Old 02-20-2019, 02:36 AM   #1
Tiggerdyret
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Default A few questions about ram

Hi, I'm having a some issues with Reaper stuttering and crashing and I'm starting to suspect ram to be the issue. My windows memory use, while Reaper is open is about 86% and my CPU usage is fairly low. I've included a Reaper performance meter too.

But before I run out and buy more ram I'd like to ask a few questions:

1. Do you think ram is the culprit or should I look elsewhere for a solution

2. Is stuttering and crashing common symptoms of ram being pushed to it's limits?

3. How do I save ram? To me it seems like subprojects and muting track will mostly help with CPU and not ram.

System
Windows 10

Specs
i7 4790k
16gb DDR3 ram
SSD Hardrive

Interface
Babyface Pro
Buffer size 256 samples
Sample rate 48khz
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:38 AM   #2
Softsynth
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Hi Tigger,
At a certain point the system will use your slower SSD pagefile rather than system memory. I wouldn't expect this to make the system less stable, unless the drive had little or no free space. It would become slower loading samples and could feel sluggish.

Is the computer very new - does it crash doing other things?
Is the memory all the same modules?
The latter is not necessary. (you can mix brands and speed and even memory size- it will only run as fast as the slowest and mixed sizes stops the slightly faster dual channel mode) but having matched memory should be more predictable.

You could download one of the free memory test programs if you ram is of concern for any reason.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:53 AM   #3
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The PC is fairly old. I on't know how old exactly, since I build it out of used components, but my estimate would be 2013ish. The ram block are all corsair vengeance pro running at 2400mhz overclocked by the default XMP setting in the bios.
I don't experience any problems, but I have noticed my start up being a bit slower in the past few months.

I don't have reason to believe my ram is broken, but I do have reason to believe Reaper is pushing it beyond it's 16gb limit. So I don't think a memory test will give any more information, but I'll run one anyway.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:09 AM   #4
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Okay.
Type diag into Windows.
Windows will check the computer for memory problems.


If using that much ram it sounds like you like to create sample instrument heavy projects. Upgrading to 32GB could help you.

However make sure you are using your ram optimally. For instance in Kontakt:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSfsOp9TfXE

In the last few months the Win10 updates to protect users against Spectre and Meltdown literally slowed down the CPUs by disabling some on chip memory performance features which could potentially leave a PC vulnerable to attack.
You can temporarily disable these workarounds with InSpectre.
https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm

Last edited by Softsynth; 02-20-2019 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggerdyret View Post
The PC is fairly old. I on't know how old exactly, since I build it out of used components, but my estimate would be 2013ish. The ram block are all corsair vengeance pro running at 2400mhz overclocked by the default XMP setting in the bios.
I don't experience any problems, but I have noticed my start up being a bit slower in the past few months.

I don't have reason to believe my ram is broken, but I do have reason to believe Reaper is pushing it beyond it's 16gb limit. So I don't think a memory test will give any more information, but I'll run one anyway.
You could have a ton of Microsoft crapwear / bloatware running in the background, there are several apps from reliable sources that will de-crap your computer.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tiggerdyret View Post
i7 4790k
16gb DDR3 ram
SSD Hardrive
My system is almost identical to yours with the exception I am using Win7 and a standard (5200 rpm) HDD. How many plugins are you running at any given time in a project?

I've only once experienced stuttering & crashing, and that was a certain VST32 plugin that was causing the problem, once I got rid of it, never had an issue since.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:30 AM   #7
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Indeed, a suspect plugin would be a highly likely culprit.
Try to find out if the projects become more stable by process of elimination.
Also:
https://support.native-instruments.c...dio-Processing
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:07 AM   #8
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I see.

The memory test didn't catch anything, so the ram should be fine.

I realize, I didn't define "stuttering". I'm not talking about the audio stuttering only the project actions like clicking a track, hitting play or opening an FX.

