Building a Music Computer

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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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Copyright  2006




LGM Productions

Music Rising










Digital Audio Recording






   Dynamics 101






       Frank Stroupe was kind enough to write a number of articles on how to put together a music computer over the last 6 months or so. I asked him to continue but his schedule won’t allow. In his place, I’ve decided to give you an update from time to time of what it would cost to put a computer together according to his specifications, so here goes.


       First of all, Frank calls for a larger than normal case , something between a mid-size and a full size with at least three fans. has a Linkworld case with just those requirements and besides that, it has a clear side panel. Not necessary but cool nonetheless for $29.99.


       The next thing Frank addresses is CPU coolers but until we determine which CPU we’re going to use that’ll have to wait .I’ve decided to go with the Intel Core 2 Duo because I’m partial to Intel but for the next article, I’ll use an AMD—promise. The Conroe 2.4 ghz  LGA 775 model goes for $313.00 at


       The choice of processor also determine what sort of motherboard we’re going to get. Again, I’m going to stick with Intel because they are the most stable motherboards in my opinion (for whatever that’s worth). I know Frank doesn’t like onboard video or sound cards but you can’t hardly buy one without either one. The one I’ve selected is the BOXDQ963FXCK  for $104.99. So far that brings our total to $447.98.

       Now we can choose our CPU cooler—a ZEROtherm CF800 92mm CPU Cooler for $29.99 that has a has a sound rating from 18—27db(+/- 10%). Our power supply is a Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC ATX 430W Power Supply for $39.99. Now we’re up to $517.96.

       Next are the hard drives, one for the operating system and software and the other for data. Frank was extremely clear about hard drives, he specified Hitachi only and if we get a 80gb($43.99) for the operating system and software and a 160gb($54.99) for data. The damage so far—$616.94

       We’ll need a DVD/CD Burner and a CDR burner. He specifies Lite-On and you’re looking at $27.99 for the DVD burner and $18.99 for the CD Burner. That brings our total to $663.92

       A keyboard and mouse is going to set us back $19.99 and $11.99 respectively. Now we’re up to $695.90.

       The only thing left is a monitor. The flat panels are so cheap now, it’s ridiculous. A Viewsonic 19”with a 4 out of 5 rating is only $169.99. Our grand total without operating system (XP if you ask me), software (your pick) and audio interface ( again your choice) is $865.89.

       Oh, I almost forgot. None of this is going to do you any good unless you have some system memory. 1GB DDR2 memory will run you $64.99 and you can put 4 of them on the motherboard we’ve chosen. I would suggest getting 2 now and maybe 2 later –So the real final total is (drum roll, please) - $995.97.

Next month AMD