#1
Hello fellow UGers,

I would like to request your advice/recommendations for a new computer...I'm looking to buy a new computer dedicated strictly for audio production (recording, mixing, etc.). I've been out of the technology loop for a few years and consequently haven't kept up with recent trends (quad cores, etc.) since I was holed up away at school, but now that I'm out in the real world and have some money coming in I want to get back into music production stuff ASAP!

At first I was thinking about buying a laptop for the portability (among other things for recording remotely away from my in-progress home studio), but increasingly I've been entertaining the idea of getting a desktop since it seems that for the same price point you can buy a more robust piece of gear (this may be an antiquated generalization, however...do please correct me if I'm wrong here! ).

Basically, I'm not looking for bells and whistles such as killer graphics, etc., all I really want is a machine with a lot of computing/processing power to run the applications such as the DAW (Pro Tools 10 in my case), plugins, etc. fairly smoothly. I bought a laptop for this purpose a couple of years ago, but it really wasn't up to snuff for running large sessions in Pro Tools and whatnot, so it ended up becoming/devolving into my all-purpose personal computer and has continued to fulfill this role into the present.

My budget is roughly 500-1500 USD (ideally 700-1000, though I'm aware that you get what you pay for!). I'm partial to Windows PC's since they are generally cheaper for the same price than Macs, and I've grown up on the Windows OS/platform for better or worse. If you can't recommend a specific computer, model, etc. I would still appreciate advice in terms of general specs (processor type, RAM, etc.) for the aforementioned goals and/or your anecdotal experience with your current home studio setup. Thanks in advance!
#4
Desktops are definitely still more robust, but there's not a whole lot that laptops can't do these days (if you're willing to pay).

A modern laptop could very easily handle any music production you want to do, at the cost of not being as easily upgraded/updated as a desktop.
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#6
^ ooops rookie mistake, sorry about that just got onto UG recently! :p
#7
It really depends on the type & level of production you have in mind. Hard to make a recommendation without that being clear.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#8
Quote by eGraham
Desktops are definitely still more robust, but there's not a whole lot that laptops can't do these days (if you're willing to pay).

A modern laptop could very easily handle any music production you want to do, at the cost of not being as easily upgraded/updated as a desktop.

which is fairly significant.
#9
seriously tho


mac
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#10
Build one or get a friend of your's to build one for you with the specs you desire, if neither of those two ooptions are available, then get a mac.
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#12
Do not listen to the mac fags, get a PC. its not as great as Linux but at least it has a friendlier interface and is way better than a mac.
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This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#13
Quote by 457undead
Do not listen to the mac fags, get a PC. its not as great as Linux but at least it has a friendlier interface and is way better than a mac.

lol

you've probably never actually used linux in your life and are just parroting like a dumbass

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#14
Quote by Xiaoxi
lol

you've probably never actually used linux in your life and are just parroting like a dumbass

the **** are you talking about? I use Linux all of the time, the only reason why I also have Windows is because a lot of the games I play are only on Windows. I also used to use Linux for a lot of SSH into my old VPS which hosted a Minecraft Server. I have also built two computers. Working with computers is one of my two hobbies that I greatly enjoy.

edit: i do act dumb a lot, but guitars and computers are the two things I know proficiently.
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Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
Last edited by 457undead at Nov 26, 2014,
#15
Quote by 457undead
Do not listen to the mac fags, get a PC. its not as great as Linux but at least it has a friendlier interface and is way better than a mac.

You know what the problem with this is?

1) You clearly know nothing about the subject on hand here

2) You're treating this like it's a case of what your favourite OS is.

3) You bothered to waste everyone's time posting in this thread.

Quote by 457undead
the **** are you talking about? I use Linux all of the time, the only reason why I also have Windows is because a lot of the games I play are only on Windows. I also used to use Linux for a lot of SSH into my old VPS which hosted a Minecraft Server. I have also built two computers. Working with computers is one of my two hobbies that I greatly enjoy.

He's talking about the fact that Linux is the worst possible choice for audio production, because it's so far behind Windows and OS X in terms of modern technology that matters in this case.

Do you have any involvement, whatsoever, in audio production? If not (which is clearly the case here) don't come into a thread acting like a know-it-all among the ignorant spouting absolute nonsense.

edit: i do act dumb a lot, but guitars and computers are the two things I know proficiently.Not in terms of audio production.
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#16
Quote by DisarmGoliath
You know what the problem with this is?

1) You clearly know nothing about the subject on hand here

2) You're treating this like it's a case of what your favourite OS is.

3) You bothered to waste everyone's time posting in this thread.