I also haven't been very sensible in my memory or cpu conservation, so I just added VSTIs willy nilly, which have gone alright in other projects of this size, but maybe I just got lucky and didn't use plugins that broke the limit. In my next project I will be more careful


I think that some of the plugin I use become unstable when the ram limit is pushed. I mainly use Omnisphere, Reaktor, Kontakt, Battery, BFD3 and Serum. Generally I stick with Stock or Komplete Bundle plugins and will only use Valhalla, Kush and Klanghelm plugins apart from those.
All of these are stable in small projects and I use them often.

I did find that a Reaktor ensemble called Seranade is extremely unstable but it didn't cause much trouble early in the writing process, when the project was smaller. Serenade also started deteriorating into komplete crackle, when on played a few times, so I render froze the and muted the originals. At this point I can't even render freeze 4 bars of one of my Serenade instances. That said I have these issues in other projects with no Serenade.

I also have had more issues since I started using Serum, which could be heavier than Ominsphere and Reaktor and give some explanation why i suddenly have issues.
Again these problems only arise in very large projects.

Is there a way to see number of fx in the project, so I can give you an estimation of the size?
I will have a look at the troubleshooting performance guide tomorrow, when I have time.

Last edited by Tiggerdyret; 02-20-2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:28 AM   #9
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What you are describing might hint at CPU load spikes, not memory limitations, or both.

It looks like you are pushing the memory limit with Kontakt samples and pushing CPU hungry VSTs. Some VSTs can look relatively light on CPU but have spikes of heavy CPU load.

Consider the Kontakt optimisations anyway. Also consider if you really need to have so many simultaneous tracks in a project if all the layers really benefit the music.
If you don't want to buy a more powerful PC or upgrade (and when you hit the limits of optimisations) consider rendering a partial sample instrument project as a wav file to use as a backing track then add the CPU intensive soft synths afterwards to a new project with just the wav and the soft synths loaded.

Of course you can freeze individual tracks too...

Last edited by Softsynth; 02-20-2019 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softsynth View Post
What you are describing might hint at CPU load spikes, not memory limitations, or both.

It looks like you are pushing the memory limit with Kontakt samples and pushing CPU hungry VSTs. Some VSTs can look relatively light on CPU but have spikes of heavy CPU load.

Consider the Kontakt optimisations anyway. Also consider if you really need to have so many simultaneous tracks in a project if all the layers really benefit the music.
If you don't want to buy a more powerful PC or upgrade (and when you hit the limits of optimisations) consider rendering a partial sample instrument project as a wav file to use as a backing track then add the CPU intensive soft synths afterwards to a new project with just the wav and the soft synths loaded.

Of course you can freeze individual tracks too...
Edit: I appreciate you taking the time to help me here

Considered
I did a lot of optimization yesterday, so it is bit hard to track the problems now that I use less performance power. But I will start to be more conservative with how I set up my tracks and fx chans.

I do find CPU load to be the problem a bit too hard to believe. This is still a very powerful PC, that kills any video game on the market. I had one spike that went up to 98% right after the project was opened, but all others were around 60%-80%. And the cpu averageing around 45% with many other browsers and a movie open, so it was on more load than when I usually work. But if the ram is bottlenecking the cpu while it's spiking, that could be an explanation. I know stuttering can be a symptom of ram or vram being too low in video games.

In the end the question is whether or not upgrading ram will help with the issues. DDR3 ram is hard to get a hold of and is pretty expensive given it's actual value. Any other upgrade would probably mean a completely new PC, which I can't afford.

Last edited by Tiggerdyret; 02-20-2019 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:08 AM   #11
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When was the last time you took the skins off the computer, blew out all the dust, checked the fans, etc?
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:09 AM   #12
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Hopefully you aren't running external video and browser software at the same time as running Reaper and judging performance on that? !
Your CPU is still highly capable for anything but absolute monster projects. Pros fork out £1000+ on CPUs and/or combine systems for reasons other than bragging rights.
https://www.scan.co.uk/products/inte...44-lane-165w-c

I've seen random problems occur in Reaper when CPU load gets up in the 80s, when coupled to high memory usage. The occasional performance spikes are the real killer, the average load is a rough guide and deceiving.
For me I woud generally have to be pushing the system for the hell of it for that to happen though.

