Project using heaps of RAM

I have a project that, according to the VST Audio Engine in Activity Monitor, is using almost 10GB of RAM on my MacBook Pro that has 16GB of RAM.

All VST instruments have been removed, it’s 10 bars long, and it’s still glacially slow - even after a restart. Just closing the project took over a minute.

Test.dorico (3.8 MB)

The Diagnostics Report is 6.8MB. Can someone tell me the best way to make it available?


Oh and also, this is only an excerpt from a bigger file with 6 flows that takes up about 17GB of RAM on my 16GB Mac. So, hopefully if I can find a fix from this test project then I will be able to sort out the main project…

For me, it takes only a few seconds to close and a freshly launched Dorico uses 900 Mb of RAM with it open.

However, I’ve re-saved it using the Silence Playback Template, and it’s much smaller, which suggests there was some residual playback data.

Test.dorico (1.3 MB)

Do you have loads of VSTs?

Also, I’m wondering whether “Full Score (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy)” is significant of anything…

Some of the playback/VST data will probably still be resident in memory until the file is closed - which is why it sometimes takes a long time to close a file, as it’s free’ing all that memory - so if you want to test whether playback is involved then you’ll need to remove the VSTs (or apply the Silence template), then save, then reopen.

As with Ben, I find that your project opens fine for me.

Thanks for the messages @Richard_Lanyon and @benwiggy.

So, I had a big version with lots of VSTs (that I referred to in my second post). Then, exported the flow and deleted all the VSTs, intentionally not using the Silence template. That is the project I originally attached.

I restarted my whole system several times and the issue persisted.

Regarding applying the Silence template and reapplying my current template: I’m not really confident doing this as I haven’t done it before. I just have a standard project that I begin all work from.

Is there any easy way to save the settings that the attached project uses (with all VSTs deleted) for me to reapply?

I had about 5 Kontakt instances with about 5 instruments in each, plus the standard Dorico ones for everything else. I removed all of them before posting.

The “copy copy…” was just because I had several flows and I wanted to have separate layouts for each to make editing more efficient. I just couldn’t be bothered renaming it lol

Sorry for joining the party late and thanks for the test project.
Sure, the project loads fine but also with me already just the audio engine uses around 6GB of RAM.
So unpacking the project file and looking at the audio engine part, that project creates 48 HALion Sonic and 55 Kontakt instance and hundreds of channels, so yes, no wonder that so much RAM gets eaten up.
Now comes the important question, where do all those instances come from. I think the (copy)(copy)… is indeed significant might be the key to it.
We had already in the past reports with similar issues, but could never reproduce such behaviour on our developers’ machine, therefore never managed to fix it.
Daniel, how did you do that copying?

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Hi Ulf,

Thanks for joining the party.

Multiples of “copy” in the Layout name were simply due to the fact that I originally had 6 flows and I wanted to have a separate layout for each while working. When I created a new flow, I would just copy the previous layout and then deactivate the unnecessary flow. And then I didn’t rename them. I exported one of the lasts flows for this test and, of course, it had a million “copy” in it.

I think I have narrowed down the issue a bit. Should I just describe my findings here or PM you?

You can go on writing here about it. Probably even better here in the public forum, because then also Steinberg-Daniel gets informed straight away.
So please report further in every detail you can.
Thanks a lot

Hi Ulf,

I have managed to be able to reproduce a crash where the VST Audio Engine quits. Hopefully it has something to do with my issue.

  1. Activate Iconica Sketch, HSO, HALion Sonic Sel., Olympus, GASE Playback Template
  2. Create a new VST using Kontakt 7
  3. Load a Multi into the Kontakt instance (a Multi, not just an Instrument)

= VST Audio Engine quits

Hopefully you have access to Kontakt 7… if not, don’t worry about it.

Test 2.dorico (1.3 MB) (351.7 KB)
Dropbox link to Diagnostics Report

I hope that I have set up the permissions for the Dropbox link correctly. @Ulf, I will email directly to you anyway as I have to go to bed!

