Audio production can be one of the more challenging purposes for building a PC. Special care must be taken not only to know how your main hardware affects performance, but also to ensure maximum compatibility with important peripherals, interfaces, and Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software options. That’s why it’s important to build a computer that will efficiently handle these audio-specific tasks, which are some of the most varied processes the average PC user will perform.

That’s where this guide comes in, to help you with everything you’ll need to know! We’ll explain which components are the most important for audio work, and how to get the most out of your new workstation.

Example PC Builds for Music Production and Audio Editing

Before we get into this section, a note: you can never really discuss audio production without starting a fight about PC vs Mac. Now, there are two reasons that our article will be entirely focused on PC. Firstly, here at Web-Systems our main focus is building PCs that are custom built around whatever our customers need – often times for professionals who need a PC for high quality work such as this. Secondly, PCs are much more customisable than Macs, and over the last few years we have seen even budget PCs significantly outclass that of Macs. – Not to mention repairs if you should ever need one are much easier and cheaper on a PC than a Mac. The only thing that really brings Macs into any sort of contention as being the best option is how portable it is – many Macs are designed to be taken anywhere with work done on the commute.

The Build

When looking at building a PC for audio production, a lot of your build will be determined by what exactly you are looking to produce. For smaller scale productions (solo podcasts, student projects, etc.) you really don’t need some supercomputer with the power of a thousand suns to get the job done—yet you still might want some of the peripherals detailed further below, so your total budget could include them in order to give you a good all-around starting setup. For professional independent and studio setups, however, the sky really is the limit.

These builds have been designed around very different price points and feature very different components to provide a snapshot of what sort of builds you can put together for audio production. As you go through this section, also remember that these are the core components alone.

Note: When building a new PC, you’ll need to install an operating system. For maximum compatibility with available music production and audio editing (DAW) software, we recommend using Windows. At Web-Systems we offer a genuine copy of Windows 10 for £100.

Starter Audio Workstation Build (£670)

This PC build is perfect for students and folks who are new to audio production work. Being a very capable, all-around production PC is what we are aiming for here. The focus is on decent storage, audio editing capabilities, and plenty of upgrade options down the line.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
Graphics Card: Palit GeForce GT 730 2GB
Motherboard: Asrock A320M-DVS
RAM: 16GB DDR4-2400 (2 X 8GB)
Storage 1: ADATA 240 GB SSD 
Storage 2: Toshiba 2TB HDD
Power Supply: Game Max GP500 500W
Case: CiT Blitz
Operating System: Windows 10

With this build, we are taking advantage of the cheap but powerful AMD Ryzen series. The 2400G is the best of the Ryzen 5s at a very modest price for a powerful quad-core processor.

Although for a lot of other build guides on the site we start with 8GB of RAM (or less), as we’re focusing on editing here we have jumped straight in with a 16GB kit. This will help the system when doing more CPU-intensive tasks and, coupled with the SSD, will give the system plenty of speed for the price.

There are a lot of upgrade possibilities with this system too if you are looking for a budget PC initially to transition into something better at a later date.

Home Professional Audio Workstation Build (£1,400)

Designed to be a solid professional workstation, this PC comes bursting at the seams with performance. This build is very much designed around being the at-home professional studio PC. Not only does it come with incredible performance for most users, but it has plenty of customization options to suit your needs.

CPU: Intel i7-9700K
Graphics Card: GTX 1060 6GB
Motherboard: Asrock Z390
RAM: 32GB DDR4 (4 X 8GB)
Storage 1: ADATA 480GB SSD
Storage 2: 2TB HDD
Power Supply: Game Max GM800 800W
Case: Game Max Starlight
Operating System: Windows 10

With the i7-9700K at its heart, this is a solid high-performance PC which comes with just about everything a new professional looking for their first serious purchase could ever need.

When compared to the first build, we’re getting a nice jump in core/thread count, not to mention getting a meaty 32GB of DDR4 RAM. As well as a motherboard that can be upgraded to an i9 processor in the future if you need to. This spec is great for those that are on a tight budget but have saved up for a one-time splurge because you need the performance as this PC has great longevity and will probably last -if necessary – up to a decade without significant upgrades. Potentially saving you money in the long-term.

Productivity Monster Audio Workstation Build (£2,200)

When you absolutely, positively need to know that your PC will be able to handle everything you throw at it in terms of audio production—this is the sort of high-performance, professional-grade build you need to be looking at. Despite the monstrous music production and audio editing prowess of this build, it amazingly still manages to leave the door open for future upgrades as well.

This particular example build is actually the exact specifications of a customer’s PC we are currently building. The customer who is a professional DJ will be using this PC for very high quality video and music creation and editing. So if you’re looking for top-class PC specifications tailored to this industry then this is a great template to work around.

CPU: Intel i9 9900K
Graphics Card: GTX 1070 Ti
Motherboard: Asrock Z390
RAM: 64GB DDR4 (8 X 8GB)
Storage 1: ADATA 2TB SSD
Storage 2: Samsung 1TB SSD M.2
Power Supply: Corsair 750W Gold Fully Modular
CPU Cooler: Game Max Iceberg 240mm
Case: Game Max Ghost
Operating System: Windows 10

These are just 3 examples of custom builds but there are endless combinations that you can use to suit your needs. Remember: at Web-systems we provide free consultations to those that are unsure about what they need in their PC.