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Topic: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

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  1. #1

    Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    So this is the beginning of Ram drives technologies accessible to us for a reasonable price.

    (See : http://www.northernsounds.com/ubb/NonCGI/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=006851 )

    I was thinking :

    We can use that kind of ‘non volatile ram’ to put an OS on it.

    But also as a document drive.

    Like any drive...

    We know that our samplers need to load a part (the beginning part) of a sample before the stream, to get a usable latency, I presume. (For GS this part represent the first ¼ second of each samples, I believe).

    So If we could put that necessary ‘loading part into ram’ in a Ram drive, which is non-volatile and much more vast than Mother Boar Ram (and this is only the beginning )... I let you think what could be the result :

    Imagine :

    Open Windows, launch your Sampler... and play !

    No more interminable loading time to wait before working...

    For example : playing immediately the whole VSL Strings. (A 3 gig Ram drive could be enough ?). And winds on another GS PC... etc...

    But of course, soft developers should let the user chose the destination of the ‘Loading sample part’ to any Ram drive installing in our PC (we can add several one in the same machine, for example, three HyperOs one : 9GB Ram drive...)., instead of automatically using the ‘volatile’ mother board Ram...

    Or put the whole sample in it like Kontakt already can do it. (Very useful for a piano library : no more latency at all, and no HD stream to add in the PC, run 50 or 70 stereo samples without any problems...)


    I seriously think that it’s not luxury.

    Specially for a professional work.


    I don’t know you, but I really get mad with those ‘interminable loading time process’ before working...


    What do you think ?

  2. #2

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    Get lots of RAM. Setup great templates. Buy more PCs as needed. Never turn them off.

    The extra money you spend on electricity will be much less than the cost of the RAM.

    Well, maybe not on hot days in France...

  3. #3

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    Hi, John and Hansi.

    Get lots of RAM. Setup great templates. Buy more PCs as needed. Never turn them off.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Running a DAW like a server ? Well... you should say good luck to me. Maybe with Linux... I don’t know... but windows... I can’t imagine that such OS plus a soft samplers running on it could deliver the stability we need for a professional using... Closing and opening regularly the OS seems not a possibility, but a necessity, to clear the system and start again on good basis.
    But why not if it works...
    Anyone does never turn off DAW\'s PCs here ?

    About HyperOs: This is an application that let\'s you run several instances of Windows(/Linux) on one machine. That does not mean it can triple the hardware in it, so 3 instances of Windows share the same amount of hardware.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I know, I use it. I should type‘Hyperdrive’ instead of HyperOs, wich is the soft trade mark of the same company.

    I figured the pre-buffering all patches from VSL Pro Edition would take around 24 GB for Giga. (64kb*~385,000 samples) - pretty hefty investment needed for that library then
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">That’s the information I needed : 24 GB... you are right, I was a bit optimistic... Ram drives are too expensive yet for that kind of needing. But VSL is really an exception : so... big.

    Again, this is just the beginning. And Hyperdrive is just an example, it’s not the only company which develops Ram drive technologies, there is other possibilities, like PCI Ram drives for examples.

    But technically, I guess that stream performances are less primordial than the access time for buffering. A good Ram drive for buffering samples should probably have the same access time than a mother board Ram, I agree with you.

    And of course the soft sampler should only use that Ramdrive for buffering, if it is possible, of course, and I really can’t answer on that point.

  4. #4

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    I was thinking of Giga-PCs. Many people run them for days at a time.

  5. #5

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    Originally posted by Crystal:
    But technically, I guess that stream performances are less primordial than the access time for buffering. A good Ram drive for buffering samples should probably have the same access time than a mother board Ram, I agree with you.

    And of course the soft sampler should only use that Ramdrive for buffering, if it is possible, of course, and I really can’t answer on that point.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Well, RamDrives access times are measured in microseconds, while system RAM is measured in smaller than 10 nanoseconds. Quite a difference. Ok - magnetical hard drives still are a few milliseconds, so there would be an improvement.

    But with upcoming 64bit processors and OS, the price for an integrated, faster solution goes lower each day. With 1024 MB ECC modules for around $250 (4GB per system), and 2048 MB ECC modules around $890 (8 GB per system) these days, a very streamlined PC system would be possible for around $4500 - containing those 8 GB. You could even do all this already on a Mac G5 (with VSL and EXS 24mkII) - for some $$$$ of course.

    Hansi

    Originally posted by JonFairhurst:
    I was thinking of Giga-PCs. Many people run them for days at a time.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Jon, congrats to your #1000 [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    Well, RamDrives access times are measured in microseconds, while system RAM is measured in smaller than 10 nanoseconds.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I see... So RamDrives are faster than HardDrive, but less than System RAM.

    What a deception...

    About 64bit processors and OS, I understand. But a System RAM will always stay volatile... (If I might say.)

