Finally have a stable MONSTER system!!
Many thanks to Hagen for his amazing work. I am soooo happy now. Success story here so those of you wondering – there is hope for you to have a professional stable system. Finally after a decade and a half I have a dream powercore system.
This is my little story. Bought powercore starting in 2003. Bought a compact – still going strong today. Mainly for the Sony Oxford stuff. I completely mix at 96 khz ( High resolution stuff ) so always needed lots of power over many tracks. Always, always struggled to mix without hitting a ceiling of power, either with Powercore or CPU. Been on the computer upgrade path since 2004 and never once could I just mix without ever worrying about DSP. Always needed more powercores but 4 were never enough. Always bouncing down to free up power. Moved on to more DSP/ CPU hungry native plugins like Acustica Nebula – same issues. Amazing sound but not enough juice. Well I then began a strategy of collecting unwanted powercores to build a bank of them for the future. I would search ‘the bay’ once in a while to add to my collection. I would generally never purchase a powercore priced above $200. Licenses were not so important as much as cards. I have most of the licenses except three obscure ones. I must say that I bagged some bargains through the years. Folk didn’t value these things anymore.
Anyway, I always had issues with powercore on my Windows machine from the start. BSOD, stutterring, program freezes etc.
Kept an eye on the forum for good news. Anyway, after spotting a post by Hagen about powercore being limited only by the bandwidth of a system I decided that this needed further study. I was stunned as I always believed that powercore only allowed 4 cards per system but at some point that got changed – quietly. So I decided to keep building towards a stable system with as much DSP as I can have. I just love the sounds from Denmark – they are my aesthetic. Clean and clear. ( UAD2 is too expensive to build a similar machine for. A New CPU that would meet my needs is too much as well.)
I am convinced that some of the plugins on powercore are still superior to their native counterparts even today. Powercore appears to have more depth clarity and punch as well, at least subjectively to me. I do have UAD2 and 600 other big name plugins for the record. No shortage there.
Anyway the main surprise is that the firewires work better than ever. Stable no glitches. The right firewire card still applies and one may need to experiment – Texas instruments version here. Legacy driver. I even have the compacts daisy chained to the firewires. All four are on one card with two ports.
So at the moment I have nine powercores working side by side and hand in hand. I also bought a cheap PCI-E to Three PCI-E adaptor from the bay. Works a treat. The PCI to PCI Express cards were not happy though. So yes I have five PCI cards I wish I could install to take me to 14 – maybe one day with a Magma chassis? Oh well. I am actually just blown away that the system just works – as it should have from the start.
Oh and one of my main licensed powercores needed repair. I somehow knocked off three of those tiny SMD capacitors during a computer build. I did not know why one of my DSPs was distorting. I was horrified when I discovered the issue. Most licenses on that card. Tried to self repair but man those things are tiny. I took it to an Electronics manufacturer who cleaned it and replaced the missing chips. Works like new now. Best $50 spent ever.
So well done Hagen – one very, very, very happy camper here. Little secret – I even bagged the Sonnox limiter for Powercore by asking the Sonnox guys for it last month – it was the only powercore plugin I had missing from them. They said if I bought the Native version they would give me the Powercore ilok license for free. They were true to their word. Shhhhhhh. In addition the Sonnox stuff was half price as well in their sale so great deal.
One last note. I was really, really struggling for punch and definition with a mix for a young lady and when I switched every single Sonnox plugin to Powercore, from Native – a smile came to face. ( G4 Sonnox stuff could do this for those who do not know.) In fact that is one of the reasons for this insanity. It just sounded better to these ears and I knew I had to scale up. I felt closer to the original sound from all those years back when I first joined the powercore family and loved the sounds. And now I feel like I really do have the ability to mix as if I was on that OXF-R3. Native doesn’t do it for me – ‘same code’ blah, blah, blah but naah. Different. I suppose if you are on this forum you totally understand what I am saying and do not need convincing. Anyway – I now have CPU left over for Softsynths and stunning, almost unlimited processing as well. I never really mix more than 30 channels so I am covered here. I can have as many reverbs, CL1Bs as I need for any mix. Incredible. Why oh why does TC Electronic abandon such amazing technology time and time again…….
What a relief – no more unneeded CPU upgrades for me now. Happy, happy, happy. Thanks Hagen for all your hard work – Guys – it is possible to build a monster system that works now . With a bit of luck and clever investing you can have a rock solid system for years to come. Good luck and ask me any questions if I can assist you.