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Joined: Jan 2020
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(note…instead of commenting in this thread re this topic please…if ive missed anything…
which is easy to do as it's a complex topic…please pm me…and i will post your added tips and attribute them to you…)
these tips apply to a windows pc.

Why the need for this guide ?? simple answer is ive seen too many people over the years make incorrect decisions re this topic and tried to help as many as I could.
This guide is particularly for someone new to music production on a pc ... .and ive tried as much as possible to provide one central reference because so much of this info is scattered around the net. Also by having this series of tips, when a new person encounters problems , this topic might be useful for the person and thus maybe save lots of time/posts helping the person.

Here's the tips.

please read this…

in summary its important imho to purchase a pc that has low microsecond count in itself without attaching anything to it. the lower the better imho.
One reason people encounter problems is high dpc count.
For example, a common mistake is to use any old pc.
before using any pc i would urge the reader to run the utility mentioned in the article above..
ie latency monitor. …and really understand the topic of dpc latency by googling.

The purpose of latency mon is to assess the suitability of a pc for audio/music production.
but how to test prior to purchase ? can be an issue.
answer…i only deal with people that either let me run latency mon prior to purchase
or have a 30 day no questions asked return policy which is plenty of time to test.


I came across this site awhile back that tests dpc of lots and lots of popular pc's.
thus saving you the hassle.
it's highly useful and has a table of microsecond latencies ranked from highest to lowest..

also an interesting but looong low latency

irrespective of the route you go, i would advise getting a 30 day no questions asked return for any pc which gives you adequate time to test the pc with your chosen sound interface and preferably also a decent warranty eg a year.

you want a pc that's highly responsive to user commands.
There are various indicators that you might have problems with a pc.
for example maybe it comes with bloatware….

an interesting article …(or google what is bloatware ?)

In summary, various apps running on your pc and their pc resource usage can impact the primary task of music production and availability of resources for such.

Another clue is…how long does a pc take to boot into windows from cold ?
Some pc's take a loooong time. Ideally you want a fast boot time.
For example, PCs properly set up/acquired can boot into windows in just a few seconds.
so in looking at a pc to buy try and see if you can test how long it takes to boot from cold..
note…NOT from sleep mode but from when it's completely shut off.

There are various other ways to test the suitability of a pc… fast do apps take to load after clicking on an icon ?
on my pc for example my music apps max just take a few secs. fluid is moving between various screens ?
..if you already are a pg user, and it's just a basic indicator, but one more indicator in looking at suitability of a pc for music production is in pg's realband menus action>>test audio performance. This will report a track number. in my case over 200 tracks.

just google for more info on testing a pc….there are various utilities on the net.
also read up the link between single thread and multi thread performance and multi cores viz music production. There are often many debates about such.
one will find the speedier the processor the higher the measured thread counts…..which is has to mitigate this with power consumption.
see the following site that tests processor performance…its very useful prior to pc purchase…

BUT a caution…notice the power consumption of the processor you're interested in.i didnt choose myself the fastest processor due to not only my budget but also how quickly tech changes. also i wanted a pc that ran quiete for music production.
otherwise i have to put it in another room….fan noise can be an issue…
although there are products to mitigate this.


a constant issue ive come across over the years is someone not assessing their needs
prior to purchasing re track and plug in counts.
i have modest needs in this area and tend to use less than 40 tracks and a sprinkling of plug ins
each having low pc resource usage.
but the big mistake ive seen people make over the years is using a pc that isnt capable of meeting their needs. ie they try to run a slew of tracks and plug ins on an underpowered pc.
some plugins for example can be quite demanding re pc resources.
some multutrack software will report various stats like plugin cpu usage….which is useful.

The above is another example of maybe getting a 30 day return on any purchase in case your chosen pc cant handle your workload needs.
Sometimes if you can it might be a good idea to rent a pc for a while to get a feel for things.
you can always of course bounce down a bunch of tracks to one track like the old days…
but some people dont want to do that.


