which has been discussed so many times, then they aren't listening. It's things like this that result in less than courteous language about them. They aren't listening, so there's no real need for the courtesy. It would be nice if they would pay us the courtesy of listening and implementing these simple improvements.

Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: DazedAndConfused] #2376409
01/21/15 07:59 PM
01/21/15 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: johnlewisgrant

A Turing test: yes that's exactly right.

But are we comparing a piano performance, AS HEARD LIVE SITTING IN A CONCERT HALL, to a sampled or modelled (pure synthetic) piano sample (as in the Debussy) AS HEARD THROUGH LOUDSPEAKERS? Is that the Turing test?


That is quite amusing in this context. The Debussy piece you heard was played by Krystian Zimerman on his Steinway D not a digital.

Sorry, you've misunderstood me. OF COURSE ZIMERMAN is playing a "REAL" piano!!! No doubt there at all. I wasn't referring to the Zimerman recording. Just posing the question in a general way.

(Speaking of Zimerman, he grew up learning to take piano apart and put it back together again. So he's both a technician and a (fabulous) pianist.)

By "fake" I don't mean "bad" or "second rate." Just an amusing shorthand for vst samples, dps, etc...

I use one myself, and my Bach WTC 1 at Youtube uses a "fake" piano throughout!!! (I approve of them.)

JG

Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: ando] #2376415
01/21/15 08:14 PM
01/21/15 08:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 98
Canada
chickenlump Offline
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Originally Posted by ando

Tony, whilst I agree with you on the value of courtesy in life, I think part of the lack of restraint on Dewster's part is that he is all too aware that DP manufacturers are not listening to us on these forums. They have no presence here on the product development side - although it is nice to have Kawai James and Jay Roland here to assist with product information and service issues.

There are a few issues with DPs that have been commented on ad nauseum for the entire time I've been on this forum - the manufacturers are on their own trajectory which is quite immune to suggestions from us. For example, most DPs (with your own being one of the few exceptions) have an unnaturally short decay time and obvious looping in the decay. This is a major shortcoming which could be addressed with minimal expense and effort. It's not even new technology - just add some more memory so that the decay is not accelerated and so looping isn't necessary. DPs are woefully stingy with memory. It doesn't cost that much to double or even triple the memory so that we can have full length (unlooped) samples.

The decay issue is my biggest single gripe with DPs. It's such a simple fix. No R & D needed, a few extra bucks per unit. If they can't even manage this simple fix which has been discussed so many times, then they aren't listening. It's things like this that result in less than courteous language about them. They aren't listening, so there's no real need for the courtesy. It would be nice if they would pay us the courtesy of listening and implementing these simple improvements.


Well put. I think TonyB is totally correct in saying that were we to expect a software piano level of sophistication (like Ivory or Galaxy with dozens of layers and multiple full length samples) in an embedded format, there would be extra tradeoff such as time to initialize, and significant processor/memory requirements. (Although that being said, considering cost of >1 Ghz ARM processors are going at just dollars a chip, I don't think it's a valid excuse much longer)

But even taking that into account, delay from R&D to release, the rate of improvement is not remotely proportional to commodity technology improvement.

The biggest joke is how Yamaha actually back tracked on 88 key sampling they already had to going back to stretched sample sets until the very recent CLP release. There is absolutely no technological/engineering/developmental reason for that. It's just pure calculated planned obsolescence.


Yamaha C6F
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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: Radio.Octave] #2376450
01/21/15 09:56 PM
01/21/15 09:56 PM
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TonyB Offline
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My view comes from being on a lot of engineering teams and having to grapple with the real cost of "for just a few dollars more". If Yamaha backtracked on their technology (I don't know that they did or did not...but "IF"...), my first thought would be that they were not seeing enough of a return on their products to warrant the expense per unit to do what they had done on whatever that product was that had the 88 key sampling. I see both sides - the consumer who is frustrated by not getting what s/he feels the current technology should provide at various price points, and the manufacturer who must balance cost per unit with what the projected returns will be. I wish I could look at it from just one side, because that would make the whole thing that much easier. However, it just isn't that simple.

