I built a cheap Digital Music Workstation - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 06-16-2006, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Techie
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 96
Default I built a cheap Digital Music Workstation

I did too. I bought a Gateway PIII 650 Mhz Solo 5300 notebook computer for about $100 on ebay and the docking station for $25.00 and upgraded hard drive to 70GB (had a compatible one lying around so no cost) and bought 512mb ram for $100.

Loaded up XP sp2 updated everything and it worked great. Then installed:

Mcafee, Windows Defender, Adobe Acrobat, Office 2000 and all updates. So far so good.

Next, bought a used M Audio Delta 66 card and breakout box for about $100 with six in and outs 24 bit/96kHz full duplex interface using ASIO drivers (6ms latency) and a midisport 4x4 midi usb breakout box for like $75. Everything worked great.

So then I scored the following software from a friend who was moving really cheap:

1. Reason 2.5
2. Acid XT
3. Sonic Foundry Forge 4.5
4. Virtual DJ Studio 3.1
5. Sax & Dotty's Karoke Software
6. Some utilities that convert various audio formats and Nero of course all 1-6 for about $100.

Hooked it up to a nice kurzweil 88 key midi controller some box I got with it that changes all kinds of midi parameters which is very cool (both $800) and everything worked great except the notebook doesn't do the dual screen thing so you can't have two different screens showing at the same time which is a big hit to doing karaoke professionaly with this notebook.

Ran it out to a friend's PA system and it worked great. Voile' a relatively cheap 24 bit performance rig that can be used to play gigs, songwrite, in the studio etc...

My total cost= was $500 plus $800 for the kurzweil gear.

Obviously there are many ways to go including APPLE of course so do share: Anyone build a digital music workstation? If so, how did you do it? What worked and what didn't.

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Old 06-16-2006, 10:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,915
Send a message via Yahoo to talldude123

That looks like a good music workstation, and for the price, $100, it was a pretty cheap laptop.

For $500, that would be the minimum price of a new laptop.

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Old 06-16-2006, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
Junior Techie
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 96

Very true talldude123. And I'm typing on it right now after sliding in a very cheap wireless pcmcia card into it so now it is internet enabled .

So many ways I could have gone but I think they would have costed more money. I just scored a very tiny Sony Vaio off the recycle way under market. Very light and small. Just using for a backpack notebook computer now but very happy with it for that. So many deals out there in the used market.

My neighbor blew me away by buying a brand new G5 with 23" screen running final cut pro on it and a video capture card as well. He spent like $7k! Whew! Too rich for my blood. Anyways, have a great day friend.
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