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Thread: DIY audio computer

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    DIY audio computer

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    I'm Logan, new member. Guitarist for 16 years just now getting into home recording. Wanting to DIY a recording computer that can handle digital instruments for drums, keys etc. Will be using a line6 Helix for all guitar pieces so there won't be a need for external mics, soundproofing for the space etc. Will not need any equipment for vocals whatsoever in this space. This is strictly for creating instrumental tracks. Hoping to learn/find out what gear i'll need specific to what i plan to do. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lkth View Post
    I'm Logan, new member. Guitarist for 16 years just now getting into home recording. Wanting to DIY a recording computer that can handle digital instruments for drums, keys etc. Will be using a line6 Helix for all guitar pieces so there won't be a need for external mics, soundproofing for the space etc. Will not need any equipment for vocals whatsoever in this space. This is strictly for creating instrumental tracks. Hoping to learn/find out what gear i'll need specific to what i plan to do. Thanks!
    Hi and welcome. You may not need mics and mic pre amps but you will still need the "arse end" of an Audio Interface in order to hear what you are doing, preferrably on some decent monitor speakers although you can get by with headphones to a degree. Yes, laptops have headphone jacks but the quality and available drive are seriously wanting.

    So, you need an AI and moreover one with MIDI ports IMO. You could do a great deal worse than the new Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6. (rvwd in the current Sound on Sound) . Then there is Latency, the delay twixt hitting a key and hearing the result from the software. Latency is mostly a function of the AI's properties and, very importantly the quality of its drivers. The KA6 score much better than most at its price point on both counts.

    I don't know if you need advice about the PC? Not really my province but I doubt you need Deep Thought! Unless you want to run scores of track and pluggins a top end i5 with 8G of ram should see you sorted.
    The main "C" drive really should be an SSD these days but need not be huge. 240G will be fine and you really just need the OS (W10) on it and drivers and DAW software. Get a USB 3.0 external drive to dump musics off to. A 1TB SSD would be nice but pricey! A 2TB spinner will be fine for storage, just don't drop it!

    Dave.

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    What Dave said ^^

    Any contemporary laptop or desktop will be capable of doing what you want.

    Couple it with an audio interface equipped with MIDI, a pair of monitors, and an external drive to hold all your data, and you will have a good start.

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    Hope you don't too frustrated, but it really is as easy as the two above posts stated. Today's computers just don't have a hard time with audio. Some plug ins can tax the system, but usually a middle of the road CPU and decent SDD drive will get you there. Just be careful on how big your hard drive will be. Usually two, 250-500 for OS and plug ins. (250 really), then 500 or above for storage, then one archiving, external would work just for safe keeping, then you are done.

    Your audio interface will be your biggest decision. But even that isn't that difficult these days. Stay with decent well known brands, don't spend too much (depends on input needs) and then maybe upgrade later when you know better what you want, if at all. I have a Tascam 1800, purchased it 3-4 years ago and I still feel it works for my level. My computer is about 6-7 years ago and it does just fine.
    DM60 Tunes: The Collection

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    If he's got a hardware Helix, he is all set for the audio interface - they have USB connectivity and outputs that can be used for monitors/headphones.

    So, besides a computer (and you don't need much for multitracking - 8G RAM is fine; you'll need headphones, and monitors. Although you will not be doing any mic recording, some acoustic treatment will be needed if you are going to mix tracks in the room with the monitors.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    Hope you don't too frustrated, but it really is as easy as the two above posts stated. Today's computers just don't have a hard time with audio. Some plug ins can tax the system, but usually a middle of the road CPU and decent SDD drive will get you there. Just be careful on how big your hard drive will be. Usually two, 250-500 for OS and plug ins. (250 really), then 500 or above for storage, then one archiving, external would work just for safe keeping, then you are done.

    Your audio interface will be your biggest decision. But even that isn't that difficult these days. Stay with decent well known brands, don't spend too much (depends on input needs) and then maybe upgrade later when you know better what you want, if at all. I have a Tascam 1800, purchased it 3-4 years ago and I still feel it works for my level. My computer is about 6-7 years ago and it does just fine.
    Ah, missed that Mike! Yes indeed and if I have found the right manual it has plenty of connectivity including MIDI.

    Dave.

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    Well Hi There everyone i'm Orlando i just built a AMD Ryzen 5 computer for digital audio recording as much as they say got intel isn't not really true AMD work as well i have
    amd Ryzen5 3600
    16gb of ram
    scarlet solo gen interface
    roade NT1 mic
    and it runs just as good as lintel if not better
    dont fall for the intel hype

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    Thanks for that - I think trying too understand what you're saying that he should consider AMD rather than Intel - which is of course your opinion, but processor brand hasn't been mentioned here, because most of us run software that cares little for the processor brand. I don't think we ever do Intel hype, so you're kind of preaching to people who have very specific needs - we want fast processing, the ability to run lots of plugins at the same time and one that can not choke when data rates get high. Pretty much we're rarely even interested in graphics nowadays as the basic chipsets do what we need. I suspect ANY computer would be fine with your interface and mic, and not really even get stretched.

    I bought a spare laptop for a lighting backup, and it runs all my audio software so I've decided it's good enough to be my audio backup - and it's an i5 that's all - and quite happy.

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