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How much RAM? DAW Software
Old 6th January 2017
  #1
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How much RAM?

Is 16 really that much better than 8gb? I know it depends on what you're recording and how much effects. I'm doing basic stuff. Guitar bass drums vocals. Sometimes a couple guitars and keys plus BVs. Nothing outrageous. Just delay verb EQ limiter compression. If I add a midi piano I record it to an audio track.
Old 6th January 2017
  #2
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If your not using virtual instruments or lots of plugins 8 is more than fine. It's nice to have overhead just in case but for your particular needs it's not vital. I have heard though some people on this board claim that Logic on a Mac wasn't running that great with even 16gb but I can't confirm that since I'm on PC.
Old 6th January 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven62 View Post
Is 16 really that much better than 8gb? I know it depends on what you're recording and how much effects. I'm doing basic stuff. Guitar bass drums vocals. Sometimes a couple guitars and keys plus BVs. Nothing outrageous. Just delay verb EQ limiter compression. If I add a midi piano I record it to an audio track.
Plugins use very very little ram. Recording Audio files does not use much memory either. You need lots of ram for samples. 16 is a good start. 32 if you use vienna or crazy big sample libs.

Rule of thumb is look at the size of your sample libraries and you need about 1/2 that much ram to be safe. Consider most good sample engines will cache samples. Most will not load samples you don't use. This saves a lot of memory. If you have a sample lib that is 16 gig, you are not going to use every sample velocity of every patch. So 8 gig will be fine. Also consider windows uses a couple gig
Old 6th January 2017
  #4
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TechKlutz's Avatar
7 years ago I made music on my PC with only 4GB of RAM and it was fine, I still had a few spare gigs left. Then I got a new machine with 8GB of RAM, I loaded more VSTs and plugins and samples into my DAW, couldn't even get past 3GB. Now I'm sitting on 16GB of RAM, I'm thinking about what I have to do to use all of them. I've never gone past 4GB of RAM unless I do a mixing with a lot of high bit rate audio tracks. So yeah, samples eat most of your RAM.
8GB for basic stuff is plenty.
Old 6th January 2017
  #5
Gear Guru
 

I will go against the grain here with a longer view. Keep in mind every year, software gets greedier and greedier. This is an inevitable trend that will not stop any time in the foreseeable future.

What was once "plenty" of RAM on a computer when I bought it, sooner or later becomes 'just enough' RAM and eventually becomes "not enough" RAM. If I keep a computer long enough, I end up adding RAM to it to keep it going with 'modern' stuff. That's not just an audio software thing, either.

Today, Pro Tools insists 8 gigs as their minimum and 'recommends' 16. It seems like only yesterday it was 4 and 8. That's just the DAW, never mind if you have something else going on. Other software may be more efficient, but the principle does not really change.

My experience is the opposite of TechKlutz's. In my view, you will not be looking back 5 years from now and saying "I never should have put that extra RAM in my computer". In the larger scheme of things, it is one of the minor expenses.
Old 6th January 2017
  #6
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TechKlutz's Avatar
I was just telling my story, I didn't say you shouldn't add more RAM into your machine, quite the contrary, if you can afford it, more RAM never hurts. RAM is quite cheap today.
Old 6th January 2017
  #7
Gear Addict
8GB is recommended for most DAWs. Depending on the motherboard or operating system you may be limited to 32GB. Modern virtual instruments can utilize 128GB+. If you're running a desktop PC, I'd recommend 16GB since going from 8 to 16 would cost less than $25 and will make your system feel a lot quicker handling multiple apps.
Old 6th January 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
If your not using virtual instruments or lots of plugins 8 is more than fine. It's nice to have overhead just in case but for your particular needs it's not vital. I have heard though some people on this board claim that Logic on a Mac wasn't running that great with even 16gb but I can't confirm that since I'm on PC.
Logic works great with 16 gigs for me. I don't really use huge sample libraries though.
Old 6th January 2017
  #9
I would say to anyone, to simply take a look at how much ram you're actually currently using, and then decide if you then need more.

I have 48 GB ram in my latest PC, so far my actual ram usage is about 5 GB +. But I haven't done much work on this PC yet, so it's hard to tell how much I'll end up using in future projects. For what I do, I doubt I'd ever use anywhere near 16 GB of ram.
Old 6th January 2017
  #10
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old ghost's Avatar
 

I went with 32, I use lots of samples. Ram is cheap enough that I figured why not since I could. Didn't want to be buying it all again later.
Old 6th January 2017
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Fogal View Post
I would say to anyone, to simply take a look at how much ram you're actually currently using, and then decide if you then need more.
This.

Only when using samples a lot, you need to consider 32GB or more. 8GB is enough for small songs, 16 is a standard nowadays on new systems which gives plenty headroom for most professionals who do mainly recording/mixing.
Old 6th January 2017
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by old ghost View Post
I went with 32, I use lots of samples. Ram is cheap enough that I figured why not since I could. Didn't want to be buying it all again later.
That's why I got a PC with 48 GB ram (great deal on the PC is another reason), although I'm not anywhere near breaking 8 GB ram myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
This.

Only when using samples a lot, you need to consider 32GB or more. 8GB is enough for small songs, 16 is a standard nowadays on new systems which gives plenty headroom for most professionals who do mainly recording/mixing.
Even though I'm using very little ram in my main PC (a little more than 5 GBso far), I wouldn't have less than 8 GB, but I'd prefer the 16 GB for the halibut, and especially considering that I have not yet installed many 3rd party VSTi's in this PC, so I don't know how much ram I'll be consuming in the future. I only have 48 GB now because the deal on this latest PC came with that amount, otherwise it's absurd for my needs.
In my current project, I switched from Cubase's VSTi drums, to replacing it with Toontrack Superior drum VSTi I installed recently, surprisingly my ram usage has not gone up.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 6th January 2017 at 05:53 PM..
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