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Musicians Computer?

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July 6, 2006 1:15:19 AM

I need a computer, the case the cooler master 830 thats sick, and i seen that holds all the mobo's which is a plus. Here is my dilemma, i produce music, so i need a computer drivin towards music, there is one and its $3,000 base price, i have seen several times where i can build a pretty nice computer for $1500.

Im confused on which processor i should get, because i wanna go from makin a song in Reason or Fl Studio, to playing Ghost Recon. So is it Amd or Intel

I know im goin to need almost top of the line, which is no problem because i want this computer to stick around for awhile, I dont know about the media edition pc's or the shuttle pc's im just scared to make the wrong decision, imma go to some music stores and see if i can get some input on midi cards and that good stuff.

Second question, my girl just got a brand new emachines, is it worth puttin in a brand new nvidia card, and put some more memory in that to make that the gaming machine and keep mine for the more daily uses, minus the intense music.

And lastly, if i am able to put everything into the music pc, would it be worth it to also put in a physx card, with a new nvidia or ATi

Thanks.

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July 6, 2006 1:26:13 AM

Music PC? Get a good sound card, a X1900XT 512MB should be pretty good for your needs although you can get the cheaper 7900GT or the more expensive 7950GX2. For the Processor, wait for Conroe for sure! With $3,000 to spend, you can build an awesome system. I mean just think about it! EX6800 + 7950GX2 + 2GB DDR2-800 OCZ Gold RAM, 74 GB or 150 GB Raptor HD, the list goes on and on, basically the highest end parts put together in one unstoppable rig!

Edit: I may have misunderstood you, your budget is $1,500 right? In that case, get a eVGA 7900GT Superclocked, wait for the E6600 or E6700 from Conroe, get a good Xi-Fi or Audigy sound card and definitely 2GB of DDR2-800 or DDR2-667 RAM. (OCZ Gold, Mushkin or Corsair XMS highly recommended) For power supply, I'd recommend an Antec TruePower II 550W Power supply. Instead of a Raptor, I'd recommend a SeaGate Barracuda with at least 200GB of space for music and games.
July 6, 2006 2:24:50 AM

For the eMachines pc, If it supports pci-express then you could upgrade the graphics card if you're willing to stick with it for a while. PhysX is just a gimmick now :? .
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July 6, 2006 3:12:35 AM

Quote:


Second question, my girl just got a brand new emachines, is it worth puttin in a brand new nvidia card, and put some more memory in that to make that the gaming machine and keep mine for the more daily uses, minus the intense music.



I would be kinda wary of e-machines. I recently help someone out in England who bought such a PC. She was having problems playing Oblivion where the nVidia 6200 was overheating and caused her PC to crash about every 20 minutes while playing the game. Playing with the side panel did help with her overheating problem, but eventually the 6200 died after another 2 months.

I suggested that she play with the side panel off because the e-machine she had relied on the power supply to exhaust all the hot air inside the case. If your girlfriend's e-machine does not have a separate exhaust fan, then her options are very limited. She may need to take the side panel off.

You can also try to modify the case with a circular saw if it is possible to cut a 80mm to 120mm hole in the back of the PC.

I think a Physx card is a waste of money at the moment.
July 6, 2006 3:26:20 AM

what kind of music are you producing, writing? If I had 3 grand to spend for it I don't think I'd plunk it down on a computer. Invest your cash in a Kurzweil or spend a good third of that 3 grand on dedictated hardware..i.e. M.O.T.U. or Pro Tools setup. Even a halfway attempt with a Tascam 428 would be okay. Reason is, OKAY, but I don't believe you need massive amounts of power to work on audio. I still use an Ibook 300mhz and a pentium 700mhz. , but i'd give my right arm for a kurzweil.
July 6, 2006 3:55:54 AM

Thanks for the advice, I make rap/r&b, i want a korg padKontrol with the m-audio axiom, i want the best recording possible, so if i can just build a atleast a good not great processor with atleast a gig with a Xi-fi, with extra firewire and usb 2.0 ports i should be good right?

