By Brian, PCAudioLabs
It’s your one day off, you sit down to make some music, and boom, your computer crashes. Then you start to think; how long have I had this thing? When you get that feeling, it’s time to look at a new music computer. We’re going to outline the top five reasons you should consider a new Windows computer for your music studio.
1. You’re still running Windows XP
Windows XP was a great operating system, really, it was! But, Microsoft recently ended support for the well-known OS, and that means no more updates. This also means your computer could be at risk to crash at any moment. Additionally, many new Digital Audio Workstations, such as SONAR X3, don’t run on Windows XP. It’s ok, it’s time to let go. Windows 7 or Windows 8 offers a slew of new features that will make your music making experience easier.
2. You’re not able to get work done as fast
It stands to reason that if you have a computer that is over five years old and wasn’t built by a music computer manufacturer, it’s probably going to run a little slower than you’d like. Are your tracks taking longer to bounce down? Can’t run as many plugins as you used to? There’s only so much power you’re going to get out of an older computer that wasn’t built for audio, and that’s when it’s time to look at a new rig.
3. Your workflow is suffering
When you spend more time troubleshooting than you do making music, that’s a bad thing. We all know that time is limited, especially for being creative, and you have to make the most of your time. When you have to spend your time making your computer do what you want, instead of making music, your frustration goes up, and your creativity goes down.
4. You’ve outgrown your machine
Let’s face it, it happens. You get a computer, you put it to good use, but with time and growth, your needs outweigh what your computer is capable of. Maybe you need to be able to record more tracks at once, or maybe you simply can’t do what you need with your current hardware. It’s ok, that just means you’re growing as a creative, and it’s time to look for a new computer.
5. Your current machine is loud, filled with bloatware, and doesn’t fit your studio.
Most off the shelf computers – meaning those from big box stores and websites – might seem like great deals on paper, but when you get them home, you find that your computer’s hard drive is filled with bloatware (did you really want all those demo antivirus applications? Yeah, we didn’t think so). That is why your computer was cheap – lots of companies rented out space on your hard drive, and your Windows installation image isn’t really a true Windows image, which means you can’t even re-install Windows cleanly. Additionally, your computer is a lot slower due to all that bloatware, which means you won’t get anything done.
Off the shelf computers aren’t made with silence in mind, nor with the needs of a creative in mind. They use sub-par components that mean your computer will be loud – which is hard when you need to record that perfect vocal cut. You can’t replace many of those components, because they’re proprietary, which means you can’t purchase replacement parts.
What about Support? If you have an issue with your music software, you can’t call a big box computer manufacturer and ask them for help – they simply won’t help you. That can be pretty frustrating when you need answers.
Finally, off the shelf computers rarely fit the needs of the creative – literally. They’re not rackmountable, they don’t have the motherboard slots you need (like legacy PCI slots, for instance), and their case sizes can be limiting at the very least. All of this leads to a less-than-stellar experience with a computer you paid good money for, expecting it to be great for audio production.
These are just a few reasons you should look at obtaining a new computer which has been certified for music production. If you answered yes to even one of these points, you might want to consider getting a new music computer so you can truly get back to being creative with your computer.