The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Sonar Users . . . Question
Old 11th January 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Sonar Users . . . Question

Let me get this straight. I'm trying to figure out the best configuration to run for Sonar until this 64-bit issue blows over (drivers, plugins, etc)
I've broken this down into three categories:

A. Windows x64, Sonar 32-bit:

1. 4GB RAM Limit
2. DX & DXI Plugins work ( right? Shouldn't they work under Sonar 32-bit?)
3. No Rewire (since rewire is still 32-bit)

B. Windows x64, Sonar 64-bit:

1. 128GB RAM Limit
2. VST Plugins Only, Via Bit-Bridge (which I've hear is shaky)
3. No DX & DXi Plugins
4. No Rewire (since rewire is still 32-bit)

C. Windows x86, Sonar 32-bit

1. 2 GB RAM Limit (possibly 3.5 using RAM switch?)
2. All Plugins work
3. Rewire Works

Am I correct in this assessment? Which one have/would you choose? I'm thinking the A. Windows x64, Sonar 32-bit is the best option for right now. At least all the DX versions of plugins should work well and I can use 4GB of RAM. I can sacrifice the rewire usage even though I love synching Reason to Sonar.

What do you think?
Old 11th January 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 

If you're sure that the 64-bit drivers for your drive controllers, soundcards, etc. are stable and you don't need much in the way of supporting applications, then maybe run Windows x64.

I wouldn't do it myself. I've had a hard enough time getting a mature 32-bit system stable. Just make sure you get a processor that can run 64 bit and run 32 bit until the driver situation is stable and apps have been running for a while. SONAR can use the 64-bit audio engine on 32 bit systems. It still has enough juice to do anything I want it to do, but your needs may differ. I use a modest number of plugs, but I compose as I record so the track count with all the takes can get very high. I think your disk subsystem would probably crap out before the memory or processor, then processor, then memory. That's been my experience anyway, but I freeze tracks with lots of plugs when I'm done with them, so they don't suck resources.

I was also under the impression that 32 bit systems had access to 4GB of RAM. 2 GB for the kernel and 2 for apps, maybe that's what you mean. But, maybe the hardware gurus around here will speak up about that.
Old 11th January 2007
  #3
Quote:
I wouldn't do it myself. I've had a hard enough time getting a mature 32-bit system stable
amen to that. i'll be sticking with my fully functioning sonar 32bit system probably til i'm forced to move on. i'm not really interested in beta testing new technology, i'd rather record music.
Old 11th January 2007
  #4
Gear Head
 

Why 64bit?

What is the advantage of upgrading to 64bit? It seems like such a headache, there must be something fundamentally better about 64bit to justify the pain.
Old 11th January 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
 
CoteRotie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaulJones View Post
What is the advantage of upgrading to 64bit? It seems like such a headache, there must be something fundamentally better about 64bit to justify the pain.

Just that the processor is moving bigger chunks of data at a time and therefore is more efficient. You theoretically should be able to run the same projects with more plugs or lower CPU load or perhaps lower latency. There's some argument about how much difference it will make, but Cakewalk has some test data to show that in the case of SONAR it's significant. Also the 64 bit versions of Windows can address a whole pile of RAM (128 Gig) where the 32 bit versions are limited to about 4 Gig.


Regards,

John
Old 11th January 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaulJones View Post
What is the advantage of upgrading to 64bit? It seems like such a headache, there must be something fundamentally better about 64bit to justify the pain.
64 bit OS/application or 64 bit audio engine? -- two different, completely independent options.


You can, of course, run the 32 bit OR the 64 bit audio engine at your discretion (it's a software switch, turn it on, close Sonar and reopen it, and you're in the new mode). As noted, there appear to be some compatability issues with some plugs running with the 64 bit audio engine option.


A much different can of worms: if you have a 64 bit CPU and a 64 bit version of Windows, you can run the version of Sonar compiled for 64 bit Windows (and included 'for free' on the program install disks).

Now, whichever OS (32 or 64) you're running, you have your choice of audio engines. But I suspect that most folks with 64 bit systems will be running the 64 bit version of Sonar's audio engine.

The 64 bit audio engine running in Win32 uses what is called "double precision math" -- essentially using TWO memory addresses conjoined to represent the double length digital word. There is presumably a small bit of processing overhead for this trickery but double precision math is an established technique much used in the last 20 years and is relatively efficient. Obviously, though, RAM consumption essentially doubles for any given audio data.

The 64 bit version of Windows allows you to address a much, much larger amount of system RAM (if available). [A 64 bit OS can theoretically address up to 16 terabytes of memory. (You'll want to look for THAT at discount. heh ) ] And, of course, it addresses 64 bit digital words, so no double precsion trickery is necessary.


