How to reduce computer noise in the studio

Get an acoustically-designed computer

An easy way to do this is to use a Mac. The latest Macs are already whisper-quiet. And you can also run Windows on them if you prefer to use Windows-only software.

If you don’t want to use a Mac, another option is to use a purpose-built PC. There are companies that build these, but they tend to be quite expensive (and cost is usually one of the biggest reasons not to use a Mac).

If you’d rather build your computer yourself to keep costs down (or to get more value for your money), keep in mind that parts specifically designed for quiet operation can get quite expensive anyway. You’ll be able to build a quiet computer, but it won’t be for rock-bottom prices.

The bottom line is: expect to pay more for a quiet computer.

Isolate the computer

The next thing to do is to isolate the computer. How you do this will depend greatly on the physical layout of your studio. The best solution is to have the computer in a separate “machine room” (studios that record on tape often have the tape machine itself in a separate machine room). If you do this, make sure you get the highest-quality shielded extension cables you can find. Depending on your audio interface, you might be able to get by with only three cables:

  • Firewire – dedicated to the audio interface
  • USB – for mouse, keyboard, MIDI, storage devices, etc
  • DVI – for your screen.

Failing that, try to place the computer in a separate enclosure. Here the trick is to balance quietness against airflow. Too little airflow may result in the computer malfunctioning from overheating – especially on hot summer days. Not a good look with clients! For home studios, you might try using a cupboard or cabinet. For professional studios, custom-made enclosures are ideal – especially if they include acoustic dampening, easy access to CD drives, managed airflow directed away from listening/recording areas, etc.

Obviously, the more you can start with a quiet computer, the less you need to physically isolate it. Likewise, the more isolation you can provide for the computer, the less you need it to be quiet.

Avoid recording it…

…by following these tips:

https://kimlajoie.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/tips-for-quiet-recordings/

-Kim.

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  1. it also helps to assemble a pc from quiet components. more over here

    http://dubshot.blogspot.com/2008/11/silent-or-at-least-inaudible-pc-for.html

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