The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools
Old 09-14-2018, 01:42 PM
lespaul_79 lespaul_79 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 527
Default Computer strictly for recording for under $400

Hi, Semi ignorant by the daunting task of choosing a computer to choose to record with. Info overload on NewEgg, Amazon, Costco, TechBargains, etc.

Any help would be appreciated... A couple details to note.

1. Budget - $300 to $400 if possible (dont need an Apple or a laptop. A PC tower would be fine). Prob only time I would connect it to the internet is to register any software.

2. What I have - Presonus Audio Box interface which came with Studio 1 software and a mxl-v250 condenser mic.

3. Style - 3 or 4 tracks prob max. Acoustic rhythm/lead, mando, ukulele. Basically... Grisman/Tone Poem type acoustic instrumentals. Very simple stuff.

Here's an example of one of my tunes (pardon the bad notes).

Can anybody recommend anything that will do the following?
- Last me a couple of years
- Have enough memory
- Have a quite fan

Thanks a lot, folks!
Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2018, 01:17 PM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Ohio the heart of it all
Posts: 1,214

This would get you going I bet...
I just bought a tower specially for recording. Ideally, you want 8gb+ and 3.4ghz processor. For double the price, I got 16gb ram and 4.2ghz processor with 480gb ssd.

With the Acer above, I may use an external hard drive for more storage space, but the solid state drives boot so much faster.

Eastman E1OM

Ibanez AW54CE
Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2018, 02:51 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 757

FWIW I'm typing this on a mid-2012 MacBook Pro, top shape, got it off Craigslist six months ago for $400.
Old Ibanez Dreadnought
Hideous Orange Indonesian Classical
Cordoba Tenor Uke
This list oughta lower the bar some.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2018, 04:19 PM
S.bowman S.bowman is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 24

I will second the MacBook. I am typing this on an early 2011 MBP, and never any problems using it as you describe above. I recently purchased a high powered iMac because my needs have grown. I still use this when I want to lay tracks in the living room, instead of holing up in my music room, and it works great, even with only 4 gb of ram. As long as I keep the track count reasonable, and don't go crazy with plug ins it works great. No problem running EZ Drummer 2 and 4-8 tracks.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2018, 09:18 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,192

My experience is that if you don't use virtual instruments (VI=amplifier sims for electric guitars, synths or keyboards that use the computer to make and shape the sounds, or drum programs) or plugins while you are tracking you are tracking (like reverb or compression in the computer as opposed from an external box or amp) and your track counts are reasonable, then nearly any modern working computer can handle just recording.

Fancy video cards. Not needed. Faster hard drives, like the really slick solid state drives, nice to have, but not needed. Lots of RAM, not needed. Fast processor, not needed. All of these things might be good to have if you do other things with your computer or if you decide to really dive into the wonderful things that can be done relatively inexpensively with computer plugins and virtual instruments, but David Grissman style instrumentals with a handful of tracks recorded acoustically requires none of that. Even if you want to mix and master the resulting tracks using plugins, a modest computer will most likely serve just fine.

I don't currently have enough experience with current inexpensive new computers to make a specific recommendation, but I pass on this general information so that you don't get shut down by recommendations that will make you feel that you need 16 gigs of RAM and 3 Ghz four-core processor to record acoustic music.
Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2018, 09:00 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: On the Mass/NH border
Posts: 5,461

Frank's right ^^^ Pretty much any current computer will work for you. 8G Ram and a 1TB hard drive will ensure you don't run out of computing strength or storage space for a long time.

My music:

2017 Taylor 114ce-N
2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epiphone 6830E 6 string (made in 71?)

72 Fender Telecaster
Epiphone Dot Studio
Epiphone LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone ($25!)

Kala baritone ukulele
Seagull 'Merlin'
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e ukulele
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2018, 01:36 PM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 875

I agree with Frank as well that you don't need a very powerful machine to just do basic multi-track recording and mixing.

I prefer an Apple machine as audio problems are much less common with them.

It only takes one or two bad drivers on a Windows machine to cause audio dropouts and can be difficult or impossible to fix.
Ibanez ArtWood AW3010CE-LG dread
Yamaha AC3M
Squier Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster
Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Special
Yamaha BB414 Bass
Reply With Quote

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=