Help with computer purchase

klasaine

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I'll just echo a few key points that in my experience will make your recording process and recording experience more efficient, reliable and enjoyable regardless of your machine ...

SSD drive(s).
Get as much RAM as you can afford.
Quad core i7 (or better).
Always back up to a high quality external hard drive
*Keep whatever machine you use dedicated to recording. Don't muck it up with movies, games and general crap. If at all possible, other than for activating licenses and such, keep it off the network. Anti malware software can bog everything down, especially if you're not on an over spec'd rig.

** If you don't already have an interface I would personally go for one that is at least a couple steps above the absolute cheapest. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has (2) decent preamps built in.

Have fun!
 

Mark the Moose

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Nearly anything will work these days, but I would recommend at least 16GB of RAM. I have a 10 year old MacBook Pro that handles 16 simultaneous recording tracks to Logic Pro just fine. My son is doing some recording to garage band on a Macbook air, 8GB seems to be getting him by recording only a few tracks at a time.
 

edvard

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Allow me to summarize these threads.

Get a PC! No! Get a Mac! No! Get Linux!

If you go the PC or Linux route, I recommend looking at refurbished business (not consumer) class Dell systems. The last 3 systems I've bought have been refurbs. All were under $500 and have been great. Overall, I recommend SSD main drive (500GB) along with a secondary regular hard drive (internal or external) of 2TB or more. The more RAM (I recommend at least 12GB or more) and the newer the processor series, the better although you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest.

Actually, nobody mentioned Linux at all in this thread. Impressive.

Maybe because OP asked about computers not operating systems, though any given Apple hardware kinda goes without saying...
 

Piggy Stu

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I think the new M1 chips in Apple computers are such a step up a lot of Mac minis from industry will soon be upgraded and there should be a lot of cheap ones on the market
 

hnryclay

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First, thank you all for advice, and patience. Here is what I purchased;

Dell OptiPlex 9020-SFF, Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Solid State, DVDRW, Windows 10 Pro 64bit (Renewed)

M-Audio AIR 192|4 — 2-In/2-Out USB Audio Interface with Recording Software from ProTools & Ableton Live, Plus Studio-Grade FX & Virtual Instruments

Hopefully these will allow me to get a start at recording. I will be adding mics, stands, etc in time once I get things figured out.

Thanks again really the best site on the internet.
 

telestratosonic

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A 2-year old MacMini could be had fairly reasonably. Nice used ones are readily available.

The MacMini is a very nice machine and you can pair it with all manner of different size/quality displays.

I run GarageBand on a Late 2018 MacMini with an Apple 27" Cinema Display. I use the internal SSD for OS and Apps. And I use external SSDs and HDDs for large capacity storage. The MacMini specs are:
  • 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7 SIX-Core
  • Turbo Boost to 4.6GHz
  • 16GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe SSD
41945747855_79f2a22046_h.jpg
Where have I been? I just bought a new 8th Gen IPad solely for recording with Garageband.

I'm definitely going to check out the MacMini.
Thanks.
 

DHart

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Where have I been? I just bought a new 8th Gen IPad solely for recording with Garageband.

I'm definitely going to check out the MacMini.
Thanks.

I think you'll be very pleased with what the new Mac minis offer. They are very compact, powerful, versatile, and you can drive pretty much any display you wish to go with, from small and inexpensive to large and super advanced. Having the display and the computer as separate units gives you tremendous flexibility and versatility.

Apple keeps promoting how you can "do everything" you once did on a computer, on the new iPads. I just laugh. That's a stretch too far for my money.

iPads are awesome in their realm: for consuming media, surfing, and email. They can do more, but then it rapidly becomes increasingly awkward to push the boundaries of the interface.

When it comes to doing highly interactive work like photo editing, video editing, multi track recording, spreadsheet work... I'm sorry, pads & tablets just don't get it for me. :rolleyes:
 

Martin R

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I'm late to the party but GarageBand is awesome! We recorded more than 18 tracks using a 2nd generation Mac Mini.
Most of the album was mixed in Logic, but THIS TRACK was recorded and mixed in GB.
 

Rolling Estonian

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Dell OptiPlex 9020-SFF, Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Solid State, DVDRW, Windows 10 Pro 64bit (Renewed)

Hopefully these will allow me to get a start at recording. I will be adding mics, stands, etc in time once I get things figured out.

That 4th gen i5 is pretty old, I had an i7-4750, 12gb ram and it definitely had limitations with a few vsti and plugins, I would imagine the i5 fares worse.

M
 

hnryclay

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It's a start at a very small cost. If I get into recording I plan on buying an Imac. However with the money I saved on this, I was able to purchase a few mikes as well.
 

trev333

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Dell OptiPlex 9020-SFF, Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Solid State, DVDRW, Windows 10 Pro 64bit (Renewed)

I bought a similar ex gov 9020 in tower form a few months back.... I needed a spare pc with w10 to make the progression from my w7 machine running the same chips/ram....

it should give you a start into recording....:)
 

suthol

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My PC is i5 4670 3.4GHz with 8GB of RAM and it has coped fine so far.

I haven't gone above 32 tracks yet but the Sonivox Orchestral Companion and the Drumica plugins are pretty huge and it copes fine with them, the laptop with a lower spec i5 processor really struggles with the big VSTi plugins
 

Millebern

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I have that same Dell PC and I set another one up for a friend of mine to use as his recording PC. I got them both for about $200 a piece. My buddy uses Cubase with his and he has no issues. He records multiple tracks at the same time and it works flawlessly. He doesn't use a lot of plugins so that might change things. When I set these computers up I installed a 2nd hard drive. You can buy a hard drive dock which fits into the DVD tray. The hdd caddy is something like this:
https://www.amazon.ca/Neuftech®-Ada...ocphy=9000702&hvtargid=pla-492843593890&psc=1
 
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