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[Bedroom Recording Tips] About Your Recording Computer
January 11, 2012

"What kind of recording computer do I need?" That's perhaps one of the most common recording questions. And not without reason - choosing a computer for recording is something you want to get right.

Here's the great news - you can probably use the computer that you are using right now as your recording computer. Most computers that are not more than 2 years old will run the recording equipment just fine.

Find the software you plan to use and check out the requirements for it. Most computers with a 2-Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM/memory will be ok.

Obviously, the faster your computer is, the better it will perform when doing digital recording. The computer does not need to have special features, and this or that. It just needs to be capable of doing regular computer things.

Digital audio does not require as much of a computer as it used to. Back in the olden days (early 2000s... yeah, 10 years ago), audio would place a bigger demand on the system. Now you can record 4 tracks of 24bit 44.1kHz no sweat with almost any computer.

But normally we do more than 4 tracks. Even for my choral recordings I have about 6 tracks sometimes, and double that for some of the processing I apply. That's where the kicker comes in. The more tracks and processing you plan to use, the more power you'll need.

A good way to estimate how many tracks you'll need is to try to think of all the tracks you might use, then double that.

If you come up with more than 12 tracks, you probably want to look at getting something more than the cheapest computer available. Make sure it has at least 2GB of RAM, preferably 4GB or more.

Hard drive space is not that critical. A lot of computers come with 500GB or bigger hard drives, and that is plenty to store a lot of projects. However, you'll be sharing this with program files, other documents, and more, so don't get smaller than 500GB. You can always get an external hard drive to supplement the internal. In the case of a laptop, you will want to do that, because the internal hard drives are just too slow to record on.

Processing power is the brute force of the computer. If you can buy a new computer for recording, buy one that has an Intel Core i5 processor or better. Think down the road a bit. You would rather buy a bit more power than you currently need, and have it work for you in the future, than to go cheap and need to replace it prematurely.

I like very much Apple computers. They are intuitive and easy to work with. You can pick up a Mac Mini for not too much money, and it will serve you well for a long time.

Once you have your recording computer, the learning begins. Check out for more info on computer audio recording, and recording equipment for guideposts down the road.

Here at, we are always looking for ways to meet you, our reader, where you are at. Do you have a question or problem that we can help with? Just hit reply to this message and let me know. We will read every email.

Have a great week recording,

Lee Weaver

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