I really think that the number of people really upset about the issues being discussed here is very small and that the choices/tradeoffs that manufacturers of DPs have made are really intended for a much larger market segment than what is represented by the "voices of dissent" here. As an example, regardless of the negative things said around here about my V-Grand, I absolutely love it and I suspect that many people who purchased, say, a Kawai CA-95 or Roland LX-15 or whatever, feel the same way. We are just people who are having a lot of fun playing our keyboards at all price points.

This does not mean that what people here are saying is wrong, but under the circumstances that I see, I am not surprised that manufacturers are not giving those relatively few here what they are clamoring for. I suspect that both Jay and James read at least some of what is said here and bring back to their respective companies aspects of the discussion that they feel may fit their companies' product road maps. Remember too that the economy has been down for some time now and the so-called "recovery" isn't quite what politicians claim on closer examination. That translates to not particularly optimistic sales projections for a given product development effort.

I am really grateful that both Jay and James are here. I read posts from James as he takes seriously every problem that any Kawai owner posts here and always comes back with either a solution or a plan toward a solution. Jay provided 20 patches for my V-Grand that I use all the time now. I have not seen a lot of posts from Roland owners having issues that Jay needed to resolve, but I would bet he would be all over it as James is. I think that manufacturers are going to continue to make the decisions necessary to keep them in the marketplace. Unfortunately, they won't be able to please everybody, but if they can please most, then they will last another day. Personally, I hope these manufacturers manage to stay in business for a long time, and I don't envy the design choices they have to make to do so. These are not easy choices and a misstep can cost a company some serious market share. I have felt that way about products I have helped developed, and believe that most engineers feel that way. But is is profit that keeps a company alive and the jobs that it provides.

Tony


Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: TonyB] #2376463
01/21/15 10:30 PM
01/21/15 10:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
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Canada
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Don't get me wrong, like you, I am happy with my CA95 and aside from some compromises, I love playing on it. And I am very grateful for the input from Kawai James and Jay amongst others.

My disappointment is less about my personal use per se, but just the frustration of seeing how much better it could be. I love the sound of an acoustic but the simplicity and convenience of a digital. I guess i just want to have it all!



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Kawai CA95
Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: chickenlump] #2376472
01/21/15 10:49 PM
01/21/15 10:49 PM
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Twin Cities
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Originally Posted by chickenlump
Don't get me wrong, like you, I am happy with my CA95 and aside from some compromises, I love playing on it. And I am very grateful for the input from Kawai James and Jay amongst others.

My disappointment is less about my personal use per se, but just the frustration of seeing how much better it could be. I love the sound of an acoustic but the simplicity and convenience of a digital. I guess i just want to have it all!



That is understandable, but don't focus on the "I want more" aspect of your CA-95. You have a very nice DP there! It is all too easy to get stuck in the rut of never being satisfied. Every step forward in the technology also seems that much farther away from whatever one perceives as "perfection" (i.e. this is great, but if only...).

Tony


Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: Radio.Octave] #2376486
01/21/15 11:26 PM
01/21/15 11:26 PM
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I'm sure dp manufacturers pay little or no attention to this forum. And why would they?

On one hand we have thousands of musicians in studios and venues from bars to stadiums happily generating music from digital pianos, keyboards and synths for millions of fans.

On the other we have a handful of piano purists continually complaining that 'if it doesn't have strings its not a piano'. Then explaining that the unmusical, mechanical sounds made by the acoustic instrument are what makes it 'special'.

I'm betting the 35 year old marketing managers read the musical equipment equivalent of 'get off my lawn.'




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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: TonyB] #2376494
01/22/15 12:21 AM
01/22/15 12:21 AM
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Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
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Originally Posted by TonyB
We are just people who are having a lot of fun playing our keyboards at all price points.

Says the man who owns a $16,900 V-Grand. It's easy to play a freakishly steroidal example of a modeled DP and lecture everyone else that we should just be happy already with our crummy looped AvantGrands or whatever. The DP market has something for everyone and we're getting too uppity and not being thankful enough for the three quarter empty glasses we're being dealt for no particularly good reason that I can see.

Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: jimb100] #2376496
01/22/15 12:31 AM
01/22/15 12:31 AM
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dewster Offline
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Originally Posted by jimb100
On one hand we have thousands of musicians in studios and venues from bars to stadiums happily generating music from digital pianos, keyboards and synths for millions of fans.

I doubt many, if any, DPs are used on serious AP recordings. Mostly Ivory and the like (software) I would guess. DPs make sense from the standpoints of cost, portability, and silent practice, but beyond that most come nowhere near a real AP. Ask just about anyone who plays and owns both (and isn't paid off in one way or another by the manufacturers) which they prefer.

Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: dewster] #2376543
01/22/15 03:49 AM
01/22/15 03:49 AM
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jimb100 Offline
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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by jimb100
On one hand we have thousands of musicians in studios and venues from bars to stadiums happily generating music from digital pianos, keyboards and synths for millions of fans.

I doubt many, if any, DPs are used on serious AP recordings. Mostly Ivory and the like (software) I would guess. DPs make sense from the standpoints of cost, portability, and silent practice, but beyond that most come nowhere near a real AP. Ask just about anyone who plays and owns both (and isn't paid off in one way or another by the manufacturers) which they prefer.


I'm pretty sure your definition of "serious" recording is narrow.

Outside of cost, portability, silent practice and I'll add the things you can do with digital workstations, synths, places where the audience can't tell the difference and doesn't care, touring. Yes, if we ignore those things the AP is the clear choice.

Sure, and everyone would rather ride a horse than drive a car, well except for ......

Regardless, I'm not sure what that all has to do with marketing managers for electronic instrument companies ignoring this forum because there are so many here who will never be satisfied with a digital piano/keyboard/synth/stage piano because, by definition, its not an acoustic piano.

The people who influence digital equipment development communicate in other ways.







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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: Radio.Octave] #2376573
01/22/15 07:04 AM
01/22/15 07:04 AM
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There's a few assertions here that run-of-the-mill ARM 1Ghz CPUs can handle today's top software pianos. Since I don't have any of these products (don't run Windows), I can't estimate the accuracy of these statements. But those of you with the software can simulate the performance by underclocking your i5/i7 to 500Mhz. Or test on a Windows laptop with a 1Ghz Bay Trail CPU if you can borrow this kind of hardware.

Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: Radio.Octave] #2376575
01/22/15 07:09 AM
01/22/15 07:09 AM
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Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Online content
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You certainly do not expect a digital piano to run on a general purpose GUI OS such as Windows, do you?


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: jimb100] #2376583
01/22/15 07:36 AM
01/22/15 07:36 AM
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toddy Offline
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Originally Posted by jimb100
I'm sure dp manufacturers pay little or no attention to this forum. And why would they?


Well, in a word, competition.

The people writing here seriously and critically play digital pianos. They are possibly the best placed focus group you could possibly have, and they are free and enthusiastic and absolutely serious.

Manufuacturers go to immense lengths in marketing and research to obtain this kind of information:

- what customers like
- what customers don't like
- what customers have found not to work well
- what they would like on the next model
- the direction they'd like to see producers going
- design faults that annoy customers
- common faults found in new/ nearly new instruments
- faults developing with heavy/ long use
- features customers would pay more for

etc. etc. etc.

Just now, in another thread, James from Kawai wrote:

As a result of customer feedback (and posts made to this forum) we have taken steps in recent months to reinforce the shipping box and areas of the instrument's chassis in an effort to reduce the incidence of faults caused by such damage.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: MossySF] #2376589
01/22/15 08:12 AM
01/22/15 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MossySF
There's a few assertions here that run-of-the-mill ARM 1Ghz CPUs can handle today's top software pianos. Since I don't have any of these products (don't run Windows), I can't estimate the accuracy of these statements. But those of you with the software can simulate the performance by underclocking your i5/i7 to 500Mhz. Or test on a Windows laptop with a 1Ghz Bay Trail CPU if you can borrow this kind of hardware.


Are these run of the mill ARM CPUs single or multi-core?

Even if single core, why is it that such a CPU, dedicated to running a VSTi, and nothing else, would not be able to handle a top software piano? The highest frequency involved is 44K, and the largest number of items - polyphony - is normally 128. Why shouldn't a CPU running at one billion cycles a second not be able to handle that?

