Choosing Your Next Audio Computer

I was watching a few videos about the changes in PreSonus Studio One 5.4 when this automatically played when I reached the end of the playlist. In this video Gregor from PreSonus gives some helpful tips and points out common mistakes people make when shopping for a music production computer.

Gregor provides five common mistakes that people often make.

Mistake #1: Always Ticking the Lowest Box

You don’t need to have the most expensive options on a computer order form to get the performance you need. There may be better options for your configuration if you look closely at all of your options.

Mistake #2: Only Looking at the Core Count

Any one song process is handled by a single core at a time. More cores won’t prove that beneficial unless their base clock speed is higher. For example, Apple charges +$7000 to add a 28 core CPU with a clock speed in the 2-3 GHz range while their 8 core CPU had a 4 GHz speed, which means that one song process will likely be faster on the lower core chip.

Mistake #3: Spending Too Much (or Too Little) on RAM and Graphics

Gregor shows how to see the base amount of RAM you’ll need. Basically, you don’t need to spend too much on capacity that will never get touched. You do however want some headroom to keep your system running smoothly. Also, don’t go with integrated graphics. Much of the work is offloaded to the GPU to enable the CPU to improve performance.

Mistake #4: Investing Too Much (or Too Little) into SSDs.

Solid State Drives are best for storing your sample library and for you project files for quick access and low latency. SSDs are often unnecessarily expensive for archiving, which is a task suitable for pretty much and other drive.

Mistake #5: Cutting the Wrong Corners

Get a big enough power supply, better quality (quieter) fans, enough USB ports, etc. Get a system that includes Thunderbolt connectivity if you intend to use devices with those connections.

Gregor also pointed out a couple of businesses that configure music production computers. He has links provided in the video description on YouTube.


Travelling through the Lincoln Tunnel and PA Tunnels.

When we were about to get to the Lincoln Tunnel my phone was clipped to the passenger side visor to record the experience. This was repeated as we left the city, and through each of the four tunnels through Pennsylvania mountains along our route home.

Rather than share our conversation, I replaced the audio with my own musical creation. I had originally had an original one minute track on loop which was a bit arduous to listen to by the end. The current background music was created by arranging and manipulating licensed audio samples into a video length continuous track. I tried to make a noticeable change in the music for the transitions from one tunnel to the next. I saved the arrangement as “Tunnel Workshop”.

“Tunnel Workshop” arrangement for the Lincoln Tunnel video.

I used Vegas Pro 14 to create the original edited video. I used Vegas Pro 16 to edit and apply changes to this video and Studio One 5 to edit and manipulate the audio samples.