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Last post Author Topic: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?  (Read 6221 times)

urlwolf

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File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« on: April 14, 2013, 11:26:09 AM »
I'm about to set up a music computer, and all seems to point at win7 being the safer choice.
But what new features of win8 would I miss?

looks like File history (time machine) in win 8 is worth exploring.
Advantages:
  • Integrates with win explorer
  • can use an external hd
  • better interface to retrieve old versions

Has anyone here used it? Worth it? Any similar software to take win7 to the same level?

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 01:07:31 PM »
When it comes to music apps as in: DAWS, recorders, sequencers, loop stations and soft synths (if that's what you're planning) you definitely do not want to install Windows 8 unless you absolutely have to at this point.

I general, if you're planning a workstation for music or media authoring, the SOP has always been to get a working configuration and never ever update anything on it unless something breaks or you want the new version of one or more of your main apps. And if you do update anything, use caution - and have a full image backup of your system/programs drive before you install or update anything.

This stuff has gotten a lot better about OS changes over the years. But many music apps are still relatively fragile compared to your standard productivity and general purpose programs. At least based on my personal experience with things like Gigasampler, Cubase, FruityLoops, Progression, Rosegarden, Rakarrack etc.

images.jpg

Just my :two:  :Thmbsup:

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 01:10:14 PM »
This is what I thought.
Actually, I started trying this on linux. Horrible setup. Jack is a very bad idea, and as stable as a house of cards...

So win7 it is.

Anything similar to 'time machine' on win7?

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 01:26:24 PM »
Would you say NO updates whatsoever? If the machine is online, that might be even dangerous?

I plan to 'live' inside linux on virtualbox, but I know myself, at the end I'll open a browser on the host just out of convenience. Of course there will be no antivirus running... :huh:

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 01:27:19 PM »
Any recommendations on learning how to set up and keep a DAW would be welcome too :)

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 01:30:50 PM »
    ^I'd go with Win7 (or OSX) unless you can say "yes" to at least three of the following:

    • I like to tinker
    • I am out to prove you can do as much with free software as you can with paid software
    • I am cheap by nature, flat broke, or on a very tight budget
    • I am not on deadline for some paid work
      • I have some fairly decent Linux experience under my belt

      Even though I'm a big supporter and advocate for Linux - I'm still not a zealot. Nor will I make excuses for flaky software. Even when it's made available at no charge. And while it may not be fair to complain about a freebie title, that still doesn't mean excuses need be made if it doesn't work as advertised.
       8)

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 01:38:47 PM »
Would you say NO updates whatsoever? If the machine is online, that might be even dangerous?

If you're creating a music workstaion, it should only be used for that. Which means no antivirus, no online use, no Facebook no LOL cats, etc. Just music apps as needed - and preferably as few as possible to get the job done. If it's working, and you're not browsing online or reading e-mail, or constantly installing new software, you don't need updates. It's like an appliance. How often do you need to upgrade firmware on an appliance?

If you have only one PC, a swappable hard drive is the best compromise. Have one drive for general use and one drive reserved just for music.

Maybe virtual machines might work - although how you'd get the performance of a realtime kernal out of a virtual machine is something I doubt is possible. But I'm no expert when it comes to VMs so I'll have to leave that discussion to those with more experience with VMs than I have.

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 02:11:03 PM »
No, the host (win 7) is the daw, and the guest (linux) is the day-to-day machine (browsing etc). It'll all live on a laptop, i7 8 cores, 16gb ram, 2SSDs. So I hope this would work out fine. NO lowlatency kernel on linux, linux is for work.

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 02:12:37 PM »
Any recommendations on learning how to set up and keep a DAW would be welcome too :)

There are musicians here at DoCo who should be able to help with that.  

I'd suggest starting a new thread asking that question since it's going to get lost in here.  

(Sorry for the brief note.  Had to run out - and typing on this iPhone is not fun.) ;D

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 02:19:28 PM »
No, the host (win 7) is the daw, and the guest (linux) is the day-to-day machine (browsing etc). It'll all live on a laptop, i7 8 cores, 16gb ram, 2SSDs. So I hope this would work out fine. NO lowlatency kernel on linux, linux is for work.

hmm...

maybe put your linux /home and swap on the laptop HD - but install and run linux off a bootable USB key? You can get a good quality 16Gb key for under $20 these days. And 16Gb would be more space for a Linux OS than you'd ever need. Even 8Gb would be a lot if you're not storing /home on it.