BTW Windows 32 bit can address up to 4 GB of memory, not two: http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=69 (The 2 GB "limit" is incorrect sinformation I see regularly repeated by partisans of different platforms; I suspect it dates back to machines from the dawn of the Win2K/XP era around 2000, which often were physically limited to 2 GB of RAM.)
Old 11th January 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
64 bit OS/application or 64 bit audio engine? -- two different, completely independent options.

I should have specified the audio engine running in 64-bit. That additional memory overhead is required when running the 64-bit audio engine in win32 is good to know.
Other than the increase in maximum memory, does running the 64-bit audio engine on a 64-bit OS have any advantages such as more headroom, better summing math, or faster performance?
Old 11th January 2007
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaulJones View Post
I should have specified the audio engine running in 64-bit. That additional memory overhead is required when running the 64-bit audio engine in win32 is good to know.
Other than the increase in maximum memory, does running the 64-bit audio engine on a 64-bit OS have any advantages such as more headroom, better summing math, or faster performance?
As I understand it, the primary advantage is simply speed of processing the 64 bit math. Since the 64 bit digital words (a single numeric value, the more bits, the higher the precision [analogous to more places 'behind' the decimal in a crude sense]) require no special processing to "fit" in the physical memory.

I am, however, told that this processing overhead incurred in running the 64 bit audio engine in Win32 is fairly minimal and that the main place it will impact you is simply in the size of RAM consumed (since each value will take twice as much RAM, in essence).


Since it's simply a software configuration switch in Sonar, you can easily experiment with it yourself on your current 32 bit system. (Assuming you have Sonar 5 or later.) The switch is a checkbox in Audio Options. You'll have to close sonar and open it again. (You don't have to reboot the OS or anything.) So you could, if you wanted, switch back and forth to work on different projects.

How noticeable is the diff between the 32 bit audio engine and the 64 bit one?

Accoring to some, it's somewhat noticeable. (But we all know how hard it is to quantify these subjective judgements. Make that impossibe.) Certainly, it might take a very large project with a lot of tracks or processing in order for the difference to be evident in many cases, since 32 bit processing affords fairly accurate processing math which may be sufficient for small or moderate projects where a lot of mixing/processing is not required.)
Old 11th January 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

My post is strictly about the 32-bit platform vs. 64-bit. I'm not concerned about the entirely different issue of the 64-bit audio engine.

My main question is if anybody is running 32-bit Sonar inside of 64-bit Windows and whether or not they've had any issues. I use the E-mu 1212M, and it has 64-bit drivers so I'm not concerned about the drivers so much. I am however concerned about the plugins. And I really want to know if BFD, NI, Spectra, UAD, Voxengo and other plugins are working within this format. And the main advatage I'm looking for is access to more RAM.

Any takers?
Old 12th January 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
taturana's Avatar
i still use sonar in winxp (32-bit) with 2 gb of ram, but it can support up tp 4gb ram, that said, it runs real smooth, and i'll wait a while before changing to a 64bit OS... right now it is probably full of bugs and incompatibilities... i'll wait for them to sort out the issues before making the jump...
Old 12th January 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 

32 bit windows works for me but I don't do my mixing in Sonar, just composing and maybe recording
Old 14th January 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
mr. moon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bionic brown View Post
My post is strictly about the 32-bit platform vs. 64-bit. I'm not concerned about the entirely different issue of the 64-bit audio engine.

My main question is if anybody is running 32-bit Sonar inside of 64-bit Windows and whether or not they've had any issues. I use the E-mu 1212M, and it has 64-bit drivers so I'm not concerned about the drivers so much. I am however concerned about the plugins. And I really want to know if BFD, NI, Spectra, UAD, Voxengo and other plugins are working within this format. And the main advatage I'm looking for is access to more RAM.

Any takers?
That's me, running 32-bit SONAR (64-bit engine enabled within SONAR) in Win64 Pro....

I have found Win64 to be more stable overall on my system than WinXP Pro and all the legacy Cakewalk plugins work flawlessly as do all 3rd party plugins I've tried and/or use as my "go-to" plugs ...which include the Voxengo mixing suite, mastering suite, and analog flux suite, the Waves SSL 4000 suite, and many freeware VSTs, too many to list here. SONAR also runs faster on my system under Win64 than it did in WinXP pro, but that seems to depend on your platform and system specs quite a bit.

