#1
Alright so, I have a 1000$ I've been storing away for the purpose of buying a new PC for recording. What I'm currently using now is a Dell E510 that I use as a general purpose/gaming/recording computer but I want to get a separate one for recording purposes.

I don't really have the confidence in myself to build a PC, I know how to upgrade parts and such but I've never assembled one and I'd prefer to buy a pre-built one.

Basically, I'm looking for any suggestions about this. Links to computers you guys recommend, specs I should look for, ect ect.

Oh, and I plan on using an interface of some sort (Currently using a line 6 toneport, gonna upgrade that later) so the sound card probably doesn't matter, is that correct? Any suggestions on interfaces would be nice, too. I'm planning on recording Guitars/Vocals into Sonar (Buying an SM58 for vocals, direct in for guitars). Any general suggestions would be great.
#2
Why have a seperate PC for recording?

Just buy a decent interface and a decent microphone.

Create a seperate user account, maybe even with a different hard drive, and use that for recording. If not, i'd say go for a laptop.


More on-topic...

Make sure you get a dual core processor. Dont bother with quadcore... they wont be useful for at least two years, and even then a dual core will do the job well.

Try an grab yrself a laptop with a 2.0ghz or more dual core processor, at least 1gb of ram, preferably 2gb, and the rest, really, is all up to preference.

Maybe a CD/DVD writer would be very useful.
Last edited by SheikYerbouti at Nov 4, 2008,
#3
^ Having a separate machine is a really good idea actually, if you can afford it.


I'd go with minimum 2gb RAM though, if you're buying a computer specifically for recording.
There is poetry in despair.
#4
my new studio machine is a Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop and it runs like a beast.

Quad-core, 4Gb ram, 750Gb Hard Drive, a load of firewire and usb ports, its the absolute business.
it costed less than €1000 about two months ago.

and ya, i'd highly recommend having a seperate machine for recording, you can disconnect it from the internet and it'll be solid as a rock. i'd never do recording and office/internet on the same machine again.

oh, and its a good idea to get a quad-core, windows Xp and Vista CAN make use of them, and your rig will be future-proof for ages, plus obvioulsy, the performance is amazing.

4Gb of ram is great to have, but if you plan on running XP, (like me) then its overkill, XP cant make full use of more than 3Gb really, but again, it'll be future proof.

over-all i'd recommend going overboard on this stuff
#5
Hey, thanks guys.

Yeah, that 530 (might've been 531. not sure if theres even a difference) is actually what I was looking into. I saw it for about $850-$900 from dell's site a little while ago. So I'm assuming RAM, processor and hard drive space are the things to look at?

That's probably what I'll end up getting, anyway.
#6
Quote by Thomasoman
Hey, thanks guys.

Yeah, that 530 (might've been 531. not sure if theres even a difference) is actually what I was looking into. I saw it for about $850-$900 from dell's site a little while ago. So I'm assuming RAM, processor and hard drive space are the things to look at?

That's probably what I'll end up getting, anyway.


ya, get a bad-ass processer and as much ram as you can afford.

the hard-drive speed is important as well as the capacity, a 7200rpm (i think thats the correct way to write it) is the way to go for recording, the slower (5000-something-rpm) ones aren't as good for streaming audio to and from the disc in real-time.
#7
Alright, noted.

Oh, also a question about operating systems. it seems all PCs are coming with Vista now, without any option for XP. would it be worth it for me to go out and buy XP to go with it? or is vista okay as far as recording goes.
#8
Quote by fridge_raider
^ Having a separate machine is a really good idea actually, if you can afford it.


I'd go with minimum 2gb RAM though, if you're buying a computer specifically for recording.

...yea +1

$1000, same budget I am looking to spend. I would rather build than buy though. Intel has that new i7 coming out soon with new motherboard socket and such. It's supposed to be great from the reviews I've read already. I'm mostly rebuilding as I am getting into video work now and my machine isn't cutting it anymore... You dont need a super machine for most audio programs these days...although one is nice to have...

You may want to wait for that, it's coming out mid November of this year.
Add 2 or 3 GB of good ram, XP if you can get a copy of that OS, a good set of fans that run quiet, a nice power supply, some large 7200RPM drives in a RAID0 configuration, and a fast processor at at least 2GHz running Dual Core.

The Q6600 isnt all that high in price though so you may want to go with that quad core if you dont wait for the Intel processor.

As for an OS, Vista isn't all that bad anymore however most studios still run XP and it;s its mostly because you don't need to worry about your hardware as much. If you go with Vista just stick with products you know will work. I have had no problem with M-Audio when it came to Vista. Line6 gave me a lot of trouble at the beginning of the year but I've heard they've fixed a lot of bugs. I dont know how PreSonus works with vista but they do make drivers.

Also see this:
http://studio-central.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=137&t=61114
Last edited by moody07747 at Nov 5, 2008,
#9
And coming from a completely different angle....

Go ahead and spend $1000. Make sure you get your computer AND a good interface for that money though.

Oh, sure, you can spend heaps of $$ on a machine, but do you need to? What will you be recording?

Our band did our album on my computer, which is a 1.7Ghz Celeron machine with 512 MB RAM and 2x40GB hard drives at 7200rpm. I'm running WinXP. Each song was done with upwards to 36 tracks of 24-bit audio, including FX and EQ as required, using Cubase SX at the time.

You can't buy a machine like that anymore, and yet it did the job just fine.

If you're just doing audio, or audio and some samplers, you really don't need to go overboard. If you're using racks and racks of soft samplers and high end reverbs and stuff, then you'll need to spend $$.... both on hardware and software.

If you're going to go laptop, the 5400rpm drive would be a deal-killer for me. The trade-off is that 7200rpm drives eat batter power like nobody's business. The solution = solid state drives. They're even faster than standard 7200 drives.

Now, all that said.... there is something to be said for future-proofing.

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.
#10
Quote by Thomasoman
Alright, noted.

Oh, also a question about operating systems. it seems all PCs are coming with Vista now, without any option for XP. would it be worth it for me to go out and buy XP to go with it? or is vista okay as far as recording goes.


hmmm,
i'd always recommend XP, its technically superior to vista for Audio production.
having said that, i know a few guys who run Vista rigs with minimal problems.
just use the Vista that comes with the machine for a while and see how it runs.

one thing to bear in mind with vista is driver compatability for interfaces. some devices are very poorly supported on vista at the moment.
#11
^That is true. Check before you buy any hardware. I am personally running a Vista recording system with no problems whatsoever.
There is poetry in despair.
#12
i do my stuff on a 700mhz laptop with 256 megs of ram and an external harddrive.

i'm certain that whatever you buy will do just nicely for recording audio.

you'll want to put the bulk of your money into your interface.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#13
if you're going to spend alot of money on a computer, I'd wait for a few months to see what the i7's do to the prices of things. and AMD is coming out with a new processor which will make things abit more interesting.