    I was thinking of Giga-PCs. Many people run them for days at a time.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Me too. I agree that a Giga-PC can be pretty stable, if we don’t load/unload several times.
    But running it 4 or 6 days... (before a week-end pause... for those who are never late in there work...)
    Maybe with Sleep/WakeUP function, if the sound card permit that...
    I never tried.

  7. #7

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    Regarding the giga-template-running for weeks thing, it has literally been almost 2 months since I\'ve rebooted either of my giga machines. Mostly using VSL, I\'ve got my templates the way I like. I swap out a few patches here and there as I go, but they mostly stay as they are.

    Since I never really do anything else with the computers other than Giga, (ie, no other programs opening and closing, taking RAM and realeasing it, etc) there really isn\'t a huge need to reboot. Nothing is much different than if I\'d laoded everything yesterday.

    Anyway, kinda irrelevant to the point of this topic, but I thought I\'d throw that out there because it is a valid way of working. No load times for me... well, maybe once or twice a month. (then again, that\'s really gunna depend on what kind of work you do - mostly orchestral in my case, but I\'d have to reload -and reboot- all the comps if I were to change templates for a different style of music...)

    Sorry for running OT... RAM drives are seriously neat, looking forward to seeing what happens.

    Mike

  8. #8

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    You are not OT, Mike.

    Interesting testimonial.

    So you keep a GS-PC on during several weeks ?

    No hardware problems ?

    Of course you use the Sleep/WakeUp function, I suppose...


    I have a bad news. (For myself). A Pulsar Sound Card I own doesn’t accept the Sleep function... I have to exit the sound card software (and Gsif drivers)...not lucky...

    I hope FXTeleport will solve all those kind of problems as soon as possible...

    I’m really fed up with those sound cards problems.

    Long life to LAN and native drivers solutions ! (This, is OT...)


    Regards

  9. #9

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    This is a bit too much of hype about it I guess.

    Anything like this needs from-the-ground rewriting of any software. Pre-buffering into System RAM is whole another thing than pre-buffering into a HD storage (made out of RAM or not) - and I don\'t think you could go around some buffers in the system RAM (else the access times are too low), so you\'d need basically two buffers before finally streaming from HD, one in the system RAM and one on your RamDrive. Second, the HyperDrive II in specific would not suit the application. It is ATA33 technology, which means we are talking around 30 MB/s transfer rate. That\'s 7200rpm drive speed, the WD740 Raptor deliver up to 60 MB/s - this is needed for greater polyphony. Only benefit would be the faster access time and the \'fake\' instant access (as said before, you\'d still need system RAM buffers), but what is that good for if it only delivers let\'s say around 100 stereo voices.

    Then about the cost. Solutions that might fit the application cost around we are talking at least 7,000 US-$ for a 4 GB unit, that is simply not worth the need of complete reengineering on the software side (the market is too small for that, Giga/Kontakt/... ain\'t Word or Excel). You can easily set up 4 machines with 2 GB RAM each (talking about Giga), that will give you better performance for less than 3,000 US-$. Apart from that, 4 GB may not even be enough for prebuffering, because if you could afford such a solution, you want it all buffered on that thing, and not again be limited.

    About HyperOs: This is an application that let\'s you run several instances of Windows(/Linux) on one machine. That does not mean it can triple the hardware in it, so 3 instances of Windows share the same amount of hardware.

    Having non-votile RAM systems that are instantly availible still seems luxury to me. Giga is giving 80 stereo voices per system with no headache to many users, the GigaLoadTimeOptimizer by Matthias should give enough performance on the loading in Giga yet (if you got templates it should even be easier), I don\'t know about similar things for Kontakt tho...

    Hansi

    PS: I figured the pre-buffering all patches from VSL Pro Edition would take around 24 GB for Giga. (64kb*~385,000 samples) - pretty hefty investment needed for that library then, not even a piano, drums, choir or another library taken into account...

  10. #10

    Re: Concerning RAM Drives technology : a request to soft sampler developers

    I don\'t use the sleep function, I just turn monitos off and walk away. Set your computer to not \"sleep\" after a period of non-use and I bet everything would stay as-is for a long while, unless you use the machines for other tasks when not running samples, etc. The only thing I have turn off after two hours are the HD\'s, and then only because I\'d prefer them not spinning away their already limited lives when I\'m not using them.

    That\'s the beauty of something like a RAM drive... no moving parts to wear out as fast. Really though, PC\'s don\'t take that much power by themselves, even if you run them idle for a long period of time. Other than an electric bill being a wee bit higher, I can\'t see a reason to shut down machines if you are in the middle of working with a specific template that is already loaded.

    I\'m not even sure telling the drives to shut down is necessary. That\'s just me being cautious, but I\'ve never asked anyone in-the-know whether this really does make a difference or not. All seems well and these drives are still performing beyond what I need, so I haven\'t messed with anything.

    I will say that if the sleep mode is giving you trouble for ANY reason - disable it! Just turn it off under Control Panel -> Power Options.

    Happiness [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ,
    mike

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