How Bad is this idea? Save $ by buying a cheap computer ...

Hi all!

(Hobbyist here, with more enthusiasm than $ …)

I’m thinking hard about going to C7 from C6.5 (mixer, Variaudio improvements, etc.), but I can’t afford a new “real” DAW to replace my nice but old one running XP now, nor do I have the knowledge/skill to “build” one.

What I’m wondering about is whether I can supplement my existing DAW system (described below) with an inexpensive computer of the sort not typically considered for a DAW - with the idea of continuing to record in XP on C6.5 on my legitimate but old DAW computer.

Then I would move everything over to the new “cheap” one for mixing in C7. In other words a hybrid system of my existing DAW computer and a new low budget one.

Background: I’ve got a very stable custom-built PC about 10 years old, runs C6.5 on XP. It all works OK for me - I do have to do a lot of bouncing and such of course, but I don’t mind. I’ve got a M-Audio Delta 66 card in the computer, connected to an external Omni I/O Studio “break-out box”. I’ve got a UAD-1 card in a PCI slot. And everything is OK.

But I am thinking hard about Cubase 7, which won’t boot up on XP as I understand it.

So my question is - where is it that “bad” computers fail in the DAW world? Could I continue to use my current setup (C6.5: record audio, use my Yamaha Motif to record MIDI) …

… and then bring everything over for mixing to a low budget PC which has C7 loaded (and PCI slots for my old UAD-1 card)? Such a computer would be LOTS less expensive than a “real” DAW computer, even if I had to buy an interface to USB connect.

I guess I had the impression that the main way a low budget computer fails as a DAW is in recording/timing - but would be OK for mixing. Or is that not right? If I did this, I would need to buy a free-standing interface also, right?

Or … where does this whole idea fail? :cry:

Thanks for any thoughts!

I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

The thing that bothers me about pre-built computers is the amazing amount of crapware that comes on them. Sure, you can get rid of a lot of it but it seems like there is always some nasty residue left behind.

You also won’t receive any actual OS installation disks anymore. There is no such thing as a “clean” OS available, only the option to revert to a factory image.

What’s your budget? You might be surprised by how easy it really is to set up a machine from scratch.

On the other hand, you might buy a pre-built machine and do nothing to it and have it run Cubase just fine.

Just make sure it has an old school PCI slot if you say you need one. They’re getting harder to find.

It just seems like from what I’ve seen in pre-built there is always compromises made to get to a price point (power supply, RAM, etc.). You will get more value for your money buy picking the exact parts you want.

Just my opinion, of course.

Thanks, Mr. Scab! Magic words, “don’t see why it wouldn’t work”. r±+4GB+Memory±+1TB+Hard+Drive/6835479.p?id=1218809260125&skuId=6835479 – $469, plus the cost to bring the RAM up from 4GB to whatever I need to mix Cubase 7.

All the bloatware on a “Best Buy Special” - I know that’s a big problem when recording, but for mixing only, I’m hoping it would be only inconvenient, not a deal killer?

I do intend to buy another specialized music DAW computer (from Rain, ADK, etc.) in the future, but gotta do the low $$ route for now. I’d love to build, but have zero experience, and would probably wind up burning the neighborhood down, which might be more expensive in the long run :smiley: .

Thanks again, Mr. Pickens (not related to Slim, by any chance?)! :slight_smile:

This looks like a pretty good deal …

Of course you would still need to buy a monitor. You definitely can’t put together a whole lot from scratch for that kind of money.

I don’t know anything about those “all in one” computers, but from what I’ve looked at the processing power seems like it might not be up for the task. I dunno.

Maybe someone who has some experience running Cubase 6/6.5 on a lower spec machine will chime in.

Good luck!

Oh, and I think Slim is my long lost uncle :slight_smile: .

watch the Dell website for special deals and discounts, I got a PC with i7 intel chip set for 750 last year, you could get by with the i5 or i3 chipsets and save more $$$$

Thank you, gentlemen!

Time to wait for 7.01, then here I go!

I wonder if the onboard sound card will be good enough for mixing (only - obviously not for recording), or if I need to buy an interface as well. I guess I could just give it a try and see first …


So on my new laptop a i5 with 3.2 ghz the onboard soundcard is not bad and I was suprised. But after my project got bigger i was soon at a point where it was too much for the onboard card. 8 miditracks and about 10 inserted plugins was all i could use without getting asiooverload.

Greetz Bassbase