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Written by George Fotis, August 2002

If you use a PC for music check this one...



Who does your system do it  ?? 

Using a PC for music is a somewhat sensitive task.If the system is properly configured, its stability and performances increases dramatically. The following tips are hardware related and can improve your systems performance and stability

1. Free resources : use as many USB devices as you can. USB devices does not require an Interrupt Request, if you dont need one, you can always pull-out the plug!

2. If you have some USB device, try to use a USB mouse. Because ,to make use of  your USB device, you already have the USB enabled on BIOS, assigning an IRQ for the USB bus. Using a USB mouse can free the PS/2 type IRQ [usually its 12] ,and your system may need it.

 3.Try to free resources on the system. Remove any Icons from the system tray, and try to disable Autostart , for programs. There are many applications that adding themselves to your Windows startup, making the boot process slower and consuming valuable recoursces. The more resources available , the best your system is going to work !

Configure the Windows properly.

Plug and play is sometimes excellent but,sometimes can proven very poor and bad solution. Although the majority of PCI devices are Plug n Play, there are certain cases that auto detection settings simply doesnt work.

How to configure Windows to work properly with your devices.

Try these steps:

1.Before installing any PCI device, go to BIOS and check the settings.

If you dont use the COM ports for example, you can disable them,because more IRQs will be available for YOUR devices. Check the motherboards manual, and if confused mail the tech support to help you with the proper settings.

2.When installing devices ,install one PCI device at a time. For example, if you have a sound card, a video card, and a PCI modem plug  one device  into the motherboard,then install the drivers and test it for some time to make sure that it works the way it should, with no problems.Then proceed to the next device installation.

3.If your setup is very complex, with many devices to use, you can use the windows hardware profiles to disable devices you dont need in a certain situation.

Theres no point to have the modem enabled when writing music, and using profiles will help you to use only the devices you need in a certain situation.

 Let me tell you about my system.In my system are 2 sound cards,1 video capture card,and a Radio tuner card.

I also use the motherboards MIDI interface, COM ports 1 & 2 and the parallel.

Although the system displays that all is fine in Control Panel >System >Hardware when all cards are anabled the Miro  Studio DC10+ card, does not functioning at all.

The Control Panel says ok, no problems but the Miro does not work !The solution:I have 2 profiles , in the one I have disabled the SoundBlaster Live! Card [which is causing the Miro to not work], and Miro is working perfectly.To make a system profile ,open Control Panel ,double click the System icon,and choose the Hardware Profiles tab.The Original Configuration is the default [all enabled] system profile.Click on Copy button,give the new profile the name you want,and restart Windows.

The next time, the system will ask you to select the profile you want.Select the new profile, disable the devices you dont need in this situation, and the next time you boot Windows ,youll be able to choose: the full system with your game controllers, and scanners or a more clean and stable system dedicated for music.

You may think thats an extreme solution, but if you experience instability ,try it ;-) And you will see the results for yourself !


Finally ,check the software ,and the drivers you use.

Using the newest drivers is the rule, but dont use beta-versions.  

Thats really why its worth the extra money for a famous, well respected manufacturers device. When you will need an upgrade solving driver problems ,it will be there. Believe it ,there is no substitute for this.




Comments,tips ,advices and articles are welcome in the forum !!!