The Computer

Choosing a computer for music


Probably the most important part of a modern home studio is the computer. The operating system and DAW (recording and mixing program) is a personal choice but the attributes of the hardware architecture do need to be at a reasonable level in order to efficiently enable you to work.  It might be a good an idea to test out a friend’s computer or even look at what others are using.  A reasonably fast processor and a good amount of RAM is a good starting point.  Your hard disk speed will play a big part and how your DAW reads and records the tracks your recording so its worth taking into account when selecting a spec.

This spec will come down to what you can afford and also what you need your computer to do.  If you’re only recording and mixing a maximum of around 24 tracks then its amazing what you could get away with.  The only caveat to that is the amount (and type) of effects you’re using.  For example, if you want to use the latest Convolution Reverb plug ins then they could really start to slow things down.  Generally though, efficient use of plugins and modern PC’s/Mac’s will do the job.

The next consideration is your choice of DAW, this can be decided upon by many different means and cost can certainly be one if you’re starting with no previous experience in this field.  If you’re planning to make a career from this then Pro Tools is the current industry standard and would probably be a good place to start and get used to the workflow and mechanics of this particular piece of software as each one is slightly different.

The cheapest professional option is called ‘Reaper‘ and is also available  to try for free.  I wouldn’t consider it a compromise to choose something else like Reaper as the general sound of a DAW is pretty much identical.  The difference people report are mostly down to using the stock plug ins that are used as the controls and set up of these plug ins will influence the way you work slightly.


                            FL STUDIO                                                                    Cubase Pro



                    Presonus Studio One                                                           Pro Tools