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Best computer?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Motives, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. Motives

    Motives Guest

    Im new to the producing world, and my knowledge consists of mainly how to use fruity loops, acid pro, recycle and soundforge. Been a dj for 7 years so I understand the concepts of alot of it, and what Im going to need soundwise..

    but I need help on getting deeper into the industry. I need to upgrade my options. Hardware and Software wise..

    The first thing I plan on buying is a new computer, but I need advice on what people in the music industry think is a good idea. Ive heard alot about the G5 mac's and I have to say, the specs seem very impressive, but I am scared of Macintosh because the interface is so strange to me, Ive always been an intel guy. SO, when it comes to music, is the G5 the best bet? The whole thing is going to be devoted to Audio/video production so I need the best thing for that.

    Best computer for audio/video?

    Thanks to anyone able to post a reply :)

    Also if anyone has a quick idea they would like to help me with on the next step in upgrading after I buy a computer? I have the monitors, I know what software I want to get.. I have midi boards, any ideas? Im pretty bare so far when hardware is concerned..what are some important pieces I will need? Thank you for your time to reply with help, Im serious about what I want to do and all advice is greatly appreciated.

    Also felt it was important to add the type of music, I plan on making mass amounts samples, waves, break patterns,basslines, and loops all saturated heavily in effects and eq'ing after which will be mixed and produced into various types of breakbeats and jazz beats. The only actual instruments involved is a 4pc drum set.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Well the question you are asking is like, are Ford's better than Chevys? If you have been using PCs, you might as well stick with them. I personally prefer switching my Windows XP Pro to look more like my older Windows 2000 Pro interface. It looks more businesslike to me as opposed to the more cartoonish look of Macintosh OS X Panther. Any of those features that make your menus fade in and out along with shadows and scrolling should all be shut off for better audio system performance as all of that crap takes up a lot of resources that need to be better devoted to your audio production. But you will create a heated discussion here as there are many diehard Macintosh fans. Now the Macintoshs' have always been more friendly towards audio and video production. I started with Macintosh but ended up with PCs. PCs can be a pain in the butt. They are however more affordable and there is a plethora of software available.

    For audio production a lot of people like the AMD processors and for video, the Intel's are still my choice. I do both video and audio so I'm using Pentium 4s. You will certainly want to have 1 Hard Drive with your operating system and software and a secondary (or more) hard drive to be used for storage for recording and playback. You don't want to be recording on your system drive. You should also start off with no less than 512MB of RAM, preferably 1GB or more.

    As far as the audio software is concerned, everybody has their favorite flavor. I personally use Adobe Addition 1.5 and Sony Vegas 6 for most of my primary audio work. I'm not a big fan of ProTools, which requires dedicated hardware. The other software allows the use of most any kind of sound card hardware from the cheapest to the best. You can start off with a simple SoundBlaster type card which is adequate provided you don't overload the inputs. For my multitrack work, I'm currently using a MOTU or Mark Of The Unicorn 2408 Mark II. This particular device allows me to connect my 3, TASCAM DA 88s digitally and transfer all 24 tracks simultaneously into my computer. It also offers 8 balanced 1/4" analog inputs, no microphones. I also run an old Digi design Audiomedia III card and a couple of Sound Blaster's.

    I hope this gave you some insight?

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Motives

    Motives Guest

    aye Its good to hear that I can still stick with the non-mac if I want to. I had a good idea about the ram and storage, I need to check into sound/video cards and different ranges of processors. Thanks for the help!
  4. axel

    axel Guest

    RemyRAD worte:
    if you have to read that amount of nonsense, for shure: war.
    just kidding.

    no really, the point is that it is untrue, however, most important is to choose your apps first, and that's where the MAC for me wins, as all my fave audio apps are either mac only or mac native and then ported to the pc, secondly if you are the fiddle along with a comp type, pc is fine. if you want something out of the box, not fiddling, then mac, but as i said first, choose your fave audio apps first, then the question about which comp answers itself.

