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Need Explanation of Ram Utilization MacPro


PNS

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I'm confused, and yes, I have searched this forum and others without finding the specific answers. I think maybe I'm not the only one confused, so hopefully my questions (and your answers) will help many.

 

There are hundreds of posts out there where people are "guessing" "hoping" or "assuming" the answers...I am looking for solid answers please.

 

(1) OSX Leopard is 64bit; my main libraries from Eastwest (EWQL) are the PLAY engine, 64bit; is Logic 8 64bit, and if it isn't, why not and when will it be?

 

(2) Logic supposedly utilizes ALL the ram in my system using a native plugin (EXS24 I think?)...great...what about VI's from EWQL (or others, but let's concentrate on EWQL). EW states somewhere to run a seperate PLAY instance for each track, and to uncheck the stream-from-disc option, putting the samples into ram to utilize the additional ram. So the question: does Logic utilize all my ram when stream-from-disc is enabled with EW samples, or only if the EW samples are loaded into ram ?

 

Let's get these 2 answered first, and others may crop up.

 

Here's my incident that led to my questioning: I have been having no problems running the libraries (new to all of this), and did a couple of covers with 10-12 tracks, EW instruments plus 1-3 plugins on each track. Then I started a project using MOR, 5 tracks, and got some clicks and instruments dropping in and out. I unchecked stream from disk on one instrument; the pop-up told me I only had 2Gb of memory available, barely enough to load the instrument into ram, but I did it...Logic crashed, prompting my inquiries into the matter.

 

My system specs are below...please weigh in with solutions, or tell me I am just being paranoid. I just want to compose some orchestral stuff, 30-40 tracks, and not worry about a possible crash

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(1) OSX Leopard is 64bit; my main libraries from Eastwest (EWQL) are the PLAY engine, 64bit; is Logic 8 64bit, and if it isn't, why not and when will it be?

 

Logic 8 is definitely a 32-bit application. No idea if it ever will be a 64-bit application. There is no information that Logic 8 will ever be updated.

 

(2) Logic supposedly utilizes ALL the ram in my system using a native plugin (EXS24 I think?)...great...what about VI's from EWQL (or others, but let's concentrate on EWQL). EW states somewhere to run a seperate PLAY instance for each track, and to uncheck the stream-from-disc option, putting the samples into ram to utilize the additional ram. So the question: does Logic utilize all my ram when stream-from-disc is enabled with EW samples, or only if the EW samples are loaded into ram ?

 

In the case of Play, it is Play and not Logic that is using the extra RAM in your system. It runs a separate background process called “ousiad” that is shown as 64-bit in Activity Monitor. It is THAT process that can access all the RAM in your computer. EW specify turning off the stream-from-disc option if you have a lot of RAM because system performance will be better (i.e. no time consuming streaming from disc necessary, all the samples can sit in RAM).

 

Regardless of how many instances of Play you appear to be running, they are just front ends talking back to the “ousiad” process. That’s why it makes no difference (resource wise) as to how many instances you are (appearing) to run. This is very UNLIKE Kontakt, where each instance takes about 80Mb BEFORE any samples are loaded (although the imminent Kontakt 3.5 MAY solve this, information is not yet available).

 

You need to keep an eye on the RAM usage of Play (shown on its main page), maybe that’s what had caused your recent problem. Although your machine has a huge 16 Gb RAM, samples libraries are bigger and bigger as well.

 

Unfortunately, even after all this time, the Play engine is not perfect. My MacPro has 8Gb of RAM and Play still warns me that I only have 2047 Mb of RAM when I try to turn off stream-from-disc. Ridiculous.

 

Turning off stream-from-disc can use a LOT of RAM, for example a single instrument in Gypsy (Flam Chords) requires 737 Mb. So you have to carefully use your available RAM.

 

Hope that helps

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>You may find this info useful on EXS24MKII RAM utilization.

 

Well, I sure found the article useful....time for me to get rid of the 2 x 256 megs and get the total to greater than 5 Gb.

 

PNS > I just want to compose some orchestral stuff, 30-40 tracks, and not worry about a possible crash

 

I understand the commitment we make to certain software. It took me weeks to realize that Halion 3 was not going to give me the results I was looking for with Logic.

 

Since the EWQL stuff you have listed appears to be mostly non-orchestral, you might consider using EXS24 for your orchestra compositions. The largest orchestra file I've done so far is 52 tracks, all with EXS. The G5 dual 2.0 is hardly breaking a sweat. Now that I have a fresh OS, the random Logic crashes have vanished. I do still get an occasional freeze when loading an EXS instrument but tend to think it is a disk error while loading.

 

HTH

 

edit...sorry, I didn't notice you have EWQL gold.

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Then I started a project using MOR, 5 tracks, and got some clicks and instruments dropping in and out.

 

How did the disk and cpu meters look when you were doing this? Are you sure RAM was the issue here?

