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Looking to build a PC for Audio/Music Recording/Production ($1,500 Budget)

Hi folks,

First time poster, long time lurker. I'm looking to attempt my first build to be used specifically for both work productivity and music recording purposes. This is the build I was planning on following — http://techbuyersguru.com/1000-gaming-productivity-pc-build

Bearing in mind that I will NOT be using it for gaming but instead audio recording, what tweaks should I make to the component schedule? Assuming at the very least I'll need a separate sound card + audio interface. Total budget is ~$1,500 and obviously wouldn't include microphones etc.

Thanks!
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build audio music recording production 500 budget
  1. Do you have monitors and peripherals
  2. I have an external monitor, keyboard and mouse that I plan on carrying over and will upgrade in time once the system is built.
  3. Best answer
    Here is the build:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i7-6800K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor ($428.06 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.88 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: Asus X99-E ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($208.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 750 Evo 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($136.00 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital RE 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($83.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB STRIX Video Card ($109.88 @ OutletPC)
    Case: Fractal Design Core 2300 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: Corsair RMx 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.88 @ OutletPC)
    Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($260.05 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1540.70
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-09-21 11:02 EDT-0400
  4. The reason I went for i7-6800K over i7-6700K is because it runs more stable and performs better when multiple applications are open back to back and has a decent 4.5GHz single core performance. i7-6700K is good with single core performance but lacks when many applications are running back to back.
  5. Oh wow that looks great!
  6. This is a bit of a noobish question, but I'm assuming there will be no issue with these parts all fitting/working together?
  7. Also, I have one of these optical drives already — https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MOUBYDQ/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Can I use that instead of the drive suggested?
  8. Yes you can use that optical drive no problem and all will fit in perfectly
  9. You may not need the sound card at all, depending on which DAW software you are going to use. For example, with ProTools, it is recommended to disable the onboard sound and use the audio interface as the "sound card". I don't know about other DAWs, as I have only used ProTools for 10+ years.

    Otherwise the build suggested by King looks pretty good.
  10. mjslakeridge said:
    You may not need the sound card at all, depending on which DAW software you are going to use. For example, with ProTools, it is recommended to disable the onboard sound and use the audio interface as the "sound card". I don't know about other DAWs, as I have only used ProTools for 10+ years.

    Otherwise the build suggested by King looks pretty good.


    Anyone know if this is the case for Presonus' Studio One 3? I really like this DAW (have used for years) and would prefer to stick with it since I already own it.
  11. Also, I notice the build doesn't include an audio interface. Suggestions that won't take the pricepoint through the roof? I currently do not own one.
  12. Get a suitable audio interface(every one has different requirements).

    One important thing I forgot.
    In near future try getting second monitor it will improve your work experience and productivity.
  13. King Dranzer said:

    One important thing I forgot.
    In near future try getting second monitor it will improve your work experience and productivity.


    Could you elaborate in terms of how I would utilize this? It's something I've often thought about but never knew how to integrate properly.

    I should note that outside of music production, I am a freelance writer by trade and work almost entirely in Google Docs/Drive/etc. Would a second monitor help enhance my work productivity?
  14. Erik_26 said:
    Also, I notice the build doesn't include an audio interface. Suggestions that won't take the pricepoint through the roof? I currently do not own one.



    The audio interface really depends on your requirements. How many tracks do you want to record at once? I use an old Digi002 rack unit with 8 inputs coupled with a Behringer ADA8000 for an additional 8 inputs (connected to the optical port on the Digi002 via Toslink (fibre optic) cable).

    Check sites such as Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, etc. to get an idea what is available. You can spend as little as $99 or thousands on an audio interface.

    I believe pretty much all audio interfaces have input and output capabilities, making a sound card unnecessary. Of course if you use the computer for other purposes other than music production, you may still need a sound card, or if the motherboard has onboard sound, that would be enough for listening to music online, YouTube videos, etc. I use my DAW computer only for music production, and have done the many tweaks (system optimizations) required to run ProTools, making it not ideal for other purposes (disable anti-virus software, disable network adapters, etc.).
  15. Erik_26 said:
    King Dranzer said:

    One important thing I forgot.
    In near future try getting second monitor it will improve your work experience and productivity.


    Could you elaborate in terms of how I would utilize this? It's something I've often thought about but never knew how to integrate properly.

