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Desktop PC for Recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jazzercountry, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. jazzercountry

    jazzercountry Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2000
    Las Vegas, NV
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Howdy folks,

    Well, the time has finally come. I'm going to actually get serious about recording, and I'm going to try and get a dedicated machine.

    Here's what I'm working with:

    I already have Reason & Cubase w/several plugins, and a Line 6 Toneport for an interface - so I want to continue to use those.

    I'm looking to purchase a dedicated machine (CPU only, I have everything else) at or below $500 that won't give me any trouble. I'll never be cutting more than 2 tracks at the same time, so I'm not sure how much performance I actually need? This is an area I'm totally out of the loop on.

    I'd like to be able to have some pretty high track counts on some stuff, with Reason drum tracks, so I know that will be a factor. (especially when you account for the plugins)

    Anyhow, your advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. irjason

    irjason In Memoriam

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Well, I'm fairly new to the whole computer recording thing. Up until recently I was using an old Fostex digital 8 track. Now I'm running Mackie Tracktion on my aging XP Home PC. So far I've not run into any troubles with it. Here's the specs of my PC if it would help at all.

    AMD 64 3200+ Processor
    1 GB DDR RAM
    40 GB hdd for OS 120 GB hdd for files
    NVidia 6800 GT video card (i'm sure this is overkill for recording, but it's my gaming system too)

    Check out http://www.newegg.com for good prices on hardware if you don't already know about it.

    EDIT: you may also want to check the hardware requirements for all of the latest versions of the software you're running to get an idea of what you might need.
  3. Koushaku

    Koushaku The artist never sleeps, only dreams

    Mar 10, 2005
    Albany, NY

    I've spent a couple years recording with computers.

    Currently I use an AMD 4600+ dual core processor with 2GB ram memory in my desktop, but that, I would think, would be overkill for running a maximum of two tracks and plugins, not to mention over-budget for you.

    My suggestion is that you get something with more than 2ghz from the processor, and at least 1gb ram, though the more you can afford the better.

    Another thing to consider is your hard drive(s). I actually use my computer for other things besides just music production (like gaming and internet) and I actually have three hard drives. One is for music production and nothing else (network connections disabled, the internet is a resource hog!), one is for gaming, internet, and everything else, and one is just for storage.

    If you plan to use your computer for things other than music production, I'd suggest getting separate hard drives if you can afford it. Not only can it improve the performance of your machine when recording, but you also wouldn't want to run the risk of getting an incurable virus from the internet on your computer and being forced to reformat your hard drive and lose your recordings...nasty business that can be.

    Also, if it is within your budget, consider a 10000rpm hard drive for your recording hard drive, 7200rpm will work, of course, but faster is always better. :p

    If that's not possible, I'd suggest at least disabling the network connections while recording for better tracking and performance. For many years I used Cubase on a computer that was 1.25ghz and had 256mb ram and it faired okay with multiple vsts and recording one or two audio tracks at a time, even with only one hard drive and being a family desktop with internet on all the time, but it is best to be cautious these days.

    To note: I currently use Cakewalk Sonar 5, and have no problem with my current setup running dozens of tracks recording simultaneously along with plugins and virtual instruments.

    I hope some of my advice helps you out. :)

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