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MG2 on old laptop- best DAW, interface for stable performance

Hi folks,

I have been using MG2 for a couple of months now on a studio PC with no complaints. Pretty hefty specs on the windows machine so no performance issues other than my stupidity at times.

My hope is to install a DAW, MG2 and Triton Extreme on an old toshiba with an AMD A8-6410 cpu. I know, buy a new laptop. I just can’t justify the expense right now.

After installing every DAW that I own and testing every interface I could get my hands on I have a setup that achieves my goal of recording on the go.

DAW: Harrison Mixbus 32c
Interface: Behringer guitar link
ASIO driver: ASIO4ALL

The thing that makes it all work is the flexibility of Mixbus32c. The routing capabilities and performance optimizations in this DAW are incredible. It uses the resources of this measly little laptop and makes it possible to record a guitar track, route through MG2 and then route the MIDI to the Triton. All with acceptable latency. I had to go to 512 buffer size for recording but it is dooable. I’m still experimenting trying to squeeze out a few more cpu cycles to get down to 256 but this is working.

Any tips are greatly appreciated!

jab

Hello Joe welcome here :slightly_smiling_face:

The CPU (and RAM) load is partly due to the applications used but also to all the background applications and Windows services which are incredibly numerous and mostly unnecessary.
The undesirable effect of these unnecessary elements also has an impact on the stability of the OS and the applications used which can crash more easily and be penalizing or even disastrous in live performance.

The 2 essential points to manage are the applications and the system optimization:

  • Applications:
    On my laptop as on my desktop PC, I have 2 partitions, one of which is exclusively dedicated to audio where only the applications, devices and services needed for audio are installed and nothing else.
    The partition 2 is a “normal” partition with various applications (office suites, graphics, video, etc).
    This partition also serves as a “sandbox” for me to test new audio plugins and apps before installing them on the audio-dedicated partition 1.

  • Optimization:
    To clarify what has been said before, this consists in uninstalling useless devices and applications that may weigh down the system, or even interfere with the daws or MG2 (i.e. like games using and sometimes modifying the audio driver usage even if not launched).
    If no need, desinstall Web camera, Bluetooth, DVD/CD-ROM drives, Ethernet or Wireless network adapters,…
    Remove UWP apps you do not use here, such as: 3D Viewer, Mail and Calendar, Microsoft Solitaire, Collection, Mixed Reality Portal, Skype, Snip & Sketch, Weather, Xbox Console Companion, Xbox Live, Voice Recorder, Movies & TV, Paint 3D, One Note, Feedback Hub, and Groove Music.
    If not needed, disable Services i.e. AllJoyn Router Service, AVCTP service, BitLocker Drive Encryption Service, Hyper-V service (8 services used) and so on…

Many other manipulations will lighten the CPU and RAM and enhance the stability of the OS and its applications.
You will find all the necessary information and advice in this guide dedicated to the use of a Windows PC especially for live performances.
It contains additional information dedicated to Gig Performer, the host plugin that I use for live performances and in which MG2 is installed as the basic plugin on which all instruments and effects are grafted.

The Ultimate Guide to Optimize your Windows PC for the Stage

If you don’t intend to play on stage with a PC, you don’t have to follow everything to the letter, but the more you optimise your PC, the more resources and stability you will have.

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Thanks Herold,

I downloaded the trial for GP and like what I see so far. Very intuitive (I guess if it is aimed at live musicians it has to be…haha). Just playing with it a little on my desktop machine to familiarize on a larger screen.

Also, with my current laptop setup, I tried the WASAPI drivers instead of ASIO and much to my surprise was able to use 256 buffer size! I wish I could strip it down to a dedicated music machine. Your recommendations above are really great and I will use as much as I can but the ole toshita is a multitasker and I’m hoping to get another year or so out of it.

jab