I figure I'll give it a try

Discussion in 'Home Recording and Studios' started by Rollmeaway, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    65
    880
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    I was just given a refurbished Dell 7170. With 8 gigs of ram and an Intel Icore I7 3770 processor. Windows 10 Pro. You guys who have some experience doing this, is it enough to run a modern DAW? SATA 500 gig drive. Clean as can be.

    Is it powerful enough? Can I use the onboard processor sound, or do I need a dedicated sound card? What programs are commonly used on these computers? My son runs Garage Band on his Mac. What do you use on PC'S?

    I have a lot of reading to do in this section. I'd appreciate any input though.
     
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  2. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Age:
    61
    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    Nice to see you around stranger!

    With 8gb of ram, an I7 & 500gb HD, you should have plenty to run any DAW. Your internal sound card should most likely be fine, but I would look into external speakers, either powered or a small amp to drive them LT speakers sound O.K. in limited application, but not so much for lots of music. JMO

    I need someone to give me one like that. Congratulations
     
  3. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Meister

    427
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    Upgrade the SATA drive to an SSD. Other than that the specs are fine. You will need a set of good speakers as well. If you have a Blackstar FLY-3 practice amp with the extension cabinet, it makes an excellent computer speaker. If you are buying purpose built speakers I like the Edifier brand for overall value.
     
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  4. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    Good to read your post. I can't help, but still good to see.
     
  5. howserx

    howserx Squier-Meister

    315
    Apr 20, 2017
    Toronto, Canada
    Definitely get an SSD. The performance boost is worth the cost. Keep the second drive for storage, OS on the SSD and storage on the SATA drive.
     
    Rollmeaway likes this.
  6. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    65
    880
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Hey, Jeff. Yea, I haven't been doing well lately. I feel like I'm knockin' on heavens door sometimes. Anyway, I subscribe to a computer tech channel. Once a week he does live streams and builds a computer from scratch and interacts with the subscribers. Every now and then he has computers that he refurbishes from his job as an IT for a bunch of companies. These streams last 3-4 hours sometimes. But the computers he saves when he upgrades a professional business network, he gives to disabled veterans. He goes over them and upgrades what needs it and sends the lucky person a clean fast computer. A few weeks ago, me and a disabled Medic both got one of these. Though we have to supply the peripherals. I'm working on that now. Maybe this will get me out of the funk I'm in.

    Hey, brother. Looks like you were in the "Silent Service"? Is there something about the Blackstar practice amp that makes it more suitable for speakers than what I have at my disposal now? A Fender mustang 2 or a Marshall MG 10? I did see a lot of positive reviews for Edifier products while shopping around.

    Little by little my son is trying to help me out with parts. He has a spare monitor and other odds and ends from building his home recording station. He is a classic case of the student becoming better than the teacher. I bought him a Yamaha acoustic when he was fifteen, taught him the basics. Now, he plays bass, drums, keyboards and sings.

    You and @SubSailer671 are on the money with this one. I have an SSD in mind considering the speed boost and affordable cost of these fast drives.

    Now, I have to read this section of the forum and see if I can come up with the right software for this endeavor.

    Best regards to y'all...
     
    zammie and Viking like this.
  7. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    65
    880
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Thanks, brother. This place is like a virtual home.
     
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  8. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Meister

    427
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    Yes, I served in the US submarine force. There are lots of sea stories to tell, but most of them not fit for public consumption. Speaking of sea stories, do you know the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale? A fairy tale starts "Once upon a time..." and a sea story begins with "Now, this ain't no ****..." :D:D:D:D

    I can't speak to the relative quality of the Blackstar practice amp in relation to what you have now because I don't know what you have. :) I think both the Fender and Marshall amps you reference work fine as a practice amp, but perhaps not as computer speakers. The Blackstar combo package (with the second speaker) is pretty good at both. The two Blackstar amp/speakers weigh about a pound each, have a 3.5mm stereo input, and that input mixes with the guitar signal so you can play along. They also sound pretty darn good.

