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Audio System Build. Help!

Discussion in 'Computers / Software' started by daddyslipdisk, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. I am in an enviable position of being able to have a system purchased for me in exchange for work that would be built to my specs. I do a lot of recording using a system that is pretty antiquated by today's standards and I really want to take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade my audio capabilities to truly put out some good professional audio.

    I currently use an Athlon 64 system with 3 gigs of ram and plan to upgrade to possibly a Intel Xeon or high end i7 for a processor and 6 gigs or more on the ram side. That's my THOUGHT anyway. On the soundcard side, I'm a little lost though. I currently use an E-Mu 0202 which is a pain. I want to upgrade it to something really nice like the RME Fireface UC, but wow, that's expensive. The Emu 0404 or even the 1010 with the front loading interface module (the1616m) that puts mike connections on the front is pretty nice. I just want good clean audio and a system build that can handle 24 tracks without choking.

    Besides the Mac proponents, any ideas?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Are you asking about computer specs or about interface advice? What is your budget in either case?

    For research you should check out the reputable DAW builders PC Audiolabs, ADK, etc and see what they are using. I do highly recommend RME interfaces and like EMU as well. The key to any interface is to make sure you have enough gozintas and gozoutas for your needs. An 0202 won't help you for instance if you need more than one microphone simultaneously.
  3. That's the beauty is that I have an open budget pretty much, but for the system complete (computer and any interface I happen to choose), I probably should stay in the $2500 range.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well, that isn't a huge budget by any means-about what I speced out a laptop last night. A Ff800 is in the $1500 range new and the UFX is $2000.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think your computer is basically adequate for doing most anything you want to do. Perhaps your only need is an upgrade to your current computer with the addition of something like a Universal Audio UAD card and others similar sub processor devices. I had no problems running 24 channels into or out of a 700 MHz Pentium III. Could I have plug-ins running on every channel? Not in real time, not without rendering. So why not just purchase a full ProTools system. Of course you really can't get those four $2500. $25,000 maybe? So you only need to save up for another 10 years. Of course by then, you can probably buy a full system for $2500?

    It would be better to know, how many channels you need to record simultaneously first? 8? 16? 24? More? Once we establish that, then we can figure out how many plug-ins you need to run simultaneously for mix down. Of course, if you're interested, ProTools 9 now allows you to run anybody's hardware. So do you want to go hybrid or strictly ITB? Most of us here do everything in a hybrid manner. We are all combining analog digital components. At least the folks who really care about their sound because we all know that neither analog by itself nor digital by itself gives us exactly what we're looking for more, listening for. I mean, for instance, $2500 will get you a single API 3124m, which is only 4 microphone preamps, no converters, no computer interface. So that's inadequate. On the other hand Presonus has a couple of very nice 8 input FireWire devices that are extremely affordable. I've been very impressed with their build quality internally and consider it a piece of quality professional equipment. So for around $1500 US, you can certainly have 16 to 24 inputs simultaneously. Combine that with a UAD or, something similar card and you're cooking with gas.

    The reason why I suggested all of this is because it's not your computer that provides you with quality sound. It's that all-important front end. It's for this particular reason that I would rather have a quality line level input computer interface since I've invested heavily in quality mic preamps. The MOTU 24i & the 24 IO, 12 input Hi-def unit and others are line level input. Then you can invest in quality mic preamps, of all sorts. And software choices are much like underwear, you got to use what you're comfortable with not what everybody tells you.

    One fish two fish redfish bluefish selfish sell fish
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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