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Music editing and production PC.


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#1 Tjj226_Angel

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:01 AM

Hey guys,

I am looking at building a PC for a coworker and he wants to be able to do music editing and producing.

Normally this would not be a problem for me to do on my own, but what I thought was a very hobbyist music setup, turned out to be a highly professional music recording studio. He has towers of machines that cost about 10K each and I have no idea what they do, or how I am supposed to make a PC system to complement them.

Basically I am looking to build him a system that is as professional as possible for sound recording, editing, and producing. (AND DON"T YOU DARE SAY THAT I SHOULD JUST GET A MAC PRO!!!!!!!!!!!!) .

I know that we are already looking at X79 with and Eatx mobo and a i7 3820 so that way he has ample room for expansion. However, when it comes to sound cards and add on devices to make this thing rival any sound studio pc used in the multi million dollar companies.......well I am a little lost to say the least.

I think he will be using sony vegas to edit, but can you tell me what other sort of software the Pros use?

The budget is 1K , and we will be adding stuff on as he gets more accustomed to using a computer. Which means for the moment I want to keep this build as professional and bare bones as possible.

If anyone can help me out here, that would be great :thumbsup:

#2 Muchoman1

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:28 AM

well, i cant writeup a full thing atm, but just so you know, as i am involved in a fair bit of professional sound,

most, if not all audio is handled through firewire interface, that goes from the mobo to a audio fx unit and splitter, allowing lossless multi channel capture and multichannel playback.

maybe look into getting a high end sound card for headphones? depending on his setup he may have headphone audio straight from the computer or maybe through firewire to the mixing desk

as for the rest of the system, get a nice i5 2500 and the like, no need for a i7 if only audio editing, it really isnt too intensive even with lossless multichannel

as for software, i use vegas, adobe audition (even though its stopped being updated, i still like it) and for audio capture via the firewire i mentioned, i use reaper. which is like a virtual sounddesk that also allows for multichannel recording

Edited by Muchoman1, 26 March 2012 - 07:36 AM.

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#3 Tjj226_Angel

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

well, i cant writeup a full thing atm, but just so you know, as i am involved in a fair bit of professional sound,

most, if not all audio is handled through firewire interface, that goes from the mobo to a audio fx unit and splitter, allowing lossless multi channel capture and multichannel playback.

maybe look into getting a high end sound card for headphones? depending on his setup he may have headphone audio straight from the computer or maybe through firewire to the mixing desk

as for the rest of the system, get a nice i5 2500 and the like, no need for a i7 if only audio editing, it really isnt too intensive even with lossless multichannel

as for software, i use vegas, adobe audition (even though its stopped being updated, i still like it) and for audio capture via the firewire i mentioned, i use reaper. which is like a virtual sounddesk that also allows for multichannel recording


Thanks man. Yeah I know processor wise he would only need an i5 2500K, and then even if he ran into a slow down with a program, I could easily overclock it and have it power through what ever he needs it too.

The only reason I was thinking X79 was because of how much stuff he has. Just tower after tower of what looks like a super computer. It is all analog stuff. He claims that he wants to keep it all and I want to be able to some how wire all his crap up to a computer. For that I would only imagine that I need a crap load of expansion slots and PCI lanes for as many add ons as possible. Is that true? Or am I just getting too far ahead of myself?

You say that most of music stuff goes through fire wire, then what type of add on cards should I be on the look out for to give him more ports?

Obviously the biggest goal with any sound related anything is to have almost no reduction is sound quality between the instrument and a persons MP3 player. Is there any professional computer widget that I might need to keep an eye out for to achieve that goal?

Should I think about getting him a raid 1 setup? If so what kind fo raid card should I get?

As you can see this is starting to spiral out of control. Who knew building PCs could get so complicated??? :rofl:

#4 hornybluecow

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

buy a mac pro! :haha:

honestly the reason why he machines cost 10k is because of the price markup. i would say that it probably has 3k worth of stuff in it.


for your rig you need 100% stability, this means you NEED a xeon, ecc ram and a pro card, either firegl or quadro. recently maxel has come back into the game and is making (has made) a real time mpg4 encoder card. it costs about $900 but it will be faster than anything else when it comes to rendering video. you may want to look into that.

personally i use Adobe after-effects for everything on the planet involving video work, i don't think anything is better but that's my opinion. it use to be avid systems was the only thing you wanted to edit on, but times have changed and personal computers can be just as good, if not cheaper.


