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Need Advice on Computer Specs
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July 22, 2010
8:40 AM
mojowon
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July 22, 2010
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Hey Guys,

 

I am new here and need some advice.  I am doing some song mixing and editing and my current computer cannot handle the multiple application softwares needed for the music and sound software.  Can anyone recommend the specs need to run intensive multiple applications.  I need to know operating system, amount of memory, processor type and specs, and any other recommendations.  I guess I am asking the ultimate setup to run very intensive software applications.  Thanks in advance.

July 22, 2010
10:15 AM
Mr.Dave
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April 9, 2010
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Sometimes you can do a lot with the hardware your have…

I'm using Magix Audio Cleaning Lab and Magix samplitude Music Studio for most of my audio work.  They're not high-end applications but they do the job.  Music Studio, for example, allows multitrack recording while playing back existing tracks.  I can have several guitar parts, bass, drum machine, MIDI synths, etc., all playing at once.  There are a lot of tricks for recucing CPU usage in programs like this, such as "freezing" tracks which applies all effects (reverb, chorus, volume changes, etc.) to a track and saves it as a new .WAV file, then uses that .WAV file for playback instead of computing the sound again during playback.  A lot of plug-ins need a lot of power, so you can apply one or two at a time, save the audio out and reload in a different track and apply additional plugins.  Some, like reverb and echo, use a lot less power if you reduce the delay times.  And you can always mute any tracks not essential to nail the one you're recording (turn off all but drums and bass and maybe one rhythm guitar part, so you have the timing and other cues to guide you when adding a new part).

In general you'll need a lot of memory to avoid writing the overflow to disk (Page File).  If you have less than 2GB then adding memory is the best performance-per-dollar upgrade you can make.  More is better!  A multi-core processor helps a bunch if your software is designed to use it properly.

You should disable/stop/unload as many things as possible from the Task Tray, and close any other open programs.  Check out tools like IObit's Game Booster (free) that's aimed at maximizing power for games by stopping unneeded background services while playing a graphics-intensive game, then restores everything when you're done – quick & easy – and it doesn't know if you're processing sound or blasting aliens.  a tool like AnVir Task Manager or Spotlight can be very helpful to see what's churning on your disk and using memory and CPU cycles.  Reduce all these as much as possible and THEN load your music software.  If you have multiple user accounts on your PC, make SURE that only one is running (log out of all the others).

When I'm doing some serious music work I save all files to a 60 GB
partition that I keep empty for just this purpose.  No fragmentation
issues, just wide-open free space and minimal disk I/O to interfere with music processing.  It also helps to disable antivirus programs while recording & mixing.  You can even disconnect your network cable and shut down your firewall to free up a bit more.

My system is a Dell XPS 420 Studio desktop with Intel Q6700 Quad Core processor at 2.66 GHz and 4MB ram, Nvidia geforce 7800 graphics card, and Vista SP2 32-bit.  It was a mind-blowing system when I bought it 3 years ago and I keep my disks defragged and avoid loading it down with too much eye-candy just to keep it clean for recording.

As for Windows Vista/XP/7 or other operating systems, that depends on the needs of your software.  From what I've read, XP still gets in your way less than Vista or 7, freeing more resources for your music.

I was told there would be no math...
July 22, 2010
5:23 PM
karen
Washington, DC Metro Area
dotTechie
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November 1, 2009
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Those are still pretty good system specs. If you are buying a new system you probably want to look at one with an Intel i7 processor. Those are the latest/greatest. And 6GB of RAM.

July 22, 2010
5:38 PM
Gioneo
Geek
Forum Posts: 240
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March 28, 2010
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Give this a try:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2366089,00.asp

Be sure to check the first part of the article.

 

Hope this helps with ideas.

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