Buying a pc for music production imho is complex compared to many apps a user might run.
One thing I did for years was buy what are called 'off lease' refurbished pc's from companies that specialised in such. These are often extremely powerful for just a couple of hundred dollars.
the reader might not believe me …but truthfully i never had one problem with refurbs.
they just ran day in/out ... .maybe i was lucky.
the advantage of such a purchasing strategy is the refurbs have been cleaned up of any bloat,
fully tested, often upgraded by the refurbisher with newer storage technology eg ssd's,
The OS is pre-loaded…and boot fast. What's not to like ?
just make sure you get a good warranty. Once again try and get a 30 day return if you can.
so you have a test time.
Typically you will find brands like HP , Dell, and Lenovo as examples for sale.
Some of these refurbs feature very high end processors. lots of ram and very fast ssd storage.
just google 'refurbished powerful pc with warranty'.

Now having said the above, be aware some low end inexpensive new pc's using current generation processors and e.g. m2 ssd storage (<<which i love..) are getting quite powerful.
In summary the tech landscape is changing for finding inexpensive low cost new pc's.

Here's another option for purchasing a pc for music production…viz buying from a builder of pc's that specialises in custom built turnkey pc's for recording studios. there are many builders if you google…eg

note…they are just examples of many. I have no links with anyone.
just google for more builders of pc's for recording studios.
some companies will also install the sound interface and all your music apps often.
so the pc is delivered and you literally just switch it on…and away you go….recording.
i mention the above because many musicians over the years have said to me 'i dont wanna be a tech i just wanna record songs'. but i feel no matter the purchasing route a muso goes the more tech knowledge a person has re pc the easier time one will have doing music production.
(whether mac or pc…this is a truism imho.)

there are lots of sources that will help you re purchasing decisions re not just pc's but all manner of recording gear….eg..
..this pg site of course. tube.

to name a few ... .just google for lots of info on any gear you're considering.


this is a contentious topic ie…should i put my new pc on the net ?
please… i dont want a big argument on this topic….It's the user's decision.
I personally dont put any music production pc on the net. thus there is no possibility of
It picking up a bug whatever. In addition software for the net and security uses resources.
it's going to vary depending on pc configuration of course.
all i can say is always ive kept my music pc's off the net so there is no possibility of contamination. in addition…thus there is no possibility of a running net process/task interrupting the primary activity of music production…..which ive seen on occasion.
Maybe this is one reason I never get problems ?

Another argument for not putting your shiny new pc on the net is there are tons of under 100 buck refurb pc's and tablets one can use for the net.. For example, this chromebook I'm using for this topic was 90 bucks. Finally, if you need to download music app updates you can use a cheap old pc like i do.
If you doubt my advice, start a thread on where zillions of studios hang out both large and small and start a thread 'Do you put your music production pc on the net' ??youll get lots of interesting answers.
or just search gearspace for old threads on this topic.


there are lots of different pc configs.
personally i recommend a processor that's at least 3 ghz with good thread performance
for music production…see this table….

plus lots of ram…i use 16 gb. and i prefer m.2 solid state storage.
no reason not to use m.2 ssd. It's really cheap now.
If you anticipate using tons of tracks and high resource usage plug-ins then you might want to look at high end faster but costly processors ... .and more ram.
and remember the low microsecond dpc latency this essay started with ?
also if your interest is rolling your own pc there is a ton of info on the net and eg you tube…
'building a music production pc'.
and the above is all i'll say on this topic as there are so many opinions out there and configurations.
Let me say I'm not particularly fond of laptops due to lack of expandability compared to desktops and towers etc.


there are lots of sound interfaces…a bewildering array.
to keep this brief there are two threads i started here on pg related to sound interfaces
that might help and that pg users use with pg software for music production…to save me retyping here are the two links…

now let me say something of importance….i dont just go out and get any old interface.