Why the intel over the amd?

And i hope everything works on Vista, because thats what im building the computer around?

Thanks again
July 6, 2006 4:10:39 AM

Wow, people are actually suggesting a X-FI for audio recording.... that's just sad.

There are way better cards for that purpose, like the M-Audio Audiophile 192 or the Delta series from M-Audio. The EMU-0404 is a good recording card also, but gaming with that might be a little harder.
July 6, 2006 10:58:30 AM

I'll second that: get a proper card if you're into music-making. The "budget" options - emu 0404 and m-audio deltas - have excellent quality and of course there are plenty more expensive options. Emu 0404 has built-in FX (patchmix) M-audio cards can be stacked up if you need more ins and outs and may be a little more stable. Some people have trouble with Emu's some don't. I suspect it might just be PEBKAC, not knowing about PCI latency issues. If you want to check out 'nix music software only m-audio has linux drivers.

It's often recommended to have a dedicated music workstation. At the very least a dual boot with a stripped-down OS for recording. Pro soundcards can be fussy ;) 
July 6, 2006 11:47:30 AM

I use Reason 3.0, Acid Pro 5.0, SoundForge 8.0, use the Audiophile 2496 play the latest games like FEAR, BF2, edit videos with Sony Vegas, and screw around with graphics using 3dMax and Microsoft Studio and I use a Dell 8400 with minor upgrades. Main thing that counts is make sure you have a good 2GB of RAM, nice sound card, and something above an Intel P4. I really suggest you wait for Intel's Conroe processor. I plan to build a whole new system based on Conroe because it should run all those programs I mentioned way smoother and with its 4MB Cache i'll be damned if i don't get one next month. I've seen the way it renders, encodes, and rips and I fell in love. With my set up i do fine producing music.

Not too proud but here it is:
Dell Dimmension 8400 Intel Pentium 4 3.0Ghz
2 1GB Corsair Sticks = 2GB Ram
x700 Pro 128MB
80GB Hard Drive
Audiophile 2496 Soundcard
July 6, 2006 12:54:17 PM

Quote:
And i hope everything works on Vista, because thats what im building the computer around?


I'd planned to load Vista on our family office PC but that plan is currently on hold. We use that PC to rip music, burn audio CDs, edit our own live audio recordings etc. But Vista will have DRM incorporated into it, right? I don't need that crap in my OS - I don't want it in my system at all. I just wonder if there will be any way to disable it without compromising the OS or any audio software?
July 6, 2006 1:16:03 PM

soundblaster for gaming/general purpose
m-audio or other brands if you're into serious recording/mixing
don't bother with physics accelerators - put the cash towards a better soundcard.
AMD or Intel, doesn't really matter.
Graphics, providing you're not running huge resolutions, I'd go for 7900gt or ATI equivalent.
July 6, 2006 1:23:48 PM

I would go for an Intel Conroe, which is more stable for doing audio stuff, vsti's for instance.
2gb of ram 2-3-2 (makes a lot of difference faster ram)
and last but not least a respectable audiocard, like the emu0404, or emu 1212, if you're planning on bringing non-virtual instruments there.

I've built myself a music pc a few weeks ago.
Amd 4000+ x2
Asus A8ne mobo
2gb of pc3200 (kingston hyperX 2-3-2) ram
emu1212 sound
x1900xtx videocard
250gb s-ata2 hd

works like a charm :)  and was worth the 1500 I've putten into it.
The choice of amd was for my wife who tends to play games, and I didn't want to wait for the conroe, as my old machine passed away.
July 6, 2006 2:24:09 PM

I suggested the Xi-Fi because its the newest but now i see different, I like the idea of a dual boot option, and what is up with tha 2-3-2 ram?
July 6, 2006 3:13:33 PM

Why is Intel Better than AMD? Well, the last time I bought dedicated hardware Intel was better for a few reasons.. AMD was still growing.. and many software programs/hardware had been optimized for INTEL. AMD would still work, in most cases, but intel had advantages. I don't know how that compares to todays picture. Anyhow, if the hardware/software says it supports you'll be fine with either..

