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Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby ad65 » Mon May 03, 2021 1:11 pm

Hi Hope someone can help

I am looking at a new PC for music production, is there any company you would recommend for a PC? are Carillon any good?

Thanks in Advance

Stuart
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby uselessoldman » Mon May 03, 2021 1:30 pm

Only PC OEM Manufacturers are Dell Lenovo HP and I guess Apple. The rest just cobble together components made by other people.

Question,
Is this your first PC and what experience if any do you have using one?
Are you going to be composing, recording and or mixing with it?
What will you be recording and what audio interface will you be using?
What speakers/headphones will you be using?

I know I should say budget, but lets first understand what it is going to be used for before we debate components and build. Then what if any software do you own or are you going to want/need.

There is also the question, do you want one with a case, a laptop or even a Surface Pro and get the advantage of the touch screen?
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 03, 2021 1:35 pm

ad65 wrote:I am looking at a new PC for music production, is there any company you would recommend for a PC

I would recommend SCAN without any hesitation.

They specialise in building and tweaking PCs for audio applications, and have always delivered the goods -- Ive had three machines from them over more than a decade (two desktops and one laptop) and have been very pleased with all of them. They are also very helpful in advising before purchase, and very supportive after purchase.

You'll find lots of other satisfied customers amongst the forum membership too.

http://www.scan.co.uk
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby ad65 » Mon May 03, 2021 1:52 pm

uselessoldman wrote:Only PC OEM Manufacturers are Dell Lenovo HP and I guess Apple. The rest just cobble together components made by other people.

Question,
Is this your first PC and what experience if any do you have using one?
Are you going to be composing, recording and or mixing with it?
What will you be recording and what audio interface will you be using?
What speakers/headphones will you be using?

I know I should say budget, but lets first understand what it is going to be used for before we debate components and build. Then what if any software do you own or are you going to want/need.

There is also the question, do you want one with a case, a laptop or even a Surface Pro and get the advantage of the touch screen?

Thanks for the reply

I am looking at recording audio from my mixer: Allen and Heath SQ16, I have a Midi sequencer setup controlling a few synths and expanders, a rackmount is preferable but not essential, I monitor using a pair of Tannoy speakers

Thanks again
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby ad65 » Mon May 03, 2021 1:55 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ad65 wrote:I am looking at a new PC for music production, is there any company you would recommend for a PC

I would recommend SCAN without any hesitation.

They specialise in building and tweaking PCs for audio applications, and have always delivered the goods -- Ive had three machines from them over more than a decade (two desktops and one laptop) and have been very pleased with all of them. They are also very helpful in advising before purchase, and very supportive after purchase.

You'll find lots of other satisfied customers amongst the forum membership too.

http://www.scan.co.uk


Thanks for the recommendation Hugh

Much appreciated

Stuart
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby Fishnish » Mon May 03, 2021 2:44 pm

I've used a couple of other "Specialist audio PC" suppliers before, but can't fault SCAN for their advice, service and quality. They were great to deal with when I needed a new PC last year, really took a lot of time to ensure I was getting what most fitted my needs and budget and patiently gave good solid informative responses to my endless queries. I'm over the moon with the system they recommended and supplied, and feel I got a crash course in all things audio PC into the bargain.
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby shufflebeat » Mon May 03, 2021 3:52 pm

If you're contacting Scan by phone make sure you have tea and sandwiches to hand. I spent a loooong time in a queue to speak to the wrong person and was then put in another queue to speak to the right one.

Because I was in a bit of a hurry for a project I just bought a Lenovo off eBay, happy enough. I like the idea of going back to Scan in the future but I'll plan the campaign appropriately.
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby uselessoldman » Mon May 03, 2021 5:31 pm

Yip Scan are a great company, been around a long time and I have never had an issue with their products or service. Along with CCL here in Leeds they must be the oldest surviving box shifters since I started buying computers and parts, I say that as a compliment and staff do know what there talking about - most of the time. Also, their range of components and prices are good which is always a plus.

