Mac Computer For Djing 2015

  • This topic has 26 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by .

The best DJ laptop will come with a state-of-the-art processor because new DJing software is becoming more and more taxing on computers as they acquire new capabilities. Think about it this way, your computer must handle the processing on the computer, the songs you are using, the transitions, any third party hardware, and any other. One of the most asked questions when it comes to digital DJ'ing is 'Do I need a Mac for DJ'ing?' 'Can I use a Windows computer?' Now this is not going to be a Apple vs Windows computers video.

Virtual DJ is the most popular and best DJ mix software or tool for the PC and MAC. Virtual DJ is the most uses DJ mix tool or software of the world. This is used by DJ to replace their turntable and CD or DVD players also used for digital music instead of vinyl and CD or DVD. It’s so much easy to use and faster than other DJ mix software. New MacBook Pro for DJing? But if you can use a different computer for visuals then the 2012's are the way to go! Absolutely love my 2015. So you bought a computer-DJ system, followed all the instructions, and set everything up. A typical Windows or Mac DJ setup may contain software and hardware products from a number of companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Serato, Native Instruments, Ableton, Akai Professional, Denon DJ, Alesis, M Audio, Rane, and Numark.

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  • What do you prefer Laptop or a Macbook

    Considerations:

    a. Price : Low/High/Moderate
    b. Purpose: Heavy/Part-time/Moderate
    c. Utilization: Low/High/Moderate
    d. Future Prospects: Professional/Part-Time/Other Factors

    Please share your thoughts…

    Lets discuss…

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by . Reason: Moved to correct forum

    A PC Laptop is going to give you a better price point obviously. You also have much more elbow room because you can do more with it. For Example if it runs slow, you have the option to add more RAM or upgrade your processor(stuff MAC won’t allow). On the other hand, Macbooks have pretty good stability which will let you DJ with ease at a gig without worrying about your computer surprising you with a sudden stop in your music. There are also good stable PC’s out there too if you wanna spend a little extra money. Either way you can still do good with any. If you buy a PC I recommend that you make sure it has about 4 Gigs of RAM. The more the better

    I’ve never had an issue with my HP laptop. I bought it about two years ago with the intent of using it to DJ and music production. If you maintain the laptop I don’t think you should have any problems.

    Aside of the Mac vs PC discussions, anything you like will serve you. But let me tell you something: The better price of PC laptops compared to Macs is not that simple.
    I own a solid and beautiful 2006 Macbook Pro with 3 GB of RAM and nowadays it works like a charm (a SSD helps too) and my brother has a white 2006 Macbook and it flews too . We are not pro Djs but use our rigs on daily basis for photography, graphic design and semi-pro djing . A friend of mine, long time pro Dj, owns a black 2007 Macbook as well and it never fails, either. My Macbook Pro cost like $1900 and these Macbooks cost $1200-1400. Expensive? It depends. Where are eight years old PC laptops? 😉 IMHO PC laptops with similar qualities to Macbooks are in the same range of prices. It´s just sad they dropped these polycarbonate Macbooks. They were cheap, solid, versatile and perfect for djing.

    Of course there are excelent PC laptops but won´t last that long. No controversy intended (that why I won´t mention aesthetics or operative system differences); I just want to point it out.

    Regards

    There are a lot of advantages imho to Macbooks over PCs.

    And I am a big PC fan (have several AND and a windows 7 laptop for work) but I will not use anything but a Mac for DJ and sound engineering work anymore. Yes, you can tweak a windows PC to work well. But, it involves running a dual-boot system if you intend to do other work with it as well. Also it is actually tweaking, meaning you need to spend time and effort into making it stable. The sound driver system Windows uses is far less suitable than that of Mac OSX. User separation (i.e. having a different user profile for DJ-ing and for private stuff for example) is nothing more than a joke on Windows (except for personal files pretty much everything you do in any of your user profiles affects the entire windows installation – hence the advice of dual-booting). And, not unimportantly, Mac OSX does not work with a registry system like Windows. The registry system has an inherent problem, it gets corrupted, clogged up, stuff stays in there long after you have removed the programs it was associated with and thus Windows needs some kind of regular cleaning to keep running optimally. Most if not all this stuff is handled by OSX straight out of the box.
    While Mac’s can and do crash, I think it is safe to assume that the CHANCE of a Windows laptop going blue screen on you is statistically higher.
    I like to have far more control and tweakability over my OS than I can have with OSX for my day to day stuff. Windows offers me that. But when it comes to having a system to dependably run my DJ software gig after gig, I don’t need that flexibility. I just want to install the software, hook up the controller and know it will work, every time. And OSX does offer that.