Also, before reducing the project size to upload, and while I still had 2-3 Kontakt instances loaded:

When I saved an Endpoint in which I had about 4 instruments linked, I checked it out in the Playback Template dialog and somehow there were about 40 or so instruments assigned to it (or a whole orchestra) that were not listed in it when saving.

It might end up that we need to see the project that you are using to define the endpoint. What is important is not so much how many players/instruments there are in the project, as how many endpoints and plugins there are - for example, deleting an instrument won’t necessarily get rid of all the playback infrastructure that was previously used to play it. This means (as I understand it) that if you use a project with a lot of “stale” playback data to capture an endpoint configuration, then that configuration will also have all the same stale data.

Should I wait until [someone] tells me to send it? Or are you telling me to send it? It will have to get emailed.

After some more testing I have realised that I can also reproduce the VST Audio Engine crash using a new project.

If anyone out there has Kontakt 7, would you mind trying the steps I’ve listed?

I think I’ve found a solution… I don’t want to say “solved a problem”…

First: I updated Kontakt 7 and it solved the engine crashing.

Second: there were approximately 15 instruments in the project, all being sent to a variety of 4 Kontakt instances: Guitars, Keys and Drums, Unpitched Perc. and World Perc. (The remaining instruments e.g. strings, WW, brass were all going to Halion).

When I created and applied my custom Playback Template, there would actually be more instances than the four. I think there must have been some confusion with Endpoint Setups because some instruments were using old/deleted Endpoint Setups and were going to duplicate instances, whilst others were going to the intended instance. e.g. I had Congas going to one instance and Gourd going to a different instance with the name of an old Endpoint, when they should have been in the same one.

The other factor that makes me think this, is that in my Original/larger project, all these Kontakt instruments were able to be controlled individually at the Mixer and multi-output wasn’t actually activated in any of the instances. Would this indicate multiple instances?

I removed and recreated all instruments that were intended for Kontakt, created new Endpoint Setups, enabled multi-channel output, and it seems to have solved the problem: my RAM is now down to 5.8GB.

Anyways, sorry for all of the posts and details. If anyone has anything else to add or needs any old files, I’ve kept them for reference.

Hi Daniel, but 5.8 GB is still quite a lot of memory in use. Can you send me that now project file? If not publicly, you can also send via private message if you prefer.

And I still don’t understand the copy process that you described earlier. I can duplicate flows in the Setup mode, but not copy. So what are the exact steps you are taking to “copy” layouts or flows?

I will send through project as soon as I can.

I duplicated the flows by right-clicking and then selecting Duplicate flow. This didn’t duplicate any Layouts, as expected.

Then, I duplicated the Full Score layout by right-clicking and selecting Duplicate layout.

Then, I deactivated any flows that I didn’t want in each layout.

The first layout was named “Full Score”, the second: “Full Score (copy)”, the third: “Full Score (copy) (copy)”… etc

It’s just the Layout that has “copy” in its name because I duplicated the Full Score layout several times and I didn’t bother renaming each to which flow that they contained.

The flow that my uploaded project contained happened to be one of the final flows which had a heap of “copy”s in the Layout name.

Hi @DanielMuzMurray , thank you very much for the now project. So that one is down now to 4 HALion Sonic and 4 Kontakt instances. This seems reasonable and as expected.
However, taking your steps of duplicating flows and layouts with an own project, I still can not reproduce this issue of bloating audio engine data. Can you reproduce it again?

Hi @Ulf,

I haven’t really had time to try and reproduce it in the last 24 hours, I’ve been trying to actually work :joy: I’m not certain if this issue happened as I added flows. It seemed to just slow up all of a sudden.

I can send you my original file if that helps? The one that was using 16+GB of RAM on my 16GB machine?

Sure, you also need to pay your bills and can’t spend endless amounts of time on reproducing it. So I appreciate any minute you can spend on reproducing the bloating issue. But if you can’t you can’t, that’s how it is.
Unfortunately, your original file won’t help me either, because there I can only see the status how it is, but not how it got there.
Still, thank you very much for all your effort on this.