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#452306 - 01/19/18 07:40 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Build your own PC for BIAB?
andrewmcn Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 11
I wanted to build my own pc that would help to render BIAB tunes that I create. Where should I invest the money for the biggest bang for the buck? Processor? Skip graphics card? What should the focus be on?

Thanks!

-Andrew

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#452310 - 01/19/18 08:03 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16855
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
You’ve asked a really wise question.

I build all my computers, and their primary function is for music programs especially including BIAB.

The CPU is very important for regenerating RealTracks. Don’t skimp there.

The graphics card is relatively not very important in digital audio.

I highly recommend a SSD boot drive, and put the BIAB program on it. The RealTracks can stay on the supplied USB drive but if you can give them a separate internal hard drive, I recommend that.

Tougher question: RAM. At this time BIAB is a 32-bit program and itself doesn’t benefit from more than 4 GB. However, if you have large software synths BIAB can use JBridge to access more RAM if you have it.

To prevent RFI, I only use wired mice and keyboards for music, and I keep the router away from the PC.

I am careful not to run power cables in parallel with line level or mic cables.

And we haven’t even talked about an audio/MIDI interface outside the box, decent monitors and a room without lots of square surfaces and windows.

Does this help?
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#452316 - 01/19/18 09:13 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
eddie1261 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4037
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
That is an option, but unless you are truly a pro (meaning your computer you build is how you are going to make money) let me share with you that I just went out and ordered a Dell. After years of hand building with specs and safeguards that in the long run didn't mean much it was just as easy to buy the Dell. Solid state drives are nice and if I had money and desire I would have SSDs in that computer, but for me the primary advantage is boot speed, and I have no reason to care it it take 4 seconds to boot or 4 minutes. Nothing is that urgent for me. I have an i7 with 64 gigs of RAM and a 2tb storage drive for files. Programs live on C: and data lives on D: with thumb drives just for utility. When I work on music downstairs I move them by network anyway. I have never had any issues with RF from the wireless keyboard but I'll take Matt's word for it if he says he has. In my case I am writing songs nobody will ever hear but me and a handful of people here who bother to listen, so I don't care if the wireless keyboard maybe could might possible potentially emit a spurious bit of noise.

My PC with the RAM upgrades, the second drive and updated video card was $1100. I am so out of touch with that world since retiring from IT that I don't even know (or care) if buillding would have been cheaper, more expensive, or the same.

All depends on you, bro. According to your post you have been a member over 2 years and this is your 10th post. I don't know how much you are into music, if it is your means to make a living, if you play with it for 2 hours a month.... I don't know your skill level with computers, so building may be a challenge to you or it may be second nature. Back when I was a gamer I had a water cooled system because I pushed the front end bus of the fastest AMD processor made then to the limits it could be pushed and it ran so hot you could weld with it. That one also had 64gb of RAM and the best ATI video card. That was like 18-20 years ago though. THAT computer you won't buy at Staples... Now I am retired and lazy and refuse to work on computers ever again.

So ask yourself some questions. Is this a money pit that will sit in a spare room or is it going to make money for you to at the very least pay for itself. That's step one on your decision. I have been to houses bigger than my high school where people had obscene amounts of money and wanted these state of the art computers so they could check their AOL email..... LOL
_________________________
If you say "I can't" ..... I'm pretty sure you won't.

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#452496 - 01/20/18 04:34 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
sslechta Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
To build off Eddie, I usually go with Dells too. I've been shopping PCs and laptops with them for over 10 years. I usually shop at the Dell Outlet and buy refurbished machines. They have all the warranties of a brand-new machine but were returned for some reasons or other. The prices can be steeply discounted depending on the models and specs you are looking for. I work in IT as well and could build my own machine too but prefer the challenge of finding a machine already built with the features I want.
_________________________
Steve

BIAB/RB 2018, Pro Tools 2018, Korg N5, Proteus F/X, JBL LSR 4328 Powered Monitors, AKG/Shure Mics.
PC: Win10, Dell Precision T5400, 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HD, 32 GB Memory, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Interface