    As for the hardware. While a few hardware manufacturers are mimicking a lot of the MBP features, like backlit keys (VERY handy in a dark DJ booth) and full metal casing, those can usually only be found on the higher end models, thus making the apparent price difference a lot smaller. Things like the magnetic power adapter connector are unbeatable (anybody that has ever had to replace a mainboard in a laptop because the connector for power broke off knows what I mean). Also you CAN upgrade memory (have done it myself), you CAN replace the HDD with an SSD and/or even remove the DVD (who needs one these days) and put a second HDD/SDD in. Only thing you can’t change is the processor, but this is true for 99.9% of windows laptops too.

    I’ll second the notion that overall the MacBook Pro holds it value way longer than a windows laptop. Try selling a three year old Lenovo or HP and be glad you get any kind of money for it. Post a 3-yr old MBP at an online marketplace and they’ll be outbidding your asking price. So, taking write-off into consideration, if you were to spend on a new MacBook Pro today and decide to upgrade every three years or so, your total write-off wouldn’t be all that much higher than with a PC laptop and you’d be almost guaranteed an easy (re)sell.

    I’ve been in IT since I was 17 or so (which was a LONG time ago) and as I said, I love my PCs to this day. But I have, grudgingly – I admit, switched to MBP for my DJ and sound engineering needs about two years ago and never looked back.

    Just my two cents, as usual. Flame away! LOL

    P.S. I moved this to the correct forum. Please make sure you put things where they belong. Terry and I are busy enough without this stuff 😀

    I’ve used a PC laptop for DJ use since I started using digital in 2009, the only issues I’ve had were all my fault. My old Acer cheapo lappy was overheating (I couldn’t be arsed to clean it), and my current Dell Latitude once switched itself off halfway through a gig (I forgot to plug the power lead in).

    The rules of PC laptop DJing are simple:
    1- Demand the Windows OS disc from the vendor.
    2- Buy a SSD and fit it if your lappy didn’t come with one.
    3- Do a fresh install of Windows.
    4- Don’t download porn.

    A couple of simple tweaks are all that is required after that, you don’t need a degree in computer science to do them either. There’s nothing a Mac can do that a PC can’t do, apart from run Logic Pro.
    And cost more 🙂

    I agree with you in part, but ONLY if you use the laptop only for DJ-ing. If you do anything else with it, that goes out the window (no pun intended). No Windows user with any knowledge can say with dry eyes that his/her computer’s performance has not deteriorated with time, because it always does. The only way to prevent that from happening, is single purpose use, never installing anything other than the stuff you really need, not deleting what you have installed and not going online (for anything, not just porn).

    This discussion will probably remain forever. We all pick our side. I have picked mine after very careful consideration.
    At the end of the day I have to conclude that many things audio related are just better integrated in Mac OSX then they are in Windows, that Windows has taken a dive with version 8 (which I still refuse to use on any of my machines) and most significantly that it’s all done out of the box, without clean installs, vendor OS discs and even the tiniest of tweaks.
    All that on top of the physical attributes of the MacBooks makes it a good deal, albeit it, I full agree, a very expensive one.

    Good thing we can agree to disagree 😀

    A mac.

    Why?

    Macs are build for stability.
    I have seen countless times that in a hot club environment with loads of lights etc. or an open air in summer… PC guy plays his set for 30-45min then the laptop dies the heat death.
    I have seen countless times PC guy play his set and then suddenly sound stutters, because PC likes to run some stuff on the harddisk that we will never find out why he does it.
    I have seen countless times PC guy play his set and suddenly the sound drivers like to act up, because another driver or anti-virus had an epiphany and wanted to do something …. and you never know why.

