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Thread: Ok i'm finally turning to software, what type of cpu do i need (processor,memory,etc.

  1. #1
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    Ok i'm finally turning to software, what type of cpu do i need (processor,memory,etc.

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    What's up people!

    ok after years of messing with hardware or trying to run software on out to date computers i'm ready to make wiser decisions.

    Here's the deal. a year or 2 ago i finally decided to give software a chance after years of dealing with hardware. I actually loved the sounds of vst applications. I decided to try some software digital recorders and liked the effects and everything for a fraction of what my expensive hardware recorders where doing. UNFORTUNATELY, my cpu couldn't keep up very long. The only program that could barely hang is Adobe Audition 1.5 for about 12 tracks and Audition 2 for 5 or 6 tracks---NOT GOOD. I thought with the upgrades i made to my 4 year old cpu it would be able to deal with the pressure.

    Here are my current cpu stats.

    Dell Dimension DE051
    Intel Celron 2.53GHZ
    768 mb of ram
    160 gb master hard drive
    500 gb slave internal hard drive
    xp sp2
    Audigy 2 soundcard


    So I have $400 to spend on a new cpu (there's a refurbished cpu shop where you can buy cpu's they sell in the big name stores like Best Buy for $1100) without monitor, keyboard, speakers, etc..

    So my question is...... what's the minimum i need? sorry NO MAC, and i can't get a cpu just for making music because i'll need it to for work, online, etc...

    So if some of ya'll can give me some specs far as what's a good inexpensive processor to use programs like cakewalk, Audition, Reason, Abelton Live, etc.... How much memory or what type of stuff do i need to run a software digital recorder (up to 20 tracks) vst host (vst's) as well it will have xp, ie, running, basically several things will be running.

    Also do you think Audigy 2 is a decent enough soundcard to get good quality sound from my recordings?

    Any advice, tips, or info is appreciated!

    Unfortunately, in the past before buying music equipment, cpu's, etc... i've just went out and bought things and i find myself backtracking or buying something i already have, don't need, or.............. SO THIS TIME I'M CONSULTING WITH FUTUREPRODUCERS.COM before I buy.

    THANKS

  2. #2
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    If anything, I would upgrade your memory first to atleast a gig but, 2gb would be even better. Your problem could be all the non music programs that you have on your computer. Try looking into a dual or quad core processor if your willing to spend the money.
    Last edited by C-Lovely; 01-13-2008 at 06:32 AM.

  3. #3
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    thanks for your response, i will check into the dual and quad processors. thanks

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    The two most important upgrades for you are:
    1. Memory (at least 1 gig, like C-Lovely said, set at the fastest latency as your motherboard allows)
    2. Professional audio interface or sound card (M-Audio Audiophile or better).

    That will last you until you buy a whole new system, but that time don't get a low-budget solution such as Celeron. The audio card/interface you can just carry over. They last longer than computers, as it seems.
    Last edited by [Shizo]; 01-13-2008 at 05:45 PM.

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    Like Shizo said up tha ram and get an interface... Im runnin a 1.8ghz centrino in a 03 Vaio... And only on 1 gig of ram cuz "someone" spilled margarita right next to my labtop and fried tha other gig... But to get on point with one gig and an interface, not to mention a clean HDD, im doin 32+ tracks in reaper fully loaded with plugins...(Like waves and autotune...)
    [IMG]http://www.reaper.fm/siteimages/reabanner.gif[/IMG]

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    get at least 2 to 4 gigs of ram, and more if possible

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    Ok let me give you the rundown on what you need to start.

    1. The Processor
    this is the core of the pc so you need something stable. The p4 in your dell isn't bad Honestly I have the same speed p4 in my recording box the only problem I really have is my system caps at 1gig of ram so I get screwd there. If your looking to go with newer 64bit capable the Intel Core 2 Duo and the AMD Athalon 64 X2 are both excellent processors for doing music work.

