#1
hi guys,

Im shortly to be travelling to tokyo followed by a Uni course so now seems like a godd time to be buying a computer (probably laptop). I am a total noob to electronic and general music production but am intending to get into it. So naturally a comp that is able to handle the kind of programs and gear that i will be wanting to run will be needed. I'm guessing bigger is probably going to = better in this case but some minimums would be great to know.

I'm planning to be running cubase as a main recording program, for a start is this the best call ((i know a lot is down to personal preference, but will this do what i want?)).

Hopeing to be makin tunes that are along the lines of Pendulum, Prodigy, aphex tiwn. That kinda ball park. Along with guitar recording (DI-ed cant have mikes in a uni room...Likewise synth drums)

Thank you for any help given, it is greatlyappreciated.

Also, any books that are to be recomended for the self learning of electronic music.
#2
A lot of( and then I mean A LOT OF) muscians use Apple, i also can reccomend you looking into mac's. I know they have a big price label but da.n those things are easy to use. The macbook pro for instance, it has a great soundcard! If i'm right it has a 2,4gHz core2duo and like 4 GB RAM. So this little guy will do the job for u.
Hope it helped you?
Friendly greetings Dimitri
#3
Quote by Dimitri92
A lot of( and then I mean A LOT OF) muscians use Apple, i also can reccomend you looking into mac's. I know they have a big price label but da.n those things are easy to use. The macbook pro for instance, it has a great soundcard! If i'm right it has a 2,4gHz core2duo and like 4 GB RAM. So this little guy will do the job for u.
Hope it helped you?
Friendly greetings Dimitri


Meh, I'd say the split between Apple and PC is about 50/50 especially for electronic stuff (a couple of the development tools for programming sounds are PC only as well), I would stay away from Mac unless you really want Logic pro.

Also, if you want to work a lot with music I suggest getting a desktop, which generally allows for much better specs at a lower price point. and get the best you can afford with an emphasis on CPU power and RAM (you'll need at least 2 gigs, more would be better but Vista 32 can only utilize I believe 3)
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#4
^I'd agree with this, but Logic is a really great piece of software. For MIDI work (which a lot of TS stuff will be, by the sounds) it's my favourite out of the big boys by far.

Cubase is top drawer, but it doesn't come with a dazzling array of synths and drum machines, which you'll really need to create the kind of music you are aiming for. You'll probably need to purchase more vst instruments for Cubase, or use another program such as Reason in conjunction with it.

As for the spec, it's pretty much as Kid_Thorazine says. You can make it work on lower spec, but you'll want to go higher as your budget allows.
There is poetry in despair.
#6
if he's running soft synths (seems likely given that he's talking about the Prodigy and Aphex Twin) he will probably want better spec, at least a faster CPU.

oh and I forgot to mention, you should probably get at least a 500 GB hard drive.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#7
^ Probably. Lots of audio tracks do start to eat up hard drive space...
There is poetry in despair.
#8
not to mention some soft synths, I have one with a 10 gig sample library.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#9
I'd go for an apple 8core macpro with two 30 inch cinema displays running a protools HD rig.


Budget?
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#10
lol what a dick....

Fair point though, although I think we can safely assume under a grand.
There is poetry in despair.
#11
Yeah all the suggestions are good so far but what is your budget? Also is Cubase a must? Do you prefer PC or want a Mac?
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
#12
Also one more little tip that I'm surprised no-one's mentioned yet - get the fastest hard disk you can find.

Normal laptop drives spin at 4200RPM with the better ones at 5400RPM, which is low when you think how much audio is going to be streaming back and forth (especially with sampled synths!). You could do with 7200RPM or more, or the disk access is going to be a bottleneck no matter how much money you spend on RAM and processor power.
#13
Quote by willieturnip
I'd go for an apple 8core macpro with two 30 inch cinema displays running a protools HD rig.


Budget?


you forgot that he also needs 32 gigs of RAM.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#15
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
you forgot that he also needs 32 gigs of RAM.



Gah, how did I forget that?! That's most important!


