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PC or MAC For home studio?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by PollyBass, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Alright, what comp has the best software for recording? i plan on using (with either) a mixer, a better sound card, and some mic's, with some third party software to record with (N-Track, Pro Tools, all that). Would that be a good cheap way to do a decent recording job? or is their a cheaper way? i was planning on getting a notebook so it would be mobile. So, any sugjestions? ive been into computers for a long time, but don't know a WHOLE lot about the audio/recording side. I know how to setup everything, and record, just not spec's. like the diffrent cards you can get, the software, and so on. keep in mind that this is going to TRY to be as cheap as possible.
  2. Well, I don't know much about the topic but I'll tell you this, I use a PC and the program called Cool edit pro, but I find alot of people don't like it or don't find it powerfull enough, but for me, 128 tracks is enough!
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I was thinking about n-track for pc, i dont know if they make a mac version. It's amazing, one of the best cheap audio recording programs ive seen. It has a SMORGASBOARD of effects, and it's EASY to use.
  4. I'll have to check out n-track, Yanno, I don't know who could use all 128 tracks on cool edit pro, I think the most I used is like 7!
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'm a mac user
    Always have been always will be.

    I use a cheap Pc for gaming but do just about everything else on my mac(graphics, web, sound, and some games)
    I am just about to buy some midi gear(to incorperate my computer with my MPC and synthesizer)

    in my experience...using both macs and pcs for sound
    I have highly prefered using macs. something about the whole layout and functionality of mac os and mac versions of some sound software...is much nicer to work with.

    if you are going to go portable....then I couldn't recommend getting a mac more.
    the titanium g4 powerbook is perhaps the sweetest laptop in the world...especially for graphics and sound work(thanks to the widescreen)
    the iBook isn't to shabby either...and its way cheaper...but it doesn't have a widescreen and is still running on a g3 processor.

    thats my two cents
    I prefer macs for just about everything.
    and would highly recommend using a mac for your sound stuffis.
  6. I think macs are much more stable than pcs for audio-visual applications. Also, get the fastest and most RAM & hard drive space you can afford. In almost every computer-based recording session I've been involved with, there has been some problem with not having enough hard drive space or the memory is too bogged down to perform a task. I can't tolerate all the computer problems so I would recommend just getting an ADAT.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    This one's a flame war waiting to happen. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    exactly. Objective, I can say this: Use whatever your more comfortable with in terms of the OS. Do the research and see what fits in your budget. You can't go wrong either way these days, performance-wise.
  9. engramic


    Jul 9, 2002
    I think software pretty much all does the same job but it depends what you like to use, what functions you want to perform. Essentially, none will produce drastically better results than another, but you may have aesthetic or functional preferences for a certain sequencer.

    In my experience, neither PC or Mac is more stable or unstable than the other. I use both extensively and regularly for graphic design and audio. If a machine crashes often or has problems, it isn't because it is Mac or PC, but because there is something wrong with the machine.

    If you absolutely need a portable machine, then a Mac with a firewire audio interface like the MOTU 828 is definitely the way to go, but pretty expensive. That will give you eight ins and eight outs. PC's aren't good for portable audio because there aren't many audio cards available for laptops. Macs have the advantage with the firewire interface; a number of good quality firewire audio devices are available. When USB 2.0 (another type of digital interface) is more widely used, within a year, that advantage will be lost. USB 2.0 will be faster and widely integrated into all computers, where firewire has never become standard with PC's.

    If you don't want to spend too much, I would recommend getting a PC desktop and a sound card that has as many inputs and outputs as you will need. If you need to record drums, you might need eight ins, or if you will never record more than two sources, a stereo input soundcard will be enough.

    My biggest recommendation would be to keep it simple and small. There might not be any point buying a big system... by the time you've learnt more about digital systems, mixing, recording techniques, and audio in general, your system may well be outdated, and better cheaper options will be available.

    I sincerely hope this helps in your noble quest :)
  10. although that fell apart some when I bought a 1.9 P4, 400Mhz front end buss with the capability of 2 gigabytes of ram.

    But the way I figue it, this PC will have enough power to last me for sometime doing this. What I did start small in was the recording gear itself, something portable then a way to get that infor into my PC for mastering, mixing etc......works fine for now.

    It is portable, sophisticated enough so I can learn things on it and put some relatively decent stuff down, without a large cash outlay for the recording stuff.

    but I would suggest as many other's do, to research it, look around.........

  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  12. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ok, someone said something to the effect to "Get a sound card that has 8 in's and outs"... what if i got a mixer, and ran it into the soundcard? Controling all the mic's from there?
  13. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    You could have a million track mixer, but if your soundcard only has two channels you can only record two channels at once.
  14. awesome


    Aug 14, 2002
    Do you mean mixing all your channels to one stereo channel?
    That way you will have to make the mix before you record and you can't change it later, except for some mastering. This is called a live-recording

    In normal recording sessions, every channel is recorded seperately and the mixing is done afterwards.

    Which one of the 2 do you want? And what mixer do you have?

    btw, Mac is my favorite, but it's just a matter of taste.
  15. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Right, well, the main thing is CHEAP. I could recored us all. then, record us one at a time , while listening to the live rip. using the N-Track, you can record, then record another track, then another track, and so on. then mix them all together in the final mixdown. I know what would be better, but all i want is a decent, good audio, recording. Would this be alright? I can also change the tracks using the program, as far as that goes. Is my thinking right?
  16. awesome


    Aug 14, 2002
    You can do that. (you still have to do a live mixdown for the drum though.)

    If you go for a laptop, I would take a look at the M-audio "usb quattro" (usb, 4 ins, 350$ list, free logic version)

    Note that with a laptop you will probably also be needing a scsi-harddrive (I would go for desktop if you want to keep it cheap)

    Still doubting about the" PC vs. Mac"-thing?
  17. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I use a PC and am a long-time Cubase user (I actually started on an Atari 1040ST with just midi).

    Lots of people have problems with Cubase but I've been using it for many years and worked through all that a very long time ago.
  18. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    um....you must have had a very different experience with adats than i have.

    every...count...EVERY time i have been to a recording session with adats, one of the decks goes down. live recordings, scratch track sessions, for real studio recordings, everything. ALWAYS has had at least one crash no matter what.

    i'm a DAW man for life.
  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I've had a lot of weird ADAT problems as well. I think they require a lot of maintenance. I also think people don't do that maintenance.
  20. I did a session last night on a Ensoniq Paris setup and was totally impressed with how easy it was. The engineer knew his software and gear well and there were no problems. Kinda made me want to go that route. Very easy editing and recording multiple takes without any hassle. This was on a PC by the way.

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