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PC Requirements Dynamics Plugins
Old 18th December 2010
Gear Nut
PC Requirements


I would like any opinions or comments about my PC's suitability for recording in my home studio.

Reading 'recommended requirements' from software manufacturers is one thing but actual real-world experience count for a lot more in my book :-)

I have:

Intel E2140 1.6Ghz Processor

(see )

Intel DG965RY Motherboard
1x 750Gb HDD (Sata 7200)
1x 80Gb HDD (Sata 7200)
1x CD/DVD Rewriter/burner
Windows XP Pro (SP3) 32 bit

I will be starting with Sonar Home Studio 7 XL but would be looking to upgrade perhaps to a full-blown package. I may also look at 'Reaper' and Cubase LE.

Would this spec be usable for recording in the real world?

How likely am I to experience problems and/or latency etc?

I am likely to record one track at a time, though some tracks are stereo tracks. I may record both keyboard and vocals at the same time sometimes (so max 4 channels).

However, some songs may contain 16-24 tracks, so although I won't be recording lots of tracks at the same time, there might be several tracks playing whilst I am recording. Is my PC going to be able to cope with this?

As yet I do not have an audio interface. I am considering Firewire (with preamps) or PCI/PCIe.

However, the interface would need to support MIDI (In/Out) and have at least 2 inputs (4 preferred) - any recommendations for this?

My intention is to use MIDI along with a controller for percussion and some synth tracks.

The other factor is that my budget is limited so I couldn't, for example, go out and buy a new PC etc. That is unlikely to change too. I'm looking to pay around £350 GBP max for a firewire interface or soundcard.

My alternative is to record on a Yamaha AW4416 - old but has 16 tracks @ 24-bit and mix automation, which is something I want.

Many thanks,
Old 18th December 2010
Lives for gear

Go to it!

Your processor isn't super powered so don't plan on using gobs of CPU hungry plugins. Latency will have a lot to do with what audio interface & sample rate you choose. If you're mixing 24 tracks with plugins you may need to freeze some as you go. Depends on what plugs you use. All in all I'd say your box isn't so different than what I used a year back and it was fine until I got into using amp sims and big sample libraries.

Just get started and see when you hit the wall. Then decide if you really need more.

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