I don’t discuss much about Mac in this topic because Mac is hard with upgrading hardware or you need to be high level in IT to be able to do that. When buying a Mac, just simply choose the one with high speed, big data storage, big RAM. However, you also should consider information provided in this topic to choose a suitable Mac.
If you want to build professional recording music computer, this part is what you have to take notes. As you know, computer take central processing unit role in digital recording studios. So this device needs to be stable, high speed and big storage.
One audio project takes big size of data, one recorded song & instruments with 3 minutes duration and normal resolution (24bit – 44.100hz) takes 2G – 4G storage.
What You Need to Consider When Build A powerful Computer For Home Recording
Next, we discuss the meaning of each computer components to our work:
The more powerful CPU you have, the more plugins, recording, mixing you get to run with low latency (delay). This is very important.
Ram takes an important role to the efficiency of project which use more than one Virtual Studio Technology Instrument (VSTi) softwares.
- With recording and mixing computer, you need 8G – 16G RAM
- With composing music and using VSTi, you need more, 16G – 32G RAM.
One thing to remember is that when you use 4G or more RAM, you need to install 64bit platform to utilize the RAM you have.
Mainboard is the distribution center and data connection. This component we hardly need to replace but it has big role in total efficiency of computer. So, invest for a good mainboard, you won’t regret later.
You should consider mainboard with available connection like Firewire 1394, especially when the mainboard chipset is firewire 1394 of Texas Instrument. It’s great and guarantee the best efficiency while using Audio Interface integrated with firewire 1394 port, or when you want to change your Audio Interface from USB port using to firewire port, your computer’s already had firewire port right there.
4/ HDD and SSD
HDD decides the speed of copying and reading data, so it affects recording, mixing, composing music process especially when you use more than one VSTi at the same time or your project is big, dozens to hundreds gigabyte data.
Invest at least one SSD to install platform and software, you’ll be surprised at the speed the SSD give you.
Additionally, if you have many VSTi, leave one HDD to store them. And you need to have another HDD to store your project.
In short, we need at least 1 SSD, 2 HDD. This is to give them clear mission to operate in order to increase the speed of the system.
- SSD reads data fast but high cost so we just need to install platform and software in it.
- Separating two HDD, one for writing and one for reading is to reduce to maximum the possibility of writing and reading at the same time in one HDD.
5/ Graphic Card
Maybe you’re wondering that we’re recording music, not playing games so why do we need to pay attention to graphic card?
Sometimes you need the graphic card to use 2 or 3 screens at the same time (some DAWs will be optimized when you work with two screens). Or when you need to display images or words sharply on screens with high resolution or big size. That’s why.
There are two options: Use one big screen or, two random size screen from 24in to 27in.
Some DAW softwares like Pro Tools, Studio One, Logic just make its display for one screen. So, you still work comfortably with only one screen even though your total display can’t compare to people who use two screen.
However, two screens option has other benefit. You can choose the size of the two screens, both with size from 19in or one big screen from 24in to 27in with one small screen form 18in to 21in.
The advantage of this option is that you can always use the main screen to work the project and the other screen to display other important practices like mixer, analyzer, meter,… no need for short key or hand work to open those practices, all you need to do is look at the other screen for information and close quickly in need. This option is the favorite of those who use Nuendo and Cubase.
7/ Power supply
Power supply affects the stabilization and duration of the system. Be generous when it comes to this one, buy something good such as Cooler Master power supply.
Before buying one, you may need to ask an IT friend to calculate the total capacity for the computer to follow the configuration you choose. Then, you buy a power supply with quite more capacity (1.5 to 2 times) than the total one for the system to run stably, smoothly and easy upgrade or supplement hardware.
You can visit http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator for calculating total capacity of your computer.
8/ Mouse and Key
Next is the component which is familiar with everyone even the office folks, no IT guys. They’re mouse and key. With good mouse and keyboard, you’ll work more easily, faster with additional short key or functions or they can reduce tiredness of your body and help you with accurate clicking and typing.
Some keyboard brands print images of function key of specific software for you. I think it’s not necessary. If you think recording music is an important job, you should learn by heart all the short key of the software.
By remembering these short keys, you’ll improve the speed of your work, reduce stress ‘cause you won’t need to find what key which function again on the keyboard. If you don’t have enough patience to learn the basic short keys of your software, you should change your job for not wasting time and money.
9/ CD and DVD driver
You need it to write your product on CD or DVD. This part is quite simple, any CD/DVD on the market can fill your need.
Those are important components you should consider to build a powerful computer for your home recording studio.