Optimize your Windows computer for DJing

If you feel your computer in Windows is slow for DJing, you should check the following settings.

1) Switch off the Wifi, Bluetooth, and any other network connection on your computer before a DJ performance.
Network connections consume CPU ressources and may cause crackles in the music.
Letting the Wifi receiver switched on is the most dangerous setting for DJing on a computer, since each time the Wifi receiver of the computer detects another Wifi source, the CPU ressources of the computer will drop of 50%: if someone in the street has a smartphone with Wifi on, your computer detects this Wifi source, scans it, and this Wifi identification process takes up to 50% of the computer CPU ressources, possibly causing crackling.

2) Disable Windows preset made to save energy on the USB.
This preset is set on by default, and it may cause crackling in the sound, and even disconnect the DJ controller on the computer.
  • Right-click on My computer > Properties > Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus controllers,
  • Right-click on the first line "USB Root Hub" and click "Properties"
  • Go to the tab "Power Management", and uncheck the box "Allow computer to turn off this device to save energy"
  • Click "OK" and close the dialog box
  • Repeat the same operation on each line called USB Root Hub or USB hub.
3) Close any background software
Real time operations as Djing or video capture require to as much CPU ressources as possible, so you should close any other background software during a DJ performance.

4) If possible, move the mouse far from the USB port where you plug the DJ controller
If the USB port of your mouse is close from the USB port of your DJ Controller, and if you have enough USB ports for it, you should plug the DJ Controller on a USB port far from the mouse USB port, as the click on your mouse may be heard in the audio played on your DJ controller if the USB port are close one from the other.

5) In Windows 7 or in Windows Vista, avoid Aero graphic theme.
Aero graphic themes are CPU intensive, so don't use an Aero graphic theme while doing any real-time task as music production or video capture, select a basic theme instead.

6) Adjust your computer settings for the best performance
- Go to Start > right click on Computer > Properties > Advanced System settings > "Advanced" tab.
- Click on "Settings" in the "Performance" area.
- In "Visual Effects", click on "Adjust for best performance", and press "OK".

If you use a laptop, set your "Power plan" on "High performance".
Go to Start button, and in the search bar, type
power settings

The "Power Options" menu lets you can select your power plan among three preset plans: Balanced, Power saver, or High performance.

Select the High performance power plan.

8) Don't let any USB key connected on the computer
You can use USB keys to copy an audio track on or from your computer, but once it is over, unplug it from your computer. USB keys have a slow access time (even USB keys with a fast transfer rate have a slow access time), so if they are connected to the computer, they decrease significantly the computer performance even for task which don't use the USB keys.
Never play an audio track directly from a USB key: if you uncompress an audio track on a USB key, the access time of the USB key is so slow that you complete computer because slow. If you want to play a track stored on a USB key, copy it on your hard disk prior to playing it.

9) Make sure your disk is not saturated, DJing requires a large available hard-drive space
Windows needs hard drive space to be fast, and playing music requires a significant hard disk space.
When loading audio tracks, the audio tracks are uncompressed in the software and need, either in the hard drive + in the RAM, the same space as if they were in an uncompressed WAV format, even if they are stored in a compressed format as MP3, AAC or WMA.
Examples of hard drive + RAM needed to uncompress 2 tracks of 10 minutes

  • 16-bit/44.1 kHz, 2 tracks of 10 minutes = 201.8 MB
  • 24-bit/96 kHz, 2 tracks of 10 minutes = 659 MB


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Tags: Tutorial, Optimization Windows, Tech Tips