View Full Version : Recording wih a PC
01-03-2005, 09:03 PM
I don't really have any experience with recording on a computer...I know Macs are more capable for recording than PCs, but i just got a new Dell laptop. Im looking for a portable/affordable recording system. The Mbox with ProTools LE looks cool. How much would I be giving up by not using a Mac?
01-03-2005, 09:21 PM
If you have the money SONAR is very nice, their is not much you cant do !
01-03-2005, 11:19 PM
well the Mbox is like 500 bucks i think. so thats about the price range - give or take about $50
01-04-2005, 01:11 PM
What im more concerned with is the capabilities of a PC...
01-11-2005, 05:47 PM
Not sure what Dell you have or what you intend to do (I assume you want to multi-track at good quality) so........
ProTools doesn't really like anything less than a high clock Pentium 4 on DOS based gear and some AMD's had compatibilty issues. Centrino's should be ok since they are mobile P4's. Check Digidesign's website for compatibility or email them before you buy. Fill it up with fastest RAM you can. The more the better.
Doc is right about Sonar. It's powerful and easy, but you still need a good USB mobile interface. There are tons out there but most max at 24bit/48kHz sample rates (like the Mbox). The included software is usually very weak however. After you buy the interface and decent software, you're back to the price of an Mbox factory bundle w/ProTools LE.
01-11-2005, 06:13 PM
All you need to work with sonar is a sound card better still a sound card with an S/P DIF input that you can use to get guitar / vocals / bass in with.
The killer with Sonar is the cost of the plugins:
Waves native gold
Sonar 4 producers pack
With that lot their is not much you cant do !
01-11-2005, 06:45 PM
its a centrino 1.6ghz...is that okay you think?
01-11-2005, 06:56 PM
I depends what you want to do ! recording a 128 track opus will give it a headache however if you just want to record some loops to jam over, sure no problem !
01-11-2005, 08:14 PM
multitrack with good quality. just for some guitars, bass and vocals maybe. don't want something with too much of a learning curve.
01-12-2005, 06:27 AM
What is your budget?
Vocals will require compression EQ and maybe a DeeEsser and the best mic / preamp you can afford.
Options start at around 100 bucks for a second hand Behringer pre and 80 bucks for an SM57/58.
01-14-2005, 06:41 PM
Plug-ins cost the same for Sonor and ProTools, high. Shop for the big bundles to get you started.
Doc-Question- Are VST plug-ins real-time adjusting (like RTSA) or file based like Audio Suite? (I may be asking for a new thread here....)
Either way, software plug-ins use the CPU and will dig into processing speeds. Hence the need for lots and lots of RAM and fast hard drives.
Email Cakewalk and Digidesign to verify compatibility and their recommendations for any extra gear. They will both want you on Windows XP for sure.
01-14-2005, 07:22 PM
Most Virtual Studio Technology (VST) effects can be used in real time or written (printed) to the audio file (I think that is what you were after). They can also take the form of virtual instruments (like synths).
For a full description check this link:
Digidesign (the ProTools people) do two versions of their fiendish software. One (the little version) soaks up system resources. The full professional Pro Tools uses expansion cards and keeps all its workings away from the regular system resources.
You can get both for win or mac however for a fully kited out version of the full system you can easily part with 100 K !
It is also worth mentioning their is not much you can do on a fully equipped Protools system than you cant do with Sonar running Waves native gold and auto-tune. Much cheaper also (Sonar ~700. Gold ~1000, Autotune ~300) ! One thing to look out for the Sonar EULA is not transferable so if you get sick of it, you cant sell it. Crap eh !! Cake walk also love to charge you for little extras like MP3 encoders ! Bloody cheek after shelling out 700 bucks for the full version of their software !!
I was using the above however I have recently swapped over to Mac as I much prefer the hardware !! Unfortunately Sonar 4 Producers edition only runs on a PC. I thought about a PC emulating package but eventually came to the conclusion that I was following the path of ever decreasing circles and that if I wanted to do something well do it properly or go back to bed !
01-15-2005, 06:06 PM
Helpful link. Basically what I was looking for. After getting a closer look at the G5, I'm thinking about swapping out my P4 and giving that to my kid. I have a Digi002 but didn't want to part with that. Checking out Guitar Tracks or Sonar for the PC for him.
RTAS plug-ins really do chew up the CPU. Especially when you get up to 10-12 tracks and altering effects parameters inline. 1 GB of RAM and a firewire hard drive barely gets you there.
01-15-2005, 06:28 PM
I have just gone from P IV to G5.
It was quite an expensive move !
Sonar is probably massive overkill unless you want to mix your own drum-kit, bass, vocals etc and requires quite a lot of user knowledge. Unless this is what you need Id go with something a little lighter exactly like guitar tracks.
Check this link out:
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