Optimizing Windows XP to work with the Fender® G-DEC® 3 and Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition

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Optimizing Windows XP to work with the Fender G-DEC 3 and Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition.

These days, PC's are used for many things such as internet browsing, email, word processing, playing music files, and recording and editing digital audio. While your computer is designed to handle these tasks, certain optimizations or "tweaks" are sometimes necessary in order to get the most out of your system. Operating systems, sometimes give certain background processes and tasks priority over other programs that are running. Optimizing your system for audio recording reallocates system resources in a way that will allow for uninterrupted streaming of multiple tracks of audio to and from your computer.


Disabling Visual Effects

You may want to start by disabling or toning down some of the visual effects that constantly drain precious resources.

To disable visual effects:

  1. Click the Start button and choose Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the System icon.
  3. Under System settings, select the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the Performance Settings button and select the Visual Effects tab.
  5. Choose Adjust for best performance and then select the Advanced tab.
  6. Under Processor Scheduling, select Background Services to ensure lowest latency with ASIO-based drivers (ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows XP).
  7. Finally, Select Programs under Memory Usage to ensure that enough RAM is allocated to your applications.

Note: Disabling visual effects will change the appearance of Windows XP.


Power Options

Windows XP allows the user to custom configure its power settings. This can come in handy if you are using a laptop running off of battery power. These power settings would enable the laptops battery to last longer between charges. It's also a good idea to modify the sleep and hibernation settings so your computer won’t fall asleep while you’re taking a break or recording a long take.

To optimize the power setting for audio performance:

  1. Click the Start button and choose Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Power Options icons.
  3. Under Power Schemes, select in order: Always On, Never, Never, Never.
  4. Lastly, make sure that Hibernate is unchecked.


System Sounds

Windows XP incorporates an audio scheme in the OS. Certain functions, such as connecting a device, are signaled by a corresponding short sound. While quite helpful (especially for the visually impaired) in distinguishing between events, these sounds often interfere with normal audio work. We recommend these sounds be turned off.

To turn off system sounds:

  1. Click the Start button and choose Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Sounds icon.
  3. Under Audio Devices, select the Sounds tab.
  4. Choose No Sounds for the Sound Scheme, and click the OK button.


Display Properties

The display properties settings affect how Windows XP handles graphics, video, and the overall appearance of the OS. The processing required to maintain the appearance of the OS or to keep the response snappy can interfere with the processing needed to record uninterrupted audio tracks. It's relatively simple to maximize graphics efficiency. Also, keep in mind that these adjustments are optional settings and will likely not make or break your audio performance. They are merely suggestions that will free up some much needed resources

To adjust the display properties:

  1. Right-click on any blank space on the Desktop and select Properties.
  2. Under the Theme options, select Windows Classic from the drop down menu, if it isn't already.
  3. Click the Screen Savers tab and under the the Screen saver option, select (None) from the drop down menu.
  4. Click the Appearance tab and under the Windows and buttons option, select Windows Classic Style.
  5. While still on the Appearance tab, click the Effects button. On this screen, be sure to uncheck the Use the following transtion effects for menus and tooltips option. Then click the OK button.
  6. Click the Settings tab and adjust your Screen Resolution to the desired dimensions. The Color quality option should be set to Highest (32 bit) unless you have an application that requires or advises higher color depth. Lastly, in the Settings tab, click the Advanced button and make sure the DPI setting option is set to Normal size (96 DPI).

    Note: The Color quality and Font size (option located under the Appearance tab) will not affect performance.