Helpful ReplyDo i need more RAM ?

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FlavioS
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2018/02/16 10:17:47 (permalink)
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Do i need more RAM ?

Greetings Everyone,
 
I'm considering to buy a new computer but first i wanted to be shure that my problem can't be solved with my old one.
To help understanding i have:
 
CakeWalk Home Studio:
 
8 Guitar Tracks
1 Addictive drums Track
2 Rapture Tracks
1 Cakewalk Bass Track
 
Computer:
Intel core i3 2.1 ghz
Ram 4gb
 
So every time i playback or record the ASIO Driver crashes or i noticed some crackling sounds.
I think the problem is my computer lacking more RAM to deal with the software am i wrong?
 
Thank You All.
 
Flávio Sousa.
 
#1
highlandermak
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Re: Do i need more RAM ? 2018/02/16 18:54:07 (permalink)
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I would love to say its the ram but I discovered it is on a case by case basis. I struggle with this as well. I have tried different computers, upgraded to SSD, doubled my RAM , purchased the newest CPU and have tried different audio interfaces. I am using as my main interface the Presonus 192. After a lot of trial and error over the past year it appears the snag in my setup is my interface's ability to handle virtual instruments. I also have a focusrite which is not as robust as the 192 but handles my virtual instruments more efficiently. That being said my next step is going to be upgrading to an RME interface and hopefully that will resolve my challenges. Good luck

Computer: CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8140A Gaming PC
OS: Genuine Windows 10 64 bit (Most current updates)
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 6-Core | Intel Z370 Express Chipset
Graphic: NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB
USB: 6 x USB 3.1 | 2 x USB 2.0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000
Storage: 240GB SSD+2TB HDD
Application(DAW): Studio One 3 Pro and SONAR PLATINUM - Version (Most current update)
Audio Interfaces: PreSonus Studio 192 and Focusrite: Scarlett 6i6 (Most current updates)
#2
abacab
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Re: Do i need more RAM ? 2018/02/16 20:09:51 (permalink)
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Simple answer. 
 
Open your project with only Sonar running, and no other apps, browsers, etc.  Then open Windows Task Manager and look at the memory available, vs memory in use. 
 
If there is still memory available, you are probably OK on RAM for this project.  If not, you are probably accessing the paging file on the hard drive.  That could cause glitching when Windows swaps active memory with the hard drive.  A minimum of 8GB RAM is much more comfortable for virtual instrument use.  I have a laptop with 4GB RAM, and it fills up fast.  It works OK with a couple of instruments.
 
Long answer.
 
The audio buffer size you are using could also cause problems.  The lower the buffer size, the harder your CPU must work to keep up with real-time audio.  Your 2.1Ghz CPU probably needs large buffers to avoid glitching. 3-4GHz would be better for virtual instruments.  You can try adjusting buffers to see if it makes a difference.  So if you are not really short of memory at the moment, try setting audio buffer size to 512 samples or higher until the problem goes away.  The higher the buffers, the more latency you will notice in real-time playing, but the crackling and dropouts may stop.  The fix for this is a better audio interface with low latency ASIO drivers and/or a faster CPU.
 
You did not indicate whether you are using an external audio interface or using the computers onboard audio chip and drivers.  You will almost always get better latency using virtual instruments with a pro audio interface, even if you don't need the preamps and the analog inputs.  The drivers make a big difference. 
 
Plus the hardware in one computer will differ from another in various ways, so there is no one size fits all answer.  Off the shelf laptops can be iffy, unless you know that you have a proven model that handles audio well.

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab 2018.06; Studio One 3 Pro; Tracktion Waveform 9; Ableton Live 10  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

#3
jimfogle
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Re: Do i need more RAM ? 2018/02/17 22:41:45 (permalink)
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Hello Flavio and welcome to the forum!
 
If your computer is running a 32 bit version of Windows then adding more ram will not help because the maximum ram 32 bit Windows operating systems is 4 GB per Microsoft https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx 
 
If your computer is running a 64 bit version of Windows then adding more ram will increase computer performance.
 
When you are not recording audio, try changing the audio driver from ASIO to MME.
 
ASIO is great while recording because it allows small amount of latency (the amount of time the computer needs to process a sound and then playback the sound so you can hear it).  Small latency is important because the computer is mixing previously recorded audio with the audio you are recording then playing back the mix so you can hear what you're doing.  The small latency comes at a price though because it requires the computer to work harder.  When the computer can't keep up then crackling or audio gaps occur.
 
MME has large latency but, if you're not recording then you don't care about latency!  All the audio is already inside the computer so it will all playback at the same time.  The computer doesn't have to mix what's on the computer together with what you're playing.  MME puts about the same amount of strain on the computer as playing a regular MP3 file.

Jim F
Cakewalk by Bandlab [2018.07] BUILD 10
Sonar Home Studio V23.9.0 build 32
Music Creator 6
Audacity, Band-in-a-Box, ChordPulse
Win 7, i3 cpu, 8Gig ram, 480 Gig Dell Laptop
http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home
 
 
#4
abacab
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Re: Do i need more RAM ? 2018/02/17 23:15:24 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby tlw 2018/02/18 03:07:34
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jimfogle
Hello Flavio and welcome to the forum!
 
If your computer is running a 32 bit version of Windows then adding more ram will not help because the maximum ram 32 bit Windows operating systems is 4 GB per Microsoft https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx 
 
If your computer is running a 64 bit version of Windows then adding more ram will increase computer performance.
 
When you are not recording audio, try changing the audio driver from ASIO to MME.
 
ASIO is great while recording because it allows small amount of latency (the amount of time the computer needs to process a sound and then playback the sound so you can hear it).  Small latency is important because the computer is mixing previously recorded audio with the audio you are recording then playing back the mix so you can hear what you're doing.  The small latency comes at a price though because it requires the computer to work harder.  When the computer can't keep up then crackling or audio gaps occur.
 
MME has large latency but, if you're not recording then you don't care about latency!  All the audio is already inside the computer so it will all playback at the same time.  The computer doesn't have to mix what's on the computer together with what you're playing.  MME puts about the same amount of strain on the computer as playing a regular MP3 file.




Latency matters when you are playing virtual instruments.  I have never had any luck running them with MME.  Using WASAPI under Windows 10 allows for around 10ms latency, which can be acceptable.
 
Adding RAM to 64-bit Windows can only increase performance if you are running your RAM fully maxed out.  Adding the RAM prevents Windows from using the paging file on HDD, which can slow down performance... but it cannot speed the computer up other than by providing the RAM that is needed, and allows you to run more things at one time without maxing the RAM out.

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab 2018.06; Studio One 3 Pro; Tracktion Waveform 9; Ableton Live 10  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

#5
gswitz
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Re: Do i need more RAM ? 2018/02/18 14:50:09 (permalink)
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How much ram is the process using now? Use that control alt delete window to see. My guess is you have lots of resource constraints. Disk speed access could be your problem. Ssd helps there. Processor speed helps. Nice interface helps. Ram is useful but not always the constraint that hurts.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
#6
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Do i need more RAM ? 2018/02/18 18:12:18 (permalink)
+1 (1)
The only way RAM is having an effect on performance:
If you don't have enough physical RAM for your largest project, the machine will hit the Virtual-Memory Swapfile (in lieu of physical RAM).  This absolutely kills performance.
If you have 16GB RAM and your largest project uses 12GB, doubling the RAM to 32GB will yield zero performance gain.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
#7
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