Continue the intro to WaveLab by learning how to configure your PC and WaveLab for maximum performance.
After you install WaveLab and reboot your PC there are a few things you should do before recording or editing any audio.
To begin, you need to find the "Preferences" dialog box. This is the very first choice in the "Options" menu. Much of the preferences only used for some of the more advanced features of WaveLab, the options we will focus on is the "Audio Card" window and the "File" window.
Above you see an example of the "Audio Card" window. The only options I will cover at this time is the playback and recording driver options and the Preferred Playback Resolution. Most of the other choices in this window work fine at their default settings.
First and most obvious, change the audio card driver. Upon most installs, WaveLab defaults to "Microsoft Sound Mapper", this isn't even really a driver, it just makes WaveLab look at Windows sound setting and use the default device there, also, using this setting will probably cause WaveLab's mixer to not work properly. To get the best performance from WaveLab, set the playback and recording devices to the sound card you are going to be using to avoid these problems. As far as the playback resolution goes, just set that to whatever you want to record at. It will (or should) only allow you to choose a bit-resolution that your sound card can support.
The "File" dialog is quite simple. This setting will tell WaveLab where to store the temporary files that it makes while recording and editing your music. I prefer to have this on a second hard drive. If possible, use a hard drive that you OS (Windows) is not on, WaveLab has better access to the drive if the OS or other background apps aren't trying to use the drive as well.
One final bit of advice...there is one setting outside of WaveLab called "Virtual Memory", what this is is Windows setting aside a chunk of the hard drive that it can use like RAM. Space for the PC to do calculations and use as a "scratch pad" of sorts. If Windows manages this space, it changes constantly as it needs and is very inefficient. To get the most out of your PC, it is recommended that you set the size of your this virtual memory to 2 1/2 times the size of your RAM count. Therefore, if you have 128MB of RAM, your virtual memory should be set at 320MB. I have 512MB RAM so I have my virtual memory set at 1280MB.
To set virtual memory is different, but it is alway behind a right-click on "My COmputer" somewhere. Windows 95/98/ME/NT has it on the very last tab of the dialog "Performance" I think it is called, and 2000 it in the "Advanced"-"Performance Options" tab. Where ever it is, it is the same, it asks for a minimum and maximum memory size. Set both of them to the optimal size you figured for your RAM count and then click OK, the PC will ask to be rebooted so do it. After reboot, if you are a Norton Utilities user, or use products like that, you will want to do a defrag on your hard drive, and, if you app lets you optimize your swap file (virtual memory) do that as well, I know Norton will then move the swap file to the fastest part of the hard drive for maximum performance and, since it is set at a permanent size, it will stay there...
Not all system utility tools allow that, but at the very least, defrag your drive to increase the performance. A defrag is good to do on a regular basis, I do about once a week myself...
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