Building a Music Computer– No Holds Barred

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Your Home Studio - a basic tutorial on home recording studio setup, including building a home recording studio, digital recording techniques, computer recording information, recording software information, how to buy equipment for a home recording studio and operating an audio recording studio at home

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Digital Audio Recording





       Lately, I’ve been doing articles based on how cheaply I could put a music production computer for but I thought it might be fun every once in a while to see how much it would cost to put together a screamer without taking price into consideration. I’m not necessarily going to buy the most expensive gear but I am going to focus on speed and reliability.


       First, our case—we are building a machine that’s going to generate a lot of heat so we need to make sure it’s adequately ventilated, quiet and gives us the most options as far as peripherals, etc. It won’t hurt if it looks cool either. The Antec P182SE fits the bill nicely with 3-120mm fans and triple wall construction (steel, plastic and a polished stainless steel exterior). It also has front panel USB and Firewire and special engineering to isolate power supply heat from the motherboard. It also has room for 2 more 120mm fans for a total of 5—$229.95.


       Now—motherboard and processor. I intend to use the Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66GHz processer and since there’s only one at $578.99, that pretty much wraps that up. The motherboard has to be a LGA 775 type and I like to pair Intel motherboards with Intel processors so we’re going to go with the Intel BLKDG33FBC with a 1066Mhz front side bus and a maximum of 8GB of memory It has 3—PCI, 3–PCI express x 1 and 1–PCI express x 16 slots. It runs $103.99 and will support just about any LGA 775 processor intel makes so it will probably be the motherboard for our next Intel budget machine. So far we’re up to $912.93, which is more than we spent on the whole shebang last time.


       Power supply— Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 550 watts—$99.99, CPU Cooler—Vigor Gaming CLT M2I 92mm Themal electric cooler—$129.99, Memory 4 ea  GeIL 2GB, DDR2 800 Dual Channel memory with heat spreader at $139.99—$559.96—Total so far—$1702.87.


       Hard Drives— Has to be Hitachi—but we’re going gonzo here 1- 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s for $109.99 and a 1Terrabyte SATA 3.0Gb/s for $359.99. CD–Burner Lite On 52X for $17.99 and a Lite On DVD Burner for $41.99 Total—$2122.84


       I would like to use 2 monitors so we’re going to add a video card from DIAMOND that has 2 DVI outputs for $155.99 and 2 NEC 20.1” DVI monitors at $359.99 each. What I like about these is the stand seems to be taller than most so we won’t have to hunch over to see them. We round everything out with a Microsoft Silver & Black RF Wireless keyboard and mouse for $64.99.—Total—$3067.80


       While we’re at it, lets go ahead and spring for a Digidesign Digi 003 Factory Pro Tools LE Workstation for $2195 and we’re in business for the paltry sum of $5258.80. This doesn’t include everything else like mics and so on that we’ll need to start our studio but I'll leave that for next month