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Thread: What computer/laptop should I get for home recording?

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    What computer/laptop should I get for home recording?

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    I am looking to get a computer desktop or laptop for music production. I would like to know what has worked for you guys and maybe reviews. I am working on a very tight budget since I am only 17. Maybe something under 700. Thanks for your suggestions.

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    TeyshaBlue's Avatar
    TeyshaBlue is offline It's the smell..
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    You'll get alot of differing opinions on what to use. The default answer will always be get the best you can possibly afford. Recording audio is not that taxing...just about anything will work ok as long as you optimize your OS.
    Case in point. My recording rig is composed of a cheap HP laptop running Vista Home (barf) from WalMart. I bought it during one of their Black Friday sales for $285. It has a 2.6ghz AMD Sempron (AMD cheapo Celeron clone), 2 gigs of RAM, and a 160 gb hard drive that operates at only 5400 rpm....it's a far from optimal rig. I use a ZOOM R-16 USB 8x8 interface which is a bit of a CPU hog. By all accounting, this should be a horrible system. Truth be known, it works flawlessly. Once I killed all the uneccessary tasks running in the background via the system configuration utility (Services and Startup), the CPU hit was literally 1/2 what it was running in it's default configuration.
    I record using SONAR 8, but I'm considering a jump to Reaper due to it's ridiculously small CPU footprint.
    All that being said, I do not run any softsynth plugs. Were I to do that, I suspect my CPU would not be up to snuff and if you intend to go down that path, buy something with a better CPU, dual-core at a minimum.
    Good luck and let us know what you get and what DAW you'll be running.
    Last edited by TeyshaBlue; 02-19-2010 at 14:44.

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    Thanks for your suggestions and tips, they were very helpful. Too bad Black Friday's not gonna be here anytime soon.

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    Damian227 is offline Newbie
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    Personally I'd opt for a desktop over a laptop anytime... far easier to upgrade and cheaper for the same specs.

    Operating system wise, stick with XP as Vista just has never ending problems (thus why they replaced it so quickly).

    Really it all depends on exactly what kind of production is being done, if you're working with vocals or just making beats etc? My little brother started at 14 and produces some very impressive beats that are used by myself and other top UK Hip-hop musicians in the charts... and that was on a cheap desktop you'd find for 70 on ebay. But if you record vocals too or need MIDI, obviously we're looking at a decent interface/soundcard at least and enough power to process without latency issues.

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    dastrick's Avatar
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    If you're going to be doing mobile recording or moving around a lot...get a laptop. If it's going to be more of a permanent setup, get a desktop. Desktops are so much more upgradable. Or you can build your own for pretty cheap. That's what I did and it hasn't failed me, yet.

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    Yeah I know someone who is able to build one, but of course we all know it probably won't be as good as the ones we buy at stores. I think I'll settle for a desktop, since it is much cheaper, and I guess much easier to upgrade. Thanks

    PS I am recording vocals. Maybe production of beats later on.

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    dastrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WreakHavocMusic View Post
    but of course we all know it probably won't be as good as the ones we buy at stores.
    This is not true. Self built computers can be much better than the ones that are premade/store bought because you are able to hand pick the components to make sure that they are quality.

    It's all just a matter of taste, though. If you're just recording vocals, then pretty much any computer will work.

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    TeyshaBlue's Avatar
    TeyshaBlue is offline It's the smell..
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    Quote Originally Posted by dastrick View Post
    This is not true. Self built computers can be much better than the ones that are premade/store bought because you are able to hand pick the components to make sure that they are quality.

    It's all just a matter of taste, though. If you're just recording vocals, then pretty much any computer will work.
    Troof! Im currently building one with my son. We bought a Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H Motherboard...it's a monster. We are pairing it with a AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Quad Core processor. We're recycling drives, power supply and RAM from a previous box, so we're spending about $220 for an absolute screamer that'll run with anything you can buy under $800.

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    Bainchodrate is offline Registered User
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    Dixons voucher code get 10% off all Laptops, Desktops & Netbooks over 299 by clicking here and entering code XPC10 at the checkout.

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