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Is my computer good for recording music?
Old 10th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 
AvengingTheKite's Avatar
 

Is my computer good for recording music?

Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) D CPU 3.46GHz 3.46 GHz

System Type: 32-bit Operating System

OS: Windows Vista

It has 512 MB of RAM is that good?

Emachines


is this good?

I also have a Shure PG48 Microphone.
Old 10th September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 
frawnchy's Avatar
 

Is my computer good for recording music?

What are you hoping to do?
Your laptop may work as a glorified tape recorder, but I doubt you'll get much else to happen.
The RAM is very low, the brand is budget, and the CPU is underpowered by design.

Sorry.
Old 10th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
No your computer is not going to be good for recording
Old 10th September 2011
  #4
Gear Head
 
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It's actually a desktop :(

What's a good computer to record with? one that's maybe like 300$ To 500$?

And should I get a laptop or desktop?
Old 10th September 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengingTheKite View Post
Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) D CPU 3.46GHz 3.46 GHz

System Type: 32-bit Operating System

OS: Windows Vista

It has 512 MB of RAM is that good?

Emachines


is this good?

I also have a Shure PG48 Microphone.
It will work. Kinda. Is it good by today's standards? No.

Depends entirely on what you are doing.

We used to do 8 channels on a 486 back in what...94? 95? Something. Then pentium 1. DAL and SAW, SAW Plus etc. This machine you have is faster than the first Mac's that people recorded music on too, although they used hardware acceleration mostly.

If you are recording very few parts, and you have a low latency monitoring setup in your inerface, you can make it go. Just don't pile on the tracks.
And make sure your system is clean, and your hard drive is at least 7200rpm's. If you plan on using this machine, get a PCI card interface.

Also, don't expect it to keep up with the kid's down the street now. PC's have come a long way since your machine.

Good luck,
john
Old 10th September 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 
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thank you =D

I may just have to use this for now until I can get something else
Old 10th September 2011
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengingTheKite View Post
thank you =D

I may just have to use this for now until I can get something else
It'll be good for you. I mean, as in, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. heh

Seriously, it's not going to be a power house, for sure.

But it will help if you can increase the RAM -- 512 is really not enough, particularly for running Vista, which has a considerably higher RAM usage than the previous version of Windows, XP; keep in mind, though, that your machine may be populated with smaller capacity RAM strips, and you might have to ditch them and repopulate with higher capacity strips -- but they should be much cheaper than they were when the machine was new. (You'll also need to make sure you get RAM that will work in your machine, of course.)

And if you put in some sweat equity at getting rid of all the crapware that such consumer machines are typically overburdened with (ineffective anti-virus, idiotic 'quick-start' applets that run in background and serve little purpose other than keeping a company logo in your systray, and anything else that runs in background, like the vampiric iTunes app) and maybe even turning off some Windows services that are unimportant for your uses -- all of which typically falls under 'optimizing' the machine -- you can probably get a fair amount of work out of it.

Chances are the built-in audio interface won't really be appropriate for recording, so you might want to look to budgeting a small amount of money for a better interface.

You'll probably also want to make sure that the DAW software you choose has good utilities for making the most out of limited computing power -- principle among them the ability to freeze virtual instrument tracks or tracks with CPU guzzling FX plug ins. And you'll want to make sure you understand when to put FX in individual tracks and when to put them in buses.
Old 10th September 2011
  #9
Gear Head
 
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How do I stop stuff from running in the background? and shut of useless windows things?
also is there anything I can buy to increase the RAM of my computer? thanks
Old 10th September 2011
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengingTheKite View Post
How do I stop stuff from running in the background? and shut of useless windows things?
Use Google or Bing or such to search on optimizing Vista for audio recording. Be conservative in what you turn off, paying attention to any warnings that accompany the optimization guidelines.
Quote:
also is there anything I can buy to increase the RAM of my computer? thanks
Yeah... more RAM. heh

Happily, your computer is not so old that it should not be hard to find RAM for it. Online stores like Newegg typically have decent prices on RAM (shop around) and they usually have a way of looking up what type of RAM you can use based on your PC model.
Old 10th September 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
It'll be good for you. I mean, as in, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. heh

Damn right!

j
Old 10th September 2011
  #12
Hey, once you get the ram, and a cheap interface...maybe get a $50 condensor and home made pop filter to go with your dynamic (pg48).

Make decent sounding recordings with this setup, and you will be ready for anything, like theblue said.

One thing to add, is maybe get that program REAPER, as a lot of people seem to be able to run it on slower machines.

All of this is very inexpensive in the grand scheme.

Good luck man!
john
Old 10th September 2011
  #13
Gear Head
 
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I have a pop filter =D

but what's confusing is to know which ram to get for my computer. I don't know what's compatible and what's not .__.
Old 10th September 2011
  #14
Gear Addict
 
frawnchy's Avatar
 

Download Belarc Advisor, start it up, and it'll present you with your specs within your browser, like this (this is mine).

To the right, second down, is where your motherboard will be named (Main Circuit Board section). Come back with a reply and I'll research some RAM for you.
Old 11th September 2011
  #15
Gear Head
 
AvengingTheKite's Avatar
 

so many links that say download on that site IDK which one to click =/ if I click the wrong one I'll get a virus
Old 11th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengingTheKite View Post
so many links that say download on that site IDK which one to click =/ if I click the wrong one I'll get a virus
heh

Probably not a virus (well, certainly not a virus and almost certainly not even malware) but you could end up with software you don't want (and probably just a demo/trial at that) by clicking the advertised download at the top of the page. That's one of the annoying things about so many legit download sites -- they're 'forced' by advertiser preference to put confusing advertisements (typically) above the actual DL area.