    On the other hand I have a 2008! MacBook pro. That I had with me on countless gigs in heat and snow, it is beat up, the screen actually is warped a little, it has scratches all over so I put stickers on it…. it is a mess. BUT IT NEVER CRASHED ON ME DURING A SET.
    I actually wanted to phase it out this year, but I keep it as a backup as it has so many emotional ties.

    Now I do not know of any friend of mine who is a PC fanatic that can say he has a working condition laptop PC that is older than 3-4 years.

    Are there PCs like that out there? Yes. But then you have to go for top end laptops like HP zBook, Lenovo ThinkPad,… those come in at around 1500+ so you are exactly in the same price range as MacBooks are and still have the disadvantages of the Windows registry and driver system.

    That is why we DJs say: Any MacBook, even old, is better than a PC laptop.

    Actually, cheap laptops (and IMHO, Windows but I haven´t used it from let´s say 2004 so it´s not a solid rock opinion) are that bad.

    Good stuff is always a better pick, that´s all. And, as Terry said, a dj needs a stable rig (and beauty and usability won´t hurt)

    My version of events:

    My laptop is a reconditioned Dell Latitude business model. The bottom plate is plastic, everything else is metal, it has 4 usb ports and a 1080p screen.
    Cost me 500GBP with a 240Gb SSD adding another 100GBP.
    I fitted the SSD and installed Windows 7 fresh. The only setup change I made that is constant was to go into the preferences and change Windows to prioritise background tasks.
    Windows treats audio as a background task.

    When I DJ I do a couple of further tweaks; I go into device manager and disable the ACPI battery controller, webcam, DVD drive, wifi and the internal sound card. These are all switched back on when I’m done DJing. I use my laptop for browsing the web and organising my music as well as for DJing, although I never download anything I don’t need.

    The point of this story is to highlight that you can run a Windows laptop for DJing and use it for other things too Qith a bare minimum of tweaking.
    Yes, you have to be careful but then you have to be careful with any item you use for DJing. Having an Apple logo on the lid doesn’t magically make your device immune to catastrophy. Internally the Mac is PC and the bloody things are still made in China anyway.

    So no, a laptop for DJing os not bad at all.

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  • The topic ‘LAPTOP or MACBOOK For DJing’ is closed to new replies.

Optimizing Your Computer For DJ Performance

So you bought a computer-DJ system, followed all the instructions, and set everything up. Now what?

A typical Windows or Mac DJ setup may contain software and hardware products from a number of companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Serato, Native Instruments, Ableton, Akai Professional, Denon DJ, Alesis, M Audio, Rane, and Numark. Even with a minimalist setup, getting all the separate hardware and software components to work together smoothly can be tricky.

In this article, we'll cover some measures you can take to optimize your system for maximum performance, prevent audio dropouts, distortion and other playback issues, and manage latency. Taking some pro-active steps now, can go a long way to reduce the likelihood of a show-stopping computer issue interrupting your performance.

Contents

Optimizing Your Computer for Audio

You can’t walk into a car dealership and buy a car that’s ready to enter a race. Even high-performance sports cars come tuned for the road, not the racetrack. The suspension, gearing, and timing all need to be tweaked before a car is ready to be pushed to their limits.

The same is true of computers. While most new computers will perform well right out of the box, whether you buy a Windows or Mac computer, you still have some work to do before you’ll see your new machine perform to its maximum potential. Performing and mixing music is one of are among most demanding tasks you can ask of your computer, sometimes more taxing than professional graphics and video work.

The suggestions below can be used to squeeze more speed, more tracks, and more plug-in power out of any computer. We're including basic adjustments that all users should perform, as well as more advanced tips for those interested in having the most rock-solid performer possible. Before you begin, make sure that your software and your audio device drivers are up-to-date.

