4 Tips to Tighten Up Your Music Machine
Most of at home producers don’t have top-of-the-line machines or the money to dish out thousands of dollars on the new iMac Pro. So we have to find ways to make the most of our below-par computers.
Most of us have 5-15 years under our computers full of pictures from high school graduation, music from Nickelback’s first three albums, and videos from our 16th birthday. All of these things take up space and can easily be deleted. Although, If you’re growing too sentimental over these age-old files and apps, try moving these files onto a USB external storage device. This is the free/cost effective route to take when FL Studio keeps crashing. Here’s an article about space hogs on your computer and how to clear them!
RAM is the main thing that keeps the CPU heavy tasks like Kontakt running smoothly. Many computers have in between four and eight GB of RAM available, which is hardly enough. Thankfully we can buy more of it, sadly it costs money. With RAM sticks, some computers can easily double or even quadruple your memory! This is probably the easiest solution for many computers (except most Macs, sorry!). Here is a place to buy RAM sticks at a fairly good price.
Let’s say your RAM is un-upgradeable and your computer is bogged down with those 3-5 GB Ableton projects and your machine crashes constantly. SSDs could help. SSDs are external storage but they read and write data faster. This means that putting your projects, software, sample libraries, etc. on there will enable them to load faster. This may be the hardest option because SSDs cost quite a bit. The <1TB options can cost a few hundred dollars. See more on Amazon.
Sometimes we as music producers neglect to make sure that we are getting the most from our DAWs, mostly due to the fact that we have no idea what half of the settings mean. One easy way is increasing the buffer size. This gives the machine more time to process plugins and synths before you have to hear them. Another very beneficial way that will boost performance dramatically is freezing tracks. This effectively bounces tracks in place and plays them like a normal audio file without effects. Another note on FL maximizing can be found here.
Despite some of these tips your machine may be still running slow. If this is the case you may need a new machine or maybe you should finally delete Limewire. In either case, hobbies and serious musicians will find themselves dishing out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on software and hardware. It’s always worth it though!
Did we miss some tips or tricks? Post them in the comments!
Kalebh has been producing music for side and solo projects since childhood. He graduated from Full Sail University with a Bachelors in Music Production.