TS: make sure you get an ATI Radeon HD 4870 with that macpro. You need a good graphics card for audio production.
Why else do you think I got a macbook pro over the regular one?
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#16
Quote by willieturnip



TS: make sure you get an ATI Radeon HD 4870 with that macpro. You need a good graphics card for audio production.
Why else do you think I got a macbook pro over the regular one?


Actually, a lot of people do recommend getting a graphics card (though not a super high end one) for computers used in audio because it frees up more resources.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#17
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
Actually, a lot of people do recommend getting a graphics card (though not a super high end one) for computers used in audio because it frees up more resources.


Thats illogical. Unless your talking about GPGPU? But as far as I'm aware that technology isn't really ready to be utilized properly, if at all, yet.

The only thing a graphics card deals with is graphics. What you see on your screen. If your PC has a REALLY **** onboard card it may be an idea to upgrade that to speed the system up generally, but graphics cards do NOT affect audio performance. FACT.
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#18
Hmmm, a lot of musicians and artists do use Apple .... but I prefer Windows..

2.4-3.2ghz processor speed -- Preferably dual-core
3-4gb of Ram.
Size of Hardrive --- egh 1tb goes for $100 now...depends how many scratch projects your gonna make and the file size of these..audio files can start filling up your HD pretty quickly.

Make sure mobo has PCIE card slots in it for your Graphics and sound cards and what not.

Dual monitors always help productivity and what not..if you can get that...otherwise just get a 19-21" widescreen LCD and you should be good to go.

I would just say to grab a barebones off of TigerDirect for 250-350 and build it yourself..but u being a technical noob wouldn't help.

I was able to get a 3.4ghz (without being overclocked) dual core, 3gb of ram, and 500gb HD for under $300 of their site..

Whatever it is..jus remember...processor, ram, hard drive space...
#19
Quote by willieturnip
Thats illogical. Unless your talking about GPGPU? But as far as I'm aware that technology isn't really ready to be utilized properly, if at all, yet.

The only thing a graphics card deals with is graphics. What you see on your screen. If your PC has a REALLY **** onboard card it may be an idea to upgrade that to speed the system up generally, but graphics cards do NOT affect audio performance. FACT.


no it isn't, the less resources the CPU has to use on graphics the more it has available for other things. This is especially important if you are using Vista. so please don't go about stating "facts" when you don't know what you are talking about.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#20
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
no it isn't, the less resources the CPU has to use on graphics the more it has available for other things. This is especially important if you are using Vista. so please don't go about stating "facts" when you don't know what you are talking about.




I do know what I'm talking about. Your cpu does no graphical computing whatsoever.
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#21
Quote by willieturnip


I do know what I'm talking about. Your cpu does no graphical computing whatsoever.


it does if you don't have a graphic processor, sure as hell did on my comp before I got a graphics card.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#22
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
it does if you don't have a graphic processor, sure as hell did on my comp before I got a graphics card.


No. All the graphical work prior to you having a dedicated gpu would have been done by your motherboards integrated graphics solution, which would share RAM with your main system but not use your computers CPU.
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#23
Quote by willieturnip
No. All the graphical work prior to you having a dedicated gpu would have been done by your motherboards integrated graphics solution, which would share RAM with your main system but not use your computers CPU.


actually it has to use both, and in any case getting dedicated GPU still frees up system resources (mainly RAM as you have pointed out)
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#24
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
actually it has to use both, and in any case getting dedicated GPU still frees up system resources (mainly RAM as you have pointed out)


No mate, your CPU is not used for any graphical computations. FACT.

But yes, it would free up a tiny bit of ram. Nothing really noticeable though these days.
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#25
Quote by willieturnip
No mate, your CPU is not used for any graphical computations. FACT.

But yes, it would free up a tiny bit of ram. Nothing really noticeable though these days.


FACT using your mobos GPU does put an extra drain on the CPU, this is readilly noticable when you add a dedicated GPU and your average CPU load drops 5-10% which I see happen all the time.

Also dependong on how much RAM you are running and whatnot, the RAM usage can be pretty damn noticeable as well.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#26
As much as I like to warn people about not needing to go overboard on a computer for recording, if you want to get into electronic music, the more of *anything* you can get, the better.