Yes, as a matter of fact I do know about the subject at hand. My reply may not of been helpful but think of it this way, are the people posting 3 word incomplete sentences saying "get a mac" helpful either?
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Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#17
Quote by 457undead
Yes, as a matter of fact I do know about the subject at hand. My reply may not of been helpful but think of it this way, are the people posting 3 word incomplete sentences saying "get a mac" helpful either?

Regarding audio production "get a mac" is far more helpful than telling people "Linux is the best, but get a Windows PC"
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#18
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Regarding audio production "get a mac" is far more helpful than telling people "Linux is the best, but get a Windows PC"

neither are helpful because they give no supporting facts as to why they should choose that OS
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Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#19
Quote by 457undead
Yes, as a matter of fact I do know about the subject at hand.


Aren't you like 14 though?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#20
Quote by theogonia777
Aren't you like 14 though?

does age correlate with knowledge?
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I love to have my vag pounded by guys who make lame threads on the internet!


Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#21
Quote by 457undead
neither are helpful because they give no supporting facts as to why they should choose that OS

If one is more correct, it is more helpful, regardless of whether reasons are given in those replies.

You were wrong, because you said that Linux is the best for audio production (it's the worst of the three), and you were wrong when you said Windows had a friendlier interface (opinion, rather than fact, but I'm sure most people who use Windows would say a problem with OS X is that it's too dumbed down and user-friendly).

Windows vs Mac matters mainly if you want to use certain hardware and software (most exclusive high end stuff is Mac-only, rather than Windows-only, though). For a beginner though, or someone knew to recording, a Mac is a far easier option if they have the budget because there are no driver issues to worry about and the hardware config is guaranteed to work out for Mac stuff because they already know what needs to work with what - there are so many combinations of PC parts that a stable PC system usually means sticking to certain items (especially if you're using Firewire for interfaces, where most people swear by only using Texas Instruments' chipsets to avoid driver issues).

Quote by 457undead
does age correlate with knowledge?

If theogonia is right about your age, I've been 'doing' audio engineering for more than half your life. I'm not claiming to be a genius, an expert, or the best on this site even, but I'd consider myself more knowledgeable on the subject than you.
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#22
get a mac


Edit:

To support my argument I will include some supporting facts for TS's benefit.

Apple computers are built with their own hardware that has been extensively tested in order to insure maximum compatibility. I'm not so sure that any windows based computer can say the same. Why does this matter? It means, in theory, that you will have less of those hair-pulling, furious times that happen when you can't figure out why your computer isn't doing what you need it to do, and you end up reinstalling several different drivers, rebooting multiple times, and then end up wiping your pc and starting from scratch. Companies like Asus, Samsung, Acer, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc. all combine parts made by different companies and, I'm speculating here, base their selection more on the price point at which they want to market the computer rather than performance.

Building a PC saves you from having to rely on whatever mismatched components were thrown together by one of those companies, but you are still gambling that whatever parts you select for your computer will work with each other well. This all assuming you have the knowledge to even know what parts might work well together in the first place.

You can build a desktop pc for 900 dollars with better specs than my 1500 dollar refurbished macbook Pro, sure. But you have to be willing to put in countless hours of studying about computer tech if you want to understand how to get it and keep it running well. You will also have to be able to deal with the frustration if it doesn't work out.

So if you want to save money and have a beastly machine that will theoretically overpower any Macbook, you can do that. Just be willing to have patience and put in the time to fully understand computers.

If you want to just buy something, bypass a lot of hassle, and get to the actual music making, you know that thing you wanted the computer for in the first place, then I would recommend getting a mac.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
Last edited by c3powil at Nov 26, 2014,
#23
Quote by 457undead
does age correlate with knowledge?


Age correlates to maximum possible experience, ie a 14 year old most likely doesn't have more than a maximum of two or three years experience with audio production, most of which is probably with nothing more sophisticated than recording with a built in mic into Audacity.

And considering that there are people here, like DG and myself, that are at least semi-professional audio engineering with more than half of your lifetime's worth of experience on professional grade equipment, you really probably have no real experience in comparison, and you simply can't have usable, working knowledge of production work without actual experience.

So yes, age does correlate with knowledge in this case.
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#24
Quote by DisarmGoliath
you were wrong when you said Windows had a friendlier interface

I was referring to Linux vs Windows. I do agree about Linux not being as good for audio production, I was talking in the grand scheme of things which was probably not a good idea.

Quote by TS
I'm partial to Windows PC's since they are generally cheaper for the same price than Macs, and I've grown up on the Windows OS/platform for better or worse.

