Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact PCAudioLabs for support?

You can contact us by telephone at 615-933-6775, Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm Pacific Time for technical support.

You can also email PCAudioLabs support through our contact page. Email replies are sent out during business hours in the order in which they are received.

To ensure that you will receive our reply, please make sure to put pcaudiolabs.com on your safe sender list in your email account settings.

Will my PCAudioLabs computer work with my hardware and software?

Yes. Your PCAudioLabs computer is designed with compatibility in mind. A powerful computer is useless if it's not compatible with the hardware and software you already use or plan to use.

Through years of experience building computers for audio production, we understand what's required in providing to you a stable, compatible and powerful audio computer.

To help you feel at ease with your new PCAudioLabs computer, you can send us your hardware and software for professional installation and setup. Every PCAudioLabs computer is tested and working before it leaves our laboratory.

Is it safe to connect to the internet with my PCAudioLabs computer?

It is ok to connect to the internet to download hardware and software updates, but it isn’t recommended to use your custom DAW for everyday internet browsing and checking of email. However, if you must connect to the internet for general use, you should consider installing antivirus software and run spyware removal software on a regular basis. If you use your PCAudioLabs computer for general internet usage, you run the risk of causing more headaches then necessary.

How can I re-image and reinstall Windows on my PCAudioLabs PC?

Your factory installation of Windows, including any custom software installations and hardware drivers, is recoverable from unforeseen events such as viruses, unstable software downloads, and hard drive failures, and is included on the in a hard drive installed in your computer.

This restore image is stored on a drive in your MC in a folder labeled “WindowsImageBackup”.  Please DO NOT Delete this folder!  If you delete it, you will lose your restore image.  If you must move the folder, please do so to a reliable hard drive.  We cannot store your recovery image and so this image is your best way to refresh your MC.

It is also advised to make a secondary backup of this WINDOWSIMAGEBACKUP folder to a hard drive not in your computer, such as a backup hard drive kept in a secure place. 

In the event of a catastrophe, the PCAudioLabs Restore Image can be used with your existing or a new hard drive to bring your system back to the way it was when you first received it. You will lose all files on the OS hard drive. Your system will be refreshed to its original state.  You will not lose files on your other hard drives, but we recommend always backing those up, too.

To restore your MC to its factory settings (when your computer was built for you):

Windows 10:

  1. Insert the Windows 10 repair disk or USB stick, or the Windows 10 installation disk (if you do not have either of the former), provided with your computer, into your DVD drive or USB port.
  2. Reboot the computer. As the computer boots, repeatedly (once every second) press:
  • The F11 key if you have an MCX, OB1, or CR3 system
  • The F12 key if you have a CR2 system
  • The F7 key if you have a Pro Audio Laptop.
  1. You will be presented with a screen which reads “Please select boot device”. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select the option “TSST Corp CD/DVD”, and hit ENTER. The system will boot from the Windows repair disk. If you are booting from a USB stick, please select “UEFI – USB Device” or similar option.
  2. The Windows repair disk may instruct you to “Press any key to boot from CD”. If so, please press a key on your keyboard to boot from the disk.
  3. Windows will take a moment to load some files.
  4. You will be presented with a screen which requires you choose your language; choose English, click NEXT.
  5. Click “Repair your computer”
  6. Click “Troubleshoot”.
  7. Click “Advanced Options”.
  8. Click “System Image Recovery”.
  9. If prompted, select your operating system, Windows 10.
  10. If prompted, select the Administrator account on your computer; the default is PCAudioLabs. There is no password associated with this account by default. If you opted for a password on your system enter this password.
  11. If your restore image is contained on DVDs (for computers without a secondary hard drive), or on a USB stick/hard drive (for systems without a CD rom), you will be prompted to insert the final disk in the series of restore image DVDs, or you should insert the USB drive into your USB port. Insert this disk, and click OK. Otherwise, you will be shown an automatic selection for the most recently created system image to be used (this is the one on your secondary hard drive, created when your system was built for you).
  12. If not ticked, tick the radio button net to “Use the latest available system image”. Click NEXT.
  13. Check “Only restore system drives” If not already selected. Click NEXT.
  14. You will be presented with a summary of your restore; click FINISH. The system will be restored from the factory installation image included with your computer, or, if you’ve updated this image with another windows backup, you will restore to the last known image point.
  15. The computer will reboot. Remove any Windows disks from the DVD rom.  Allow Windows to boot.  Windows should now be booted and you should be able to continue working.

We advise that you perform a Windows Image Backup of your computer after you have received it and installed all your necessary applications.

 

How can I Backup my PCAudioLabs Pro Audio PC?

To perform a system backup: 

Windows 10:

  1. With Windows 10 booted, press the Start button in Windows. Type “Backup”, and select “Backup and restore (Windows 7)” from the found items.
  2. Click “Windows image backup” in the resulting window.
  3. Windows will ask where you’d like to save your backup; if you are overwriting the image shipped with your computer, the option “On a hard drive” will be selected automatically and you will overwrite your previous restore image. NOTE: You should back this folder up to another hard drive for your protection! If you wish to backup to a different location, select a different hard drive from the pulldown menu, or select “On one or more DVDs” to backup to DVDs.
  4. Proceed with the backup process. Your system is now backed up.

