Making music with PC: any recommendations?

By Crash
Jan 21, 2004
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  1. Hello,
    I'm looking to buy a computer. I also want to create music with it and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations: which software, how much HD space, etc. Also I'll need a soundcard that will allow me to connect an electric guitar and record live on HD. I noticed the SB audigy2 ZS platinum pro has an input for guitar/microphone, however it's the most expensive mainstream soundcard at the moment - are there any cheaper alternatives?

    Thanks.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Check the best: QBASE at http://www.steinberg.net

    An alternative soundcard would be the Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 and Philips have a decent card going around as well.
    I personally don't like SoundBlaster because of dodgy drivers.
  3. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,288   +262

    One thing you may want to look at - if you have any friends with a newer Mac ask any of them if they purchased the new iLife '04 package and check out GarageBand. I'd have to say that it's incredible - all the power of many high end audio packages but so simple anyone could use it. If you wanna see it in action goto the apple site and check out the video of the latest keynote from Steve Jobs - the last 20-30 minutes of the keynote are about GarageBand. I just got mine yesterday :) Only thing is that it's for Macs only.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,479   +292

    I watched that keynote by Jobs over the course of 2 or 3 days because its 2 hours long - that GarageBand does look pretty sweet, but yeh you are gonna need a Mac.
  5. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper Newcomer, in training Posts: 467

    the audigy series are good if you are just going to play games and listen to mp3s. however, some people, that i have read from audio sites, do not like Creative cards that much for music creation. i do not know what exactly is wrong with Creative cards but those issues are worth checking out before you buy something.
  6. Scol

    Scol Newcomer, in training Posts: 140

    What's your budget? There's a lot of solutions out there depending on the types of equipment you're gonna work with, the fidelity level, and the amount of channels available to record on... My group works with an Mbox w/ ProTools (PC based, would you believe it??) and it emptied our pockets quite a good amount...

    So how much are you willing to spend and what are you recording for?
  7. asushigh

    asushigh Newcomer, in training

    For music production, MAC would be the best choice. But if all you have is a pc budgt, then check out a program called Reason. It's pretty good. It's like a complete recording/production studio program. It's all you'd need with a good sound card, but then again, I'm not sure what type of music you're gonna be making
  8. Crash

    Crash Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well, my total budget will probably be between 700 and 800 euro's. The pc will have to perform allround tasks since I will be using it for more than just music, the same reason why I'll have to buy a pc instead of a mac. I will be building it myself though.

    I'm think I'll go for 120 GB SATA HD (either WesternDigital or Maxtor) since scsi is a twinkle more expensive. Later I could try to improve the HD speed by using another SATA HD and RAID0, as far as I know higher HD speed (and more memory) ensure better sound quality while recording to HardDisk.

    I also think 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 HT should be enough to run a decent program to create music. As would 512MB DDR be adequate for now. If I'm wrong please correct me.

    The main issue is which soundcard to go for. Since I do like games too, my first thought was the SB Audigy2 ZS (which has a guitar-in) but it sells for around 150 euro's. So I'm still trying to figure out the possibilities of SB live! and other cards in that price range. Most, if not all, mainboards come with onboard sound nowadays, so I could even just start with that and later save up for a $250+ soundcard. I'm still checking out the terratec cards so I'm not conclusive on the Audigy2 yet.

    Not less important: Which software would you recommend and what are it's system requirements? When it comes to the music I want to experiment with different things like techno, industrial and ambient. But I might even decide to throw in some strings and a grand piano, so I guess any music program you'd recommend would be interesting to at least consider, whether it's a simple loop program or allows 64 track recording. The software will be bought separately so it's price won't be included in the budget.

    Thank you for all your advice (and the upcoming?)
  9. Scol

    Scol Newcomer, in training Posts: 140

    Acid is a decent prog you might wanna check out...
  10. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,574

    Cakewalk is your best solution for a professional track editing program with everything you will ever need and the ability to add the rest. Many large studio's, including professional bigtime record labels use it.

    Also, there are other programs available as sort of "add-ons" to Cakewalk such as Sonar.

    If you want a great cheap solution then look up N-Track. A few years ago I used it to record a CD with a local band and it came out sounding better than most professional recordings I've ever heard so cheap isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it's a powerful program and easy to use.

    N-Track Studio
    http://www.fasoft.com/what_is.shtm

    Cakewalk
    http://www.cakewalk.com/
  11. somekid007

    somekid007 Newcomer, in training Posts: 369

    digtal perfomer is an awesome audi producing program for macs. i dont know if it is available on the pc format. macs would probably be better for music production anyways.
     
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