You want one of the DL links in the boxlike area devoted to the actual Belarc software ([email protected]'s Site, [email protected], etc).

I'm afraid I gave you a bum steer when I suggested that Newegg would probably have a utility to help you find the RAM you want. But you can definitely find such a guide on the Kinston Memory site:

http://www.kingston.com/

You'll need the model info from your computer, which is likely printed on a tag on the back/bottom of the case.
Old 11th September 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 
frawnchy's Avatar
 

Is my computer good for recording music?

Sorry for not clarifying, yes, the majorgeeks link is the one to go for. You seem new to everything, so take this as a tip. NEVER click an advertisement on ANY site. Apparently that's how the Internet makes money, besides retailing, but I don't know how.
Over a decade of Internet training has taught me to avoid ads.
Just. In. Case.
Given that you seem to have limited experience with computer-y things, I do wonder what you think you have to do once you buy the RAM?

You'd be opening up your case with the machine turned off (important), making sure to be static free (important), removing previous ram (obvious to me, but maybe not to you; we were all new once), and inserting the new RAM (which can be annoyingly fiddly for the uninitiated).
And seeing as you're new, I'm not sure if you should pay much heed to much of the advice from the many seasoned pros and serious hobbyists here. Most on this site will swear that you need an octo-core, 32GB RAM, Texas Instruments FireWire ONLY, three HDs minimum, and that's because they've got an idealistic fantasy that each person doesn't just want an 'okay' system, they want the greatest yet made.
A modern $400-500 Dell system (probably with an i3 CPU), and an audio interface around the $150-200 will do fine for budget recording, and will last you a few years.
Sometimes I wonder how many novices are turned off the idea of recording audio because they're told the minimum spend is $1500 plus cost of peripherals.
I recorded for four years on a desperately **** HP Pentium 4, 2GB RAM, 60GB Hard Drive, even played live with it.
It was an awkward bitch, but it worked.
A $500 Dell nowadays will be ten times as powerful.
The one thing I would say is, if you get a new build pc, try to get the 4GB of RAM as one chip so you can upgrade with another (second one) easily at a later date. Usually, the more music you make, the more you get into it, the more you collect, the more heavy-duty sampling you do, the more RAM you'll need.

Unless, of course, you're just one guy with a guitar and no wish for a sonic carnival behind you. Then 4GB'll do.

What, musically, are you trying to achieve?
How 'new' are you (to working with audio, computers, the Internet)?
Old 11th September 2011
  #18
Gear Head
 
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I'm not new to computers and the internet (or I probably wouldn't be trying to record music) I've opponent my computer before and installed a wireless internet card (which didn't work so I had to take it out .__.) what I'm trying to achieve is to make all my music sound like Noah 40'. and I think I need a really powerful computer to do it (not just the RAM anymore .__.) so I think I will need to buy a completely new one to save money in the long run. Amazon.com: HP Pavilion p6710f PC (Black), Quad-Core, 4GB DDR3, 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive, Windows 7: Computers & Accessories


^ is that computer a good computer? it looks like it on paper. but it seems to cheap to be true lol. and I don't know if there is a laptop that can do that for the same price
Old 11th September 2011
  #19
Gear Addict
 
frawnchy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengingTheKite View Post
I'm not new to computers and the internet (or I probably wouldn't be trying to record music) I've opponent my computer before and installed a wireless internet card (which didn't work so I had to take it out .__.) what I'm trying to achieve is to make all my music sound like Noah 40'. and I think I need a really powerful computer to do it (not just the RAM anymore .__.) so I think I will need to buy a completely new one to save money in the long run. Amazon.com: HP Pavilion p6710f PC (Black), Quad-Core, 4GB DDR3, 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive, Windows 7: Computers & Accessories


^ is that computer a good computer? it looks like it on paper. but it seems to cheap to be true lol. and I don't know if there is a laptop that can do that for the same price
Sorry for presuming, it's just the way you put some of what you say made me think...
Noah 40
Well, that's the deep end that you want to jump in right there. He'd probably be running a lot of CPU-unfriendly VSTs and ROMplers.
There are definitely no laptops that can do the same as any equally-specced desktop for the same price, unless it's robbed.
I'd spend an extra $40 (including shipping) though, and get this, as that CPU (i5 2400) knocks the **** out of the AMD AII 640.
First thing to do, would be reinstall Windows. Over the course of a year, get a second HD, maybe buy two more (matching) sticks of 2GB RAM to bring it up to 8, or if your feeling flush, sell the 4 that are in it and get 4x4GB of new RAM.
You'll be ROMpling the **** out of it by then.

If you can't do the $40, maybe an extra $20 for this one? Has a better CPU, better build quality (even though it's still Lenovo's budget range), and already has 6GB installed. But yeah, that Dell one is quite a jump up.
Old 11th September 2011
  #20
Gear Head
 
AvengingTheKite's Avatar
 

Thank you! I'm going to try and get the mini tower when I get the chance,
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