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Reckon about £300-350 would be the bare minimum.
I got mine for about £400, which gave me enough RAM and processor power to be able to record and use VSTs pretty comfortably - but the sound card it came with is nowhere near powerful enough to handle running more than a couple heavy VSTis live (I get around these by rendering any parts with particularly memory-hungry fx attached, down into a wav file and playing that through the sequencer).
If you're recording guitar to sequencer, you'll want at the least a DI box or something like a Line 6 Toneport, which don't cost all that much at all (I got my Toneport for £100 about 3 years ago, and that was the RRP). Even if you're miking up an amp, the flexibility a DI gives you is worth the cash.
That's gay. What problems do you have with it? I had a nightmare when I built my current PC and thought I'd replace the soundcard too. When I tried to use it with the Pod, the latancy was bullshit and I kept getting artifacts and static. Took me about 2 months to realise the problem was that it didn't like the USB port I was using for some retarded reason. Luckily I had a couple more ports round the front of the computer which it liked more - I've never figured out why.
I know I'm never buying a Soundblaster again, anyway (for various other reasons not directly related to recording).
and i run protools with Vienna symphinic and bfd easily on mine.
I've come to a decision about mine: I'm trying to figure out why my laptop, which is at least twice as powerful as my PC is so slow and shit (despite running all my music gear with no problems). I've narrowed it down to:
1) Windows FUCKING Vista.
2) It's an off-the-shelf job from PC World. FFS.
Conclusion: Vista has to go. I've thought about it, and I can think of literally no reason why it deserves to remain on my PC. It's like a sick joke - I could be running nothing, I'll look at the little CPU display in the taskbar and it'll be full up to about 80% with some bullshit process.
This PC now is running an absolute shedload of crap. CPU is atless than 5%. WTF.
Only question is - what to replace it with? How easy is it to install XP on a computer previously set up to use only Vista? A pain in the arse, I imagine...
but yeah rid of vista, its a dog. Interesting the minimum specs for windows 7 are less than for vista!
I'm gonna pirate the hell out of Windows 7. That way I can't really be that annoyed when I get fucked again.