I have not had any issues, probably due to the stable 64-bit drivers that RME have provided and continue to update monthly, on average, and due to the speed of my system (see my system specs listed in my signature). I have tried running SONAR 64-bit, but it killed many of the old legacy Cakewalk plugs that I still use to this day, so I decided to not use it until such a time that they will either work in SONAR64, or I can find replacements which achieve the same sound.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Win64 can make use of 128 GB of RAM, regardless of the version of SONAR that is running on the system. I don't believe that SONAR limits the OS to a lower RAM limit as suggested in your original post in your configuration "A", however, I could be wrong...

Please feel free to ask any specific questions you may have about my rig, and I'll try to answer as best I can.

-mr moon


<><><><><><><><>
Intel Core 2 Duo e6600
ASRocks 775Dual-VSTA
2 GB Corsair XMS DDR
RME FireFace 800
Sonar 6.01 PE
Old 14th January 2007
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. moon View Post
That's me, running 32-bit SONAR (64-bit engine enabled within SONAR) in Win64 Pro....

I have found Win64 to be more stable overall on my system than WinXP Pro and all the legacy Cakewalk plugins work flawlessly as do all 3rd party plugins I've tried and/or use as my "go-to" plugs ...which include the Voxengo mixing suite, mastering suite, and analog flux suite, the Waves SSL 4000 suite, and many freeware VSTs, too many to list here. SONAR also runs faster on my system under Win64 than it did in WinXP pro, but that seems to depend on your platform and system specs quite a bit.

I have not had any issues, probably due to the stable 64-bit drivers that RME have provided and continue to update monthly, on average, and due to the speed of my system (see my system specs listed in my signature). I have tried running SONAR 64-bit, but it killed many of the old legacy Cakewalk plugs that I still use to this day, so I decided to not use it until such a time that they will either work in SONAR64, or I can find replacements which achieve the same sound.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Win64 can make use of 128 GB of RAM, regardless of the version of SONAR that is running on the system. I don't believe that SONAR limits the OS to a lower RAM limit as suggested in your original post in your configuration "A", however, I could be wrong...

Please feel free to ask any specific questions you may have about my rig, and I'll try to answer as best I can.
Hey Mr. Moon!

Thank you for this information. This helps me out a lot.

2 questions:

1. Are you using DX plugins and are they working? (I heard that they work under Sonar 32-bit/Win64)

and

2. Does Rewire work using the Sonar 32-bit client?


My concern about the RAM is based on the understanding that since Sonar is 32-bit, it can only address 4GB of RAM, even if you have 8GB installed under Win64. Am I off on this assessment?
Old 14th January 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
mr. moon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bionic brown View Post
Hey Mr. Moon!

Thank you for this information. This helps me out a lot.

2 questions:

1. Are you using DX plugins and are they working? (I heard that they work under Sonar 32-bit/Win64)
No problemo...

DX plugs work in SONAR32 under Win64? ...Yes, which is one of the main reasons why I decided to stick with the 32-bit version myself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bionic brown View Post

2. Does Rewire work using the Sonar 32-bit client?
I don't use rewire, so I cannot answer this one for you, sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bionic brown View Post

My concern about the RAM is based on the understanding that since Sonar is 32-bit, it can only address 4GB of RAM, even if you have 8GB installed under Win64. Am I off on this assessment?
Hmmmm, I don't know how SONAR addresses (no pun intended) higher amounts of memory when installed on Win64. Maybe you could post your questions up on the SONAR forum and see what kind of responses you get? I know for a fact that the SONAR develpoers read and respond to posts there, so that may be the best place to get the most accurate answer to this question and your rewire question.

Good luck!

-mr moon
Old 14th January 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post

BTW Windows 32 bit can address up to 4 GB of memory, not two: http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=69 (The 2 GB "limit" is incorrect sinformation I see regularly repeated by partisans of different platforms; I suspect it dates back to machines from the dawn of the Win2K/XP era around 2000, which often were physically limited to 2 GB of RAM.)
Hi, whilst 32 bit Windows can use in totality up to 4Gb, there are limitations to this, and that is why 2Gb is often mentioned (by myself included).....

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system...AE/PAEmem.mspx

Old 14th January 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

bionic brown,

The official word from Steinberg is that 32 bit Cubase running in XP64 will be able to address the full 4Gb 32 bit limit, leaving the rest to the OS.

This is already better than XP 32 bit. I'd imagine Sonar 32 bit will have the same XP64 RAM "boost" or "limitation" depending on what way you look at it.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
lord_bunny / Cakewalk Sonar
2
tone4407 / Rap + Hip Hop Engineering and Production
1
borism / Music Computers
4
Mr. Friend / Music Computers
3

Forum Jump
Forum Jump