Recording, as well as mixing music, eats up a lot of the performance power from your laptop or PC. Because of this, it is a must to improve your PC for music recording.
This way, not only that you have a seamless workflow during the extensive process; but, also assures you with a fast and reliable tool that gives you outstanding results.
Use Solid State Drives
For musicians like you and me, if we rely only on traditional hard disk drives for processing and rendering, we are not guaranteed of a smooth workflow all the time. 3 years to be exact, is the amount of time that I waited before deciding to do an upgrade for both my PC and laptop. After installing a 250 GB Samsung EVO Solid State Drive to both my PC and laptop, I began to experience the following:
Fast Load Time
I used to wait for minutes to load sample libraries and samples on Mixcraft Pro Studio 8 using the traditional HDD. But with the SSD, it only takes around 20-30 seconds to load a significant number of instruments. Because of the upgrade, it enabled me to start working on projects much faster than usual.
Better Music Playback
I found no errors nor glitches during playback. You need to understand that your projects contain several samples that require performance power for the tracks to play. Sometimes, as you work on your tracks, you find yourself adding more instruments as you change the song arrangement. This extensive process demands more spinning power from the hard drive; thus, creating glitches and errors along the way. Because of the upgrade, it enabled me to start working on projects much faster than usual.
No Data Losses
The HDD installed in my ACER Aspire V was loaded with 1 TB of storage which is already significantly great for music production. However, with the traditional drive, I experienced multiple crashes which resulted to data loss as well as projects without any samples written on them. After the upgrade, I have not experienced any crashes anymore. In other words, I’ve been working seamlessly ever since.
Installing a SSD is an immediate solution to a faster, more productive, and more creative workflow for your musical pursuits. I recommend installing a Samsung EVO 250GB SSD drive for your upgrade. It is the best in the market.
Double Your Ram
Better yet, max it out. For a few bucks, you can upgrade your RAM to increase your computer’s functionality. I’d say 8 GB of RAM is typically okay, but if you want to be really be so sure, 16 GB of RAM is enough.
Computer Power Set Up
Set your computer’s power to High Performance Mode. If your computer’s setting is to conserve energy, that will create problems as the computer runs the audio files.
Do Not Record and Mix on the Same Hard Drive
This is a huge no-no. Doing this is actually common sense. If you record and mix on the same hard drive, the hard drive will both do the same actions that require more spinning power – which is taxing for the computer. Instead, run the OS, DAW, and plugins on the SSD; then, store your projects, samples, and sessions on an external hard drive. This setup allows your computer to do the processing much faster; thus, creating more space to do more. As for me, I also store the plugins on a separate hard drive for much more space and processing power that I can have.
Great tip: Use the HDD you replaced for storage as an external drive, instead of throwing it away. I house all my files on the 1 TB HDD.
Use Submix Busses and Send Tracks for Plugins
Plugins are the biggest drainers on your CPU. It may be good to put plugins for each track, for organization and sound effect purposes; however, this method might produce glitches and playback errors because of the amount of power the plugins utilize. A great way to utilize the effect of a plugin is by using submixes and send tracks especially for global effects such as reverbs, delays, compression, and side-chain. Grouping tracks by putting them in a submix and then adding one effect to the submix is the best way to go about it. Please see the image above.
Try to strategize when using effects. Sometimes, an instrument track doesn’t need EQ or compression. If it sounds good, let it be. Less is more, as the saying goes.
Close All Other Applications When Mixing
The computer has limitations. Inspite of the upgrades that you already made for your PC to be optimized, you may also want to have as much power as you can when running your DAW. Closing all applications in the background frees up a lot of space and resources; thus, giving you the extra punch of power to use for your plugins, effects, and samples.
Close out the following – everything except your DAW!
In addition to this, turn off your internet connection as well as your background applications.
Bouncing out stems (mix to a new audio in Mixcraft) is a good mixing practice especially when you’re preparing the tracks for mixing. This is a process in which you mix or bounce the track to become a new track with the effects printed to it. This way, the plugins are not running on the bounced track and you can still hear the effects on it.
So by upgrading your PC to perform better is also one way of making music recording affordable to you. Think of it this way, you may be shelling out some money at first: but imagine the profit and outcome that you’ll get out of it, right?