    check this out... from the mouth of a thief.


    because about everything windows does, e.g. the idea of having "windows: on your desktop in the first place, drag 'n' drop, mouse, etc. etc. is stolen and copied from..... apple. (or people who worked / developed for apples IDEAS)
  5. axel

    axel Guest

    i missed this, RemyRAD wrote:

    it's totally ok to go with something simple and cheap, but go for an m-audio audiophile 2496, for example this is a soundcard and comes deadcheap.
    or anything similar...
    soundblasters have terrible drivers, terrible super high latency, sounding $*^t and are just gamers cards...

    whatever computer, really NO soundblaster. ARRRGGHHH............ :twisted:
  6. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    1. Pick the basic software you want/need to use to do your recording.

    2. Pick the computer for the software. Base the actual "capabilities" of the computer on the software needs - the software "requirements" list.

    3. If your software demands Mac - fine, though Mac can cost more and is not always as "flexible"(Which comes at the cost of the PC possibly being more difficult to make work reliably?), if you need Mac, it'll be great! While I SAY yYou MUST pic your application software FIRST, I chose PC, originally, as I just didn't have the money to buy and equip a Mac, no matter the software! With what I know now, I still think I would(I was lucky?), as I like the "open-ness" of the PC-world structure. And, the PC works fine, particulary if you are used to the PC and know how to TURN EVERYTHING OFF that is, by default, "automatic" - the "auto" stuff can mess up one's audio terrbily - though this is likely true, to at least some degree, with a Mac, as well..?

    4. After picking your software and your machine(You may as well go with the latest version of Windows, if you go PC - XP Pro, would be my choice. With a Mac OR PC, be careful of which OS you use, as some may not be "proven" for audio, yet - like the 64 bit versions - from what I read...).

    5. Now you need to pick your SOUNDCARD/INTERFACE. As, to the audio person, the SOUND is THE most important part of "the system", picking which SC/IF, is THE most important part, as well(Irrespective of which platform, software, etc.). However, this choice may be easier than you think! You can choose, to a great degree, your SC/IF the same way you have chosen so far. Choose what "fits"! For instance, in my case I wanted a couple of things for sure -- A "stereo" interface, which I could use as stereo OR two mono channels(I "input" just ONE "thing" at a time!). All BALANCED XLR. At least one AES/EBU digital I/O. "No question "PRO" quality. At the time I got my SC, there was only one choice(I was lucky?). I got a LynxOne. Couldn't have asked for more(Well, maybe a lower price? Ha!).

    I now run my digital mic preamp into the Lynx AES/EBU side, my Mackie mixer into the analog side and the analog output of the card BACK to the mixer for speaker/headphone control and my software is Wavelab 5.0, possibly the best "two track" software out there? Certainly for the price. Perfect! Your needs will likely be different... but if you can figure out what they are, you can "cast-out" a w-h-o-l-e lot of "choices" soundcard/interface-wise and every other-wise! Again, if you go through the entire procedure, from scratch, by carefully picking the first item, then the rest almost fall into place. Like if you MUST have "LOGIC"? Then, you MUST have Mac. Must have Steinberg Wavelab 5.0? Then you must have PC. Need only 1 mic input(As I do)? Then, you can "throw out" - not even look at - every mic pre with more than 1 input, etc... Try to "minimize" the "buying process"(Though not neccessarily the money!), as it's "making the music"(Or whatever) that's the really important part.

    6. Which speakers? Which mics? Which almost anything else can wait... Though while you're doing your research and learning how to use whatever you do get, you may be able to work on your recording space? Your "room", as it were. Decide how it needs to sound(Or NOT sound?) and start installing "deadening" material, etc. A good room is the thing you will(If you don't already know) need the most. The world's costliest gear will probably sound horrible in a "bad" room......