You may also wish to use an online, cloud-Enabled backup option, to backup your system. 

Can I install antivirus and anti-spyware software on my PCAudioLabs computer?

Yes, you can, but keep in mind that these programs can install software that scans for viruses and spyware in the background, and can potentially degrade audio playback and recording. These types of software can also install services that automatically startup when you boot into Windows™. Windows™ services are similar to background applications and can also degrade audio playback and recording.

Can I use the built-in audio interface with my music application?

While you can use the built-in audio interface that comes standard with every PCAudioLabs computer, it is recommended to use a higher-quality, professional audio interface that communicates with the computer through a low latency WDM or ASIO driver.

There is a 3rd party ASIO driver (ASIO4ALL) that works with most built-in audio devices to achieve low latency, but the audio quality of the built-in audio device is still much lower than that of a professional audio interface.

We disable the built-in audio interface during factory setup if you're using a professional audio interface. The built-in audio interface can be enabled if you wish.

Will I be able to produce a CD quality album with my PCAudioLabs computer?

Combined with your musical talent, your PCAudioLabs computer is your best all-around tool for producing a CD quality album. Everything from composing to recording, from editing and mixing to mastering, can all be achieved on your PCAudioLabs computer.

Can I use external USB or FireWire hard drives to record?

While you could use external hard drives to record and playback audio, your track count will be limited by the speed of the external connection. It is much better to record to internal hard drives and use external hard drives for back-up or transferring files from one place to another.

As a comparison, a hard drive connected through USB 2.0 has a maximum transfer speed of 480 Mbps, FireWire has a max speed of 400 Mbps, FIreWire 800 has a max speed of 800 Mbps, and the internal serial ATA hard drives in your PCAudioLabs computer have a max speed of approximately 3,000 Mpbs.

What is RAID and do I need it?

RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A RAID combines the size of more than one hard drive to create one larger storage unit, a fail-safe backup system, or a combination of both.

This single storage unit appears as one drive letter in Windows. Using a RAID increase the available track count, improves the performance of reading and writing audio data, and reduces the amount of time it takes to load large sample libraries.

If your projects are at 24 bit / 192kHz, then you might want to consider a RAID for track counts above 24 tracks. For comparison, a single 7200 rpm hard drive can stream 64 tracks of 24 bit / 44.1kHz.

How many plugins will I be able to use on my PCAudioLabs computer?

The total amount of plugins you will be able to use on your PCAudioLabs computer depends on the particular combination of plugins that you have running simultaneously.

Some of the more power hungry plugins are reverbs, multiband compressors, guitar amp simulators, pitch correction, and complex software instruments.

As a general rule, a faster and more powerful processor allows you to use more plugins on your PCAudioLabs computer.

What are the benefits of a 64-bit PCAudioLabs computer?

Here is everything you need to know about 64-bit audio computing in one sentence. Running a complete 64-bit audio computer allows access to more than 4GB of memory, breaking the 32-bit memory barrier, allowing you to load up beyond 4GB of sounds in your sample-based software instrument.

This means that one 64-bit computer can do the job of many 32-bit computers. Kontakt 4 and the Vienna Ensemble are two examples of why 64-bit audio computing exists.

I'm a Mac user. Is it easy to use a PCAudioLabs computer?

PCAudioLabs understand how important it is for the computer to be transparent in the creative process. If you're thinking of switching from a Mac to a PC, the transition will be smooth and easy with the guidance of PCAudioLabs sales and support staff. Your Mac files can be accessed by a PC, and your external Mac hard drives can also be recognized by a PC.

Should I upgrade my old computer instead of buying a new one?

If your project crawls to a halt when you absolutely need to add that one extra reverb or guitar amp simulator or you need to record a string quartet but the computer just can't quite capture that recording without audio drop-outs, then you're probably at the point of needing a more powerful computer.

As a rule of thumb, if you just need more storage then you probably could just upgrade your computer with larger hard drives. If you need more power to run more plugins, then you should really consider a new computer.

Your old computer could be used for anything from an office computer to a media center, or a VST host for effect and sample playback.

What is the best way to care for my PCAudioLabs computer?

Place your PCAudioLabs computer in a spot where there is adequate airflow into the front and out through the rear of the computer. Try to keep the inside and outside of the computer dust-free as much as possible.

When your PCAudioLabs computer is powered off and the power cord is unplugged, you may open up the computer and remove the dust with a compressed air can. Make sure to hold the air can in an upright position while removing dust.

By eliminating dust, you increase the cooling efficiency and increase the lifespan of your PCAudioLabs computer. Opening up the computer and using a compressed air can to clean the inside doesn’t void your warranty.