VO-BB.com Forum Index VO-BB.com
VO VO VO VO VO VOOOOOOOM!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Which 100% Silent PC?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    VO-BB.com Forum Index -> Gear !
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:04 pm    Post subject: Which 100% Silent PC? Reply with quote

I have a very quiet PC but it is not "dead" silent. I need a 100% SILENT PC.

There are fanless PCs but they often have GPUs that have fans!

Saw a post about Intel Stick PCs, which look like a dongle and run about $125 or so. That got me looking around and I found this:

MINIX NEO Z83-4, Intel Cherry Trail Fanless Mini PC Windows 10

and this; Wintel T8 Fanless Mini PC Intel Cherry Trail Z8300 Quad Core

Both state in their ad that they are absolutely silent. Current price is $180 and $110 respectively, at Amazon.

I do prefer this desktop form factor over a dongle. Would like to keep the price under $250

Do any of you use one of these? If so, are you happy with them? Do they do the job? Any recommendations for another make or model?

Oh, BTW, I would have posted links to Amazon where I found these but for some reason, when I copy and paste Amazon links, and someone follows that link, it opens up to my personal account, or so it seems. So, you will have to copy the model numbers and search for yourself, if you are interested enough to do that!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SteveToner
Contributor


Joined: 03 Oct 2016
Posts: 43
Location: LA & Sundance

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a MINIX NEO Z83-4 in my alternate work space. Seems fine for basic audio editing tasks (I use a standalone recorder so can't comment on how well it works with any interface - I have a cheapo DAC I got at Fry's that drives the monitors) and web access. Woefully slow for video editing (rendering), though. It is fanless. It is silent. It hasn't overheated. I'm not really sure it needs the 4MB of RAM, though, as when I run status it rarely goes over 2MB of actual usage.
_________________
www.TonerVoice.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, thank you for that information.

I am still researching this purchase but you have set the Minix as the standard for comparison.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DenaliDave
Club 300


Joined: 09 Jan 2016
Posts: 300
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been away for a while (life stuff) -- but have recently been in the process of building a brand new studio for myself from scratch.

Like you, I also wanted to run silent computers. I saw the stick PC's and the mini hockey puck PC's as well.

What I finally ended up with is a 2 computer setup.

I use a Macbook Air that's connected to my audio interface to record on. I've never heard it make any noise, so I see no reason to discontinue using it or seek another option.

Now, what about that other computer? I did say I have two...

Well, I decided that for my new studio I was DONE trying to read off of a tablet and using my fingers to move pages. I was tired of never really having the tablet in the right position. No...I needed a regular monitor and a mouse with a scroll wheel. It's just much more comfortable to read off a screen at eye-level at the proper distance.

So -- I looked at those stick PCs and those mini PCs. Man, they're all over $100 and probably have bells and whistles I don't need. I'm just reading Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF documents, right?

So -- I went with a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. It's solid state, no moving parts or fans. It looks a lot like Windows and has no problems opening text documents. It was also $49.

It has HDMI for a monitor, WiFi, 4 USB ports and expandable MicroSD storage. I got a nice little housing for it that looks like an original Nintendo.

The monitor was $99 brand new on Amazon, and the Raspberry Pi + Case was $69. So...for $169 I have a 21" LCD and a tiny computer to read scripts off of. It's even powerful enough to browse the web and do most basic things.

And best of all, I can plug my more powerful computers into the monitor via the HDMI port and edit/master on the larger screen whenever I need to.
_________________
"The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve." - Buddha
www.alaskamic.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
DenaliDave
Club 300


Joined: 09 Jan 2016
Posts: 300
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And apparently you can run Audacity to record sound on a Raspberry Pi as well just fine (I just learned this because I was curious).

Mini Recording Studio

The guy in the tutorial is using a USB microphone, which wouldn't be my go-to solution. Although, Apogee and Rode both now make pretty good USB microphones from what I hear. People seem to like them for travel rigs.

If you can use a USB microphone with the Raspberry Pi into Audacity, it might not be a stretch to use a USB audio interface either.
_________________
"The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve." - Buddha
www.alaskamic.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, thanks for that response.

I actually ordered a mini-computer from China a few days ago. It is by a company called "XCY". The model is X31. I went overboard as I usually do and wound up paying $420 for it. It runs Windows 10 with an i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 128 SSD. I want to keep it lean and mean and off the Internet. Will be loading only Audacity and perhaps another DAW, down the road. This will be used for VO only, nothing else.

