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Qenzoz
post Dec 12 2012, 03:53 PM
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'Ello, I am currently in the process of maybe starting to build my own little studio, but I want to make my PC really great for it. So I was wondering what are the things I need to focus on? I will get an SSD sooner or later, but besides that what really matters in a PC to make it great for studio use?

Cheers & thanks in advance.

Tobias


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 12 2012, 04:24 PM
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In short how quiet it is, how fast it is and how well it can run the software you need, how easy it is to maintain and how eay it is to onnect to the equipment you have and need.

Some of the things that you also need to think about are:

How quiet it is - you should try and reduce the noise from it as much as you can. Consider using large, slow rotation speed fans and a passive cooled video card. Also look at good
connector cables that are designed to help air flow and sound insuation in the case.

How much ram it has and what type. Same for the CPU. These will affect how well the software runs and how much you can run at a time but they aren't the only consideration as you also need to look at how quickly data is passed across the bus. Also, some of the newer low form factor CPU chips can also help with reducing noise as they produce less heat and so the fans don't run as much.

What other hard disc drives and CD and DVD drives it has. You should try to have a primary drive for the OS, a secondary drive for programs and other drives for music/audio files. You should also try to think about external drives to back up files and programs regularly. Get good quality CD and DVD drives - Plextor are used by mastering engineers but you may struggle to find these in shops. Poor quality drives are more likely to either not read or write well and may result in corrupted data on discs.

How it will interface to external outboard and internal devices/cards. If you need USB then 1.1 is a minimum but you should try and spec it to have several USB 2 and possibly a couple of USB3 ports. You may also want firewire, spdif, and toslink i/o. You need to think about what internal cards you might use and how they connect to the mobo. There are still a lot of very good audio cards around that use the old internal PCI interface rather than the PCI express slot.

How easy it is to maintain and upgrade - a large tower case means that you have much more space to work in if you want to change and/or add stuff at a later date. They also tend to have better air flow than small cases.

Whether the OS is ok for legacy equipment/software if you have any and how future proof it is.


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Qenzoz
post Dec 13 2012, 04:59 AM
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Thanks for your answer! smile.gif, I found some of those Plextor on the internet, so they're possible for me to get here in Denmark.

But how much money do you think one should put in to get something that could be classified as good? Also I am a Windows person.

Thanks again! smile.gif

Tobias

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 12 2012, 04:24 PM) *
In short how quiet it is, how fast it is and how well it can run the software you need, how easy it is to maintain and how eay it is to onnect to the equipment you have and need.

Some of the things that you also need to think about are:

How quiet it is - you should try and reduce the noise from it as much as you can. Consider using large, slow rotation speed fans and a passive cooled video card. Also look at good
connector cables that are designed to help air flow and sound insuation in the case.

How much ram it has and what type. Same for the CPU. These will affect how well the software runs and how much you can run at a time but they aren't the only consideration as you also need to look at how quickly data is passed across the bus. Also, some of the newer low form factor CPU chips can also help with reducing noise as they produce less heat and so the fans don't run as much.

What other hard disc drives and CD and DVD drives it has. You should try to have a primary drive for the OS, a secondary drive for programs and other drives for music/audio files. You should also try to think about external drives to back up files and programs regularly. Get good quality CD and DVD drives - Plextor are used by mastering engineers but you may struggle to find these in shops. Poor quality drives are more likely to either not read or write well and may result in corrupted data on discs.

How it will interface to external outboard and internal devices/cards. If you need USB then 1.1 is a minimum but you should try and spec it to have several USB 2 and possibly a couple of USB3 ports. You may also want firewire, spdif, and toslink i/o. You need to think about what internal cards you might use and how they connect to the mobo. There are still a lot of very good audio cards around that use the old internal PCI interface rather than the PCI express slot.

How easy it is to maintain and upgrade - a large tower case means that you have much more space to work in if you want to change and/or add stuff at a later date. They also tend to have better air flow than small cases.

Whether the OS is ok for legacy equipment/software if you have any and how future proof it is.



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PosterBoy
post Dec 13 2012, 09:20 AM
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I'm not sure if this will help you but I'm building a pc myself for recording (nearly saved up enough) I'll post my build list

Note that I will be using Drum Plug in, Omnisphere (really big and greedy synth plugin), Bass Guitar Plugin.

I already have a USB audio interface but considering getting a Focusrite Saffire 2i4 (i think that's the model)

It's already getting near the cost of getting a good audio pc builder like Scan.co.uk can do so once I have the money I will make a decision.

