I was using a 64bit Toshiba Laptop until the beginning of this year (2016) as my DAW host, but I had a HDD failure. My back-up PC which I am still using is an old “home-brew” PC with an Intel mobo and core duo 2200 CPU. Its running 32 bit windows 7, which so far is more crash tolerant running Cubase AI Elements 6 than the 64-bit version. I only have 2Gb memory which means it runs a lot slower than my Toshiba with 8Gb on board.
My interface is a Steinberg UR22 which I partly purchased to get the bundled Cubase LE. I have a love hate relationship with Cubase. The developers hide behind layers of logins and user forums. Its not as stable as they would like us to believe and they don’t seem to listen to user requests. Having said that I continue to use it. Its not worth buying a full version at $400-$500 since it will be obsolete within a year anyway. The feature trimmed LE or AI versions are perfect for me. Not a huge outlay and often bundled with Yamaha hardware.
My keyboard controller is my son’s Yamaha Motif ES8. Although I do sometimes use the internal sound engine, for composing I like to use a large range of VST’s. Often a patch will inspire a song. I love hardware synths and [refer the punchy sound, but since I do not have a studio, just a small corner of the living room its just not practical to use hardware at home. I long for the day when some manufacturer actually gets the hardware right, Similar to a receptor but do the job properly. VST’s on SD cards or thumb drives that can be used at home on a PC, and then just plug those same cards into a hardware synth to play the exact same sounds live.
I currently use Soundcloud.com for streaming my songs. Its useful and I can embed their player in my websites, like this one and shinopshinobeing.com If at a later date I decide to try and monetize the music I will probably migrate to Youtube, but I don’t have that plan immediately. I would need to remix every track before that.
The VST’s I like. Alchemy, Kontakt, OP-X, Kotg Legacy M1, Korg Legacy Wavestation, Piano one, Redtron 400, Analog Factory, Chainer, Crystall, CVPiano-GVI-modeled, DVS Saxaphone, Jupiter 8V. FM7.
I am currently restarting my 4th album project as yet untitled.