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Old 02-20-2019, 10:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
When was the last time you took the skins off the computer, blew out all the dust, checked the fans, etc?
Two weeks ago
I also have a very good CPU heatsink with 2 120mm fans and 6 140mm case fans running at all times.

Last edited by Tiggerdyret; 02-20-2019 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Softsynth View Post
Hopefully you aren't running external video and browser software at the same time as running Reaper and judging performance on that? !
Your CPU is still highly capable for anything but absolute monster projects. Pros fork out £1000+ on CPUs and/or combine systems for reasons other than bragging rights.
https://www.scan.co.uk/products/inte...44-lane-165w-c

I've seen random problems occur in Reaper when CPU load gets up in the 80s, when coupled to high memory usage. The occasional performance spikes are the real killer, the average load is a rough guide and deceiving.
For me I woud generally have to be pushing the system for the hell of it for that to happen though.
No no, I just did a quick test and thought it might be interesting to see what happened if I pushed the system. But I do run with browsers and watch tutorials while I work sometimes.

From now on I'll use these method to optimize:
1. Render freeze track and throw the muted track into subprojects whereever possible.
2. Use the Kontakt trick you mentioned.
3. I can also layer 8 different synths in one instance of Omnisphere or Kontakt by routing midi channels 1-8 from other tracks into it.
4. Use fx busses whereever possible.
5. Generally keep heavy VSTis and FXs to a minimum.
6. I will never ever use less layers!! Layers is king and the best. It is at the core of all music and I would never compromise my creativity, good sir!

Last edited by Tiggerdyret; 02-20-2019 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:17 AM   #15
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...

6. I will never ever use less layers!! Layers is king and the best. It is at the core of all music and I would never compromise my creativity, good sir!
That's not the idea, just suggesting playing it a little smarter sometimes. Certainly not suggesting compromising quality, just the opposite!

Sometimes less is more. Tracks can sound cleaner when frequency ranges are not too cluttered AND the CPU and memory get a rest too, but whatever.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:20 AM   #16
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That's not the idea, just suggesting playing it a little smarter sometimes. Certainly not suggesting compromising quality, just the opposite!

Sometimes less is more. Tracks can sound cleaner when frequency ranges are not too cluttered AND the CPU and memory get a rest too, but whatever.
I was joking Hoped the emoticons would convey the irony, but it is always hard to get across in writing
Each of my songs seem to get more and more complex, while the steps getting there gets simpler and simpler. That is why I'm a bit weirded out, because I have had seemingly heavier projects, that didn't have these issues.

Last edited by Tiggerdyret; 02-20-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:26 AM   #17
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I was joking
Each of my songs seem to get more and more complex, while the steps getting there gets simpler and simpler. That is why I'm a bit weirded out, because I have had far heavier projects, that didn't have these issues.
Yeah, you could have hundreds of instances of Toda's synth1 without a system like yours breaking into a sweat, and yet you could have high voice count U-HE Diva polyphonic patches in the ultimate quality mode that push your PC to the brink in single figures. Chromaphone 1/2 are also capable of slapping a CPU around when employing pitch bend (apparently a single core performance issue - all those extra cores don't share the load).

The difference in CPU load between VSTs can be crazy. It can also depend on where a sound is in the mix whether highest quality modes are worth using. Sometimes worthwhile, other times a waste of CPU for no audible benefit, depending on the patch and place in a busy track.

Last edited by Softsynth; 02-20-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:01 AM   #18
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Thanks. I got a lot of good info form this thread to help med deal with these issues .

See you around
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:12 AM   #19
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Thanks. I got a lot of good info form this thread to help med deal with these issues .

See you around

Glad you found it useful.
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