Guitars101 - Guitar Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Jeff McDonald
Joined
·
3,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help, gang. As some of you may have read in some of my posts, I have been saving up and am planning to purchase a new PC to use specifically for my recording station in my little studio. I am no stranger to home recording or home computers but I have never had to purchase a PC for recording. I know what things to look for when shopping for a home computer for regular use (for me: web/graphic design, internet, email, office, etc.), but I am not sure what all I need to be looking for when trying to decide on an appropriate PC for doing audio/recording. Any suggestions? I would like to buy this in about 2 weeks so I need to do some research quickly. Also, what kind of sound card or hardware do I need to do multiple-input simultaneous recording? Softwarre for recording? Any and all help on these subjects will be most appreciated. Thanks, my G-101 brethren!
 

·
Napoleon Dynamite
Joined
·
4,533 Posts
KC, for a decent setup on the cheap but still able to produce nice tracks, get at least a 2Ghz processor, AMD or Intel - no difference, 1GB RAM, and get two 80GB (minimum, you can get dual 120s, etc.) drives and run them in Raid 0. Then get a nice interface. I am very particular to M-Audio products as I have used three of them and they all rocked. Take a look at internal cards or firewire units and skip USB because the latency is just too high. There are many units to choose from at different price points. Pick what best suits your needs. As an example, I see no need to have an eight input device when I have no drums, bass, etc to mic...2 inputs is all I need BUT I do like have many output options for sound routing. You can put a nice setup together for about 800-1200 bucks depending on the size hard drive(s) and sound interface you opt for. Now for the software, I would go with eithe Steinberg Cubase or Cakewalk Sonar. They have different priced packages so read what features you need. I use Cubase Sx 2.01, they are up to 3 now and Sonar is up to 4 with either the studio package or the producer package.

Lemme know if I coulod be of more help to you.

Cheers...
 

·
Ear Candy Distributor
Joined
·
10,268 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
stingx said:
KC, for a decent setup on the cheap but still able to produce nice tracks, get at least a 2Ghz processor, AMD or Intel - no difference, 1GB RAM, and get two 80GB (minimum, you can get dual 120s, etc.) drives and run them in Raid 0. Then get a nice interface. I am very particular to M-Audio products as I have used three of them and they all rocked. Take a look at internal cards or firewire units and skip USB because the latency is just too high. There are many units to choose from at different price points. Pick what best suits your needs. As an example, I see no need to have an eight input device when I have no drums, bass, etc to mic...2 inputs is all I need BUT I do like have many output options for sound routing. You can put a nice setup together for about 800-1200 bucks depending on the size hard drive(s) and sound interface you opt for. Now for the software, I would go with eithe Steinberg Cubase or Cakewalk Sonar. They have different priced packages so read what features you need. I use Cubase Sx 2.01, they are up to 3 now and Sonar is up to 4 with either the studio package or the producer package.

Lemme know if I coulod be of more help to you.

Cheers...

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm interested in what you said there stingx. If I want to put a POD xt, Bass PODxt, a keyboard and a vocal mic (maybe a drum machine as well) AND considering that both pods are USB, how would I get the extra inputs to my soundcard?
 

·
Napoleon Dynamite
Joined
·
4,533 Posts
Wah, I don't use the USB on the PODxt for recording, just for updating. There is nothing wrong with USB except for when you try to record multiple devices simultaneously over the same USB port. I record my pod by taking the 1/4" out and running it into one of the ins on my firewire 410. The ins on my 410 take either XLR or 1/4". I have a mixer I run into the other input that I CAN, run severaldevices through to the other front port on the 410.

Here's an example of an affordable 4 in, 4 out iinternal interface:

http://m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496-main.html

Here's an example of my firewire 410:

http://209.132.209.147/products/en_us/FireWire410-focus.html

An how you can route to it:

http://209.132.209.147/images/en/connectivity/big/firewire_410.gif
 

·
Jeff McDonald
Joined
·
3,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome, StingX. Thanks so much for taking the time to type all that out. You presented some points (like firewire vs. USB, for instance, and dual processor info) that I didn't even think about or know to think about. That's exactly why i posted this thread, cause I am not even sure what to consider for recording. I will check out your links and see if I have more questions (which I know I will). THanks again.