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#452500 - 01/20/18 04:40 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16855
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Steve, do you know if current Dells have slots to add more hard drives or SSDs, plus power and SATA cables or at least ports for them? That was a serious problem the last time I looked under the hood at one.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#452512 - 01/20/18 05:51 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
sslechta Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
Hey Matt, my Dell Precision T5400 is an engineering workstation from 2008. I've found better luck with number of power/SATA cables and drive bay on those versus the consumer grade PCs. On the screenshot below you'll find that they separate the good workstations from consumer models with (For Home) or (For Work). I always have gone with the Precisions as I was introduced to them through the office in IT-land. I knew they were bulky and tough workhorses from supporting and maintaining them in the work environment. Of course a Dell Precision Workstation will cost you a bit more than the consumer (home) models but you have an awesome machine for music, video, or whatever challenge you throw at it. The newer version of my machine is the 5810 and 5820. I've got upgrades maxed out on my machine, 32 Gig Ram, Dual Quad Core Xeon processors (8 logical cores) and a beefed up video card. I should still be good for another couple of years before I get a newer machine. I also use this machine to render 4K HD video and flight simulation. Hope that helps!

Precision Workstations


Attachments
Untitled.png

Description: Dell Website


_________________________
Steve

BIAB/RB 2018, Pro Tools 2018, Korg N5, Proteus F/X, JBL LSR 4328 Powered Monitors, AKG/Shure Mics.
PC: Win10, Dell Precision T5400, 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HD, 32 GB Memory, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Interface

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#452513 - 01/20/18 06:15 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16855
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Thanks!
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#452515 - 01/20/18 06:27 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
sslechta Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
NP. Once you see what models you may want, then pop over to the Dell Outlet store. Available PCs change on a daily basis. I just saw 2 5810s one loaded with an 8 core processor and the other with a 12 core. Each PC was marked down over 50% from their original price.
_________________________
Steve

BIAB/RB 2018, Pro Tools 2018, Korg N5, Proteus F/X, JBL LSR 4328 Powered Monitors, AKG/Shure Mics.
PC: Win10, Dell Precision T5400, 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HD, 32 GB Memory, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Interface

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#453783 - 01/26/18 07:16 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
andrewmcn Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 11
Thank very much for the responses everyone. I’m taking notes on all of your comments. You guys confirmed what I was thinking. I do make a living from music and wanted the BIAB program to load faster and render to mp3 faster. I figured it wasn’t the graphics card, but the processor. I do live in Florida so cooling is going to be a factor. I hadn’t considered Dell, but I’ve looked into many YouTube videos on how to build a pc. My laptop is struggling a bit. It’s a refurbished Windows 10 running the latest BIAB. I’m probably looking at the 1,500-2,000 range.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

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#453786 - 01/26/18 07:31 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Build your own PC for BIAB? [Re: andrewmcn]
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5425
Originally Posted By: andrewmcn
I wanted to build my own pc that would help to render BIAB tunes that I create. Where should I invest the money for the biggest bang for the buck? Processor? Skip graphics card? What should the focus be on?

Thanks!

-Andrew



This is the best way to do home recording.... build or buy a machine that will be dedicated to the music.

I've used both with good results. The important part is to have a really nice USB interface. That's the sound card. You really don't want to try to use the soundcard in the computer.

Most computers today are more than sufficient and powerful enough to do everything you need. Just use a good interface and you'll be just fine.

I have a Dell laptop that I used for several years with a Focusrite interface and it did an amazing job. Later, well, it's been over 10 years ago now, I built a custom DAW with the i5 Intel chip and running XP pro 32bit. That machine is still running rock solid and it now uses the Focusrite interface that was on the Dell. The benefit to the custom build was it didn't come from the factory loaded with bloatware and unnecessary software taking up drive space.

I keep my main DAW totally off the internet. As a result, I don't get surprise updates that screw up my configuration.

But yeah.... I think you'll be fine with either a build or an off the shelf machine. Put the focus on the interface, the speakers you monitor with , and some good software besides PG's fabulous stuff.
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

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