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  #1  
Old 12-31-2014, 02:04 PM
EduanSnarf EduanSnarf is offline
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Default Computer specs for home recording

Hi all

I bought me the roland td15kv with my wife's permission and it is cool to practice on - the best alternative. My goal is to go midi eventually. I want to record my progress as well as ideas at home. Me and my other band mate cannot seem to find times to work together so the recording avenue seems like the best way at the moment. So I have the kit and I have bought the 6in6out scarlett focusrite. So my main question is what specs do I need in a pc? I will be doing a desktop pc as I will get the most value for my money. Not too sure what I need. I am still deciding between vst's as well as if I going to use reaper or fruity loops. It won't be used for any games maybe some photo editing.... I hope this is enough info. And I don't mind to spend a bit more now knowing the computer is juiced ip for the future... thanks you all.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2014, 05:38 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

iMac.

The only choice is whether to get the 24" or the 27".
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2014, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

Hi EduanSnarf.

A suggestion here is to get all the power you can in your computer. So that you can make it portable, consider picking up a new or reconditioned laptop with either a hybrid or an SSD built in, and make it dedicated for your music (or as you said with some occasional image editing as long as these are tasks e are performed mutually exclusive). The disk size does not have be large, as your concern is recoding latency. You can always get an external drive for file storage.

I can only speak on using a Windows/Intel based system as your recording device. An i7 would be best, though you may get by with an i5. Though you may not need it now, look for one preferably with an express card slot or FW port). These can be normally found inexpensive these days. Be prepared, though, for some set up work to get rid of any latency issues, and with ASIO. Focusrite has a good tool that will show you if you have latency, but not how to resolve it. One of the biggest things I have found that creates a latency spike is WiFi on your computer. If you see issues, that is good starting point. Shut off everything you are not using though when recording and doing any audio editing.

Since the Focusrite is 2.0 USB, your recording bandwith should be fine for 6 or less channels. Focucsite ships with Ableton Live Lite for use as a DAW, which I have not ever used so i can't comment on that. The 'defacto' standard is "ProTools" but that is pretty expensive. As an alternative, you may consider Sonar X3 Studio for a DAW (a Roland Product under the Cakewalk brand). What you want to make sure of is that the DAW you use can create files that other DAWs can import, such as OMF files.

If you are more in the Apple world, most MACs have built in Firewire port that gives a lot more bandwidth (when used of course, like with some of the other Focusrite products like the Saffire.) USB3.0 is said to rival Firewire, but not many companies have thoroughly tested USB 3.0 products at this time. MACs seem to be much more common in the music world. For software, if you go the Apple route, ProTools is the obvious choice.

Because of the digital world we live in, you can be guaranteed no matter what you get it will be outdated in a very short time, so you may want to make sure you stay current on everything and grow with it.

Good luck. ;-)
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:23 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

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If you are more in the Apple world, most MACs have built in Firewire port that gives a lot more bandwidth (when used of course, like with some of the other Focusrite products like the Saffire.) USB3.0 is said to rival Firewire, but not many companies have thoroughly tested USB 3.0 products at this time. MACs seem to be much more common in the music world. For software, if you go the Apple route, ProTools is the obvious choice.
Indeed.

Firewire has been superseded by Thunderbolt as of the 2011/2012 timeframe.
The iHome package is included with new macs and includes Garageband. I've been working with version 10 the past couple of weeks to learn its workflow and am extremely impressed.

The biggest problem with early USB interfaces was the latency. This seems to have been resolved with modern kernels and devices. My USB R16 is usually in between 11ms and 14ms.

@OP

The td15kv has a USB out that can go directly to a PC/Mac without the need to purchase adapters and interfaces. Check the instructions for how to do audio and midi over USB.

http://www.roland.com/products/en/TD-15KV/

The only additional purchase you may have to make is a 20' USB cable from Amazon
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2014, 07:44 PM
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JosephDAqui JosephDAqui is offline
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

Adding to what others state below (Mac-wise) - Garageband is great, but when it comes to plugins using resources and the possibility for latency, Logic is the way to go. I use the basic version of Logic (cheap) and have no latency issues when recording Midi or capturing mulit-out audio (EZ-Drummer). As for just plain audio, using a Firewire (older macs) or Thunderbolt is the best way to go mainly because the I/O bus for each is not shared, such is the case for most USB buses. Not using shared bus also reduces resource contention.