If you are serious about a solid rig,
go dual socket 2011, Xeon E5s,
64gb ECC ram (at lest)
Pro card like a entry level quadro or firegl (doesn;t matter).
Raid-5/6 for the data and another drive as a scratch disk.

edit; i didn't see you only had 1k to spend....for that much any higher end gaming rig will do, but expect it crash once in a while. You should still get some redundant raid going, no one wants to lose work.

Edited by hornybluecow, 26 March 2012 - 11:07 AM.

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#5 Stonerboy779

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:36 AM

What does he need to be able to plug in and what does he hope to plug in, in the future.

Full list please of all jacks, midi support ect that is if you want the right sound card for him :P

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#6 Fogel

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:04 PM

If he has "towers of machines that cost 10K each" than it sounds like he has a bunch of Amps, pre-amps, DACs, etc.. Which means he probably only needs the PC for the storage of music and of course the editing. So I would find out if he will be hooking up his speakers/headphones to any of this extra equipment prior to buying anything because he may just need a decent i5 system. Though as Stoner is alluding to, he might need a soundcard simply for the neccessary audio jacks.

#7 hardnrg

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:47 AM

I don't see why you need X79 and E-ATX. Just get an i7 CPU and a load of RAM, a near-silent monster heatsink, and a multiple I/O audio interface... just get standard ATX and a more mainstream chipset, and spend the money saved on the audio interface...

as mentioned already, a firewire interface would probably be better than PCI, not really because of prevalence, but more because of the size of the physical interface lending itself to connection to external gear. You can of course get PCI audio cards with external interfaces, e.g.:

http://www.gear4musi...s/Firewire.html

http://www.gear4musi...dcards/PCI.html

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#8 Il_napoletano

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

What does he need to be able to plug in and what does he hope to plug in, in the future.

Full list please of all jacks, midi support ect that is if you want the right sound card for him :P


Just get a Mac Pro...they are the BEST!!! when it cones to music editing...when music producing/editing you need your machine rock stable, quiet, and with a quality sound card...even look at the 3.5" bay midi input consoles..and some segates...and would also recommend a Xeon chip as well

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#9 Stonerboy779

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:07 AM

Just get a Mac Pro...they are the BEST!!! when it cones to music editing...when music producing/editing you need your machine rock stable, quiet, and with a quality sound card...even look at the 3.5" bay midi input consoles..and some segates...and would also recommend a Xeon chip as well

The BEST!!! Is that so?

Because macs are the only stable machines out there, they use all the best parts and have superior audio quality, right?

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#10 Il_napoletano

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:12 AM

The BEST!!! Is that so?

Because macs are the only stable machines out there, they use all the best parts and have superior audio quality, right?


YEP :P

NO MAC HATE!!!!!!!! :lol:

pc's can be stable....sometimes,,,

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#11 Tjj226_Angel

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

NO MAC HATE!!!!!!!! :lol:


No no, you misunderstand us. We LOVE macs!!!!! Apple Soldier is my god, and I shall follow his wisdom until the end of time.......................

Sorry........I was just hit by a bus and the stars are staring to clear............................. MACS SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (or are at least gravely overpriced) :P

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Back on topic: I started looking at what he would need to plug into his PC and HOLY CRAP are the add on cards expensive. So I have a way to address this. Right now one of the towers is just for recording the music alone, and nothing else. It is worth probably about 6K. I know Muchoman was saying that audio is captured through firewire, which is on the motherboard.

If I build him a PC (motherboard, case, hard drive, SSD, Ram, Optical drive, CPU, PSU, Sound Card) just to edit music, will it be fully capable of doing lossless audio capture? If so, then he can sell his tower thing and buy an add on card to replace his mixing board, and then sell his mixing board to pay for another thing, and then and then and then. If you see what I mean, my question is - will that method work?

P. S. I will have a full list of external devices on Friday. Needless to say I can not contact him at the moment because he is doing some band thing in boston (I apologize to boston......he plays country music :ouch: ).

#12 Stonerboy779

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

If I were him I would keep the mixing board if he has already outlaid that kinda money. Just work out how it would need to connect to the pc if it is fireside then bonus :)

Soundcard/DAC/Headphone AMP if he wants some high quality playback when editing. But for recording he should keep using his gear primarily and only store and edit not record directly to pc via a soundcard.

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