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PC DAW for $600?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Camino2, Jan 26, 2005.

?

Can I get a barely adequate DAW for $600?

  1. Not a chance

    100.0%
  2. Keep dreaming

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  3. Hope springs ethernal

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  4. Maybe a Commodore 64

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  5. Doable, with great difficulty

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  6. Get thyself to Fry's

    0 vote(s)
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  7. I got my Neve for $600

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Camino2

    Camino2 Guest

    Hello,

    I found this site a couple of days ago and have been reading all the great info on the archives. What a great site! It has lots of info, kudos to the organizers.

    I'm not sure if this question should go in the "budget" section, if so please advice.

    My question is: what would be the best PC DAW that I can get for $600? (Not including sound card, software, mic pre's, monitors, etc.)

    I will be upgrading my home PC in a month or so (it's an old Emachines 566MHz that I have been using for the past 5 years or so). This will also be the home machine; I think I will implement some kind of dual boot.

    Looking around, I found a (non-Emachines Brand Name) P4 3GHz / 915G / 512MB PC3200 for this price. I will most certainly buy some more RAM later, but this seems to be a reasonable machine to start.

    My goal is to record some demos of my songs, nothing too fancy... yet. Probably start with Audacity + the onboard sound card, then buy some software and a better card later on. Then throw a Great River and a couple Neve's just for fun... :D

    For $600, can I do better by going the build-it-yourself way? Again, I'm not expecting ultra-performance, just a machine to start experimenting.

    So far for my home computer purchases in the last 10 years I always went the "state of the art from last year" route with relative success. However, I wasn't doing any recording on them. With a DAW, can you be 1 year behind and still have a semi-decent machine?

    Any recommendations are welcome.

    Thanks in advance!

    Camino
     
  2. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    Yes this should be adequate to start with. Upgrading RAM is a good idea for the future.

    Certainly. I built my DAW over 18 months ago.....

    If I can give you one single peice of advice it would be this: The PC you mention is capable of multitrack recording and running VST Instruments and FX. The first thing I would do though is get yourself an ASIO supported audio interface for recording then secondly a 2nd hard disk drive for recording your audio files to.

    The biggest limitation for you is going to be using the onboard sound, so like I said look at replacing this first. There are many options that are PCI card, USB and Firewire based and some of these options won't put a huge hole in your pocket.

    Good Luck
     
  3. http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=12407
     
  4. Camino2

    Camino2 Guest

    Thanks for the info. There are certainly a lot of choices when it comes to buying a pro-ish soundcard.

    I will be entering one track at a time, so I was thinking of an Audiophile 2496 + some cheap Behringer mixer to get me started. Sounds reasonable?

    Best,

    Camino
     
  5. Camino2

    Camino2 Guest

    Thanks for the pointer. I checked out Dell's site and it looks very interesting.

    Best,

    Camino
     

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