#1January 1st, 2008 · 03:41 AM
3 threads / 1 songs
18 posts
United States of America
Optimizing Computer for Recording
I am getting started with my home recording studio.  As preparation I have been reading the posts at this forum and the equipment forum. 

Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge and experience. 

 I think I saw a link or a post (i believe it was in this forum) about optimizing the computer for recording.  I meant to get back to it but now I cannot find it.  If anyone knows of the link, your direction will be most appreciated.

The particular problem I am running into is that I get 1 or 2 second pauses in the music at unpredictable times during playback and recording.   I suspect it is a program that is running in the background but I have not identified it.  This is a Windows based computer and one that I will use exclusively for music but I have not yet stripped anything from it.

Thank you!

Matt
#2January 1st, 2008 · 06:09 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,375 posts
United Kingdom
It would help if you detailed a breakdown of all the software and hardware you are using, plus what instruments
you are using and how they are connected.

Denis
#3January 1st, 2008 · 01:41 PM
3 threads / 1 songs
18 posts
United States of America
Denis,

I am using two instruments a GEM Pro-2 Piano and Equinox keyboard and recording them on a Korg D8888 Digital Studio.  Then I load them into the computer, a Dell Inspiron Dimesion 4100 which is the "old family computer" to tweak the mix.  It runs Windows XP and I use Power Tracks Pro Audio.  

As the old family computer, this computer also has a ton of software programs too.   Since my wife got a new computer most of the extra programs on this one are no longer needed.  I think once I get the extra stuff off this computer it will improve its functioning.   Part of the problem is that I am unsure of all the stuff I can remove from the computer and then how to configure it to best support the studio. 

Thanks for replying,  I hope this helps.

Matt
#4January 1st, 2008 · 02:46 PM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,375 posts
United Kingdom
You have a similar set up to me, in that I primerily record onto my Yamaha Aw16G workstation.

It sounds like you have a latency problem, you could try downloading, Asio4all, just do a google search and download it for free. Or you can download the free sequencer that I use that has Asio drivers already built into it.

 http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/

I only use the computer to record from my workstation onto the hard disk of the PC. This is simply done by taking some cables connected to the line out [or mixer out] of my workstation, into the line in of the computer soundcard. I use a very simple recording sequencer software called 'Krystal', which is a free download [make sure the recording levels are set on the PC to their optimum level, this will depend on your software, I'm not familiar with the one you have] I also use an analogue mixer, but I think with the KorgD8888 it already has analogue mixer.

Personaly I prefer this method, simply because my Yamaha workstation is a good bit of kit and I've  improved month by month in the quality of recordings simply by using it and getting to know it.

I think 'Vincent', here on bandAMP has a Korg workstation, he gets great quality from his set up, perhaps send him a PM.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Denis
#5January 2nd, 2008 · 02:26 AM
159 threads / 32 songs
1,956 posts
United States of America
here is one, I had found a better one that was way more detailed but I can't find it now.
http://www.jakeludington.com/ask_jake/20050225_optimize_your_pc_for_audio_and_video.html

I had the same problem going on on my older pc... I had to turn off a bunch of stuff to get it to record and playback without a lot of problems... one thing you have to watch though is if you turn your buffer size down to low ( to help with latency) your recording stuff will sound like it is skipping and pausing. 

hope this helps out some.
#6January 2nd, 2008 · 09:01 AM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
pianorph : Good thread, good question.
Unfortunately for any musician who wants to use their PC to record or produce music they must understand PC 'tweaking' !

http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Guides/winxptweak/ - in depth article on system tweaking, pick up some tips.
http://www.kayodeok.btinternet.co.uk/favorites/kbasewinxphowto.htm - How to...... - XP
This link http://www.musicxp.net/tuning_tips.php used to go to an excellent page on how to Tweak XP specifically for music , you now have to register to see the page, it's free I think!

Get to know : start button/run/msconfig
This will open up the windows system configuration utility , the most important tab is the 'Startup' tab.
These are all the "non-microsoft" programs that start up and thus run in the background, you can quite simply turn the whole lot off and then just see how your PC start up ! LMAO
I'm still learning that if I want my PC to do something for me, I'm into tweaking XPs UI at the moment (Black_XP by deamonwarez - totally awesome OS  ), I have to let the programs start up with the PC. LOL
The next tab of interest is the 'Services' tab.
I have a (printed out years ago) list of the Windows Services explaining which ones are safe to turn off, make a search on the matter.

As I've recently got into these alternate XP SP2 installations compiled by people 'in the know' I would seriously advise someone interested to try it out, if you have the knowledge and space to set up a second OS on a PC, not only do these packages come with the most phenomenal amount of programs (which you can install or not) they also include system tweaks (within the basic XP_Black installation), things like RAM optimisation.
Before anyone starts off on about viruses or anything, a) why create an excellent 'system' and then fuck it up !!?? and b) I set this up last night on a PC that's not on-line 
Proceed along the path of downloading with caution, that's all.  
#7January 2nd, 2008 · 01:00 PM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,375 posts
United Kingdom
kings wrote…
pianorph : Good thread, good question.
Unfortunately for any musician who wants to use their PC to record or produce music they must understand PC 'tweaking' !

http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Guides/winxptweak/ - in depth article on system tweaking, pick up some tips.
http://www.kayodeok.btinternet.co.uk/favorites/kbasewinxphowto.htm - How to...... - XP
This link http://www.musicxp.net/tuning_tips.php used to go to an excellent page on how to Tweak XP specifically for music , you now have to register to see the page, it's free I think!