You'd need to reboot to use Linux if you did it this way, but it shouldn't be too inconvenient since a USB bootup is very fast.

superboyac

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 02:53:43 PM »
I've been dealing with DAWs for several years in my typical hack/non-traditional style.  it's true, for serious use, you don't really want to update anything once you have a rig that is working.  But I think this is becoming less and less true, but still, better to be on the safe side.  I think it is more true for the high end tools and software than for the hobbyist, which is where i seem to have evolved to.  for example, if you have a windows or mac machine, and are running cubase, pro tools, logic, etc.  i would be very cautious about updating and stuff, because those things are VERY sensitive setups.  i had a cubase setup that i eventually updated and the tracks and everything just won't play anymore.  i can probably fix it, but it would be a headache.

now, i've moved to reaper on windows 7, which is a setup i have fallen in love with big time.  reaper is practically free ($60 for home use, and will work unregistered forever so basically free).  reaper is a tiny installation (8 mb) which is mind blowing when you consider the sizes of the professional software, which i have no desire to use again.  it is kept up to date, and very flexible with it's file management and importing/exporting stuff.  this is a big deal because the other companies are not, and that is often what makes changing things so hard in the future.  anyway, i'm a huge fan of reaper, it's something very special.  and i'm still a beginner.  it's been rock solid and has been able to do anything i have come up with.

i like windows 7 for daw, haven't tried win 8, probably won't for a while.  windows 7 has been no problem so far.  one thing i recommend for daw...SSD.  especially if you work with samples, but even if you don't.  SSD's are perfect for music production, has made the biggest difference of anything else i've noticed.

i see that you are concerned with time-machine like saving of files.  I don't really relate, but i understand.  Most of these daw software have pretty good undo/redo capabilities, so that's good.  but if you save a file and overwrite it and want to go back from the one a week ago...i guess that's difficult.  i want to say don't worry too much about that, but don't want to dismiss it outright.  here's the thing...i don't think it would work all that well anyway, trying to go back and recover stuff like that.  you can use something like autover to monitor the folder and keep backup versions of the file everytime you save it again.  i do that for word docs, but not for music.  i find it's just better to do it manually.  for example, if i have a good track recorded, but i want to experiment with a new setting or something that i'm nervous about, i'll do a "save as" and start with a different file, just for insurance.  trying to automate that pschology/behavior will probably not work as well as your thinking.  you just know when you are making a big change and you should be aware of it.

i know it's a bit of a rambling, but in conclusions:
win7 64 bit, SSD, reaper, lots of RAM, avoid external drives (especially usb), get a good soundcard (M-audio at least).  this is my advice.

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 03:13:47 PM »
Thanks, great advance so far.
I was planning to use FL studio, or presonus studio one.
I will use VSTs only, no external audio recording.
I'd like to have the best midi sequencer and piano roll I can find.

My main concern is that performance inside the virtual machine may not be that great. For a start, 3D accel would not work, or not work well, so all the compiz/unity stuff is out. I'm thinking 12.04 with unity 2D.

How's win 8 under a vm? looks like is has less graphic stuff on the window decorations, may perform well...

superboyac

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 04:04:10 PM »
Thanks, great advance so far.
I was planning to use FL studio, or presonus studio one.
I will use VSTs only, no external audio recording.
I'd like to have the best midi sequencer and piano roll I can find.

My main concern is that performance inside the virtual machine may not be that great. For a start, 3D accel would not work, or not work well, so all the compiz/unity stuff is out. I'm thinking 12.04 with unity 2D.

How's win 8 under a vm? looks like is has less graphic stuff on the window decorations, may perform well...
this is what i do also so far, just vst's.  you don't want to consider reaper?  are you already experienced with FL or presonus?  i've been playing around with reaper's midi tools.  they say cubase has the best midi features, so i wanted to compare.  i found reaper very good with midi, i have no real complaints i can think of.  if there are specific midi things you are interested in, let me know, and i'll tell you how good/bad reaper is at it.

lol...i'm reading 40hz's post, and now i'm getting nervous.  my reaper rig is on my main desktop pc, and i use it pretty seriously.  haven't had any problems so far, but you never know.  i do install a lot of software and tinker a lot.  it is still in hobby version though, i guess.  in the future, i'll probably eventually make a portable daw that will be standalone though.  so i can take it with me to record individual grand piano, hammond organ, guitar, etc. tracks.  still thinking about that one.  either i get a new place and establish a studio permanently there, or use a funky portable daw rig.

urlwolf, what are you trying to do with VM?  i don't recommend DAW and VM together.