I record both ways often and I use a Macbook pro from 2007, M-Audio Firewire with Logic - never had latency issues or crashes.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2014, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
I
The iHome package is included with new macs and includes Garageband. I've been working with version 10 the past couple of weeks to learn its workflow and am extremely impressed.
I forgot about Garageband since I never use it, though i know several others who do home recording with it. I just seem to have a problem with a pro level tool having the word "Garage" in it ;-) (Plus I really do not want to invest the funds needed to buy an i7 MAC air to dedicate. ;-) )

There are other DAWS that could be considered, such as CUBASE and Adobe Audition. I switched from Adobe Audition to Sonar X3 about a year ago since I do not like the idea of software 'rental' that adobe now uses, especially when the software is pretty much only for personal home use. I too am still learning Sonar X3 (that never seems to end) have been able to set up templates and do 24 simultaneous tracks with Sonar X3 as the DAW. There is nothing I found that Sonar X3 does not cover very well. The only issue is the OMF files 'sometimes' have issues when being imported into older versions (i.e. 7) of ProTools - easily overcome though. I usually just record 8 -10 drum tracks and send them off as needed. ;-)

More food for thought. Think about the end product you are after. :-)
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2014, 09:33 PM
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Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by EduanSnarf View Post
Hi all

I bought me the roland td15kv with my wife's permission and it is cool to practice on - the best alternative. My goal is to go midi eventually. I want to record my progress as well as ideas at home. Me and my other band mate cannot seem to find times to work together so the recording avenue seems like the best way at the moment. So I have the kit and I have bought the 6in6out scarlett focusrite. So my main question is what specs do I need in a pc? I will be doing a desktop pc as I will get the most value for my money. Not too sure what I need. I am still deciding between vst's as well as if I going to use reaper or fruity loops. It won't be used for any games maybe some photo editing.... I hope this is enough info. And I don't mind to spend a bit more now knowing the computer is juiced ip for the future... thanks you all.
Not sure about the processor stuff, because I think most PCs do not have a problem running any of the software audio programs these days. I was told though, that a fast hard drive is important, something that spins at 7200 rpm's at least because the program will be storing info on it as it plays, so the faster the better. Of course, a lot of RAM too. I've been doing pretty good with even my 4GB MacBookAir. My desktop iMac (the 27") has 8GB RAM and recording is no problem at all with that machine.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2015, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

Hi.

Quick follow up. ;-)

As far as processors, it has to do with 2 things: how the (DAW) code being used was written (i.e. libraries compiled with), and what else is running on the system as part of the Operating System. It does not matter if (on a mac) it is Lion, Snow Leopard, Yosemite, etc; or (on a PC) Vista, 7 or 8.

For example, in the Windows/Intel world a program written to run in Windows Vista probably won't run well on a Windows 8 machine, as there are new shared libraries that would be used in 8 that may cause issues. Plus W8 adds it's own extra overhead for some new thingies MS figured everyone 'needed'. Also, since there is more horsepower available, you can be 100% certain that the OS and DAW developers will exploit every bit of any power they can get. Similar for Apple. To put this is perspective, for those of you who have an IPAD, look at IOS 8.0, how bad it was, and why almost every software package on your IPAD needed to be updated to run on it even for 8.1. Software vendors usually do not do that for MAC or PC, as what they do is make you do a paid upgrade if you want the software to work right.

Hence, PC or MAC, i5 at least, i7 better. :-)

Disk I/O is also critical. Bo mentioned this point regarding spindle speed (rpms) on older drives as a factor. That is why you should look at Solid State Drives (SSDs) or else look at Hybrid drives as the internal main drive and for recording any audio and/or video. An SSD uses memory chips rather than spindles. Hybrids use a combination of spindles and memory chips to attain what are called really high IOPs (input output per sec) that far exceed even the fastest spindle drive.

You would be fine with even a 128GB SSD as your primary drive as that is lot of storage for audio tracks and the OS, even without an external drive.

Hope this helps. ;-)
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2015, 03:07 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

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You would be fine with even a 128GB SSD as your primary drive as that is lot of storage for audio tracks and the OS, even without an external drive.
I wholeheartedly agree. I'm an iMac user that has an SSD. The only moving part is the main thermal fan. The iMac is quieter than my T60-esque work laptop sitting next to it. It's been wonderful.

@OP: You'll need somewhere to archive stuff eventually. I recommend investing $50 into whatever reputable USB Flash drives are big, cheap, and available. The alternative is an external HDD or NAS device. Ultimately, buy whatever suits your needs/budget.
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2015, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by EduanSnarf View Post
... Me and my other band mate cannot seem to find times to work together so the recording avenue seems like the best way at the moment. ...
This part to your question is critical. Are you and your bandmates planning to track separately at your respective homes? If so, using the same set up across bandmates can be really beneficial. Find out if they're using something already. If not, have a discussion on what they'd be able to run and afford.

If you're looking to buy a PC, what worked well for me was cruising Craigslist until I found some kid selling his 2 year old custom gaming PC because he bought a new one. I think I paid $300 and the specs were absolutely ridiculous.
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2015, 12:24 PM
EduanSnarf EduanSnarf is offline
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Default Re: Computer specs for home recording

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll prob get at least 8gb ram with ssd hdrive. Will be comparing the I5 and I7 too. Quad core too. I am a noob but thanks for the help.
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