Audio PC build advice

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by ska invita, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    I'm planning on building a new PC for music production....still using an old XP machine and its time to move on I think.

    Any tips welcome, but particularly about soundcard advice. I only need one XLR microphone input...anything else is a bit extra.

    Thoughts? Its years since ive done this, not sure where to start

    (has the old music production subforum gone? I hadn't noticed)
     
  2. souljacker

    souljacker Those tapas loving FUCKS

    Obv depends on your budget. My budget is low so personally, I'd go for an external sound card, probably a focusrite 2i4, if I was buying right now. I've also got some nice cheap Mackie CR3s for monitor speakers. Not really pro standard but then I'm not a pro.

    Also, make sure your fans are quiet ones. Nothing fucks up a recording more than a whiny PC in the background.
     
    ska invita likes this.
  3. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    thanks, that focusrite looks like just the kind of thing i need :thumbs: infact the 2i2 would do me

    do i need a special soundcard for the PC though?
     
  4. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    moody likes this.
  5. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    Just realised I’ve just repeated someone else’s advice :facepalm:
     
  6. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    The focusrite is the soundcard, and works with windows and macos.

    Term soundacrd a bit out of date due to this general move to external audio interfaces. USB wasnt amazing when this trend first emerged so pro audio interfaces often used firewire but those days are long gone, USB is more than good enough now.
     
    SpookyFrank and ska invita like this.
  7. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    :thumbs::thumbs:
    excellent stuff thanks
    yeah 2i2 looks plenty good for me
     
  8. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    I own one and can vouch that they’re fine.
     
    ska invita likes this.
  9. xenon

    xenon Carne Por la Machina

    The Focusrite ones are good, I've got a Saffire Pro26. But if I were starting now, I'd seriously look at the Behringer UMC404. Great value. The 202 is cheaper still. Circa 90 quid.

    No. Connects via USB. Firewire is faster but if you're only recording a couple of instruments / mics at the same time you won't notice.

    What software are you going to use? If you haven't already take a look at Reaper. The down side, it doesn't come with loads of plugins. But everything is great. Otherwise Magix Samplitude Pro Suite is on sale for £114. Which is stupendous value and comes with loads of plugs.
     
    ska invita likes this.
  10. xenon

    xenon Carne Por la Machina

    Firewire still wins out because it's on it's own bus. So if you're recording a full band for example, in theory will be lower latency. Of course it's mostly thunderbolt now. There are firewire to TB adapters though. ANd yes, some perfectly good usb interfaces.

    Shame there aren't any affordable PCIE ones these days. I used to have a M-Audio Delta 1010lt. There's nothing in that price range these days. They start at about 600 quid now.
     
    elbows likes this.
  11. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    I've always used cubase and am going to stick with it as I know it well
     
  12. xenon

    xenon Carne Por la Machina

    Ha. My PC is quiet. Nothing else is. Cars going past, the fridge motor. High ceilings interfear with vocal recording. I don't sing myself though. Close miccing an acoustic guitar works out OK though.

    So longish mic cable, wireless QWERTY keyboard to sit away from the PC if you can't get it quiet enough. Plenty of nice quiet cases around though. And get an ATX formfactor. Unless space really is a premium. You want a second HD for recording to. Doesn't need to be SSD, save some money there.

    Minimise background apps and notifications. Whitelist your music HD as not needing AV scanning.
     
  13. xenon

    xenon Carne Por la Machina

    Fair play. Mostly the difference between DAW software is personal preference anyway. I used to use Sonar but it's an old version that isn't very stable on Win 10. Reaper for $60 mainly what I use now. Though I'm still learning it TBH...
     
    ska invita likes this.
  14. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    I had that mentality until I discovered Ableton was easier.
     
  15. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Yeah I was massively oversimplifying, and I ended up being technically misleading because I didnt describe any of the scenarios that makes people look beyond USB these days. Thanks for providing the proper info about that end of the market and the most suitable tech for it.
     
    xenon likes this.
  16. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    not sure i can handle learning something new. if i did id like to learn Logic as a friend uses that and id like to make tunes with him...hard to do if you cant start pressing some buttons.
     
  17. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    It’s simple really. Everything is drag and drop. Logic is Mac only, I thought? But yeah, nothing wrong with sticking with what you know.
     
  18. moody

    moody Being alive increases risk of death.

    I brought a second hand sony vivo lappy, it has duo core I5 processor and 4 gig of ram, running windows 7.

    I put ableton 9 on it, run a focusrite 6 soundcard and a midi controller.... it runs fine, no latency or any other lagging probs.

    I would say, best processor you can afford and at least 6 gig of ram if its quadcore, which I would recommend.
     
    ska invita likes this.
  19. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    thats a good idea....ive got a laptop that would be up to the job but I like to work on a big monitor (which ive already got) and use a mouse...now i think about it maybe I could just link the monitor up to the laptop? I might give that a try...hopefully ive got the right connections for that. that would be a great solution if it works :thumbs:
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  20. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Should be easy enough providing you dont just have VGA on one and HDMI on the other.
     
    ska invita likes this.
  21. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    my lappy has HDMI...the monitor is quite old now...ill check when i get home from work
     
  22. Chemical needs

    Chemical needs stirring

    I think you can get display connection adapters for most combinations including vga to hdmi, or am I making that up?

    If I was into recording I think I would look to get a silent pc. Sort of wish I had a silent pc even though I'm not into recording and my pc is reasonably quiet.
     
  23. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    Best thing for music production? Multiple monitors. 2 as a minimum, 3 is better...
     
    danski, Chemical needs and ska invita like this.
  24. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Dvi to HDMI is very simple. The VGA adapters often don't work in my experience.
     
  25. alcopop

    alcopop Well-Known Member

    I’ve used hdmi to vga with no problems. You might need to fiddle with settings coz the pc tries to route audio through the hdmi
     
    ska invita likes this.
  26. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Thats a point actually - not sure what audio out options Ive got from the laptop. A headphone minijack basically. Not the end of the world I guess. Should be enough for monitoring as long as the HDMI allows it.

    Question for Audiophiles: is a minijack headphone out any different in quality from an xlr pair out ive got out my soundcard at present?
     
  27. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    Yes. Very.
     
  28. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    In which case some kind of proper soundcard seems unavoidable.....

    (I was in maplins yesterday buying a headphone adapter and the gold one was £1 more than the silver one....man working there reckons gold sounds better! Anything in that? I bought the silver one)
     
  29. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    That’s (gold plated) bullcrap :)
     
    fishfinger likes this.
  30. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    Um, hadn’t you settled on the focusrite? It has audio outs (and a headphone out).
     

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