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Digital DJ Wanna-Be :)


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#1
Laughter

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Hello,

This is my first posting....and I am SO GLAD to be here!!! Thank you for being out there!!!

Ok. I want to build a computer that will accomodate my goal of having a system that is specifically for Dj/musical use. I don't know much about the hardware of a computer or what I need to make it happen---which is why I am posting here today! ;)

Here is what I will need to be able to do....

I want to be able to rip my CD's (about 500) to the computer so I can have access to all of my music at the click of a buton.

I need to be able to use Dj software programs (many of them require a computer with WIN XP and lots of memory, etc.) that allow me to learn how to mix, remix, edit and so on, the music and then burn my own CD. (I have a lot to learn as far as Dj software is concerned, but I am SO EXCITED!!) **I wanted to mention that this computer would never be connected to the web.**

Anyhow, I have been advised to buy a MAC G5 or Powerbook (I have never even seen a MAC in person).......to buy a DELL that is "souped up", order a PC thru alienware.com or voodoo.com---but it looks really $$$$$. I also checked out eBay, but again, I do not know what to look for. :tazz:

So, I am willing to purchase the right pieces of hardware in order to build my own computer, but I humbly need to request your assistance and expertise.

Thanks for your time and I hope that you have a great weekend!!

~Laughter ;)
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#2
Technogeek8

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What to look for in a multimedia comp

AMD 64 processor (better than Pentium because they are more stable and are better overall processors)

1 gb ddr 400 mhz ram (corsair ram is best)

Asus or Gigabyte Mobo (must be 754 socket to support AMD 64 processors)

7.1 sound blaster audigy 2 pro

200 gb + hd (western digital or seagate, must be 7200 rpm + and have a 8 mb buffer)

Dvd/rw drive

52x36x52 Cd/rw drive

All Hd should have sata connections (not IDE/EIDE)

Another other questions, just ask

David
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#3
Technogeek8

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Program to check out for all of your multimedia needs would be Cool Edit Pro. It's amazing because it offers a bunch of digital effects and has the ability to layer up to 99 tracks together, blending all your audio files nice and neatly. It's the ultimate program if your recording a demo for a band or something. Its an all in wonder program you should look into

David
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#4
audioboy

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you may want to decide if your ever gonna be taking this out and about. if so, a laptop is the way to go.
whatever you get, dont get celeron (intel) or sempron (amd) processors, they tend to lack multimedia acceleration.

for DJ use, you will actually want a high quality stereo audio card. these can be internal or external. many pro and pro-sumer level audio devices now use firewire, which is great. make sure you have firewire support on your motherboard!

cooledit is great, but its not available anymore. its now called adobe audition, and costs $300, as will any high quality audio editing program of that level of power.
you wont need anything that strong to start out. check out cakewalk home studio, things like that.

there are also tons of programs that will allow you to do DJ mixing right on the PC, using mp3 files, etc. I forget what they are off the top of my head, just do some searching.

I would go to local music shops, or guitar center, etc. check out the sound cards, see what programs come bundled with them. a good online source is musicians friend- they have lots of the particulars you will need for what you want to do.

also check out remixmag.com
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#5
Laughter

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Thanks so much for your help, Technogeek8 & audioboy!

I've written down all of the information that you've provided, and I do have some more questions...

Since I have existing equipment (mixer, cd players, AMP and studio monitors), would it matter whether the audio card is internal or external? From what I have been told, my equipment will be connected to the computer via the audio card. Does that sound about right? Besides firewire, are there any other brand names/specs that are important for this type of set-up?

I am flexible as far as whether the system is a desktop or a laptop. I don't plan on taking the system with me anywhere..... However, if there are definite advantages of one over the other (besides the space-saving & portable edge to a laptop), I would go with the better of the two. Hmm....is the laptop able to provide the same features that a desktop could or is it limited to some degree?

What are the differences between a sound card and an audio card, if any? (Ok, I am showing how naive I really am! lol)

AMD 64 processor---I noticed there are several "levels" of them (2800, 3000, 3200, and so on). Which would I need specifically, or is it a matter of what is most affordable?

Hard Drives--is it better to have one or two of them? Pros and cons?

Which OS do you recommend for this system?

I appreciate the feedback on different software programs for music purposes!!! I am sure that I'll need a pretty "basic" software program, with the goal of getting into the more advanced level, with a lot of practice. Woohoo! :tazz:

Have a great day and please know that you're making a BIG difference for someone who was freaking out a few days back---I owe you!!!

~Laughter

Edited by Laughter, 16 May 2005 - 08:12 AM.

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#6
audioboy

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for the system build-
processor wise, Im an intel guy. of the current crop, anything at 3Ghz and above is fine. they are supposed to be releasing a new series of processors later this year, which may drop the price on the current prescott series.
as for AMD, I would defer to technogeek as to what is what. he can explain it well, Im sure.

for what its worth, you dont need a powerhouse machine to do audio work, so even a slower machine would be fine. if you have the cash, go for near top of the line now.
if your not gonna need to move about, go for desktop. they are cheaper, and can be easily upgraded in the future.
hard drive wise, if you can, go for SATA. it is faster, and the way of the future. I prefer to do 2 smaller drives, one for system info, another for saving data, etc. the biggest problem with 1 large drive is, if it dies, you lose everything.

