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New Rig - Audio Editing - Need Help!

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Last response: in Systems
February 6, 2012 4:15:20 PM

Assisting a friend with the build. Would appreciate any assistance from you guys/gals as I do not do any audio editing myself. Only rigs I have built are gaming rigs..


Would like the budget to stay under $1,000. (he already purchased a case and I may have a high end SB audio card for him)


He uses Pro Tools & Fruity Loops to edit /record audio.


Ideas? Suggestions? Build advice?


Thanks in advance!

More about : rig audio editing

a b B Homebuilt system
February 6, 2012 9:16:47 PM

It would depend on what kind of audio editing it is really, if it's just recording standard 4-8 piece bands and mixing standard songs etc. then anything with 2 cores and 4GB+ RAM would be completely fine.

If it's a bit more 'digital' than that and he likes having craploads of VST's and stuff open then you might want a quad core and some more RAM.

Other than that, an SSD might be nice for bouncing etc. depending on how much he will want to store. If he's doing a hell of a lot of recording and the SSD fills up too quickly he might just be spending a lot of time moving things from the SSD onto a HDD. In that case it would be better to RAID a few hard drives.

If he's burning a lot of audio onto CD's it MAY be worth getting multiple DVD burners, that's something else to consider.

It may be a good idea to get a basic graphics card like an HD 5450 too because most people doing a lot of audio editing/recording will run dual monitors at some point.

Other than that I would just try to build something as quiet as possible because noise can be annoying for this kind of build since he's going to be listening carefully to tracks etc. Also, he might want to record with mics now and again for acoustic instruments or vocals.

EDIT: Which case and monitor(s) does he already have? Does he already have an OS too?
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February 7, 2012 1:28:35 PM


Not sure about the case and monitor.. And no he does not have OS yet. Win 7 Pro 64bit ok?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2012 1:38:47 PM

I would get Home Premium, he's unlikely to need Pro.

So any word on any of these things?

- Is he likely to record with mics at any point?
- Is he likely to want dual monitors?
- What kind of things does he record/edit?
- Does he burn a lot of CD's?
- Does he need to store a lot (50-100GB+) of music?

See if you can find out which case it is too, that's important.

Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying to help the best I can.
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February 8, 2012 3:32:00 PM

JM, thank you SO much.. Here are the answers that I received from him today...

Mics, Yes

Dual Monitors, Yes

He records/edits all types of audio and instruments

Burn a lot of CD's, Yes

Needs to store a lot of music, Yes

He owns the Xigmatek Asgard II case

-Knowing ALL of this, if we have to bump up his total budget we will and he will buy it piece by piece, etc..
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February 8, 2012 3:56:03 PM

Word of warning, Pro-Tools is very picky about the chipset. Go on their site and see what they recommend based on what version you are gonna run. The older versions wont run on Win7 etc

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a b B Homebuilt system
February 8, 2012 5:02:36 PM

OK, in that case I would go for something like this:

(Before you go for something like this I would look into what rotis said about Pro Tools)

Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
A quad core is going to be nice for this kind of thing, this particular one has great performance and a lower TDP than it's AMD counterparts. I don't think the i7-2600 is worth the extra $110 because this will do the job nicely. Has a nice upgrade path too, if he wants a boost in a year or two he can get an Ivy Bridge i7 or something. (He probably won't need to though.) I picked the non 'K' model because you're unlikely to want to overclock this kind of system to keep it quiet and stable.

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
This is here mainly for the quietness, stock coolers can be noisy and ineffective. For the sake of $34.99 you get very low temps and ultra quietness.

8GB 2x4GB Mushkin Silverline - $39.99
This is a good price for this RAM and the bonus is that it doesn't have big heat spreaders, they are only there to look cool and can get in the way of heat sinks etc. 8GB should be plenty but you can always upgrade to 16GB if you feel the need.

MSI H67MS-E43 - $89.99
A well priced board with everything you need. It has SATA 3 and USB 3.0 as well as 4 slots for RAM in case you want to upgrade to 16GB at some point.

