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Chokehold
post Dec 16 2009, 09:55 PM
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I want to buy a new computer, mainly for recording but I would also like it if I could play games on it. It needs to be able to record through USB or similar with my Line 6 POD X3 Live.
I have no idea where to look for one or what I should have in it.
Budget is around 800-900 Dollars. smile.gif


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Staffy
post Dec 17 2009, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (Chokehold @ Dec 16 2009, 09:55 PM) *
I want to buy a new computer, mainly for recording but I would also like it if I could play games on it. It needs to be able to record through USB or similar with my Line 6 POD X3 Live.
I have no idea where to look for one or what I should have in it.
Budget is around 800-900 Dollars. smile.gif


Since You wanna play games as well, it has to be a compromise since a gaming computer needs a good graphics card. The best available atm. would be one with Intels new processor but that is far beyond Your budget. I will say that any computer that have a quad processor, at least 4 GB of RAM and a reasonable large hard-drive. (around 500 GB) will do. Then its a question of what kind of games You are supposed to run, since advanced 3D-games requires good graphics cards. The same goes for the audio part - if You wanna do advanced recording things as bus-speed, speed of the hard-drives etc. is essential while You can use whatever crappy graphics card. Therefore I say it must be a compromise. Also have in mind that in order to get a recording environment to function as good as possible, some modifications to the Windows setup must be done - which may be in conflict with the gaming environment. This can however be solved by having different machine profiles in Windows and use the one appropiate for the moment. If You are planning to use some extension cards in the box, I strongly recommend a high tower instead of a midi-tower since there are more slots in a "real" tower with an extended mother-board.

Good Luck!

//Staffay


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Guitars: Ibanez AM-200, Ibanez GB-10, Fender Stratocaster Classic Player, Warmouth Custom Built, Suhr Classic Strat, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003, Ibanez steel-string
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 17 2009, 02:18 AM
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In addition to Staffay's advices (Intel Quad; 4GB RAM; min 500GB storage), I may add that I would put 2 or even 3 separate HDs in there instead of one, and dedicate them to 1. system, 2. gaming, 3. DAW. This way you will keep your data safer and faster for a really small price increase.
More than 3 fans in the case (including the PS one) is what I call a "vacuum cleaner" case. Try not to save on fans, get the silent possible coolers for CPU, PS and GPU. Invest in some good stereo speakers, and don't cut corners on the power supply as well.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 17 2009, 03:46 AM
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In general, a good gaming machine + a good sound card will work great for both, since gaming is more demanding than recording with the exception of getting a good sound card. However, as Staffy said, at your price point you are in a tradeoff situation. In reality, most semi-decent CPUs are way more than enough for recording these days, most disks are big enough for recording, but most entry level graphics cards suck for games, and most entry level sound cards suck for recording. You might get an ok graphics card with an ok sound card for that price but it will be a little tough.

How about buying a gaming machine then adding a decent sound card in a few months when you have saved up some more? or do it the opposite way around, and get a good sound card, but get a motherboard with cheap built in grpahics, then later upgrade to a decent graphics card? It will take longer but you will end up with a system better suited to everything you want to do.

Finally, I would agree 200% with Ivan's comments about sound. Unless you want to record 100% using DI, you want as quiet a PC as possible. I recently changed my 8 core to have passive air CPU coolers - made a huge difference. If I could have afforded it I would have gone for entirely water cooled, no fans, and SSD disks for the ultimate silent recording workstation! As it is, I reduce the disk count in my studio PC by using a remote network drive on a server in another room. Not as fast as a local disk, but actually way more than adequate for anything other than really insane multitrack stuff, and the savings in additional silence of running less disks make it worthwhile.


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JamesT
post Dec 17 2009, 07:05 AM
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The X3 makes an awesome recording unit and a pretty decent sound card as well.
It's USB port will send two amp modeled signals and two completely dry signals to your DAW via USB. In one take you can get your modelled sounds (two different ones if you want) and the dry for re-amping with Pod Farm or some other plug-in like GTR3 etc. ...tons of flexibility.

As for a computer, to tell you the truth I was pretty happy with my old Pentium 4 machine running XP. I only ran into it's limits when doing a cover a few years ago of a Def Leppard tune ("Hysteria" it think it was). I was running EZ drummer with each drum on an individual track and compresser and eq on kick and snare with a dedicated verb for the drum mix. That song has tons of doubled guitar parts overlayed. By the time I got to the vocals, the CPU was running out of steam. I ran out of steam too biggrin.gif and never recorded the vocals. ...Probably cause I couldn't hit the high notes during the chorus. mad.gif .

Anyway, a newer PC like the guys mention above would eat that song for lunch nowadays with an appetite left over for some more plugins.

Watch out for "full and official" driver support on Windows 7 if you have any external music hardware that is no longer supported. (Thanks Yamaha. ). Check on line with the manufacturer of any audio gear that you want to hook up and make sure they already support your OS.

That reminds me, the X3s Win7 drivers are still in beta, but they work pretty good and installed seamlessly.

I hope this helps.


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Keilnoth
post Dec 17 2009, 09:42 AM
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My gaming computer is 3 years old and I don't have any problem with it. I just changed the graphic card to get a new model.

I have a Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, 2Gb RAM, ATI 4870 on Windows 7 and I run every games with (almost) full details. Don't really need more than that if your budget is tight. My computer is probably considered as low-end now but it still runs everything.

