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Thread: Optimize Your DAW Computer for Your Home Studio

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    Chater-La is offline Administrator
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    Optimize Your DAW Computer for Your Home Studio

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    One of our very own members has written this very useful article:
    Optimize Your DAW Computer for Your Home Studio - Audiofanzine

    A great read and a must!

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    jimmys69's Avatar
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    Number one. Build it yourself. Just don't buy cheap crap.
    PC Win7-64-16G i7-2600/Cubase 5-6-7 32 bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/KRK G2-8/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne Editor/Lava Lamp/Big mean dog, cute little baby, CARBONITE!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    Number one. Build it yourself. Just don't buy cheap crap.
    Jeez Jimmy... he doesn't actually care, he's just linking in his sig....

    Ban him...

    I'm going to have to school y'all in modding, I see...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armistice View Post
    Jeez Jimmy... he doesn't actually care, he's just linking in his sig....

    Ban him...

    I'm going to have to school y'all in modding, I see...
    Lol! What happened to the good ole dayz, when we fooked with the spammers?

    PC Win7-64-16G i7-2600/Cubase 5-6-7 32 bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/KRK G2-8/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne Editor/Lava Lamp/Big mean dog, cute little baby, CARBONITE!!!!

    http://www.stricklerstudio.com

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    Hmmm...so the way to optimise your computer for audio is to buy a Mac because the guy who wrote the FAQ has only ever used Macs....

    Frankly, both Mac and Windows can work just fine for home studios. You probably get a lot more computer for your money by buying (or building) a Windows based machine but you have to be prepared to dig a bit deeper into the OS to get the best out of it. The strength of Windows is the huge base of third party hardware and software out there you can use. The weakness of Windows is the huge base of third party hardware and software. Apple keeps a far tighter rein on things that can run on their gear--ups the reliability but also cuts choice and ups the cost.

    Other things in the article:

    He mentions 2 GB of RAM as a minimum. I'd say that's a bare minimum and will quickly run out of steam as you add tracks and effects to your mix.

    He mentions having 2 HDD running at 7200rpm and I agree with that. However, they don't have to both be internal. Run your DAW software on the same drive as your OS is on but your tracks can just as well be on a USB2 or Firewire (or I guess Thunderbolt now) external drive.

    However, all the above is more about buying a computer for audio than optimising it.

    Focusrite has an excellent section on their site for things you can do to actually optimise the performance of your Windows 7 computer to do audio. The link is HERE. The tricks there really do make a big difference to audio performance. If you're on a different version of Windows, Googling for "Optimising Windows XX for Audio" will find similar pages for your version.

    Similar applies to Mac operating systems. There are lots of little tricks you can use to get the best out of your computer. There are lots of suggestions HERE. I do like how it starts our with some Macheads saying "just turn it on and it'll be perfect" then lots of more knowledgeable people come in with genuine optimising tricks. FYI, the theatre where I freelance sometimes uses a Macbook for sound playback (on Qlab) and they've used most of these tricks to improve the stablility and reliability of the playback system.
    The pessimist sees the glass as half empty. The optimist sees it as half full. The realist just drains the darn thing and gets a refill!

  7. #7
    triquee Guest
    Great article....some suggestions to add:

    The scratch drive is great advice. I'm in dire need of an upgrade myself and a scratch drive(s) is one of the things at the top of my list. Don't ever get a 5400 RPM spinning hardware drive. Just don't do it. There's no need for it except to set yourself back a few bucks and about 10 years in computing power. 7200 RPM drives are very affordable. I would recommend an SSD for the read drive, though. They're starting to get cheaper per MB so they are actually affordable when building now - 120 gigs of SSD from Intel is only about $100 on Newegg. I plan on gutting my Lian Li, selling the parts and rebuilding as soon as I can afford to and the SSD will be a definite and much needed addition. My recommendations for spinning drives are Western Digital Caviar Black and Seagate Barracuda.

    A couple of other things...

    Running 4GB or more of RAM on Windows XP is useless and wasteful. With XP, you are only able to utilize around 3 GB of it. Getting more RAM won't change that. If you want more computing power and flexibility and the ability to actually use more than 3GB of RAM, get Windows 7. Trust me, it's better anyway and I have yet to have any significant compatibility issues with either software or hardware. Another note about RAM - Kingston is indeed good. So is G.Skill. I've used G.Skill RAM on my last 4 builds and have never had a bad stick, no compatibility issues, BIOS always reads exactly what I expect.

    CPUs - Not always best to buy the fastest you can afford. Intel makes use of some excellent technology including hyperthreading and both AMD and Intel are using turbo boost - both of which have your CPU working smarter instead of harder. Though, these days, if you're gonna build you might as well pick up the value priced AMD 8 core with turbo.

    One component that wasn't mentioned and is often overlooked, but vitally important that it be a quality part is the PSU (power supply). Corsair makes a damn good power supply. Don't skimp here - when a faulty or poorly manufactured power supply dies it has the potential to take your entire machine with it.

    Edit: Oh! On quality motherboards.....Get ASUS. Period. End of discussion.

    If anyone is new to building and thinking about building, I'd be happy to put together a parts list for you (tell you what to buy) based on your budget.

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    Good advice Triquee...

    Unfortunately, I had a Kingston stick go bad on me this week. And not the first one, either. It's suppose to have a lifetime warranty, so hopefully they'll follow through.

  9. #9
    triquee Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    Good advice Triquee...

    Unfortunately, I had a Kingston stick go bad on me this week. And not the first one, either. It's suppose to have a lifetime warranty, so hopefully they'll follow through.
    Scrap it and pick up a couple of G.Skill Ripjaws

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    MetalMan93 is offline Newbie
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    cool good

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