BurnWorld is back with another work PC build. This one is for those of you working in the music industry. This custom mid range music production PC build should satisfy the needs of everyone involved. From musicians looking to record live audio into virtual multi-track recordings to freelance audio engineers who master finished tracks with high end software plug ins, this build has something for everyone. The CPU may be a bit overkill for the current crop of plug ins, but the complexity of these programs advances at an even quicker pace than video games. We definitely recommend paying a bit extra for a higher end CPU to ensure the processor won’t hold your plug ins back four or five years down the road. However, if don’t plan to use virtual instruments/software with the build, you definitely could skimp with a lower end CPU such as this AMD APU. Keep in mind, you’ll need a different Motherboard as well. The same applies for the memory on this board. If you’re using plug ins, stuff as much in as you can afford!
I also want to point out that we chose Windows over Mac (using the Hackintosh workaround) or Linux. While those operating systems are fine (and would probably prove more stable/efficient for a recording environment), they unfortunately don’t offer the massive amount of support that Windows 7/8.1 do. Mac will work with a good amount of the commercial plug ins. However, the magic of using Windows for your virtual studio lies in the countless amounts of free plug ins. Many of these freebies are extremely high quality as well. For this build, Windows is really the only way to go if you plan on using plug ins and you want access to everything out there. We recommend beginning your plug in search with comprehensive sits such as bedroomproducers or KVR.
|CPU||AMD FX-8350 – FD8350FRHKBOX||$174.99|
|Motherboard||ASUS AM3+ AMD – M5A99FX||$134.99|
|Memory||Crucial 16GB (8GBx2) DDR3 1600 – BLS2KIT8G3D1609DS1S00||$144.99|
|GPU||N/A – N/A||$0.00|
|Case||NZXT SWITCH 810 – SWITCH 810 White||$149.99|
|Boot Drive||Kingston 120GB Solid State Drive – SV300S37A/120G||$59.99|
|Storage Drive||WD Blue 1 TB Hard Disk Drive – WD10EZEX||$58.00|
|Optical Drive||Pioneer Blu Ray Combo Drive – BDC-207DBK||$39.98|
|PSU||Corsair CX 600 Watt – CX600||$59.99|
|CPU Cooler||ETS-T40-TB CPU COOLER – ETS-T40-TB||$44.15|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro – Full Version – FQC-06913||$140.00|
If you plan on using your custom mid range music production PC build to create electronic music, keep in mind you will need some additional tools. Here’s a list of the accessories:
- A midi keyboard controller – You can use your computer keyboard to play the notes. But, that isn’t very musical. Midi keyboards are affordable so invest in a good one.
- An audio mixer – You’ll really only need this if you’re planning on running hardware instruments (keyboards, drum machines, guitars, a second computer, etc) into your Audio Workstation. Behringer’s entry level mixers may not be the highest quality in the world, but their prices are just right! BONUS: If your mixer has a usb port, it can double as a high end audio interface (negating the need for a sound card).
- A Digital Audio Workstation – This is absolutely essential for everyone who is doing more than just using their computer to store multi-track .wav/mp3 files. The DAW IS your virtual studio. It cuts the massive expenses and unnecessary wasted space of yesteryear’s studios. The upfront cost may be high here. But, it’s infinitely cheaper than renting a professional studio.
- Mixing Monitors – You typically don’t want to skimp here either. The built in ports on these monitors may somewhat skew your mix more so than professional monitors, but we’re trying not to break the bank here. If you want to go higher end, search for non ported mixing monitors. Be prepared. They typically start around $200/$300 for a pair.
- Bass Synth – Arturia’s lastest hardware keyboard is an absolute steal for those of you interested in a hardware bass synth. Your computer will be able to replace this (with varying levels of success). But, many electronic musicians still prefer the quality, sound, and immediate feel of playing with instruments out of the box (especially true analog synths).
- Synth – Waldorf’s newer synth from 2007 is somewhat of an every man type instrument. It can do both grungy digital sounds and analog-emulation at an ultra affordable price.
- Guitar – This Strat from Fender is an absolute steal for those of you looking to shred without breaking the bank.
- Portable Recorder – The mic on this guy is somewhat decent. You should be able to replace using a traditional mic with this recorder. Plus you’ll be able to sample audio and play it back in your computer (if you’re going for that whole retro 80’s rap vibe).