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Computer Optimization

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Opus2000, Apr 13, 2001.

  1. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    First of all I want to say Hi as your Computing moderator and welcome you all to this wonderful place to share and discuss the world of DAW recording.
    I would like to start this off by having people post their optimixation techniques for their systems...Obviously there are little more tips for PC than Mac due to the nature of the OS differences and so forth..
    I myself am a heavy PC user due to the nature of the beast and the challenge it offers..call me nuts but that's me...a bag of mixed nuts!! So with that said let the posts roll in!! Hope to hear from you all soon!

    Opus2000 :D :p
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    I'd like to know why do we even have to optimize? New computers are already optimized... just buy a new one every time your software is upgraded.

    Let me clarify with this story. The other day, I attempted to listen to a RealAudio file from a RCA recording artist. Instead of obediently playing the file, my RA player informed me that in order to play this particular audio I would have to update my version of RealPlayer. Ok, no problem. It's been a while since I upgraded, and RA has been due for an increase in quality for some time. I go to the RealNetwork website and select the recommended free download package. I then had a mild heart attack upon viewing the size of the file I was trying to download. It was over 10Meg!

    That may seem like chump change to those of you with new fangly dangly 1.5GHz pc's with 1000GB HD's, but I had to do this on my piddly 120MHz laptop from 1997 over a 56k connection.

    Ok, so now you're saying "What's the big deal? Go buy a real computer, asswipe!" Well, I don't want to. I don't do enough stuff to justify upgrading at this point. I do a little web browsing, fax invoices, email... and that's about it. Why should I need some monster computer to do that stuff?

    Why indeed. The very fact that a RealAudio player would take 10MB to download sparked my curiosity. What the hell have I been missing out on for the year or so since I installed the last version? So I went ahead and let the thing download, quit my browser, and ran the install file. After a few minutes of initiating the install process, the program informed me that I didn't have enough free disk space. I needed 50MB free on the disk to install. Huh? I had over 100MB available on the HD before I downloaded! What could possibly cause this? Apparently windows didn't clear out the virtual memory the browser was using, and the install app sucked up even more. Ok, I understand. These things happen. One quick reboot, and merrily plodding along I go, intrigued all the more at this program which has quintupled in size without even a casual mention of it on the website. I guess even 50MB is considered chump change these days. So wwhat do I get for 50MB? This thing must be freakin' awesome! It must have like some automatic loop function and midi and a dishwasher and do my taxes right?


    The install included a neat little app called RealDownload which manages all your internet app downloading for you so you don't have to be bothered with enjoyment of your time on the internet, since it will constantly interrupt whatever you're doing to download some crap you'll never need or want every minute you're online, whether you have space on your HD for the new stuff or not. Nice package! Where do I sign up?

    I promptly un-installed and deleted all traces of RealDownload that I could find, and finished setting up my preferences on RealPlayer. Well, what I mean to say is, I finished de-selecting and disabling about every preference in the program. 99% of the thing turned out to be useless to me. I then un-subscribed myself to the channels it had taken the liberty of adding for me. Okay, there's a lot of fluffy stuff that a lot of people who aren't me might appreciate. Fine. But what about the audio? Surely there have been some improvements in that thrown in with the 50MB package I took 2 hours to download.

    I went to the RCA guy's website and took a listen. It was a monophonic stream at a low sample rate. Surprisingly enough tho, it sounded like complete and utter $*^t too! Imagine my joy at waiting so long and working so hard to install this fancy player so I could hear a crappy sounding mono file. Sheer extacy! I'm so glad RA made me get the new, shiny player instead of just letting me use the old, rusty version to play the same bad sounding file. :D

    Where am I going with this story?

    Right back to Optimization.

