Home Studio Computer
While your studio desk is the center of your equipment, your home recording computer is the center of your recording, mixing and mastering activities. In combination with your recording software your workstation replaces a lot of instruments and physical equipment of professional studios, like the mixing console, synthesizers and effect devices.
The workstation and its software should not be something you go cheap on. Both will be major success factors for your recordings besides your musical capabilities.
After reading a lot of tests and reviews I decided to consider the following parts seperately.
No matter what the subject is, when it comes to selecting the right operating system for a computer, Linux, iOS or Windows, it seems to be mostly personal preferences that influence the decision. So it was in my case.
Linux is an OS that I have the least experience with, so I did not consider it at all.
Apple computers are often praised as well suited for home recording purposes. When I told a friend about my plans he said "Oh, so you are getting an Apple computer?". I don't doubt that Apple hardware and iOS is a great platform for home recording purposes but I don't use Apple products for other reasons that are not subject here.
I know Microsoft's Windows well and it is hardware-independent. It gave me the freedom to have the hardware tailored to my needs. Windows was my choice here, but it doesn't have to be yours of course.
The recording software (DAW) I have chosen is also available for iOS.
Processor and Memory
I opted to go with an Intel i7 6-core processor and 16 GB RAM. That provides more than enough power and processing speed.
Video Card and Disks
I wanted an additional graphics card, besides the one on board, in case I want to add more monitors in the future. I selected the nVidia GeForce GT 1030.
SSD was the choice of my disk type due to its much faster boot and access times. I selected a 250 GB drive for the OS plus a 500 GB disk for data.
Having chosen the Zaor Miza 88XL as my studio desk, I wanted the computer to be in a case that can be mounted into a 19" rack, not more than 4 units high.
To save the time and trouble of building the workstation myself, I decided to look for a vendor that specialized in assembling audio recording workstations. I was aware that it would cost a little more but I felt more comfortable with having it done by pros and getting a warranty on the final product.
I found such a vendor in Berlin, named "Digital AudionetworX". I am sure that if you are not located in Europe, you will find similar vendors in your area.
Digital AudionetworX turned out to be a friendly, responsive and helpful vendor. I ordered their Basic System Pro with the following add-ons:
- Intel Core i7 (+130.00)
- 16 GB RAM (+110.00)
- Geforce GT 1030 (+90.00)
- HD 2: SSD 2.5" 250 GB (+105.00)
The above configuration was sold to me in June 2018 for nearly 1800.00 €.
Delivery and Mounting
The computer was assembled and delivered within two weeks. The vendor was very professional. The product arrived well packed and mounting it into the Zaor desk was done in minutes.
Windows and all necessary drivers were pre-installed and ready to go.
It booted up right into Windows and was ready for me to install my individual software like the audio interface drivers and Studio One Professional software. No troubles at all - Plug and Play as it should be!