This is a critically important purchase as it's a core piece of gear for music production…... .
As such I would recommend renting an interface for a week from your favorite local gear store as it will cost little, and test it out with your pc….ive done this in the past.
and thus see how it performs with no glitches. …and its low latency.
Most reputable gear stores know which interfaces or mixers with interfaces dont give a user problems. Once again there are lots of reviews on the net.
Finally, I recommend setting windows and biab and rb and the audio interface to 44.1/16 bit.
This has always worked best for me.(and NO i dont want to get into a long 'argy bargy debate on the merits of different sampling rates and bit depths.)


Right upfront let me say that if you have never optimised a pc for music production you might
want to use a reputable pc tech to optimize your pc as there are so many settings.
My opinions on this topic are different now than in the past because you can get for a few hundred bucks a nice powerful refurb pc off lease or new pc...thus sometimes it's not worth upgrading an old clunker ... .just donate it to someone or use it for net surfing.
but if you insist on using some old clunker there are a few things you can do.
one being to upgrade the old clunky rotating drive to a ssd.

in addition you should consider optimising the clunker to be suitable for music production.
(note what follows also applies to new pc's.)
Here are a few example valuable links re optimising an old or new pc for music production.

(note also pg faq's on this pg site.)

also various sound interface manufacturers have usefull optimisation guidea eg…

There are many many other guides on the net and you tube.

just google 'optimising a pc for music production'.

let me reiterate , dont mess around with a pc's settings if all this is new to you.
get a qualified pc tech.

to come full circle before using a new pc or a clunker for music production your first stop imho
should be to run the latency monitor utility which will assess the suitability of your pc for music production.Here's the link again…

note...often its a driver issue re latency.

its important to note that other users wont be able to easily help you without knowing your settings.
so if you encounter problems its best to post pictures of the following settings.
..your windows playback and recording settings includeing the advanced tab.
..your settings for audio and midi drivers in biab or rb.
..your sound interface settings. Newer interfaces normally have a desktop utility with the settings.

I hope the above is of use to users new to music production.
its a very complex subject.


om. 🇨🇦. 🇬🇧

Last edited by justanoldmuso; 01/19/24 06:56 PM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
Post your own Tips and Tricks here
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624
OP Offline
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624


i should have mentioned a very good resource for evaluating sound interfaces
is julian krause you tube site. ive found him excellent as he evaluates them
in great detail and uses test and measurement equipment.

here is his you tube channel....lots of interfaces evaluated.

or just google 'julian krause you tube'.


om. 🇨🇦. 🇬🇧

Last edited by justanoldmuso; 01/30/24 05:22 PM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
Post your own Tips and Tricks here
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624
OP Offline
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624

(note i was one of the earliest reaper users at v0.99 when it came out.
I will use r to mean reaper in this tip.)

some background.
as any r user knows r has come a long way from its beginnings.
with tons of features. and even more in the latest version.
and of course it's human nature to want the latest version of any software.
but for me i keep on returning to the early versions around v 2.0 eg v 1.8 because they do all i want.
In fact for years I did a slew of songs using pg software biab/rb with r.
so my tip is at least try r around version 2.
I can hear you say 'is he nuts ??'. actually no.
Here's the reason.
..its lean like any r version but at the sime time offers superb editing and super fast boots up in a wink of an eye. learning cycle. has lots of advanced features eg folders/flac recording/drag drop and stats on plugins used
to name a few.
..simplicity of use. I took to it like a duck to water as it reminded me of working with 2 inch tape multitracks in commercial studios BUT with lots of extra features.
..unlimited tracks handles pg plugins great and vst's.
(but youll have to test your plugins; we all use different ones.)

