questionswhat type of computer to buy for music production?

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How serious of producing does he do?

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He is part of a music studio. They have clients that are up and coming and some who are already big, so he's very serious about his music. He just doesn't know much about actual computers, lol. He could tell you what kind of pre-amp to get and exactly how to do the settings, but when it comes to computers he's clueless and ready to buy whatever a salesman will tell him is best.

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It's not the hardware but how you use (utilize) it (software!).

I wish I could be more helpful, but I don't want you to get lumped into a "type" of computer. They're all computers. Most I could recommend is looking up what kind of popular software exists out there for your Husband's needs and if the most popular program out there works on computer-A then....

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I think his software works on most computers, its just he doesnt know if he needs a certain speed of processor, or a certain amount of RAM to make it work better. He will have a lot of things going on at once, and his computer right now is slow and there is a delay when he is creating music and stuff. He puts most everything on an external 1TB hard drive, so its not like his computer is full of stuff, its just everything running at once slows it down.

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What DAW is he using. Does he already have an interface? What is his budget?

He should call up sweetwater.com if he throw some money at it. You do pay a bit of a premium, but you get excellent support.

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This depends on what sort of software he's used to. If he's used to something like Ableton, he could get either a Mac or a PC. If he's used to software that's just on one OS, then he needs to go with that same OS.

In terms of hardware, RAM and a good sound card are going to be the important things. Since he'll be working in real time, he'll want plenty of RAM to spare. I'm assuming since he's at least semi-professional that this has a budget, so I would aim for a minimum of 16 gigs of DDR3. If this ends up being too much, I say it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

I haven't looked at sound cards in YEARS, so I don't know whats good, but get something top of the line. A good card will make a very large difference.

I would say those are the key two factors; I feel that most dual or quad core processors would get the job done. As for an internal hard drive, you don't really need a big one. Anything done should go straight to an external, or [cont]

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at the very least, to multiple back ups.

The ultimate answer is really preference, I feel like. You'll get a good machine either way (Mac v PC) that will get the job done.

Macs seem to be the most common place for music production, but that by no means eliminates PCs.

Also, @captkyle is definitely right. I've dealt with Sweetwater in the past, and they have GREAT people. My guy there has known about everything I've asked.

EDIT: based on thirty seconds of research, it looks like the Asus Xonar line is a good bet for a sound card. This series holds the top two spots on the few lists I saw

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Thanks! He uses Pro-Tools and Reason. He has an Mbox Sound card that plugs into his computer or something.
Thanks again!

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@dmercer12679: The Mbox has in and out ports, so he won't care what kind of sound is built into the computer.

Using Mbox with Protools, you need a lot of CPU power and a lot of RAM, and not much else. I would go with a quad-core Intel i7 series CPU (Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge - there are multiple generations of i7, but these are the faster two), and at least 6-8 GB of RAM.

The external hard drive, while convenient, can introduce a lot of delays of its own. However, the Mbox only has two inputs, so you don't really have to worry about hard drive speed limits for multi-track audio. If he were using something with 10-12 inputs, then he'd need super-fast internal hard drives.

Edit: I'll add one thing. While he may be only recording 1-2 tracks at a time, he might be playing back 15-30 at once. For that, your external hard drive should be at least 7200 RPM with a decent cache (32MB), connected via USB 3.0 if possible.