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Budget Multitrack Audio Recording Build Parts Q's

Last response: in Systems
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May 4, 2010 10:05:08 PM

Hello all,

I'm putting together a system for a friend of mine that will be used exclusively for multitrack audio recording/mixing/mastering etc. His budget is about $500, sans peripherals, which he has taken care of. He'll be using a Presonus Firepod audio interface, so the motherboard must supply the necessary firewire port(s). I opted for a small system/applications hard drive, and a larger storage drive for audio files, with the assumption that he'll get much better multitrack ability with separate system/storage drives due to the high amount of data that needs to be written during recording. I went MicroATX just for the sake of saving space in his cramped studio, plus the case was on sale. Here's what I came up with so far; any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! I'll be ordering from newegg, where possible, fyi.

Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model HDX945WFGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.00

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $26.99

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $47.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 (these were on sale, but no longer)

GIGABYTE GA-785GMT-USB3 AM3 AMD 785G USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.49

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99

Total, with shipping: $545.00 (when i copied these the other day, some sales may have expired)
May 5, 2010 12:08:37 AM

That is kind of small for a data drive, especially considering that he's doing multitrack recording. The problem with recording on a computer is that for every minute, the data size of the file in lossless format is 10x the size, so a 5 min file at 2 channels is about 50MB, which can fill up a 320GB for any sizeable project I think.

Also, make sure the firewire chipset on that motherboard is a Texas Instruments, as some pro audio devices won't work with anything but for some reason. If you can't be sure of which chip it is contact Gigabit, followed by Presonus to make sure the two will work togather otherwise you will have to get a seperate card with a TI chipset.
May 5, 2010 1:01:58 AM

Not bad but I would definitely recommend shooting for a 1 tb to 1.5 tb drive and also look into getting an after market CPU cooler. The stock AMD cooler is louder than a harpy going feet first through a meat grinder.
May 5, 2010 1:17:15 AM

that's what i told him, but he insisted that the 320GB was more than enough. i've also heard that the stock cooler is loud, but i think it's going to be in a different room; he didn't seem concerned with the overall system volume. looks like the firewire is handled by a TI chip, so that's looking good. as far as storage capacity goes, looking at his other projects that are backed up on my HD, they're not actually all that big (36GB across 7 projects). go figure. thanks for the advice!
!