How to optimize your computer for music production
It baffles me when I hear people talk about upgrading their laptop because their current model is now 18 months old. Or that their 2 year old desktop computer is running so slowly that it’s unusable. At present, one of my music production computers is a 9 year old iMac, and it runs just fine. All it takes to keep your computer running smoothly for recording, mixing and mastering, is a little maintenance. This article shows you the 5 steps to optimize your computer for music production. These are the steps which I’ve found to make the biggest difference to your computer’s performance and lifespan.
Upgrade your RAM:
As we all know, DAW’s can be pretty power hungry pieces of software. So upgrading your RAM is a great way to optimize your computer for music production. A simple Google search should tell you how much RAM your computer came with, how much it’s capable of taking, and the type of RAM you need. Upgrading the amount of RAM in your computer will provide you with a more responsive system which is capable of dealing with requests more quickly. The great news is that RAM is pretty affordable. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new computer.
Swap hard drives for solid state drives:
Another great way to optimize your computer for music production is to swap your hard disk drives for solid state drives. These days, most computers come with solid state drives already installed. But if your computer is a few years old, its likely that you’ll have a hard disk drive. Personally, I was amazed at the difference swapping my hard disk drive to a solid state drive made. The system worked so much quicker and felt far more responsive. The good news when it comes to upgrading to a solid state drive is that, much like upgrading your RAM, it’s a really cost effective option.
Close all unnecessary applications:
Closing all other programs and applications whilst recording, mixing or mastering is a great way to optimize your computer for music production. It’s a good idea to do a little research to see exactly what applications are using up your computer’s power. You may be surprised at how many programs you have running in the background that you didn’t know about. See where your computer’s power is going and close as many of the applications using it as you can.
Turn off automatic updates:
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for your DAW to start malfunctioning due to some seemingly unrelated piece of software on your computer being updated. I think that one of the most important things you can do once you have your system up and running without problems, is to make as few changes as possible. That means not allowing your computer to automatically update anything. It also means saying no to as many of the updates that your computer offers you as you can. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out your previously perfect system won’t let you use your DAW because you’ve updated an entirely different application on your computer.
Upgrade your DAW as infrequently as possible:
Whilst the latest version of your chosen DAW may have some great new features, upgrading is a sure fire way to rock the boat. The newest version of your software will likely have compatibility issues and glitches which have yet to be ironed out. So if your current version of the DAW is letting you record, mix and master your music, then avoid upgrading for as long as you can. There’s no worse feeling than spending your hard earned cash on the latest upgrade, only to spend the next few weeks trying to get it to run as well as the old version did.
As you can see, these 5 steps are simple and cost effective ways to optimize your computer for music production. Realistically, there’s no reason you should need to upgrade too regularly at all.
I’d love to know, what steps do you take to optimize your computer for music production? Leave a comment below.
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