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Computer specs

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  • Computer specs

    I'm about to buy Roland TD-3KW and start recording my own songs but I'm concerned about one thing:

    My current computer is an old fart and it freezes when I try to record something. I will buy a new one soon and I'd like to know what kind of computer hardware is recommended for audio recording, I'm not an expert with computers.

    Does it require loads of ram or good processor? Should I pay extra money for high quality sound card?

    Nowadays Windows Vista is pretty much the only option for PC, how does software like "Audacity" work on different versions of Vista?

    Thanks in advance.
    Sorry if this is not the right forum section to post this kind of questions.

  • #2
    if you can convince your dealer to sell you XP, try to do that...I subscribe to various music tech magazines, and they are still gving the thumbs down to vista...you only need an expensive soundcard if you need all the inpputs and outputs, ie you are going to record multiple instruments at the same time, or need to split the output to various devices...otherwise a card with just two ins and outs should be enough, though having both usb and firewall connections on the computer is a good idea, as well as midi. Get a lot of ram (at least 2gb) and the largest hard disk you can afford, because it is surprising how fast you use it up...and even 500gb disk is cheap nowadays... back to the sound card, make sure it has asio drivers, and is capable of 24 bit/96khz sampling

    and sure this is the right forum...we're all nosey parkers who love to give advice about anything!

    much as I detest apple and macs, and have only used pcs...I should point out that modern apples are as good as pcs, and easier to use, and if you arent particularly interested in learning how to fight with your computer, you might want to look at an apple...

    good hunting!
    TD9+6v with Diamond Electronic pads, and cowbell.
    ATH-50m headphones, VEX packs
    not to mention keyboards, guitars, basses, and cats


    • #3
      Thanks Saku. I haven't thought of getting Mac but now it actually sounds like a potential option. I'll do some research.


      • #4
        I just figured I'd add to this discussion. I have both PC and Mac laptops that I use. I find that using a Mac with Garageband is real easy and has good amount of functionality. It is a very simple app, but it makes recording very easy (it comes bundled with new macs). The Mac OS is great also. There is another option that I feel is worth mentioning, Linux. If you don't want to use Vista, there is a great version of Ubuntu that is setup for multimedia. www.ubuntustudio.org This is an operating system and can be installed on both Mac and PC. Linux is certainly not the most user friendly, but if you are familiar with linux (or want to learn), this is available. Being open source, it is also free.

        Just thought I'd throw that out there. For recording with my Mac, it's a simple matter of using the built in audio input (choose this in the Mac System Prefs) and connecting from the headphone jack of the module. (The Mac is a PowerPC from several years ago and still works great).


        • #5
          Thanks for the linux link. I didn't realise that someone had made that specific package. I may have to try that one out when I can free up a PC.


          • #6
            Could someone explain me in detail about this "boot camp" feature in Mac? Does it allow me to do everything I could do on Windows? There are many Windows-only programs that I wouldn't want to abandon.

            Edit: Typo
            Last edited by Elksu; 11-18-08, 04:13 PM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Elksu View Post
              Could someone explain me in detail about this "boot camp" feature in Mac? Does it allow me to do everything I could do on Windows? There are many Windows-only programs that I wouldn't want to abandon.

              Edit: Typo
              Boot Camp:
              you basically have 2 partitions, one for mac OS X, and one for Windows. Boot Camp let's you decide which OS you launch at boot up. It is a true windows OS, because the newer macs are Intel based. You should be able to do anything you want on this OS.

              Other option is Parallels or VMWare - these allow you to set up 'virtual' machines and you install the OS (Windows, Linux, OS/2, Solaris) and run it WITHIN the Mac OS. This has certain restrictions, and means you are sharing resources (CPU, RAM, Video, etc). But you can be running Windows AND Mac OS X at the same time. I personally use both because some programs do NOT run in the virtual machine environment, but most do. If you want to use Word, Excel, etc (and don't want the Mac versions) use a VM software. If you want to run the latest Windows games, go with Boot Camp and a dedicated Windows partition.

              hope that helps!
              Alesis DM10 & Trigger IO, 5 8" single input DIY shells; 2 18" DIY Bass drums, 1 13" DIY eSnare, PinTech 14" Visulaite Hi-Hats, 2 PinTech 14" choke-able crashes & 18" dual-zone ride; Steven Slate Drums EX. Mounted on Superstrut custom rack.


              • #8
                Nice! Thanks for the info.


                • #9
                  if you have a good budget, a Mac is the way to go.
                  either a mac pro (starting price of 2900 canadian) or an Imac (1300 or 1400, can't remember... CAD again)

                  if you can't afford a mac than a pc with a quad core q6600 with 3 or 4 gig of ram will do and they're running at a great price.

                  - Mac pro
                  - Imac

                  - Dell PC

                  edit: if you already have a monitor then the dell would be even cheaper. Mac's are awesome for working purposes though.
                  superior 2 is a great tool so my guess would be not to go conservative on the comp specs. you'll see, it will be worth every single penny. Sounds on the td-3 module aren't as good as the td-12/20 and even compared to those modules, superior 2 is way more realistic so that's why you should plan about getting it in the future.


                  • #10
                    Bumping this thread with another question:

                    Now that I'm buying a PC with Windows Vista I'm concerned about audio interfaces giving me problems on it when recording from TD-3. I've been trying to decide between these 2 audio interfaces:

                    Alesis IO|2 http://www.thomann.de/fi/alesis_io2.htm
                    M-AUDIO FAST TRACK PRO http://www.thomann.de/fi/maudio_fast_track_pro.htm

                    Is here someone that has one of those interfaces and uses it with Vista OS? Any problems, latency etc? How about Cubase LE that comes with Alesis IO|2?


                    • #11
                      Vista stinks for audio, I'm in the process of going back to XP Pro. I'm having a huge problem trying to get XP to recognize my router though. For recording audio it's not too bad though, just with VST resource hungy plugins.
                      Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


                      • #12
                        I run PC based audio /midi recording.

                        I second the idea of XP Pro as the operating system if you're going PC based.
                        It's alot more stable and user fiendly with respect to things you can do and can't do.

                        I have 3 m-audio delta 1010 rackmount units. This supports 24 channels of audio input and output. It also allows for 3 midi ins and outs. I pair per box.
                        It all runs great under Cakewalk Sonar and Guitar tracks pro recording packages.

                        One thing That is great about m-audio they do alot of computer driver development and are very solid there.

                        I curently run Windows XP pro 64 bit edition with 64 bit Sonar and 64 bit drivers for the m-audio delta 1010's. The PC is a quad core 9650 Xeon class . with 8GB of RAM and LOTS of DISK storage. I have yet to have the system hiccup, however I have not driven it past 10 channels concurrently on recording yet. It has lots of room to breath. The midi is flawless when recording and playing back.

                        On thing that is nice is that M-audio products will support a version of protools (recording application). This is pretty much an industry standard for studios. ( I have protools as well but grew up with Cakewalk products from the "Days before Windows".

                        Theare great applications available for the MAC as well ( Logic in particular). You pay a premium for a Mac based system over a PC based system so you have to look at where you want to spend your money. For my self I bought a cheap PC and spent the money on the balance of the midi/recording hardware and software.

                        anyhow make sure you check out the software packages for both the Mac and the PC so you can familiarize yourself with whats out there.

                        TD-9KX 3 X PD-125/ 2 X PD-105/ 4 X PD-85/KD-85/KD-120/KD-8/Cy-5/cy-8/3 X cy12R/C and 1 CY15R 2 X CY14C and a good ol VH-11!