Author Topic: [muso] Computer advice  (Read 709 times)

[muso] Computer advice
« on: June 16, 2008, 01:36:35 PM »
Just wondering if anyone could help with advice: I'm looking at getting a desktop PC at some stage, and will probably be using Cubase. We (my project Junior Ministers) currently record onto a digital eight track, which will then function as a DAW with Cubase.
Any advice on what specs I should be looking for on a PC?


jimmy jazz

  • et tu, King Gorilla?
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 02:23:41 PM »
A good soundcard goes without saying, really, and an OS that is compatible with all the hardware and software you use.

As for the PC itself, a better processor (probably a mid range dual core) is the main thing to look for.

Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 04:39:03 PM »
If you go to the PC section of the Sound On Sound boards (http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=PCMus) you'll see a sticky where they have a list of audio PC setups that work successfully.

mcbpete

  • No hat.
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 11:03:31 PM »
If you haven't already forked out for Cubase (or ahem, obtained it another way), may I suggest the 'oh-my-god-it's-flipping-awesome' Reaper: http://reaper.fm/ (it's shareware, but the only thing if you don't want to pay for it is a 5 second nag screen, aside from that it's the full thing. It's only £25 to register though). It might be a little easier on your 'puter as well.

So yeah as jimmy jazz said, just get as good a processor as you can afford, a nice amount of memory. And lots of storage for yer audio.

Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 11:45:55 PM »
Cheers - much appreciated.

Ginyard

  • DEAL WITH IT
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2008, 01:22:00 AM »
You can get a decent quad core for cheap money these days and if you're using cubase you'll probably be indulging in lots of vsts and vstis which means the extra processors are going to come in very handy. Something like a Q6600 or a Phenom 9750 would be great. Just make sure its quiet or you've got a seperate room to put it in otherwise the sound of the fans etc is going to drive you nuts. I get all mine made up to be near silent and store them in a machine room. Oh, and make sure the motherboard can handle 8Gb RAM...we're in the 64bit age now and you might get frustrated once cubase goes x64, your streaming large sample libraries and you haven't got more memory under the bonnet.

The Masked Unit

  • Sneaky ass alley cat top pedigree
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2008, 09:48:24 AM »
While we're on the subject, I've recently returned to the world of computer music after a long hiatus and am happily using Abelton Live instead of the Cubase that I knew and loved. I've borrowed a controller keyboard from a friend (An M-Audio Axiom 25, to be precise) but the latency is so bad it renders the thing completely useless. It's connected via USB - do I need to get a MIDI interface or are there some perameters I can tweak to improve the situation? Or, do I just need to get myself a decent souncard?

Thanks.

Ginyard

  • DEAL WITH IT
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008, 10:48:26 AM »
You need a decent soundcard. Something like an EMU 1212m  -  great audio quality for the price and low latency asio drivers.

Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 10:54:28 PM »
You can get the same end results with low end soundcards and slow processers, it will just take longer to get there, as I'm learning trying to record an album with my three-year old laptop. More than a couple of vst's and everything freezes up, and any live recorded stuff has to be moved around as it records out of sync. But I'm on a tight budget so...

Oh, and I recommend Acid Pro above all the other software.
Also get:
Broomstick Bass (awesome range of bass sounds)
Steinberg Virtual Acoustic Guitar
Izotope Ozone (for mastering)
Amplitube (every amp sound you could need)
Toontrack EZDrummer Vintage (very realistic drum sounds)
Garritan Personal Orchestra

mcbpete

  • No hat.
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2008, 01:56:40 PM »
While we're on the subject, I've recently returned to the world of computer music after a long hiatus and am happily using Abelton Live instead of the Cubase that I knew and loved. I've borrowed a controller keyboard from a friend (An M-Audio Axiom 25, to be precise) but the latency is so bad it renders the thing completely useless. It's connected via USB - do I need to get a MIDI interface or are there some perameters I can tweak to improve the situation? Or, do I just need to get myself a decent souncard?
I've got a USB keyboard too so that's not the problem. So yeah you can either get an ASIO soundcard or you could try using ASIO4ALL: http://www.asio4all.com/ (virtual ASIO driver)

Ginyard

  • DEAL WITH IT
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2008, 10:21:19 PM »
ASIO4ALL's ok but why fork out for software and make an earnest attempt at creating some music and not have a decent soundcard?. You're never going to get a decent stereo image or any depth with some super cheap onboard soundcard. Its like building a decent 400m running track in your garden and then hobblin' round it on crutches.

If you want to hear what you're doing properly you need a good soundcard and some decent monitors (or if noise is an issue then some good cans such as the Sennheiser HD600s).

Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2008, 11:31:12 PM »
Having had a casual look about, I am tempted to go for Acid Pro.
The Cubase notion was based on the LE disk that came with the digital 8-track. But as a total non-musician, working with hardware drum machines and grooveboxes only in the past, Acid Pro seems like it'd be the most intuitive, what with all the loop-based shenanigans.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2008, 11:40:00 PM »
ASIO4ALL's ok but why fork out for software and make an earnest attempt at creating some music and not have a decent soundcard?. You're never going to get a decent stereo image or any depth with some super cheap onboard soundcard. Its like building a decent 400m running track in your garden and then hobblin' round it on crutches.

If you want to hear what you're doing properly you need a good soundcard and some decent monitors (or if noise is an issue then some good cans such as the Sennheiser HD600s).

Well, mine has very good sound as long as you use headphones (it's a 2002 laptop but was top of the range at the time, $1500 VPR Matrix 220a5, designed by FA Porsche, not sure what the sound card is, think it's soundblaster something or other). I've never had a problem with the sound. I've been recording music for about 10 years now so I know if something sounds iffy. The only problem is the latency. I do need a new laptop eventually though as the keys are falling off and the screen is gone (have to use an external monitor)

Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2008, 11:44:32 PM »
Having had a casual look about, I am tempted to go for Acid Pro.
The Cubase notion was based on the LE disk that came with the digital 8-track. But as a total non-musician, working with hardware drum machines and grooveboxes only in the past, Acid Pro seems like it'd be the most intuitive, what with all the loop-based shenanigans.
Thanks for the recommendation.

I find that Acid Pro has the most user-friendly interface, I've tried the other ones like Cubase, Pro Tools etc. but always returned to Acid Pro. It's just so easy to use, I find.

Good luck!

Ginyard

  • DEAL WITH IT
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 12:55:59 AM »
Well, mine has very good sound as long as you use headphones (it's a 2002 laptop but was top of the range at the time, $1500 VPR Matrix 220a5, designed by FA Porsche, not sure what the sound card is, think it's soundblaster something or other). I've never had a problem with the sound. I've been recording music for about 10 years now so I know if something sounds iffy.

whatever rocks your boat, bro. If you're happy with what you have then that's no bad thing.

The Masked Unit

  • Sneaky ass alley cat top pedigree
Re: [muso] Computer advice
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 09:03:08 PM »
Thanks for the help fellas. Installed ASIO4all and after a few tweaks it's working brilliantly. Ginyard, I hear you about having a good soundcard etc, but my musical efforts amount to little more than dabbling for my ears only TBH so if I can do things on the cheap, I will!