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Noel Borthwick

Unofficial Windows 10 Audio Workstation build and tweak guide

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Excellent thread! I have been computing for as long as there have been PCs. I build my own. I learned stuff from this thread. Thank you. 

This is another reason why the Cakewalk forum is so darn good.

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8 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Dang, @Pete Brown, your approach to malware defense is so....rational. As opposed to crusty like mine or fear-mongering. 😁

Thanks for outlining the steps that you, as a savvy home network administrator, take. I've been away from IT as a profession so long that I've barely heard of "drive-by malware." Or Pi-Hole. My home firewallin' is done with DD-WRT-on-yardsale-Linksys. If there were people under voting age at my place, I'd be so fearful I'd probably set up an entirely separate network to prevent my Roku Box getting pwnd.

I haven't disabled Defender, just the realtime scanning part of it (which choice is, I believe, more exposed on Pro). I use it ad hoc when I download .EXE's, and I do nothing to stop it from doing its thing during "idle" periods. I'm not against anti-malware software, just the kind that stays running all the time constantly examining my computer activity to make sure I'm not doing something to ruin my system. When I moved my main DAW system from Windows 7 to 10 and Cakewalk playback got noticeably balkier was when I fired up Resource Monitor. It revealed that A. Cakewalk streams every audio file in the project whether or not it's associated with an unmuted clip (unless it's entirely owned by an archived track) and B: Defender was malware-scanning my audio files, plug-ins, and other .dll's every time Cakewalk read them. At the time I had a spinny drive (a pretty fast one, but spinny nonetheless).

 

I'm with Erik and have been doing the same for...well, many years now.  Having run into huge performance problems caused by real-time scanning at work (not Defender to be honest but an enterprise AV product), I'm glad I have (the product in question caused something like a 500* slowdown on batch image generation from one of my .NET applications making it completely unusable in practice).

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4 hours ago, Hatstand said:

Are you sure their router was compromised. Over in the UK I get loads of calls supposedly  from BT or Microsoft claiming that my router has been compromised and can I download anydesk or teamviewer so they can look at my PC. If I am not busy It can amuse me playing who hangs up first after I ask them for my i.p. address or claim I am running Windows 95 or claiming not to have a mobile or computer :)

I enjoy that game too. I had someone once call to tell me that my Windows was compromised claiming to be from Microsoft. I said - great I work for Microsoft too. They promptly hung up 😉

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i answer them with "Acme Computers, please give me your name, telephone number, and a credit card number and someone will be right with you" then when they get confused, i'll say" please hold" and put them on hold, it's their dime on the call 🙂 

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On 2/25/2021 at 10:43 PM, Colin Nicholls said:

This gives me some hope I can upgrade from 1803 at some point.

Re: updating to 1909 - be careful if you have a sound card that has legacy drivers.  1909 killed my ability to use my E-Mu ASIO/Audio (and PatchMix software) that worked quite well under Windows 10 before.  I wish I could go back, but I can't.

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16 hours ago, Noel Borthwick said:

I enjoy that game too. I had someone once call to tell me that my Windows was compromised claiming to be from Microsoft. I said - great I work for Microsoft too. They promptly hung up 😉

Why haven't I ever thought of that? I'm in the same area code as Microsoft, so the ruse might even seem plausible.

My sympathy goes out to any actual Microsoft employees that happen to have an Indian accent. (There are many) "No, my name really is Brett and I really am in Redmond!"

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The new scam is the calls are coming from your local exchange number with an automated call at first. I wait and say F & C which do you prefer? Please have your 16 digit credit card number handy.   Only 2 so far have actually asked what the letters mean and when I told them one still didn't understand. The other called me disgusting.  Use you imagination for the letters is all I will say ;)  Hey you called  and are trying to solicit me! 

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39 minutes ago, User 905133 said:

Re: updating to 1909 - be careful if you have a sound card that has legacy drivers.  1909 killed my ability to use my E-Mu ASIO/Audio (and PatchMix software) that worked quite well under Windows 10 before.  I wish I could go back, but I can't.

