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can anyone recommend a reputable DAW building company?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by song4gabriel, May 28, 2009.

  1. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    Hello RO

    The day has come. I have to say goodbye to my current, tweaked, retweaked and tweaked again DAW pc. I do not think I can take one more mix using this machine freezing, crashing and killing my workflow.

    I am looking to purchase a new DAW, and am not in the mindset to build my own. I know buying one "prefabbed" will cost me more, but I have had enough aggrevation over the years to treat myself to one already assembled and tweaked out for me.

    I have looked into a few companies online, namely ADK AUdio and BLue. Anyone have any experience with them or another company and have been happy with the product?


    Sean QUinn
  2. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    You sound like you reached a point of aggravation and frustration where money is no object. Well, money still is somewhat of a concern.

    Is your budget $1,000? $1,500? $2,000? $2,500+?
  3. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    I have never bought one, but if I did, I would configure one with PCAudioLabs.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Seems to me you should compare Sweetwater at least to have some sort of baseline. It is a big company (you did say "reputable") and that brings advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, there is a large tech team - in my experience they are well trained. Their shipping is fast and professional. When I had a problem with my machine they shipped a replacement by next day air and I shipped the defective machine to them after it came. On the down side, I think they are relatively expensive and they seem slightly conservative about the parts they use. (I think this is part of the price of keeping an army of techs trained - you can't go after the bleeding edge of either performance or price - you go for more reliability.)

    I went with Sweetwater for my DAW when I first started out. Wanted a turnkey solution that included everything and would get me up and running fast. I'd be looking much more widely today, but I'd definitely compare to them.

    Most important thing I've found. Take the internet virginity pledge. Keep the DAW off the net forever and always. Keep your old machine or get a cheap netbook to do your downloads and other business.
  5. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    thanks guys- budget =$2k

    yes- i never connect my daw to the internet. this of course makes registration of new vsts and plug ins a pin in the ass...

    hmmm- i never even thought of sweetwater. thanks
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I have an ADK 2.6 quad core2 rack running XP pro here that I will sell you. Its brand new, (only tested ten min) It's one of many core systems RO has tested in the past few years, or is testing now. I'm selling it because it didn't meet my specs. It cost 3050.00 USD last year. However, I'll give it to you for a smoking deal of $1900.00 OBO. That is a better price than what it was priced to us for.
    Its audio ready, it would make a pretty hardy rack DAW at that price. It looks really nice. Next step up would be an i7 but then you have possible issues with bugs not ironed out and more money.

    Negatives to the ADK DAW: The internal hard drives, possibly how they mount them) are much noisier compared to their competition and, it had a goofy oversight of sheet metal covering the firewire insert that I had to be bend off, ( cosmetic) which works fine after we figured that out. Other than that, its a new DAW and would make a really nice system in that price range.

    I have more spec on it if you need them.

    IMHO... If you are buying new... The best DAW companies I know of ( hands on experience) are PCAudioLabs and Rain Recordings.

    I could be wrong here but the Sweetwater DAW's look similar to a PCAudioLabs . Could be their system in a branded box.
  7. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    thanks audiokid. i happened to have found pcaudiolabs in my search. your endorsement helps me make the decision to go with them...

  8. cdmasternow

    cdmasternow Guest

    recording computer

    go on tiger direct and build a quad core 4 gigs of memory for like $1000
    xp pro what ever you want
  9. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Re: recording computer

    Interesting. Is that what you guys did?
  10. cdmasternow

    cdmasternow Guest


    got me my audio cube daw.
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I would like to know more about what you guys had to go through to make this happen.

    Did you just pick a box, a board, a processor and memory and an agp card then checkout?

    How did you know it would work for an audio application?
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The first thing I do when I build an audio box from scratch is this: I go visit the pickiest audio company out there for specifications. Digidesign. I take a look at what works for the latest greatest Digi stuff even though I rarely use PT. Next I go to the RME website (that's my primary interface) and search their forum for issues. Then I go and evaluate at newegg.com and other sights what they have hardware that fit that spec. Then I go and search the H out of google and various audio BB's for bugs/compatibility issues/hardware failures/et alia. Also check out what the DAW builders use. They have to support what they build so it's in their best interest to have done tons of research. Then I make a purchase and put it together, load the OS, drink a glass of single malt, load the audio programs and drivers, and give it a test drive. Then drink a final wee glass and lay me down for a good night's rest.

    Conversely, if you keep up on the technology then you have a pretty good intuitive idea of what chipsets and what GPU and networking cards are going to work in a stable fashion. I used to keep track of these things and just am not interested anymore enough to stay up on it.

    Rule of thumb #1: Stay away from the bleeding edge of technology unless you are a junky.

    Rule of thumb #2: Stick with stable known full versions. example- Buy a full Intel processor and stay away from Celeron. Check Wikipedia for info on your processor selection. Take it with a grain of salt but sometimes you uncover a pearl that saves you time.

    Rule of thumb #3: Spend the money now and don't try to nickel and dime the thing together. Saves mucho frustration.

    Rule of thumb #4: Cooling. Larger fans (120mm and as many as will fit) will move more air at lower speeds and hence be quieter. Along with this, I would build a rackmount case even if I thought right now I'd never stick it in a case or take it on the road.

    Rule of thumb #5: Don't go cheap on the power supply. Things that run on microvoltages are really sensitive to sags as well as spikes. For that matter I have rackmount sine wave output UPS's and a Furman IT-20. Wish I had two of those IT-20's.

    post script: If you can find XP great. If you can't then you are highly advised to wait for Windows 7. If you are building a bootleg Mac great but I'm no longer current on Mac info.
  13. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Well shoot, and here I was thinking I could just go to tigerdirect and get me one of those cubes and be done with it.

    By the by, processors I haven't had issue with...north / south bridge used to be the area that I never paid attention to and it always bite me in the behind.

    I guess specs DO matter!
  14. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Especially if you can't see too great.

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