Its not a difficult process to spec and build any PC, but its a challenge to get what you need without spending more than you wanted. But I think it helps to have some idea yourself of what you need and why before you buy.

SQ16, nice, I did consider it before I bought the X32, but since I managed to get it at a great price, I couldn't refuse. Also at the time, they were out of stock and no ATE on delivery.

I guess you will use the mixer (SQ16) as the audio interface so connecting to the PC through USB.

So first off "basic software", you will need DAW software for recording, mixing etc. The PC can run any version of Window 10x64 bit, the Windows 10 Pro version is only best for admin and corporate networking and you do not need any of that, nice to have but not essential so the HOME version should be good enough.

A PC specifically for music is not going to hammer any half decent system. Mine are now almost 10 yrs old and I have no reason yet to replace, although I have upgraded the graphics cards, added more hard drives installed more RAM and changed the cases. I am sure they will last another 3 or 4 yrs yet, or more, or until AMD incorporate Thunderbolt into their chipsets, I'm still waiting.... been a long wait.

The heart of any system is the motherboard, its the heart and sole of the machine and joins everything together, buy a good one cos there built better than cheap ones. Better components better cooling better features. Then its CPU, aim for minimum 8 cores and if your going to be using sound samples (Kontakt etc) I would recommend more than 16Gb if not 16Gb is more than enough and it can easily be upgraded later on. I started with 16Gb but ran out so added 8Gb I had kicking about and that did the job.

Hard Drives. They will not build a PC for audio, they build a PC that can be used for audio cos you will be wanting to change the system configuration once you get it home.

M2.SSD Storage. Most decent motherboards come with M2x2 (NVME) as in dual sockets. Fill them both with 1Tb modules you will need and use them. These will store your operating system, applications documents and project work.

HDD storage. If you are going to use Kontakt and other wav sample libraries buy a big hard drive. Some might recommend SSD as best they are faster more reliable and a lot more expensive. I use 6/8TB Hard Drives, there slightly slower and a lot cheaper. I have 16Tb samples no way would I consider SSDs and I have the money but also some sense.

If you are wanting to rack mount it then you will need a specialist case or a server. Forget a server unless your made of money a pro studio, or know what your doing and buy second hand. I know some on youtube use them, they clearly have more money than sense. You get stung for extended warranties and you need to have it for system updates unless you have a corporate account and access to their ftp servers.

Buy a good quality case a good power supply add in a DVD and you would be good to go. Did I miss something? A Graphics card, get something with a minimum 4Gb Ram for one monitor or 8Gb for 2 if your running at 4k. Oh monitors? Buy a big TV you will need all the space on the screen you can get and 58" 4k is cool, I know thats what I use. else depends on your eye sight, Im now old & blind so 58 suits me fine, when I was younger 24 was great but I used 32 cos I was a snob and played games all the time and worked in IT so got them paid for by someone else.
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby TheLegit » Mon May 03, 2021 5:50 pm

ad65 wrote:Hi Hope someone can help

I am looking at a new PC for music production, is there any company you would recommend for a PC? are Carillon any good?

Thanks in Advance

Stuart
:thumbup:

I've got a SCAN Music PC from 2013 still going
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 03, 2021 9:54 pm

uselessoldman wrote:Along with CCL here in Leeds they must be the oldest surviving box shifters since I started buying computers and parts, I say that as a compliment and staff do know what there talking about - most of the time.

When it comes to music PC's they're certainly not box shifters. While he hasn't been around much recently, in years gone by Pete Kaine from Scan was a very helpful and knowledgeable member of this forum giving us the benefit of his experience testing all kinds of different configurations for audio use. If Scan suggest a particular configuration for audio you know that they've almost certainly tested it before suggesting it.
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby ad65 » Mon May 03, 2021 10:17 pm

uselessoldman wrote:Yip Scan are a great company, been around a long time and I have never had an issue with their products or service. Along with CCL here in Leeds they must be the oldest surviving box shifters since I started buying computers and parts, I say that as a compliment and staff do know what there talking about - most of the time. Also, their range of components and prices are good which is always a plus.