I don't know if this X31 is upgradeable or not. When I get it, I will open it up and see if there is an empty ram slot in there. If there is, I will throw another 8GB stick in there. I have Sonar Home Studio on my desktop computer and the minimum requirement for that is an i5 with 8GB ram and 20GB disc space, so I am glad that I got the X31 as a minimum. IDK, I hope I like it when I get it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ed Fisher
Cinquecento


Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 580
Location: East Coast, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nick wrote:

I actually ordered a mini-computer from China a few days ago. It is by a company called "XCY". The model is X31. (snip) I hope I like it when I get it.


I look forward to reading your review. Laugh
_________________
"I reserve the right to be completely wrong."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so I got the X31 in approx. a week, just like they promised. It arrived well packed and in good condition. The unit appears exactly as shown on the website but one thing that I didn't know was that there was no on/off button on the unit. What looks like a button on the website is actually a light. If it is lit, the unit is on. There was no manual provided and I did not know how to turn the unit on. I guessed that maybe it was supposed to be hooked up to a TV and it would sense a signal or something. I have turned the unit on several times now, without actually understanding what is going on. Perhaps after plugging it in, it is just a matter of time. I know this is just stupid but I have not had time to problem solve that. I was more interested in seeing if it worked.

I was under the impression that this unit would be ready to rock n' roll right out of the box. Such was NOT the case. When it started the first time, it was obvious that Windows 10 was not installed and in fact it was asking if I wanted to install Windows 7 or 8? What? Well, there was a Win 10 CD in the box so I got that out. I immediately noticed that there was no product key on the CD. I had specifically told the builders that I must have a 100% genuine Win 10 CD and product key. Nope! I decided to go ahead and try to install this disk. After a screen or two, I got an error message that said Win 10 cannot install to an MBR partition table, that it required a GPT disk. Now, I have built several desktop computers in the past and I had no idea what this meant. Angry, I emailed the company and told them I was not happy. I told them that if they didn't have a simple solution, I wanted to return the computer.

The next morning I found a reply to my email, saying that I could go on their website and download a copy of Windows. Then, shortly later, they wrote again, saying that there was a technical problem and I would not be able to access their website at this time. Heck, I didn't need a copy of Windows, I need to know what to do about MBR/GPT and a gosh darn product key. I wondered if I would ever get anything out of them and I worried that if I tried to send it back, they may take it and I might never see a refund! After some thought, I decided that it was best to just keep it and problem solve this myself.

I Googled "converting MBR to GPT" and found a YouTube video that was perfect. I followed the instructions and had the conversion done in less than 5 minutes. Windows started installing automatically, just like the video said it would. Then it asked for a product key. Oh, no!

I went back on the Internet inquiring about product keys. I found a very interesting article that said Win 10 does not HAVE to have a product key to operate... however, without one, it will operate in a somewhat limited manner. Sure enough, I noticed in the lower corner of the screen, words to the effect of "Do this later" or "skip". There were several instances of this. I got it installed. I cannot "personalize" the Windows screens and such but, it works. The first thing that I did was a full system scan for a virus... none found. Then I updated Windows. This took several tries, accomplishing a little each time. Got it done though.

BTW, setting up wi-fi, wireless mouse & keyboard was no problem.

So now it is up and running but I was somewhat "taken" on this deal. They had another listing for the X31 for $375 that explicitly said Windows was active but that there was no product key. They said that they would "custom" make whatever one wants. I told them I wanted a product key and they told me that the total would be $420. Turns out, I should have bought the non-custom because it is apparently, THE SAME UNIT.

Interestingly, a Windows 10 ISO file can be directly downloaded from Microsoft and installed without a product key, costing you nothing. The article that I read about this said that the limitations without a key are very minor and that it retains full core functionality.

Next, I will be opening up the case of this unit to see if I can add 8GB more RAM and if I can put an on/off switch in there. Oh, another thing, the USB ports are installed upside down. When I have the case open, I hope to turn them over! Seems like it would be a simple matter, but maybe not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey... guess what? Mr. Computer Builder just found his Product Key when he was opening the case of the X31. That's right! It was on the bottom of the case the whole time!

I am so stupid sometimes! Well actually, pretty much all the time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DenaliDave
Club 300


Joined: 09 Jan 2016
Posts: 300
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah...the joys of ordering items direct from China. It can often times be a mixed bag as an individual! Sometimes things get lost in translation!

Glad to see you were able to get it up and running. I use Apple notebooks in the studio for the actual recording, but I do use Windows 10 for any self production work.

I've found that Reaper is a good Win10 DAW that doesn't break the bank. It's infinitely customizable. I even found a skin/theme that makes it look like Apple's Logic Pro.

