Are you an audio production professional? An editor, podcaster, or DJ? Do you do voiceover work?
Are you tired of the limitations of your personal computer and ready for an upgrade?
To get the best quality for the lowest price, the solution is simple. Do the research, gather the components, and build your own ultimate audio computer. Here’s what you need to know.
For a basic expert audio-production computer, you can expect to pay around $1500. That price will, however, go up if you want to build your exceptional PC for not just audio, but for video and live streaming too. And, why wouldn’t you? As long as you are putting in the effort to build a PC, you may as well strive for the best.
Note: Certain components are budget friendly and give you the ability to upgrade, as you will read below.
Since even quiet computer fans make some noise, if you are building a PC for audio or voice overs, you want to isolate it. Put your PC in another room – a closet, a garage, or a shed – and use a wall plate, such as the LINDY Faceplate, to connect the essential wires through the wall. The LINDY is ready-to-use wall plate, and has 10cm trailing leads for a neat and tidy AV installation. No soldering required. Just connect the cables and feed them through the walls.
The CPU is the brain of the PC, so you’ll want to get the best CPU available for audio production and editing. We like the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor. While Intel might have the edge for gamers, AMD’s Ryzen series, which is high-end for consumer grade, is really the best when it comes to audio and video editing, coding, and using Adobe CC applications.
Note: It comes with a substantial fan, but you may want to upgrade that at some point.
Price: ~ $200.
Just as important as the CPU is the motherboard, which allows everything to travel around the body of your PC. Our recommendation is the ASUS Prime x470-Pro. Powered by AMD Ryzen 2 AM4 and 7th generation Athlon processors to maximize connectivity and speed with NVMe M.2, features include front panel USB 3.1 Gen2, Gigabit LAN, Aura Sync RGB lighting, 5-way optimization with auto tuning and Fan Xpert, 8-channel HD audio with Realtek S1220, and more.
Note: Choose your CPU first, so you are able to select a compatible motherboard.
Price: ~ $150.
The power supply is a purchasing decision, as well. Who knew? The more you spend, the more economical it is on your power bill, the easier it fits into your whole system, and the less likely it is to explode. Our recommendation is the EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3. As a bonus, all the cords are included, and it’s modular with plenty of outputs.
Price: ~ $150.
You can’t boot up a computer unless it has RAM. Our recommendation is the Corsair Vengeance LPX (2X16GB). RAM can be one of the most expensive parts of your computer build, but it’s a major factor for audio and video editing. Remember, the speed and size makes a difference in how much you can do and how fast you can do it. Saving time ultimately saves you money.
Price: ~ $135.
While it may be the least valuable element of your computer, your computer needs a case. We like the Fractal Design Meshify C. It’s got a modern look and has a lot of air flow, as well as magnetic dust filters. Plus, its dark tempered glass casing enables you to see inside.
Graphics cards run the price spectrum.
For a budget card, try the 2 gigabyte ASUS GEFORCE GT 710.
Price: ~ $60.
More advanced is the 11GB EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti.
Once you have the basic heart, brain, body, and soul of your PC, here is what else you need.
PC Cooling Fans
At some point you’ll want to get a good fan to keep your PC cooling. And you have plenty of choices. The Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM and Noctua NF-A12x25 ULN are the more premium options, the be quiet! Silent Wings 3 is – naturally – quiet, and the Corsair ML120 PRO is colorful. They are all good brands, so pick whichever function is the priority for you.
Storage is another one of those essential for multimedia work.
NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is necessary for operating system and audio plugins for fast load times. Check out the WD Black 500GB NVMe.
You also need big drives for scratch disks and temp files, such as WD Black 6TB.
More about that here.
No computer – especially an ultimate audio computer – is complete without a sound card and audio interface.
Keyboard and Mouse
Last, but not least … the accessories. Keyboard and mouse choice has a lot to do with comfort and function.
Use this article as a starting point to create your own customized audio PC. Find what is right for you and your budget, and then upgrade when you can. But, most importantly, enjoy the process. And then let the fun begin!
Having a fast, customized PC will certainly take your podcasting, videos, livestreaming, and editing to a whole new level of professionalism.
Watch Music Radio Creatives entire video series on putting together an ultimate PC.