Scan will optimise the O/S, choose parts that go together well and have drivers that minimise latency, and make sure it all works!

CoolerMaster Silencio RC-550 Mid Tower Case No PSU Qty: 1
€77.42

QuietPC Noctua NH-U9B SE2 Dual Fan Quiet CPU Cooler Qty: 1
€54.77

Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5GHz LGA1155 8MB 95W
€309.70

Asus P8Z77-V LK S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 ATX
was €129.03 €115.30


Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX Blu DDR3 1600MHz DIMM 240-pin CL9 Qty:2
was €48.33 €77.93

OCZ Technology ZS Series 650W 80+ Bronze Power Supply Qty: 1
€67.18


O/S and Programs Drive
OCZ Technology 120GB Agility 3 SSD Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive Qty: 1
€128.11


1 Samples and Plugins Drive, 1 Audio Drive
Western Digital 1TB Blue SATA 6GB/s 7200RPM 64MB 3.5" Hard Drive Qty: 2
was €85.14 €146.02

TP LINK 450Mbps Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
€37.95


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English
€95.14

Logitech MK260 Wireless Desktop
was €28.85 €26.60


(I might try for a 24 ")
BenQ GW2250HM 21.5" LED 1920x1080 VGA DVI HDMI Speakers Black
was €148.10 €133.45

Samsung 24x SH-224BB DVD-RW SATA OEM Half Height

€16.65

C2G 1m 180° To 90° 7 pin Serial ATA (SATA) Cable
€6.32


Delivery (23.5kg) €21.43
Total (inc VAT) €1,313.97


This post has been edited by PosterBoy: Dec 13 2012, 09:29 AM


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ztevie
post Dec 13 2012, 09:42 AM
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There are a few things to consider here...

What DAW will you be using? Most DAW's nowadays run at 64-bit, but for example Pro Tools 10 and under does not. This means Pro Tools will not use more than 4 Gb of RAM, so there is no need to get more if that's the case.
Also, especially Pro Tools is very picky about what hardware you use. For example, AMD-cpu is a big no-no. Some graphic cards and brand of RAM can get you in trouble... If you haven't decide about DAW yet I would recommend Presonus Studio One. I'm a former Cubase'r with a temporary affair with Pro Tools, but found Studio One and I'm not looking back.


What soundcard will you use? I found the hard way that some of the Maudio internal cards will not work on Sandy Bridge(and later) motherboards. I got a early version of the Intel i7 which is ok, later stuff with Sandy Bridge is built differently regarding PCI connections therefore not compatible with older soundcards.

If I were you I would first decide what DAW and other gear(soundcard) you will be using and then check/ask in the forums for that stuff. You will probably find lots of advice there regarding computer components.



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ConnorGilks
post Dec 16 2012, 10:36 AM
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If you're willing to go with a Mac, a Mac Mini is $600 and almost EXACTLY the same specs as an iMac. I use one for recording and haven't had any issues except with RAM (But I only have 1GB, though you can have up to 8GB in the Mac Mini).


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 16 2012, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Dec 16 2012, 10:36 AM) *
If you're willing to go with a Mac, a Mac Mini is $600 and almost EXACTLY the same specs as an iMac. I use one for recording and haven't had any issues except with RAM (But I only have 1GB, though you can have up to 8GB in the Mac Mini).


Very good point!

Also - good thing with Mac route is that it allows you to install Windows natively (so you get both Mac OSX and Win on same machine) so you can work in your favorite DAW.

I have a dual boot on my Mac and it works great.


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 20 2012, 02:20 AM
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BINGO!! smile.gif You can run windows, Mac OS, Linux, whatever you want. This way you get the best of all worlds in one box. I'm using PARELLES to run windows when needed on my Quad Core 27 inch iMac. It's a great machine for music/video work. I"m using it more often than my quad core Mac tower these days. It runes quieter and cooler.

If you want to run LOGIC as your DAW, you'll need to consider a Mac, but if you are loooking at REAPER or PRO TOOLS then PC will do ya!

Todd


QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 16 2012, 11:10 AM) *
Very good point!

Also - good thing with Mac route is that it allows you to install Windows natively (so you get both Mac OSX and Win on same machine) so you can work in your favorite DAW.

I have a dual boot on my Mac and it works great.



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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 20 2012, 10:12 AM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 16 2012, 04:10 PM) *
Very good point!

Also - good thing with Mac route is that it allows you to install Windows natively (so you get both Mac OSX and Win on same machine) so you can work in your favorite DAW.

