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Need help building a computer for recording music

Last response: in Systems
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March 6, 2014 4:19:18 AM

So I know very little about building a computer. I currently run all of my computer needs off a Surface Pro. My problem is that it does not have the ports I need to record music seriously. I am looking to invest in some full cabinet equipment (audio interfaces, compressors, etc.) and as I am looking at this stuff I find that having a single USB port isn't going to do what I need it to.

I need to build a computer that is very fast (to avoid latency) that has at least 4 USB ports, 2 FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports, and a Thunderbolt port.

I really don't care at all about graphic performances, as long as I can run Cubase on screen without problems.

What all do I need to buy to make this? Ideally, I would like to keep my total cost under $1,000 if at all possible.

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March 6, 2014 5:36:29 AM

you can start from here

i7 haswell + 16GB ram
very good mobo
120GB ssd
2TB storage

for FW + thunderbold port, you can buy on newegg as PCIe x1 expansion card

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87M Extreme4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($137.71 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($66.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 350D MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $889.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-06 08:28 EST-0500)
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March 6, 2014 5:54:36 AM

I will just give another possibility but above mentioned build is perfect. I would just go for a tier 2 psu instead of tier 3.

this should kick the living hell out of audio recording and editing.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/355eD
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/355eD/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/355eD/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87M Extreme4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: A-Data XPG V2 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.89 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy M Midnight MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($85.49 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $998.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-06 08:54 EST-0500)
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March 6, 2014 10:21:49 AM

You should really just by a Mac Pro, that's exactly what they were designed for.
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March 6, 2014 1:00:46 PM

os wise yes. hardware wise no.
don't bother with uselessly expensive stuff such as apple. go for windows 7 pro and there shall be no problem. audio editing will go a lot faster with above mentioned hardwares.
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March 6, 2014 3:48:56 PM

Sayken said:
os wise yes. hardware wise no.
don't bother with uselessly expensive stuff such as apple. go for windows 7 pro and there shall be no problem. audio editing will go a lot faster with above mentioned hardwares.


No offense, but this is what I've been studying for the past year. I am an Audio Engineer and if you are going to record and produce music professionally, then you are going to use Pro Tools and if you are going to use Pro Tools, then you are going to us a Mac Pro. If you don't think so, then look up any professional studio and look at what systems they use. Every single one I've ever been to uses Mac Pros because they are the best computers to run Pro Tools smoothly and keep everything flowing.
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March 7, 2014 12:22:41 AM

did not argue that they don't do the job.
but if you know how to search programs on google with a windows 7 pro you will find everything you need for audio editing and recording. so you will get a lot better system at lower price. i did that and i did not find myself bottlenecked or apps lacking on the windows system in comparison to the mac one.
most not all people in a professional studio will always buy something that is already installed and easier to use to not bother with searching difficulties... but that does not justify to pay 2x the price for something hardware wise really weak. maybe building a hackintosh sounds better
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March 7, 2014 10:02:52 PM

Not really, Windows 7 doesn't work well with Pro Tools, it's really glitchy and if you are going to record music professionally then you are going to use Pro Tools.
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March 8, 2014 3:05:44 AM

do you have experience at hand or any proof for that theory? this sounds like apples complaining...
like I said I used both os in that regard and I did not see any problem...
let's wait for op reply.
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March 8, 2014 4:41:36 AM

btw there are a ton of audio editing and recording softwares for professional use. is more something like os preference.
here you have a few:
Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Ableton Live, Cakewalk Sonar, Propellerhead Reason...
you can't just simply call a software the best cause you use it, then port it from apple to windows find it works glitchy (bad porting?) and then revolve the universe around it...
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March 8, 2014 7:28:47 AM

Sayken said:
btw there are a ton of audio editing and recording softwares for professional use. is more something like os preference.
here you have a few:
Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Ableton Live, Cakewalk Sonar, Propellerhead Reason...
you can't just simply call a software the best cause you use it, then port it from apple to windows find it works glitchy (bad porting?) and then revolve the universe around it...


No, any professional studio that records professional musicians that you hear on the radio use Pro Tools. Period. Logic Pro is not used professionally, it is used in "garage band studios" and FL is a beat maker, not a recording software. The other softwares aren't even thought of in pro studios. The industry standard is Pro Tools and I know this for a fact because I am a student of the art and have been to numerous studios and all of them say that they have to use Pro Tools whether they like it or not because it is what everyone uses and you have to be able to transfer files. I have plenty of experience and am being taught by those who have been in the industry longer than I have been alive.
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March 8, 2014 7:44:59 AM

whether you have been in the industry or not does not give you any pc knowledge so please cut the crap.
period, logic pro ... being used in garage band studios - look that's your opinion and keep it to yourself we are not on facebook here. yet I don't believe you have checked all possible studios in the world and softwares.
FL was an example I did not mention is same thing with Pro Tools.
op mentioned this: "I would like to keep my total cost under $1,000 if at all possible. "
so please learn to read first before you answer and start arguing... and using only your personal opinions and preferences which are completely useless won't bring anything anywhere. a mac pro costs over 2.900$.....
another thing.
I never said not to use Pro Tools. But I mentioned that the glitchy experience you had with pro tools (edit: made the mistake of writting pro logic ^^) on windows device was due to the bad porting. and don't forget cubase..
yet op didn't even mention which softwares he even likes to use except cubase (but I bet you didn't see it at all....) ... so let's wait ...
and I did mention this as well which you didn't see because you preffer arguing instead of correctly reading: "maybe building a hackintosh sounds better"
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