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  • Any tech-head out there

    I need to buy a new PC and want to be able to make music on it but amusingly am not sure how I'm gonna do so. In the past I just used whatever old PCs were given to me/ at work/ belonging to flatmates. Now I can start from scratch with a budget of around a grand which certainly gets me out of the most basic entry level. It'll also be used for some home office stuff, burning CDRs and some games possibly.

    So aside from the basic advice of buy as much memory and as fast a CPU as you can afford, is there any particular steer that any techies on the board can suggest.

    Cheers
    Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

    John Peel

  • #2
    a Mac?
    We know when a mate buys it for you too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by [b
      Quote[/b] (john stapleton @ July 02 2004,10:49)]a Mac?
      I was planning on not buying a Mac to piss off my Dad who is incapable of havign a covnersation with anyone on any topic without bringing it round to how superior Macs are. Also I am much more familair with PCs.
      Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

      John Peel

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by [b
        Quote[/b] (emperor tomato ketchup @ July 02 2004,11:04)]
        Originally posted by [b
        Quote[/b] (john stapleton @ July 02 2004,10:49)]a Mac?
        I was planning on not buying a Mac to piss off my Dad who is incapable of havign a covnersation with anyone on any topic without bringing it round to how superior Macs are. Also I am much more familair with PCs.
        That's typical with Mac users. I've got a few here at work, and they feel the need to mention their opinions of PC based technology everytime, and how the world would be free of war, famine etc if everybody used Macs instead

        Therefore I feel it necessary to mention that without PC server technology, virtually every task they undertake at work using their Macs would be impossible.

        Doesn't shut them up though. They live in that special folder with ex smokers to my mind
        Matt Hero

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        • #5
          Also all my mates who do stuff like this use PCs. I am inclined toward believing Macs are better - which is why they are more expensive. A fact which my Dad will consistently deny
          Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

          John Peel

          Comment


          • #6
            hi mark

            a budget of a grand? in PC world that'll buy you a really heavy-duty powerful box, easily capable of doing music stuff.

            ideally get at least 512mb ram (make sure it's fast RAM too, like DDR) and a 2+ Ghz processor (not Celeron - make sure it's a real Intel or AMD with plenty of processor cache memory).

            disk space is crucial for music so at least 80 Gb hard drive, make sure they're 7200rpm spin speed with UDMA 100 or 133 (makes writing/reading files much quicker).

            most of this spec is now pretty standard on 500-plus quid machines.

            budget 200 quid for a decent quality soundcard or, even better, an external soundcard-in-a-box that you can just plug in/swap between machines without having to physically fit the card inside your new PC (usually invalidating any manufacturer warranty).

            there are loads of pro soundcards at that sort of price point. external boxes are a little more expensive than cards, but more flexible. try something like the Edirol UA-5 (turnkey sell them for 189 quid). it's a couple of years old, but rock solid, with amazing sound quality, millions of input sockets, and - crucially - stable drivers that really work.

            for software - i'll PM you some tips.

            for buying hardware - totally your choice, everyone recommends different kit. personally i'd look at Dell - they have some great offers on right now for new kit if you buy online, and the build quality is generally very good. for 2nd hand or refurb kit, try Morgan Computers - good spec machines from quality manufacturers at good prices.

            a grand in Mac world will get you a beautiful looking 2nd hand doorstop... the interface is beautiful but their prices are truly comic.
            http://www.blaxploitation.com
            Chops for show, groove for dough.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (theeman @ July 02 2004,11:39)]budget 200 quid for a decent quality soundcard or, even better, an external soundcard-in-a-box that you can just plug in/swap between machines without having to physically fit the card inside your new PC (usually invalidating any manufacturer warranty).

              for buying hardware - totally your choice, everyone recommends different kit. personally i'd look at Dell - they have some great offers on right now for new kit if you buy
              Cheers Ed

              I actually have a Sound Blaster sound card of some description that I bought about 3 years ago for use in my then flatmates PC. Its still in his one and I think he'd rather give it back than keep it. It isn't external anyway.

              My wife can get 5% off Dell as they use them at work so that was the most likely. Also I've heard better reports from friends about them than others.
              Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

              John Peel

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok, a serious reply.

                I'd echo Ed's comments in general - with CPUs you can ask 10 people and get 10 different answers, and it does tend to depend on the primary software you'll be using and how well (or badly) they are optimised for those CPUs.

                For instance for general desktop work, with a bit of music and stuff on the side the AMD processor set makes for great value for money. With a serious music PC, then you need to look at the the primary application you'll e using and talk to the developer - Steinberg for instance used to swear by Intel for Cubase when I enquired, but they might be also doing optimisation for AMD by now.

                What you pay overall will depend on how keen/able you are do do some of the build yourself. If you're able to install OS and applications yourself, there are loads of bargains out there for 'bare bones' machines - I've always used Novatech as they are local to me - but if you want something that works 'out of the box' then you'll have to pay a little bit more.

                If support will be an issue, then also chose your supplier carefully. Standards and T&Cs can vary wildly, if you rely on them to fix things for you, this is really important.

                Eds comments on Disks, RAM etc are spot on IMHO. Soundcard-wise I've not regretted my Audiophile 24/96 card which is far from a budget breaker, but it does depends on what you're after inn terms of ins/outs.

                I'm not much use on games specs....but I'm guessing some attention on graphics cards with draw rates etc is important there.

                Hope that helps !
                Matt Hero

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                • #9
                  I suspect building myself would not be a great idea. I don't work in IT and so have comparatively little understanding of whats happening inside.

                  And in terms of what music software I would use I unfortunately have no idea of what I was gonna use. I was thinking of trying out a bunch of stuff and seeing what worked for me. I suspect i'll need the full range of sound/sample manipulation, sequencing and HD recorder. Probably use some soft synth stuff as well like audio mulch.
                  Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

                  John Peel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by [b
                    Quote[/b] (Matt Hero @ July 02 2004,11:25)]Doesn't shut them up though. They live in that special folder with ex smokers to my mind  
                    cheers matt, ye bugger!

                    seriously, i wouldn't use PCs because they're not robust enough for what i need them for, but on the other hand i wouldn't tell people not to use them - it's all personal choice. there are loads of people who like PCs obviously.

                    i remember one time sermad tried to get me started on the mac / pc thing and i wasn't biting.

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