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Production/ Recording

Choosing a Computer for Audio Editing and Recording




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When you start out building your home studio you will come across the problem of what kind of computer you should buy. There are two options you can choose from: A Windows based PC and a Apple Mac computer. While both choices are fine there are some things I think you might want to know when it comes down to the Pros and Cons.


The Windows based computer


Pros:

Affordable

Processor of choice like Intel or AMD

Interchangeable build-in hard drives (Only available on a MAC pro)

Choice of a wide range of Monitor screens

Very customizable on all fronts

Upgradable


Cons:

Less integrated and synced system when comparing it to a Mac


Apple Mac Computer


Pros:

Tightly integrated system

Up to date technology

Industry Standard

Plug and play


Cons:

Price

When Price is no big deal:


If you ask me, I would say go for a Mac if you can afford it. The plug and play part of the Mac system is outstanding and you will only have to install the necessary programs you need in order to run your audio applications. Plus, it’s industry standard (but i’m biased). Although I run both operating systems for audio applications I must say that Mac is more convenient when price isn’t something to worry about.


I’m not saying that PC’s should be written off. If you know your way around Windows then you can tweak your way into a system that handles audio somewhat the same a Mac would do. It’s not weird that there are stores out there that build your PC up from the ground, based on your audio needs. These products will be more expensive of course due to the man hours that a company like that would put into it.

Usability:


When it comes to choosing one of these Computers for your audio work then you should really know what you are going to do with it. Some audio applications can only operate on one of these systems. A good example is Logic which only runs on a MAC. Then again if you are well acquainted with Windows, the transition to Mac might not be something you are looking for. It all comes down to which programs you want to run!

Portability:


Some audio producing musicians might want to go for a portable solution. So buying a laptop or a macbook fulfills their needs. Others would want to have a tremendous powerhouse and would want to buy a mac pro or a stationary PC for their audio editing needs. The benefits of both are obvious so choose wisely!

Computer Accessories:

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When you're done choosing your computer it’s time to choose your Accessories. It’s a straightforward list: The Keyboard, Mouse and the Monitor Screen.


  1. The Keyboard you are going to be using for your digital audio workstation can be modified with stickers. These stickers show you the shortcuts that are laid out for your “DAW”. Besides the letter shortcuts there are tons of shortcuts laid out on the number pad. You might also want a keyboard that is cordless, giving you that wireless connection.


  1. The Mouse that you use can be beneficial for your editing needs. Instead of going for a traditional mouse you could go for a gaming type mouse. These gaming type mouses often give you more functionality with more buttons. You can assign macro commands to these extra buttons giving you your most used shortcuts at your fingertips.


  1. The Monitor screen should be of good quality! Inexpensive screen often look pixelated and might tire your eyes out. Most producers and engineers use multiple screens to get good overview of their work template.


Make sure you know what to aim for, by making the right choice of a computer for your home or professional studio. I hope this helps you along the way.


Post Author: Jay von Kriegenbergh is a professional audio engineer, songwriter and producer based in Amsterdam. He also blogs about everything related to audio for musicians on Getinstrumental.com. Check out his latest articles here!


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