More Ram Needed?


I have been asked to score a Hans Zimmer style 3 minute piece. I have an i5 8gb ram, Cubase7 64 bit.

After loading in 4 patches in omnisphere, and perhaps 10 patches in Kontakt 5 (including Cinematic Strings - very power hungry, cinebrass, cineperc and a few others), the performance meter at some points goes up to 80%-90%, even after I have bounced the omnisphere tracks to an audio track and turned the VST off, and the sample buffer set to 1024

I noticed the CPU usage is around 55%.

The result is either lost samples and/or glitchy sounds.

My question is, would it be worth upgrading to 16 gb ram (the most my motherboard will take)? On researching this I have read that extra ram wont make any difference. What`s the real answer from the pros?

Many thanks!

Have you looked at task manager to see how much ram you are actually using?

There are some ideas for improving Kontakt performance here:

Thanks for the link.

Task manager…
Total : 8183
cached : 4676
Available : 4686
free :42

Forgive me - its not CPU USAGE - Its PHYSICAL MEMORY that`s going up to 55%, CPU only goes to 23%

the available amount is big enough 4,6GB, it’s almost 50%, are you sure the vsti’s are 64bit?

Yes they are 64bit - what am I missing?

Tried dis-abling ASIO Guard?

All I can think off is that the plugins needs better tweaking, so have you followed the link posted earlier?
I do not own kontakt but I do onw halion 5 and there are settings to cope with less memory but also settings ideal if you have large amounts of memory.

Anyway seeing your figures made me think that the vsti’s aren’t using all the available memory.

Ive just got in from work so Im curious to use the link kindly provided by Grim. I`ll report back…

x64 means 64 bit right?

It does indeed, yes…

ok then, I`m not going mad just yet. I have changed the settings in Kontakt to use 4 out of 4 cores (it was set to “off”), and the performance meter in Cubase was hovering between 50% and 75%, CPU usage 15% and physical memory 60%, available memory was 3.2gb

With 4 cores selected the performance meter in cubase was hovering around 25%, but the other readings were the same.

What`s going on?

ok I`ll give it a go

It`s dropped the performance meter by about 3%-5%, task manager still says physical memory 60%. Is this ok?

you may need more ram… i discovered this last week running omniphere, albion spitfire and other VIs. the cpu was ok in task manager but ram was breaking into 8.9 - 9.5gig region. omnispere did flag up a message saying not enough memory to access. suppose it depends on size of patches you are loading. spitfire was using 1.5gig on its own!!( orchestral patch)

When you’re running serious orchestral mockups, you definitely need lots of RAM and a fast internal SATAIII drive to stream from (no way something like an Ivory II piano can run smoothly from an external USB drive.) I would say that 16gb is the bare minimum, but nowadays with the insane libraries we use, 32gb is the standard (and if I had to get a new master machine, I’d definitely go for 64.) Also, if you want a very detailed template with max realism, a single computer won’t do and you’ll need a VEP network.

I thought as much. I ordered 16gb of ram yesterday so hopefully it will at least take up some of the load. Its arriving today so Ill report back with an update. I dont mind working on the synths and bouncing those down once Ive finished tinkering with them - but when youre building the orchestra its very annoying for the pc to start throwing a tantrum.

Just one more question…if I did the project in 16bit as opposed to 24bit/32bit would that make any difference?

Ram has arrived and pluggin in. The performance meter in Cubase isn`t even moving now and the physical memory has gone from 60% to 30%. I should be able to work with this, for a while anyway.

Thanks for all your help, I just need £3000 for the pc I really want!


…and when you attempt to follow the footsteps of the likes of Hans Zimmer, you will have to expand your pocket box. :laughing:

I would suggest that you keep your existing PC as a master, and get the most powerful PC you can as your slave machine–connected via VE Pro, putting all (or most of) the burden of VSTi’s on the new one. Also think of an array of SSD’s if you use speed-hungry libraries. That will be an excellent starting point, which can handle your needs for much longer than you can imagine.

Good luck.

+1. Omnisphere is especially taxing once you load a bunch of patches. I am luckily having good results streaming bigger libraries from an external USB 3 drive. But if you go that route, make sure it’s 7200rpm, not 5200 like most of the externals out there.

And as Papi mentioned, VEPro is a very good investment for any film composer.