Jeff
 

·
Napoleon Dynamite
Joined
·
4,533 Posts
Really simple, without being techie, you need resonably decent horsepower but nothing over the top, decent/redunant storage, and a nice interface to get your music onto the hd. You needn't go over the top with software either. Now that I think about it, Cakewalk might be the way to go because they make upgrading VERY painless and cheap. I believe the new Sonar 4 Studio is like 400 bucks but upgrade from ANY cakewalk product and it;s less than half, upgrade from home studio and it;s like 100 bucks. Go to cakewalk.com and look at their online store and upgrade offers, very reasonable. Since you aren't mastering songs for Geffen, you really donut have to have the top of the line product from either Steinberg or Cakewalk. True, some of the included plugins might seem appealing but will you really use all that shit? Use your best judgement and decide what you really NEED and move from there. Not very hard, just a little work on your part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,407 Posts
Stingx has made some great points here. Here's my 2 cents

Unfortunately, with alot of systems out there you'll end up paying for things that are not needed. If you are using this system specifically as an audio work station, I would recommend building your own PC. There are so many advantages to going this route...
- you pay for only what you want and need and you'll save lots of $ doing it.
- no worries about compatability issues when having to deal with onboard audio and video.
- A nice clean install of XP with no crap programs that are not needed to mess things up later.
- It's not as hard as you might think
- there are plenty of places online to get what you need

Also, download the trial versions of the recording software first. You don't want to spend $400 for something that may not be compatible with your system (it happens
). I would recommend trying 3 or 4 programs anyway to see which one suits your needs best and you are most comfortable using.
 

·
Napoleon Dynamite
Joined
·
4,533 Posts
Thanks Pod God, I made an assumption that he would be building his own, cuz that's what I do. I should have stated that. I do believe that for those not so computer inclined building their own is not a possiblity and they should order from a company that can hold their hands when something goes awry.
 

·
Napoleon Dynamite
Joined
·
4,533 Posts
Cakewalk Sonar is downloadable for trial
Forgot to mention that too. Thanks for adding your two cents!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
Good points Stingx...and I agree that the 410 is a great unit.

Why are you suggesting RAID 0 as opposed it RAID 1? I have been running RAID 1 for years and it reads off the HD much faster when it only has to hit every other sector from each HD.
 

·
Napoleon Dynamite
Joined
·
4,533 Posts
VH, I found this works best for me. I prefer Raid 0 because by stripping data across the two disks I gain a serious performance boost at the expense of mirroring (Raid 1). I make periodic backups to dvd-r so I never worry about loosing any takes or any precious recordings or media.

BUT...to each his own
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I have been running RAID 1 for years and it reads off the HD much faster when it only has to hit every other sector from each HD.



VHFan you are confusing RAID 1 with RAID 0. RAID 0 does what you describe above. RAID1 is a mirrored set running at the speed of the slowest drive (if you have mixed drive models).
 

·
Jeff McDonald
Joined
·
3,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks a lot guys for your input. It is very valuable to me as I am not much of a techy with computers. I run high-end graphics programs all day at work and then at home for freelance work, but I am not overly knowledgable about what goes on in side the computer. I have copy/pasted all your notes/suggestions into an MSWord doc to read and study before going shopping. Please continue to post recommendations or points of interest regarding this topic. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,615 Posts
Very very interesting thread.

I use the PODxt over the USB, but then again I am just recording over backing tracks mostly...

Setup that I have at the moment is:

2GHz Athlon
512 Mb DDR RAM
2x160 Gb HD Mirrored

I haven't had any problems yet with this setup, using USB. However, when on Paltalk, I couldn't play the backing track to people when playing. The only thing I would change with this setup is more memory, cuz that is shite. I reckon 1Gb would boost it immensely...

I mirrored the disks because I regarded redundancy higher than performance. But you could always get a better RAID card and Mirror and Stripe them. But I think this requires an extra disk than mirroring, doesn't it ? If I remember ? You always have one more than your mirrored disks for parity ? Or am I getting confused with RAID 0, 1 and 5 ???




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
Mr Crumb said:
I have been running RAID 1 for years and it reads off the HD much faster when it only has to hit every other sector from each HD.






VHFan you are confusing RAID 1 with RAID 0. RAID 0 does what you describe above. RAID1 is a mirrored set running at the speed of the slowest drive (if you have mixed drive models).

[/ QUOTE ]

I always thought that RAID 1 mirrored 2 drives, wrote all sectors to both drives, but when it reads back, it actually reads every other sector from each drive to increase the read speed.

I maybe wrong...I'll double check the manual (I only read them as a last resort)
 

·
Jeff McDonald
Joined
·
3,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Man,you guys are using all kinds of terms and talking about concepts I never even heard of before. Where the hell have I been?


Keep talking though cause I'm learning.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top