    Teddy G.
  7. PC's and Macs both have strengths and weaknesses - I am not anti-mac at all, I use them effectively at work and friends of mine have G5 dual processors which are reliable and offer good performance (if at a hefty price), very nice o/s and you can use Logic, which I must confess to really liking the interface and envying it as a PC owner as it no longer is available for Windows. Also, Macs are much less prone to security issues such as viruses, spyware etc.

    Before considering Mac, think about these 2 issues
    1) Will this PC be exclusively for pro-audio recording, or needed as an all purpose computer - Although Macintosh has versions of Microsoft Office and Photoshop etc, it is limited (compared to Windows) for some applications and for gaming. DOn't get me wrong, there are excellent equivalents to a lot of windows software, but not everything is available and ditto for hardware. Although as Logic shows, some products that are becoming Mac only are top notch programs not available on Windows.

    2) Mac-Intel. Before you know it, the G5 will be history as Apple will be powered by Intel chips. G5 architecture will be supported for a couple of years, but after that some software will probably only run on the MacIntel architecture. I would personally hold out until the MacIntels have been selling in the stores for a year or so, so that the major bugs/glitches of a new system are mostly patched and the new platform has become the standard. Like every new Windows o/s it's better to wait a few months after release so the most glaring bugs have been patched up.

    PC's - Well, a new o/s is due soon for Windows - it may become as stable and user friendly as OSX's latest flavour but I could be delusional!

    Many decent DAW's are available, including Cubase/Nuendo, Sonar, etc. One strength PC's have is exclusive support of Wavelab, which is often used for mastering. They also offer a lot of bang for buck. They are great for general purpose needs due to their larger application/hardware support. Easier to customize the hardware/software options and some companies offer purposefully built pro-audio designed computers. Generally, they are a cheaper option than Macs too. I run a PC with Steinberg DAW and it works great for my needs (but I wish we could have logic!)

    Either way, both offer excellent pro-audio software...
  8. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    LOL yeah and Jobs stole it from IBM. lets keep the facts stright.

    Gates just made it better!
  9. Apple are supposed to have 'borrowed' the idea of windows from Xerox in all the documentaries and testimonials I've seen/heard. Xerox had a prototype photocopier machine that allegedly used 'windows'.

    I'm a PC user and fan but even I fail to see how Bill Gates made it 'better' - Apple have always had better designed and more stable o/s's than Microsoft, considering this is what has made Microsoft one of the biggest companies in the world you have to see the irony - the o/s is one of the weakest features of a windows pc in my opinion, linux and osx are both better designed, more stable o/s than XP. HOw many macs are crippled with spyware and viruses? Virtually none !

    Where PC was/are better was the range of software/hardware and cost. Performance bang for buck as well, although this is subjective (no flaming please, I know Macs do better in Photoshop, etc, etc)
  10. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    Which was stolen from XEROX! Apple treid to sue MS but backed off when Xerox said it would sue Apple if they were successful as a visit to SPARC by Jobs where Xerox was showing off the mouse GUI THEY INVENTED ......[/quote]
  11. no offense or anything, but i find these boards to be falling apart. every post ends up in an argunment, or heated discussion of egos involving people who think they know everything. I mean a guys asks us to give some advice of what is a good audio computer, and we all know, that, both pcs and macs are just fine, for doing dedicated audio work, and, it comes down to cost and, preferance.

    who gives a $*^t about who did what, and, when, and how, who cares. who cares. personally i think macs are $*^t, they are over priced, and, there is no software for them. i think logic is $*^t, and, i think macs o/s's are garbage. but thats me. i have a dual core system, i built myself for a fraction of the price of a G5. You couldnt give me one.

    you guys, should not bother posting if all you can do it insult, and, go into i know everything mode. I have read 5 threads tonight, and, all of them, unded up in an argument, of got way off track. i am signing off, and, may not be back.
  12. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    we'll miss ya!

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