dont get me wrong latest r versions are great but it's all a question do you need the extra features of the later r versions ?. For me, my needs are met around v 2.0 of r.
(for links to older r versions look at the bottom of the main r web page.)
In summary just check it out and see if it floats your boat.
I am currently using it on a surprisingly powerful very low dpc (see point 1 upthread) ryzen mini pc with win 11 and of course pg biab and realband. The mini pc was dirt cheap.
realband reports i can do over 200 tracks !
this combo runs day in/out with my audient interface without any problems.

talking about mini pc's here's some added info and where you can find them.
amazon or the manufacturer's site for example.
Here's some manufacturers eg…

and there are many others.
dont underestimate the power of these pc's. particularly if you are using an old clunker pc.
For example, in mine using biab rt generator it's like 'bam' and I am playing back.
I would recommend you research one with the following attributes for a few hundred bucks. least 3ghz processor with a high single thread score.
(see upthread for links to stats on thread counts.)
..16 gigs ram with ability to run 2 onboard ssd's. at least one being m.2. and plenty of usb ports.
..quiete running, no noisy fan. bloatware and boots into win 11 in a few secs like mine.
..and most importantly LOW DPC COUNT. and of course good warranty and you can return it if it doesnt come up to your expectations.

one thing i really like with mine is it comes with a handy little utility that displays all sorts of performance metrics of the mini pc including cpu load.
so what you might be able to do is if your daw doesnt report plugin cpu usage stats is to test a new fancy plugin noteing the global cpu stat before adding the plugin and then after the new plugin is loaded on a track in your daw. ie test if a plugin uses lots of cpu thus potentially causing problems at times.

i hope the above helps someone further.

keep making music.


Last edited by justanoldmuso; 03/09/24 05:04 PM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
Post your own Tips and Tricks here
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624
OP Offline
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624

to help people further i thought it might be usefull to comment on my own song creation rig.
a lot of the following probably will be old hat for some seasoned users but i hope is usefull for new users.

1..i mentioned before that because i carefully chose my new pc re importance of low pc plus audio interface gets the very important ultra low latency.
in my case 4 milliseconds and i could go lower if i wished but i dont push it. also realband reports i can do over 200 tracks fwiw.
but for me i only need up to 40 tracks in any song.
my system is just ticking over with low cpu and ram use. so i have lots of power to spare.
but ymmv other users needing huge track and plugin counts might need a very different cpu and ram amount.
another reason to test a pc before purchase to see if it meets your needs.'s a ryzen 7 pc. 16 gigs ram with m.2 ssd and space for another ssd.
3..with my pc i get no fan noise...
but i DO have it 10 feet away just in case.
4..i use a midi keyboard with no sounds hooked up to the pc via is pg's content and programs on a very fast m.2 ssd.
I chose in pg installer the minimal install option. obviously the audio interface is hooked up to the pc direct again via usb.
various other gear is hooked up via a powered usb extender.
5..the dumb midi keyboard is used in conjunction with pg and other instrument plugins eg synthmaster and i also use fx and synth plugins sometimes that come with computer music magazine uk.
i mainly use pg fx plugins as over the years ive developed little tricks with them. one reason i love them is their low cpu useage.
(see the 3 songs in my song where i only used pg fx plugins...maybe youll hate the
6..the whole pc music creation rig boots into bb and rb and windows in just a few secs. ie ITS FAST.
in new 2024... bb tracks are genned in 'a blink of an eye'. WELL DONE PG.

more to come in the coming days and weeks as time permits.



Last edited by justanoldmuso; 03/24/24 05:55 AM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
Post your own Tips and Tricks here
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624
OP Offline
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624
(note. over the years ive done too many serious and demo songs to list useing pg products bb/rb.
probably around 200 i would think.)

