How difficult is it to build a PC for pro audio?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Johnjm22, Sep 19, 2004.

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  1. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    I'm currently running PTLE with an 002 on a dual 1.25 Mac g4. I've been looking into getting Nuendo or Cubase and would like to run it off a PC.

    Instead of going out and buying a new PC I would like to build one myself. I want to use this as a learning experiece. I feel attempting to build a PC myself will gain me a vast amount of knowledge about computers in general, something that I feel would make me a better more versitale engineer.

    What it all comes down to is how difficult will this be for somone who is fairly knowledgeable about computers but has limited computer building experience? Is this a task worth taking on or should I leave it to a professional?

    I plan on getting some books and just going for it. I had this one in mind;

    What do you guys think? Is this a feasable task?
  2. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    Not only feasible, but downright easy.

    Check out the Nuendo forums, apparently there's a lot of hardware discussion over there. They can probably give you a parts list for a good, tried & true setup.

    I built my DAW machine and it absolutely rocks. Fast, Stable, Quiet.
  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Yes, very feasible indeed. I also build my own very nice PC DAW, and I am not a computer professional either - I just learned what I needed to, mostly from this forum, and did it. This forum is a tremendous resource for PC building information and you will find some very wise people here that will help you. You could probably find enough info just by searching in our archives. If you are looking for books, I would also reccommend this one - very thorough and tells you more about 'why' than most other books I have looked at.
  4. shezan

    shezan Guest

    well my friend i have PTLE 002 also...i don't have a dual machine but i do have 3.2 GHZ...i had 2 gb ram now i have 3 gb...i have over 300 gb scsi and 256 mb grafix.....its the machine is really flying
    i use lots of vsts and direct-x plugins same time it rearely give in jerks while working and i usually have fully loaded song for aroung 50 tracks with effects and vsts....system works really fast....... i wish to go on mac cuz its faster but the thing i get the softwares from my other senior engineers in a cheaper way for pc thats why i stick to the pc based system i have a very good sound library and vst...
    one of my favourites is HALION.......
  5. v3gaS

    v3gaS Guest

  6. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    Thanks for the replies. You guys have given me the confidence to go ahead with this project.

    BTW, how much am I looking to spend to build a top notch PC?
  7. shezan

    shezan Guest

    well my machine cost me around 2000$ infact i got the machine two days b4 the import ax was increased in our country so i was lucky... i got every thing in a lesser price.. but i think that computers are infact cheaper in America.... man i have a good amount of money to spend to build up my studio i m not ready to do it untill i feel like i have become a pro the day i feel like i m amongt the pros now...i will definitly go for Pro-Tools HD a complete system..... and i know that by the grace of God i m gonna do it very soon......
  8. Lee Knight

    Lee Knight Guest

    I found the Digidesign site a great place for what pc components work well for a DAW. Of course that's for PT LE but the same would hold true for any app you decide to run on your new machine. Also... as hokey as it sounds, "How To Build a PC for Dummies" was a great resourse for the building and testing.
  9. Lee Knight

    Lee Knight Guest

    BTW... my build cost $750.
  10. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    If you're going to use a conventional case (as opposed to rack mount) I would recommend the Antec Sonata case - quiet, well designed, and nice looking too. Includes a 380 watt PSU.
  11. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Building a PC is fun, easy and best of all way better than anything you can buy in a store.

    Check out this site, it's where I get most of my components. They have great prices as they are an OEM supplier but if you buy from them make sure they know you don't want it assembled. However I would have the processor put on the motherboard as they will test it for free.

    Another great site to check out just for information is Tom's Hardware. They have reviews of nearly anything PC related as well as help for newb's

    A few tips on PC building

    The kitchen table is great place to build a PC. You can spread all your parts out and have plenty of room to work. Unless your kitchen is carpeted the vinyl or tile floor is ideal as there will be no static buildup. You can even take your shoes and socks off for a little more static protection but please leave them on until I'm done.

    Mount your MOBO, install your memory, then connect your PS leads, switches and LED's to the MOBO.

    Next mount your drives.

    Install your PCI cards starting at the bottom of the case. This will leave as much room as possible for air to circulate over the heatsink of the video card, then install the video card.

    Next cable up your drives to the MOBO and PS and your basically done. Simple Huh!

    A couple more suggestions.

    Buy round as opposed to flat cables for your drives, they don't impede airflow through the case like the flats do.

    Be neat and zip tie all cables to the back of the case, again for airflow.

    Buy two hard drives if you can (one for programs and OS and another for data) SATA if you can afford them.

    Don't buy a cheap case spend the money for a good case and PS or you'll be sorry when things don't line up or that cheap PS blows out your expensive mobo, processor and memory.

    A DAW and a Gaming system have basically the same hardware needs except the video card and sometimes RAID arrays. Gaming cards are $300 to $600 but you don't need that kind of power so you can save alot of cash. Get a good stable dual head card like the Matrox Millennium G450. The dual head will allow you to add a second monitor later if you like. RAID is also unnecessary but if you must, don't run a stripe array mirror is safer for a DAW.

    The order I gave you for assembling the case may seem arbitrary but it is what I have found works well as you are not pulling out things you have already installed to get to something in the back of the case.

    Good Luck! :D

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