Get to know : start button/run/msconfig
This will open up the windows system configuration utility , the most important tab is the 'Startup' tab.
These are all the "non-microsoft" programs that start up and thus run in the background, you can quite simply turn the whole lot off and then just see how your PC start up ! LMAO
I'm still learning that if I want my PC to do something for me, I'm into tweaking XPs UI at the moment (Black_XP by deamonwarez - totally awesome OS  ), I have to let the programs start up with the PC. LOL
The next tab of interest is the 'Services' tab.
I have a (printed out years ago) list of the Windows Services explaining which ones are safe to turn off, make a search on the matter.

As I've recently got into these alternate XP SP2 installations compiled by people 'in the know' I would seriously advise someone interested to try it out, if you have the knowledge and space to set up a second OS on a PC, not only do these packages come with the most phenomenal amount of programs (which you can install or not) they also include system tweaks (within the basic XP_Black installation), things like RAM optimisation.
Before anyone starts off on about viruses or anything, a) why create an excellent 'system' and then fuck it up !!?? and b) I set this up last night on a PC that's not on-line 
Proceed along the path of downloading with caution, that's all.   ;)

Nice thread Kings, I may try some of these to see if I can get the soundcard I purchased recently that pops and clicks.

Cheers

Denis
#8January 2nd, 2008 · 05:18 PM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
Denis, Sound card problems concerning latency is closer to what Toasty is on about, 'pops and clicks' sounds like a buffer/latency problem. I'd say they are two subjects, having a smoothly running PC and setting up the sound system.
If you have latency problems but you know your system is good, you should check out your ASIO DirectX full duplex etc and buffer settings.
I'm no 'buff' (scuse the pun) in these matters but I have dabbled and found my way around ! 
#9January 2nd, 2008 · 08:44 PM
159 threads / 32 songs
1,956 posts
United States of America
also check to make sure that you are recording everything in the same way .... when I first started computer recording  my recordings were messed up with clicks and pops.  It was because my  hardware interface was set up at 48, and my software was set up at 44.1  .Most newer software recording systems will recognize this, and give you a warning, but not all will.,  so make sure that you're recording with the same  bit/sample rate all the way thru your whole project.m, and all hardware is configured that way too.    Check to make sure that your buffer sizes are not set to low.. to low will stall it, and to high will cause latency issues.  I had to mess with mine some to find the optimum setting for the amount of tracks that i run (it changes if the project size changes).
#10January 3rd, 2008 · 02:48 AM
3 threads / 1 songs
18 posts
United States of America
Denis, Kings, and Toastedgoat,
Thank you guys.  It looks like I have some reading to do and then some computer experimenting/tweeking.  

Bit of a learning curve here isn't there?  Gives me a lot more respect for the guy running the controls on the other side of the window.

I think (dangerous since I have not yet read much), at least it seems like,  I may have my buffer sizes too low.  Stalling best describes what I am running into.  After I do my homework I will try again and let you know.  I may perhaps one day soon actually get to post one of my songs.   Thanks again.
#11January 3rd, 2008 · 05:19 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,375 posts
United Kingdom
kings wrote…
Denis, Sound card problems concerning latency is closer to what Toasty is on about, 'pops and clicks' sounds like a buffer/latency problem. I'd say they are two subjects, having a smoothly running PC and setting up the sound system.
If you have latency problems but you know your system is good, you should check out your ASIO DirectX full duplex etc and buffer settings.
I'm no 'buff' (scuse the pun) in these matters but I have dabbled and found my way around !  ;)

Thanks Kings, I'm sure that I checked the above, I'll have another look at it.

Cheers

Denis
#12January 3rd, 2008 · 05:39 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,375 posts
United Kingdom
toastedgoat wrote…
also check to make sure that you are recording everything in the same way .... when I first started computer recording  my recordings were messed up with clicks and pops.  It was because my  hardware interface was set up at 48, and my software was set up at 44.1  .Most newer software recording systems will recognize this, and give you a warning, but not all will.,  so make sure that you're recording with the same  bit/sample rate all the way thru your whole project.m, and all hardware is configured that way too.    Check to make sure that your buffer sizes are not set to low.. to low will stall it, and to high will cause latency issues.  I had to mess with mine some to find the optimum setting for the amount of tracks that i run (it changes if the project size changes).

Thanks Greg, I've already checked the above. It's no big deal though, I can still use my old soundcard [the one that came with the PC] for my current set up.

The only reason why I purchased a new soundcard, was too set up midi to my basic Yamaha PSR keyboard adventuring into Vsti's etc. Unfortunately my current soundcard does not support Midi. It's a Realtec'97 [or something similar to that, hence I'm not at my PC at the moment.]

My PC is only 3 & half years old, it's an E machine. I will probably keep it for at least another year or so, then buy a PC that is good for studio recording.

I've just purchased a flute, that's going to take up a lot of time learning, so perhaps I should just concentrate on this before I start to get into Midi etc.. I still get a reasonable recording from the pre-sets on my Yamaha keyboard, the Piano and DX sound OK to me, they were used in some of the most recent uploads on the AMP, the feedback was very positive.

Cheers

Denis
#13January 4th, 2008 · 10:29 PM
159 threads / 32 songs
1,956 posts
United States of America
Denis
The only reason why I purchased a new soundcard, was too set up midi to my basic Yamaha PSR keyboard adventuring into Vsti's




Do you have usb on your computer (I'm sure you do since it's not that old).. I use the moto fastlane usb midi but there are several others out there.( Some may like the emagic but mine will not work and have seen post from others having the same problem)
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FastlaneUSB/&rkg=1
I don't know if this is the cheapest I just grabbed the first link I saw with the picture.  There are cheaper midi interfaces out there. I happen to like this one though cause it works well on the pc and the mac.
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