Shuttle Build for Music DAW

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor PCs' started by Mobius, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. Mobius

    Mobius Ableton Live 8 User

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    Hi

    I'm looking to build a Shuttle or SFF PC for my DAW (Ableton Live).

    I'm not to worried about choice of Motherboard, Ram, Graphics, HD, Processor.
    Allthough if anyone knows of a particular choice of system configuration parts that would be beneficial to a DAW set up then I would love to hear it.

    But I do want quiet fans. Odd request I know, but as you may know, it's kind of important if you can't afford the space for a live recording booth in your house.:rolleyes:

    If anyone can impart their knowledge of quiet fan choice for a Shuttle system, I would be pleased to find out.

    I currently use a DELL XPS 15" 2.2 Dual Core 2 3GB Ram with an external Berringher FCA202 soundcard, with external monitor.

    This is my first post, so sorry if I seem a bit rusty.

    Oh, and I should have said, I allready own a Shuttle XPC SB81P main board with 3.4ghz Pentium P but it's for general use, but I love it, hence why I want to build a spanking new one for the studio.
     
  2. dabblet®

    dabblet® "It's shiny - I want it"

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    Completely, well kinda, away from your question - have you considered an imac?

    Due to the apparent love in most manufacturers have in this sector for apple products this could be a way forward (subject to budget of course).

    It may make adding to your workflow easier i.e. using an ipad as an additional control interface.

    Quiet fans are here: http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/Kustom_PCs_Shop_Quiet_Case_Fans__72.html

    Generally they do what they say on the tin :)
     
  3. Mobius

    Mobius Ableton Live 8 User

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    Indeed, you signature sums my belief about suffering the symptom that seems to assert a MAC system to be better.

    Errr.

    I want to be better at computing in general, but have used Microsoft products all my computing life.

    It would take me months to learn a new OS and for using DAW's it's a good idea to be familiar.

    So with that in mind.

    The size of the case etc is only a aesthetic wish.

    I'm ok with my own reasons for staying with a PC, having been around a bit, it's just some insider knowledge from someone who's recently built a small ish form factor for DAW,

    It was a punt coming to this forum, but perhaps I should post on KVR 'Computing' I may get a quicker response.

    Thank's again for you comments.
     
  4. dabblet®

    dabblet® "It's shiny - I want it"

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    No probs - I wasn't asserting Macs are better just pointing out that many of tools coming out seem to assume a mac product is present.

    I'm pc almost all the way (if pushed I'll admit to a mac book pro and an iphone) but 2 pc's, android tablet and msoft laptop should give you a clue where I come from.

    I did link you through to kustoms quiet fan page and I have always found that what they sell stands up to what they show on the site - so choose a cfm, choose a db rating and away you go.

    :)
     
  5. Nanaki

    Nanaki Nanaki

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    Hey Mobius.

    Just to back up dabblet here a bit.

    He wasn't trying to argue the "MAC > PC" or vice versa in general.

    Right now in the audio work the MAC is pretty much the default platform in use from high end studios down the small home recording setups.

    Most major software and hardware is based around the mac hardware and made for windows as as afterthought (if at all) so if you were looking for the best then a mac would be the way to go.

    However of course you can do music work on the PC.

    Now as for your original question about what to get.

    Well hardware wise the world is your oyster depending on budget really.

    You could get a modern shuttle barebones system and put in the parts you want to get you up and running.

    Or you could build your own mini-itx based PC for small and powerful as well.

    Now before any of us could actually spec a system for you we would need more details.

    How many expansion cards do you plan on adding? A lot of audio work has dedicated hardware and at the very least a high end soundcard. If you need any more than 1 slot then that rules out mini-ITX and we would then look at a build around micro-ATX.

    You also need to consider your OS. Again there is a lot of audio tools out there that still prefer to be ran on a 32bit OS so sticking win 7 64 bit on your new pc potentially isn't in your intrest depending on the tools you use.

    If you do live recording with the PC in the same room then presumably you will need to spec it to be as quiet as possible. Again its just more to be considered.

    Have you any older hardware that would be getting plugged into the pc that need legacy ports like serial? This would affect motherboard choice.

    The major thing we would need though is a rough budget from you. PCs can cost anywhere from £400 - £4000+ depending on what exactly you want them to do and how flush your feeling.

    For this type of work I would be spending at least £650 - £700 on my pc however its up to you.

    If you have any more questions just ask.
     
  6. Mobius

    Mobius Ableton Live 8 User

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    I must apologize for sounding a bit, hastled, the other day, and you are right I only noticed your link to good fan's just as I left the forum.

    I've had a busy week and having a few moments to my self, left a bit of a grumpy reply so I really do apologize. :eek:

    Thank you for the fan link.

    I have a small studio set up that's been hung around, external firewire soundcards, usb midi input and mixers to port the sound to monitors all from an Dell XPS 15 laptop. at 2.2ghz Dual Core 2 3gb ram and 500gb hard drive, it's all been quite good, I can run 4/5 or so high end VSTi Synths and Samplers with native effects and other tools while working quite easy, only when I add lot's more do I push the CPU and sound card to the max an have crashes.

    I use Ableton Live and good 3rd party plugins like Native Instruments, Camel Audio, FXPansion and this kind of thing. (all licenced I might add:rolleyes:).

    However, here's the thing, I will be blunt > My back B***** hurts, where I stretch over the desk for long periods to use keyboard shortcut's on the laptop mounted on a stand. I want to re design the studio so I pull out my midi controller (M-Audio Axiom 61) from underneath the desk on a fake drawer. The system is stretched to be producing the sounds I like without rendering the midi to audio all the time and that kinda thing, so I want more power for the studio and the laptop for live work, and because when I don't feel like I want to smash the computer to bit's, I actually quite like em, and like spawning machines everywhere ;)

    Since I wrote the post a few day's ago, I actually picked up a copy of Custom PC, to sound out the latest chat, and found some interesting stuff on benchmark testing of graphics cards and other tests of equipment that made a good read.

    I hear you on the PCIE slot's for Shuttles, so I will look into that quite carefully, as my plan is to have something like an M-Audio PCIE card internal, rather than a firewire external soundcard, so I can save on USB ports for controllers and the like.

    Any midi input these day's is not a problem due to usb>midi hubs.

    I'm gathering information around my budget (about £650) and need's and setting a draft out on paper for the planed build.

    I will most likely go for a barebones system any way, I've said Shuttle, because I already have one, but I would be very interested to hear if anyone else can support another company.

    The SFF comes from limited space issue, and the wish to have it up on the new bench so I can open the CD Tray, plug in USB stick's for software updates and this kinda thing.

    I'm planing the build around the likelyhood of Ableton releasing a 64bit version of Ableton, but as yet they have not; users are chomping at the bit, to get it, so Ableton will no doubt give in at some point this year.

    If most of my software looks like it's going to be 64bit sometime this year, then I wll make the jump.

    I'm really thankful for your kind replies.

    Regards.