Knowledge Base/Computer Recording/Configuration & Troubleshooting

How can I optimize Windows 7 for better audio performance?

Björn
posted this on December 20, 2012 13:18

Question

Are there some tips & tricks for optimizing Windows 7 to improve audio performance?

Answer

Please follow the steps below:

  • Set your computer's power for high performance

If your computer is set to conserve energy, the CPU may not be running at full speed all of the time. This can have a detrimental effect on your computer's audio performance. To set your computer's power for high performance:

    1. Go to: Start>Control Panel>Power Options
    2. Choose "High Performance"
    3. Click the "Change plan settings" button.
    4. Make sure both power options are set to "Never"2. 
  • Disable system sound

System sounds can interrupt audio.Ensure that they are disabled by doing the following:

    1. Go to control panel and select "Sound"
    2. Go to the sounds tab
    3. Under sounds scheme, select "No sounds"
    4. Click "Apply" then, "OK"
  • Enable DMA (Direct memory access) on each IDE channel

This allows data to be transferred directly into the memory and can improve audio performance. Please note: This only applies to some hardware and if this option is not available, you should not worry about completing this step. To ensure that DMA is enabled:

    1. Open device manager 
    2. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers category then double click on each one of the IDE channels
    3. Under the 'Advanced settings' tab, make sure the 'Enable DMA' box is ticked in device properties
  • Set processor scheduling to "Background services"

This will improve the performance of your audio drivers on your computer. To do this:

    1. In control panel select "system"
    2. Go to "Advanced system settings" and then the "Performance" tab
    3. Set processor scheduling as "Background Services"
    4. Click "Apply" then "OK"
  •  Disable Windows Firewall, anti-virus, spyware software and disconnect from any internet connections

These should all be disabled to ensure that no interference's occur during audio recording or playback and to ensure that maximum resources are available. To remain secure while your firewall and antivirus disabled, it is advisable to temporarily disconnect from any internet connections when working with audio.

  • Disable Visual effects

The visual features in Windows 7 can use resources that could otherwise help to improve audio performance. As a start, it is good idea to disable some of the visual features by doing the following:

    1. Press start and in the search box type: "SystemPropertiesPerformance" and press enter
    2. On the visual effects tab select "custom"
    3. Untick: "Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing  to help prevent glitches when minimizing and maximizing  You can also experiment with disabling other visual effects in the custom list to see how they improve audio performance.
    4. Once finished, press "OK"
  • Disable Windows services 

One way in which you can make more resources available to improve audio performance, is to disable unnecessary Windows 7 services as these use valuable resources. The following site has a comprehensive guide to the services running on Windows 7 and helps locate the services that are safe to disable: Windows 7 Service Configurations

 

 
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