With my beloved Echo Layla3G PCI/ASIO at the heart of my system, I suspect I'm not upgrading past 1803 until the hardware dies. Thank goodness for Winaero Tweaker.

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This comment took me by surprise:

Quote

Folks have gotten Firewire to work, but it’s very hit and miss.

I've been using Firewire for 14 years now, and never had any issues at all. Just lucky?

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When it comes to memory, I recommend new builders use the memory compatibility list the motherboard manufacturer releases. Most memory will just work, but the compatibility list will remove all doubt and help ensure you are able to get memory that performs to spec in your setup.

The vast majority of crashes and instability problems I had went away when I read this advice elsewhere years ago and started following it. The first thing I do now is pick a motherboard then go to the manufacturer's website and do a search for supported ram and cpu's. I always go with non-overclockable set speed RAM and prefer Kingston.

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8 hours ago, bitflipper said:

This comment took me by surprise:

I've been using Firewire for 14 years now, and never had any issues at all. Just lucky?

Yeah, it was always recommended to use a Texas Instruments chipset, and even then there were variations that still caused glitches for people.

I'm the same as you - when I had my Mackie Onyx, it just tended to work on anything I plugged it into but I definitely put that down to luck more than anything else.

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FWIW, i have a F/W focusrite LS 56. Update Windows 1903 and 1909 hosed it. I got it working once with the W10 legacy f/w  driver, but wow what a pain when usb works out of the box ...... yes i have a TI chip extension card.  Perhaps some have more luck than me, but given the fact that that its a lottery to now run older (not ancient) f/w units ...... i’ll stick with usb.

J

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I finally retired my M-Audio Firewire interface. Was using a TI chip in my PC, but the end-of-life M-Audio driver from vintage Win 7 days would throw an occasional BSOD in Win 10.

No problems at all using USB2 Focusrite now.

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On 2/27/2021 at 1:31 PM, bitflipper said:

I've been using Firewire for 14 years now, and never had any issues at all. Just lucky?

I'm lucky, too!  Even though 1909 severely impacted my ability to use the E-Mu card and software for audio and MIDI, the FW port on the card allows me to use an FW1884!  (Not as good as the E-Mu, but its what I have as a backup.) 

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FWIW I ran a Presonus Firewire Mobile for many years and only stopped using it a couple weeks ago. I've been using a Vantec UGT-FW210 card this whole time and have had no problems that I can recall. It's still available new. If you click the link read the FAQ at the bottom and it will tell you how to install Firewire drivers on Win 8 and 10. It's powered by a connector directly from the power supply which I think helps.

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Ironically for me it wasn't the FireWire driver that gave up on Windows 10. I still have a good PCIe expansion card for FW with TI, but no use for it now.

It was the non-existent vendor support for the audio drivers that did me in. The old M-Audio company (formerly Midiman) effectively went out of business the day they were sold by Avid to inMusic Brands in 2012. Their former product line was moved to legacy status.

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:00 AM, Jacques Boileau said:

@Pete Brown I just went through your guide and it is excellent and thorough. Great stuff!

One setting I haven't seen talked about in your guide, or I simply missed it, is the game mode. Since I do absolutely no gaming on my DAW's PC (I have a PS4 for gaming anyway), I turned that off. But I wonder if it has any real impact, negative or positive?

I will put my vote in with @Craig Anderton comment: I use Edge exclusively on my DAW's PC. I did not see the benefit in installing a second browser and Edge has filled my browser need without a hitch. I started using Edge on my other, much older PC, where the fan would just run wild with Chrome opened. I was surprised how well it ran and never looked back. 

Noel and I experimented with Game Mode a few years back, because it could be potentially useful for DAWs. Noel found that Cakewalk performed worse under Game Mode.

This is consistent with what some other DAW companies have told me.

Your mileage may vary, especially as core counts go up, so it's worth experimenting with. But for DAWs, optimizing for graphics FPS often comes at a cost for real-time audio. (This is also why gaming PCs aren't always the best base for DAW building)

Pete

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