I have a dual boot on my Mac and it works great.


This isn't always a good solution as sometimes you do not want an emulator sitting there between the daw and the OS and in some instances a daw may make use of kernal level routines. (This is one reason why PT 10 does not run on 64 bit as ztevie says above.)

Just about Plextor CDRs Quenoz -
most mastering engineers, including us, use the Premium 2. As far as I know you can now only get them as NOS (new old stock) and it costs about 70-120 Euros when you can find one. The major reason why we use them is that they are one of the very few CDRs that allow you to produce a BLER report which is needed to check PMCDs before they go to a replicator. If you're not mastering professionally then you can use other CDRs of a similar quality - Samsung are usually ok and are about 1/2 the price or less.


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Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 20 2012, 10:25 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 20 2012, 10:12 AM) *
This isn't always a good solution as sometimes you do not want an emulator sitting there between the daw and the OS and in some instances a daw may make use of kernal level routines. (This is one reason why PT 10 does not run on 64 bit as ztevie says above.)


I think that iMac runs Windows (in my case Win7) natively. There is no emulation, you just install the Windows OS as on any other computer/hardware (PC). There are drivers included for all the components inside the iMac and it works flawlessly so far.

I might be mistaken though? Is this the case or there is some emulation going on?


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 20 2012, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 20 2012, 09:25 AM) *
I think that iMac runs Windows (in my case Win7) natively. There is no emulation, you just install the Windows OS as on any other computer/hardware (PC). There are drivers included for all the components inside the iMac and it works flawlessly so far.

I might be mistaken though? Is this the case or there is some emulation going on?


No I think you're right - I misread your post about the native set up. I have however heard of some problems when people have tried to run some pc based daws native on recent macs. Daws here inluded the first release of sadie 6, Pyramix and Sequoia - so really the heavy duty pro end ones. These (or at least some versions of sadie and
Pyra, I don't know about Seq) make use of some early dos routines in order to do the pq and bler properly. IMacs don't have a suitable CDR for the pq and bler. I also remember years ago that you could run in to problems with Windows dual boots if the install wasn't done properly - this was way back with Win 2000 etc and i don't think that's the issue though.


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 20 2012, 07:59 PM
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You don't have to run the emulator of course. You can DUAL BOOT and run windows NATIVELY smile.gif BTW, Some of the fastest windows laptops are currently made by APPLE. Seems like a contradiction but such is life.

So for ultimate flexibility, you almost have to get a Mac. That way you can run pretty much everything Natively. Otherwise, if you go PC, you have a hard time running LOGIC and other Apple native software.

Todd

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 20 2012, 04:12 AM) *
This isn't always a good solution as sometimes you do not want an emulator sitting there between the daw and the OS and in some instances a daw may make use of kernal level routines. (This is one reason why PT 10 does not run on 64 bit as ztevie says above.)

Just about Plextor CDRs Quenoz -
most mastering engineers, including us, use the Premium 2. As far as I know you can now only get them as NOS (new old stock) and it costs about 70-120 Euros when you can find one. The major reason why we use them is that they are one of the very few CDRs that allow you to produce a BLER report which is needed to check PMCDs before they go to a replicator. If you're not mastering professionally then you can use other CDRs of a similar quality - Samsung are usually ok and are about 1/2 the price or less.



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llibach
post Dec 20 2012, 10:49 PM
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This is great advice guys, I'm currently looking to get a new computer at the start of the year. Been using a PC for years but have been offered a used 18 month old mac from a good friend at a bargain price, seems like the best way to go. biggrin.gif

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Todd Simpson
post Dec 20 2012, 11:58 PM
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I've been using both over the years and I must say (without trying to sound like a fanboy) I really do dig my little iMac for audio/video work. LOGIC is really good DAW and a pretty killer deal in general. REAPER runs very smooth also. I don't run PRO TOOLS but folks who do say it runs smooth on MAC OS.

What type of Mac are you getting BTW?

Todd

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QUOTE (llibach @ Dec 20 2012, 04:49 PM) *
This is great advice guys, I'm currently looking to get a new computer at the start of the year. Been using a PC for years but have been offered a used 18 month old mac from a good friend at a bargain price, seems like the best way to go. biggrin.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Dec 21 2012, 12:09 AM


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llibach
post Dec 21 2012, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Dec 20 2012, 10:58 PM) *
I've been using both over the years and I must say (without trying to sound like a fanboy) I really do dig my little iMac for audio/video work. LOGIC is really good DAW and a pretty killer deal in general. REAPER runs very smooth also. I don't run PRO TOOLS but folks who do say it runs smooth on MAC OS.