    If we really want optimization, we can start with the dorks who are sitting at their desks, writing sloppy code for computers that won't be available or affordable for another three years. These are the guys who are making us spend hours upon hours "optimizing" our poor systems. I use quotes now, because what we're doing is not really optimizing, but un-doing all the stupid $*^t that someone else decided should go on our system without asking permission or informing us of the consequences and compatibility issues, not to mention offering alternative setups. That doesn't sound like optimization to me. It's more like cleaning up a mess someone else left behind. Frankly, I'd rather do somebody else's dishes than backtrack over someone's automated software setup routine. At least I can see how many dishes are in the sink. I don't have to stop in the middle to change the type of soap and sponge that I'm using to clean dishes made out of the same clay.

    So, what's the best way to keep your system optimized? Never install anything on it. Never download anything. Never upgrade your current programs.

    Sorry, but that's the best I can come up with right now. Hope I haven't scared anyone. (Except you programming weenies. Hope you get scared good. Clean up your code, dammit!)
  3. KBP

    KBP Guest

    Yea but supposedly alot of those non needed things (to you and I) have some sort of purpose to someone. If you're using a PC you are trying to get the computer to look at audio as high up on the importance list as possible. One thing is for sure, what you said about the sloppy code is for sure. As hard drives and memory get cheaper and cheaper it seems that code gets more and more bloated. Like the code writers are saying well $*^t if I don't have to think about a way to make this prog fit into the smallest amount of system memory, ^#$% it. It makes me wonder what else that goes on inside of some progs in the way of lazyness. I mean I wonder if it is lazyness that causes some code writers to release an app that touts real time looping and editing while playing, but if you do it to many times in a row it brings down the system.

    Oh well, I still love what the computer can do for me.

  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Ang..buddy..I guess we're a little frustrated with computers I take it? The importance of optimization is for people who use their PC's or Mac's solely for Audio and dont have internet attached to it and dont have to use the real player to listen to files from the web..I agree about the useless code and programs that are installed and that indeed it is a pain in the ass to clean that up..Understand also that those "typical" machines are made for the common user who dont care about audio recording and just use it to surf the web and email(and of course the porn sites..who can forget that aspect of the web!!). With a PC machine their are constantly underlying tasks that run that could disrupt your audio recording and cause you more pain than you can deal with..thus optimizing it for better "audio" performance. With a Mac you have to watch out for virtual memory..how much Ram is allocated..NOT installing Norton's or Conflict Catcher..making sure your extensions arent conflicting with each other..These are issues that exist in the real world and that I deal with everyday when people are having issues with their "audio" machines. I say "audio" because that is what their machines are being used for. People want to get the best performance out of their machines, especially when using plugins or VSTi's..Optimizing even an "internet" machine is a good thing..like managing your swap file(virtual memory) so that it doesnt take over your hard drive..you can limit that..things like emptying out your Temp folder..Temporary Internet Files Folder..History folder..etc etc..also making sure your hard drive is not too fragmented. As a complete computer geek I see this as a HUGE issue in the DAW world...I dont know if you are a DAW user or not but if you were you would know what I was talking about. I cant help you with your computer frustration but I sure can try!
    I feel your pain on your slow laptop issues and your slow download rate and small hard drive but...it's a matter of technology that forces us to upgrade..bigger and better things await us and I sure as hell cant wait for those bigger and better things to come along. Again, if you are not a DAW user than this is not the forum for you unless you want to learn a few things about computing and the "pain" that it brings.
    On a side note people...let's keep the language clean here..I dont think it's neccessary to be foul mouthed..we are all adults and let's respect that we may have youngins in here every once in a while perusing for information...ok?!!
    Opus :roll:
  5. KBP

    KBP Guest

    Wow sorry man, I only said the curse words cause its what whould really be said. Um, kids? If there are kids in here that are old enough to understand the info on these forums they would have shurly heard the f word before.

  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    I hear ya KBP...and yes most kids today think that the infamous F word is part of the everyday vocabulary...I use it everyday myself but I do make an effort to keep it clean when posting..someone could take it the wrong way if you know what I mean...thanks for understanding all!!

