#1
Hi, I'm hoping to do some basic guitar recording with programmed drums, possibly messing around with other MIDI instruments too. I really have no idea what sort of computer I'd need in terms of suitable specs. I'll be using Cubase, and I'm thinking of getting a Line 6 Toneport (that's another thing I need to research on before buying). My budget is £500 (for everything - that's the PC and whatever else I'll need).

I had a friend who recommended something like this: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5083682/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7COffice%2C+PCs+and+phones%7C14418968/c_2/2%7C14418968%7CComputers+and+monitors%7C14419111.htm#pdpFullProductInformation

Would this be suitable? Also, can/does an audio interface basically work as a soundcard? Thanks in advance
#2
An audio interface does work as a soundcard.

That PC isn't bad, but there are a few things that aren't clear in the detailed system specs: no info on the RPM of the HDD and no info on if the USB ports are all USB2 or if there are USB3 or if any of them are powered. Personally I also would get an i5 or i7 quad core processor if I were buying a new computer.

Basic minimum specs of a new computer for recording:
HDD: any size, 7200 RPM (I say any size because I would suggest getting an external HDD to store sound libraries for any VSTi, samples, etc)
CPU: Quadcore @3.0+ GHz (dual will do, but if you're buying new, might as well spend the bit of extra money)
RAM: 4GB

As for an interface, the studio PODs aren't a bad choice for starters.
#3
Quote by Odirunn
An audio interface does work as a soundcard.

Basic minimum specs of a new computer for recording:
HDD: any size, 7200 RPM (I say any size because I would suggest getting an external HDD to store sound libraries for any VSTi, samples, etc)
CPU: Quadcore @3.0+ GHz (dual will do, but if you're buying new, might as well spend the bit of extra money)
RAM: 4GB

As for an interface, the studio PODs aren't a bad choice for starters.


HDD: any size, 7200 RPM - I agree with getting an external HDD. I've learned that the computer starts and moves 10x faster if you store everything to an external HDD. If you store everything on the computers HDD, when you start the computer it will start loading EVERYTHING and slow it down to a crawl or even crash.

RAM: 4GB - The more RAM the better! If you get a basic computer with 4 GB RAM you can also (in some cases not all) upgraded to twice what the computer came with. 4=8.

-------------------
I use this really old laptop with only 512 mb Ram and I want to die... I use laptops for my work cause I record a lot out side of my house but I'm looking at laptops with 150GB HDD and 4GB RAM - Cause I can upgrade them.
#4
you should be concerned with DPC latency first and foremost.

I wrote this about laptops but it applies to desktops too. it may help you in your search

http://audioecstasyproductions.webs.com/Smoke_and_Mirrors.pdf
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#5
Quote by Odirunn
An audio interface does work as a soundcard.

That PC isn't bad, but there are a few things that aren't clear in the detailed system specs: no info on the RPM of the HDD and no info on if the USB ports are all USB2 or if there are USB3 or if any of them are powered. Personally I also would get an i5 or i7 quad core processor if I were buying a new computer.

Basic minimum specs of a new computer for recording:
HDD: any size, 7200 RPM (I say any size because I would suggest getting an external HDD to store sound libraries for any VSTi, samples, etc)
CPU: Quadcore @3.0+ GHz (dual will do, but if you're buying new, might as well spend the bit of extra money)
RAM: 4GB

As for an interface, the studio PODs aren't a bad choice for starters.


Eh, I wouldn't agree with this.

Hard drive: As large as you can afford, high quality sound files are space hogs. I'd agree with the external hard drive though for back up purposes.

Cpu: I can mix perfectly well on a 3ghz Dual Core, but I'd recommend 64 bit just for the sake of having it, it is apparently better in some way but in ways that I can only just under stand.

Ram: As much as you can afford, I happily get by on 3 gig but my DAW does crash every so often.

Buy a Desktop if you can, it's a much more cost efficient route. (Also if you buy parts and assemble it yourself you can normally save money.)

And yes, a Toneport can be used as an external USB soundcard.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Sep 30, 2011,
#6
Quote by ChemicalFire

Cpu: I can mix perfectly well on a 3ghz Dual Core, but I'd recommend 64 bit just for the sake of having it, it is apparently better in some way but in ways that I can only just under stand.

All modern CPUs will handle both x64 and x86, so that's not a concern, it's the OS that should be 64bit. A 64 bit opperating system lets you use up to something like 2Tb or Ram where as 32 bit limits it to 3.5gb.
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#7
I presume if you're posting on here, you already have a PC? Why then, are you considering buying a second one specifically for recording? (Or are you due an upgrade anyway?)

If your current PC is still OK for everything else you do, check out the Zoom R series - they work with your PC and do all the hard work for it, controlling all the software you will need to create your recordings so you wouldn't need the new PC. The R8 & R24 also include an integrated drum & bass programmer, so you wouldn't need anything extra there (no idea why they left it off the R16).
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#8
Quote by ZombieRaptor
I'll be using Cubase, and I'm thinking of getting a Line 6 Toneport (that's another thing I need to research on before buying). My budget is £500 (for everything - that's the PC and whatever else I'll need).


Cubase alone will eat up your budget.

CT
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#9
I've just popped on to pcspecialist.co.uk and this is what I came up with

Case
COOLERMASTER ELITE 310 BLUE CASE

Processor (CPU)
AMD PHENOM II X4 955 QUAD CORE (3.20GHz/8MB CACHE/AM3) - BLACK EDITION

Motherboard
ASUS® M5A78L-M/USB3: M-ATX, USB 3.0, SATA 3.0Gb/s

Memory (RAM)
4GB SAMSUNG DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (2 X 2GB)

Graphics Card
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS ACCELERATOR (GPU)

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
1TB (1000GB) SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

Memory Card Reader
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT

Power Supply
450W Quiet 80 PLUS Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£29)

Processor Cooling
SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£19)

Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)

Network Facilities
ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs

USB Options
4 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD

Operating System
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)

Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)

Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)

Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 10 to 12 working days


£444 inc delivery



Regardless of specs, the quality of this compared to a crappy Argos PC is far higher - Coolermaster case, silent heatpipe CPU cooler, half-decent motherboard etc.


To tell you the truth, you don't need especially high specs for a recording PC.
I used to record fine on my ancient Athlon XP system (1.8ghz single core, 512MB RAM) without problems. You really only need a fast system if you're using lots of virtual instruments or lots of tracks.
#10
Quote by kyle62
I've just popped on to pcspecialist.co.uk and this is what I came up with


Regardless of specs, the quality of this compared to a crappy Argos PC is far higher - Coolermaster case, silent heatpipe CPU cooler, half-decent motherboard etc.


To tell you the truth, you don't need especially high specs for a recording PC.
I used to record fine on my ancient Athlon XP system (1.8ghz single core, 512MB RAM) without problems. You really only need a fast system if you're using lots of virtual instruments or lots of tracks.



This. I can record 10 tracks at a time on a 2.3 Ghz laptop in Ableton without using more than 15% of the cpu power. I would recommend a 7200 RPM harddrive though. I also only have 4 gig of RAM, but I've still never run out of it, even with multiple vsti's and effects.