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     As time has passed, it’s become apparent that the computer based DAW is becoming the predominant standard for recording, for both home and professional studios alike. However, having the best DAW software out there won’t do you a bit of good if your computer can’t handle its demands and have expandability to accommodate future upgrades.

 

     SONAR 8 , just like any other software, has minimum requirements to be able to run as well as recommended requirements. Just having the minimum will just lead to frustration because pushing the envelope creatively will lead to software crashes and possible data loss (absolutely unacceptable). To that end, I’ve chosen to take Cakewalk’s recommended hardware requirements and used that to build a computer that will be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it plus give you the options to upgrade as the software and your needs grow.

 

     First of all, we need a case to put everything in. If you already have a spare case, you can skip this step but you may have to get a new power supply if the one in the case doesn’t have the power or the connectors you’ll need for the other components. I don’t have one so I chose COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 Case case for $54.99. It doesn’t have a power supply so I chose Antec's NeoPower 650 Blue 650W Power Supply for  $99.99.

 

    The next step in the construction is the motherboard. I prefer Intel MB’s with Intel processors so having said that, I chose Intel's BOXDP43TF ATX Motherboard because it supports 64 bit processors and can handle 8GB of RAM for only $94.99. It also doesn’t have onboard video so it gives me  flexibility in that respect.

 

     Sonar’s recommended speed is 2.8Ghz or higher and Intel's Core 2 Duo E7400 Processor fits the bill. It comes with a heatsink and fan for $119.99. As I stated earlier, our motherboard choice doesn’t come with onboard video and the one I picked, JATON's GeForce 7300GS PX358GS-DT Video Card , will satisfy Sonar's ’s recommended requirement easily for $72.99

 

Sonar’s memory recommendation is for 1GB but as cheap as it is now, I went whole hog and got 8GB for only $87.99. That’s only a little over $10 a GB. I remember paying $300 for 8MB back in the day. Hard drives are crazy cheap now. I two Hitachi HD’s, one 250GB for the OS ($49.99) and a 500GB ($59.99) for data. They’re both SATA 3.0 and spin at 7200 RPM

 

    Samsung’s 22X SATA Combo DVD/CD burner only set me back $25.99 and the rest of the package (keyboard, monitor, mouse and OS) added another $300 to the package so the total came out to be less than a grand ($972.87). I’ve been writing articles on how to build your own music production PC’s for a while now and even though the technology continues to progress, the build cost stays about the same. There are plenty of cheaper computers out there but you’ll know exactly what’s in your machine and it will be really reliable.

 

 

      Cakewalk recently introduced their newest version of their recording/production software—SONAR 8 . It comes in two versions—Studio, which is more geared toward straight up recording and Professional, a more producer oriented solution.

 

Prorec.com said that “ SONAR 8 Producer is the best SONAR 8 yet” and Computer Music was quoted as saying “ ….Sonar remains the most complete Windows PC DAW on the market”.