Making do with a studio computer

with industry Pro, Nick Batzdorf

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og
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Making do with a studio computer

Post by og » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:10 pm

For a fellow on a (short) shoestring, what are the major objections to buying one of the new "media machines", which have fast proccessors and lotsa RAM, and sticking a second hard drive in it. I simply can't afford to spend over a grand on a new computer, but this one is making it clear that a replacement is in order. Any words for a po' boy?

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by nickbatzdorf » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:29 pm

The only caveat with pre-packaged computers is that you don't know what they have in them. If you can spend maybe $75 more, you can go to a store like PC Club and ask them to put together a custom machine that might be better for music, and you'll know what's in it. You might actually save some money, since you won't be putting in crap you don't need - built-in junky sound, for example. Plus you can get a bigger second hard drive if you want (and you probably do), etc.Having said that, lots of people use Dells or whatever with no problem.

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by redbeard » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:36 pm

You can sure do a lot on a PC with the right software. That's how I do it. Anytime my music is critiqued my marks are always high for recording quality . I’m sure there is better stuff, but for “Po’ Boys” like us, it’s a low investment for a good return.I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a Roland 24 track but I’d really only want that for recording others. I’m perfectly satisfied with my set up. It’s all about the music not the gadgets. If you can get a good sound without a bunch of hiss and crackle… Job done. The Beatles did it with 4 tracks, Pink Floyd did it with 8… and let's hope someday they say, "Those Po’ Boy’s did it with their PC’s…"
It's not how loud you play but what people hear that really matters...

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by nickbatzdorf » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:50 pm

The issue is whether a generic "media machine" is a good computer to buy, Redbeard, not whether to buy a computer. Computers are a step up, not a poor man's compromise. I used to have a room full of hardware crap, but it's all been replaced by computers on the other side of the wall.Never mind that I publish and edit a magazine called Virtual Instruments.

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by matto » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:10 pm

og,the only major drawback (other than the ones mentioned by Nick) is that a stock machine tends to be a lot noisier than a custom built "studio" computer. So if you do a lot of acoustic recording you may have to find some way to keep the computer noise from leaking into your mics.I use a stock Dell and it's a bit on the noisy side, but I rarely have to baffle it off cause the majority of my work is midi based with just a few acoustic instruments or vocals added on top. Other than that, it's been very reliable considering I use it for hours pretty much every day...I'd stay away from the really cheap machines with shared RAM and "budget" processors. You can get a plenty powerful computer for under $1000, assuming you don't wanna run a whole big sampled symphony orchestra on it.matto

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by nickbatzdorf » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:20 pm

Yes, noise is very relevant, especially to people who are over-sensitive to it like me. Unfortunately the custom-built quiet machines are a lot more expensive - at least in the high teen$ - although I guess you could probably have someone like PC Club put quiet fans in a cheap computer too.One of my PCs is a VisionDAW model that's incredibly quiet, but I don't even have it in my room. All my machines are on a shelf in the garage on the other side of the wall, accessed by a trap door.

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by edteja » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:10 am

The Sweetwater Creation systems are supposed to be very quiet and start at right about $1000. Somebody on this forum mentioned having one and loving it.
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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by davewalton » Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:21 am

Quote:You can get a plenty powerful computer for under $1000, assuming you don't wanna run a whole big sampled symphony orchestra on it.I built mine by ordering the case, motherboard, memory, etc for way under $1000 and I do run a whole big sampled symphony orchestra on it. This may not be specific enough to be useful but these little hole-in-the-wall computer places, usually run by college students are generally some of the best places to go.

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by spariam » Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:15 am

Quote:The Sweetwater Creation systems are supposed to be very quiet and start at right about $1000. Somebody on this forum mentioned having one and loving it.I recently purchased a Creation Station from Sweetwater (though I don't think I'm the poster in question)...mine was $1300, though they do have a PC for about $1000. I run Cubase and orchestral libraries with no problem. I don't recall if the Creation Station comes with a soundcard or not, but I bought mine without one and used an audio interface I already owned.Actually, I've had some music placed that was produced on a $15 computer that I bought at a garage sale ($40 total if you include the used monitor), using the cheap sound card came with it, though it's since been retired. Due to space limitations at home, I generally record audio on a separate digital recorder and mix on my computer. Works for now, but limits me to 16-bit, but I'll be looking at upgrading at some point. All the MIDI stuff I do on the Creation Station...

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Re: Making do with a studio computer

Post by matto » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:11 am

Quote:I built mine by ordering the case, motherboard, memory, etc for way under $1000 and I do run a whole big sampled symphony orchestra on it. Quote:I run Cubase and orchestral libraries with no problem.When I said "whole big sampled symphony orchestra" i meant FULL VSL or EWQL Platinum (or SI/SONiVOX)...thought that was obvious from the terms "whole" and "big" , sorry if it wasn't. Of course you can use a sub $1000 computer to run orchestral libraries...

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