PC For Music Production

  Heatseeqerz 22:45 26 Jul 2011


I am bogged down in the market right now. I produced music many years ago with a pentium3 800mhz processor. With independent sound card and graphics it never had any problems with multiple instances of synths like FM7 and absynth as well as others like Albino3 and all the many FX used (I have the music to prove this) yet. A 2.66gig Pentium 4 can not handle even ONE long pad sound without the CPU usage in FL Studio hitting upto 70%. It seems that specific sounds in synthes use up more than others and i can not open too many.Yet alone samples and FX.

I have had a few PC's and laptops and NONE can produce music due to CPU overloads no matter what setting, drivers or OS.

I am on a low budget and it would not be hard to find a (SO called) Powerful Dual core or even an i3 for quite a fair price. But i am not hopeful that another would be that much better. I hear so much rubbish about a glitch here and a bug there that i am reluctant to put money into a new PC due to it all.

I am convinced that computers have got worse over the years and NOT better. Until the Icore, that is. It seems they may now be addressing issues.

But my question is, what is the lowest spec i could use? I mean i obviously need to get a cheap PC so i do not need an answer like "Get an i200. I am aware the i7 would be the most obvious fast system.

What will effect music production? And why is a 2.66gig NOT able to even play back FLP files i am sent from other musicians? SOme of the FLP tracks that come with FL Studio will not play without overloading.

My past PC's worked like a dream. Opening windows was fast. The Net and software was fast. even games worked great. Now they can not handle them. There is always something missing or needed to run them. I put a DVD in to watch and Media player is missing codecs. I install FF Codecs for all media so i have every driver for any video, Mp4 and others and i still have a problem. It seems i can not Buy a system and use it for Multi Media. They are always lacking somewhere.

If a system with 2 x 2.2gig processors and about 2gig of ram with onboard intel graphics, would this really be enough? Or an early i3 with 3.4gig Processor? surly this should be enough to be able to run more than a few synthes like Sylenth1 and Nexus2?

Can anyone give me a rundown of why i may encounter the CPU issues and what type os system i should avoid? Like specific chipsets or intergrated sound. Is clock speed an issue for producers? I really am confused by the things i hear, things that was never an issue 7 years ago.

Thank you if you can help and thank you if you read all of this, too :)


  bluesbrother 11:48 27 Jul 2011

I know next to nothing about producing music on a PC but I would have thought 2GB of memory might not be enough as my pc's use about 1 1/2Gb just running windows. This site might give you an idea about system specs.

link text

"3XS Audio Creation Systems Components chosen for their competency with industry leading Sequencing/Editing/Scoring packages such as Cubase, Nuendo, Sound Forge and Sibelius coupled with M-Audio, RME and Edirol connectivity for crystal-clarity."

  eedcam 15:47 27 Jul 2011

I dont create music but do work with up to several tracks and mixing and have no probs with just a P4 3 G processor and as for video well VLC player free plays just about everything thrown a G memoryt it I've never downlaoded a Codec yet Bluesbrother I would guess you got problems 1 and half gig just running Windows ? I'm drawing about half that

  bluesbrother 00:23 28 Jul 2011


i5 laptop, as I type, using 1.52gb, there is some HP junk running, but not much. Desktop E8400 runs about 1.2 to 1.3 standing still, a bit less when I boot into Ubuntu instead of Win 7, cpu usage 0 to 1 per cent on both and both with 4gb of memory.

I tend to be quite paranoid about security, so I am very sure that is not a problem.

You are right about VLC, should have thought of it myself. I haven't came across anything it can't handle.

  eedcam 05:39 28 Jul 2011

Bluesrbother wasn.t thinking of a securtity prob in particular just some programme being greedy.Might be worth having alook in yask manager se what is gobbling up the memory

  Heatseeqerz 20:13 28 Jul 2011

Thank you for the replies :)

It seems to me that they have been building systems for one purpose and others for another when all you needed was just about ANY PC once. The only thing one need do is upgrade soundcard, graphics and memory. One could use a slave drive or install a bigger HDD. I had 512mb of ram with 800mhz CPU and NEVER had a glitch. I run 4 separate software for DVD players, CD. I had Max Payne 1 and 2, Halo, Tour of Duty. I run FL Studio 4.10. PropellaHeads Reason 4, Rebirth and about 3000 pounds worth of VST synth and FX. It had it's limits but not that i ever noticed.

Many branded systems use a LOT of background activity that CAN be turned off. I have optimized the system to run at lowest memory and allocate all power to what i am using (FL Studio)And tried every method i have been told of to date. Even HDD speed will effect performance. I am just not confidant that a faster CPU will sort the problem as i believe it to be a deeper cause than just CPU and Ram.

I used to have an old Commodore Amiga with 1meg ram that was faster than any PC. XP does not use more than a few meg to run and there is virtual memory, too :-) P4 is useless for music apps, thus many use Mac OS.

I just do not know what to do.


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