Will more RAM help?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
aioffermann
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:47 pm

Will more RAM help?

Post by aioffermann » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:13 pm

I've made quite an extensive template with something like 100 tracks total, probably about 5 or so "128s" (Instrument racks w/ 128 choices of drum racks/samplers in chain selector) and 8 return tracks with a handful of effects on each. The template is pretty perfect for me, except now I occasionally get an "out of memory" message and Ableton quits. This isn't a huge problem if I save all the time (except saving seems to make the problem more common), and luckily it doesn't usually happen while I create content, but rather when I split clips, make multiple midi assignments etc..

Also when I'm jamming out creating content I sometimes get the annoying audio glitch/stumble because my CPU will be at 50% or so.

My question is this: will a couple of GB of RAM do me any good? Like 4 GB or so? I figured so until I read this:

"Ableton Live is a 32 bit application. On native 64 bit systems, Live can address memory up to 4 GB.
OSX, Windows XP 64, Windows Vista 64, Windows 7 64"

After reading that it seemed to me that even with more RAM, Live will only use 4 GB. Help!

I have a standard Macbook Pro. The middle-sized one.

Tarekith
Posts: 17634
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
Contact:

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:08 pm

If you don't have at least 4 GB, I would recommend it.

aioffermann
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:47 pm

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by aioffermann » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:12 pm

No I definitely do have 4 GB. Would doubling that not help?

cotdagoo
Posts: 1042
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: canuhduh

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by cotdagoo » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:32 pm

depending on whether you set uses video or M4L and what 3rd party VSTs are used, you might be interested in checking out the 64bit beta should you choose to upgrade your ram.

being 64bit it can see and use a lot more ram than the 4gb limits.

of course you'd have to be using a 64bit OS as well

trilo
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:28 pm
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by trilo » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:15 pm

I suspect that what you need most is processing power available to live. More memory could help, though it depends on a few factors.

As of this writing, the current version of Live is a 32-bit application, and can't use more than 4GB. Assuming you're on a recent version of OSX, the OS can use more RAM and allow Live to get the full 4GB if you have it to spare. If all you have is 4GB, then you could definitely use more. Just running the OS by itself uses up some of your RAM, plus ideally you want some additional memory as headroom in order to get best performance out of your machine (when RAM resources run low, the system starts swapping things to your drive - this is a much slower process than just running everything from RAM plus it eats up CPU cycles). If you have other programs running (IM/twitter clients, utilities, etc), they all use memory too - my recommendation is to figure out what everything you run will need, then upgrade your system to have at least double that amount. A 64-bit version of Live is in beta now, you can expect that to become available in the near-ish future, you probably won't have any trouble putting more memory to use.

That may not necessarily solve the problem you're having. With all that going on, you might just be overloading what your MacBook Pro's CPU is capable of. If you haven't already done so, take a look at what else is running, quit everything that's not essential to free up CPU cycles. If you're still having trouble, you may want to look at getting a hardware DSP (digital signal processing unit) to give you an assist (Universal Audio makes some great stuff). That offloads a lot of the effects processing work onto the dedicated hardware, which should eliminate your CPU load issues.

aioffermann
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:47 pm

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by aioffermann » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:35 pm

trilo wrote:I suspect that what you need most is processing power available to live. More memory could help, though it depends on a few factors.

As of this writing, the current version of Live is a 32-bit application, and can't use more than 4GB. Assuming you're on a recent version of OSX, the OS can use more RAM and allow Live to get the full 4GB if you have it to spare. If all you have is 4GB, then you could definitely use more. Just running the OS by itself uses up some of your RAM, plus ideally you want some additional memory as headroom in order to get best performance out of your machine (when RAM resources run low, the system starts swapping things to your drive - this is a much slower process than just running everything from RAM plus it eats up CPU cycles). If you have other programs running (IM/twitter clients, utilities, etc), they all use memory too - my recommendation is to figure out what everything you run will need, then upgrade your system to have at least double that amount. A 64-bit version of Live is in beta now, you can expect that to become available in the near-ish future, you probably won't have any trouble putting more memory to use.

That may not necessarily solve the problem you're having. With all that going on, you might just be overloading what your MacBook Pro's CPU is capable of. If you haven't already done so, take a look at what else is running, quit everything that's not essential to free up CPU cycles. If you're still having trouble, you may want to look at getting a hardware DSP (digital signal processing unit) to give you an assist (Universal Audio makes some great stuff). That offloads a lot of the effects processing work onto the dedicated hardware, which should eliminate your CPU load issues.
WOOT WOOT!

I'm PRETTY SURE I only have 4 GB, but will have to check when I get home. This is good news as it seems like upgrading to 8 GB will help. If I upgrade to 8 GB, Ableton should be using all 4 GB right?

Also yea, I'm definitely hitting the CPU hard. I use a Saffire Pro 24 as an audio interface. Not sure if that does all the DSP itself but I figure it does.

jonny72
Posts: 790
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:43 pm

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by jonny72 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:11 pm

There is no such thing as too much ram, get the most you can afford (within reason).

Whilst Apple don't publicise it, the latest Macbook Pro's can take 16Gb of ram which is cheapish nowadays.
MacBook Pro 13" Early 2011 - OS X 10.7.4

aioffermann
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:47 pm

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by aioffermann » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:46 am

jonny72 wrote:There is no such thing as too much ram, get the most you can afford (within reason).

Whilst Apple don't publicise it, the latest Macbook Pro's can take 16Gb of ram which is cheapish nowadays.
But isn't that unnecessary as Ableton can only access 4 GB of it?

Tarekith
Posts: 17634
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
Contact:

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by Tarekith » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:22 am

Ableton might only be able to, but the OS will put as much there as it can for it's own needs not to mention your other apps.

jonny72
Posts: 790
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:43 pm

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by jonny72 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:28 am

aioffermann wrote:But isn't that unnecessary as Ableton can only access 4 GB of it?
Not really. You'd want 8Gb anyway to allow Ableton the full 4Gb. Might as well get the 16Gb (which costs under $80) and it will be there for when you switch to 64 bit which can take full advantage.

Besides most people don't use their laptops just for music and I use other apps that can use a lot of ram - my Macbook was paging like crazy prior to upgrading to 16Gb and even now it's still paging a bit.
MacBook Pro 13" Early 2011 - OS X 10.7.4

Zygi
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:10 pm

Re: Will more RAM help?

Post by Zygi » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:04 am

Check if you have any audio clips loaded to RAM.

Post Reply