Having reverted back to Windows 7 for Ableton Digital Audio Workstation antics things weren't looking too optimistic with the gradual decline of windows 7 as the bed operating system on my audio machine since its release. Even all the DAW tweaking and system streamlining tips and tricks in the book known to man couldn't help its fall  into a stuttering and audio dropping mess anymore. Then on the off chance of testing it with a few different preview builds of Windows 8 it actually began to look like Windows 8 might realistically fix it all whilst I was temporally testing various pre-release builds of it abroad. However it too eventually went the way of stacking it into an oblivion of crapness on the system performance front when retesting back in the UK. There was obviously something beyond just my local machine that was causing all these problems which seemed to require more and more local system resources in order to actually run smoothly.  An extra 8GB of ram, a faster processor (which eventually got rated lower in performance then the previous slower processor with less cache memory by the same Windows OS), a move from a 7200RPM drive to a 7200RPM hybrid SSD and still no improvement of the situation in the slightest. To think that it all used to run perfectly on 2.20Ghz dual core chip, 4GB of RAM and a regular 7200RPM drive. What the f*ck happened??!


A stroke of luck…

A year old 60GB SSD that was meant to be RMA'd seemed to just turn up one morning. It had barely been used at all as I had in fact been locked out of it a few days just after buying it. But as it turns out I was actually able to fix it with the manufacturers latest diagnostics software and firmware update from their official website. With an initial raised eyebrow I set off turning its high speed none moving silicon chip parts goodness to my DAW's needs. 



Highly surprising…

Did it fix everything? After all this screwing about trying to get it all to run flawlessly for years with the Z4 mixer, I can confirm it made things work perfectly. Despite the fact I was buzzing (to say the least) I was also at the same time very disappointed. Why the f*ck could it not work perfectly as it used to without an SSD, on 4 gigs of ram and a slower processor as it used to for the first few months or so of using the same Ableton workspace setup with the Z4 in Windows 7? 

Even stranger, previously it was impossible to get the visuals to run smoothly at all whilst using Ableton with the Z4 at 1920x1200 resolution in 32-bit colour mode. To get round this I used to always switch to 16-bit colour mode in order to reduce the video memory footprint and significantly speed things up. In fact in the initial stages of using it with the SSD things still remained the same as far as choppy visual rending performance went, so obviously as usual I switched it down to 16-bit colour mode again to get around the problem. Then on yet another off chance whilst updating some visual driver files, it had at some point automatically switched back to 32-bit colour mode with out my noticing. Then one day whilst checking the setting I realized that it had been in 32-bit colour mode for the past few test runs whilst also having run perfectly smoothly without any video rendering issues of choppiness at all. Did the SSD also fix the video rendering too?!!


So finally thanks to a repaired 60GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD…...  

(12.58 am GMT - Thursday 25th October 2012) ......Oh shit, just when things were going oh so well, I was actually reviewing a wandering on the fly recorded live sequenced set with my head cans that I'd just finished a an hour or so ago whilst typing this out, and just at this very moment (nearly half way through checking the 1 hour 30 minute set) it just paused and completely cut out for a second whilst merely reviewing it. What more does it fucking need to run smoothly without a single fucking hitch? It also just happens to be at a perfect moment to potentially cut the set down to roughly 75 and actually finish as a solid standalone mix. At least the amount of stutter and audio pauses have been cut down to roughly a mix worth rather then after every single contained track combination throughout the entire mix.