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Windows working ok for those who use it for recording ?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by pfschim, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    In a recent thread there was a ... ummm ... lively discussion about how viable Windows is for home recording and general audio use. I have used various versions of Windows based systems for decades with very few issues, and with Windows 10 I have not experienced any BSOD's at all. But the discussion got me wondering if perhaps my experience was somehow unique. I'll add that this is not religion for me, I have used MacOS and Linux as well, but I'm just more comfortable with general work-flow in Windows.

    So, I'm interested to hear from anyone using Windows for recording if its working well ... or not.
    I'd like to keep this focused on Windows and not get into compares to other OS platforms ... and as always, I'd like to keep the discussion fact based and polite.

    So, anyone want to share their experience with Windows and recording ?

    Highroler79 likes this.
  2. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Currently using Windows 10 with a Cubase DAW. Have not had any real issues at all. The thing I do before recording is go into the Task Manager and shut down any unnecessary stuff running in the background and NOT be connected to the internet while recording. Runs like a well oiled machine for me.

    The fact I have a quad-core processor helps. I also keep my project files on an external HD which helps too.
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    OP knows my opinion already from the other thread, but he's ignoring me, so who cares? :bored:
    Garret Graves likes this.
  4. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Win10 works fine, I have a seven-year-old DELL Inspiron notebook (old quad-core i7) and it can happily record 12+ tracks at once, mixdown with multiple virtual-instrument heavy tracks and lots and lots of plugins. Using mostly Mixbus and Cakewalk and soundforge, and various thirdparty standalone VST instruments and apps (line6, ect). No problems using Behringer X18 interface, Line6 POD X3 Pro interface, TASCAM US-366. IMO, the main thing that keeps it happy is the fact that it's always updated, and that it has 32GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. (also constantly connected to my network NAS).

    That said, my next DAW will likely be running some flavor of Linux (time will tell, if all my favorite plugins, etc will work). Certainly MixBus and Resolve will run fine, not sure what I will use for replacing SoundForge, though! Not to mention the line6 stuff - I dunno if any 'amp sim / multiFX hardware' out there now (that would replace my much-loved POD X3 PRO, which will keep living with the notebook as long as it lives!) actually comes with linux apps!
    Nuage420, pfschim and MonetBass like this.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've had multiple issues. Just bought a new computer however in hopes that it will resolve any issues. Its 8 core with 16GB RAM. Delivery is expected tomorrow.
  6. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Win 10 machine with an older Presonus Audiobox USB into Studio One Prime 4 (now 5) without any issues. Was previously using Cubase 4.0 LE, and it worked for a while, but then stopped recognizing the Presonus interface. Even a driver update for the interface couldn't fix that one.

    +1 to removing any bloatware that a lot of PCs come with, and additionally removing any unneeded apps from the startup settings. That will save you a lot of grief down the road.
  7. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    hey Joe N, can you say what kind of issues you've had ? Not trying to dig into that, but given the thread idea, I'm interested to hear.

    @The Owl ... I do the same things that you describe when I'm ready to record or use the DAW for anything. ... no network connections, adjust Windows appearance for performance etc. I have also taken some steps to optimize some other settings like Mulit-threading and Intel Power Management and I installed and use the apps Latency Mon and Bitsum to help with DPC latency and overall performance.

    I'm currently running a Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 with 6 cores and 16gb ram, but I have used much lower powered machines in the past with perfectly good results too.

    After I bought the Dell about a year ago, I realized (a bit late unfortunately) that Dell machines don't always get the highest marks for audio performance. Apparently laptops by Asus, MSI and Acer often get better marks for audio production than Dell. Of course there are also several well known custom builders for Windows based Audio workstations (ADK, SlickAudio, Origin etc ..) who custom build laptops and desktops for audio workstation use.
    MonetBass likes this.
  8. Tosh


    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    I was using Windows from 3.1 through 7. The only stable DAW I ever had running Windows was Win2000/Intel 2.6 Ghz P4 + Intel motherboard/Sonar 4 with 3 M-Audio Delta 1010's, that I built myself. Tweak this, don't tweak that, update your driver, update your firmware, roll back your driver, on and on. I know my band was extremely frustrated because of all the BSOD's we experienced using Windows. Eventually I bought a dedicated hard disk recorder as insurance against lost takes.

    When the day came, after 10 years, that the OS became corrupted due to an unplanned forced shutdown (UPS power failure), I decided to switch platforms.

