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PCRECORDING.COM - - The Harddrive.

High, sustained throughput is a critical element of successful digital audio recording and is a direct function of your hard drive and CPU. Virtually any Pentium-based computer with a hard drive bigger than 1.2 Gb will meet minimum requirements for simple digital audio recording. However, a fast CPU and hard drive will make things considerably easier for larger, more complex recording projects. This is because digital audio recording puts a very heavy load on your CPU and hard drive. A good example is the typical music CD, recorded in stereo, at 16-bit resolution and a sampling rate of 44.1kHz. This format consumes approximately 10 Mb of audio data per minute of song. The graph below demonstrates the difference bit rates and sampling rates make on data stream flow.

# of Tracks/Sample rate Throughput at 16-bit Throughput at 16-bit
1 track (mono)/44.1kHz 88.2Kb per second 5.292Mb per minute
2 tracks (stereo)/44.1kHz 176.4Kb per second 10.584Mb per minute
10 tracks (mono)/44.1kHz .88Mb per second 52.92Mb per minute
1 track (mono)/48kHz 96Kb per second 5.76Mb per minute
2 tracks (stereo)/48kHz 192Kb per second 11.34Mb per minute
# of Tracks/Sample rate Throughput at 24-bit Throughput at 24-bit
1 track (mono)/44.1kHz> 132.3Kb per second 7.938Mb per minute
2 track (stereo)/44.1kHz 264.6Kb per second 16.876Mb per minute
10 tracks (mono)/44/1kHz 1.33Mb per second 79.38Mb per minute

As you can see, as the tracks and bit/sampling rates go up, the data stream load increases. Therefore, a faster CPU and hard drive will make it easier to record and/or playback a large number of tracks. If you have an older, slower PC, do not give up hope, there are a number of workarounds.