So you have your gear ready and your DAW open and you are chomping at the bit to start making some sweet tunes. But wait, there is something else you can do before you start your recording session, and that is to optimize your PC for audio production.

Now before I go any further it is worth noting that this guide is for Windows users, so you trendy Apple kids might as well switch off and checkout one of our other articles here.

Windows OS isn’t actually that bad to use straight out of the box for audio recording. Just install software and drivers and away you go. These little optimisations are more for getting the most out of your PC. Although the following optimisations are geared towards Windows 10 users, Windows 7 and 8 users should also be able to do some of these.

Change your power plan to High Performance:

Windows is usually configured to have a balanced power plan out of the box with many users not changing this. This means that although your PC is conserving energy to some degree, the CPU isn’t being allowed to run at its full speed. This has a negative effect on the processing performance you are trying to get out of your PC.

To remedy this:

  1. Go to “Control Panel”
  2. Select “Power Options”
  3. In “Power Options” select “High Performance”
  4. Select “Change Plan Settings” to the right of the “High Performance” setting and set both power options to “Never”

Disable Windows System Sounds:

This is something I disable anyway since I have never been a fan of the system sounds that shipped with Windows. They can also be pretty jarring when you are in the middle of recording….

To disable them:

  1. Go to “Control Panel”
  2. Select “Sound”
  3. Select the “Sounds” tab
  4. Select the drop down menu under “Sound Scheme” and change it to “No Sounds”
  5. Click “Apply” at the bottom of the window and then click “OK”

Disable the Background Apps:

Regardless of whether you are using them or not, Windows 10 runs Apps in the background by default.

To stop this practice:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu and select “Settings”
  2. Click “Privacy”
  3. Click “Background Apps”
  4. Turn off each app that you are not using or don’t want running rampant in the background while not in use.

Windows updates from more than one place?

Yeah, not the most useful feature in Windows 10, especially when there is only one PC on the network. But it’s worth turning off whilst on this feature disabling rampage.

  1. Go to “Settings” again in the Windows Start Menu
  2. Select “Update & Security”
  3. Go to “Advanced Options”
  4. Then turn the slider from “On” to “Off” in the “Choose how updates are delivered” section

Disable Windows Firewall, anti-virus and spyware software

I wouldn’t really advise doing this all of the time, but if your PC is lacking in those tasty resources then it might be a good idea to optimise your PC further and disable firewalls, anti-virus etc. Although firewalls and anti-virus programs help to keep you safe from the ominous threats of the internet, they use up a surprising amount of resources.

It’s advised to disconnect from the internet in order to stay secure and minimize any potential issues. This will also make sure that no network adapters are conflicting with any audio.

I know that this isn’t the most comprehensive list of things to do to optimize your PC but most users with be comfortable doing these changes. I’ll have some more tips and tricks for getting the most out of the stuff you have in the near future. Until then, take it easy!