He obviously isn't a beginner, and he knows how Windows works. Why would you recommend an OS that he isn't familiar with as apposed to a cheaper, easily upgradable option and more importantly he knows how to use. That's like me asking which model of guitar I should get and recommending a piano.
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Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#25
Quote by 457undead
the **** are you talking about? I use Linux all of the time, the only reason why I also have Windows is because a lot of the games I play are only on Windows. I also used to use Linux for a lot of SSH into my old VPS which hosted a Minecraft Server. I have also built two computers. Working with computers is one of my two hobbies that I greatly enjoy.

edit: i do act dumb a lot, but guitars and computers are the two things I know proficiently.
Just because you can SSH into a VPS and yum installing a few packages does not mean you're proficient in computers or are the best judge of their applications, as your dumbass statement clearly shows.

Yes, some people said "get a mac", probably in jest. But funnily enough those still have a lot more merit than your very-obviously-14yo claims.

OSX (also unix in case that's a revelation to you) is easily the most production oriented operating system between the 3 major platforms. Macs got where they are today in large part because they were the only computers and OS that took content creation and publishing seriously starting from the 70s and 80s. They've had a long time to work in a lot of small, subtle, and incredibly useful features into the OS and hardware appreciated by an overwhelming many in the creative industries.

Again, just because your dumb ass can # /etc/init.d/service restart your minecraft server does not mean you're attuned to all things computers.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#26
xiaoxi has a point for sure. not that you need a mac to record professionally by any means. but really they do have a pretty strong hold of creative fields like graphic design & sounds. if these are the specific needs you have it isn't really a wrong choice if you can spare the budget. certainly not worse than the other options outside of paying a bit of an unnecessary premium. the main downside of going the "lol get a mac" route isn't really relevant for OP. the price is the second downside.
#27
Quote by Xiaoxi
Just because you can SSH into a VPS and yum installing a few packages does not mean you're proficient in computers or are the best judge of their applications, as your dumbass statement clearly shows.

Yes, some people said "get a mac", probably in jest. But funnily enough those still have a lot more merit than your very-obviously-14yo claims.

OSX (also unix in case that's a revelation to you) is easily the most production oriented operating system between the 3 major platforms. Macs got where they are today in large part because they were the only computers and OS that took content creation and publishing seriously starting from the 70s and 80s. They've had a long time to work in a lot of small, subtle, and incredibly useful features into the OS and hardware appreciated by an overwhelming many in the creative industries.

Again, just because your dumb ass can # /etc/init.d/service restart your minecraft server does not mean you're attuned to all things computers.


What the **** did you just ****ing say about me, you little proprietry bitch? I'll have you know I graduated top of my class in the FSF, and I've been involved in numerous secret raids on Apple patents, and I have over 300 confirmed bug fixes. I am trained in Free Software Evangelizing and I'm the top code contributer for the entire GNU HURD. You are nothing to me but just another compile time error. I will wipe you the **** out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my ****ing words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, ****er. As we speak I am building a GUI using GTK+ and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You're ****ing dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can decompile you in over seven hundred ways, and that's just with my Model M. Not only am I extensively trained in EMACS, but I have access to the entire arsenal of LISP functions and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little "clever" comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your ****ing tongue. But you couldn't, you didn't, and now you're paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit Freedom all over you and you will drown in it. You're ****ing debugged, kiddo.
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Now lets be serious for a moment, just because an operating system focused on something doesn't mean it's the best for that purpose.

Granted, macs are rather predominant in the production industry, but that doesn't mean it's the best.

Windows server focuses on being one of the best server operating systems, and yet linux is still around, and dominates the server industry.

Mac and linux aren't incredibly different, I'm 90% sure you could easily find production software equivalents of mac related programs, and if you couldn't, there's always WINE to run windows applications.

The main reason macs are so popular is that they want everything to be as simple as possible, and linux quite frankly, doesn't give a **** about user simplicity generally, but if you're an advanced user, and know what you're doing, you don't NEED user simplicity.

Also, yum is a horrid package manager, and if you have to use it, i would seriously consider suicide as an alternate solution.
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This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
Last edited by 457undead at Nov 26, 2014,
#29
Quote by Thrashtastic15
the main downside of going the "lol get a mac" route isn't really relevant for OP. the price is the second downside.

Well TS didn't really provide any more specific info on what kind of production he has in mind. Based on his initial questions it doesn't sound like he builds his own, which would obviously be the most cost effective.

But based on that alone and assuming he's probably not going to be loading 50 signal processors to craft his 100+ tracks, I am, with a straight face, recommending a Mac Mini or even an iMac.

