What You Need To Know in Buying the Best Computer for Home Recording

by | Aug 5, 2017 | Home Recording, Music Production, Responsible Buying

The computer is the fundamental tool for capturing your creative ideas in making your songs, producing your album, and promoting them to the world. Having the best computer for your home recording needs is something that you need to think about and invest in, for it will make your recording productive and efficient.

Does having the best computer in your home recording studio mean burning a hole in your pocket? Let’s find out and assess if this is true.

Does Best equal to Expensive?

Honestly speaking – it depends on how you get creative with your choices.

What do I mean by that?

When buying the best computer for your home recording studio, you need to look at these factors:

Budget

Your budget is the deciding factor. Ask yourself how much money you are willing to spend for your computer. Of course, the higher the amount, the more choices you have. However, even with a tight budget, you can still get a quality and stable tool that has more than enough power to run the software, plugins, and render processing.

Mac or PC?

Up to you. This is a matter of preference. Some are PC guys; and then some, are Apple fans.

Whatever operation system you prefer to use, it is not an issue. The only thing that you just need to keep in mind is your software of choice. Not all DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) run on a PC or a Mac. For example, Logic and Garageband run on Macs; while Mixcraft and Sonar run on PC.

But, let us get into the thought process of a consumer like you and me. I want us to put into consideration budget with your preferred operating system. I have two computers listed below:

Retina 5K Display

3.4GHz Intel Core i5 Quad Core

8 GB RAM

1 TB Fusion Drive

NVIDEA GEForce GTX 1060 Graphics with 3GB Video Memory

3.5 GHz 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7400

12 GB RAM

128G SSD, 1 TB 7200RPM SATA

Here’s a comparison between these computers with a price range of $900 above.

They challenge each other on a number of specifications like the RAM and the memory. Both run on Intel Core i5, but it also depends on how many cores they have. Also, the major difference and I say, a huge bump, is the price – with a margin of $779.

What I am pointing out here is going back to what your priority is.

$779? You can buy another computer or gears for your home studio set up with that money.

Fact of the matter is Macs are far more expensive than PCs. At their price point, you can already assemble a PC that you can say a powerhouse in terms of specs, as well as processing power. If you are not planning on assembling your own PC, you can also buy a PC lesser than the price range of a Mac – that is already a stand out.

You maybe thinking I am not a Mac person. I am a PC junkie, Yes. However, this is not to undermine the quality and the brand of iMac. I admire the brand for its quality, durability, power, and the luxury of owning the product itself. But as a home musician, and with a tight and limited budget at that – owning a much affordable desktop PC with the specs that you need is enough.

Mobility

Are you going to be just making music at home or you also work on the road? You also need to answer this question because this will help you decide whether to buy between a desktop computer and a laptop. You might as well think of buying or investing on both due to easy access to your files. Bringing a laptop while you are on the road can definitely make you more productive in working on your projects.

I have a laptop, an Acer Aspire V13, in which I highly recommend because this laptop has helped me with my YouTube collabs and mixes for other artists/musicians that I work with. Traveling has been a big part of my work, as I travel once every three months to meet up with artists/musicians to record them. For me to fully utilize its functionality, I did upgrades on the laptop to suit my need for speed and proficiency.

Having a laptop is also good for live performances.

Software to Use

As I mentioned earlier, the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) or the recording software that you choose is also a factor for the computer you are buying. There are DAWs that only run on Macs as well as PCs. With this, check the operating system which the software runs on.

Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, my chosen DAW, runs on Windows. It is a powerful DAW that is perfect for home and commercial studio owners, because it is already a complete and professional software that is only $179! Nothing can beat that!

Specifications

CPU

Since music making is a CPU intensive task, you may want to check which processor the computer has.  Get the latest generation i5 and i7 intel processors, dual core to quad core.

RAM

8GB of RAM is minimum. I know that there are some who uses 4GB, but trust me, if you want efficiency, then start with 8GB up. And then as you go along, I recommend upgrading to a higher RAM.

HARD DISK DRIVE

1 TB HDD is good but I suggest that you get a computer which already runs on SSD (Solid State Drive). The minimum is 256GB. You may want to head to what I did to upgrade my Laptop and PC for maximum power and speed for my production.

Conclusion

I do hope that this information will help you decide on what to invest on. Having the best computer for your home studio set up truly is an integral part of your music production journey.

What do you think? Please leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on this.

Until then! 🙂

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Gelot Macaranas

CEO and Founder at GMac Productions
Known as GMac, is the CEO and Founder of GMac Productions, which aims to help home musicians get better in their music creation process. She is a musically fired up entity who plays harmonies in her sleep. On her free time, she writes blogs and makes music production videos on her Youtube channel.

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