Whether you’ve got a 2.0 GHz dual core processor or a 3.5 GHz quad core i7, chances are you wish you had a little more power behind your home studio computer.
But believe it or not, most people don’t optimize their system to get the absolute most out of their computer.
There’s a few tips for maximizing your CPU, and if you follow these, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your processor – it’ll feel like you just upgraded!
The first thing we need to talk about is hardware buffer size.
There are some serious misconceptions about where your hardware buffer size should be. The truth is that you need to adjust it for different parts of the recording process.
This means we have to understand what numbers mean what. Here’s the facts:
A low h/w buffer size (32, 64 samples) is going to create less latency, but is also going to be more CPU intensive. That means it’s going to be hard to do a crazy mix with lots of plug-ins, but great for recording audio without lots of latency in your headphones. Use a lower buffer size (32-128) when recording audio.
A high h/w buffer size (512, 1024 samples) is going to create more latency, but is also going to be less CPU intensive. You’re going to be able to put lots more plug-ins and work with your DAW with fewer interruptions, but tracking audio will be difficult. Use a higher buffer size (256-1024) when mixing.
By using these different sizes for different points in the process, you’ll be able to get the most out of your CPU.
Another way to save on this precious power is to print your tracks once you’re done mixing them. Especially for virtual instruments, creating a new audio track and disabling the track with the VI and/or audio plug-ins can always save some serious power.
Even when you’re mixing, it’s a good idea to do this once in a while in order to free up some space. You’ll have a lot fewer CPU overloads and a lot more freedom in your mix to add even more plug-ins in the long run.
So try these tips out and save your CPU power today!