Why? They're relatively cheap, virtually 100% silent, and has Thunderbolt ports for a good audio interface (parallel data + wider bandwidth = more simultaneous inputs, less latency). OSX comes with production-ready CoreAudio driver, no need for ASIO bs. The more powerful mini is just $700 sparing him lots of money for a Focusrite FireWire/Thunderbolt interface.

Yes, in terms of CPU load per dollar of course building your own is better, but that's just one of many factors to consider. Just an acknowledgement before all the PC police get their panties in a bunch.

bottom line: mac or build your own desktop (and then install OSX ). I can't recommend a prebuilt PC with a straight face.

Quote by 457undead

Mac and linux aren't incredibly different, I'm 90% sure you could easily find production software equivalents of mac related programs, and if you couldn't, there's always WINE to run windows applications.

Yeah, I'm sure you run WINE to play your dumb Windows games.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Nov 26, 2014,
#30
Quote by Xiaoxi

Yeah, I'm sure you run WINE to play your dumb Windows games.

Let's just ignore the main portion of the reply, nitpick about one option i presented as a fallback should the normal option that works 90% of the time fail, shall we? jeez, you must *really* enjoy arguing with people.
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Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#31
Also, I'm going to note that you can run windows on a mac with boot camp.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#32
Quote by 457undead
Let's just ignore the main portion of the reply, nitpick about one option i presented as a fallback should the normal option that works 90% of the time fail, shall we? jeez, you must *really* enjoy arguing with people.

That suggestion alone proves that you're boxed into your little minecraft world.

The other parts of your ramblings are just funny tangents. I did like the stuff in the spoiler but only because of how neckbeard it is.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Nov 26, 2014,
#33
Quote by Xiaoxi
That suggestion alone proves that you're boxed into your little minecraft world.

The other parts of your ramblings are just funny tangents

I'd like to know what exactly about using a software compatibility layer for windows on linux has ANYTHING to do with minecraft

WINE is a valid suggestion if you absolutely have to run some sort of windows specific application without having access to windows, but please, I'm sure you're an expert with linux, tell me more about it ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

ITT: A butthurt 30 year old who needs to argue with teenagers about operating systems because he can't find a job
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I love to have my vag pounded by guys who make lame threads on the internet!


Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#34
Quote by 457undead
I'd like to know what exactly about using a software compatibility layer for windows on linux has ANYTHING to do with minecraft

WINE is a valid suggestion if you absolutely have to run some sort of windows specific application without having access to windows, but please, I'm sure you're an expert with linux, tell me more about it ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°
You missed my point completely. And I really do not want to spend the time to break up your delusional statements one by one.

ITT: A butthurt 30 year old who needs to argue with teenagers about operating systems because he can't find a job

lmao I'm salaried administering servers and contracted developing virtual instruments and productions. You're right, I can't find just a job.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#35
I have a Lenovo laptop for music production, and I don't have hiccups, can record well, can handle vst's well does no probs. It has i7quad haswell, 16 gb ram and a dedicated nvidia graphics card. My samples come from an external harddrive, and I have an audio interface.

I've also owned a macbook pro, and an Imac and used both literally to exhaustion with music production.

What I've noticed is that apple devices accept hardware far more streamlined (interfaces, usb controllers etc.)

Then again my current Laptop, I can be in my daw, plug out the interface, ex harddrive, 3 midi controllers, and plug them back in, and they all work, without an annoying connection noise spike. they reactived within a second of plugging in and it works, no errors.

My machine is used for audio mostly, and a pc really doesn't clutter up much if at all, if you don't use it as your virtual home, modding stuff and shit.

realistically I think the biggest drawback of a laptop is the screen really. I bought a 17'' screen laptop which a lot of people seem to find on the big side. Even then a dedicated screen above 21'' or so is really nice to work on, but even on a 15'' I found it too small for audio editing.

The other thing is having a good hard drive if you want to use sample based vst's, and offcourse the factor that even makes you get usable audio is a good audio interface.

I think you will find more profit in searching for a good interface, monitors and mics, above nitpicking computers.

Offcourse you need to take computer hardware in mind, but strong enough stuff can be had for a reasonable price these days.

Also for linux users.. Bitwig. They seem to be quite promising.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Nov 26, 2014,
#37
Quote by Xiaoxi
You missed my point completely. And I really do not want to spend the time to break up your delusional statements one by one.


lmao I'm salaried administering servers and contracted developing virtual instruments and productions. You're right, I can't find just a job.



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#38
I run Linux. There isn't a daw worth having. Mac or windows, doesnt really matter.

Cant get Michael Norris plugins on windows is the only downside. Otherwise just put big things in your pc and go outside with a mic. People over think this stuff way too much