    2. Memory
    If your wanting to work completely in the box (which for recording I recomend unless your spending 100g's for a real studio) then you need atleast 2gb of ram to handle all the data. The more ram you have the more your work can run in the faster parts of the bus so no slowdowns to stream the wav's off the hard drive as your record (this improves performance and reduces latency)

    3. Drives and storage.
    To see the best performance in your recording I recommend using SATA drives for best speed of large files. Using a setup like 160GB -250GB drive for your windows system files is ideal especially if your gonna need to use this computer for other things besides recording just remember dont' have a lot of processes that boot up and/or run on your computer when your recording it just killls memory. For samples and recording data get 2 500GB SATA one for your samples and one for your recorded projects (again this is an increase in performance.) If you want real stability you could use mirrored drives for your setup so each disk is backed up so if your main drives failed your not screwed using something like raid 0 or raid 1 to have a hardware based mirror in real time. But that's like 6 disks so it could get expensive but remember this is still an investment.

    4. Audio Interface
    This is basically the point where you can really mess up, first thing I suggest don't use the Audigy 2 it sucks for recording I know cause I've done it. First and foremost you want to use ASIO drivers so a card that supports ASIO2 is ideal because of the extremely low latency they have. You'll also want good conversion and microphone pre's so spending cheaply is a bad plan. One caveat to this is the M-Audio 2496 it's only 100 dollars uses PCI interfacing and doesn't have mic pres but I'll be damned add a good preamp to it and speakers and you've got one heck of a nice interface. If your looking for more I/O than just 4 in 4 out then your best bet is firewire interfaces, look at the stuff by RME and MOTU they rock all over.

    5. Software
    This is the part where it gets tricky, you need something stable but performs well. One thing don't use Vista it takes too much memory and it's a pain in the ass to deal with at times, XP works and you know it has drivers that work. Next is the recording environment, there are a lot of great choices out there like Sonar (which I use and recommend), Cubase, Live, Reaper, and Audacity. A lot of people will be like use Pro Tools it's the "Industry Standard", this is half true Pro Tools is widely used but if you go into a big studio you will see they spent 20g's or more for the Pro Tools HD systems which are the industry standard. This little Pro Tools LE/M-Powered while being compatible get their ass handed to them by the other daws because let's face it they don't have the ultimate flexibility that you have with sonar or cubase due to track limits. But that's on you thats where it comes down to choice me I say why should your software limit you doesn't make sense to me.

    Then your gonna need software synths and plugins. My vote for soft synths is Reason 4 and everything by Native Instruments there is no way to go wrong both are excellent packages for virtual instruments and have an excellent selection of samples. As far as plugins go there is a lot of effects plugs out there. My personal vote if your willing to spend the money is on UAD's plugins because they come with a processing card and do and excellent job realistically handling compression and EQ like some of the great pieces of vintage hardware. Also you can spend cash and get the Waves SSL 4000 bundle which while pricey is hands down my vote for best native plugin bundle.


    That is just my opinion go ahead look around there are a lot of options. Hope this helps.
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    Royal, before goin out and droppin that lil $400 you got, (which is going to get ate up real quick) start by upgrading and formattin the machine you have now. Start with the processor, can you upgrade to something like a 3gig dualcore? You do not want another celeron. Get a decent processor (may have to upgrade the mobo too). Step the ram up to atleast 2gigs. You already have audition, that works, so no need ti buy new software right away. How are you usuin audition now, do you have keyboards or something, or just usuing pre-recorded audio or loops or something? After you upgrade the hardware, format (wipe) the drive and do a clean install. After you got windows back on there, only install the programs that you NEED. Stay away from downloadin every gadget, widget, and anyoother ware that is not nessecary. Keep things lean as possible. Thats should get you started while spending as little as possible and savin for nessecary stuff, like monitors and a decent audio interface. But thats just my take.
    LevLove

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    sweet...I have pretty much the same question so thanks for the replies

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