|Slick Audio PCs are designed with the extra performance and reliability music studios demand.|
Computer specialist optimizes unstoppable PCs
for music production
There’s nothing wrong with your midsize sedan for commuting the office every day, but when it comes to off-roading in Alaska or racing in the Daytona 500, you’ll probably want to invest in something with some extra power and reliability. Understand that, and you understand why Slick Audio makes specialized computers for music production. As founder Jim Slick notes, 98% of music studios worldwide now use some type of digital audio workstation (DAW) software, a technological leap forward for producing high-quality audio with the minimum in studio space and cost. In a pinch, DAWs will run on a wide range of laptop and desktop computers sold everywhere. For serious recording, post-production, and even video game audio, though, that’s where Slick Audio comes in with an added level of speed, performance, and reliability tailored for home and commercial music studios.
“Slick Audio grew out of a serious passion for the industry,” says Jim, whose professional background combines decades of experience in music, computer hardware, and information technology. “We understand what you do. We, too, are musicians. And we are constantly researching and developing the best and most reliable computer technologies on the planet.”
Based in White Haven, Pennsylvania, between Allentown and Scranton, Slick Audio offers a selection of laptop, mini, tower, and rack-mounted PCs for setups large and small. At the affordable end of the spectrum are its 2100/2200 Series desktop/rack models, 500 series minis, and 00 series laptops. At the high end there are the 4100 Series towers and racks—“absolutely unstoppable beasts”—and 50 series laptops. With configurable options for all applications, the machines are engineered to run a full load of tracks and plug-ins. On higher-end models, says Jim, “I’ve personally run 1,600-plus tracks and well over 500 plug-ins simultaneously.” To optimize studio conditions, Slick Audio PCs use quiet-running technologies including quiet-fan designs and liquid cooling to keep them operating safely and silently. All but one model includes a Thunderbolt port, an industry standard for connecting peripherals.
The main thing Slick Audio PCs are engineered not to do is crash in the middle of a session. Many configurations offer technologies including hot-swap, which allows a failing hard drive to be switched out while the computer keeps running, and RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), which incorporates multiple hard drives so if one flames out, another takes over seamlessly. The only sign of a problem will be an on-screen alert advising the user to check the system when convenient. “You have redundancy,” says Jim, “so if you blow a drive in the middle of a score, who cares—it will just keep going. You won’t even know it happened until you look down at the computer and that ‘red flag’ pops up.”
Online, in person, and over the phone, it’s assumed at Slick Audio that every order will be a custom order. Just for the computers themselves, there are customizable options for different processors, memory, and number and size of hard drives, among many other parameters. In addition, Slick Audio is a reseller for a wide selection of third-party products for the studio, including software by PreSonus, Avid, Propellerhead, and Steinberg; microphones from Audio-Technica, Neumann, and BLUE; and a range of other studio gear by PreSonus, Focusrite, Alesis, and more. The company also offers turnkey solutions combining computers and hardware with preinstalled DAWs including Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, or Studio One.
“We know how to build a computer powerful enough to record tons of tracks while utilizing virtual instruments and plug-ins, giving you powerful tools to create music,” says Jim. “We will help you design a machine that’s going to run for you. And when I say run, I mean run.”