ProTools is insanely expensive to buy, and the subscription option does not appeal to me at all. Reaper does all that ProTools can do, but only costs $60 one time.

Lots of people are also using Studio One these days. I haven't dabbled with that program enough to comment. It's not as expensive as ProTools, but I still think it runs about $300-$400 to buy.
_________________
"The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve." - Buddha
www.alaskamic.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know... I can't believe that some company does not make a DAW specifically for voiceover. I really hate the complexity of most DAWS. I do not need 50 or 150 tracks of audio and midi. I do not want to have to set up tracks and busses and all that other stuff. I just do not want to be bothered with that. I do not want to have to read a manual, especially a poorly written one, to find out how to work the thing.

I am actually a fairly technically minded person. Over time, my hobbies have included ham radio, building computers and stereo speakers, as well as radio controlled helicopters. For some reason, I have this crazy idea in my head that DAWS should be much simpler and much more intuitive. I don't want to RTFM! I want them to work! My mistake I guess.

A couple of months ago, I downloaded 5 or 6 different DAWS that allowed a 30-day free trial. There were a couple that I could not get to work AT ALL. Later, I read somewhere that some of the more expensive DAWS do not work with USB microphones. Now, I don't have a USB microphone... but I have an audio interface that that IS USB. So I guess that was the problem but someone please correct me if I am wrong.

IIRC, Reaper worked but Cubase and Studio One 3, did not. Could be wrong. I really hate the name Reaper but I do remember liking something about that program. I wish that they had named it Deeper or anything else, for that matter. I also tried NCH MixPad and that was pretty easy to use (similar to Audacity) but I have never heard it mentioned anywhere and thought it best to stick with more popular DAWS, even if that means Audacity. Everyone knows Audacity, and it works. Since I am a beginner, I do not know where Audacity falls short of the more sophisticated DAWS. So tell me why I should dump it for something else. Seriously, I want to know.

I had Studio One 3, the free version of Studio One. I had heard that it was the Flavor of the Month in DAWS. Everyone was saying how much more sophisticated it was and that this is where everyone will be heading. It did not work for me. Again, IIRC, it was the USB mic problem.

I bought Sonar Home Studio because it was relatively low priced ($50), had a nice looking interface and included some sound files that I thought may come in handy. Who knows? I keep falling back to Audacity because it is so easy to use and I am only testing and experimenting at this point in time. When I am happy with my equipment setup, then I will go back and do a little more experimenting with 2 or 3 DAWS. I do want to feel good about my final DAW choice because people tend to stick with the one that they know. I certainly do not want to pay $300-$500 for a DAW or pay a subscription. There has to be a happy medium here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dwpthe3rd
Contributor IV


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 141
Location: Where palm trees meet the pines

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magix is the company that purchased Sony Sound Forge. Upon the recommendation of another here on the board, I recently made this purchase and, although still experimenting with it, find it easy to sort through and nearly identical to the "pro" version. The download sale price was $29.95.

http://www.magix-audio.com/index.php?id=20698&L=52&AffiliateID=146&phash=e8Zp8lTUPcNlzrGv&gclid=CI7Dz_-GidUCFW4R0wodTXIO8A
_________________
If attacked by a mob of clowns go for the juggler.

User Name: dwpthe3rd (a.k.a. the real David Paton)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
DenaliDave
Club 300


Joined: 09 Jan 2016
Posts: 300
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twisted Wave (OSX) is insanely simple and can do everything a VO person needs without it being complicated.

If you don't run Apple OSX there's a Windows clone that's actually free called Ocenaudio: https://www.ocenaudio.com/

It's also very, very good. I'd give it a shot since it's free.
_________________
"The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve." - Buddha
www.alaskamic.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
nick
Contributor


Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David & Dave...

Hey guys, thanks for the recommendations and the links.

I downloaded both programs.

I will put them head to head with Audacity and Sonar Home Studio and see how they stack up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DenaliDave
Club 300


Joined: 09 Jan 2016
Posts: 300
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you need/want to use a lot of plugins and do "audio make up" (as I call it) -- Twisted Wave and Ocenaudio aren't really strong in that department.

I think their strength lies in how easy it is to just record a single track and edit it -- what I mean is chopping out bad takes ect.

I typically record into Twisted Wave and edit in Twisted Wave. If I need to apply any kind of post processing, I'll use Reaper or Logic.

Twisted Wave does support batch processing which is cool. If you have a bunch of files you all want to apply a low pass filter, de-esser and light compression on, you can load all the files and it'll process them all in one go.
_________________
"The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve." - Buddha
www.alaskamic.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    VO-BB.com Forum Index -> Gear ! All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group