.......I know this is probably a daft question to anyone who really knows about O/S architecture. But since I don't know the anwer, I'll ask it anyway.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: dewster] #2376593
01/22/15 08:31 AM
01/22/15 08:31 AM
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TonyB Offline
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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by TonyB
We are just people who are having a lot of fun playing our keyboards at all price points.

Says the man who owns a $16,900 V-Grand. It's easy to play a freakishly steroidal example of a modeled DP and lecture everyone else that we should just be happy already with our crummy looped AvantGrands or whatever. The DP market has something for everyone and we're getting too uppity and not being thankful enough for the three quarter empty glasses we're being dealt for no particularly good reason that I can see.


Wow!!! Just wow!!! I diod not mean it the way you seem to be interpreting this at all! Yes I have a V-Grand, but I see it as a DP and therefore valid to this discussion. I have NEVER made claims about it being better than what anybody else has, but instead talked about some aspects of it that I like - just as others who are happy with their purchases have. Any time I have mnetioned my V-Grand, I have also discussed other DPs on the market in a positive light. I would have been perfectly happy with most of these, but my wife really did want to do something nice for me. If that offends you, so be it.

Look, Dewster, I am not going to fight with you. You can continue to dog my posts, but I will bow out of this discussion so as to avoid having to continually go up against your vitriol. I have tried to be decent here, but obviously that is not good enough. I am truly sorry it comes to that.

Edit: Notice that I also have a Casio PX-5S. If that was my only DP, I would be saying the same things I am saying now. This is NOT about my V-Grand except when you make it the issue. It isn't for me. Again, I can't do anything about my having a V-Grand offending you so I really just need to leave this discussion.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 01/22/15 08:44 AM.
Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: MossySF] #2376594
01/22/15 08:32 AM
01/22/15 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MossySF
There's a few assertions here that run-of-the-mill ARM 1Ghz CPUs can handle today's top software pianos.

Just check the iGrand App on iPads. iGrand is compatible with iPad Air, iPad 4th generation, iPad 3rd generation, iPad 2, iPad and iPad mini.

iPad2, for example, has hardware specs: 1GHz/2core/Apple A5 with 512MB memory.

If you use e.g. Samsung Exymos SOC with (4+4) cores at 2.1GHz and 2GB of memory, you'll have a multiple times more powerful platform, which would result in much better sound. For the estimated cost of material look at the estimate of cost of e.g. Samsung Galaxy S5, which features such hardware.


Kawai CA65 :: Galaxy: Vintage D, Vienna Grand, Giant :: Pianoteq 5 :: Kontakt 5 :: Reaper :: True Keys pianos
Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: PtJaa] #2376598
01/22/15 08:53 AM
01/22/15 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by PtJaa

Just check the iGrand App on iPads. iGrand is compatible with iPad Air, iPad 4th generation, iPad 3rd generation, iPad 2, iPad and iPad mini.

iPad2, for example, has hardware specs: 1GHz/2core/Apple A5 with 512MB memory.


Somehow, I doubt iGrand is what people have in mind when they complain about how far behind DPs are compared to software pianos. Looking at the specs, iGrand has a sample size of 256MB -- how much much different is that from what's built into DP hardware right now?

It seems like what users here want are the 50GB-150GB sampled pianos, 256 polyphony, <5ms latency, sympathetic resonance, continuous pedalling and so on -- because that's what they already have with their current i5/i7 software VST setups.

Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: Radio.Octave] #2376603
01/22/15 09:11 AM
01/22/15 09:11 AM
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Sofia, Bulgaria
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CPU speed doesn't count that much (if at all) for sample streaming. It is almost the same if you stream (and loop) a 512MB sample or 1TB.


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Re: Digitals that rival grands? [Re: CyberGene] #2376607
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01/22/15 09:18 AM
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toddy Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
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Portugal
Originally Posted by CyberGene
CPU speed doesn't count that much (if at all) for sample streaming. It is almost the same if you stream (and loop) a 512MB sample or 1TB.


Yes, but why? If a CPU is capable of running a billion cycles a second, and presumably can run tasks at something approaching that (or even an eighth of that), then why doesn't CPU speed count for much?


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