 

All 8 cores involved, maybe 15% activity...disk meter not even twitching (I have the EW libraries spread over 3 of the 5 750GB drives), whcih brings us to question #3, which will follow

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I have been having no problems running the libraries (new to all of this), and did a couple of covers with 10-12 tracks, EW instruments plus 1-3 plugins on each track. Then I started a project using MOR, 5 tracks, and got some clicks and instruments dropping in and out. I unchecked stream from disk on one instrument; the pop-up told me I only had 2Gb of memory available, barely enough to load the instrument into ram, but I did it...Logic crashed, prompting my inquiries into the matter.

 

Clicks are almost always due to the buffer size being set too small. Instrument dropouts (for those that are streaming from disk) could be due to your configuration and type of hard drives combined with the amount of bandwidth your sample usage is demanding.

 

For sake of example, if you have a FW800 drive and a FW400 connected in series, the 800 drive being connected directly to the computer, you will have effectively lowered the thruput of that chain of drives down to FW400. This may produce a bottleneck (and dropouts) if asking your system to stream a large number of samples from the 400 drive. Again, that's just an example, may or may not be applicable to your situation.

 

Regarding EXS-24, there is a setting that you may want to take a look at regarding hard drive speed. Even though I have fast drives, I have mine set to "Slow", in effect forcing Logic to allocate more RAM to the sample headers. This has eliminated a problem with dropped voices.

 

Further to EXS-24, it's my understanding that only EXS-24 can take advantage of the feature whereby additional Logic can allocate RAM with sample headers (the requirement being that you have >= 5GB of RAM installed, and that Virtual Memory be activated). If VM is not activated, then your samples will be loaded into RAM exclusively and no longer streamed from disk. In this case, RAM usage will be limited to the 4G footprint Logic allows by virtue of the fact that it's a 32-bit application. The practical upward limit of this RAM footprint is actually around 3 - 3.25GB, the latter figure being a point you never want to reach.

 

As far as how other plugins allocate RAM, the easiest way to get definitive answers would be to have Activity Monitor open as you load samples from a 3rd party plugin; you can witness for yourself where the RAM allocation takes place. In the event that Logic's footprint starts to get eaten up with RAM from 3rd party sample plugs, you will be bound by the 3 - 3.25GB limit. Exceeding that limit will cause Logic to crash without warning. There is no "logic" or "intelligence" built into Logic's RAM allocation scheme. In other words, it's a "dumb" routine... RAM gets loaded up. If you exceed the limit, Logic crashes. You'd think that it would be a simple matter to have Logic read the amount of sample RAM being used within its own footprint and force an aborted load should you attempt to exceed 3 - 3.25GB's, but alas such a thing doesn't exist.

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Thanks for the informative post Tyrone…so please check my responses, and let me see if I have this straight:

 

Logic 8 is definitely a 32-bit application. No idea if it ever will be a 64-bit application. There is no information that Logic 8 will ever be updated

 

So bottom line, this is a Logic problem (the 4GB wall). My other 12GB of ram are NOT being utilized by PLAY

.

The solution EW has promoted and provided, wait, let me quote them from their PLAY pdf manual and website:

 

“The EastWest PLAY Advanced Sample Engine uses 64-bit processing to take full advantage

of the benefits of the new breed of 64-bit processors and operating systems that are starting to become available. That means accessibility to significantly larger amounts of RAM and, therefore, the ability to load many times the number of instruments.”

 

...and “Play is not natively 64-bit on the Mac. To use the extended memory (all of the available RAM) beyond the usual 4GB 32-bit limit, we have a special feature built into Play. This works in standalone and as a plugin.

 

To use this feature in standalone, first load the instruments in the normal fashion, and then go the main menu / current instrument, and then uncheck the "Stream from disk" box. This will now reload that instrument's samples directly into RAM. You can keep loading instruments into RAM this way until you use up all your free RAM. You can use both streaming instruments as well as instruments loaded into RAM this way together in the same instance of PLAY. In the case where you have up to 32GB of RAM on a Mac, loading the samples directly into RAM will give you much higher polyphony, since you are not having to stream from a hard drive.

 

As a Plugin this feature can also be utilized in the same way. Each time you load a streaming instrument it will increase the hosts RAM usage, which after 3GB could itself become unstable, so pay attention to how much memory your host is using when doing this.

 

Some of PLAY's instruments are extremely large even when being streamed (such as QL Pianos, and some of the other libraries 'Master Patches' and keyswitch patches) up to 50GB in some cases are actually being streamed. For this reason we do not recommend loading these large instruments directly into RAM.”

 

...and “Load MORE thanks to 64-bit support**

-64-bit support allows you to load many more instruments and voices, limited only by your system RAM (32-bit support is included also for compatibility)

-While most high-end computers will support 16GB, a very small set of high-performance enterprise computers (with Microsoft Vista Ultimate) can already use 128GB of RAM. As hardware develops, the theoretical limit is 17,179,869,184 gigabytes = 16 exabytes, or 17 billion gigabytes!