    Opus :D
  7. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Have you read through this site??? If you intend to keep this single forum curse-free, that's kewl, but if you don't want the kiddiez to see swearing, you better keep em in here. RO is meant to be comfortable, a "make-yourself-at-home" kinda place, where you can speak freely without feeling like you're at the Pastor's house, where you can "scratch it where it itches".
    The point really is...that if someone is interrested in reading in RO, they are old enough not to be offended by the f word. Let's face it, most ten year olds would be bored to tears on RO, but if not, then they obviously have the intellect to be able to deal with the f word. Knowwhatimean?
    Again, though, if you wish to keep your forum "clean" that's kewl, and I'm sure that those of us who would be aware of your wishes would comply. Welcome to the Jungle!
    I'm glad that we now have a "computer" forum, and I'm looking forward to participating and learning here. My sincere thanks go out to you for donating your time, effort, and knowledge to all of us.
  8. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    I assure you, I am very much a DAW user. And I am aware of the myriad issues related with mixing internet and audio on the same system. That is beside the point.

    My story was meant to illustrate the wild abandon programmers seem to be using these days. The problem is not only endemic to internet apps, it also reaches far into the audio world, which touts some of the worst offenders. It seems like these guys get paid by the line instead of how well the thing works (or sounds for that matter, but that's a different discussion).

    I am pleading with everyone to support and encourage the few programmers who give a f-word about clean code. That's all.

    And I respect your wish to keep this a clean forum. Children aren't the only ones who might be offended. There are also some wimminz an' church goin' folk in heeya. Just try not to take it personal if not everyone complies. Everyone means well.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled rants... :)
  9. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Guest

    Hi Opus2000
    On topic, optimisation for my Mac is as follows:
    1.Nothing but music programs and audio are on my hard drives.... No internet, no office/fax machines etc.
    2. I use Norton Utilities for defrag, which is done at the end of each session.
    3. I use diskwarrior for day to day optimisation and again this is done at the end of each session.
    4. The desktop file is rebuilt once a week.
    5. i use no complex hard disk partitions everything is used in its virgin format.
    6. My program drive is formatted with apple hard disk software and my audio drives with Hard Disk Toolkit.
    7. A temp session backup is done to the program drive at the end of each session and the entire drives are backed up to scsi dat at the end of each week.
    I am very pleased to say in the three years I have had my mac I have not had a days hassle with it....This is one happy computer owner :)

    Simon :D
  10. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Well...we're starting to make some headway in here..very cool..Thanks all for complying to my wishes for a clean forum and no I wont take offense to someone cutting loose..just as long as it is in context and not just saying it to rile people up..you are correct that we will have church going folks in here as well as those women folks as well!! I dont want to sound like a wimp or anything like that because I dont want people to swear here...I just think it'snot neccessary and I would rather not have this place cluttered with people saying non-intelligent things..Again, you guys rock and let's have some fun..
    Ang, I hear you 100% on the code issues..it doesnt help either when you have Intel making new proccessors that make programs not take advantage of them either unless you upgrade to a new DirectX which may cause even more issues!! Go intel Go!! or should I say Go AMD Go!! I'm dealing with Nuendo issues right now that's pissing me off so bad I might think of dropping Steinberg alltogether but I'm so addicted to Nuendo!! I dropped Cubase since Nuendo does that and twice more!! They also put out an update for Wavelab that caused me not to be able to burn CD's anymore..my solution was to downgrade again to an Image file I had with the previous install and it worked again..can you say..AAARRRGGHHH!!! :D
  11. simonsez

    simonsez Guest


    Here is a quick link to a site dedicated to optimizing a PeeCee for Cubase. Some of the tips may help out other proggies as well.
    CakeWalk downloads

    good luck
  12. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    I have seen that before but there is a MAJOR flaw to one of the aspects..Virtual memory>>>THIS IS IMPORTANT<<<<
    You MUST defrag with a third party utility such as Nortons or Nuts and Bolts..if you dont then the swap file remains where it is and is not rearranged to suit the changes...this can cause damage the reader and sectors of the hard disk. When you change the file it tells you to restart but what it does NOT tell you is that your swap file needs to be OPTIMIZED...that is why Nortons and Nuts and Bolts(made by Network Associates) has an option to OPTIMIZE SWAP FILE!!! The windows defragger doesnt do the job..it wont reorganize or unfragment or change the size of the swap file..so when you restart after changing the swap file you MUST defrag and make sure you have the Optimize Swap file function on in the program you are using..this can be found in the advanced options of the program when doing a defrag...just a friendly tip from your neighborhood Computer Geek!!