What type of Mac are you getting BTW?

Todd

Attached Image

IMac 21.5 is what he's told me. It's ready for me as soon as I get my cash together. He's just bought the new ultra slim version so he's letting the other one go, and for a decent price too.
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 21 2012, 04:43 AM
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Cool smile.gif The 21 is a fine unit. Is it a DUAL CORE? Ask him how much RAM is on it as well. Ram is CHEAP!!! So no matter what its fine. Once you get it, take it up to 8GB of ram as soon as you can wink.gif It will make WADS of difference. I"m running 8 GB and it was a MASSIVE increase in the rigs performance when I upped it from 4 GB.


Todd

QUOTE (llibach @ Dec 20 2012, 06:27 PM) *
IMac 21.5 is what he's told me. It's ready for me as soon as I get my cash together. He's just bought the new ultra slim version so he's letting the other one go, and for a decent price too.



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llibach
post Dec 26 2012, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Dec 21 2012, 03:43 AM) *
Cool smile.gif The 21 is a fine unit. Is it a DUAL CORE? Ask him how much RAM is on it as well. Ram is CHEAP!!! So no matter what its fine. Once you get it, take it up to 8GB of ram as soon as you can wink.gif It will make WADS of difference. I"m running 8 GB and it was a MASSIVE increase in the rigs performance when I upped it from 4 GB.


Todd

It is dual core I think and it's 4 GB so enough for me to begin with anyway. I've got reaper and amplitube but have been struggling with getting a good set up since my computer is old so first thing is to get a good audio interface I think, do you have any suggestions? and maybe to get a better soundcard (don't know what the standard one in the Mac is like). Then hook it up to my wharfdale stereo speakers.
That's another thing I was wondering, I've got a seperate stereo system would it be any use running through the amp on that system to get a better quality?

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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 26 2012, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE (llibach @ Dec 26 2012, 03:28 PM) *
It is dual core I think and it's 4 GB so enough for me to begin with anyway. I've got reaper and amplitube but have been struggling with getting a good set up since my computer is old so first thing is to get a good audio interface I think, do you have any suggestions? and maybe to get a better soundcard (don't know what the standard one in the Mac is like). Then hook it up to my wharfdale stereo speakers.
That's another thing I was wondering, I've got a seperate stereo system would it be any use running through the amp on that system to get a better quality?


I have a Mac with 4 GB - it works well for music I have produced on it (check my signature). Some projects were really demanding with lots of VSTs, tracks etc. I think its a very good platform and quality of Macs is just great!

One detail : audio interface and sound card are 1 same thing. With Mac you'll need to go external (USB or Firewire) and the audio interface you get will allow you to use it for everything on the computer (listening to music, recording, playing games smile.gif ).

Cheaper options that work decent are POD Studio GX, UX1 and also any newer interface from M-Audio, Focusrite will do well.

If you have a separate system (amp+speakers) and you wish you use those specific speakers, you can easily connect output from your audio interface to the amp of the sound system. Quality will be as good as the weakest link in the setup smile.gif

If you have some other speakers, like powered monitor speakers (KRK Rokit5 etc) - it would make sense to skip the "hi-fi audio system amp" as you don't need it (in this case it would just ruin the quality of the sound).


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 27 2012, 11:04 AM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 26 2012, 10:36 PM) *
...

One detail : audio interface and sound card are 1 same thing. ...


Usually but not always Bogdan. RME and Lynx, for instance, make a number of interface cards that only provide the required connections and you then need a separate sou
card.


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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PosterBoy
post Dec 31 2012, 03:34 PM
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After selling my amp last night I'm almost at the point of having the money for my pc build.

And I'm definitely at the point of 2nd guessing all my choices.

I've changed my cpu to a better one as it was only €20 more.

Researched Cpu coolers for hours and still hoping the one I choose won't get in the way of the Ram sticks

It's a time when things are getting real and not a far off dream, and I don't want to make a stupid mistake, it won't make the wife happy


--------------------
Currently Working on

PosterBoy's Modern Riffing with Gabriel

PosterBoy's Bootcamp with Todd



Gear
Tyler Burning Water 2K
Burny RLG90 with BK Emeralds
Fender US Tele with BK Piledrivers
Axe Fx Ultra - GCP Pro
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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 26th May 2017 - 12:55 AM