Tips for All Systems

Before we get into tips that are specific to Windows or Mac, there are some basic steps that every producer, engineer, and DJ should take to optimizing their system. These often-overlooked steps form an important basis for a reliable performance setup.

Don’t let your computer’s boot drive get too full

Mac Computer For Djing 2015 Pc

Make sure to leave about 20% of your computer’s main hard disk free for system tasks and virtual memory operations. This is crucial to maintaining system speed. If your new computer has an internal SSD, it may be smaller than you're used to. You may find that yourself short on storage space sooner than you anticipated. If your main hard disk gets more than 80% full, your computer's performance will suffer. It may be time to go out and buy a second hard disk or get rid of some files. External USB drives are higher performing and more affordable than ever. Internal drives are even less expensive! While you’re at it, buy an extra drive just for backing up.

We've put this tip at the top of the list because of how seriously it affects performance, and how easy it is to recognize and fix the issue.

Even a top-tier computer can get bogged down - eliminate the bloat, and run it lean and mean

Out-of-the-box computer configurations are not your friend. Both Windows and Mac computers come home from the store loaded with performance-sapping applications and settings enabled. From the moment you turn on your new computer, a thousand little online-enabled apps and widgets will be fighting for supremacy over your computer's resources. As you take the stage for your gig, any one of these little invisible monsters can wake up and decide on its own that now is the very best time to download that huge update, index every file on your hard drive, or optimize your system (ironically) for performance...

If an application or setting is not critical to your performance, uninstall or disable it. This can be a tall order on both Windows and Mac because so much of this activity occurs in the background or is otherwise hidden from you unless you know where to look.

We'll include specific suggestions for Windows and Mac users below.

Disable WiFi and Bluetooth® technology to keep hard-to-find gremlins at bay during important performances

Performance issues can be difficult and frustrating to troubleshoot, especially if they seem to be intermittent or one-off occurrences. Unexpected background operations are often a hidden cause of audio drop-outs, crashes, and other glitches. Disabling WiFi and Bluetooth can be an effective broad-brush solution that prevents many of these operations from triggering. Whether it is Dropbox, Messenger, Skype, or your OS itself, you can prevent auto-scheduled updates, downloads, and synchronizations from occurring by disabling WiFi. If your computer is discoverable via Bluetooth, you can keep nearby devices (including your own phone) from talking to your computer during critical performances by turning off Bluetooth altogether on your computer.

If you DJ using YouTube, Spotify, or some other online service, and can't disable WiFi, you'll need to be much more vigilant and aware of other apps, services, and processes on your computer that may try to jump online while you're working. Uninstall or disable these if you absolutely must be online while you perform. Culprits include (but aren't limited to) Dropbox, Skype, Messenger, Windows/Mac Automatic Update, any running applications, any open web browser tabs. We love and need these applications, but they can cause problems if allowed to run during a live performance.

Close software that is not in use

If you're not using an application for your performance, make sure you fully quit out of the program. This means web browsers, iTunes, other media players, games, Dropbox etc. Even when open in the background, the software uses system resources that could be needed for your performance. Even worse, applications running quietly in the background may wake up to perform a scheduled update or sync& right in the middle of your performance.

Store your music library on a second hard disk

While the 5,400 RPM drives in most laptops can handle reading and writing 8 or even 16 simultaneous tracks, you can really improve system performance by dedicating a separate drive for your music library. Certain files on your computer change all the time, such as your email, internet search history, cache and hidden temp directories. Other files stay more or less the same. These include music and photo libraries, and large audio files. Your system will perform better and won’t have to work as hard if you use a dedicated separate drive to house your library, leaving more of your main drive free for system operations and applications. This will result in more optimized drive space and faster loading and writing of large files. This also makes things easier when it comes to backing up your precious files.

When choosing a new drive, take note of the advantages of SSD vs HDD drives. While HDD drives typically provide more storage space for less money, SSD drives are often both noticeably faster and more reliable due to their lack of moving parts and minimal power requirements. Your dedicated music drive can be an internal drive or an external USB drive. If you use an external drive, make sure it is at least USB 2.0, and preferably USB 3.0.