Your soft-synths, generally, will be *very* RAM intensive. Get as much as you can.

Effects and stuff will put strain on your CPU.

Samples, as I understand it, stream from the hard drive, but get pre-loaded into RAM so they can be triggered efficiently and on time. Lots of samples = lots of disk streaming. Get a fast HD.

I agree that a desktop will be WAAAAY more cost-effective than a laptop. If you're using Cubase, then you won't care whether you're running Mac or PC.

Cubase is great. Moby and Timbaland both use it. But yes.... you'll be polishing up the credit card for some of the many very cool VSTi's and sample libraries out there. The built in version of Halion is really quite nice, but if you're willing to spend $$$, you *can* get much better.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#27
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
FACT using your mobos GPU does put an extra drain on the CPU, this is readilly noticable when you add a dedicated GPU and your average CPU load drops 5-10% which I see happen all the time.

Also dependong on how much RAM you are running and whatnot, the RAM usage can be pretty damn noticeable as well.



Well, thats not true. Why would your motherboard have an onboard GPU and not use it?
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#28
Quote by willieturnip
Well, thats not true. Why would your motherboard have an onboard GPU and not use it?


It does use the GPU, but in using that there's still a CPU hit, 10% isn't a big deal for most standard stuff, it is when you are doing audio stuff.

Quote by axemanchris


Samples, as I understand it, stream from the hard drive, but get pre-loaded into RAM so they can be triggered efficiently and on time. Lots of samples = lots of disk streaming. Get a fast HD.



How this works depends on the sampler and how big the active library you are using is, sometimes everything is in active RAM sometimes it does stream from the hard drive with only a few things being loaded from RAM, but the fast HD is definitely a good recommendation in any case.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Mar 12, 2009,
#29
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
It does use the GPU, but in using that there's still a CPU hit, 10% isn't a big deal for most standard stuff, it is when you are doing audio stuff.


Can you tell me exactly what the CPU is used for then?
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#30
Quote by willieturnip
Can you tell me exactly what the CPU is used for then?


Nope, I could probably figure it out but I don't feel like looking it up, what I do know is that the past three computers I've had got reduction in average CPU use after installing a graphics card (and in 2/3 of those it wasn't a particularly good graphics card). I've also heard this recommendation from several people I've worked with in studios and whatnot.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#31
lol I don't know who to believe, as I don't know about this myself...
There is poetry in despair.
#32
Believe me. Kid_Thorazine is on the list of people to ignore!!
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
#33
I'm pretty knowledgeable about computers, but when people start discussing the intricacies of core processor architecture, I really feel left behind....

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#34
There is truth in what they both say - neither of them are nailing it down and I cant be arsed.....

Last time I got into one of these I had some snotty little .... try to tell me that mac addresses arent required to connect to the internet - he used an IP address, fancy that
EPILPSTDYamahaRBX100BassTanglewoodTW28/STRFenderchamp600CubaseStudio5Saffirepro40AlesisM1ActiveMKIIMAudioKeystation88RodeNT1AShureSM57KeeleyModTS9MackieMCUwww.myspace.com/cuthbertgriswald
Last edited by cuthbertg at Mar 14, 2009,
#35
Ahhhh...

I have heard from other sources that an ok graphics card is advisable for the music computer...


THe biggest problem it seems to me now is that it NEEDS to be a laptop:

I live in england but will be in tokyo for a week, where technology is cheaper by far. So I intend to be buying the comp out there and bringing it back to england. So a whole desktop system would be better... but much harder to bring back.

Also as im'm off to uni i am thinking a laptop will be more usefull again for the transportation. Not so much around campus but home and back.

What kind of stuffs is the graphics card gonna be needing? Is this that important or is more taken by the processor?

As this is only going to be a hoby i will not be needing the dogs bollocks of systems, but i don't really want to be limited by the capabilities.

What are the PCIE options like on a laptop. I'm presuming more limited.

I'm not 100% computer noob. I worked in a repair shop as a shelf stacker for 6 months so have a small grasp of the internals, but not massive.

I really appreciate all the help though. Cheers guys!