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best system?

Posted on 2000-02-22
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If I were to choose a system that would be able to record live music from several inputs i.e. drums, guitar, keyboard, etc. What would the hardware recommendations be.  
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Question by:mission
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Expert Comment

by:compmania
ID: 2549004
How are you channeling the music? (mixer)
How many inputs-outputs?

All you should need is a 400-500mhz processor (AMD is great PIII's are okay).
Look at 128MB+ of RAM in the system.

For the OS you should use W95b or higher, W98 SE would probably be the best choice.

For mixing software on the computer you probably want something like cooledit pro (www.download.com) it is the best with a high price tag ($400).

Good sound card (this is why I wanted the stuff above) because you might need a card with many outputs or many inputs.
Get a HUGE hard drive, you will need the space for the files (8.4gig+ 20gig rec)

You will want to channel all the input through a good mixer then the output to a computer, don't try running it all from the computer. (Plus you can buy a $80 mixer from Radio Shack that should work fine)
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Expert Comment

by:pharries
ID: 2551000
NT is more stable!
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1cell earned 800 total points
ID: 2552279
mission, having done this I will tell you what I have found on a limited budget.  Tell me if you want to spend your lottery winnings and we'll get more serious.

1st the expensive stuff; you will need a fast processor as recording is done realtime.  I would recommend an Athlon or PIII.  Along these lines, you want as much RAM as you can afford and looking for 133MHz at a minimum is not a bad idea.  

2nd, NT or Linux is definately the way to go due to performance issues and stability.

3rd, drives, Depending on exactly how you are going to use this system (ie. Recording to hard drive or just using computer as a mixer) you will need to get some good hard drives.  The low cost would be IBM ATA66 drives.  The better choice for performance and reliability would be SCSI drives with RAID.  Of course either way, the motherboard would have to support it.  Of course you will probably want to have a cd-rw in addition to a cd-rom.

4rth, motherboards;  This really depends on what you choose above.  You can go with many different Abit boards for Pentium based systems which will suit your needs or for Athlon the choices are narrowed to a slim few.

5th SOUNDCARD, again, this depends on exactly what you want to do.  If you are simply bringing the sounds into the system to record to the hard drive, you will not need as much.  However, if your goal is to use a mixer with multiple effects processors and such you will need more.  The minumum you want to look at is the SoundBlaster Live128 Platinum.

6th, Video and Monitor;  Do you really care?  I used a 2MB S3 card with a 14" monitor and it was great.

7th, software.  This is all personal preference.  The ones I like are Cubase Pro and Cakewalk.

8th, Case, possibly rackmountable or is this ever going to see a studio?

Let me know if you want more details, if I'm going too far, if I'm not going far enough, whatever...........

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Author Comment

by:mission
ID: 2552422
Thanks the info was what I needed.

Everything was what I thought except for the sound card, I did check out the Sound Blaster Live 128 but was not sure that was enough.  You stated that the Sound Blaster would be the minumum what is the mid to max?

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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2552423
glad I could help!  if you need more help, let me know.
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by:1cell
ID: 2552488
this is the company which makes the processors for Creative's soundblaster
http://www.emu.com/

good hardware and software company
http://www.digidesign.com/main.html

and you can't forget roland
http://www.rolandus.com/

many, many more.  It's funny that most consider Creative the best soundcard there is and they are good.  However, the only reason they are the "best" is because they have become the standard.  When you get into digital recording/sound production, you are talking about a whole new world which Creative has just started to chip the ice off of with the 128 Platinum.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2552492
this is the company which makes the processors for Creative's soundblaster
http://www.emu.com/

good hardware and software company
http://www.digidesign.com/main.html

and you can't forget roland
http://www.rolandus.com/

many, many more.  It's funny that most consider Creative the best soundcard there is and they are good.  However, the only reason they are the "best" is because they have become the standard.  When you get into digital recording/sound production, you are talking about a whole new world which Creative has just started to chip the ice off of with the 128 Platinum.
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