[blog] Optimize your Mac for a gig

In this blog article find many guidelines to prepare your Mac for your live performance.
Link: Gig Performer | Optimize your Mac for a Gig

All tested on macOS Monterey.

macOS-Monterey

I’ll also index all additional tips and tricks in this post (as for the Windows optimization guide).

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Index of other tips, found across the Community


[1] Speed up your workflow by automatically disabling/enabling sleep, screensaver and standby when Gig Performer is started/closed (link)

[2] High Sierra script that disables system processes in the Recovery Mode (link)

[3] Another workflow automation - enables the “Music” focus mode, deactivates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Time Machine, and opens Gig Performer (link)

[4] Sometimes on mid 2012 MBP, closing a Firefox Youtube tab ‘unlatches’ the Quantum 2626 driver. Use Brave instead (link)

[5] Nemanja’s preferences - (less is more)

[6] Big Sur/Monterey script that disables system processes in the Recovery Mode (link) (
DisableBigSurMonterey.sh (8.1 KB) )

[7] Try different audio interface (link)

[8] Use TurboBoost to prevent your Mac from going too fast and get too hot. (link)

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Nice, thanks @npudar! :slight_smile:
I just read the article and thought of an extra tip: For disabling sleep, screensaver and standby automatically, you can use Amphetamine.app which triggers automatically when GP is open. This has the advantage that in day-to-day use, your normal sleep, screen lock and screen saver settings will still apply :slight_smile:

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I use this on my Mac as well.

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That’s a great workflow tip - it automatically configures these settings when Gig Performer is started (or closed) - less things to think about :slight_smile:

Yes, I did see this, it’s a great guide for users of the newest MacOS, with lots of useful tips. My MacBook is still on High Sierra because the drums were suffering from distortion, missed hits and pile-ups under Mojave, driving our drummer crazy. After that, MacOS became 64-bit only and I have a critical app (Nord Modular G2 Editor) that won’t run in that environment.

My solution is mostly script-based and relies on disabling SIP in Recovery Mode, so that you’re not prevented from disabling system processes. I’ve modified the code quite a bit since I posted it on github a couple years ago, with more things disabled and also now I run it entirely in recovery mode’s Terminal, instead of having to disable SIP (note that I’m still using High Sierra, so I don’t know if that still works on newer OSes).

I’ve saved the disable.sh and enable.sh scripts in my user bin directory, and I run them like this:

cd /Volumes/Macintosh \HD/Users/<username>/bin
./disable.sh

Aside from running the script, I also do a few manual steps that coincide with the article you mentioned: 1) disable BlueTooth, WiFi, and Notifications; 2) tell Spotlight not to index /Volumes/Macintosh HD; 3) disable App Store’s automatic check for updates; 4) remove some login items; 5) quit some other apps that still run automatically, like SnagIt, OneDrive, Karabiner.

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Thanks!

How much performance did you get by optimizing your Mac this way?

I plan to cover a bit daemons and agents in future.

I haven’t done any real benchmarking. My measure of good performance is whether or not GigPerformer can successfully handle the drums and synths without dropouts and pile-ups, and this script has been a big part of that success. Aside from disabling iCloud, HD indexing and other CPU hogs (CleanMyMac X had to go!), other things that have contributed to our trouble-free G.P. performance are a better MIDI interface (MOTU micro lite), no USB hubs, and a better WiFi router. We run QLab on the same MacBook, for our video backdrop/lightshow, it connects via WiFi to an Airport Express to an Apple TV to an Optoma projector on the other side of the room. QLab’s techs told me I should never even think of running video over WiFi, and yet here we are, all this stuff now runs flawlessly on my little MacBook Pro. After several years of troubleshooting on-and-off drum kit nightmares, it’s all good now and I don’t want to mess with it!

Anyway, I’ll update the github gist with the recovery-mode scripts I’m using now.

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Great, that will be useful for other Mac users that want to go deeper with the optimization.

EDIT: I created an index of these tips in the first post. Thanks for sharing!

Re benchmarking, I should add that I did a lot of system load testing to try to find the sources of system slowdown/contention, and I even had Activity Monitor’s CPU History and Memory Pressure meters running at gigs. Unfortunately I never saw anything that could explain the drum kit distortion, dropouts and pile-ups, which were too short to register (but no less aggravating in a live show).

I updated my github gist with the latest version - see [blog] Optimize your Mac for a gig - #5 by therealgps

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For people that are on more recent versions of macOS (and have System Integrity Protection enabled), here is a “lite” alternative to @therealgps’s script: Two shortcuts for Shortcuts.app. They do most of what the blog article recommends:

  • Own The Stage :fire:.shortcut (21.9 KB)
    • enables the “Music” focus mode
    • deactivates Wi-Fi
    • deactivates Bluetooth
    • deactivates Time Machine
    • opens Gig Performer
  • Back From Stage :couch_and_lamp:.shortcut (21.8 KB)
    • activates Time Machine
    • activates Bluetooth
    • activates Wi-Fi
    • disables the “Music” focus mode

Nothing too fancy, but it will save you a few clicks and a bit of headspace :slight_smile:

5 Likes

In this post I will write some of my personal Mac preferences. Basically, I like to turn off or disable everything that I don’t use or need (“less is more”). Open your System Preferences:

General

  • Allow wallpaper tinting (turn off)
  • Show scroll bars (always)
  • Recent items (none)
  • Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices (turn off)

Desktop and Screen Saver

  • I use a custom (non dynamic) desktop image
  • Screen Saver (turn off)
  • Hot corners (turn off) (I selected “-” for all four corners)

Dock and Menu Bar

  • Minimise windows using “Scale effect” (“Genie effect” I find distracting. Too bad I cannot set this to “None”)
  • Animate opening applications (turn off)

Mission Control

  • Turned off everything

Accessibility

  • Reduce motion (turn on)
  • Reduce transparency (turn on)
  • Shake mouse pointer to locate (turn off)

Screen time

  • Turned off

Keyboard

  • Dictation: Off

Displays

  • Automatically adjust brightness (turn off)

Battery

  • Slightly dim the display while on battery power (turn off)

Date and time

  • Set date and time automatically (turn off)
  • Set time zone automatically using current location (turn off)

Sharing

  • Everything is Off.
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I was finally able to upgrade my MacBook Pro to Big Sur, and now I have a script that runs on the latest macOS versions, successfully disabling all the processes that tend to interfere with our stage setup (GigPerformer 4 and QLab). Because I have a non-Apple system drive (an OWC SSD), the Monterey installer refuses to run, so I am stuck with Big Sur. But I’ve tested the script on Monterey in a Parallels 17 virtual machine, and it works just fine. You can find it here: Disable Big Sur and Monterey services · GitHub

I also disable spotlight indexing and automatic software updates, and kill some still-running processes - see the Comments section.

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OK, so first SIP must be disabled in Recovery Mode and then you run this script after rebooting:

cd /Volumes/Macintosh \HD/Users/<username>/bin
./DisableBigSurMonterey.sh

This helps you to avoid distortions, dropouts and pile-ups.

1 Like

right, save the script into your 'bin' directory, give it executable permission (chmod a+x DisableBigSurMonterey.sh), then:

cd ~/bin
./DisableBigSurMonterey.sh