    Since you mentioned recording and using DAW software, you will need a set of good speakers for the computer. Most folks do the heavy lifting in the recording with headphones, but at some point you need to hear it through a speaker. You may already have a set, but if not the Edifiers are outstanding. I have a set that I love, and bang for the buck they are hard to beat. If you decide to purchase them, I do not recommend the bluetooth ones. Mine have bluetooth, and the latency is too much for recording use. I have mine wired. I mention this because Edifier charges a premium for the bluetooth option.
     
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  9. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    65
    880
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Yea, it take a special kind of person to be a Submariner. I don't think I could do it. Us Paratroopers joke about Sailors and vice-versa. But have respect for the Sub Service. I have claustrophobia. I like to be out in the open. That's why I enlisted as a Huey, then Black Hawk Crew Chief. OK back on topic.

    I'm on a strict budget being retired. But you gave me some straight up information. Get the speakers! I appreciate that and I will be shopping for something appropriate. I'm flat out new to this and just doing it to keep my brain intact. So that's a good thing. For me, new learning gives me something to explore. So, I'll explore this until I get bored or croak.

    Edifier, hmm... Can you recommend anything?

    Best regards... Danny
     
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  10. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    That should run a DAW fine. If you have room to fit more memory in there I would double it but you should be fine.
    If you need any help PM me. I've been working in IT for over 20yrs.
     
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  11. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway Squier-Nut

    Age:
    65
    880
    Feb 7, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Hey, brother. I appreciate the offer. If I run into any snags, I'll hit you up. Btw, I've seen some of the music videos you make. What equipment, software do you use?
     
    Treynor likes this.
  12. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Meister

    427
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    I'll do better than that. PM me your address and I'll send you a set. I'm in a good place right now, and I am always willing to help out a brother vet.


    It seems like we have several IT pros on ST. Like you, I've been in the business for over 20 yrs. I wrote my first code in 1978.
     
  13. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Meister

    427
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
  14. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Age:
    61
    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    That's great! I've rebuilt/refurbished computers since almost the start of my foray into computers circa '88/'89. I've been working on reclaimed laptops for a couple years. Taking them apart still eludes me. While in the rehab center, I could not afford it, but I broke down and actually bought a new laptop. First new computer since 1990 or so, LOL. Besides not having the parts and tools readily available, the rehab center was really not suited to physical computer work.

    Good for you and good luck with the more powerful computer.
     
    Treynor likes this.
  15. tortuga

    tortuga Squier-Meister

    126
    Apr 28, 2018
    Here
    I have never been able to record with built-in sound. You can get a USB audio interface cheap. There are lots of options. Just Google. Behrenger always has something cheap!

    As for software lots of people like Reaper. Its been around forever. In my opinion there are now better low-cost options. Cakewalk Sonar is now free. My personal favorite is Tracktion. My view is that the more computer techie you are the more you will like Reaper (lots of customization and scripting options) and the less techy (i.e. you just want to make music) the more you will like Tracktion.
     
    gearobsessed likes this.
  16. gearobsessed

    gearobsessed Squier-holic

    Aug 21, 2013
    new zealand
    +1 on the interface, you can get the behringer u-phoria um2 cheaply new, or look for a second hand focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or Mackie blackjack onxy. There's too many options out there, but they all more or less do the same thing.
    Just make sure you don't buy a FireWire unit if your computer doesn't have FireWire ports.
    s-l400.jpg
    Reaper is a great DAW for recording. It's simple enough to use, but you can download it free from their website.
    They encourage you to buy the full version, with a message that stays up for a minute or so, so you can continue to use the free version for years, but I'd recommend buying it if after using it a few weeks if you like it.
    As for the computer specs, with a SSD your computer will be more than enough to do everything you want to do.
    Once you start figuring out how to program decent drum tracks and chop up tracks it's a lot of fun, good luck with figuring it all out!
     
    Treynor likes this.
  17. Treynor

    Treynor Squier-holic

    Age:
    62
    Jun 22, 2016
    Dallas, Texas
    Good seeing you here, Danny! Been too long
     
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