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 04:16:35 PM »
I want to have the daw as the 'iron' OS.
Then 'live' inside the VM, so I don't polute the pristine DAW.
Does it make sense?
When making music, I can turn off the 'day-to-day' virtual OS, and have just a barebones, no-updates, no-nonsense win 7.

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2013, 04:18:00 PM »
My concern is that living inside the VM irks me because performance is bad. Then the whole plan goes to hell.
Looking at VMWare now, seems to have better performance than vbox, but no snapshots on the free version... hmm. Sort of kills it.

Dormouse

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2013, 04:55:09 PM »
Quite a few people use FL or Studio One with Reaper; you can use FL within Reaper, I assume you can do the same with S1 though I've never tried it myself. The strengths of Reaper and FL in particular are complement each other. Reaper forum is very friendly & well informed about DAWs in general. If you want to use Melodyne and are happy with a cut down version, then S1 can look a good and cheap way of doing that.

Everything depends on what sort(s) of music you want to make and how you want to do it, though you can probably make any of the DAWs do anything if you work at it.

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2013, 09:01:13 PM »
A lot depends on what kind of music you do and what level you want to operate at. Also what instrument(s) you play and whether you're primarily midi/electronic - or you need real world analogue and vocals too. (Don't rule out vocals if you have commercial aspirations. Straight instrumentals - especially electronic - are a hard sell unless you're a real prodigy IMO. Add a good vocalist and some finely crafted lyrics and your job gets easier since people are more likely to remember songs with lyrics than tunes without.)

I just had a friend pick up one of these. It's pretty awesome what you can do with it and it costs about $250 on the street. (I recommend Sweetwater.com btw. Great selection, knowledgeable staff, superb service and very good prices. And I'm in no way affiliated with them. I'm just a very happy customer for about four years now.)

But in your case I'd definitely give Reaper a try before anything else. It's a fine piece of software. Easily as good as anything in the sub $500 price range. And probably as good as some of the stuff in the higher price brackets as well. If you want to spend money, and you're really a VST afficianado who is into loop-based composition techniques, take a look at Abelton Live. That's a DAW hybrid that's made for that sort of thing.

Some resources:

Good sites to check out for reviews and free music software: Synthtopia and KVR Audio

A good site for home recording techniques and tutorials: The Recording Revolution

Good Lord! There's sooooo much good stuff out there to investigate and talk about. Where to begin? ;D

(We could do a whole sub-board on just music and recording without even trying. 8))
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 09:11:38 PM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 12:34:47 AM »
Interesting thread.
I don't create music, but I grok some of the system build themes here. A couple of thoughts:

1. The main use case I see about updating is watching for new features in new versions of your favorite programs.

2. Back before I got lazy and quit caring, I used to maintain "parallel" machines. So one was designed to be pounded on, that's where you fiddle and test stuff. Then you load over your best rig settings/progs onto the "main" machine.

urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2013, 07:39:23 AM »
I care about file history because I'm hoping to have something like version control for DAW files.
Here's an interesting thread describing a product that goes in that direction:
https://news.ycombin....com/item?id=1642419

tomos

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2013, 09:12:21 AM »
I care about file history because I'm hoping to have something like version control for DAW files.
Here's an interesting thread describing a product that goes in that direction:
https://news.ycombin....com/item?id=1642419

I'm not familiar with the world you're describing (music/daws) but I'll chance asking:
why not use a dedicated app?
You would presumably have more control. Filehamster (FH) is the only one I know that allows you add comments to the saved version. It's limited in ways, but it works. (I'd dearly love if they developed that whole aspect of FH but they show no interest.) I use FH for some jobs, and Syncovery (formerly SFFS) for the others (where I dont need comments). Snycovery is more dependable in my experience and may be able to do partial file backup which would save you a lot of space (sounds like that work can be big).
Tom

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2013, 11:51:36 AM »
T'was a time when I was big on version control for music files. But I was coordinating with several dispersed people in those days.