Choose the right USB port

Use USB 3.0 devices with 3.0 ports and cables, and USB 2.0 devices with 2.0 ports and cables if possible. USB 3.0 ports can handle 2.0 devices, but they'll have to slow down to do so. Same goes for 2.0 ports and 3.0 devices. It's very likely that the device and port will work, but with limitations and extra steps to adapt. It's best to avoid this if possible.

Mac Computer For Djing 2015 Mac

Not all USB ports are created equal. Most computers feature multiple USB ports. Although they may all look the same on the outside, it is very common to find a mix of different types of USB ports on a single computer: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and built-in USB hubs disguised as full-fledged ports that will often only function as USB 1.1 ports. Find the highest performing ports on your computer, and use those for the highest demand devices: Audio Input Output Devices > MIDI Controllers > Hard Drives > Keyboards & Mice. In our experience, ports closest to the computer's power supply are often the highest performing, and those further away should be reserved for lower priority devices. Avoid using USB ports/hubs found on external keyboards or video displays except for very low priority devices like iLok's and LED lights.

Avoid USB-hubs when you can

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With the popularity of USB DJ controllers and audio interfaces, this suggestion may sound a bit dramatic, but it can help immensely. Not every USB device will experience problems when used with a hub, and most USB-hub users may never experience any issues. But if you are having trouble with latency, distortion, noise or any sort of communication trouble with your device, a good first step is to take the hub out of the equation and dedicate a full performance USB port to your high priority device(s).

Get more RAM

Your operating system can use up to 2 GB or more of RAM all by itself. On a DJ computer, you’ll want to have more than that so your power-hungry applications have all the resources they need. 4-8 GB is a great place to start, but if you’ll be using lots of virtual instruments, samplers, and other sound generators, you’ll want to get even more. Most systems on the market today will be able to accept at least 8GB of RAM, making this an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your performance.

Beware of overheating

If you've ever noticed that an issue only occurs after several hours, you may be a victim of overheating. Noise and distortion occurring only hours into a set is a potential symptom of the processor overheating and scaling back or 'throttling' its speed in an attempt to cool itself down. This could make an overheating i7 run like a cool i5, drastically changing the performance. This isn't to imply that all high spec systems will eventually overheat, but there are certain factors that will contribute more than others. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buffer Size - Lowering your buffer size or latency setting will help speed up audio processing, but this also means a higher tax on your processor. If you experience noise or distortion over time (anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours), turn this up. It may be set lower than your system can comfortably handle.
  • Keep the laptop on a hard, flat surface - Any laptop will need to be able to accept air from the bottom or sides in order to cool itself down. Placing the laptop on a soft or uneven surface such as a mat or blanket, or in a tight space like a DJ coffin could prevent it from taking in cool air. Laptop stands are a popular way to ensure that your computer has a dedicated and appropriate place to sit within reach while staying away from other gear or awkward surfaces.
  • Performance enhancements - If the processor is overheating due to over performance, cutting back on things like background services, WIFI, Bluetooth, and unnecessary software can help your system stay on track. The following sections for Windows and Mac machines contain all types of tips and tricks to keep your system focused on the task at hand.

Windows 7 and 10 Performance Enhancements

Make sure to try our tips for all systems in addition to the Windows-specific suggestions below.

Quit programs running in the background

The icons at the bottom-right of the screen, next to the clock represent most of the programs that are running in the background. This will include services and programs like virus protection, spyware protection, Dropbox and other file sharing services, email, display management, and more. While performing, it is advisable to exit from these. Right-clicking any of these icons will usually give you an option to close or exit the service.

You can double-check which applications and processes are running by looking at the Applications tab of the Task Manager. To access the Task Manager, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and then select Task Manager.

Turn off hard disk sleep

Make sure your hard drive is not set to sleep or turn off after a short amount of time. If your hard drive goes to sleep (stops spinning to save power) while you are performing, your performance will be interrupted. Click on the Start Menu at the bottom left of your screen and select Settings, then Control Panel. Open the Power Options control panel. Set the Turn Off Hard Disks option to Never.