Going up to 4Gb is useful if you want to record in Cubase while playing World of Warcraft with Photoshop and a video running in the background. It gives more flexibility but it's not mandatory. smile.gif

Better save that money for a good graphic card.


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Staffy
post Dec 17 2009, 09:55 AM
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QUOTE (Keilnoth @ Dec 17 2009, 09:42 AM) *
Going up to 4Gb is useful if you want to record in Cubase while playing World of Warcraft with Photoshop and a video running in the background. It gives more flexibility but it's not mandatory. smile.gif


I will give You right in that to some extent, but it depends on what level of recording You are supposed to do. If You are running Cubase with EZ-drummer and some guitar plugs + a vocal track and some live tracks, even 4 GB will max out pretty quickly. If you just doing some solos over fixed backgrounds 2 GB will do though..... Its really a matter of what flexibility and performance one likes to have. And most new computers today are already shipped with 4 GB, since the RAM is really cheap by now, at least here in Sweden. There is also a point more to consider when buying a new computer - will I upgrade it later or buy a new one? Since the demands for RAM gonna keep on increasing for all applications, I think its a good idea to buy a computer with a motherboard that can handle 8GB - if You shall upgrade it later....

//Staffay



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Guitars: Ibanez AM-200, Ibanez GB-10, Fender Stratocaster Classic Player, Warmouth Custom Built, Suhr Classic Strat, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003, Ibanez steel-string
Amps: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Marshall JMP 2103, AER 60
Effects: BOSS DD-20, Danelectro Trans. Overdrive, TC-Electronics G-Major, Dunlop Wah-wah, Original SansAmp, BOSS DD-2
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 17 2009, 11:02 AM
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QUOTE (Staffy @ Dec 17 2009, 09:55 AM) *
... even 4 GB will max out pretty quickly... Since the demands for RAM gonna keep on increasing for all applications, I think its a good idea to buy a computer with a motherboard that can handle 8GB - if You shall upgrade it later....

//Staffay


+1 if you only run a few tracks with some basic plugs then 1-2Gb is fine. However the more instances and the more complicated the plug-in the more ram you need.

To put a value on this for mastering ITB all I need are two tracks - one the master I'm working on and one the original for quick A/B comparisons. I have 16Gb of ram on my main so you would think that there is more than enough here. I can run relatively multiple low intensity minimum phase eqs like EPure or Sonoris EQ2 easily and cpu etc usage stays down around 1-2%. If however I open up just two instances of a a complicated linear phase eq like Algo Red or PLRPEQ usage will jump to about 20%.



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Staffy
post Dec 17 2009, 11:18 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 17 2009, 11:02 AM) *
+1 if you only run a few tracks with some basic plugs then 1-2Gb is fine. However the more instances and the more complicated the plug-in the more ram you need.


Yeps! For instance, I've been running some multiple instances of GR4 and similar amp-sims at the same time, and since these are pretty advanced with a lot of effects etc. my 4GB computers maxes out after 2-3 instances... but since I use Powercore (hardware processor) for all other effects processing I can live with it, but otherwise I would have been limited to just one instance of guitar.... sad.gif

//Staffay


--------------------


Guitars: Ibanez AM-200, Ibanez GB-10, Fender Stratocaster Classic Player, Warmouth Custom Built, Suhr Classic Strat, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003, Ibanez steel-string
Amps: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Marshall JMP 2103, AER 60
Effects: BOSS DD-20, Danelectro Trans. Overdrive, TC-Electronics G-Major, Dunlop Wah-wah, Original SansAmp, BOSS DD-2
Music by Staffy can be found at: Staffay at MySpace
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Keilnoth
post Dec 17 2009, 01:07 PM
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Never been using that many instances. I am doing a few backing track + REC so I don't really use more than 2 or 3 tracks in my DAW. smile.gif


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My Wishlist: New bridge + Pickups for my Ibanez, EHX POG2, EHX Cathedral / Holy Grail
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Staffy
post Dec 17 2009, 01:58 PM
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QUOTE (Keilnoth @ Dec 17 2009, 01:07 PM) *
Never been using that many instances. I am doing a few backing track + REC so I don't really use more than 2 or 3 tracks in my DAW. smile.gif


That was really what I meant smile.gif - it depends on to what extent it shall be used for.... For normal use it's OK with some 2 GB, but if You wanna dive deeper into the subject of recording, more RAM is preferrable... smile.gif

//Staffay


--------------------


Guitars: Ibanez AM-200, Ibanez GB-10, Fender Stratocaster Classic Player, Warmouth Custom Built, Suhr Classic Strat, Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003, Ibanez steel-string
Amps: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Marshall JMP 2103, AER 60
Effects: BOSS DD-20, Danelectro Trans. Overdrive, TC-Electronics G-Major, Dunlop Wah-wah, Original SansAmp, BOSS DD-2
Music by Staffy can be found at: Staffay at MySpace
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Chokehold
post Dec 17 2009, 10:27 PM
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Thanks a lot! Will do a litte more searching now and look for a computer with the suggested parts, and I didn't mean really demanding games on the highest quality. smile.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Dec 19 2009, 03:21 AM
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great advice here!

Don't forget quality of cables matters a lot as well


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 20 2009, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (Chokehold @ Dec 17 2009, 10:27 PM) *
Thanks a lot! Will do a litte more searching now and look for a computer with the suggested parts, and I didn't mean really demanding games on the highest quality. smile.gif

Let us know what you bought, or if you have some more questions! smile.gif


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