1.BACKUPS. for backups..i have an external usb startech dock that takes 2 ssd's as well as other older usb enclosures that take old ssd's and drives.
Yes, I'm paranoid about
In addition I keep critical backups also offsite..
my advice…think of backing up your critical songs and anything else offsite.
also ive added new m.2 tech for backups because they are so cheap in enclosures.
a note.... from my time working in tech i dont use huge storage terabyte drives.
I prefer a divide and conquer strategy…but that's me. ie multiple smalledr drives that are cheap and fast.
2..MONITORS etc. I use a couple of inexpensive powered stereo monitors.
i dont want want to get into big arguments on monitors. there are as many different opinions as there are monitor brands. it's up to the individual. but here's why i use cheap brands….
..ive used big expensive monitors in the past in big commercial studios and found sometimes the mixes didnt translate well to low end speakers and boom boxes and earbuds etc etc.
..most people in the world can't afford 5,000 dollar studio monitors. Lots of people use cheap speakers.
in summary, and i dont pretend to be a pro audio mixer…i'm just a singer/songwriter and a tech so it's a huge challenge to render a mix tthat translates well to lots of different platforms. i just do the best i can.
i also have a pair of grado headphones that i love as well as older akg's that are showing their age plus sennheiser earbuds/iem's.
3..MICROPHONES. I tend to favour condenser mics for my vocals rather than gain hungry dynamics.which makes life easier viz interfacing to low gain mic preamps in some usb interfaces that require lots of cranking for some dynamic mics.
Frankly, having used extremely expensive mics in studios down to budget mics I would say the best approach is to rent a few mics at different price levels to assess the best one for your own needs.. also there are loads of mic (and all manner of gear) shootouts on the net and you tube etc etc.
I heard a shootout the other day between a budget mic and a 3k mic. only seasoned audio engineers might notice the difference rather than the normal listener listening to your song imho.
which leads me to suggest dont overspend on gear and do your research.
The budget gear has become excellent in many cases due to market competition.
If in doubt I recommend you rent both an expensive and inexpensive piece of gear you're interested in and try both out.
i have a 90 buck tascam mic here that i sometimes use…and when i compare its recorded vocal quality to expensive mics i once used in studios it's difficult to tell the difference.
Talking of gear shootouts there are two very entertaining threads on
one comparing a 5 dollar diy mic pre (actually 25 bucks including enclosure etc) to various other mic pre's. Another shootout is between the art mp costing under 100 bucks and more expensive mic pre's. Both threads are very interesting and a fun read. gearspace has also
lots of interesting forums eg computer music and low end theory.

My interface right now is an audient evo 4 ...
it was meant to be a stop gap el cheapo buy as tech changes so fast.
but it's really surprised. me. so far been flawless…
here is a summary of pro's and cons as it might not be for everyone looking for more features.

..very responsive tech support i found. the 2 mic preamps.
(the vocs in the songs in my signature at the bottom of this post used the evo pre's.)
..lovely ultra low latency of 4 millisecs. the control screen app that comes with it with ability to switch 48 volt on or off independently for each channel. (lots of interfaces have a global switch.). the gain setting feature.
..PARTICULARLY loved the ease of install of asio mclient driver. Let me explain.
if one peruses pg and other recording forums over the years there have been many posts re faffing about with driver settings in the users music app in order to get things working satisfactorily. in contrast i was blown away by the fact that i had no faffing around in biab
driver settings. no frustration at all.
After the driver install i just booted into biab and away i went. no faffing around with driver settings….
(YAHOO ! lol.)
i'm sure ive missed something but here are the cons..
..for someone needing lots of inputs this is not for you. check audients website if you want more.
but of course higher price products.
..only one phone out. I use an external headphone amp.
..only one stereo speaker out. midi i/o.
(I use a midi kbd connected to my pc via usb.)

i'm sure ive forgotten a pro or a con….lol.
as always ymmv/try one before purchase blah blah.
overall and at its low price i really can't fault it. particularly as it has run day in/out flawlessly.
(note ive made a number suggestions to audient re added features but of course that would result in higher price. if a user wants more i would suggest looking at the highly respected audient id range. see other recording forums and the net and you tube to read why many pro's like the id range eg
I keep an open mind as new interfaces come out…eg the sterling h224 for its crazy low price. let's face it..most interfaces these days whether cheap or expensive sound very good. the rme interfaces are of course 'top dogs' but i really cant justify buying such.
(some might think me nuts but i enjoy seeing how much i can wring out of el cheapo

more to come as i think of it.



