Optimize your Mac or Windows system for audio/DJ-ing

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An optimized system allows for better performance, stability and lower latency. If you're doing any kind of real-time audio, video, karaoke work it's a good idea to optimize your Mac or Windows machine.

Common optimizations

This refers to both Mac and Windows systems

  • make sure your machine meets at least the minimum requirement to run FutureDecks
  • make sure the laptop is ventilated and cool enough (it should not get hot, just warm) when you use FutureDecks; otherwise when the processor is very hot it automatically reduces it's speed and operates slower
  • don't run unnecessary software (even in the background)
  • never connect a controller or audio device (soundcard) to an USB hub/extender, connect it only directly to the computer
  • disable High-Quality Time Stretching (Master Tempo) in FutureDecks if you have a slow machine

Mac OSX optimization

A Mac is already pretty optimized by Apple for audio so there is not much you can do:

  • some MacBook Pros have two video cards. One of them is built into the processor and it's the slower one (but consumes very little battery) and the other one is of a discrete type and much faster (either ATI or NVidia). For best performance use the more powerful one. You can enable it by going to System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Graphics -> Higher Performance
  • repair disk permissions (see [1])

Windows optimization

  • disable WiFi if you don't need Internet while mixing (some WiFi drivers cause a lot of problems for low-latency audio)
  • use the intended USB port type for the devices you are using. Example: if an audio device (soundcard) or controller uses USB2 try to connect it to a USB2 port (not to a USB3 port) if possible
  • stop all other software that are running (there may also be software running in the background installed by the laptop's manufacturer that's causing the problems -- eg. the driver for Intel integrated video cards (HD3000/4000) installs a system tray icon -- you need to disable HotKeys and also the tray icon, otherwise you can't get low audio latency working ok)
  • disable anti-virus software temporary if the machine is slow
  • change the desktop theme to Windows Basic (Desktop-> right click -> Personalize -> choose Windows Basic)
  • on Windows 8 disable the live tiles (right click on every one and select Turn live tile off)
  • for advanced users: you can use DPC checker or RattV3 or LatencyMon to check your system global latency -- it should be at or below 1ms and there should be no spikes