Computer For Recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bluescorpion, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. bluescorpion


    Dec 18, 2013
    Hi All

    I'm trying to decide which way to go to start recording with computers. I'm trying to decide whether to go with MAC or Windows. I know this largely depends on the recording software that is used so I'm also asking which software do you guys recommend as well?

    I would like to collaborate with individuals in other states by recording my bass tracks in NC and then emailing the project to say a keyboardist in California.

    I've been pricing the MAC Book Pro but don't want to spend the money if I can use a cheaper Windows based system that will yield me the same results.

    What are your recording and collaborating thoughts gang???
  2. wlater


    Mar 13, 2014
    North Alabama
    If you are not already comfortable with a particular DAW software, then I would recommend Reaper. Works very well, heavily supported, hard to beat the price ($60), and they have both Windows and OS X versions so you would be set for collaborating with anyone else using Reaper whether they used Windows or OS X.
    My name is Mudd, INTP and Polfuste like this.
  3. bluescorpion


    Dec 18, 2013

    Great. I'll do some research on the program. Do you know if it will work with something like ACID Pro? I like the tracks that you can purchase from ACID.

  4. I prefer Windows, but that's coming from an IT guy and a guy that built his own PC with same/better specs as a MAC pro for a fraction of the cost. Honestly, a good Windows Laptop with an i5 processor and SSD will do you just fine for running ProTools, Sonor, Cubase, etc.. for around 1/2 to 3/4 of the cost of a comparable Mac.
    My name is Mudd likes this.
  5. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    I've read of many Windows users having issues with drivers (surprise!) for MIDI. Hardware supported by Mac is plug-n-play. That said, Apple has some amazing software for audio editing. This was Steve's dream; every user could be a creator. GarageBand is free with all new Macs, and is VERY easy to use. You'll be tracking in no time. MainStage is very inexpensive if you need to add tracks to a live show. Logic Pro is a fraction of the price of the other pro-grade DAWs, and version X incorporates new features and a more intuitive interface. Your iPad can be used as a wireless control pad!
    But other than that, Reaper is an excellent value.
    Dima B likes this.
  6. One track recording is a very light task. You can use any contemporary computers and DAWs. Even very cheap ones :) For example, I've been using old i5 Macbook for the 16 track simultaneously recording with my mobile studio.

    Reaper is very good and has the killer price for its features. And you can use free DAWs like Audacity for your purposes actually.
  7. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Tough call
    Audio sound wise - no difference. Even IOS is a contender.
    Reaper is great, but there's no IOS version and Android is catching up to IOS soon, so Android may be first.

    It's probably best to go with whatever who to plan to collaborate has. You can share between different OS's but sometimes there's some DAW automation that has to be used on some tracks while you're putting things together. Using the same DAW and OS may help.
  8. wlater


    Mar 13, 2014
    North Alabama
    Sorry, don't know anything about ACID Pro, but if the tracks are normal WAV or MP3 type files, they should work.
  9. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    Reaper. I use it with windows 7 and it works perfectly.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
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  10. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    The key issue with happiness on a Windows platform is how stable your hardware and drivers are. There is plenty of amazing software (Reaper is amazing), but the overall user experience is only as good as the weakest link, and typically that's the drivers.

    Case in point: for a while I used an E-Mu 1212M PCI-E interface because it featured some decent onboard ADCs as well as ADAT and some cool onboard DSP mixing features, all for an amazing price point (<$200). But the the more you used the ASIO drivers, the less stable they got. Inevitably after a few hours of use, the drivers would cause Windows to crash (i.e., blue screen). E-Mu was purchased by Creative, notorious for non-existent driver support, so it's no surprise that E-Mu has never released fixed drivers. The card is basically impossible to use successfully, at least on a 64-bit system.

    I never wanted to spend the extra cash on a RME PCI-E interface card (pro quality, but as expensive as a workstation PC), so since then I've been using external bus interfaces. I've used a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 for a couple years now and have never experienced a stability problem. You give up a little latency to the PCI-E solutions, but the stability is totally worth the tradeoff.
    INTP likes this.
  11. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I highly recommend ASIO4ALL if you are having problems with the drivers that shipped with an interface

    Or even if you don't have ASIO drivers, for example
    Many PC's internal audio is quite good, and asio4all let's them work with DAW software even better.
    You can also combine several interfaces together into one big interface with ASIO4ALL

    Handy driver software for a PC
    My name is Mudd likes this.
  12. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Yep, ASI4All is a great resource, especially for basic audio devices that supply a stable WDM wavein/waveout driver, like basic consumer-grade audio devices (or builtin audio) or class devices. I have not had good luck with it for sophisticated interfaces in years past. For instance, I couldn't get it to enumerate the ADAT inputs on the E-mu, IIRC. Also, it doesn't replace the WDM driver of the audio device; it just replaces the kmixer side to reduce latency. So if the WDM side of your original driver has issues, then ASI4All won't help much, unfortunately.
  13. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Every couple of years, I look at MAC's, but always decide that I can get the same performance on a PC for about half the cost.
  14. I use Reaper on both platforms; I record into a MacBook Air (a gift - I agree that Apple is almost prohibitively expensive, but the stuff works), and then transfer the recordings to my self-built Win-7 desktop machine for mixing, etc.

    Your money will go farther by far with a Windows machine; Reaper freakin' rules; aiso4all is The Way to go; and get a good interface.