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best recording program for an older computer?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by poni618, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. poni618

    poni618 Active Member

    i'm trying to get my sister setup with a recording program
    her desktop is a pentium 4 2.4 hz, windows xp
    but she only 1.5 gb of ram.
    i noticed ableton and studio one both ask for minimum 2 gb of ram,
    am going to try to add ram, but dont know if i can.
    will be hooking her up with a mobile pre usb m-audio box, so that should be fine,
    so yea, what recording program might one suggest?
    would be nice if she could multi track without too much latency
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Reaper is a good one. An older version of Cubase would work well. You could probably pick up Cubase VST for dirt cheap. That's a pretty old system. You could probably find an older core 2 duo desktop for under $200. That being said, with what you have, you might want to consider Acid Music studio. It's a bit weird but it has a built in tutorial and a feature called "what does this do" or something like that. Essentially, there is an icon or keystroke that allows you to click on a feature and a help file will come up and show you how to make use of that feature. Acid looks weird but it's very functional. You could probably pick that up for $50 for a used copy or from a software discount store. (not online.) Version 6 is great. Otherwise Reaper, Mixcraft, N-Track Studio, Sonar Essentials, Cubase Essentials or even Magix Music Studio will work for you.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member


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  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You could also utilize an old program like Cool Edit Pro a.k.a. Adobe Audition 1.5. And that's what I'm still running. Works great on older machines. Been running with that since the days of Pentium I I's and only a couple hundred megabytes of RAM.

    Most any audio interface you purchase today frequently has Cue Base 4 LE, bundled. And that works well on older machines. Great MIDI implementation where Adobe Audition 1.5 doesn't do any MIDI. Also relies upon ASIO, Low latency drivers. Audition 1.5 will only work with WDM & wave drivers and so requires a computer audio interface that has real-time pass through monitoring.

    As has also been suggested, REAPER, features capabilities found in many other fine programs. And it's virtually free! I mean even if you want to purchase it, it's more than affordable.

    If you want more available RAM? Some folks have suggested trying to set up an alternate RAM utilizing standard USB memory chips. Though I was always under the impression those were not fast enough for that purpose? So I've never tried that myself. But it might be an option?

    A lot of this really depends on what kind of music she is in pursuit of producing? Real-time effects during recording, frequently become untenable in older slower machines with low RAM. Not something that is 100% necessary but is frequently desirable to obtain better performances/takes. So if she needs to hear some compression, EQ or perhaps even some reverb, additional outboard equipment to provide that function, may be required? And also as indicated, any used, off lease, machine may have capabilities far beyond that of this old computer you are speaking of. Something as mundane as a Pentium D. Which is an early, 32-bit, dual core like the Intel Core Duo, in my six year old HP laptop. And even that fills the bill for me, for all sorts of 24 track productions. Though all of the effects are not available in real time and the mix must be rendered. So these older machines are not necessarily all that capable for programs such as Avid ProTools, which does everything in real time. So that should not be of a primary concern.

    You'll get her going. You're a good brother.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. poni618

    poni618 Active Member

    thanks for all the help folks,
    i think i'm going to order so more ram, its cheap anyways, and get REAPER! or Audition.

    i honestly dont think i would ever recommend old cubase to anyone, i dont know which the one it was that i used way back when but it basically gave me a very very bad taste for home recording for like 2 years. i guess newer cubases are supposed to be different, so i might try them out.

    Acid sounds interesting too, going to check out a trial or something of it fer sure!

    thanks so much

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