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iMac and memory

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iMac and memory

Postby orgatrain » Thu May 19, 2011 10:36 am

Brett, Martin, on my iMAC something odd happened yesterday, I started with 4GB upgraded to 8GB, and had limited loading for the Exteneded Cav Coll last night I increased my memory to 16GB and it seems that the available GB on hauptwerk 4 indicator is stuck on 3.2 and it just seems like I cannot load even as much as I did when I had 8GB, I understand I need about 13GB to loaded the full extened samples set, However, it will only load at 16bit compressed with minimum samples and the stop actions sounds have to be at 14 bit....

any suggestions?
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Re: Johannus - Hauptwerk Interface

Postby mdyde » Thu May 19, 2011 10:55 am

Hello orgatrain,

(Previous forum topic split, since this doesn't relate directly to your Johannus, and moved here.)

Are you sure you're running 64-bit Hauptwerk? (Only 64-bit applications can use more than 4 GB.) You can check via 'Help | About Hauptwerk'.

If not, just re-run the Hauptwerk v4 installer and make sure that the 64-bit option is selected (it is by default) and leave all other options at their defaults too.
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby orgatrain » Thu May 19, 2011 11:19 am

I will certainly give it a shot,

My only concern is that you mentioned it is defaulted to that 64 bit selection and didn't work,

However, if it was working it would show more available GB in the upper right indicator with 16GB of memory in the system? (I know it would be a diff #, but certainly more than 3.2)
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby mdyde » Thu May 19, 2011 12:13 pm

Hello orgatrain,

My only concern is that you mentioned it is defaulted to that 64 bit selection and didn't work,


Yes - the default in Hauptwerk v4's installer is to install 64-bit, so you would only be running 64-bit Hauptwerk v4 if you had changed it from its default.

However, if it was working it would show more available GB in the upper right indicator with 16GB of memory in the system? (I know it would be a diff #, but certainly more than 3.2)


Yes - if your 16 GB of memory is installed and working properly, and if you're running 64-bit Hauptwerk, then you should see much more free memory than 3.2 GB when you launch Hauptwerk.

You can check whether the memory itself is installed/working properly via the Apple menu (top-left of the screen) then 'About this Mac'.
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby orgatrain » Fri May 20, 2011 9:50 am

That did it! Works now!

Thanks so much!
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby mdyde » Fri May 20, 2011 9:58 am

Thanks, orgatrain.

Glad it's working now.
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby AEK » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:21 am

Hello!
The problem with getting memory HW4 does exist and it is serious. Below I give some screenshots to show it. Need to do something to fix it or have to leave the MAC OS X and switch to the WIN. Have 16GB RAM 10GB is not normal. You lose all sense of HW Extended version :(

Image

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This is an example of HW4 on the same section iMAC Windose 7. Comment on the situation I think is not necessary.

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Best regard,
Andrey Korobov.
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby mdyde » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:00 am

Hello Andrey,

The problem with getting memory HW4 does exist and it is serious. Below I give some screenshots to show it. Need to do something to fix it or have to leave the MAC OS X and switch to the WIN. Have 16GB of RAM 10GB is not normal! -You lose all sense of Extended version


This is NOT a fault in Hauptwerk (either v4 or v3), or a fault in OS X. It's the way OS X is designed to work.

Exactly the same applied in Hauptwerk v3 as v4 but perhaps you wouldn't have noticed it so readily because v3 didn't show the 'free' memory estimate figure on its main window (only in its log file).

OS X allows its memory to be filled about 2/3 full before it will start mirroring memory to its page file. This has been covered in depth many, many times on the forum, for example recently here:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8725&p=63010#p63010

Here are some relevant on the subject of paging and how much memory can safely be used on OS X (and Windows):

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7189&p=50587#p50587
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6862&p=48762#p48775
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5100&p=35238#p35238

E.g.:

There are lots of previous posts covering how OS X works with regard to memory and paging. Searching for 'active' and 'page' finds quite a few, e.g. here are some of the more recent ones:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6419
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5100&p=35238
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4563&p=31355

Brief summary: OS X will allow an application to fill its memory up to about 2/3, then it will start preparing to page data out (mirroring it to disk), giving slow loading. As long as no other applications or background processes run, you won't necessarily get audio glitches beyond that point, but if they do then you probably will. So up to 2/3 is safe.

Windows works differently, and will sometimes (especially if it's a fairly clean Windows installation) allow an application to load more data into memory. As long as you don't get the Hauptwerk low-memory warning then no data should have been paged to disk. On my PC, I find that in practice (perhaps because it's no longer a clean Windows installation) that happens at around the 2/3 mark anyway.

However, if another application then runs on Windows, Windows might be more aggressive than OS X in trying to page Hauptwerk's memory out, and the resulting performance impact (e.g. audio glitches) can be worse than OS X (because OS X has already prepared itself to handle the eventuality by mirroring the data).

Hauptwerk actively tries to prevent Windows paging the data back out if you have the 'Keep sample set memory active' option ticked on the 'General settings | General options | Audio engine' screen tab (see on-screen question-mark help for that setting for more details).

Generally, on either Windows or OS X you should be fine as long as you don't ignore (or disable) Hauptwerk's low-memory warning, and (especially on Windows) as long as you don't then launch any other applications if you've nearly filled the memory.


The 2/3 'safe' limit is also covered in the Hauptwerk prerequisites and in the user guide.

Also, the 'free memory' value that Hauptwerk shows is also not the same as the free memory value that the operating system's Activity Monitor shows. Again, that is not a fault in Hauptwerk (v4 or v3) - Hauptwerk's free memory indicator is designed specifically to show the amount of free memory that's relevant to Hauptwerk, i.e. the amount that you can use safely without risk of performance issues.

