computer for recording

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by larrylover, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. larrylover

    larrylover Member

    Jul 31, 2004
    I am planning to make a home studio and wish it to be computer-based. I am able to buy a new computer for recording. It will have to do some double duty for home-based office work -- creating and editing documents on Word, and, occasionally, very light editing of power point presentations and some database applications. The computer's primary use will be for recording.

    What computer would you recommend? Macs seem to be the preference for recording over PCs. Work -- and its network -- is PC-based, however, and, because of the need to be able to work at home, I need to avoid compatability problems with work documents. Are Macs reliably compatible with the PCworld now?

    If a PC must be the choice, do any brands produce better-sounding audio products than others? Finally, is anyone familiar with Spectral computers? Any views about these computers? This appears to be a PC-based product that is allegedly designed to optimize audio recordings and is sold in Guitar Center stores.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Unless you're doing drawing with Autocad or other specialized apps, Macs ARE compatible.

    They make Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, Quicken and most other common programs for the mac.

    And Mac will be a more stable platform for audio.
  3. heinz

    heinz Guest

    what, it's like harder to tip over the case?
  4. mike@switchback

    mike@switchback Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    I'm a hardcore mac guy, and even I would recommend that if you need to work at home, and your work is PC based, get a PC. Or even better, if you can swing it, get a cheapo $399 dell to dedicate to work and get a mac to dedicate to recording.

    The Mac may be compatible with your work situation, and it may not. VPN access may or may not be available, for example. I work from home, and our web-based software only works correctly on IE for PC, as another example. Unless you're SURE it will work, save yourself the grief.
  5. fatang

    fatang Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    I don't see that there's a real clear cut winner unless you concentrate on the app and hardware used on the system. Have you made those choices already?

    As far as music specific PCs, we just launched a line that specs beyond most out there and is very affordable.

  6. larrylover

    larrylover Member

    Jul 31, 2004
    Thanks for all of the suggestions thus far.

    Fatang, I have been reading with interest here the recent threads about the possible applications. I have not made up my mind. One of the most sound upshots of the discussions I have seen is to download some samples of ProTools, Cubase, etc. and see which one one prefers. I am in the midst of doing that. What is your line of computers?
  7. MickYoumans

    MickYoumans Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Waynesboro, Georgia
    As long as the computer has a fast enough processor and bus speed, the computer itself has little to do with the SOUND. What really affects the quality of the sound is the sound card or DAW interface you use with your computer.

    PC's actually do a great job recording and XP is a stable operating system for recording unlike many of it predecessor versions. You can buy PC's now in the $600 range that are plenty robust enough to do the job. If you go the PC route I would recommend staying with a Pentium processor since it has math coprocessor stuff built in and does a more efficient job at handling music data. I know all of the PC based software programs are fully compatible with the P4 processors too. The more memory you have in your machine the better. As a minimum I would go with at least 512 Meg. One of the best things you can do for a PC to be used for music is to add a second hard drive for recording your music WAV files on. The allows your "C" drive to handle the system stuff while your second drive only has to handle the music data. Also 'defragging' the drive often so the hard drive can efficiently write files contiguously on the drive helps prevent clicks and pops that would otherwise occur if the head had to jump around a drive hunting for spaces here and there to write files.

    I know there is a lot of passion with people and their computers over which is best, PC or MAC, but the real truth is that both do a great job when properly set up and properly maintained. I used a PC and Cakewalk Sonar Producer Edition to record my 'Guitaria' CD and was very pleased with the results. I used a EZBus and Tascam 1884 soundcard/mixer/DAW.

    Bottom line...if you use a PC at work and want to maintain computability at home, there is no problem setting it up for recording music to...just get a good sound card interface and add a second drive if you want optimum performance and plenty of storage space. Music files use a lot of storage space and can fill up a drive pretty quickly if you do a lot of recording.

    Good luck with whatever you go with! :)

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