Set your Power Options to High Performance

Changing your power settings will help ensure that your system favors performance over energy efficiency. While we do support being energy efficient wherever possible, you may want to turn this on before a big performance so your system isn't slowing down when you need it to be speeding up.

  1. From the Start menu, navigate to the Windows Control Panel or Settings.
  2. Select System > Power or System and Security > Power Options(If using Windows 10, next select Additional Power Settings)
  3. Choose High Performance as the preferred Power Plan.
  4. Then click Change plan settings, and set Put the computer to sleep to Never. Then click Save Changes.

While it is not necessary to change the sleep settings to get the full effect of the power plan, this will ensure that your computer doesn't fall asleep if you need to step away for a few minutes.

Turn off automatic updates

It can be a good idea to turn off any scheduled tasks. The last thing you want is for a 150MB update to start downloading in the middle of a performance. Open the Automatic Updates control panel, and select Turn off Automatic Updates. This means that it's up to you to manually check for updates yourself. All you have to do is either revisit this Control Panel or go to windowsupdate.microsoft.com.

Disable graphical effects

When troubleshooting or optimizing system performance issues in Windows, it is often a good idea to disable some or all of Windows' graphical effects. While they look nice, these effects can actually be just as demanding or more demanding on your computer's system than many professional level applications. Performance on even the highest-end systems can suffer if too much demand is placed on the processor(s) at once. Disabling these graphical effects is one step towards getting the highest level of performance out of your existing computer. To disable the visual effects:

  1. From the Start menu, navigate to the Windows Control Panel or Settings.
  2. Select System > Advanced System Settings (or System and Security > System > Advanced System Settings).
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab.
  4. Under Performance, select Settings.
  5. Under the Visual Effects tab, choose Adjust for Best Performance.
  6. Click Apply and OK to exit.

This will ensure that all effects are disabled and give you more space for performance, albeit with a very classic Windows look and feel.

If this change is too dramatic, you can choose Custom and pick and choose which settings to keep or disable. As another alternative, you can navigate to Control Panel > Personalization (or Appearance and Personalization > Personalization) and choose either the Windows Basic or Classic themes for a simpler look and limited visual effects.

Increase Processor Scheduling

Also found in the System Properties window is Processor Scheduling. This helps ensure that the computer knows how to properly allocate resources according to your needs and will prioritize your software's performance over the needs of background services, some of which you may not even know are there.

  1. From the Start menu, navigate to the Windows Control Panel or Settings.
  2. Select System > Advanced System Settings, or System and Security > System > Advanced System Settings
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab.
  4. Under Performance, select Settings.
  5. In the window that appears, choose the Advanced tab.
  6. Under Adjust for best performance of select Programs.
  7. Click Apply and OK to exit.

Disable User Account Control

User Account Control can create a maze of different file permissions and access. Disabling this can prevent possible read/write conflicts and ensure your software can run efficiently.

  1. Navigate to Control Panel > User Accounts.
  2. Click Change User Account Control Settings.
  3. Set Never Notify.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Restart your computer.

Also see...

Mac OS Performance Enhancements

Make sure to try our tips for all systems in addition to the Mac-specific suggestions below.

Turn off System and Hard Disk Sleep

Making sure that your hard disk and system don't go to sleep while your performing or after you've stepped away for a minute is crucial to ensure a smooth performance. Navigate to System Preferences > Energy Saver and set the Computer and Display Sleep settings to Never. In the same window, uncheck the option titled Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible.

Quit programs running in the background

First, quit any actively running applications except for your performance software. Press Cmd+Tab on your keyboard to cycle through any open applications. Quit everything that is open so that the only applications icons that appear when you press Cmd+Tab are your DJ performance software, and the Finder (smiley blue rectangle)
Next, quit background programs and services. The icons at the top-right of the screen, next to the clock represent most of the programs that are running in the background. This will include services and programs like virus and spyware protection, Dropbox and other file sharing services, email, display management, and more. While performing, it is advisable to exit from these in case they kick into action right when you need an extra performance boost. Clicking any of these icons will usually give you an option to close or quit the service.

