DIY Recording Studio – Improving Computer Performance

Check out these tips to boost computer performance for capturing audio in the DIY recording studio.

Computers have been a pain in the neck ever since I started using them. They have been a far bigger source of frustration ever since I began using them in my DIY recording studio. But the computer is a necessary evil these days, so I have learned to adapt. Here are a few things that can be done to ensure that your computer is running as efficiently as possible.

1. Get more RAM! To keep it simple, RAM is the memory used to keep the computer operating successfully while running different programs and applications simultaneously. Think about all the different things happening simultaneously while recording audio: accessing Wav files, running plugins, extensive editing, etc. There is a lot going on. A computer set up for recording audio needs to be equipped with a lot of RAM. I would suggest 4GB of RAM at the very least. You will need additional RAM with the increase in the complexity of your recordings.

2. Get an external hard drive. Storing your recording program and files on a hard drive separate from the operating system saves your computer a lot of stress. I learned this the hard way. Although I was told this is not how my hard drive died, I think it is. The hard drive was just getting too much action, more than it could handle.

3. Set your computer preferences to run more efficiently for performance, not appearance. A fancy appearance is not necessary in a DIY recording studio, and can slow down performance.

4. While recording audio, disconnect the computer form the internet. Turn off any antivirus or other programs running in the background that may interfere.

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5. Plugins eat processing power. Do not go overboard with them. But this can be beneficial in another way also. Too many effects can kill the dynamics of a recording. Now you can force yourself to minimize the use of plugins for more than one reason.

6. Defrag the hard drive often. This is always good for faster performance.

7. Frequent saving – not so much a computer enhancement. It could, however, save the computer from possible destruction. In the event that a great performance is not saved, an engineer could choose to let out some frustration in the form of physical violence… on the computer and on other equipment in the DIY recording studio. I have felt like doing this before. Do not forget to save.

Recording audio on a computer is a laborious task. There are many more computer performance tips that have slipped my mind at the moment. I will update as I remember them.