Last edited by justanoldmuso; 03/29/24 08:30 AM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
Post your own Tips and Tricks here
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624
OP Offline
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2,624

ive seen lots of people over the years just go and buy any old interface without really doing research based on their needs.
as a result people are sometimes disappointed as they suddenly discover their new interface doesnt meet all their needs.
as i said upthread the interface is THE CORE OF YOUR STUDIO.
So here's what I recommend to save disappointment.
figure out the following... many inputs do you need ?
and do you need high gain mic preamps ?
eg for field recording. so you dont have to buy a in line
booster preamp eg for gain hungry mics. you need switchable on/off 48 volt phantom on each mic input ? if you use a mixture of dynamic and condenser mics...this is a consideration.
condensers need 48 v.
(some interfaces have a global switch that applies to all channels.)
..instrument inputs ? eg for guitar or bass. you need midi in and out ? some interfaces dont have midi i/o. you need the interface to drive multiple sets of monitors ? you need multiple headphone outs ? you want a simple interface rather than a interface with dsp on board with lots of fancy advanced features that might need a learning cycle ?
(some users new to music production might find such interfaces daunting to use.) you want advanced features like the device ensuring you dont overload an input ? you want a small mobile interfacer rather than a in studio interface with a larger footprint ? ie something you can just put in a backpack. you want direct monitoring ? For me I insist on such. you want multi-client support ? (see detailed info upthread)
..what type of latency stats are you comfortable with ? and will you for example want to plug a guitar or bass into an input and play in realtime say a guitar amp
sim plug in ? There are now various interfaces with ultra low latency. (I get 4 millisecs which is v good.)

i'm sure ive missed something important…lol…just the nature of the beast…
so other pg users can suggest items to add to the list if they wish.

as the reader can see…prior to purchasing there are many things that need to be considered so that one isnt disappointed with one's purchase etc.
(CAVEAT…note i suggest rent before buying OR get a 30 day return on any purchase so you can see if it's plain sailing using the new interface with your pc.)

I hope this helps someone.

Last edited by justanoldmuso; 03/30/24 09:02 AM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
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"Band in a Box continues to be an expansive musical tool-set for both novice and experienced musicians to experiment, compose, arrange and mix songs, as well as an extensive educational resource. It is huge, with hundreds of functions, more than any one person is likely to ever use. Yet, so is any DAW that I have used. BIAB can do some things that no DAW does, and this year BIAB has more DAW-like functions than ever."

Convenient Ways to Listen to Band-in-a-Box® Songs Created by Program Users!

The User Showcase Forum is an excellent place to share your Band-in-a-Box® songs and listen to songs other program users are creating!

There are other places you can listen to these songs too! Visit our User Showcase page to sort by genre, artist (forum name), song title, and date - each listing will direct you to the forum post for that song.

If you'd rather listen to these songs in one place, head to our Band-in-a-Box® Radio, where you'll have the option to select the genre playlist for your listening pleasure. This page has SoundCloud built in, so it won't redirect you. We've also added the link to the Artists SoundCloud page here, and a link to their forum post.

We hope you find some inspiration from this amazing collection of User Showcase Songs!

Congratulations to the 2023 User Showcase Award Winners!

We've just announced the 2023 User Showcase Award Winners!

There are 45 winners, each receiving a Band-in-a-Box 2024 UltraPAK! Read the official announcement to see if you've won.

Our User Showcase Forum receives more than 50 posts per day, with people sharing their Band-in-a-Box songs and providing feedback for other songs posted.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed!

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