Turn off Time Machine

If you use Time Machine to back up your computer (which is a great idea), turn it off when you’re performing. Your Mac may pick some inconvenient times to start a backup. Navigate to System Preferences > Time Machine and set Time Machine to OFF. It's easy to turn back on when you’re not performing.

Turn off unnecessary startup items

While this is not immediately necessary for a performance, choosing only the absolutely necessary startup items can ensure that you can start up again quickly in the event of a crash. Navigate to System Preferences > Account Settings. Under Login Items, uncheck any items you don’t need open every time your system boots. You can set this to open your DJ software or anything else that you use regularly, though keep in mind that these will open every time you restart, even when you don't need them. This is also a good opportunity to check for any unknown background services that may startup on their own.

Macbook for djs

Turn off automatic updates

Like any other automated task, it's a good idea to turn this off. Not only will this interrupt your performance, but updates can mean major changes to your OS, which means possible compatibility conflicts with your software and hardware. It's much easier, and safer, to check for updates when you're ready. To turn this off:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences > App Store.
  2. Uncheck the box for Automatically check for updates.

Disable Spotlight indexing

Spotlight keeps track of every file on your computer and can be very helpful when you need to recall a file or open a program quickly. But, how does it search so efficiently? When you least expect it, spotlight will kick into gear in the background to create and update it's index of files on your internal and external drives to use as a reference when searching. While this sounds harmless, it can easily cause your system to appear as if it is slowing down at random. The good news is that it's easy to pick and choose what Spotlight indexes, to tell it to avoid certain drives or files.

  1. Navigate to System Preferences and select Spotlight
  2. Under the Search Results tab, uncheck any items that you don't typically search for. This may be contacts, Movies, Music, Applications etc. If you already use software to manage and search your music library, it's probably not necessary for Spotlight to do this, too.
  3. Under the Privacy tab, add or remove drives that you do not want to be indexed. If your library drive of 20,000 songs is connected, you may not want Spotlight to try and search it in the middle of a performance. Again, if you are already using a music management software to organize your music, you likely won't be using Spotlight.

Please note that some software, such as Pro Tools 12, does use Spotlight indexing for some purposes.

Disable Sudden Motion Sensor (Mac Laptops Only)

The Sudden Motion Sensor is designed to temporarily stop the hard drive from spinning when the laptop is suddenly moved, in an effort to prevent any possible damage to the drive. While this is a great feature, it can be easily triggered in a loud environment (i.e. club or bar) by a loud bass or shaky stage. To disable and re-enable this, you will need to use command prompts through the Mac Terminal.

To disable the sensor

  1. Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Terminal..
  2. Type sudo pmset -a sms 1 and press Return.
  3. Enter your administrator when prompted.
  4. Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied.

To re-enable the sensor

  1. Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Type sudo pmset -a sms 0 and press Return.
  3. Enter your administrator when prompted.
  4. Type sudo pmset -g to verify that this has been applied.

Turn off FileVault encryption

FileVault encryption helps protect your startup disk from unauthorized access, but it can also make it more difficult for your software to access files and perform efficiently. While it is intended to protect your data, it's unlikely that this would be necessary during a DJ performance or on a computer used primarily for DJ performance. To disable the encryption, first ensure that the mac is connected to a power supply and follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences > Security & Privacy
  2. Click the FileVault tab.
  3. Click the Lock button and enter the administrator password.
  4. Click Turn Off FileVault.
  5. Restart the Mac.
Djing

Keep in mind that the decryption will take some time and the mac will need to remain connected to a power supply during the process, so avoid doing this immediately before a performance.

Also see...

When to consider a clean reinstall of your Windows or Mac OS

Whether you use Windows or Mac, a clean reinstall of the OS is the most surefire to ensure you have a truly clean machine. It is also, of course, one of the highest-effort measures you can undertake. Computers are often loaded with extravagant software and features from the retailer that most musicians or DJs will never use or even notice (except when they negatively affect performance).