Here is the description of what Hauptwerk 'RAM' and 'Free GB' values show from the Hauptwerk v4.0.0 user guide (page 127):

RAM - The meter shows the approximate amount of memory (RAM) in use by Hauptwerk, relative to the total amount usable safely on the computer for Hauptwerk and audio sample data before audio glitches (operating system paging of sample data) become likely. Red indicates likely audio/performance problems (try loading less ranks). Note: the meter doesn't show the same thing as operating system's overall installed/used RAM figures. Hauptwerk's RAM meter is specifically designed to show the risk of audio glitches.

Free GB - Displays how much free memory is left that could safely be used for audio sample data before audio glitches become likely.


On a clean Windows installation you might well be able to fill the memory more than 2/3 full, but my experience is that on a Windows installation that's used for anything other than Hauptwerk then it ends up not being that much different, and it's inadvisable to try to fill the memory on Windows anyway, since a background task or another application running on Windows can cause Windows to page Hauptwerk's data out suddenly, resulting in severe audio glitches in Hauptwerk. That shouldn't happen with OS X (assuming that the other application or background task doesn't try to use more than 1/3 of the physical memory, which is very unlikely).

Both OS X and Windows memory managers have their advantages and disadvantages (OS X's is more resilient against paging and audio glitches in general use, Windows' might allow a bit more physical memory to be used if it's a clean Windows installation). The 2/3 limit on OS X is just something you need to be aware of.
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Martin.

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Re: iMac and memory

Postby AEK » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:33 am

Thank you, Martin. What you say but clearly not happy .... :(
If you dare to question are chosen for high-quality sound system what would be your choice - MAC OS or WIN 7? :D
And in what order do you recommend to use parameters with minimal loss of sound quality from the download menu sample?

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Re: iMac and memory

Postby mdyde » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:08 am

Hello Andrey,

If you dare to question are chosen for high-quality sound system what would be your choice - MAC OS or WIN 7?


I personally use Macs running OS X, except when I need to develop and test on Windows, in which case I boot my Macs into Windows under Boot Camp.

My experience is that Macs running OS X provide a robust, almost compatibility issue-free, glitch-free platform for audio/MIDI that works and performs superbly 'out of the box' and remains that way, without any customisation, tweaking, maintenance or other technical intervention usually needed on the part of the user, since they're designed as a unit to achieve that.

PCs and Windows can of course perform just as well, but you might or might not need some technical experience, tweaking, troubleshooting, etc., to achieve it since generic PCs and Windows aren't normally designed or tested for reliable 'pro-audio'/MIDI performance. (If you buy a PC from a specialist company that makes, tests and installs PCs specifically for audio/MIDI/Hauptwerk then of course that should be fine because they should have ensured that everything's compatible and set up as necessary.)

And in what order do you recommend to use parameters with minimal loss of sound quality from the download menu sample?


Some general background information and recommendations can be found in the 'Loading organs' section of the user guide (pages 75-77 in the v4.0.0 guide).

People have individual preferences for how to load ranks within a certain amount of memory, and it will also depend on the nature of the sample set (wet/dry, etc.).

My personal preference for a wet set would be first to load with all default options (stereo, 16-bit, compressed, all attack+release samples, all loops, full release samples).

If there's still plenty of free memory, try 20-bit or 24-bit (might give less hiss in release tails for large wet sets), but the difference in hiss between 20-bit and 24-bit is probably extremely minor, so 20-bit is a good choice.

There's almost never any benefit in turning off memory compression, since it's entirely loss-less (no loss of audio quality at all). Memory compression typically saves 35-45% of memory and only reduces polyphony by about 10%, so I would always recommend keeping memory compression turned on (as it is by default).

If there isn't enough memory to load the sample set with all default rank options (stereo, 16-bit, compressed, all attack+release samples, all loops, full release samples) then my personal preference would be to try disabling rank features one-by-one until it fits, in the following order:

1. Multiple attack samples (except Salisbury, which needs them for tremulants).
2. Multiple loops.
3. Disable some ranks completely.

(Using mono or release truncation or disabling multiple release samples will have a big effect on the sound, so my preference is to avoid them.)

Hope that helps.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: iMac and memory

Postby AEK » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:10 pm

Thanks for the detailed advice, Martin. Returning to the question about memory allocation in the MAC OS. Maybe it makes sense to use the program, HW, as one of the options ( enable / disable in the settings ) a mechanism for allocating memory, not only from the pool of "REAL" memory, but also from a pool of VM memory. Under favorable and controlled situations it will significantly expand the ability of users with limited RAM.
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Re: iMac and memory

Postby mdyde » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:09 pm

Hello Andrey,

Returning to the question about memory allocation in the MAC OS. Maybe it makes sense to use the program, HW, as one of the options ( enable / disable in the settings ) a mechanism for allocating memory, not only from the pool of "REAL" memory, but also from a pool of VM memory. Under favorable and controlled situations it will significantly expand the ability of users with limited RAM.


That isn't feasible, I'm afraid (on OS X or Windows) - on modern operating systems (including OS X and Windows) virtual memory is a superset of physical memory and the operating decides which portions of virtual memory are held in physical memory at any given moment in time, which portions are held (only) in the page file, and which portions are mirrored in both simultaneously.

Data that aren't in physical memory can't be read sufficiently quickly from hard-disk to achieve the very high polyphony that's needed for modelling pipe organs, so only the data that are in physical memory are useful.

Hence you are inherently limited by the amount of physical memory (about 2/3 of it for sample data in practice, on OS X at least).

Sorry - that isn't something that we can change.
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Martin.

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