ASUS HD 5450 - $32.99
This is purely to be able to run dual monitors. Usually you can run dual monitors from Intel HD graphics but it doesn't work with certain boards and for the sake of $32.99 I would just do it the old reliable way.

SeaSonic S12II 380B 380W - $68.99
May seem a bit pricey and it's more power than you really need but Seasonic make some fantastic PSU's and are well known for quietness. This will keep the system quiet and stable.

Samsung DVD Burner - $15.99
This is to install your OS and burn the CD's. If he burns so many CD's that he needs more then one, these are easy enough to add so I'll just put one in the build for now.


Total - $472.93 before shipping and rebates


Now you will notice I left out the storage device. This is because there are a few options, you could either get a large SSD, a small SSD and a hard drive or RAID a few hard drives. The large SSD is ideal really because it's the fastest and by far the quietest, it's just a lot more expensive. Since there is room in the budget I would go for something like this:


Samsung 830 Series 256GB - $359.99
This will seem very expensive but will make the system very quick and responsive. The other massive bonus is that it makes no noise at all, hard drives can be quite noisy. If recording with mics, low noise is preferable.

If he needs any more storage than that I would probably just get a portable hard drive as well.


Total inc SSD - $832.92

To take the low noise stuff I bit further, I would be tempted to remove the case fans and put a Noctua NF-S12B FLX on the back as an exhaust. If you use one of the included low noise adapters for the fan this rig should be super silent. Then one more thing you could do is add some of this foam to the sides of the case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That will dampen any of the higher frequency sounds and the noise from the PC should be reaching inaudible levels by this point assuming you lower all of the fan speeds to the lowest setting. Don't worry about doing this, if the CPU heats up the fan will speed up automatically.

After those two measures, you're looking at the $880 range. You could still afford to go for the i7-2600 CPU and stay in budget here but I really don't think it's worth it.

I hope this helps.

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February 8, 2012 5:11:52 PM


WOW!.. Excellent and it all looks GREAT!.. If he can afford a couple hundred more, you dont think it would be beneficial for him to go with a higher quality Gfx card, RAM and Mobo? (I am used to building rigs for gaming)
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 8, 2012 5:17:00 PM

The graphics card is purely just to run dual monitors, he doesn't actually need it for Pro Tools or anything. He wont need anything more powerful. A powerful card would just make the case hot and the whole system noisy.

With the RAM, he most likely won't need any more than 8GB and even if he does he can just add another 8GB with that board.

With the motherboard I don't think he will really need any features that you don't already get on that board. That one has some good reviews too. The fact that it's mATX can be a bonus as well in case he ever wants to move to a smaller case like a nice little Lian Li aluminium cube or something.
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February 9, 2012 12:00:33 PM


Would you suggest a portable HD for storage or a secondary HD in the case? A Raptor or something?
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February 9, 2012 12:05:58 PM

And.. You think the 380W PSU will be efficient enough for the quad core processor and anything/everything he hooks into the comp?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2012 12:10:06 PM

This isn't even going to pull 150W, 380W is fine.

Personally I'd get a portable drive for storage yeah, it's portable which is a plus and it cuts down on case noise. Hard drives (particularly high rpm drives) are quite noisy and vibrate the case which creates even more noise. Not good for when you're working and/or recording with mics.
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February 9, 2012 12:24:22 PM


Great!.. I will talk to him about all this info and try to suggest that he take the loss on that crap case of his that he just bought and purchase something a bit higher in quality. Maybe something like this ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) just in case he wants to utilize 2 burners?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2012 12:32:22 PM

That case looks nice. I'd still use the sound dampening foam on it though personally.
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February 9, 2012 12:54:38 PM


Got it.. Nice.. Perfect! Thank you! You have been a TREMENDOUS help jm!

:) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2012 1:01:00 PM

No problem at all, be sure to let me know exactly what you end up going with. :) 
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February 9, 2012 1:22:53 PM


Sure will!
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October 10, 2012 3:15:20 PM

This topic has been closed by MouseMonkey
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