**Mac 64-bit support will be available soon after the release of Apple's 64-bit Leopard Operating System”

 

Unfortunately, even after all this time, the Play engine is not perfect. My MacPro has 8Gb of RAM and Play still warns me that I only have 2047 Mb of RAM when I try to turn off stream-from-disc. Ridiculous.

 

(Question #3) To me it seems that, regardless of whether or not Logic is 64-bit, EW claims that the 4GB wall can be broken with their workaround of unchecking stream-from-disk. So you are saying, not true, the barrier still exists?

 

…or are you saying stream-from-disk, left checked, is indeed accessing ram past the 4GB barrier?

 

In the case of Play, it is Play and not Logic that is using the extra RAM in your system. It runs a separate background process called “ousiad” that is shown as 64-bit in Activity Monitor. It is THAT process that can access all the RAM in your computer. EW specify turning off the stream-from-disc option if you have a lot of RAM because system performance will be better (i.e. no time consuming streaming from disc necessary, all the samples can sit in RAM).

 

You need to keep an eye on the RAM usage of Play (shown on its main page), maybe that’s what had caused your recent problem. Although your machine has a huge 16 Gb RAM, samples libraries are bigger and bigger as well

 

(Question #4) is there a way to monitor ALL of my ram usage?...yes, I can see it for each individual instance of PLAY, but not the combined total of all

 

Regardless of how many instances of Play you appear to be running, they are just front ends talking back to the “ousiad” process. That’s why it makes no difference (resource wise) as to how many instances you are (appearing) to run.

 

(Question #5) You lost me there…what do you mean “appears”?

 

Turning off stream-from-disc can use a LOT of RAM, for example a single instrument in Gypsy (Flam Chords) requires 737 Mb. So you have to carefully use your available RAM.

 

Yes, I’m quite positive that is what caused my crash

 

(Question #6) By “available ram”, you mean what is left after Leopard and Logic takes its’ part, right?...which is around 2GB

 

Now for a comment: I cannot BELIEVE that Apple would put out a 64-bit OS, totally re-design Logic (from what I’ve read, never used it before V8), and not implement 64-bit architecture into it, either natively, or as an option, when the sequencer competition is doing just that. The single most important tool that composers need on their DAW is the ability to break the 4GB barrier (not just for one plug-in, the EXS24), but for all. I have invested upwards of 10K in my new system, and I now find out that my old Core2 Duo can load almost as many VI’s , at 1/5 of the price. Shame on me for getting caught up in the “it just works” hype

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RESOLVED AND UNDERSTOOD!!!

 

OK, it has finally sunk in through my thick skull how PLAY works with Logic, and I must say, it works superbly. I got the bright idea to take an existing project, and give it one more shot. No idea why it crashed on my first attempt 2 days ago, but this project did not crash, as I loaded instrument after instrument into ram…woot!!! Since I started this mess, I will see if I can tidy it up a bit. I asked 6 main questions; here are the answers, as best as I can explain:

 

1-Logic is 32-bit, but it acts and functions like 64-bit with certain plugins and libraries: EXS24, PLAY engine from EWQL, and I think someone mentioned VSL also

 

2-Yes indeedy, un-checking “stream-from-disk” will cause PLAY to load the samples into available ram, up to however much ram you have in your MacPro.

 

3-PLAY breaks the 4GB barrier, no question

 

4-Apple Activity Monitor shows exactly what your ram is doing, and how it is being utilized…cool to watch all that available ram go down, down, down

 

5-ousiad FTW!!! Don’t know exactly how it works, it just works (hey, seems like I’ve heard that before somewhere)

 

6-Activity Monitor solves the ram monitoring question (thanks Ski !)

 

Thanks to all who posted. You would be AMAZED at the number of times these questions have been asked on dozens of other forums without resolution. Perhaps this might be re-wrote and stickied somewhere?...would be very useful to lots of Logic users looking to expand their samples with maximum ram utilization.

 

And a special thanks to Tyrone Howe. After the light went on tonight, I re-read your post (again, for the 5th or 6th time) and it made perfect sense…TYVM!!!

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There is no "logic" or "intelligence" built into Logic's RAM allocation scheme. In other words, it's a "dumb" routine... RAM gets loaded up. If you exceed the limit, Logic crashes. You'd think that it would be a simple matter to have Logic read the amount of sample RAM being used within its own footprint and force an aborted load should you attempt to exceed 3 - 3.25GB's, but alas such a thing doesn't exist.

 

Thanks Ski, I didn’t know that. The more I get into Logic, the more I find these “simple” mistakes cropping up. MAYBE it is hard programmatically know how much RAM your application is using, but that doesn’t mean it has to crash.

 

And a special thanks to Tyrone Howe. After the light went on tonight, I re-read your post (again, for the 5th or 6th time) and it made perfect sense…TYVM!!!

 

You’re very welcome. I know what it’s like to be confused by all this, it took a while for me to get to grips with it all. :oops:

 

All the best

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