    Opus :cool:
  13. Fdizme

    Fdizme Guest

    Hi Opus- I've caught your act over on the tascam 428 site. I've dropped a line there, now I'll try in this open forum... PentiumIII 800mhz, Abit board with Intel 440chip,320mb ram, 20gb maxtor 5400hd master, 15gb maxtor 7200 hd slave,MDMate sound card, lexicon core2 audio, Optical I/O on both,Using tascam 428 for control mostly, Sonar and toying with protools free. I have fostex digital mixer and recorder. Mostly want to use daw for post recording. What is best setup on drives? Any tweaks to cause least amount of dropout or latency? Programs on master (in own partition)data on slave? Programs on slave with data save d on slave? Sorry can't dedicate pc to music only yet... Any thoughts??? Thnx!!!
  14. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    I did reply to it but I think it's a good point to discuss here as well for all to read and know about.
    generally you really want to keep all apps and drivers installed onto your main system so that it streams from one location and doesnt interrupt your audio drive when reading data. It's ok to have the music app on the same drive as your OS..in fact it's really reccomended that you do that anyways..helps the OS hold the app a little more solidly.
    As far as RPM goes a 5400RPM drive is quite slow and may cause some issues with performance..granted it will work but there are some things you will see a lack of performance in...such as burning CD's right from your main drive..you wont be able to do anything higher than say 4x..which isnt too bad but if you plan on getting an 8 or higher times you cant burn from a 5400RPM drive..it wont do it! Not enough horsepower if ya know what I mean!!
    Keeping the drivers in with the system folder is another thing you should do..it helps the registry path stay stable and not have to search all over the secondary drive in the clutter of many audio data files!! That could lead to a Blue Screen o Death!!! I love those oh soooo much!! :D
    Also a HUGE reccomendation is to keep each drive to it's own IDE cable..placing two drives on one cable can suck up your bandwidth and you wont get your true performance out of it..I stated this before but I'll readdress it for you..keep the main drive on the FIRST cable position so that it is closer to the mainboard and put the CDROM on the SECOND cable position..thus your hard drive doesnt have to go thru the CDROM port before getting to the processor!!
    This is all on the Primary IDE cable mind you..on the Secondary IDE cable put the Audio drive on the FIRST cable position and if you have another CDROM put that on the SECOND cable position as well.
    A lot of people say not to put a CDROM on the same cable as your hard drive but with the advantage of turning of Auto Insert notification for CDROMS this is not an issue anymore! When you turn off Auto Insert notification it stops Windows from spinning it up every once in a while!!
    Partitions...dont partition your main drive..it doesnt make it two drives..just one drive seperated and making the mechanical head work twice as much..you "may" partition your secondary drive but I'm not for partitioning in the first place..let the drive work it's own pace and not over work it.
    Again..lose the 5400RPM and get yourself a faster ATA 7200RPM drive..they're not that expensive these days
    Glad you could catch my "act" over on the US428 Forum!! My next performance will be...just kidding!!
    Opus :D
  15. Fdizme

    Fdizme Guest

    Thanks Again OPUS,
    I saw the other reply and figured this would be a better forum for this. I'm trying to keep the tascam questions over there. Back to this- I now have both hard drives on the same cable master, slave. My mobo has regular ide and ata ide connections. Hd's are on ata ide and cd rom ,zip drives are on ide in slave mode. Do you see this as problem? I've partitioned both drives figuring heads work harder finding info. The main has 4 (one being for virtual memory) and slave has 2. Once I had answer about programs I would install them in there own partition. What is your thinking on this? Thanks Again! :p

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