USB? I still swear by firewire if you must do something external. Some cheap usb solutions produce poor latancy. Reviews and forums tell the tale. That x-fi card can sometimes produce problems too.. check the forums here on toms in sound cards. That said, if you're serious about good sound I would spend on some decent hardware with balanced inputs/outputs and support for Midi if you'll be using that. Sound blaster is okay, but not great for production

Macs are great but I don't know how the new MacIntelTosh has evolved in the audio software arena. Photoshop for instance hasn't and won't be updated till next year for the new intel proc. For now it's performance is bettered by a G4 because the software has to run on emulation.
July 6, 2006 3:37:53 PM

Quote:
I would choose a MAC


hey that guy has got the right idea!
July 6, 2006 4:18:34 PM

An X-fi sound card cant do anything for you. No hardware accelerated effects. Go with an Emu 1212m, or if you wanna mic up a drum set, go with aan Emu 1820m. 18 inputs & 20 outputs. As far as processor, I have found that if you plan on running VST plugins, your gonna need alot of CPu power. This is where a dual core would fit in nicely. I have been producing music for a long time now with my PC. Im running Cubase SX 2.0, and an EMU 1212m.

Athlon 64 3200 1mb cache. 2 Gigs patriot memory. Gefore 6600 video card. Allied 500watt power supply. This setup has ran more than 50 audio tracks, 40 midi tracks, 15 vst plugins, and about 80 audio plugins, ie: reverbs, compressor, gate. Trust me, the most important thing you want to spend money is on that audio card. And my 1212m, works nicely when it comes to gaming. I dont game on my machine anymore. I have dedicated to to strictly music production.

And one more thing, the best creative sound card cant compete with a "Pro Audio Card". Especially one that has the same A/D converts that the pro tools HD systems has. the 1212m & 1820m are both mastering grade audio cards. Try doing that with your X-fi elite card. And just the SNR(signal 2 noise ratio) That elite card cant even produce as well as the pro audio cards of EMU.

P.S. If you didnt know, EMU is the pro audio division of Creative.
July 6, 2006 4:30:08 PM

If you insist on getting a PC, then make sure you're getting a dual core CPU - you should be able to assign VST/AU (do you get AU on PC?) instruments to different cores for a real speed boost when multitasking.

If you're making hip-hop you're not gonna be needing tons of I/O on your audio interface (in fact, probably just one, for a microphone)

As far as audio gear goes, get a good quality USB or FireWire interface with a decent enough mic preamp and a USB MIDI keyboard (no need to spend a huge amount of money on it if you don't need to use it live and this is only a project studio)

Then just get a good internal soundcard as your Windows default card (for gaming).

You should be able to set Reason up to just utilise the external card for audio I/O.

Although, if I were you I would seriously buy a Macintosh.
July 6, 2006 4:52:44 PM

Why USB/firewire rather than PCI?
July 6, 2006 6:23:20 PM

Just out of curiosity verndewd what Line6 products are you using?
July 6, 2006 6:29:18 PM

I thought as much - it's such a handy studio tool if you're just working on barebones and don't have to bother with mic'ing up amps. Good call getting rid of that Zoom rubbish, too :wink:
July 6, 2006 6:57:00 PM

If you can afford it you should go the Mac route, a bit more expensive but damn those machine fly compared to PCs when it comes to audio stuff..I witnessed first hand @ G4 dual 867Mhz own @ P4 2.4ghz using the exact same
external harware and software (DIGI002 standalone Console running on PT LE ) And that was all because when we went to install all that stuff on the Mac, well imagine that, it would not operate properly due to drivers incompatibilities from the Mac machine. Talk about how "easy" it is to run stuff on apple products, we took the stuff and plug it in the WinXP machine, 4 minutes later we were recording stuff in PT :lol:  But seriously if you do audio professionnaly, you really should consider switching to Macs. My 2 cents..
July 6, 2006 7:15:01 PM

Verndewd (or anyone else for that matter), do you know if Apple's AU standard for plugins is available for PC also?
July 6, 2006 7:28:03 PM

Quote:

I havent read anything on that,all the updates ive seen for pc,are asio ,and such.

