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Better answer here than in the DAW forum i hope...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DjR4FH, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. DjR4FH

    DjR4FH Active Member

    Ok....im going to school in the fall....get my degree in pro. recording arts. Im wanting to have a computer at home for production. Im curious as to what i would NEED pc or mac wise....Ill be using Reason 3.0, ableton live 4, native instruments reaktor, absynth, and cubase possibly. What do i need in a pc? what do i need in a mac? what about sound cards? ill be also using a m-audio ozone or O2. My current pc specs are :

    p4 canterwood @ 3.1ghz

    1gig dualchannel ddr pc3200 ram

    120gig SATA hd

    radeon 9800 pro128 mb

    Im using onboard sound....but its not the best. Should i just upgrade and if so. what should i get? what about soundcards? or get a powermac g5 dual 1.8ghz with 2gigs ram? PLEASE i really need help im total noob but i can produce quite well as long as i have the right equipment!!!!
     
  2. djspl

    djspl Guest

    what you have right now is fine. A 3.1 ghz P4 is a lot of processor still. Just get another SATA drive for audio only.

    If you NEED to buy, forget about macs (unless you use Logic of course). If you buy new, go for an AMD 64. A $1000, 2.2ghz A64 system has no problem keeping up with a dual G5 in audio apps. Personally, I'd try the P4 first. If you run out of CPU headroom then you can buy something else.

    Of course you will need a decent sound card and some monitors. Sounds cards have different purposes. Are you going to be recording live audio? how many tracks at a time?

    Reformat your hard drive. Put a nice, fresh copy of Windows XP SP2 on your hard drive. Install the latest drivers and tweak your system for audio...
    http://www.musicxp.net/tuning_tips.php
    Having a stable audio computer is 70% hardware config and 30% tweaking Windows. Turn off all the uneeded services and startup programs.
     
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    The reply you've been waiting for....

    You should get this: http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/ad16x.php

    And this:
    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/da16x.php

    and what the heck, this:
    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/bigben.php

    If you use MIDI, might as well get one of these:
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MTPAVUSB/

    For monitors, I think these are OK:
    http://www.genelec.com/products/1032a/1032a.php

    Like guy mentioned, get another HD for your audio files; and if you got the dough might as well get the G5 too so you can make sure you are compatible with anything. Now your setup is awesome.
     
  4. DjR4FH

    DjR4FH Active Member

    How would i incorporate those into my software audio programs? would i use that instead of a.....for example...soundblaster audigy or a m-audio sound interface? do i NEED those? im just going to be using software audio progs. i wont be recording any live instruments. ill only be using high quality samples and original production stuff from vst's and synth progs etc.
     
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Aha, now we're getting somewhere. If you are not recording anything live, then you will only really need a soundcard for playback.
    Here is a good one: http://www.lynxstudio.com/lynxl22.html

    Get some monitors, get some software, and go to town.
     
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Reggie...

    You have very expensive recommendations you know that right?! High end converters(especially Apogee) are not a beginners setup in any way man! lol He's looking to get a simple setup and not break the bank!

    Lynx cards are nice but expensive for the beginner and someone who isn't looking to build a complete studio. For cheap audio cards look into M-Audio or Echo Audio..

    Just becareful of SP2 as there are some plug ins and applications that still don't work properly with it.

    Otherwise what you have for a setup is fine. I would if anything buy a small 20-40GB hard drive for your OS and applications and convert the SATA drive for your audio data.

    Enjoy

    Opus :D
     
  7. DjR4FH

    DjR4FH Active Member

    Holy Hell, that lynx card is expensive! im going to have about 3000 dollars (canadian) to spend....and thats WITH my reason 3.0 software (557 bucks) and my m-audio O2 or OZONE (300 roughly) Soooo i only have about 2200 to upgrade my current pc or get a new mac. Would a m-audio sound interface like the m-audio firewire do or what? im so lost its crazy....all i know is i want quality sound and low latency, perhaps asio 2 driver compatability or something...i have no clue!
     
  8. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    Dj,
    i think you have been given advice from the wrong tax bracket. Keep it simple and low priced.

    You are going to a recording school, and they are bound to have some pretty good stuff available for recording. So you need a second rig to do your home work at home. Your main focus will probably be on mixing and software instruments. Recording at home will probalby come second. You will probably want some easy way to move your projects from school to home and back.

    I am mostly guessing here.

    So I believe you should spend your money on the following:

    -- a moveable hard disk, preferrably a firewire disk. You can carry this one to the school and back again with your projects.
    -- a good pair of headphones. I am using a pair of Sony MDR 7506, but other people have other favourites.
    -- a sound card that has decent playback and decent headphone drivers. In my experience, Soundblaster has never qualified on that list. Just maybe, you could find a simple headphone amp and then add a M-Audio transit. Just perhaps the M-Audio Firewire is one way to go. Anyway, in your place I would not spend very much money on the mic pres and that stuff.
    -- a CD burner, and preferrably a DVD burner. The CD burner to make CD-s for your friends, the DVD for making project backups.
    -- just for the fun of it. A simple mic. I would get a Studio Projects B1, dirt cheap but a good starting point.

    Save the rest of the money, if there are any left, you will find uses for them in due time.

    Anyway, only my ideas.

    Gunnar.
     
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    I was just trying to get a budget out of him.
    See, it worked! :wink:
    Now, on with the useful recommendations .....
     
  10. DjR4FH

    DjR4FH Active Member

    Ok so im still kinda lost.... :roll: Soooo my cpu is fine. my ram is fine (ill probably upgrade to 2gb anyway) ill get another hard drive, possibly external usb/firewire. Im still lost on the soundcard issue tho. Isnt there anything under 300 bucks? i dont need a midi out if im using a usb midi plug from my ozone or O2 right? maybea pair out stereo 1/4' outs might be nice so i can use my stereo as a cheap monitor. I have two pairs of headphones, Pioneer hdj-1000's and a pair of brand new (and effin yummy) Technics RP-DH1200 headphones. http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/technics_dj/prod_specs_rpdh1200.asp

    Anyway, im looking for simple yet effective. If only places had lists of custom audio workstations....but im appreciating the help guys!
     
  11. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Basically what you need is a D/A sound card...if all you are doing is simply using all internal based software then maybe you should look into the Apogee MiniDac..very pricey but very useful and has a killer sound to it.

    I know you are looking cheap so let's give you a few choices..

    http://

    http://www.m-audio.com

    http://www.m-audio.com

    Understand that the sound blaster won't cut it in terms of the driver stability and overall performance. You need a sound card that can handle the amount of data it's being sent from the host application(s)
    Plus a dedicated sound card will have better detail than a sound blabbler!

    You probably want to find a sound card that has a headphone jack unless you have a mixer that you can send the outputs of a sound card to. You'll want something other than the master fader of the appication to control the output volume of the sound card!

    Let us know if you have any more questions...

    Opus
     
  12. DjR4FH

    DjR4FH Active Member

    Ok.....so what would i use all those i/o for?? If im only using software audio programs....why would i need those? are those for monitors (or a stereo?) Do most cards come with a headphone jack? or can i just use the one on my pc case? or what? what would something like an m-audio firewire do? it has a headphone jack, but is it like an external soundcard? sorry for all the questions!
     
  13. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
     
  14. DjR4FH

    DjR4FH Active Member

    Ha...see i told u im totally new at this.....
     

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