Nowadays, I find it faster and easier to just get in the habit of being better organized. I use nested folders and am careful about naming files. I have a workflow and naming convention when I do any sort of creative work and have found it works far better (for me at least) than any VC software.

The trick to using a system like this is to forget you have a SAVE option after you create your initial project files. Once the original project files are created you use SAVE AS for everything that follows.

My organization is a series of folders by project, with files named meaningfully. My schema is kept simple by choice. You can go wild with hierarchies, but it's really not necessary or advisable.

Mine (based on how I work) is:

Project:
  Song
  Section/Part
  Track  
------------------
Status flag:
  Draft
  Final
  Alternate Take
------------------
Assets: (can either be part of a global resource library or specific to an individual project)
  Sequence/Pattern/Loop
  Sample/Patch/Instrument
  Audio
  
At the end of a session, I'll do a final "save as' to the project directory.

Project directories are sorted with most recent file on top since I'm usually most interested in (or working off) the last saved version.

The entire project directory gets synchronized to a backup directory least once per day as well as at the end of every work session.

This requires a little bit of discipline up front. But it soon becomes habit.

Maybe it's not fancy or automated. But when you're basically working by yourself, there isn't any good reason for allowing any more complexity than what you personally need. Because organizing and "getting ready"  can easily turn into an endless cycle of superfluous preparations to be creative, rather than something which facilitates creativity.

The thing to remember is that routines can be liberating - but only if you allow them to become routine. If you're constantly thinking about them (and tweaking them) then they're no longer routines - they're projects!

Just my :two: anyway. ;D

And that's about it. Works for me. :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 12:01:20 PM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2013, 12:02:55 PM »

I do a modest amount of version control myself on my little projects, but I use the filename to do it. I don't have any master system - it moves around from project to project.

I'll use regular save for each change to the "main trunk" just because the slight chance of a botch would destroy it without saving in a bunch of say 12 steps to create the starter file.

But then yes, I go heavily into "Save As" land. I use a mix of descriptive text and number-letter codes. So for a little project like modifying Steve Perry's song Oh Sherry I'd end up with a whole suite of drafts such as:

OhSherry
OhSherry Cut1 (such as removing dead time or maybe a radio announcer from a radio copy)
OhSherry Cut1 SpdDn25%
OhSherry Cut1 SpdDn25% Echo 4-4 (4 ms delay, 4 ms length of echo)
OhSherry Cut1 SpdDn25% Echo 4-4 PitchDn15%


urlwolf

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2013, 01:24:06 PM »
No ofense, but version control by changing the file name is a really bad practice. Pervasive, but not practical. You cannot keep the graph perfectly on filenames, and there's no clear path to any state.

This is a known practice in science, and the messes it leaves behind are legendary:

http://www.phdcomics...om/comics.php?f=1323

What I'd love to have is something like this, but for daw files:

http://kb.vmware.com...-SnapshotManager.jpg

superboyac

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2013, 01:49:57 PM »
I pretty much do what 40hz described also.  A while back, I went through some version control investigations (probably have some threads here about it) but found nothing to work well enough for my tastes.  So now it's pretty manual, and routine as 40 says.  I do use Syncovery pretty heavily for the backup-synchronization.

40hz

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Re: File history (time machine) in win 8: worth exploring?
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2013, 03:03:45 PM »
No ofense, but version control by changing the file name is a really bad practice. Pervasive, but not practical.

No offense taken. All I can say is that it works splendidly for me. And has been doing so for quite some time - as it has for several other musicians I know. And it's not so much changing the file names as my adding a number at the end of it. (ex: SongOutremer0001, SongOutremer0002, SectionOutremerViolins0001, etc.) But we routinely memorize and employ elaborate chord and melodic sequences - and tend to see and use patterns for everything. Maybe it has something to do with the musical mindset?

Quote
This is a known practice in science, and the messes it leaves behind are legendary:

Can't speak for science, not being a scientist. (Closest I come to that is maybe being somewhat of an engineer.) But I'm not talking about doing science here. I'm speaking about doing art. ;)

In the end, it's definitely whatever works best for you. I grew up before personal computers and digital assistants were the norm and possibly are now necessary for some people. So my synapses are probably wired differently than the next generation, which provides for different mental strengths, preferences - and weaknesses - as a result.
 :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 03:15:57 PM by 40hz »