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Producer's Guide to Optimizing Your DAW & Computer

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29 Videos | Length: 1hr 12min 44sec
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  • image description 0:28


    Multiplier welcomes you and goes over what the series is all about.

  • image description 2:10

    Bouncing to Audio

    This is the most important technique for avoiding CPU/DAW performance issues. Discover "freezing" and "flattening" in Ableton, a feature implemented for this exact purpose. I very briefly touch upon some alternative "bouncing" options too, such as "resampling" mode.

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    Buffer Size & Latency

    How does buffer size affect CPU performance? And how does all of this relate to latency? And what even is latency? (it's important). Learn some tips and tricks for dialing all this in, and finally, I explain what buffer size is, and why it affects CPU performance like it does.

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    Sample Rate

    How does sample rate affect DAW performance? Learn what sample rate is, and therefore, why it affects DAW performance like it does. Further, I explain which sample rates to choose, in which situations, and why.

  • image description 3:45

    Computer Cooling & Airflow

    Have you ever thought about the airflow around your computer? Most people haven't, yet it's the simplest and cheapest (free) way to gain a small increase in computer performance. I share three tips for optimizing this, regardless of if you have a laptop, or desktop machine.

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    Always Plug a Laptop Into Power

    Did you know that you should always plug in your laptop power cable if it's readily available? Most people don't realize this, but there are two reasons why. As I explain, one is computer/DAW performance, and the other is battery longevity.

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    Don't Update

    This may sound a bit mad, but don't update anything (hardware, software, plugins, etc..) unless you absolutely need to. Professionals don't update. I explain why, as well as tell a few cautionary stories.

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    Second Displays

    Second displays are fun! Third displays are even more fun. But, do you really need them? Additional displays impact computer and DAW performance much more than you might think. To illustrate how significant, I tell an interesting story.

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    Activity Monitor

    Let me show you the Activity Monitor, the best tool for diagnosing any DAW performance issues. I share some stories about how I used it to fix some issues.

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    Use Different Projects

    This is something most pros do, but most newer producers don't. To ease the CPU load, split sound design/songwriting/mixing/mastering into different projects.

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    Using Plug-Ins Unnecessarily

    This is one of the most common mistakes I see, using CPU intense plug-ins for tasks that simply don't need them. Four or five plug-in EQs aren't a big deal for DAW performance, but sixty or seventy are.

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    Shut Down Everything You Don't Need

    This is one of the most significant things that affects DAW performance. Most people kind of know to do this, but generally don't. Shut down any app or process that you don't need for music production. Quit apps, yes, but also turn off Wi-Fi, and disable any operating system features you don't need too.

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    CPU Meter

    Learn about the CPU meter in Ableton. It doesn't do what you might expect, but in fact, it tells you something much more useful (how easily your CPU is able to play the project). I also share some important nuances that you need to know too.

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    Ableton & Multicore CPUs

    Computers have multiple CPU cores (dual-core, quad-core, etc..), but how does Ableton work with these? Learn how you should organize your projects to most effectively take advantage of multicore CPUs!

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    Reverb Effect Bus/Return Track

    To improve DAW performance it's standard practice to use reverb on an effect bus/return track. In this video I explain why.

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    Unison is the most standard synthesis technique for creating a thick sound, but, do you really need all those voices? Learn why (with DAW performance in mind) you might sometimes want to consider a smaller number.

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    What is polyphony, and how does it affect CPU/DAW performance? Importantly, it matters most when there's a long amplitude release. I explain/demonstrate.

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    Plug-In "Quality" Settings

    There's more to plug-in "quality" settings than just ticking the "highest" option. Sometimes that doesn't give the best sound, and sometimes plug-ins have interesting "offline quality" options. Find out more in this video.

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    Complex Warp Mode

    The complex and complex pro warp modes take a surprising amount of CPU to process. I explain exactly how much, why, and how to work around this.

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    Hard Drive Performance

    In this video, I explain the fundamental concepts and technologies that affect hard drive performance. Where should you store your samples and sample-based instruments? And on what kind of drive? Using what kind of cable?

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    How Much Free Space on Hard Drive?

