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Almost all students have the question of which “Computer/Workstation” they should invest in. There are a few things to consider before purchasing a system and a lot of this also boils down into how and where you plan on using these systems.
A. Laptop vs Pc
For students that are primarily going to be moving around and doing a lot of projects on the go can invest in a Laptop as opposed to a PC albeit at a higher price. Building a good PC from scratch requires considerably lesser money as compared to a Laptop with the same specs.
As far as most modern DAWs are concerned, they don’t really require too much processing horsepower. You can build an extremely efficient system that can run the heaviest of sessions with the specs I’ve mentioned below:
Processor: i7 10700k or a
Ryzen 5 3800XT
Ram: 16 to 32 GB DDR4
SSD: 512 SSD
HDD: 1TB 7200rpm
These above specs will build you a system that can last you for the coming 5-6 years at the very least.
PC Vs Mac
This age old question is rather simple to answer if you really boil it down to what the Mac has to offer against the PC. The Mac offers a far superior OS and an integrated system that runs software without any hassles, but comes at an extremely higher price point when compared to PCs. Mac also has the upside of giving Audio Enthusiasts the accessibility to Logic Pro which is a Mac OSX only software
So if you have the money, and you want the best and the smoothest running system to run your software, go get yourself a Mac based system, but for the most a decent speced PC should be
ideal for running any Audio related programs.
Inorder to record good Audio, you need a good Audio Interface. There are bunch of cheaper Audio Interfaces available between the 15-20k price point that offer a lot of value for a cheap price point. There are interfaces that come below the 15k price mark, but the tradeoff for reduced price comes with an inferior quality product.
There are a few interfaces that I have personally tested that seems to be great for budding Audio Engineers:
1. SSL 2
2. Audient iD4
3. Komplete Audio 6
Most Audio engineers starting out cant afford to invest in treating and building their own mixing room and investing in high end speakers, hence it is important to invest in a pair of good quality headphones (Definitely essential equipment) that they can use for referencing and working with. We have a blog written earlier where we discuss different headphones and gone into the specifics of different headphones.
Here I will give you my recommendations of the 3 good pair of headphones that you can consider purchasing.
1. DT880 Pro
2. Sennheiser HD 598
3. SRH 1540
Altough it might not be feasible to invest in high end headphones, it is always a good idea to have access to a pair of speakers that can help you reference your mixes on speakers as well as your headphones. We have also done a blog on affordable speakers and you can go through it to here to understand which pair of Monitors will be the right fit for you.