» » » » » Digital audio and Your Computer.

By: Hugo Luis Alberto Repetto Posted date: January 08, 2017 Comments: 2

Modern Windows® PC’s are now quite powerful and more than capable of being used for sophisticated multitrack recording and audio editing. 

However, most are not typically configured for optimal performance for the specific demands of digital audio.

The following list of tips is offered as suggested optimizations you might try on your Windows® XP® or Vista® system to possibly improve the performance with your Line 6 TonePort®, POD®xt, POD® X3, GearBox® software, GearBox® Plug-In, as well as with other audio applications.


It is important to note that many of the default Windows settings do offer some advantages, conveniences, and even security improvements for the general use of your computer. You should evaluate the trade- off of the security and conveniences some of these services offer to your non-audio  computing work before you go disabling all of them. It is a good idea to always back up your system and data before changing system settings. It is also wise to keep a written list of all settings you’ve changed and know how to reset them back in case you encounter decreased performance issues.

Note - PC configurations can differ widely. The following tips are offered as suggestions only and Line 6 cannot be held responsible for problems caused to your system by applying settings changes. Please seek the assistance of a qualified service technician if you are not familiar with these Windows operating system settings.

Digital Audio Demands.
A few basic understandings are helpful as you start working with digital audio hardware and software and what demands they make on your computer system. Here are a few helpful insights...

CPU Usage.

This refers to the processing power that your computer uses to do lots of very complex math for such things as applying all those cool effects, and amp models to your sound. Once you start running other applications & Plug-Ins along with GearBox, this starts using more CPU cycles. It is best to run only the applications and processes you need to get the most out of your computer’s finite amount of CPU resources. And of course, the faster processor your computer has, the better. The newer Dual-Core and Quad-Core processors offer even better performance than earlier processors since they are indeed like having multiple CPUs all sharing the processing load!

Hard Disk Access.
Read also: MEDIA CONVERTER IS A COMPLETE CROSS-PLATFORM SOLUTION TO CONVERT AUDIO AND VIDEO FILES.
This is the “input/output” speed at which audio data can be written to your hard disk during recording, and read from your hard disk during playback. This will directly affect how many tracks you can record/ play back in a Multitrack software project, for example. Recording digital audio also uses a great deal of hard disk space, so it is a good idea to have lots of free Gigabytes available. The speed of your hard disk itself is important here. It is best to have a hard disk with a 7200 RPM speed or higher. Also, newer PC’s support the Serial ATA (SATA) interface for internal hard disks - if yours does than you should purchase a SATA type hard disk rather than IDE since SATA is a bit faster. A common practice among folks using their computer for audio work is to add a second hard disk and use it strictly for storing and recording audio files to, while the original drive is used primarily as your “C” drive where Windows and all applications are installed.

Note that often laptops come standard with a 5400 RPM speed internal hard disk, which may not be quite up to the task of more than simple multitrack audio recording projects. It is possible to purchase an external hard disk, such as one with a USB 2 or Firewire interface, that is 7200 RPM or faster to use as a secondary audio disk. External hard disk drives are also handy for back-ups as well (you are backing up your data, aren’t you?)

RAM.

(Random Access Memory) Many modern applications use lots of this type of memory, so the more RAM you have, the better, up to the 3.2 GB maximum that Windows XP & Vista support. If you are running a Multitrack recording application, effects plug-ins and soft-synths along with GearBox, then RAM will be used up quickly (but remember that it will not reduce these applications’ additional needs for CPU processing). One of the most cost-effective upgrades you can do for your computer is to add more RAM. Be sure to check your PC or motherboard documentation to see specifically what type of RAM it takes, and the capacity of RAM it will hold before you order the wrong type and have to face the dreaded chore of trying to return opened electronics parts!

Hardware Conflicts.

It is best to avoid connecting unnecessary hardware devices when working with audio on your PC.

Since TonePort, PODxt and POD X3 devices connect to your USB port, you especially want to avoid any devices sharing the same USB bus. It can require advanced technical skills to track down device conflicts, and this is beyond the scope of this document – consult a technician for assistance if needed.

But you can often avoid conflicts by simply not installing or disabling unneeded devices. For example, adding devices such as document scanners, Bluetooth adapters, printers, a USB coffee warmer, etc. can all raise the chances of conflicting with your audio device. Strive to keep your audio PC lean and mean, at least while running your audio applications.

Cables.

Note that digital connections, such as the S/PDIF outputs on TonePort UX2, UX8, KB37, PODxt Pro and POD X3, require the use of a special 75-ohm coaxial cable to effectively transmit digital signals without loss or interference. Be sure to get this cable type for any digital connections to/from your Line 6 hardware. For all analog audio connections, get yourself some good quality shielded instrument cables. Cheap cables often do not hold up well and can be a source of noise and tone loss if not well constructed. It is a good idea to invest in a few good quality cables and keep them away from cats and drummers. Before spending an entire day trying to figure out why you aren’t getting a signal through your setup, check your cables!

With the above understandings, you can already see one common rule of thumb – more processing, speed and memory is better! But you do not necessarily need to go upgrade your PC right now. If your computer meets the recommended requirements then it is likely just fine to get going with your Line 6 hardware and GearBox needs. To squeeze more out of your current system, take a look at the following sections for plenty of tips and tweaks!

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2 commenti:

  1. How about connecting your PC to your home stereo or even to your home theater in order to get a better audio for your games, videos and audio files? In this tutorial we will show you how to make this connection using regular analog connection and also digital connection (both coaxial and optical, also known as SPDIF).
    The first thing you need to check is what kind of connection both your PC and receiver support. You can hook your PC to your stereo or home theater system using three kinds of connection:
    Analog connection: This is the standard connection all PCs have. If your PC and your sound system don’t have digital connection, this is the connection you will use.
    Digital connection (coaxial): Use a single RCA-RCA cable. Because it is digital, no noise is produced. Not all PCs have this kind of connection.
    Digital connection (optical): Uses a fiber optic cable. This is the best connection available. Not all PCs have this kind of connection

    ReplyDelete

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