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Building a PC for Music Production And 3D Modeling

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July 9, 2012 3:08:29 AM

I am planning on building computers as a hobby/side job and I was wondering, in order to expand myself, what would be required to build a PC with these in mind.

I know for msuic production there is the software but I am talking hardware wise for now. I have a feeling someone is going to need a quiet computer and probably a lot of space for them lossless audio files they make.

I know for 3D modeling people will may want SSDs for faster performance overall and I know they need different kind of GFXs then for gmaing computers (which I can build XD).

I have a couple of friends who would like me to build this for them and I would be getting about $200 from them each but, as you can see, I barely have a base to stand on. Thanks in advance for anyone who can lead me to a site or a book (would prefer one of these) or who can throw a bunch of information my way.
July 9, 2012 5:35:13 PM

bump for help please.
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July 9, 2012 7:46:35 PM

For music production, it kind of depends how heavy the work is. If it's basic recording of pop/acoustic/rock/metal songs with only a few tracks and not many software heavy effects and VST's, you could go with almost any modern PC system except for maybe an Intel Atom or something. Something like the Pentium G620 and
4GB of RAM would be fine for most people.

If it's a bit more heavy like more software heavy effects and loads of multi tracking like in dance/dubstep music or recording large bands/orchestras etc. you might want a quad core and 8GB of RAM to run it all flawlessly.

Either way though, you will want a semi decent audio interface so you can plug in instruments and mic's and you don't get latency when recording. I have the E-MU 0202 which is a good budget choice if you don't need a MIDI input. A USB or firewire interface is usually easiest but you can get internal ones too.

The other consideration for this kind of system is quietness (as you mentioned). I happen to know quite a bit in this area so I'm happy to answer any questions on it. The basic idea though is to:

- Keep the power consumption low. The lower the power consumption, the less heat there will be in the system.

- The less heat there is in the system, the less the fans have to work.

- If the fans are barely spinning, there should be almost no noise in the system unless you have some nasty vibrations.

To avoid the vibrations, you will want a nice solid case and be sure to not get too many fans or hard drives. Any fans/hard drives you do get should have rubber mounts to reduce vibrations.

With the hard drives, I would use a SSD in the system and use external drives for storage. That's the way I do things as it gives you portability and reduces noise. Or for higher budgets, you could buy/build a NAS and have it somewhere else in the house.

I don't know much about 3D modelling but if you have any questions on the music production, quietness or general PC building, I'm sure I can help.
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July 10, 2012 3:02:24 AM

What is a NAS? I am trying to figure out a good idea of waht is needed for the noise reduction and music production (minus software, tehy can figure that out). My friend is looking at an Intel Core i5/ low end i7. Would he need any sort of special gfx card?

I think 8 gb or ram is good enough for him. He is probably going to the more complex stuff but not studio quality or an prchestra situation.

How does the audio interface help. I am trying to learn all of this stuff to apply in the future. Also isn't constantly writing to an SSD bad or would it be a situation where when he saves the file he saves it to the external drive?

Do the fans naturally have rubber or would I have to add them? If so, how and where?

I have a CM Storm Trooper Case that has feet on the bottom with what I assume is rubber. Is that a good solid case.

Thanks for your help.
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July 11, 2012 8:10:53 PM

A NAS is network attached storage, you connect it to your network and to the internet so you can access it from anywhere.

An i5-3570k would be a good choice, its a great CPU with low power consumption, overclockability and fantastic integrated graphics almost as good as those on an AMD A8. Its also far cheaper than an i7 which i think would be unnecessary for this machine.

An audio interface is basically a professional sound card with inputs for 'real' microphones and musical instruments. It will improve sound quality and allow you to record instruments live.

Constantly writing to any drive will eventually wear it out. That includes mechanical hard drives too. Just get a nice reliable drive like an Intel or Samsung and it should be fine.

Some fans will come with rubber mounts which are basically like screws made of rubber. You can buy them separately too.

Im sure the Storm Trooper would be solid enough but ideally you would want something made of thick steel or aluminium with fewer vents and no acrylic window. The Antec P series are good.
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July 11, 2012 8:10:55 PM

EDIT: Sorry for the double post, I'm on my phone and it does that sometimes :/ 
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