Yeah me too, but personnally i only use a pc to do audio stuff, the system I described earlier is owned by a friend of mine who does audio professionally.
The only thing i use my pc for audio wise, is record my live bass sessions when i feel to "absorbed" to remember what i play correctly. So i only use Ableton live with an Audigy2 using ASIO drivers and a 1/8" jack in the line-in port of the card. Great results even with some effects on the feed (the DSP on that card is not half bad)...
July 6, 2006 7:38:49 PM

Quote:
If i were a teen and just had the audigy and cubase it would be enough,you can spend hundreds of thousands on a stutio/pc setup,but if your just making demo's the soundblaster is adequate.If you come up with something original enough to sell,youll go into a multimillion dollard studio anyway,where the mic's alone cost up to 10k.


I do have to disagree somewhat, someone I know has recorded 3 albums with not much more than an 867mhz iBook and £2k tops of equipment.

Remember that Jimmy Page recorded practically everything on every Led Zeppelin record (with notable exceptions such as When the Levee Breaks which needed more specialised mics) with nothing more than the 'humble' SM57.

A Telefunken U47 isn't always the necessary tool for the job!
July 6, 2006 8:39:27 PM

Dude it's the 6200. You shouldn't be playing Oblivion on a 6200.
July 6, 2006 9:43:16 PM

Still one more question whats up with the 2-3-2 ram type?

I know i should get a mac, but im just tryin to demo it up and get some credibility, one day, or if not i want the music for me and my dudes, but i also want to play games out today on it, besides Oblivion,

Im gonna get the Intel Conroe, atleast 2 gigs ram, i think the emu is a lil outta my range for now, but i want something that if i was to play a song at a party no one would be like damn that sounds like shit,( ive been at parties and no one noticed and that was on a junk computer). I want an audio I/O would it be so bad to just go with an audilogy 2z .

Questions if they can be answered?

Will i have to wait until a new mobo comes out or is the conroe the same chipset as the latest intels?

And should i go with an Ati Or the Nvidia with Intel

Thanks again i have learned alot about my next computer
July 7, 2006 3:12:55 AM

Quote:
Dude it's the 6200. You shouldn't be playing Oblivion on a 6200.


Hey, she's a college student with a very tight budget.

I didn't recommend the card to her. She already had it.
July 7, 2006 3:32:08 AM

Quote:

Questions if they can be answered?

Will i have to wait until a new mobo comes out or is the conroe the same chipset as the latest intels?

And should i go with an Ati Or the Nvidia with Intel

Thanks again i have learned alot about my next computer


It's best to wait for the official chipsets to come out before buying a mobo. Right now a 975X motherboard can be compatible with Conroe, but that mobo better be revision 304. Otherwise, you just wasted money.

975XBX mobos will support Conroe, but they will be expensive. I guarantee they will cost $200+ minimum. Fortuantely there will be cheaper 965 chipset mobo which will probably cost at least $125. ATI and nVidia will also be releasing mobos as well. Price? Who knows.

As for RAM get the best you can afford, they can be expensive though especially if you are going for DDR2 800 RAM that has a CAS latency of 3. Basically the lower the CAS the more "waiting time" before data is transmitted. CAS 5 RAM is the slowest, but also the cheapest. CAS 4 DDR2 800 RAM represents a good balace, but 2GB worth can still set you back $250 or more (less with rebates).

The choice between ATI or nVidia is all based on preference and the games that you play. DOOM 3 and Quake 4 performs better with nVidia. However, since you mentioned Oblivion then you should know that Oblivion performs much better with an ATI card.

What's your budget for the video card?
!