I think I need a new computer

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Susan Smallwood, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Susan Smallwood

    Susan Smallwood Active Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
    I've not been able to play in a few years with any recording due to loss of my sweet baby PC that handled everything beautifully. I bought her at a steal. She not only handled my software and interface (I had the M-audio fast track with both the Pro Tools program that game with it and Audacity), but it handled all my graphics programs I used to for photo taking and scrapbooking.

    And then...well...all I can figure is a nasty virus took it out by sneaking past my firewall, and the rest was history.

    I've since spent as much as I did on that computer, both desk tops and laptops to no avail. I misplaced the drivers, and finally tried with my latest laptop. Every recording software I tried (I demoed them to see if they would work pre-purchase) lagged horrifically. There were crackles in the playback. The recording would start and stop randomly and it just doesn't work.

    So now, I'm contemplating a new system. I'm not sure I have a ton to purchase with, but am hoping I have about 1k left from my tax return to use after bills (and divorce attorney fees LOL). I figured I'd come ask for recommendations on a new computer. I've looked at Mac, but I simply don't think I can afford the change.

    I currently have an ASUS S550C runing Windows 8 (which I hate and the last update I made tried to mess things up horrifically), Intel Core i5-3317U, 1.7 GHz, a "New iPad" that transitional one between 2 and 3 which is really the third generation even though there is an official 3rd gen.

    I still have the hardware for the fast track, and can download the drivers again when needed. I have an MM8 Yamaha workstation keyboard that came with Cubase and Audacity. I believe I still have the demo loaded from mixcraft and would just need to update it if I went with a PC again. But first things first....help me figure out the computer issue please.

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    I use PCAudioLabs , they are a bit pricey but great builds.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    What you want to do will figure largely in what computer you should be looking at in terms of processor, RAM, etc.

    If you are using a large amount of soft synths in your productions, or are doing dense mixes with lots of tracks that include a lot of FX and processing plugs, these things will tax your processor and RAM much more than just a few audio tracks with a couple of processing plug ins.

    If you could be a bit more detailed as to what you want to be able to do...
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    The crackles and playback crashes can happen with a brand new computer. Most of the time, they are latency related. It happens when the audio software or the audio interface try to work faster than the computer can handle. That's why every audio interface and DAW software come with buffer ajustments.
    Further more, the choice of HDD and if it need defragmentation, the choice of chipset and video drivers, the amount of software in memory(specially antivirus) and mostly the audio interface drivers, can all affect the audio performances and the latency.

    So here's what I recommand :

    1- A new audio interface (most new units have less latency and stability problems) read the recommanded computer/chipsets etc..

    A new computer : (unless your laptop has a sdd Harddrive and you can afford to tweak the OS to it simplests)
    2- Minimum 2 HDD (7200rpm and more): one for OS and softwares, the other for audio files. Avoid recording on external usb hdd.
    3- a third HDD for backups (yeah when you loose a few projects its too late)
    4- 8gigs of ram for normal use, 16gigs, if you do a lots of virtual instruments. (of course you need a 64bit OS to support more than 4gigs)
    5- the fastest CPU your budget will allow. (Intel I7 recommanded)

    Softwares :
    6- For the best audio performance; install nothing but the DAW of your choice !!

    7- Time and patience to tweak and learn all the new features

    Good Luck !!

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