Its not a difficult process to spec and build any PC, but its a challenge to get what you need without spending more than you wanted. But I think it helps to have some idea yourself of what you need and why before you buy.

SQ16, nice, I did consider it before I bought the X32, but since I managed to get it at a great price, I couldn't refuse. Also at the time, they were out of stock and no ATE on delivery.

I guess you will use the mixer (SQ16) as the audio interface so connecting to the PC through USB.

So first off "basic software", you will need DAW software for recording, mixing etc. The PC can run any version of Window 10x64 bit, the Windows 10 Pro version is only best for admin and corporate networking and you do not need any of that, nice to have but not essential so the HOME version should be good enough.

A PC specifically for music is not going to hammer any half decent system. Mine are now almost 10 yrs old and I have no reason yet to replace, although I have upgraded the graphics cards, added more hard drives installed more RAM and changed the cases. I am sure they will last another 3 or 4 yrs yet, or more, or until AMD incorporate Thunderbolt into their chipsets, I'm still waiting.... been a long wait.

The heart of any system is the motherboard, its the heart and sole of the machine and joins everything together, buy a good one cos there built better than cheap ones. Better components better cooling better features. Then its CPU, aim for minimum 8 cores and if your going to be using sound samples (Kontakt etc) I would recommend more than 16Gb if not 16Gb is more than enough and it can easily be upgraded later on. I started with 16Gb but ran out so added 8Gb I had kicking about and that did the job.

Hard Drives. They will not build a PC for audio, they build a PC that can be used for audio cos you will be wanting to change the system configuration once you get it home.

M2.SSD Storage. Most decent motherboards come with M2x2 (NVME) as in dual sockets. Fill them both with 1Tb modules you will need and use them. These will store your operating system, applications documents and project work.

HDD storage. If you are going to use Kontakt and other wav sample libraries buy a big hard drive. Some might recommend SSD as best they are faster more reliable and a lot more expensive. I use 6/8TB Hard Drives, there slightly slower and a lot cheaper. I have 16Tb samples no way would I consider SSDs and I have the money but also some sense.

If you are wanting to rack mount it then you will need a specialist case or a server. Forget a server unless your made of money a pro studio, or know what your doing and buy second hand. I know some on youtube use them, they clearly have more money than sense. You get stung for extended warranties and you need to have it for system updates unless you have a corporate account and access to their ftp servers.

Buy a good quality case a good power supply add in a DVD and you would be good to go. Did I miss something? A Graphics card, get something with a minimum 4Gb Ram for one monitor or 8Gb for 2 if your running at 4k. Oh monitors? Buy a big TV you will need all the space on the screen you can get and 58" 4k is cool, I know thats what I use. else depends on your eye sight, Im now old & blind so 58 suits me fine, when I was younger 24 was great but I used 32 cos I was a snob and played games all the time and worked in IT so got them paid for by someone else.


Thanks for the hints and tips, a great help

Cheers

Stuart
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby Martin Walker » Mon May 03, 2021 10:57 pm

TheLegit wrote:I've got a SCAN Music PC from 2013 still going

My latest Scan PC was bought in October 2012 and is still going strong.


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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby uselessoldman » Tue May 04, 2021 12:55 am

Lets get one thing straight, I have dealt with Scan International for 30 yrs. Yip from when they first started in Horwich Bolton when I worked at the local paper mill, looking after their IT in fact the IT for the whole company in the UK and Ireland. Scan was built on some of their old land as was the Football Ground (Reebok).

Scan are a end user supplier, box shifter. Simply cos they do not make anything they sell components and goods made by other people, like Asus Gigabyte ASRock Samsung and many other well knows brands. Putting some Ram and CPU and fan on a motherboard and testing it to say it works is silly, it should work that is what there designed to do. However building a new PC and giving it 24 hours to burn in, is standard practice, and you are getting paid to do it and the customer is expecting it to work out of the box.

Today there are far fewer PC suppliers than in the distant past. Computers are significantly less popular and less in demand than they were. Now they are more specialised, gaming podcasting Music etc so its no surprise Scan and others have specialist departments, that is what their customers desire and demand. Yes they should know what there talking about, that is their job what they get paid to do and who you go to for their expert knowledge. But in the end the difference between a computer for any specific specialised task is small, if any, and any computer can be built to do all.