    Quite simply, how much space should you leave free on a hard drive? You may have heard that you should leave some space, but, how much?

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    Hard Drive Overload Indicator

    Find out about the "Hard Drive Overload Indicator" in Ableton (that "D" in the top right corner). Learn when it might indicate an issue, and what you can do to avoid such issues. I share a few solutions too, including "RAM Mode".

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    Beta Software

    Beta software is always more CPU intense than the main release versions. Learn why, and also, how you might want to think twice before jumping into a beta build. That new feature looks great, but is it worth the risk?

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    Should It Be Using That Much CPU?

    See how to learn which tasks/processes use a disproportionate amount of CPU, and even which plug-ins as a whole by design, use a disproportionate amount of CPU.

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    Turn Off OS Visuals

    Explore an interesting idea of turning off any operating system visuals (transparent toolbars, etc..) you don't need.

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    Turn Off Unnecessary DAW Features

    If you get a bit stuck (and have some time to hand), turn off any DAW features you don't need. Start by deleting unused scenes, and work your way through the project.

  • image description 2:26

    "Places" Indexing Issue

    Don't put an entire hard drive (especially an HDD) as a "Place" in Ableton. It may look tempting, but if you do, you might run into performance issues.. Let me explain.

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    64 Bit vs 32 Bit (& RAM)

    Learn about the difference between 64 and 32 bit apps/plug-ins, and therefore why (with DAW performance in mind) you should always choose the 64 bit version if possible. Also see how to check if an app is 64 bit or not - and finally, what uses RAM.

  • image description 2:55


    You may have seen VST3 appear as option, but, with DAW performance in mind, should you use it?

Product Overview

Adam Pollard aka Multiplier delivers an in-depth video series all about getting the most out of your computer and DAW, when recording and producing music! Shot in Ableton Live on Mac OS and applicable to any OS and DAW, see how to squeeze every drop of power out of your rig and avoid time wasting snafus.

Adam welcomes you and then covers one of the most effective ways to free up CPU power, bouncing to audio. See how and other similar techniques that will give your CPU a sigh of relief. Buffer Size, Latency and Sample Rate are then all explained and explored so you can optimize your sessions for better performance.

Throughout the rest of the series Adam covers some basic and not so obvious solutions for getting the most out of your recording system, such as computer cooling and airflow, using multiple displays, utilizing Multicore CPUs, storage types and common issues, 64bit vs 32bit, proper workflow practices, plug-in quality settings and what they mean, and much, much more.

See the individual tutorial descriptions for more info. If you use a computer for making music, this series can be a real eye-opener. It's great for beginners or experienced users alike, and will hep you get the most out of your recording rig... Watch "Producer's Guide to Optimizing Your DAW & Computer" today.

