Any tips or shortcuts on setting up a new DAW?

I’m getting a new DAW built this week. I’ll be starting out with a clean install of Windows 7 64x. I will install all of my software (Cubase, N.I. Komplete, Spectrasonics line, Maschine and various plugs. All legit so have to be registered on the new PC. I’ll have 2 128gb ssd’s and will transfer 2 500 gb drives (one samples and one projects) from my existing pc. I plan to install the os and vst’s that will allow library location selection on the ssd’d as much as I can.

Any suggestions to make this process go fast as possible. I’m not looking for daw tune up tips so much as insights on getting up and running.Thanks

I just posted the same question at Gearslutz also. I know its a hardware question but more views here.

Figure out the best bios to have on your board for audio recording based on it based on user reviews. The latest is not always the greatest. Load that first. You can usually load that from a USB stick.

Latest chipset drivers, download them. I think, if I remember correctly, you load them DURING windows installation. Start bare bones. No sound card etc at first. Build windows. Then current drivers for everything (sound card, video card, etc) and install your other hardware. Windows Update. image the drive once completed.

Perform windows optimizations, and there are some in the bios. Trust me, there is most likely a power management disabling you will have to do to achieve good dcp.

Before you go into installing all your software.
Make sure things are good so far.


If all is good, install your software, all of it. Open a project and see what you missed. Install everything you forgot.

Image again.

Run heavy project and get the system to crash. Figure out what is wrong, fix it and try to crash the system again. Fix it… until you don’t crash.


Image again.

Bring absolutely no preferences over from an old installation, or you are asking for a serious wildcard. You are going to have to optimize the system and windows. You are dealing with a lot of hardware and software that needs to be efficient or else… POOF when you least expect… in company of a client… numerous times… and that time is not billable because it shouldn’t happen often.

Ok, aside from the above:
SSD for client material? Stuff you record, mix… project files? Everything I have read in the past was this is a big “no no” but that may have changed. You may want to check that.

Good Luck. Be methodical and log your process so you can look back and see what made the system unstable. Hope it goes smooth for you. I don’t know if this is your first rodeo, but get a good backup scheme in place. I have clients that spend thousands of dollars with me and a backup scheme that is redundant is very important.

Welcome to or back to the biz.

A good bit of advice I could throw on would be at the beginning of your fresh installing of Windows7 have just the main ssd for your operating system installed. Leave other hdd’s and ssd’s you will already know Windows7 will make a smal partition for systems but for some reason when you have other drives connected it will make it on a hdd instead of your intended will see it as you are going along with the install.

You may already be aware of this but if not then make sure you do have the one ssd connected on install save you some time.

Good luck with it all :wink:

Aloha M,

Can only offer moral support (Mac user here) but first
I’d like to say congrats on a new system.

We all know what that feels like. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: And before X-mas! YEA!

A new system is like a ‘blessing and a curse’ but once you get that ‘bucking bronco’ tamed,
here’s wishing you lots of smooth rides.


Thanks for all of the valuable info and detail everyone. I should have been clearer in saying that I’m working with a builder and we’ve selected the components. They’ve arrived and he will build and deliver to me with Win 7 installed. From there I will install all software and do fine tuning. (after looking at the site suggested)

When I get the new PC ,I will install a project drive and sample drive from my exisiting daw. I think the first thing I will do (after installing Cubase) is to run the Kontakt installer and instead of installing the sample library from the disks ,drag the samples over from my sample drive to the new 2nd ssd. I will try this with as many vsts as possible to get faster load times.