    I should note that outside of music production, I am a freelance writer by trade and work almost entirely in Google Docs/Drive/etc. Would a second monitor help enhance my work productivity?

    A second video monitor is really helpful for music production. On my left monitor I have the editing screen, on the right monitor is my mix window (faders, sends, panning, plugin inserts, etc). I have even seen a third monitor used for adjusting plug in parameters, transport buttons and the like.

  16. mjslakeridge said:
    Erik_26 said:
    Also, I notice the build doesn't include an audio interface. Suggestions that won't take the pricepoint through the roof? I currently do not own one.



    The audio interface really depends on your requirements. How many tracks do you want to record at once? I use an old Digi002 rack unit with 8 inputs coupled with a Behringer ADA8000 for an additional 8 inputs (connected to the optical port on the Digi002 via Toslink (fibre optic) cable).

    Check sites such as Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, etc. to get an idea what is available. You can spend as little as $99 or thousands on an audio interface.

    I believe pretty much all audio interfaces have input and output capabilities, making a sound card unnecessary. Of course if you use the computer for other purposes other than music production, you may still need a sound card, or if the motherboard has onboard sound, that would be enough for listening to music online, YouTube videos, etc. I use my DAW computer only for music production, and have done the many tweaks (system optimizations) required to run ProTools, making it not ideal for other purposes (disable anti-virus software, disable network adapters, etc.).


    Awesome, super helpful. As I only plan on recording my own music and multitracking, I don't see ever needing more than 4 inputs and 99% of the time only 2 or even 1. Any recommendations in the $200-300 range?
  17. When you have multiple screens lets say two you can open multiple applications side by side and don't need to minimize the screen of one application to check another. If there is some kind of process running on different applications and you want see them. Eg. you want to watch a video while tracking the progress of the task that is running on some other application on one screen you can watch video while on second screen you can open that application and keep track of it instead of switching between between them.

    More professional eg. When you are editing or producing music using multiple applications it becomes easier to work as you can drag and drop the tracks etc. without requirement of minimizing one application or scrolling due to insufficient screen space.
  18. Check out the interfaces in this link:
    http://www.sweetwater.com/c695--USB_Audio_Interfaces

    Also click on the "read our buying guide" tab in the upper left part of the page. I assume you are going to use a USB 2.0 audio interface, rather than thunderbolt or PCIe or Firewire.

    Honestly, if you are just recording as a hobby, the PC build suggested is overkill. Still a nice build though.
  19. mjslakeridge said:
    Honestly, if you are just recording as a hobby, the PC build suggested is overkill. Still a nice build though.


    Definitely going for releasable recordings. I've spent a lot of money to record in nice studios, but I tend to like to take my time and would like to "bring things in-house" so to speak. This would be a major step up from the Fostex multitrackers I've used at home in the past
  20. I started out on a TEAK 4 track reel to reel, then a Tascam TSR-8 (eight track reel to reel) then a Roland VS1680 digital 16 track, and then to ProTools LE - 48 stereo tracks for my older version.
  21. mjslakeridge said:
    I started out on a TEAK 4 track reel to reel, then a Tascam TSR-8 (eight track reel to reel) then a Roland VS1680 digital 16 track, and then to ProTools LE - 48 stereo tracks for my older version.


    Do you ever miss the simplicity/tangibility of stand-alone hardware? I was recording into my laptop with a Presonus Audiobox for a period of time and couldn't handle the lag/other headaches it causes, which caused me to revert to a little Tascam portastudio that I would record tracks onto a SD card with and then dump to the computer for editing (what I'm currently doing at home).

    Still, I think it's time to upgrade to a proper PC recording setup. Just want to avoid that lag...
  22. I still have some latency while tracking if I use too large of a hardware buffer size setting for the audio engine. I am able to enable "low latency monitoring" in ProTools, which disables any plugins on the track being recorded.

    I get around the latency issue by not monitoring the track being recorded (say vocals) from the DAW, but rather directly from my mixing board fed directly to a separate headphone amp. The headphone amp also gets a feed from the DAW of the other already recorded tracks, so the artist can adjust the balance himself in the vocal booth. The headphone amp has 4 separate inputs, plus a stereo input for playing back stereo mixes, but unless you want to spend a lot of money, this setup is probably not for you.
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