There are really two scenarios when it makes good sense to consider a clean reinstall of your computer's OS:

  • You've just purchased a new Windows machine and want it to be free from bloatware.
  • You've had your Windows or Mac computer for some time, and the performance isn't what it used to be, and other troubleshooting measures aren't helping to resolve the issue.

As a life-long Mac fan, I can proudly proclaim that there are few things on this earth more beautiful than a laptop with a clean install of Windows. If you've wrestled with performance or reliability, starting with a fresh OS install can be a good first step to having a rock solid system again. It is a big undertaking, but if you're starting with a new machine that you haven't really 'moved into yet', or one that seems hopelessly bogged down already, it can be a worthwhile undertaking.
Mac users don't get a pass on this one either. The days of exclaiming, 'I don't have that problem...I have a Mac,' are over. Macs have their own special ways of getting bogged down. One of the most common is Migration Assistant. Migration assistant makes it magically easy to take all your applications, files, and preferences from your old Mac to a new Mac. Unfortunately, it also brings over existing problems from your old Mac. Also, new problems sometimes arise from the imperfect porting of the old Mac's soul into a new Mac's body. If you're familiar with ;Frankenstein or Pet Cemetary, you know that resurrecting an old friend doesn't always work out the way you'd hoped.

If you've been using and updating the computer successfully for years, that means years of possible redundancies. Both Mac and Windows can benefit from a fresh install. Because this process can change as operating systems evolve, see the articles below or check with the computer manufacturer to obtain the latest reinstallation instructions:

  • Windows - Start with a Fresh Clean Installation of Windows 10
  • Mac - How to Reinstall macOS

Please be sure to back up often. Reinstalling the OS will mean reinstalling all of your software and uploading all of your songs (if storing on the internal drive), so be sure that all of this is backed up on a separate drive and ready to reinstall before you begin the process of wiping your OS.

Know what latency is and why it matters

Every audio program has an options, settings or preferences page in which the user can adjust the buffer size or latency settings. Buffer size governs the amount of time the computer is given to respond to requests (for audio processing in this case). The larger the buffer size, the more time the computer has to respond.

  • Large buffer sizes allow the computer to handle more work, but at the cost of higher latency.
  • Smaller buffer sizes reduce the overall amount of work the computer can handle, but it can do so with lower latency.
  • Buffer sizes should be adjusted in increments of 64 (64, 192, 128, 256, 512, 768, 1024 etc).

Latency refers to the time it takes the computer to respond to input. If latency is high, signals routed into the computer and back out to speakers or headphones may be audibly delayed.

When is low latency important?

The lower the latency, the faster the response of the program and the audio to your commands and requests. Examples of the benefits of lower latency are intense scratching with a controller or real-time manipulation of effects applied to decks in your DJ program. The response will be immediate and musical and will make your audio software feel more like audio hardware.

Another good example of latency is the time it takes for the computer to output a sound when a trigger is struck on a MIDI keyboard or controller connected to it. In this situation, it is important to have low latency so that there is no audible delay between the time the key is struck, and when the note is heard. Depending on the computer, a buffer size of 192, or 128 should result in very low latency suitable for the above situations.

On the other hand, it is often beneficial, particularly for older and less powerful computers, to choose a large buffer size when quality and reliability of sound playback is critical. If you plan to perform lots of real-time manipulations, such as scratching or affecting on a slower computer, a good way to combat audio dropouts and performance degradation is to choose a higher buffer setting. The trade-off may be a more sluggish response from your system. Find the lowest possible latency setting that still offers 100% reliable, high-quality playback even under the most demanding applications.

When is low latency not important?

When you are mainly using your DJ software to provide a continuous playback of music and you want absolutely rock-solid playback, choose a large buffer. When it comes to choosing buffer settings, always remember, every computer is different and you should always road test your software and hardware extensively at various settings to find which setting offers the most desirable results for your performance style.

Further Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Numark product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Numark technical support team is available to help!

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.