SO you take the wife to buy a car and the sales man says, yip you will need 5 wheels, one on each corner and one in front of you, a engine a couple of seats (one each) and some bodywork around it. You get it home only to realise there is no radio no speakers. Go on the motorway and its only a 1.2ltr so will only do 70mph flat out and you have 300 miles to drive. lucky you. Get to your destination pick up your parents and low and behold, no back seats for them to sit on. The salesman did nothing wrong he sold you a car. Just not one you really needed cos you didn't realise before you bought what you needed.

Scan are a great company, the best along with CCL, they actually usually have a better range than CCL although CCL can sometimes be a little cheaper but its pennies difference CCL is 5 miles from where I live (turn 4 corners one long straight road Tong Road) and it takes CCL 3 days to deliver (DPD) Scan is usually next day for the same delivery charge!!

Its a music forum we use computers we also know whats needed. IF someone asks for advice on a guitar we give it not send them to Gibson or Fender or Gear4Music Andersons etc.

Now, can I go back and play World of Tanks? thanks
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby James Perrett » Tue May 04, 2021 1:13 am

uselessoldman wrote:But in the end the difference between a computer for any specific specialised task is small, if any, and any computer can be built to do all.

I don't know what kind of music computers you use but for those who use large sample libraries yet require low latency, the exact combination of components used really matters. The same goes for high track count recordings where things have to work reliably. Professionals don't want to rely on a machine that someone on the internet thinks will be good based on reading the specs. They want to buy from a company that will guarantee performance and be prepared to back it up.

Some people enjoy building their own computers and are prepared to accept that there could be issues but some people just want to buy a machine that they can trust to work. That's why the OP asked the question.

You are the same age as me so surely you must remember the days when we had to work out which I/O addresses and DMA channels to use with our audio interfaces to prevent conflicts with other cards. And which services to disable to give best performance. Thankfully most of those issues don't need to be considered nowadays but there are plenty of other gotchas that still crop up.
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Re: Recommended Pc Manufacturer

Postby uselessoldman » Tue May 04, 2021 2:42 am

My background was originally all hands on, desktop support before I moved into networking servers (Both Sun and Microsoft) and eventually hands off Project Management, hated it but loved the money. I actually got my Computer Science A level the first year it was introduced, it was a A/O course first year O Level 2nd A Level.

My Kontakt Library is 4.4Tb my Soundbank drive, wav sample IR etc libraries are in total over 6Tb. I currently have about 300Gb multi tracks (rock pop and classical) and 60Gb of my own project work. I am a hobbyist with some spare cash and do it for fun so my system is adequate and no where near what I would use professionally.

Latency is about your ASIO/DAW Computer/Audio Interface connection, lowest to record highest to mix master. If it causes a problem then something is not right seriously not right it should work flawlessly. A bad interface or poor system performance.

If one was to design a pro studios composers computer network it would be using SSD SAS Disk Arrays and Gigabyte or fibre networking. All the work would be done by servers and a remote connection/control from the desktops laptops tablets and phone. I would run them all in virtual machines (ESXI or Microsoft System Centre Azure), except those needing firewire but I believe Thunderbolt is now vmWare compliant so not an issue anymore, not tested it yet but I should.

I would not go to Scan for this I would go to Dell HP or IBM or in fact one of their official suppliers, me personally would choose HP/Compaq but thats just me being an old stick in the mud

I do actually own an old ML350 server I bought to learn Microsoft System Centre on. I could use that for music as it has I think something like dual quad xeons so 8 cores 128Gb Ram and a ton of hard drives, 2x8 Disk array cages but there not SSD there standard HDDs stolen from old broken laptops. 8Tb SSD are £700 that would cost me over £2k to upgrade to do what I need, no thanks. From memory it has 16Tb in one cage and 8Tb in the other, I might dig it out tomorrow not booted it up for a couple of years.
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