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Producer's Guide to Optimizing Your DAW & Computer is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 31 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very inspiring - New thoughts - very sophisticated! Love it. Helpful thoughts - insights that go deeper than I ever thought about it. Very helpful and - a extremely interesting instructor/tutor. Perfect!
Date published: 2021-06-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great stuff This would be a great place to start with Multiplier's videos for introductory stuff. Real fundamental reveals.
Date published: 2021-02-24
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Worthwhile There are some great tips here which I've never come across elsewhere. Very worthwhile. Even where I question the validity of the tip (by which I mean there's a trade-off I might not be willing to make), it was helpful to hear the reasoning behind each tip so that I could make informed decisions about my own practices.
Date published: 2020-05-02
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Recommend using this tutorial before starting any daw or production Really helped.... massive change in performance and a very informative very detailed!!!!!!
Date published: 2020-04-27
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent Tons of great info. Really good Instructor
Date published: 2020-04-14
Rated 0.5 out of 5 by from Poor Advise I stopped viewing and lost all confidence when the presenter suggests that you never upgrade anything unless absolutely necessary. Perhaps he on a Mac but with a Windows system, that's an invitation for viruses to invade your system. Some good ideas, however.
Date published: 2020-04-11
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great advice I like multiplier's vids, to the point is great for me.
Date published: 2020-04-10
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Great if you know your way around your Daw but if your a newbe you will need more visial on somethings here rather then just speak about an something then not show you
Date published: 2020-04-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Concise suggestions to make things run smoother The advice and examples contained in the course were very helpful in identifying software, hardware and OS bottlenecks that most people would not think about, but adversely affect production time and efficiency. It was well done.
Date published: 2020-04-08
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Essential Information! Just what I wanted to find for help in getting the most from my DAW!
Date published: 2020-04-07
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from I'll refer to this weekly… Perfect ! This is a must have !!
Date published: 2020-04-07
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Very Abelton specific but still useful Some good original thoughts on optimizations
Date published: 2020-04-06
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Superbly done! This was very effective for three reasons in my opinion. Good performance - to the point Shorter tutorials in this series - more useful - save time, keeps interest Very knowledgeable guy
Date published: 2020-04-06
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from This Dude Knows His Stuff! I already have my Win 10 DAW computer optimized, but it's great to get a refresh on optimization tips. Everything pointed out, I can say is quick win. SSD or M.2 drives internally, or USB or Thunderbolt externally. Also do not use the OS disk drive for DAW recordings or storing your samples or sound libraries. This should be on a separate disk drive. Excellent video!
Date published: 2020-04-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Super information ! Always very helpful and informative videos.
Date published: 2020-04-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Short and sharp Great short videos to help in thinking I don't need a new computer.
Date published: 2020-04-03
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Informative rambling The instructor spoke in a very clear voice. His environment was pleasing to view as he was very animated. My first inclination was to feel he was rambling, however the more he spoke the more his point became apparent. I guess you could edit or shorten the video, but it might loose something the viewer might not catch and may have to watch again to get the complete understanding.
Date published: 2020-04-03
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Expert advice Every time I hear you speak I learn something new and valuable.
Date published: 2020-04-02
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great Tips! Some really good information in here, a decent amount of this I knew already but I learned a few things about latency through interfaces. Thanks Multiplier
Date published: 2019-11-03
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from ?????? ????????
Date published: 2019-06-17
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Things you do not think of... Covered a number of things that effect your DAW’s performance you would not normally think of.
Date published: 2019-05-08
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Really Usefull Adam is a great teacher,and goes into a lot of detail carefully, explaining in each part. Lots of great tips ,tricks and things to consider when optimising your computer,
Date published: 2019-05-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Nice ,Thank You. Covered many Aspects of getting more out of your System.
Date published: 2019-04-22
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very helpful excellent
Date published: 2019-04-02
Rated 2.5 out of 5 by from Nervous presenter Edits annoying. Presenter needs to write a script .
Date published: 2019-03-26
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Useful video Good info, answered questions I had about hard drive management and other issues. I have a question. You recommend using 32 bit audio rather than 24 bit, because the processing cost of the extra quality is small. But doesn't 32 bit create a much bigger demand on the CPU when processing, because those extra bits have to be processed, even though the difference may be unnoticeable to our ears? TIA
Date published: 2019-03-25
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very helpful. Learned a lot and already made a couple of configuration changes which helped with performance. Thanks for putting this together.
Date published: 2019-03-24
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Interesting ideas! Great basic and some advanced methods. Multiplier always repeats info a bunch so it sinks in your memory banks. Thanks!
Date published: 2019-03-24
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Some great ideas and explanations Some great ideas and explanations. Quite a bit not applicable, like ableton and 80 tracks, heavy sampling issues, etc., but interesting anyway. A bit reassuring that I’m not likely to ever have ‘normal’ cpu problems, and so if I do, I can pretty much guess they will be glitches.
Date published: 2019-03-23
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent Information Having setup studio computers from the 80s on, the information in this series is very solid, "real world," and generally helpful. Pragmatic comes to mind.
Date published: 2019-03-22
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Awesome Course! Multiplier - it's great (awesome really) that you did this course! I know we communicated around some of these issues a few months ago and I hope that I had some impetus (with others I'm sure) to put this course together. I learned a lot - even more than our initial conversations as you really dig deep into overall DAW and CPU/Computer performance tips, tricks, and maximizing your resources. WELL DONE!
Date published: 2019-03-22
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