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Thread: Getting Back Into Recording: What USB Audio Interface/Computer Do You Recommend?

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    Getting Back Into Recording: What USB Audio Interface/Computer Do You Recommend?

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    Hey everyone:

    I am looking for a decent computer/laptop to start recording with again. I currently have Mixcraft 7 as a DAW and AmpliTube 3 for guitar/bass effects. I am on a budget and not looking to spend a large amount (preferably between $500-$1000 CAD), but I will invest in a cost-effective set-up that is worthwhile.

    Additionally, I am looking to upgrade my USB audio interface. I am currently running a Focusrite Scarlett-Solo; just looking to see if there are any flagship ones out there that I should invest. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAB624 View Post
    Hey everyone:

    I am looking for a decent computer/laptop to start recording with again. I currently have Mixcraft 7 as a DAW and AmpliTube 3 for guitar/bass effects. I am on a budget and not looking to spend a large amount (preferably between $500-$1000 CAD), but I will invest in a cost-effective set-up that is worthwhile.

    Additionally, I am looking to upgrade my USB audio interface. I am currently running a Focusrite Scarlett-Solo; just looking to see if there are any flagship ones out there that I should invest. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!
    You dont invest you spend. Do you really need a new interface?

    Get a dell computer on one of their many sales.

    I got a win 10 laptop for about 150usd. you should have no trouble getting a good computer under 200.
    same interface free. total 200. upgrade later if you can really justify it.

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    Careful with those $200 computers, there are good ones out there, but you have to know what you are looking for. 500 should get a pretty darn good one. One thing to be careful is, the lower end laptops they put in really slow drives. Look for one with an HD of 7800+ RPMs (they make 10K) or get one with an SSD, 250GB or more. i5 chip or better, 8 gigs of RAM, that should take care of the computer.

    I think your interface should be good to go, USB 2.0 is pretty much a standard and just works. Use the ASIO drivers. If you want more inputs, then maybe start looking. Save your money on sound treatment, monitors and mics. Good mics or speakers never go out of style.

    My two cents. US, not CAD
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    Unless you need portability, go for a desktop computer to save money. Don't buy Dell - their motherboards fry in a few years. I've had 4 burnout, my workplace no longer uses them (We're talking over 10000 computers!)
    The Scarlett is fine unless you need more simultaneous inputs. Like DM60 said - invest in some acoustic treatment and better monitors.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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    Hey everyone, thank you for your input. It is greatly appreciated!

    You guys were mentioning monitors... I typically just run right through the Scarlett to my PC... is there anything else I should consider investing in for solid audio recordings? I have been recording on/off for a couple years now, but do not know much about a lot of the valuable components (if you guys couldn't tell ).

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAB624 View Post
    You guys were mentioning monitors... I typically just run right through the Scarlett to my PC...
    What do you use for listening back?
    You have some sort of speakers or headphones, right?

    The idea with monitors is that you're not buying something to make your music sound nice; You're buying something to tell you the truth.
    The more accurate and honest your monitoring is (including the room), the more you can trust what you're hearing and the decisions you're making.


    +1 to DM60 on computers.
    For the average home recordist the average home computer will do, but I'd avoid the super-slow 5400rpm laptop drives.
    Personally I'd just avoid spinning drives all together but, at least, avoid the 5400 speed ones.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    Unless you need portability, go for a desktop computer to save money. Don't buy Dell - their motherboards fry in a few years. I've had 4 burnout, my workplace no longer uses them (We're talking over 10000 computers!)
    The Scarlett is fine unless you need more simultaneous inputs. Like DM60 said - invest in some acoustic treatment and better monitors.

    My dell desktop is back from the xppro days and is still running just fine
    same for the win 8 and 10 laptops

    dont know what you are doing to your pcs - maybe overclocking them? or put them in a hot unventilated location ?
    but putting dell down is just your bias - veblen effect perhaps ?

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    NOT getting into the Dell ding-dong, don't know FA about that.

    IMHO do not buy a computer these days with a mechanical hard drive, some folks even suggest an SSD is almost mandatory for Win 10?
    Last year I bought my son a refurbed Lenovo T430. i5, top end chip, 240G SSD, 8G ram. Now 240G is not a lot for a music computer so I also got him a USB 3.0 "rugged" 1TB external drive. That is a wee laptop spinner in a case but is just used for storage to keep the SSD nifty. If the small screen bothers you, look in charity shops for an FSTV. Bought a super 22" Bush for 40 from Scope. Oh! The son's PC was under 400 so be about $400 US coz we get ripped.

    Yes, if portability is not required you can get a bigger bang per buck with a desktop and they are easily expandable, second, third HDD, memory, USB 3.0 PCIe card. Beware though, a basic "office" desktop might be noisy, but there are fixes for that.

    Not a fan of the Solo. Mainly because I think music peeps will soon get frustrated with just one mic input but also they are at the whale ***t end of AIs in terms of facilities. There are some superb AIs now in the $150-$200 area from Steinberg, Tascam NI and yes, F'rite.

    Monitors? Don't bother IMHO until you can drop some serious coin AND know a lot more. Get the best headphones you can afford, open back types are best but also check your work on a hi fi rig, car, beat box...

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Now 240G is not a lot for a music computer so I also got him a USB 3.0 "rugged" 1TB external drive. That is a wee laptop spinner in a case but is just used for storage to keep the SSD nifty.
    I'd be very wary of a spinning disc, particularly in a laptop but even moreso in a caddy.
    The rate of spinning disc failure I see in desktops isn't bad at all but in anything that moves I see an awful lot of them.

    You don't need to worry too much about the SSD being quite full up.
    I have a TB ssd here that's had 980gb on it from day one (fixed sample libraries) but it performs at the top end of what's expected from it.

    Just something to think about. If my back up was a mobile spinner I'd have a backup of it somewhere.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    I'd be very wary of a spinning disc, particularly in a laptop but even moreso in a caddy.
    The rate of spinning disc failure I see in desktops isn't bad at all but in anything that moves I see an awful lot of them.

    You don't need to worry too much about the SSD being quite full up.
    I have a TB ssd here that's had 980gb on it from day one (fixed sample libraries) but it performs at the top end of what's expected from it.

    Just something to think about. If my back up was a mobile spinner I'd have a backup of it somewhere.
    I am touched by your concern mate but I sought out a shockproof model ( he IS an itinerate MUSICIAN after all!) and yes, I would like to have bought him an external SSD but f***! the cost.

    Came in handy tho'but. While he was up at his sister's place he installed all his Samplitude Pro X3 suite discs and all the accompanying samples on the Lenovo. Stuffed it rotten so we dumped that off to the external spinner.

    BTW. Spoke to him yesterday and he told me that he has found a function in Pro X that will turn any audio track into MIDI data so he is having a lot of fun using a guitar to play fiddles and saxophones!

    Silicon Power SP010TBPHDA60S3K 1 TB Rugged Armor A60 Shockproof Water-Resistant 2.5-Inch USB 3.0 External Portable Hard Drive, Military Grade MIL-STD-810G and IPX4, Black: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    Dave.

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