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Please help me with my new PC system!!! :-)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by razor_usmc, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest

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    Wow! A friend at work has volunteered me her old PC that I can use for my high speed internet and email...which means I can now use my current PC for my studio. That means I am now enlisting the help from all of you guys who offered it to me, once I had an idea of what I wanted to do.

    I am currently running Windows XP Home ed. on an AMD Athalon 2600+ processor on an ASUS A7V8X motherboard. I have 512 Mb of RAM currently. ATI all-in-wonder Radeon 8500-DV, 64 MB, DDR, OEM. 20 Gig and 60 Gig hard drives. Quick question. I know I need more ram, and I have 2 slots left on my MOBO. Is 1.5 Mb gonna be enough? Can I just buy 2 more 512 ddr-333, pc2700 333mhz non-ecc chips? Or should I get 1 Mb and another 512? Can I put a 1Gb chip next to 2 512 Mb chips? (Ignorance ALERT!!) I dont know the brand name of the 512 MB ram in right now...should they match brand names? Does it matter? IF not, who is a reliable chip maker?

    Okay, I am interested in doing good acoustical recordings of vocals, drums and guitars. I will plug electric guitars, basses and Keyboards directly into an interface. I am also very interested in doing MIDI work extensively, but not exclusively. I don't know much about all that's out there, but I was very impressed with the Protools Digi 002 package at Guitar center. (granted all set up on Mac) I currently have the minimum system requirements based on the digidesign website, and I think the extra RAM is a must. The only thing I am missing is a firewire card or whatever to go into my MOBO. Can anyone recommend one that would not be problematic based on what I currently have? Does it matter?

    I am going to erase everything and reload win xp onto my computer and download my recording software. This PC will be strictly for my studio. Should I download the windows updates or just install the box-only version to prevent software probs with digidesign software versus constantly upgraded windows XP?

    Lastly, (whew) thus far with the exception of programs like cakewalk and cubase, (which frankly don't seem to be blowing people away in these forums like protools) is there much that is in my price range (see below) that competes, based on what I want to do? I hear Digidesign hardware is very good, software reliable and upgradable, and cust. svc. is second to none. Thoughts/opinions?
    I have roughly $1000 cash and $2200 credit for a total of $3200 to spend on computer upgrades, software, interfaces and the whole deal. I have currently been using a Roland digital 8 track workstation with Event PS-6's. Quite frankly, I have debated the PC/Mac studio vs. A new Roland 24 track all-in-one with monitor up until very recently.

    Any last thoughts or items I am missing or anything you wish to throw in, or things you think I would need?


    Please allow me to thank everyone in advance for your time, and willingness to help an ignorant music lover.

    Razor
     
  2. thbears

    thbears Guest


    a:Kingston is a good brand. Since your motherboard is a Via chipbased board having equal amounts in 2 channels doesn't matter since your not running dual channel anyways. I would add another 512 ram chip that is the same speed as the one you have right now. Just make sure it is a brand name and not one off the bargain table. You don't want to have ram problems when your recording. I believe 1 gig is sufficient enough for your purposes.

    b:For firewire I would recommend a PYRO 64 PCI card. Very good.

    C:Next download windows XP pro and all the updates for SP1 BUT DON'T DOWNLOAD SP2. And also DON"T be connected to any internet or Lan service. Also just download what you need..(IE custom download and don't download the extra junk that M$ adds in their operating systems..it will just slow you down and take up you memory.

    d:protools is the industry standard but you will have to use their equipment like Digidesign 002 (proprietary equipment) They are very finicky about what hardware can be used for their equipment. Sonar 4 is coming out this week and Nuendo just upgraded..Don't rule them out just yet. You will also need a decent soundcard for your system IE M-AUDIO 1010 or a RME. Try to get one with a breakout box outside of your rig. Don't know much about the 24 track Roland but in a system you need reliability and stability. Also a line conditioner like one from tripp lite or furman is a necessity to make sure you have clean power all the time. If your doing voice over work and using alot of mikes then a compressor is a good idea to have also. Also have a dedicated hard drive for your audio and one for video if applicable Try to get bigger drives..IE another 80 or 120 gig IDE. If your video card can handle dual monitors then get another monitor for viewing..real estate is nice to have. In addition partition your system drive to have your operating system in drive C only and nothing else in case your system crashes later on.Hope this helps you out. As for computer equipment I buy a majority of mine at newegg.com and zipzoomfly.com. This stuff might seems expensive But I got a majority of my equipment used from local stores and EBAY.
     
  3. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest

    thanks thbears...for your input and advice.

    and Thanks...from a certain coach...Ditka. LOL :lol:

    Razor
     
  4. IainDearg

    IainDearg Guest

    When you reload Windows XP, you'd be well advised to tweak it for best use as a DAW. It involves disabling background services and the like. A quick search on google should bring up a few results or someone else here might have a specific link.
     

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