    Today I have a Windows XP system supporting Sound Forge 7 (installed on a 2008 Macbook) that I use for recording vinyl records, which I have never had a lick of trouble with.
    Supadope, MonetBass and pfschim like this.
  9. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    As a dedicated Mac user I will happily say that Windows machines are just fine for recording, production and engineering tasks as long as you don't need any Apple software such as Logic.
  10. SidNitzerglobin


    Feb 12, 2019
    IME most of the issues w/ Windows DAW work come from either specific interface drivers or on-board USB hardware & drivers (or a combination of the 2).

    Running Win10 w/ Samplitude as the DAW on a quad core i7 3770K w/ 16GB of RAM I tracked the sub-optimal latency w/ a USB2 Scarlett 18i20 in my previous setup to the fact that the Focusrite drivers were relying on some USB 1 functions that Intel had deprecated & dropped on the down low in the then current chipset drivers. That being said, latency for punch in overdubs was really the only unresolvable issue I had w/ that setup. I could mix & tweak 32 tracks at an acceptable level of responsiveness w/ a pretty large number of hungry plugins running.

    I still haven't dove into setting stuff backup on my current Win 10 box but I gotta think it's got plenty of horsepower for just about any number of tracks & plugins I may want to use simultaneously w/ a 12 core 3900X w/ 32GB of DDR4 & a couple of fast PCIe 3 NVMe & a couple of higher capacity SATA SSDs assuming I can land on an interface & drivers that play nice but ???
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
    MonetBass likes this.
  11. drumvsbass


    Aug 20, 2011
    Used Windows for 20 years of recording. Never had an issue.
    Supadope, C Stone, QweziRider and 8 others like this.
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I was getting crackling in my recordings (sometimes), other times it would just stop recording for no reason (the song would play on, but whatever I was recording would just drop out), and the straw that broke the camel's back was my installing Amplitube 5. It would take 5 minutes to load, and then only half the plug-in would appear when I opened it.

    Things started slowing down considerably too.

    I'm currently using Cubase 7 with 8GB Ram on a 2 core PC.
  13. David Vector

    David Vector Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    I switched from Mac to Windows circa 2004/2005 when Windows XP had finally made it, for me, a viable recording platform (Win98 was too crashy). I've had mostly good results, especially on this last machine which I had made for me by a DAW PC builder. (To me, it's worth it to know the computer is going to arrive optimized and ready to roll and that I have DAW-specific tech support ready to Teamviewer the thing back on track if anything should ever go awry.)

    Actually I have a new 8-core computer I bought from the same gentleman back in November that I still haven't even taken out of its box because I'm trying to finish a current project first and oh man, reinstalling and authorizing SO much software is going to be a project in itself.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
    pfschim, MonetBass and mikewalker like this.
  14. moon-bass

    moon-bass Up to the moon and back Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    Been using Windows as well since Cakewalk, currently using Protocols. 20+ years never had any real issues.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’m fine with it despite Linux being my OS of choice for workstation PCs.

    However, I’m also running 8 cores with 32Gb of RAM plus an NVMe drive on the mobo for my boot/OS/apps, and SSD drives for everything else. So this PC has got resources and speed to spare. In addition I’m multi-booting different configurations of Windows 10. The one I use for music apps is stripped down to the essentials.

    One place where Win10 is easier to use for music than most Linux distros is that you don’t need to install a low latency kernel since Win10 is already heavily optimized for HD video and sound. There’s fewer challenges finding drivers (if they’re needed) when running Windows too. So purely from an ease of use perspective, Windows 10 (or MacOS) is probably a better choice for most music app users if they’re not that into the systems stuff and just want to get a personal studio music workstation up and running.
  16. I am running Windows 10 on a mini pc driving Harrison Mixbus using an older M-Audio or Zoom GCE3 interface and a JBL/DBX M-Patch Active 1 for my cue to KRK V4 mk1. The only issue I have is if I get too demanding it will get balky due to the lack of RAM. I could not record more than stereo tracks with this setup either but for what I'm doing it is working fantastic. If I had more budget I would invest on a more robust computer with faster processing and more than 8gb of RAM.
  17. Zoolion


    Oct 31, 2014
    I use windows 10 running Reaper with an RME Fireface UCX interface with zero issues recording up to 12 tracks at a time.
    The Owl, pfschim and MonetBass like this.
  18. I've had a windows 7 machine with a now-ancient version of protools (perpetual license) for about ten years now. besides recently maxing out ram and adding an ssd to record to (had some issues recording multiple tracks), i believe in the philosophy of "if your daw works, LEAVE IT ALONE"
    The Owl, mikewalker, 40Hz and 2 others like this.
  19. People who claim you can't use Windows effectively for recording are Apple/Mac zealots and shouldn't be listened to.
  20. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Older machine with 2 cores and 8GB ram would seem to be right on the edge for anything very demanding. Hopefully your new machine will be better.
    mikewalker, Joe Nerve and MonetBass like this.
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