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Old 12-27-2007, 12:38 PM
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Default Computer for audio purposes HELP!

Hello guys,


I have dilemma here. I have been saving money to purchase gear to use for audio edition with my bands (actually I want a platform for audio/visual purposes - recording the band, some graphics, photo editing etc) and I was thinking, at first, about purchasing a Macbook Pro. The problem is that it's way out of my budget line and I wont have the money anytime soon.

So I wanted to know if some of you guys out there who have knowledge in this domain could please recommend PC specs. that would work best for the purposes I spoke about higher up?


Thanks for your time,
Christopher.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

If its something you want to haul around, you could use a Mac Mini, and an inexpensive monitor. Mac MIni with Garage Band or other software is only about 600.00 USD and Monitors can be as cheap as 200.00. Just a thought.
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

No help on PCs?

Thanks Gruntersdad, I looked into that but I'd rather stick with a laptop. I might have an opportunity on a basic MacBook (the new version with stock 2GHz processor and 1Gb of Ram) but I still would like to check out some PCs to make up my mind whether to go Mac or PC for this move.
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

I wish Microsoft made more of these multitrack programs, every good piece of software is for mac's. This brings to mind a friend of mine who's dad quit his job and got to keep his mac book pro, ($3000) And sold it for 300. I REALLY should've gotten it.
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-Head View Post
I might have an opportunity on a basic MacBook (the new version with stock 2GHz processor and 1Gb of Ram) but I still would like to check out some PCs to make up my mind whether to go Mac or PC for this move.
wish I could advise PC-wise, but I just made the leap to Mac w/ the regular MacBook running Logic 8. I believe my bandmates are running specs close to but not exceeding what you mention, and have had good success.

what software are you planning on running? Logic seems to integrate audio and video very well, and the Adobe stuff runs really well on Mac (photoshop, dreamweaver, etc)
I'm using those for all our band-related promo and PR and website stuff lately. I like
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

Xush,

I was thinking of simply using Garage Band when it comes to audio. I will be saving up for a 8 entry module and mics later on - for now I will be able to borrow them from a friend. Eventually I might try out Cubase... I'm not sure. On PC I have been using Cool Edit Pro 2 (newer versions are now owned by Adobe) and Sound Forge, so I'll have to spend some time getting use to something else with a Mac. For visuals I will be using Adobe's stuff for sure. I've never really used a Mac before, so if I get one I will be learning from scratch.

Still no advice on PCs? Sounds like everyone here is running on Macs when it comes to audio/visual. Sounds like it's the way to go... lol!

Edit: One thing got me thinking though. I was always told that Firewire is a necessity when it comes to using modules and external audio hardware because of it's higher transfer rate. But I was doing some research and I read that Firewire 400 has, well a max rate of 400 Mbps but USB 2.0 has a max rate of 480 Mbps. Granted the new Firewire 800 has a blazing 800 Mbps rate, but it is not equipped on all the Macs for the moment. So what am I missing here, could someone please explain to a noob lol?
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Last edited by Drum-Head; 12-29-2007 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

bandwidth- that's the killer on USB;
the higher bandwidth of firewire results in less latency.
USB 2 is close enough to firewire speed as it is, but the bottleneck factor because of lower bandwidth on USB can cause higher latency.
I heard someone describe it like this: it's like the the drain pipe in your sink. Firewire = bigger pipe. USB= thin pipe. You can try to send the same amount of water (tsf speed) down the pipe, but it'll clog (latency) in the smaller (USB) pipe, and backup.

USB 2 has the same transfer speed on paper as firewire, but USB will load your processor more. Also, I haven't seen USB interfaces that allow more than a stereo 2-track output.
It may be that there are some, but I haven't seen them yet.

also, you mentioned Cool Edit Pro, I've used that on PC- Logic isn't SO far removed from that. I'm sure you could get up and running on it. This is my first Mac (just a couple weeks in- a little daunting to take on so much new gear all at once, but the Mac is SO intuitive on interfacing that it's really been a breeze. I love that you just plug hardware in, and it works! No searching for, DL'ing, installing and troubleshooting drivers and stuff) and I have to say, I see why they rave about them for audio and graphic applications.

Last edited by xush; 12-29-2007 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

It really depends what you are going to record I run a mackie onyx 16 mixer that firewires into a computer. I use an amd dual core 4000 tower with 2 g of ram running xp and had to do alot of tweaking to get it to run smoothly. It runs great now but it took me two months and alot of frustration to get it that way.I would definetly stay away from any computer running vista for audio. Every one suggested I go apple but I had to be a hardhead and go pc for the larger hard drives in retrospect that may have been a mistake but I love the sonar mixing and mastering software. I do believe my next computer will be a mac probook now that it can run windows maybe I can use sonar on it. If you do go with a pc running vista get at least 4 g of ram and be prepared for headaches. Also I would never use it online.
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Last edited by Jason Dorn; 12-30-2007 at 04:40 PM. Reason: add
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

Thanks for the help guys!

I came across this article, and I ended up reading nearly all the pages, this might be of some interest to some of you:

- TweakHeadz

The more I read, the more I think I'll be making the leap over to Mac. And even if I buy I MacBook, I'll still have my desktop PC that's still in the run if ever I need one.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-Head View Post
Thanks for the help guys!

I came across this article, and I ended up reading nearly all the pages, this might be of some interest to some of you:

- TweakHeadz

The more I read, the more I think I'll be making the leap over to Mac. And even if I buy I MacBook, I'll still have my desktop PC that's still in the run if ever I need one.
great article; none of the usual hyperbole, I dig it.
thanks for posting that.
That's exactly why I went the way I did, Macbook + desktop PC, then you've got it all covered. I still can't get over how easy it was to setup the Macbook in my studio~
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Computer for audio purposes HELP!

You're welcome Xush.

I got around to visiting more of the site - the forums are excellent! There is so much to learn from that place.

Further on, Tweak explains that generally speaking laptops are a no-no when it comes to audio engineering with the exception of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. He precises that some PC notebooks are fine but they will be bloody expensive. (see the next page "Which laptop?" paragraph).

Anyway, I already have a desktop PC, so I finally made my decision after all the research - I will be getting a MacBook. I does kind of bother me that there is no dedicated GC, but I guess I can live without one.
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