I mentioned external sound cards, mostly if you were looking at a laptop. you will have to decide if you want stereo or multiple channels of I/O. I think stereo would be fine for what you are looking at doing. sound card/audio card, same thing.
windows is the best option. linux is coming along audio wise, but I dont know of many apps that work on it yet specifically for audio work.
Mac OS X is great for audio (and video) work, but it means buying a mac, and being locked into their system. many of the pros use macs, as it does some very high end stuff. it is a viable option, but likely overkill for your purposes.

now a question for you- are you going to rip in your CD's, or do you want to be able to record in to the PC in real time? example, do a mix through your mixer, cross fading songs, etc.
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#7
Laughter

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now a question for you- are you going to rip in your CD's, or do you want  to be able to record in to the PC in real time? example, do a mix through your mixer, cross fading songs, etc.

View Post


Hi audioboy,

I appreciate all of your expertise!!!

To answer your question, I would like to be able to record a mix that I am doing right from my mixer and CD players (crossfading, etc) while I am doing it AND also via software programs that allow you to "rework or remix/mix" right from the computer screen. I actually like the thought of both approaches, depending on what I feel inspired to do (even though I have never used Dj software except for demos, which are ususally limited in features).

Would I be able to set up a system to have both capabilities? My guess is yes...but I wouldn't be 100% sure! LOL

Thanks! ~Laughter
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#8
Laughter

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I went to buyxg.com, clicked on Complete System and then selected the XG Gaming Elite 2000 model. Then I went thru and upgraded (well, so I think!) some of the options that are listed below. Could you please point out any areas that you would see that must be changed? (***Please keep in mind that sometimes they only give you a few options to choose from, so I leaned on info. provided here to guide me in my selections.***) Some of the things (like RAID or IEEE_CARD) I left alone, because I don't know what they are. :tazz:

Thanks to everyone here for being so helpful. You ROCK!!!!!! ;) Laughter



*BASE_PRICE: [+659]
CAS: TURBO X-DREAMER CASE 350 WATT W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display (BLACK COLOR)
CASUPGRADE: NONE
CPU: (939-pin) AMD ATHLON64 3200+ CPU w/ Hyper Transport Technology [+46]
CD: 16X DVD ROM (BEIGE COLOR)
CDRW: (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BEIGE COLOR)
CABLE: None
FLOPPY: 1.44 MB FLOPPY DRIVE [+10] (BEIGE COLOR)
FLASHMEDIA: None
FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS [+9]
HDD: Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Serial ATA 150 8MB Cache [-10]
HDD2: Seagate 120GB 7200RPM Serial ATA 150 8MB Cache [+86]
HALFLIFE2: NONE
IEEE_CARD: NONE
KEYBOARD: PS2 MULTIMEDIA INTERNET CONTROL KEYBOARD (BEIGE COLOR)
MOUSE: PS2 INTERNET MOUSE W/ WHEEL (Special!!! BEIGE COLOR MICROSOFT USB INTELLIMOUSE)
MSGAME1: NONE
MSGAME2: NONE
MSGAME3: NONE
MOTHERBOARD: (Sckt939)ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset SATA RAID Dual PCIE MB w/Gb-LAN,USB2.0,IEEE-1394,&7.1Audio [+102]
MEMORY: 1024 MB (512MBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY [+70] (Corsair Value RAM)
MONITOR: NONE
MODEM: NONE
MP3PLAYER: NONE
NAPSTER: NONE
NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD
OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition w/ Service Pack 2
PRINTER: None
PRINTER_CABLE: None
POWERSUPPLY: STANDARD CASE POWER SUPPLY
RAID: NONE
RUSH: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS
SCANNER: NONE
SERVICE: Standard Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty Plus 1-Year OnSite Service
SOUND: Creative Labs SB Audigy-2 ZS 7.1 [+95]
SPEAKERS: 600WATT PMPO SUBWOOFER STEREO SPEAKERS
SOFT1: Microsoft® Works 7.0
SOFT2: NONE
TEMP: NONE (AS SHOWN)
UPS: None
USB: Build-in USB 2.0 Ports
USB_PENDRIVE: NONE
VIDEOCAMERA: NONE
VIDEO: NVIDIA Geforce 6200 Graphics with TurboCache supporting 256MB 16X PCI Express VIDEO CARD
VIDEO2: NONE
WIRING: None
WIRELESSPOINT: NONE
WIRELESSCARD: NONE
ZIP: NONE
_PRICE: (+1067)
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#9
audioboy

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looks pretty good. my only recommended change would be the power supply. a quick search on that case turned up a few complaints about the stock supply that comes with it (cheap, burns out). its always better to go with a name brand psu, like the antec true power series, or enermax or thermaltake.
investing a little extra now in a good psu will ensure it lasts thru the next couple of upgrade cycles!

that soundblaster should do the trick for you. it has line in's, so you can feed your mixer into it for recording.
all the internal mixing/remixing, etc is software, so that depends on the programs you get, but that PC will be able to run them no problem.

I think this would be a good way to go. its a pretty powerful PC, but even if you decide you hate doing the mixing thing, you still got a good machine for whatever else.
if you decide you really like the mixing thing, and ever need to step up to pro audio level soundcards, etc. you can do that easily enough later on.

oh yeah...the IEEE card is referring to IEEE1394- commonly known as firewire. you dont need a card for it, since your motherboard supports it, and the soundblaster has it as well.
RAID refers to a type of hard drive array- in this case, combine 2 hard drives together, for either faster performance, or better data integrity. not really needed for a standard user. I actually prefer to have 2 seperate drives like you have specified. one disc for the OS and programs, the other disc to store your data, etc. on.
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#10
Laughter

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THANKS to everyone who posted replies to this inquiry. I am close to ordering a computer that will be great for working with my music...and I owe you guys for it! I would have been in deep trouble, otherwise. ;)

So, much appreciation for all of your help!!!! Laughter :tazz:
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